Steeldive Watches: Origin and Reviews, Are They Good?


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Not much is said about Steeldive watches considering their iconic designs and the value they offer at generally affordable prices.

Steeldive is a brand of Chinese watches known especially for their tributes to historical diving watches, some of which are no longer in production.

A good example of this is their well-known Steeldive 1970 model, a watch very similar to the one worn by Captain Willard in the movie Apocalypse Now.

In this article, we will take a look at the best Steeldive watches, considering their design, the components they are made of, and their presentation.

Steeldive Turtle Watch

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter44 mm
Case Thickness15 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

ÔťÜ Steeldive Watches: Origin and History

Steeldive is a relatively young brand with great ambitions that focuses on producing iconic watches in a fairly faithful and well-finished manner.

Steeldive Watches

The micro brand, based in the Chinese city of Dongguan, started in 2005 by supplying components to other well-known brands.

Dongguan belongs to Guangdong, possibly the Chinese region with the highest concentration of watchmakers per square meter, and home to many other brands such as Burei, Lige, Curren, or Skmei, among others.

While the first Steeldive watches as such did not appear until 2018, when the company registered the brand and began showcasing it on their products.

The first batch of Steeldive watches consisted of several classic diving watch designs with NH35 movements, and they were a great success among watch enthusiasts.

Currently, the brand has expanded its range to include other classic watches with a significant impact, mostly divers, but also fliegers and other designs.

ÔťÜ Are Steeldive Watches Good?

Unlike other brands, Steeldive not only imitates the design of high-end watches like the Submariner but also pays tribute to less expensive but equally famous watches.

For example, the brand offers Tuna and Tortuga designs, which are great successes from Seiko that Steeldive watches often pay homage to quite accurately.

They even use movements manufactured by the Japanese brand, which significantly increases the overall quality.

In summary, the most commonly used components in Steeldive watches are:

  • Case: always made of 316L stainless steel and in the diving models, they also feature a screw-down crown and case back to prevent leaks. The latest models even have engravings on the crown and back cover.
  • Crystal: the brand generally uses sapphire crystal, a highly durable material that offers good visibility and better scratch resistance.
  • Bezel: most models, being diving watches, also incorporate a 120-click unidirectional bezel with luminescent ceramic inserts.
  • Strap: depending on the model, it can be made of rubber to closely match the original design or stainless steel, with the latter being more robust and durable.
  • Movement: the brand almost always opts for a reliable automatic movement, the Seiko NH35, which operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and includes hacking and manual winding.
  • Presentation: another important detail in Steeldive watches is that they often go a step further in their presentation, for example, by placing them in plastic cases that mimic underwater accessories.

In conclusion, they are a good purchase, especially considering that they are usually more affordable than most of their competitors.

For example, diving watches from San Martin, also Chinese brands, often cost three times as much and are not much better in terms of components and finishes.

ÔťÜ Best Steeldive Watches

The best Steeldive watches are mainly divers with famous designs from other well-known brands, commonly known in the watch industry as homages.

Some are known for appearing in a movie, and others simply for being a revolution in their time, but all of them remain fashionable.

Here are the most notable ones:

Ôץ Steeldive SD1970 Turtle (Captain Willard)

The brand offers numerous models with the popular turtle design, but the most coveted one is undoubtedly the Captain Willard model, as it is similar to the Seiko watch worn by the character in the famous movie Apocalypse Now.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter44 mm
Case Thickness15 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

Ôץ Steeldive SD1975 Tuna

The Tuna design, also popularized by Seiko, gets its nickname because these watches resemble a tuna can.

They are very bulky watches, not suitable for all wrists, but there is no doubt that their unique shape will attract a lot of attention.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter47.5 mm
Case Thickness15 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance30 ATM (300 meters)

Ôץ Steeldive 1962 62 MAS

It pays tribute to Seiko’s first diving watches manufactured in the 1960s, now known as 62 MAS because they were launched in 1962.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness15 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

Ôץ Steeldive 1996

The 1996 model bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Seiko SKX007, one of the best-selling diving watches from the brand known for its reliability and affordable price.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter41.2 mm
Case Thickness13.5 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

Ôץ Steeldive 1953

Of course, the brand also offers the well-known Submariner-style design, possibly the most imitated watch design of all time in the watchmaking world.

However, Steeldive does it better than many brands, with good materials (steel and sapphire crystal) and a reliable Seiko NH35 automatic movement inside.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter41 mm
Case Thickness13.5 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

Ôץ Steeldive 1940 Flieger

The Flieger-style designs from the brand are also impressive in terms of features, as they have the same characteristics as their diver counterparts.

For example, the 1940 model is also made of stainless steel with a sapphire crystal and a Japanese NH35 automatic movement.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter39 mm
Case Thickness12 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

Ôץ Steeldive 1952

The 1952 model is a clear homage to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, a classic diving watch with a distinctive design.

In this case, it even features a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, as well as the NH35 movement and other interesting features from the brand, although it is not one of their more affordable models.

Seiko also has a tribute to this watch, the SNZH57, although the Japanese brand modifies the original design more significantly.

Specifications

CrystalSapphire
MovementAutomatic mechanical
CaliberNH35
Case Diameter41 mm
Case Thickness15 mm
MaterialsStainless steel and rubber or leather
Water Resistance30 ATM (300 meters)

ÔťÜ Prices and Reviews

When good components are used, it is difficult for things to go wrong, and that is reflected positively in the reviews these watches receive.

The brand’s standard practice is to use stainless steel, sapphire crystal, and the Japanese NH35 movement, and this is evident not only in the quality of the finishes but also in the performance.

When we add to this a good presentation and a more than reasonable price, we are undoubtedly looking at one of the best Chinese brands that we have reviewed on this blog.


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Last update of links and images on 2023-11-29.

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