The ultimate goal of most watch aficionados who practice the beautiful art of diving is Rolex Submariner. Let’s not kid ourselves though – the vast majority of us are priced out of getting this iconic masterpiece.
Because of the almost cult status of the Submariner line, tens of watchmakers have put in a lot of effort to recreate the amazing design at a much more affordable cost. Some, like the Entry Level luxury brand Gevril, have produced brilliantly crafted Submariner homages. Others have failed miserably.
However, believe it or not, not all capable diving watches need to resemble the Submariner.
Rolex certainly set the trend with the 1953 release. Nevertheless, by focusing strictly on the iconic design offered by Rolex and hunting for something similar in the collections of other brands, we run the risk of missing out on unique-looking watches that will not only work great underwater but will also turn many heads during everyday wear.
If you’re open to a fresh approach in the world of diving watches, the Seacloud collection by Gevril is definitely worth considering. In this Gevril Seacloud review, we will dive deep (pun intended) into the specifics of this much-talked-about line to establish how good a value it provides.
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In-depth Review of Gevril Seacloud
At the time of writing, there are eight Seacloud watches to pick from. Since all the major specs between the timepieces are basically the same and the models differ only in terms of the design, I’ve picked one representative for a thorough review. Since I have hands-on experience with the 3120B model, I can describe the timepiece in greater detail which will paint a clear enough picture of what to expect from the whole collection.
Because you can only make the first impression once, let’s start with describing the unique design of Gevril Seacloud.
As already mentioned, the Seacloud collection is a clear departure from the Rolex Submariner style so characteristic of many diving collections from different brands. It’s definitely not for everyone – but that’s what makes it quite special.
For starters, Seaclud watches come with a fairly large stainless steel case. All Rolex Submariner models, as well as many of the homages, have a case size of 41mm. The Seacloud is a lot heavier, measuring 45mm in diameter. By no means am I suggesting that the Seacloud can’t be worn with pride by folks with smaller wrists but it probably won’t look as neat as a 41mm or even 43mm watch.
What also makes this watch unique is the so-called open heart caseback. The nicely-cut circle allows you to peek at the intricate workings of the automatic movement. It’s definitely an interesting approach when it comes to diving watches.
Characteristically for a diving watch, the case comes with an integrated, uni-directional bezel. The bezel, also made from stainless steel, features raised, cast steel numbers that can be read by touch as well as sight. That can be especially useful when there’s little light at bigger depths. Finally, positioned at three o’clock there’s a fairly large screw-down crown.
The watch uses a 3-link stainless steel bracelet, with 2 smaller lug-integrated links on each side of the bigger, centrally-located one. The bracelet uses a fashionable deployment safety clasp.
When it comes to the dial, it’s clear that Gevril’s choice of deep blue background is a tribute to marine life. There’s a bit of a mixed approach to it. Opting for Roman numerals as hour markers gives it a bit of a vintage touch whilst the Arab minute markers and second indices point to a more modern style. If anything, it’s a combination that definitely catches the eye.
Both the hour markers and all three watch hands are luminescent, making sure the time telling in any light, including underwater, is super easy. Positioned at three o’clock there’s a date window, at 6 o’clock the “Automatic” and water-resistance labels, and finally, at noon o’clock the Gevril logo with the place of production, La-Chaux-De-Fonds, engraved below.
Even the best-looking timepieces in the world count for nothing if the durability levels aren’t on point. Fortunately, there’s not much to point finger at when it comes to Gevril Seacloud.
Starting with what is arguably the most damage-prone part of any watch, the dial, it’s made from sapphire crystal. Certainly, it’s the most impact-resistant material that can be used in a watch and is an ever-present pick by all the top-end brands in the industry, such as Rolex or Omega.
Quite frankly, a sapphire glass was all we could expect considering the mid-to-high price point of the model. What’s good about it is that it includes an anti-reflective coating which greatly improves readability. At times you can easily forget the crystal is there!
Moving on to other parts of the Seacloud 3120B model, we have a stainless steel-made case, bezel, and bracelet. The type of stainless steel used here is 316L which has higher corrosion-resistant qualities than the regular 316. Essentially for a diving watch, both the caseback and the crown are screw-down which greatly improves protection against water-related damage.
Finally, what also contributes to longevity is the 200m water resistance. The rating makes the Seacloud a safe companion for scuba diving.
If a watch looks as good and as unique as the Seacloud and is made of some of the toughest materials out there, the only missing piece of the jigsaw is a top-quality movement. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if such caliber has been used with the Gevril Seacloud collection.
Without boasting too much, I’ve reviewed hundreds of watches during my time with TimepieceKing and I’ve never had such difficulty digging out information about a watch movement as I do with Gevril Seacloud.
All eight watches that are available in the collection run on the MDD3G caliber produced by a Swiss movement manufacturer, Ruben & Sons. The movement is said to be Swiss-made but there are suggestions it’s based on the Miyota 9215 caliber which is Japanese.
MDD3G is a 21-jewel automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve. It beats at a frequency of 21,600 BPH. Probably what’s the biggest let-down regarding the caliber is the relatively average accuracy. For a watch oscillating in the medium-to-high price basket, we could expect a better performance than the -20/+40 seconds daily.
I’m a huge admirer of the unique design approach to a diving timepiece offered by the Seacloud collection. Both in terms of style and durability, the watch certainly lives up to its price tag.
However, there are some question marks over the quality of the movement – probably the most integral part of any watch. Especially watches oscillating in the medium-to-high price spectrum should run on calibers delivering exquisite performance and longevity. The above-mentioned accuracy of -20/+40 seconds/day is hardly a jaw-dropper and the fact that this Swiss-made movement seems to be based on a relatively cheap Japanese caliber produced by Miyota is a bit of a let-down.
Rounding up the Gevril Seacloud review, the collection can be classified as one providing a fresh approach to the field of diving watches. The design is definitely one of a kind and stands out from most popular brands specializing in watches for diving, such as Seiko or Citizen (see also: Top Seiko Diving Watches & List of Top Citizen Divers).
The dressy approach makes the watch a solid companion for underwater activities as well as during more official occasions. On the other hand, what stops Seacloud from getting a higher rating is the standard of the movement. At this price, there’s definitely room for improvement. You might find other Gevril’s dive collections such as Wall Street more appealing.