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As watch enthusiasts, we’re living in quite exciting times.
How? There are literally tens of new watchmakers entering the market every year.
While shopping for the most trusted and long-standing brands such as Citizen, Seiko or Tissot is the most sensible option amongst most, there’s value to be found in some of the up-and-coming microbrands.
Plus, the excitement that accompanies plunging into a bit of unknown is also a pull for some.
In today’s article, we will look at one of the freshest additions to the industry – Oceanaut.
After reading the Oceanaut watches review, you should have a better idea of to which side of microbrands the watchmaker leans.
Before we move on to evaluating the quality of these watches, let’s have a very brief look at the company’s background.
Alternatively, you can instantly jump to the quality review section or pick any of the subjects from the Table of Contents below.
Oceanaut History & Background
Like it’s very often the case with microbrands (especially those that haven’t been around for long), it’s quite a task to find any super detailed information about the history and background of the brand.
Unfortunately, Oceanaut isn’t an exception to the rule.
Browsing the brand’s website, quite frankly the last place where we usually look for objective information about a watchmaker, there’s not a lot to report on either.
We know for sure that Oceanaut is an American watchmaker based out of Los Angeles, California.
Looking at the company’s background and its “About Us” page, we have some suspicions that it might be related to another US microbrand we’ve covered lately, Daniel Steiger (again, it’s just a hunch).
Oceanaut advertises itself as a company that manufactures watches that convey a luxury and fashion lifestyle. They specialize in less classic watch designs with elements such as textured dials, vivid colors, big faces, and so on.
Oceanaut promises to employ high-quality Swiss and Japanese calibers in all of its watches. We will be the judges whether that is 100% true later in the article.
So, is Oceanaut a good watch brand? Or just another micro watchmaker with huge promises but not much to show for it?
Let’s now look at the factors contributing to the quality (or the lack of it) of the brand.
Are Oceanaut Watches Any Good?
When reviewing any microbrand, we have to be realistic and try to tone expectations as much as possible.
After all, we’re not dealing with a top-shark but a fresh name in the industry that hopes to make it big.
And none of the top brands we all love today were born excellent either!
At the same time, we are entitled to expect value for money that at least matches that of the watchmakers operating in the same price basket. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Looking at the cost of most Oceanaut watches, it’s safe to classify the brand as low budget, with very few models approaching the mid-budget mark.
So, what’s on the table in terms of the looks, durability, and complications?
Note: the scores you see below reflect the brand’s value when compared to other watchmakers in the same price region.
Oceanaut watches do look good – you have to give it to them.
It’s safe to say most look probably above their moderate price tags.
Browsing through the collections, however, it’s hard to define one particular style the brand adheres to.
Oceanaut offers anything from minimalistic dress watches to dive-inspired models to full-on sporty timepieces with chronograph timers.
What we can say is that the watches look lively and are easy attention-grabbers, due to their vibrant colors, busily-arranged faces, and large casings.
We will have a closer look at the different styles offered by Oceanaut in the Watch Collections section further down the article.
While the design is oftentimes the strongest point of microbrands like Oceanaut, the aspect of durability and movements can be a different story altogether.
The dial window is the first line of defense for all watches, whether talking about top-end luxury brands or new watchmakers still making their baby steps in the industry.
Damaged glass isn’t only a cosmetic defect but a huge risk of potentially irreversible damage to the watch’s movement.
Luckily, all Oceanaut watches pass this test with flying colors.
At the very least, you can expect a watch with mineral crystal glass which is the standard choice for brands operating in this price category.
A very small portion of watch models, like this ceramic timepiece for women, offers sapphire crystal glass. This is quite impressive, to say the least, as it’s the hardest known form of crystal used in watches.
Sapphire scores 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Due to its outstanding scratch-resistant properties, it’s an ever-present element of all the top-shelf watchmakers. It’s a true rarity to find the material in budget brands.
For the most part, Oceanaut utilizes stainless steel casings. It’s pretty much the industry-standard solution not only for budget watchmakers but in general.
