Last summer Stranger took a plunge into a sea filled with diver watches with their Ocean Predator collection, consisting of four colour versions of the same model, a 44 mm piece with an internal rotating bezel and watch dials with a unique texture. They sent me recently two watches to take them on a “test dive”: a Leopard Seal with a rose gold coated case and white dial, and an Orca that has a black coated case and black dial.
The packaging is elegant, without being extravagant. Especially if you have many watches and watch boxes, you will be glad to see that the entire Stranger box is 11,5 x 11,5 x 9 mm, which is not a bad size, it still looks classy, without taking up too much place on your shelf. The first thing that caught my eyes as I opened the box was the texture of the dial. We are used to watch dials being decorated with geometric guilloche patterns and it is very rare that designers would venture into the organic side of decorative elements. This irregular pattern reminds me the surface of corals or the waves of the ocean seen from an aeroplane, it is probably the highlight of these watches, that little something necessary to makes a watch stand out.
When I receive two watches from the same collection, every time, I go through the same dilemma as someone who is undecided which model to buy. Which one will I wear first? Which one will I wear more? I try to follow consciously my reactions and my reasoning behind them. In this case, it was the Orca that talked to me more, while I found the orange accents on the Leopard Seal strap work great with the orange from the bezel and the dial, I found the Orca dial to be easier to read because of the high contrast between the black dial and the hands filled with white lume.
This is quite a big watch, while the diameter is 44 mm, with the two crowns, it gets to 50 mm, lug-to-lug is 52 mm, while the height is 14 mm. Especially the lugs have a very masculine, aggressive shape, a nice marriage of slightly curved forms with straight angles. They look a bit intimidating, I was not sure if this watch would fit my small wrist, but once strapped on, it was like a glove. As with watches with internal rotating bezel, there are two screw-down crowns, the one at two o’clock used for adjusting the bezel, while the one at four is for setting the time and the date. The bezel can be rotated in both directions and once set at the desired time, it can be locked by screwing in the crown. The crowns have an excellent size and a good grip, setting the time and date, on both watches, was really smooth, the Seiko NH35 feels like a high-end movement.
On both watches the bezel is black and it has a thin orange line on its internal edge. The bezel is not straight but is a bit rounded and it is sloping towards the exterior of the watch, bringing an element of depth. The famous dial sits a lot lower and it is the support for the applied indexes and numerals. The numeral at 12 and the indexes at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock are filled with orange lume, just like the tiny dot on the bezel. They look great and give a sporty allure to the watch, but when it comes to dark environments, they are very weak compared to the other indexes and the hands that are filled with white lume. The date window is placed between 4 and 5 o’clock, it has big, easy to read numbers. With the broad arrow hands, we are in typical diver waters, they work nicely with the rest of the watch.
The Ocean Predators have a solid back, engraved with the Stranger logo and technical info about the watch: stainless steel, automatic, sapphire crystal, 200 meters, model number. Since model from this collection was named after an ocean predator, I would have loved to see them use the back of the watch as a canvas for images representing an orca, a leopard seal, a bull shark, a barracuda, etc., sea creatures that gave their name to these watches.
The strap was a great choice, both watches look amazing with their black kevlar strap, as mentioned before, I was especially fond of the strap on the Leopard Seal because of its cool orange stitches. With the Kevlar strap, you can throw anything at the Stranger diver, it will feel in its element on the beach and you can take it to the office too for some desk diving, even dress it up for formal events.
Besides the Leopard Seal and the Orca, there are three other versions, you should check them out on strangertime.com. These are versatile watches, bringing a few original ideas and besides their adventurous personality, they have an elegant side that will make you feel comfortable with them at any occasion.
Case: Brushed surgical steel 316L | 44mm
Water Resistance: 20 ATM | 200 Meters | 660 Feet
Crown: 2 screw in crowns at 2H and 4H
Bezel: Rotating Bezel under the Sapphire Crystal
Movement: NH35 Self-Winding Automatic Movement
Glass: Sapphire Crystal with Anti-Reflective coating
Caseback: Screw in caseback with embossed markings
Strap: Heavy stitch Kevlar strap | water resistant
Dial: Hammered texture | applied indexes filled with Super Luminova | Date window
The rose gold Leopard Seal is $549, while the black Orca is $569 and you can order them directly from strangertime.com.