Melbourne Watch Co. Sorrento — hands-on review
This is a follow-up on my previous review, the Melbourne Watch Co. Collins 38, a superb dress watch with a stunning dial. As I mentioned in there, when I received it, in the same parcel, there was also a diver watch, the Sorrento, and the difference between the two is so significant that there is no way in comparing them in the same review. With the Sorrento, Melbourne Watch Company is venturing into a new territory, while they touched upon tool watches in the past, such as the Avalon pilot watch that we reviewed here, the Sorrento is the first diver watch in their collection.
Just like the Collins, the packaging of the Sorrento is very elegant, and since it comes with a bracelet, there is also a little screwdriver included that will come handy when you want to adjust it to your wrist size. As soon as I took it out from the box, I felt its reassuring heft, typical of tool watches. Its weight comes not just from the three-link bracelet, but also from the chunky case that measures 42 mm in diameter, 50 mm in length and 14 mm in height. This is a big boy, yet it’s not oversized and it’s totally wearable, once the bracelet was properly sized, it felt comfortable even on my small wrist. The surface of the case is brushed in a way to highlight the different facets of its geometry, just as the two external links of the bracelet. The centre links are polished to match the polished surface of the bezel, side of the case back, and many other smaller details. This combination of brushed and polished surfaces grant the Sorrento a stimulating allure, there is a lot happening on this watch before even getting to the dial. The screw-down crown is placed at 3 o’clock, between two curved crown protectors that give the case a more complex shape.
The 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel is very solid, it clicks into place firmly without any wiggle and this is not the best part about it. It has a layered design, with the surface featuring a wave pattern engraved decoration. My only criticism is about the size of the luminous dot at 12 o’clock, it is way too small. I understand that the designer wanted to re-use the same concept as the indexes on the dial, but I would have preferred it without the triangle and with a bigger luminous dot, this way it would have been more useful in dark situations.
The ceramic dial is a real treat! Melbourne Watch Co. reused a proven approach that worked great on a previous model, the Portsea and it looks fantastic on the Sorrento. There are three layers, a narrow chapter ring is on the top, followed by the wider middle layer the holds the bold rectangular indexes at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock and the small circular indexes between them. The bottom layer features a horizontal guilloche pattern, interrupted by the logo at 12 and the model name at 6. If this review would not be illustrated, my description of the dial would sound like a busy mess, but as you can see in the pictures, on the contrary, it is very readable. The rectangular indexes are nicely matched by the bold custom-made hands, and let me ask you to take another look at the minute and hour hands, and admire their shape and texture.
The solid back of the Sorrento is decorated with a vintage diver helmet and this is where you will notice the bracelet is secured to the watch by quick release spring bars, this way if you wish to try the with a strap, the change will be easy.
I wore the Sorrento for about two weeks and every time I would put it on, it would feel like I would go on an adventure, but I guess this is what tool watches are also made for, giving you a bit of adrenalin rush while sitting quietly at your desk. There is a lot to discover and love about the Sorrento, the case, the dial is full of tiny details that will keep wanting to come back to this watch.
So far, the Sorrento is the most expensive model in the Melbourne Watch Co. collection, breaking the $1,000 CAD barrier, and quite understandably, considering the complexity of the design and the all the customization that went into it. The good news is that until the end of January, you can get your hands on a Sorrento for $770 CAD. Besides the black model that I reviewed here, there is a blue model — blue dial and bezel — and the third one comes with blue bezel and white dial. You can find them here: www.melbournewatch.com.au/sorrento/
- Case Size – 42mm 316L Stainless Steel
- Case Thickness – 14mm
- Lug to Lug Distance – 50mm
- Lug Width – 22mm
- Movement – Miyota Cal. 9015 high-beat automatic
- Crystal – Flat Sapphire
- Functions – 12-hour time, dive bezel
- Water Resistance – 200m/20ATM
- Warranty – 24 Months