A small portion of watches, for example the low-budget Aqua One collection, uses silicone cases with stainless steel casebacks.
There are also individual models with ceramic cases which are considered the “premium” type. While they’re even more scratch- and corrosion-resistant than stainless steel models, they aren’t as though.
All the models we’ve come across have screwed-in casebacks and crowns which boosts the protection against water damage.
The brand offers timepieces with four types of straps:
- stainless steel – the most robust but also quite stylish
- leather – by far the most elegant but least durable
- ceramic – the most scratch-resistant but not as tough as steel
- silicone – highly durable and used mostly in sporty models
All Oceanaut watches offer some sort of water resistance.
At the very least, you can expect the watch to be splashproof (water-resistant up to 30m).
A lion’s share of models come with WR ratings of either 50m or 100m.
A small portion of dive-inspired watch models offers a relatively high water resistance (up to 200m).
All timepieces come with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
During the guarantee period, you’re protected against any defects related to Oceanaut’s workmanship, particularly when it comes to movement.
While 24 months is pretty much a standard duration, some microbrands offer longer periods (ie. Daniel Steiger – 5 years) to make the potential buyer at bigger peace regarding the purchase.
Maybe Oceanaut should take note?
It’s not unusual for microbrands to offer splendid looks and relatively solid construction but fail miserably in the movement field.
We can’t say Oceanaut belongs to that group but not because we’re sure that’s not the case – it’s because there’s not enough information on the quality of calibers it provides.
First of all, the lack of any automatic models is a huge disappointment.
While quartz watches ensure unbeatable accuracy, the movements are nowhere near as complex as automatic equivalents which are usually the desired type amongst most aficionados.
Secondly, the brand states that it utilizes exclusively “high-quality Swiss or Japanese movements”. Whilst that may well be the case, it’s hard to take that as gospel because Oceanaut doesn’t specify the exact calibers used in their watches (like all reliable brands do).
Oceanaut Watch Collections
Oceanaut doesn’t group its timepieces into certain collections per se.
Instead, we can categorize them based on their design and functionalities.
And that’s what we will do now.
Below find 5 best-selling models that are all quite distinct one from another.
The dive watch collection makes for quite a chunk of the entire Oceanaut line.
The two biggest standout features of this watch type are the unidirectional dive bezel and impressive water resistance rating (between 100m and 200m).
These watches, for the most part, come with stainless steel “Tuna” cases, named so because they resemble a can of tuna. They have either silicone or stainless steel straps.
A good example of a popular Oceanaut dive watch is the Malretta model you see below.
These are the most elegant type, by some distance.
If you’re after timepieces that will get you many compliments during more official occasions, there are some Oceanaut watches that certainly fit the bill.
The brand’s collection of dress watches mostly features timepieces with genuine leather straps (available in a variety of colors).
More often than not, the dials are pretty minimalistic and feature either Roman numerals or stick indices.
However, it’s possible to come across models with more feature-packed faces. A good example of such is the model you see below which features two additional sub-dials that function as a calendar (one showing days of the week and the other dates).
The drawback of dressy timepieces is their moderate water resistance. Most are just splashproof (water-resistant up to 30m).
Dive watches aren’t the only type that boasts a strong sporty appearance.
The chronograph models by Oceanaut are just as vibrant and colorful, and the number of them is equally huge.
Naturally, their most standout feature is the inclusion of the chronograph function.
All models come with three additional sub-dials responsible for measuring seconds, minutes and hours.
Since the additional timers require extra space, these watches usually come with fairly large cases (anywhere from 44mm to 49mm).
Other “extras” are the two pushers located on each side of the crown that let you operate the chronograph.
All chronograph models come with large luminescent markers and hands.
Because these also belong to the group of sports watches, the water resistance is fairly impressive. Usually, the timepieces can withstand a pressure of up to 100m.
The Oceanaut Naval model you see below is a good representative of the chronograph line.
Ceramic timepieces are quite a rarity in Oceanaut’s offer.
