The Reverie Diver is the brand’s first dive watch. I previously did an introductory article on the watch back when it was live on Kickstarter – the watch successfully met its funding goal, with more than 80 backers bringing Reverie’s Diver series to life. In fact, the project did so well that both stretch goals – a burgundy red dial, and a 12-hour bezel – were unlocked. Intrigued, I asked Reverie if they could send one over in that exact configuration, and the brand kindly passed me a production model. Let’s see if it’s any good!
Reverie – the Brand
Reverie was founded in late 2014 by Singaporean Samuel Tay, who’s a lawyer by trade. For more information about the brand, do check out my previous review of the Reverie GT, where I covered Reverie’s brand story in detail.
Reverie Diver – Video Review
For those who are interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube review of the Reverie Diver below!
Reverie Diver – Build Quality
The Reverie Diver possesses good specifications for its sub-US$500 price tag.
Firstly, the Reverie Diver utilises a flat sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to their inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. There’s also AR (anti-reflective) coating applied to the crystal, minimalising the bulk of nasty reflections. Being a dive watch, the Reverie Diver boasts 200m in WR rating and should withstand a trip in the pool with ease.
The Reverie Diver is powered by the Miyota 9039 movement, which is a significant step up from the Miyota 8 series movement found on previous automatic Reverie watches. It has 42 hours of power reserve, a hacking seconds function and beats at 28,800 bph. I’m a big fan of the Miyota 9 series movement – it’s a step up from the rather pedestrian 8 series, and more affordable than its ETA/Sellita/STP counterparts. The 9039 movement is a slim one too, and it allows the Reverie Diver to come in at just 11mm thick despite having an exhibition caseback and an external rotating bezel. That makes the Reverie Diver one of the thinnest dive watches at its price point – it’s even slimmer than the lauded Tudor Black Bay 58. In addition, I must highlight the engraved rotor of the movement. According to Reverie, the graceful Japanese ‘Seigaiha’ pattern (i.e. “blue sea and waves”) is engraved on the rotor as a tribute to the movement’s Japanese roots and the watch’s aquatic theme. At a price point where most microbrands simply engrave their logo on the rotor (if at all), the Reverie Diver goes above and beyond in the decoration department – there’s Geneva striping present too. Kudos to Reverie!
The build quality of the bracelet is pretty good as well. It feels robust and is industrially brushed. The bracelet has a noticeable 6mm taper to it, translating in not only a streamlined look but also comfort on the wrist. The clasp is also micro-adjustable – a half-link difference – without the need for any tools, so you can loosen the bracelet on the fly when you feel it’s a tad too tight. Speaking about the clasp, it is absolutely rock-solid, with a satisfying response when you fasten it. Its sturdiness and utilitarian design reminds me of the clasps on the Tudor Black Bay and the Rolex Submariner, and is no doubt a subtle reference to its more illustrious desk diving compatriots. As the cherry on top, the bracelet even features quick-release pins, allowing you to swap it conveniently with the spare rubber strap (also equipped with quick-release pins) that Reverie graciously includes in the package. However, I found myself wearing the Diver on the bracelet most of the time, except for the occasional trip to the gym where I desire something a little lighter on the wrist.
The Reverie Diver possesses Swiss Superluminova – two types of it, in fact. The indices and the bezel lume pip are decked out in green C3 lume, while the hands are applied with blue BGW9 lume. It’s not the brightest lume that I’ve seen on dive watches, but you will definitely have no trouble telling time in the dark.
All in all, the Reverie Diver has great build quality for the price. There’s sapphire crystal, 200m of WR rating, a fantastic bracelet (one of the best I’ve seen on a microbrand watch to date), a higher beat Miyota 9039 movement, and even two types of Superluminova. It ticks every box, and is definitely substantially better than some of the more affordable dive watches I’ve received recently – or even something like a Seiko Turtle/Samurai (sorry Seiko fans).
Reverie Diver – Design
While it has great specs, the Reverie Diver is no slouch in the design department as well.
The main attraction of the Reverie Diver (this variant at least) is its burgundy red dial. Red dials are becoming more popular these days – IWC, Nomos, and even Rolex has introduced watches with red dials in the past year – but it’s still rare to see a dive watch with one. But boy, the red dial on this Reverie Diver is stunning. There’s a depth to it that reminds me of a nice Shiraz, and it was my watch of choice during Chinese New Year visiting last week. Furthermore – like all Reverie watches – there’s a lovely guilloche texture applied on the center portion of the dial. It’s not as eye-catching as it was on the Reverie Sea Spirit (Samuel, you should totally bring that back for another production run), but it still adds further visual intrigue to the dial. I never thought a red guilloche dial – something usually associated with dress watches – would work on a dive watch, but Reverie has shown that it works wonders on their Diver.
Furthermore, the applied baton indices and raised chapter ring add depth to the dial of the Reverie Diver. I also liked the play on diamonds here. The skeletonised hands (which is unusual in itself) are diamond-shaped, as are the printed minute indices on the chapter ring that denotes 5 minutes intervals. Even the counterweight of the seconds hand is shaped like a diamond. That being said, I would have preferred a brushed steel or a blued steel seconds hand instead of the purple painted one Reverie has opted for here – the painted seconds hand looks a tad cheap, and the purple doesn’t mesh well with the burgundy red dial.
The Reverie Diver comes on either a regular dive bezel or the more uncommon 12-hour bezel. Between the two, I definitely prefer having the Diver on the 12-hour bezel. With a 12-hour bezel, you can actually use it as a GMT of sorts, allowing you to track time in another time-zone. Unless you’re a professional diver that uses your mechanical watch to track elapsed time underwater, the 12-hour bezel is definitely the more practical choice. The bezel itself is uni-directional, 120-clicks, and just a joy to rotate. The lume pip also aligns perfectly with the hour marker at 12 – something that’s not always the case, even on more expensive divers.
