March 15, 2010
March 15, 2010
BRAND: BOSCHETT TIMEPIECES
MODEL VARIATIONS: Stainless steel, Stainless steel with PVD bezel or PVD stainless steel case & bracelet; ETA 2824-2 or Miyota 8215
VERSION REVIEWED: PVD stainless steel case & bracelet, ETA 2824-2
Features & functions: water resistant, date, diver extension link
Dial displays: Date aperture display at 3 o’clock
Size Specifications: 44mm diameter, 16.5mm thick. 22mm bracelet
The Cave-Dweller is Boschett's "deep-diver", and at 44mm in diameter - is currently Boschett's largest timepiece. The Cave-Dweller delivers some serious specifications. With a weight of 257 grams (on bracelet) and a thickness of 16.5mm's thick, it'll be best appreciated by those with larger wrists, or who enjoy large-sized cases.
The 316L stainless steel case is offered in 2 finishes, brushed stainless steel for those preferring the traditional steel watch look, or PVD stainless steel for those looking for something a bit different.
PVD, or Physical Vapor Deposition, is a layer of titanium nitrate deposited onto the underlying base plate, in this case the stainless steel of the case & bracelet. The PVD is applied by atomizing titanium into a gaseous state, then adding nitrogen to the gaseous titanium creating titanium nitrate gas. The positively-charged titanium nitrate is attracted to the negatively charged case & bracelet, providing a complete and even coating over the stainless steel. The benefit of PVD is an even deposit of the PVD on the steel case & bracelet, providing a hardened surface that is resistant to corrosion, scratching and wear. This is not to say PVD cannot be scratched -any material can under the right, or wrong, circumstances. However, with proper care PVD applications should provide a long, worry free life for the finish.
From the moment you open the box you immediately see the little things Boschett does that adds up. Many watch sold for under $1,000 will include a nice box, however Boschett takes it a step further providing a very handsome, and extremely useful 2-watch travel case. A great bonus for anyone who travels and wants to carry his or her watches securely and safely.
The PVD version is well done, with the coating balanced & uniformly applied to the steel. With a water resistance of 1,000 m / 3,300 ft, the Cave-Dweller has excellent water resistance, and will provide the wearer excellent protection for virtually any wet environment, including diving.
The anti-reflective sapphire crystal sits level with the bezel, providing excellent protection from any bangs or nicks on the edge of the crystal.
Despite the large size, the overall case design is shaped to fit comfortably on the wrist without any sharp edges against the skin. The bezel extends to the outside edge of the barrel-shaped case, making it easily handled & precisely rotated, even while wearing dive gloves. An above-average water resistance is a plus as the owner shouldn’t need to worry about water or moisture issues in virtually any environment. An over-sized BOSCHETT-signed crown, required for a watch of this thickness, is easy to unscrew, adjust & re-screw into the case. The back is screwed down, and engraved with a sea-dragon - a nice touch.
As you can see, dispite the larger the case sits well on the wrist.
The dial on the Cave-Dweller is crisp and easy to read. Large applied markers filled with Superluminova are at every hour, with over-sized markers at 3, 6 and 9 and a double-marker at 12 providing superb low-light visibility. The hour and minute hand are large sword-style hands, filled with Superluminova. The 'zero' triangle on the bezel is also luminous. Overall visibility of the dial is excellent in any lighting condition. The blue second hand & "1000M" provide just a hint of color to give the dial a very esthetically pleasing look.
As you see the Cave-Dweller has outstanding low-light visibility.
STRAP / BRACELET:
The Cave-Dweller comes on a 22mm stainless steel bracelet. However, showing again the little things that add up, also included is a high quality rubber dive-strap. The strap is soft & pliable, yet seems incredibly strong as a watch of this strength requires. The strap is over-sized, allowing for use over a wetsuit in diving situations. The curved ends are formed to fit perfectly against the case, merging the strap to the case seamlessly & without gap, and to match the bracelet includes a PVD tang buckle. The rubber strap is high quality, and a great bonus.
The 5-link pilot style bracelet is constructed from solid stainless steel links across all 5 rows and out of the box it's large enough to fit approximately an 8 3/4" wrist. Again, the PVD treatment is uniform across & between all links. The angled links are held together with screw pins instead of cheaper friction pins, providing extra security. The milled clasp secures cleanly, and is released via a double push button clasp. But the feature that really sets this clasp apart from so many other diver-clasps is what's under it, the diver extension. Now many divers have dive extensions, but what's unique on the Borschett is a micro-adjust feature, providing 15mm's of additional length when fully deployed, something rarely seem on a watch in this price-point. This is enough extension to allow the watch to be worn on top of most 5mm wetsuit. If you don't need the full 15mm's of extension no problem, the micro-adjustment allows the clasp to 'ratchet-down' in 2.5mm increments, allowing the watch to be worn above a wide variety of exposure protection in the water. Similar to the main bracelet release, a double push-button deploys the diver-extension the full 15mm's. To shorten, simply push the extension back into the clasp, easily done with one hand while the watch is on.
The clasp in it's normal wearing position
The clasp with the diver extension fully deployed
The ratcheting diver extension mechanism
Inside, the Cave Dweller is powered by either the Miyota 8215, or the ETA 2824-2, both automatic winding calibre movements.
The Miyota 8125 is a 21 jewel, unidirectional-winding automatic, non-hacking movement, running 21,600BPH with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. The ETA 2824-2 is a 25-jewel, bidirectional-winding automatic, hacking movement, running at the higher 28,800 BPH and has a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. This customer selectable option allows the Cave-Dweller to be sold to a large variety of customers, either as a Swiss-powered timepiece, or in a slightly less expensive Japanese powered version. With more jewels, higher beat rate and bidirectional winding, the ETA is the more efficient movement movement of the two. However, both movement have been in production for years, and are each consider to be 'work-horses' of their brands, and honestly I don't think you can go wrong with either version. If you prefer a Swiss-powered timepiece, the ETA 2824-2 version of the Cave-Dweller provides a lot of Swiss-powered watch for the price. Equally, the Miyota movement allows for the Cave-Dweller to be sold under $450, yet still maintain a high quality of performance. Either is an incredible deal compared to other brands in their price range.
While the Miyota and ETA Cave-Dweller sells for $440 and $640 respectively, it's extremely hard not to compare the Cave-Dweller to dive watches selling for more than twice those prices. From the versatile & practical watch case, to the solid center links, to the excellent night-time visibility, it's very hard to find any fault with the Cave-Dweller. Boschett has succeeding in producing a high quality, functional dive watch in the Cave-Dweller, offered it at a great price that will be extremely functional, and it's customers will enjoy wearing. If you're looking for a great dive watch, I highly recommend giving the Cave-Dweller serious consideration.
To see the other available dial colors and the all stainless steel version of the Cave-Dweller, as well as Boschett's other models, check out Boschett's website.
For ordering information, go to the Boschett online store.
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