Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Military

When I wrote about my search for a new watch, I can honestly tell you that my search started with this watch, and I ended up buying this watch despite trying to convince myself of many others. This watch pays homage to a mil-spec Submariner which Rolex only made a few dozen of — today those sell for over $150,000. So, given that, at about $450 this watch is a steal, and it has better water resistance ratings than the original Rolex.

This watch checks all the boxes I had, plus it looks nothing like any of the others I have. It’s dead simple, not even a date complication. It looks unique in many ways, and yet it can really handle itself in hard use settings. With 300m of water resistance, sapphire crystal, AR coating, and large lume on the dials — this is a really great watch.

Small Things

Everything about this watch feels very nice, it’s solid feeling with a good weight overall. It’s not too heavy, but it doesn’t feel cheap. The movement is great, not the best I have, but not the worst either.

The bezel and the fluting on it is superb. The bezel stays locked to where you twist it, and the fluting allows it to easily be turned with gloves on, or very wet hands.

My biggest concern buying this watch was that they would miss the small things in such a way that you know you bought something inexpensive. But that has yet to play out, even the things which annoy me about this watch, they aren’t so much because of the price — they are just things which bother me a bit.

Three Annoyances

There’s three things I don’t like about this watch, but all three are extremely minor nitpicks:

  1. The engraving on the crown is a bit rough to the touch. You never notice it, unless you notice it. Then you notice it each time you touch the crown, and you touch the crown more because you noticed it. Terrible cycle.
  2. I wish the dial had less writing on it. The ‘1’ with a circle around it, and the OCEAN ONE labeling — if those were gone that dial would be stunning.
  3. There’s something intangible about the clasp I don’t love. It’s not bad, and functionally it’s just fine, but there’s something about it which doesn’t sit right with me.

Again, these are so minor that had I not written notes down about them, I wouldn’t have thought to bring them up here.

Unexpected Treats

I mentioned before, but I wear my watch 24/7. I even wear this watch when I shower (unless I am using it with a band that isn’t the bracelet). And so because of that, I have a very natural habit that if I want to know the time, I look at my wrist. So when my kids wake up in the middle of the night and I wonder what time it is, I look at my wrist. With almost every other watch I’ve had, I can’t read it in the middle of the night. The glow from the lume had long faded and there was never enough contrast or ambient light to read the watch.

But with this watch, even at 4:30am, I can still just make out enough glow from the dial and hands that I can know what time it is. Sometimes are brighter than others, but the lume is far better than I had expected and I love it.

The second is that this is the first watch I’ve had in a while where I didn’t have a date complication. That’s a bit freeing to not worry about adjusting the date at the end of the month, or making sure it is rolling over at 12am and not 12pm. I’ve not regretted losing the date on the watch, and I’ve come to really like the simplicity of having only the time available.

Fantastic Watch

I’ve worn this watch everyday, all day long, since I bought it. I’m still wearing it. It is perfect when I am rucking, it’s perfect when I’m in a pool with the kids, or taking a business trip — it’s just great. For $450 I don’t think you can find a better watch.

Note: the watch I bought was the previous model, not the current mk2.5 model. The difference between them is that the newer model has a dark gray face.

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Article Details

by Ben Brooks
4 minutes to read.


This is my favorite watch, and what I wear daily.