The case is mostly brushed, with polished bevelled edges running down its flanks. The crown is screw-down, nicely sized, and adorned with an etched Reverie logo as well as grooved for grippier touch. Pretty good stuff here – nothing to complain about.
A devout Christian, Samuel chose to have the words “Soli Deo Gloria” – Latin for Glory to God – inscribed on the caseback, as he has done for all previous Reverie watches. I personally don’t mind it as I’m not religious, but I can’t help but wonder if this could potentially be a sticking point for customers of other faiths.
The Reverie Diver has a 40mm diameter, 11mm thickness and a lug-to-lug length of just 43mm, making it one of most svelte dive watches I’ve ever tried on my 7-inch wrist. It wears like a charm, and reminds me a lot of the Tudor Black Bay 58. In fact, I had no issues wearing the Reverie Diver with a suit – it slides under a shirt cuff with ease. It’s immensely comfortable too due to the tapered bracelet.
Overall, I really like the design of the Reverie Diver. Its red guilloche dial is a showstopper – it’s strikingly eye-catching on the wrist. The 12-hour bezel is a practical feature too. My only real quibble is the purple painted seconds hand, but given how well the Reverie Diver wears on the wrist, it’s a misstep that I can overlook.
Shootout – Reverie Diver vs Baltic Aquascaphe
If you’re looking for a smaller, thinner dive watch, then the Baltic Aquascaphe is definitely another microbrand diver you should check out.
In terms of specifications, both watches are practically identical. Both the Baltic Aquascaphe and the Reverie Diver use sapphire crystal, have 200m of WR rating, are powered by the same Miyota 9039 movement, and feature Swiss Superluminova. The only major difference would be that the Aquascaphe features a sapphire bezel as opposed to the steel bezel found on the Reverie Diver.
Aesthetically speaking, the Baltic Aquascaphe has a more vintage-inspired design. I’ve seen one in the metal, and I have to say that it’s gorgeous. The domed sapphire crystal paired with the blue sandwich dial is a winner. That being said, the Reverie Diver is no pushover too, especially with the red dial variant. It was a watch that I got a lot of compliments on during Chinese New Year, with many commenting on how striking it looked on the wrist. Which watch looks better ultimately depends on your preferences – if you have a penchant for vintage designs, go for the Aquascaphe. If you’re after something is eye-catching and different, then the Reverie Diver will be more up your alley.
Where the Reverie Diver wins is in its value. At just S$596, it’s almost half the price of the Baltic Aquascaphe despite having near-identical specifications. Between the two, the Reverie Diver is definitely the better value proposition.
Conclusion – so the Reverie Diver “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. For one, it has great specifications for the price – sapphire crystal, 200m WR rating, a solid bracelet (with an additional rubber strap), Miyota 9039 movement,and dual Swiss Superluminova are all features on the Reverie Diver. The design is distinctive as well, and the watch really pops on the wrist. There are no shortage of affordable dive watches in the microbrand sphere, but most look like generic homages of the Rolex Submariner. The same cannot be said about the Reverie Diver, with its burgundy red guilloche dial and 12-hour bezel setting it apart from its peers. In fact, the only generic aspect of the watch is perhaps its name – naming your dive watch “Diver” is perhaps a tad too literal and unimaginative.
For those of you who are interested in purchasing the Reverie Diver, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” (case-sensitive) for US$40 off all watches on Reverie’s web-store. After the discount, the Reverie Diver would be just US$450/~S$596, which I think is a great price given its specifications and prominent looks. If you’re after an affordable alternative to the Tudor Black Bay 58, you should definitely check this watch out.
You can read other media reviews of the Reverie Diver below.
- 316L Stainless Steel Case with 20ATM WR. 40mm diameter / 43mm lug-to-lug / sub-12mm thin / 20mm lug-width. Brushed and high-polished surfaces with a screw-down crown and 20ATM / 200m water resistance.
- Dive or 12-Hour Bezel Options. 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel included. Choose from a traditional dive bezel (measures elapsed time up to 1 hour) or 12-hour bezel (tracks time in another time-zone).
- Miyota 9039 Movement. Premium Japanese automatic movement with 42 hours power reserve, hacking seconds and high 4Hz frequency. Expect a smooth sweeping seconds hand.
- Engraved Movement. ‘Seigaiha’ (blue sea & waves) pattern engraved on the rotor as a tribute to the movement’s Japanese roots and the watch’s diving theme. Historically, ‘Seigaiha’ symbolised resilience and fortune.
- Guilloché Dial with 4 Color Choices. Double-layer dial with signature guilloché effect. Choose from: (1) navy blue; (2) moss green; (3) warm grey; and (4) burgundy.
- 2 types of Super-LumiNova. BGW9 (blue) on the hands and C3 (green) on the markers aid reading the time in the dark. Super-LumiNova is the benchmark for the luxury watch industry.
- Sapphire Crystal. Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with AR-coating minimises glare when telling the time.
- Adjustable 316L Stainless Steel Bracelet. The bracelet includes: (1) 6mm taper for comfort; (2) micro-adjustability allowing you to resize the bracelet (half-link only) on-the-go; (3) quick-release pin allowing you to change straps without tools.
- Extra Rubber Strap. Tapered rubber strap with tang buckle and quick-release pin also included.
- Limited to 125 pieces per color. Serial number engraved on the case-back. Designs are not reproduced once sold out.
- Travel Watch Roll Included. Each watch comes with a leather travel roll which fits up to 4 watches.
- Free Worldwide Shipping.
- 2 Year International Repair Warranty
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.