I first saw a picture of the Taniwha Ururoa 200 m dive watch, on Microbrand Watches group on Facebook, it was around the same time that Ururoa was live on Kickstarter. That funding got canceled by the author, in order to do some revamps on the watch. This review is based on the prototype used for that campaign, which means that the next time Taniwha will do a crowdfunding, there will be some minor changes/improvements.
The brand was founded by two WIS, longtime collectors and traders of watches, who wanted to create a diver piece with good looks and good quality at a decent price.
Taniwha (pronounced tanifa) is a Maori word, meaning water spirits of the deep. These are highly respected beings that live in deep pools in rivers, dark caves, or in the sea, some may be considered (protective guardians) of people and places, or in some traditions they are seen as dangerous, predatory beings.
Ururoa, the model name is Maori for great white shark, whose sharp teeth inspired the shape of the crown guards.
Taniwha Ururoa 200m Mechanical Diva Watch at a glance
Case: stainless steel
Size: 42 mm (46 mm with crown) x 48 mm x 13 mm
Lug width: 22 mm
Water resistance: 200 m
Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic
Lume: Luminous dial markers and bezel pip
Price: $320 to $430 (Kickstarter pre-order prices)
When I got the Ururoa, the first thing that struck me is the proportions of the watch. The width, the length and the height are just perfect for a tool watch. It has that solid look and feel that you would expect from a diver watch, without going overboard and becoming clunky and oversized.
Before I would talk about the dial, let’s admire these crown-guards, shaped like the tooth of a white shark. They are an extension of the bezel creating a rounded, dynamic shape that immediately makes the Ururoa a very interesting piece to look at, especially when seen from the side.
The long screw-down crown offers a good grip, and easy handling, and the little logo engraved on it is that little detail that denotes attention to details from the designer.
When it comes to the bezel, the prototype that I received has a full black PVD coating. The production model, will be a bit different, as it will have the coating only on the top, as you can see in the picture bellow.
What I found interesting that the bezel, chapter ring, the bold indexes, and the husky diamond hands give the impression of a 39, maximum 40 mm watch, instead of its 42 mm. These proportions reiterate the robust, masculine look of the Ururoa. The hands, indexes and the bezel pip are treated with green luminous coating, which gave decent results in dark situations.
The white shark theme continues on the solid stainless steel back of the watch, reminding you that this piece was designed to be a diving instrument.
The watch came on a soft black leather strap, but this is a watch that would look great on a NATO strap, and who knows when it will go live, Taniwha might trow in a Zulu strap in the package.
I had a lot fun with the Taniwha Ururoa, a solid tool watch that reminded me the diving pieces of the 50s and 60s. At the price it was listed on Kickstarter, a bit more than $200 USD, the Taniwha would have been a great value. Keeping an eye on Taniwha might not be as easy, since they still need to build an online presence. In the mean time, you can contact Pete, a co-founder of Taniwha, through his Kickstarter profile.