Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ocean7 LM-8 Professional Deep Diver - With a Swiss movement and a ceramic bezel, this diver rocks, A Review

Ocean7 Watch Company is a small micro-brand American company operating from Coral Springs, Florida. It is creation of owner Mitchell Feig. He has created a transparent operation which means he keep close, even personal, connections with the people who have bought, and will eventually buy, his watches. From the beginning, Ocean7 started building not only watches, but watch collectors. Daily, one can find Mitch conversing with owners, collectors, and soon-to-be both on the Ocean7 forum and the Watchuseek Ocean7 forum. This is how Mitch gets input and advice from his customers.

OCEAN7 design objective is to create beautiful watches that are tough and functional. Use of new case materials, hardening concepts, and construction methods also endears the brand to its growing legion of enthusiasts. Apart from stainless steel, the company has used ceramic and titanium. The best thing of all is the price point which is sometimes unbelievably low.

I am what you would like to call a fan of the brand. I already own the Airnautic Early Bird and the LM3 V2 1250m Dive Watch. I got my eyes on three more before Ocean7 announced the launch of the LM8 late 2013. Now there are four that I have to prioritize. I decided to go for the LM8 first. I shall explain why later.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Suunto t3d Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Training Watch - If Suunto can work on using better materials to protect the watch face as well as the strap, this watch can be a winner, A Review

After getting my Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Trainer Watch (see:Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Trainer Watch (Black Panda) - Many Unique Function For A Watch, A Review) from my wife for my birthday, I decided to get one for her too since she is also very active in the gym.

This time, Suunto t3d appears to be a better option as it can also link to a foot pod for running or a cycle pod for cycling. This gives the watch a lot more optionality in tracking training performance.

The watch is relatively lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. The band comprised of a rubber resin and the clasp works really well. Battery removal is also very simple with a coin as a tool to open the large screw-like opening over the battery bay.

By far the most impressive aspect of the t3d is the real time heart monitoring.  The t3d syncs directly to the HRM belt and the results are swift.  The band fits directly around your solar plexus and can be adjusted to fit your measurements accordingly.

The use of acrylic makes it a very light watch. However, impact marks on the watch face, however light, is obvious. As you can see in the first photograph, loads of scratches. Nevertheless, with an investment of just RM30, you can get a tube of Polywatch Plastic Lens Scratch Remover cream to clear the scratches away (not the deep ones though). An even cheaper alternative is to use toothpaste as a polisher (I haven't tried this yet).

A major problem I see is the speed of degradation on the rubber strap. Owned the watch for 3 years and I had to replace the strap after the second year as the rubber just broke off. Due to the proprietary lug design, I cannot use non-Suunto branded straps as a replacement.

The t3d is the most comprehensive training watch I have ever seen. If Suunto can work on using better materials to protect the watch face as well as the strap, I believe this watch (after the stated improvements) can be a winner.

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