And, at the time of writing, the only ceramic models available are women’s watches. Because of that, all models come with considerably smaller cases with the diameter ranging from 32mm to 35mm.
The ceramic collection consists of models with either ceramic cases or bracelets. At present, there are no timepieces that combine both.
What’s quite impressive, these models utilize sapphire crystal glass which is a true rarity as far as low-budget watchmakers are concerned.
Bear in mind that although ceramic watches are usually lighter and possess excellent scratch-resistant properties, they are not as tough to break as stainless steel models.
Last but not least, there’s something in store for fans of transparent dials.
The so-called skeleton watches are a fairly new addition to the Oceanaut watch collection. At present, there are just a few models to pick from.
The fact that Oceanaut started releasing this kind of watch is quite interesting, knowing that all the brand’s timepieces are battery-powered. Usually, a skeleton watch equals automatic movement.
Because there’s not a lot to show in terms of the complexity of the movement, the transparent part of the dial is really small. Also, the caseback is solid while regular skeleton watches come with a see-through back.
Paying homage to the vintage style, these watches usually utilize Roman numerals.
The water resistance varies from 30m to 100m.
Find an example of a skeleton-inspired Oceanaut below.
Where Are Oceanaut Watches Made?
Some people might think that Oceanaut is a company based in the United States, the watches are also manufactured there.
That isn’t the case at all.
Oceanaut outsources the manufacturing and assembly of its watches to Chinese facilities, which is not uncommon for a microbrand. In fact, many much more renowned watchmakers share the strategy to keep the production costs down as much as possible.
The important thing is that the brand doesn’t install any Chinese movements which have far from excellent reputation.
How Much Are Oceanaut Watches?
Oceanaut is by definition a low-budget microbrand.
The vast majority of the brand’s timepieces oscillate in the $100-$200 price basket.
With that said, the cheapest models can be snatched for as low as $70 and the most pricey releases are approaching the mid-budget price points ($400).
We can assume that once the brand decides to launch an automatic watch collection, these prices might increase a bit.
Where to Buy Oceanaut Watches?
Oceanaut is a brand that only sells its products online.
You don’t have to worry about coming across a counterfeit product since it’s a microbrand still finding its way in the industry. Replica manufacturers choose to focus on the most well-known watchmakers.
The official Oceanaut store is the first obvious choice. By a long shot, it has the most extensive collection of watches.
You may also see if the brand is available at any of the recommended online watch stores.
Oceanaut Watches Review: Conclusion
The fact that you’ve been on the edge regarding the purchase of your first Oceanaut watch is understandable.
There’s not a great deal of information on the brand available (yet) but we hope that today’s article has helped you make up your mind on whether it’s a good investment.
To sum up the Oceanaut watches review, it’s fair to say that the brand is a low-risk investment for those looking for some fresh additions to their microbrand collection.
What we particularly appreciate about the watchmaker is the design of its watches that oftentimes looks above their moderate price tags.
Also, one of the major positives is that the company caters to aficionados with varying styles.
The watch portfolio is pretty diversified and includes anything from elegant dress watches to quite capable dive-inspired timepieces.
Quite frankly, there’s not much to complain about in terms of the construction of these watches, either. All use materials adequate to their price tags, and a small portion of models actually punch above their weight with the inclusion of ceramic cases and bracelets, and even sapphire crystals.
One field in which we have a lot of doubt regarding the longevity and quality-price ratio is the movement.
Firstly, the brand manufactures solely quartz watches. The lack of even a single automatic model is a major letdown.
Secondly, despite Oceanaut stating that it utilizes only Swiss and Japanese movements, there’s not a lot of information to back this statement up.
Regrettably, the brand isn’t specific in regards to what exact types of calibers are used with its watches. Hence, it’s difficult to evaluate the quality of these complications.
As a consequence, many who were on the edge regarding the purchase are unlikely to be convinced by this. Be more transparent, guys!
All in all, Oceanaut watches are far from the worst idea for those looking to try out something new. If you keep your expectations toned, you might actually come back for more.