Singapore based AUDRIC Watches is about to launch a stylish and full-featured Swiss made dive watch on Kickstarter. The AUDRIC Seaborne joins professional grade features with a value price for early adopters. The Seaborne is seriously burly and surprisingly playful with its use of color. To say that this watch has wrist presence would be like saying Godzilla’s personality lacks inhibition.
The name AUDRIC means noble friend in German and also happens to be the name of the first-born son of Akshay Solomon, the creator of AUDRIC Watches. Akshay is targeting the Seaborne to entry-level Swiss watch buyers as well as those who are seeking good quality at an affordable price. That sea is rather crowded already so let’s see how this watch fares.
Case, Dial and Hands
Typically, when I hold a new watch, the first thing I notice is the dial. Upon picking up the Seaborne, however, I was more distracted by the sheer weight of it all. This is one heavy piece of steel! Everything from the case to the bracelet to the clasp has a high-protein heft that makes the Seaborne appear heavy duty and indestructible.
Keep in mind; this is a 500 meter dive watch which necessitates heavier duty components, gaskets and so forth. Those features result in additional weight and bulk but they also allow such a watch to be used by professionals operating in extreme underwater environments (such as the offshore oil & gas industry). Most people that buy the Seaborne won’t need its helium escape valve but it does illustrate the type of credentials that many watch enthusiasts find appealing.
Okay, back to the dial. One of five available color ways, this one is called “Thunder Gray” and it offers a more subdued visual experience than the other four variants. The rhodium-plated hands and hour markers are attractive if a bit plain. The dial, however, is quite complex and features a textured sunburst pattern radiating into a lower plate with lume filled minute markers.
Speaking of lume, those minute markers really light up the dial and add to the Seaborne’s legibility in low light.
Fit and finish are very good with the indicators on the bezel, chapter ring and dial all lining up precisely. The case back etching includes a sea turtle as well as basic watch specifications and a unique serial number. I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that this particular sea turtle has a Polynesian aesthetic but I’m also relying on others to correct me in the likely event that I’m wrong.
Bezel and Crown
I’m pleased to report that the rotating dive bezel and screw-down crown were flawless in their operation. The bezel action was very, very smooth with no binding and just the right amount of resistance. The crown consistently engaged the threads with no grit and no vagueness. While the crown is a nice size, the polished surface area feels too slippery when being rotated. Curiously, the logo on the crown is lumed and I just don’t see the point. An engraved crown would be classier and more practical since it wouldn’t have exposed luminous material that can wear off.
AUDRIC specifies an upgraded Selitta SW200-1 Elabore automatic movement for the Seaborne. The upgrades include adjustments in three positions to guarantee better accuracy than the Standard SW200 as well as Incabloc shock protection for the balance wheel.
Bracelet and Clasp
The five-link bracelet looks just right on the Seaborne and nicely matches the beefy case and clasp. Considering its size and weight, the bracelet surprised me with how comfortably it wore on my 6.5 inch wrist. In spite of some sharp edges, not a single hair was pulled. The clasp is really interesting. (If it looks familiar, it appears to be the exact same clasp offered by Strapcode.) On the one hand, it is not particularly attractive although, oddly, it does feature Perlage (circular stippling) on some of the hidden surfaces.
On the other hand, it has the most practical ratchet adjustment that I have ever come across. The small buttons release the buckle while the larger, angled buttons allow you to release the ratchet to lengthen the bracelet on the fly. You can’t do that with an Omega or Monta bracelet (without taking it off of your wrist) and this sort of functionality reminds the owner that the Seaborne is, at its core, a tool watch.
This is a heavy-duty wristwatch and, as such, you won’t forget that it’s on your wrist. Aesthetically, it’s larger than what I like to wear. Conversely, it was still very wearable because of the lug curvature and the lack of overhang where the bracelet links to the case. A matter of personal taste I suppose.
With respect to the dial, it’s quite unique and attractive. The multiple layers make it interesting to look at. Some of the color choices (including this one) are rather subdued. There are two darker versions, however, that offer more contrast and legibility. With five choices, you can likely find a color that suits your own preferences.
• 22mm lug width
• 500m water resistance
• 120 click, sapphire insert bezel
• BGW9 Super-Luminova
The Seaborne is scheduled for a Kickstarter release in June, 2020. Standard pricing will be $999. but KS supporters can take advantage of the pre-launch price of $600. More information can be found at the AUDRIC Watches website or Instagram page.
Please note that the model in this review is a prototype, however the only changes between the watch you see here and the final product will be: (1) improved lume on the final product and (2) additional micro-adjustment positions on the bracelet.
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Mark retired in 2018 after 37 years in the financial services industry. He “Discovered” watches in 2015 after seeing a photo of a Steinhart OVM1 in a car forum. Ever since then he’s filled two watch boxes (and is trying to decide between buying a third one or thinning the herd). His additional pastimes include hiking, working on cars, exploring and photographing abandoned military bases.