Oops i did it again.

The first Aquatico watch I dealt with was the Bronze Sea Star model, the review of which appeared on our blog in July 2019. It was a version with a brown dial and a brown ceramic bezel. I liked the watch so much that from time to time I looked for other color versions, wondering what they would look like live (the renders on the Aquatico website did not reflect the beauty of this watch at all). In this way, my hands went through – at first – the version with a blue dial and a blue ceramic bezel, and then with a green dial and a bezel entirely made of bronze. Of these three, blue was probably the most beautiful live color. In general, I noticed that the blue matched the indices and the bronze / copper case perfectly, although this watch looked great in every color.

Some time ago, information about the upcoming new model called Seastar v2 began to appear on Aquatico’s Instagram. The watch was to have a steel case and a changed design of the dial, indices and hands. The first visualizations of the project didn’t impress me, on the contrary, the project seemed simply ugly to me. However, when the photos of the ready-made prototype of the watch started to appear, things started to look completely different. I realized it was a watch with all the features – for which I liked the Sea Star Bronze so much – only in a steel case with a bracelet and a revised, more original design of the dial and hands.

– Yes, it can be a very nice watch, I thought, taking advantage of the Black Friday promotion, I did it again – I bought another Sea Star from Aquatico, this time a version with a black dial and a black bezel insert (because only such a color version of Sea Star I didn’t had yet 😊).

Aquatico has recently expanded the range of watches available on their website, mainly adding to most watches the possibility of buying a version with the Swiss Sellita SW200 movement. In addition, versions with bezel inserts have been added, not necessarily the same color as the dial, i.e. we can now buy a watch with a black dial and a blue or green bezel insert. All this meant that, for example, the Super Charger model has a choice of 24 different versions depending on the color / movement used, or whether or not to have a date window. In short, they try to maximize the width of the offer based on already available models. The Sea Star 2 model itself is currently available in 10 variants, recently there have been versions with a dial and hands similar to those of the bronze models, so this confirms the thesis I made earlier.

Box

How many those boxes have I seen before? I think a total of 6. Seastar v2 came in the same box as we received previous watches, so a small cardboard box inside filled with fleece with a watch cushion.

Case

I was sure to see an case identical to the Bronze Sea Star, except that it was made of steel; however, the new version of the case is slightly different. The case is 42mm wide and 50mm long. What makes it different from its predecessor is thickness – the Seastar v2 has a 14.5mm thick case, which is half a millimeter more than the bronze version. The shape of the case itself probably has not changed significantly, but because in this version the bezel is different, together with an additional half a millimeter thick, the watch visually clearly gained weight. It seems more massive and heavy to me now. Overall, I would prefer the changes to go in the direction of less thickness in watches, but due to the fact that this is a typical toolwatch, I’m able to accept it.

The second element that distinguishes the case from the previous version are the lugs, which in the v2 version have not been drilled right through. This watch is sold on a bracelet, so for its overall look it is probably a good change, although as I always say, drilled lugs do not bother me.

The case is completely brushed. As always with Aquatico, the cuts look very good and there are not even the slightest flaws in this field. The crown has no cover, it’s screwed down and has a logo engraved on the top. It has an optimal size, thanks to which it is very easy to use when changing the time or winding the movement.

Thanks to the shape and size of the case, the watch fits very nicely on the wrist, recently I only wear watches with a case size of 40mm, in the case of Aquatico I practically didn’t feel these 2 mm more. The watch can also be easily worn by people with a wrist smaller than my 18cm.

Movement

My copy is a version with a Seiko NH35 movement. In situations where I have the choice of the same watch with different movements, I always choose the cheaper one. It just doesn’t matter that much to me, as long as it doesn’t have a positive effect on the design of the watch (e.g. a thinner case). Both Seiko NH35 and Sellita SW200 are known and very popular automatic movements. Neither one nor the other movement is some top-class work of watchmaking, but simply a good-quality movement – so why overpay?

Dial

This watch has undergone the biggest facelift in this element. The design of the dial and hands has been completely revised. The matte black dial has hour indices in the form of golden rectangles with a yellowish (vintage) luma in the center. The 12 o’clock index is a long, downward-pointing rectangle. Between the hourly indices the minute indices are painted in the form of dashes. And that’s it… The indexes have been moved to the outermost part of the dial, thanks to which there is more space in the center, and the dial itself is very simple and legible. Under the 12 o’clock index there is the manufacturer’s logo and the inscription automatic, and above the 6 o’clock index is the name of the model and information about the water resistance of the watch, which is 300m. All these elements, just like the minute indices, have been painted with white paint. This model also doesn’t have a date window and it was good move, because date window would disturb the order emanating from the dial.

The indices are a bit lower than in the Bronze Sea Star; However, they are still well made and shimmer beautifully when we move the watch in different directions. The hands, like the indices, are golden in color and filled with yellow superluminova. The minute hand and the hour hand are shaped like swords – the hour hand is shorter and broadens towards the end, while the minute hand is the same thickness along its entire length. The second hand is a red arrow with a yellow luma in the center of the arrowhead. The hands fit well with the orderly dial of the Sea Star v2 and, like this one, are simple and clear in their design.

