Disclaimer: This watch was sent to me to review, and I was not incentivized in any way to make this review. This is in no way sponsored by Seaborne or any other entity. All opinions here are my own.
Seaborne is a micro-brand based in Duxbury (Massachusetts) here in the United States and they make nautical and ocean inspired watches. The Seaborne Sea Venture was successfully launched through Kickstarter earlier this year. With a brand mission of helping and supporting coastal communities, 5% of all profits are donated to organizations supporting these communities of small boat fishing families and fisheries.
The Sea Venture line of watches currently retails at $369, and occasionally you can find discount coupons for around $30.
Let’s check it out!
The case is a pretty typical Rolex Submariner ‘homage/clone‘ case, so I won’t go into the details too much. The case is 40mm in diameter, 48mm from lug-to-lug and 13mm in height. It has polished sides and brushed top surfaces.
The crown and guards are different from that of a Submariner and it has a smaller crown, almost completely tucked between it’s crown guards. The ridges on the crown are good, but could’ve been slightly deeper for a better grip. There isn’t any crown or stem wobble, and has a pretty solid feeling for a $360 Seiko NH35-equipped watch.
The bezel is one of my favorite aspects of this watch. The beautiful colors, clean execution and vintage Blancpain FiftyFathoms style appearance make this incredibly appealing to me. The 120 click uni-directional bezel action is solid and there isn’t any back play. A very good job here!
The bezel has a printed triangle at 12 o’clock, that has a lumed circular marker in the center. This is filled with BGW9 Super LumiNova. I’ll give credit here because a lot of brands would’ve skipped the lumed element altogether in a printed design like this, but they didn’t.
Flipping it over, there is a solid screw down case-back with an etched/engraved Nautilus shell. Both the case-back and crown screw down into the case, but this watch is only rated for up-to 100m of water resistance. Realistically, this should be sufficient for almost all of us, but I’m curious about why they didn’t get this rated for 200m or 300m instead. The case is pretty standard for Submariner clones, and these are typically rated for 200m at least.
This watch is offered in four different variants (The Original, Sunset, Sunrise and Tactical) and I was sent the Sunrise to review. I’ll be honest here and say that I wasn’t expecting much from these dials, because the stock photographs on the Seaborne website make these watches look quite dull and unimpressive. I was so wrong. This dial looks fantastic in person, and the dial and bezel pairing on the Sunrise is perfect. It manages to be fun and summery without looking tacky.
There is a black outer chapter ring that has white printed markers. The chapter ring is aligned perfectly, and I think the black color helps the colors transition from the blue bezel to the orange dial.
Moving inward, you have applied stainless steel indices that are filled with BGW9 Super LumiNova. Apart form the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock Arabic numeral hour markers, the rest of the indices are simple rectangles and the simple design balances out the otherwise loud dial quite nicely.
I really like the Arabic numerals at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. I also appreciate the fact that they’re lumed well. All the rectangular indices were finished well with no smudges, scratches or dirt.
I did notice some dirt/dust on the 6 o’clock numeral, but given that this watch costs $370 and is otherwise quite neatly executed, I’m more than happy to accept this.
There is a date window at the 3 o’clock position that has a black date wheel with a white font. I would’ve preferred a date window at 6 o’clock, but this doesn’t draw too much attention so I think it’s OK.
The hands are polished, finished well and have a good amount of lume in them. The seconds hand has an orange tip and is filled with lume too. From a design perspective, I would’ve liked to see a contrasting seconds hand tip, and the orange tip sometimes gets lost in the sea of orange. Maybe a black tip would’ve suited this better?
Either way, the finishing on the hand set is very good for a $360 watch.
Both the minute and the seconds hand stop before the outer chapter ring, but I personally prefer when at least the seconds hand extends over the chapter ring markers for better readability.
Overall, the dial is bold, bright and quite impressive. I’ve grown to enjoy the color palette of this watch and I think it is a perfect summer watch.
All the lumed elements use BGW9 Super LumiNova, and they are all generously lumed.
The seconds hand tip and bezel 12 o’clock are also lumed, so I really have no complaints with the lume layout.
In terms of brightness this watch is more than satisfactory. The lumed elements are bright and hold their charge well. I like that the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock Arabic numeral indices are also lumed. I think it looks great in the dark.
The Sea Venture houses a Seiko NH35A movement. This isn’t a surprise considering the $370 price-tag. We’re all quite familiar with this movement by now so I won’t bother talking about it.
I logged the accuracy of the watch over a 3 day period and observed roughly +5.5 spd.
On The Wrist
This watch feels very much like the Submariner on my 6.25″ wrist because of the similar case design. The case is roughly 40mm in diameter, 48mm from lug-to-lug and 13mm tall. The proportions are perfect for my wrist, and I don’t really have any complaints about it.
You can pick from six different strap options – 4 NATO and 2 Silicone. While I’m more than pleased with the colors of the dial and bezel, the strap colors were a bit too much for me, and in my opinion I would go with their plain black straps, or look for something after-market. I had it on my Nodus TecTuff waterproof strap for the duration of this review.
To wrap things up, I enjoyed spending time with this watch, and even though it has a very typical Submariner style case, it delivers a lot more than just a Submariner homage experience. You quickly forget the case design and get carried away by the interesting color palette and well executed dial and bezel.
For $369, I don’t really have any complaints about the watch. I can see some folks wanting a metal bracelet, and given that the case is pretty standard stuff, I’m sure finding an aftermarket bracelet will not be difficult at all.
The current strap offerings are a bit too out there for my tastes, but I’m not the most adventurous so don’t take my word for it. I do recommend trying to pair it with something more subtle like a black sailcloth or tropic rubber strap.
My only real complaint is not with the watch but with the website and photographs. They do not do justice to these watches at all, and these watches are in dire need of professional photography, because they look pretty awesome in person. But this problem is easy to fix and I hope Seaborne gets on it asap!
Thanks for reading!