From the top, the watch is covered with a thick, sapphire glass, which is convex in the middle and flat on the outside, in addition, the inner part is covered with a blue anti-reflective coating. It is also worth adding that the glass protrudes slightly above the bezel and if you put the watch with the case back facing up, the entire weight will rest on the glass.

The effect is amazing … the glass was the same for the Bronze Sea Star model and I expected it to be the same for this watch … luckily I was not disappointed. The glass additionally enhances the effect of the golden indices and hands, everything shimmers beautifully together when exposed to light, and the blue glow of the anti-reflective nicely harmonizes with the black of the dial. Thanks to the large, free space on the dial, nothing distracts our attention from those small, sparkling gold bars 😉

The luma on the dial, hands and bezel glows green. There is not much space for the luma on the indices, so I did not expect fireworks, but it must be admitted that it looks at least decent. It shines brightly, of course it weakens over time, but the time on the watch can be easily read until the morning (I know what I’m saying, I have a month-old baby who wakes me up several times a night). It is also worth mentioning that all the elements shine equally bright with no difference in level, and this is more important in time reading than you might think.

Bezel

Another surprise… the bezel has also been slightly changed. The difference is visible mainly from the side – half of its height is a straight, concave wall, and the other is the element that we can grab to turn it. The cuts in the upper half are typical coin edge, the cut element is narrow, but it stands out from the case, so it is very easy to grab and operate. And when we are at his work, the bezel turns very technically, with appropriate resistance, without any play. Of course, the bezel rotates only to the left, and has 120 clicks. It is this new bezel design that is largely responsible for the fact that the watch feels much thicker than the previous version.

The bezel insert is ceramic, black in color with indices filled with yellow superlumin. The index at 12 o’clock is a red triangle pointing downwards with a luma dot in the center. The indices on the bezel in their form are as economical as the indexes on the dial, the markings appear only every 5 minutes and are vertical lines for odd minutes and Arabic numerals for even. It is worth adding that the indices on the bezel are perfectly made – everything is even, without any shortcomings.

Case back

And here it has changed … the caseback of the v2 version is see thru. There is only a Seiko automatic inside, in addition the watch is a diver, so in general I would not be flattered with such a solution … if not for the fact that the rotor of the movement has been personalized and covered in black paint – it even looks cool 😊 The standard information about the watch parameters are engraved outside the glass . I have the impression that the caseback is very thick (it would be logical with a glass caseback with wr300m) and probably it is responsible for the additional 0.5mm thickness of this watch.

Bracelet / strap

The watch comes to us as standard on a steel Oyster bracelet, which makes a very good impression. The links are thick, the full end links are mounted very tightly between the lugs so that the gaps between these elements are really minimal.

The bracelet itself – when we take it in our hands – gives the impression of being adequately heavy for its size. The clasp is a simple clasp that opens by pulling with a finger, the clasp itself is as solid as the bracelet.

The bracelet, just like the case is completely brushed, the cuts are as precise as those on the case. In general, it is very good and even Tomek, the bracelet specialist, had nothing to complain about 😊 The links of the bracelet are connected by means of pins and sleeves pressed out.

The NATO strap included in the set gives the impression of being solid. I am generally not a fan of NATO straps and never wear a watch on them, however I have had several NATO straps and this one surpasses them in terms of material quality and overall finish. However, it is similarly tough so I haven’t tested it in the long run.

Another thing is that this watch likes straps and looks very good on them. Below are some suggestions. I especially like it in combination with a khaki-colored Marine Nationale elastic strap with a yellow center, and this is what I wore this watch at the time of writing review.

Summary

As the title of the review, I thought of “Oops i did it again” as I once again bought a Sea Star model from Aquatico … but in fact, Aquatico did it again and once again created a budget watch that is in no way inferior to more expensive counterparts of other microbrands . The current price of the Seastar v2 model is $ 299, which can be reduced by 10% to $ 269 with the XMAS20 code. 269$ for a watch made of stainless steel, with a solid bracelet, thick sapphire glass, wr300m, ceramic bezel, good luma and a decent automatic movement, it’s almost like half the price … Only watches on Aliexpress are sold in such price, with such parameters, which quality of workmanship, however, are level lower than Aquatico. A good step was to change the dial, which is not some fancy design at the moment, but is entirely an original Aquatico design – at least I think so, because I don’t associate the watch with a similar dial.

The watch has such a vintage, highly technical feel, and at the same time it can look really nice, especially for people who like the blue glow of anti-reflective, often visible in watches with a black dial and doomed glass.

There is basically nothing that I could fault with this watch. Both the Bronze Seastar model and the Seastar V2 in steel, reviewed today, are in my opinion the best quality diverter that can be bought in this price range.

In the Bronze Seastar review I mentioned that if this model had its own design, it would become the king of budget watches for me and the Seastar v2 model actually deserves this title.

Konrad

 

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