While Italy conjures images of breathtaking landscapes, delectable cuisine, and passionate art, its contribution to the world of horology often remains hidden in the shadows. Yet, despite not receiving the same level of recognition as some other countries, Italy has quietly crafted a distinct and noteworthy chapter in the history of timekeeping. This rich legacy stretches back centuries, beginning with the sun-driven precision of ancient Roman sundials and culminating in the intricate pocket watches of the Renaissance.
VeriWatch, also briefly known as VeryWatch, is an Italian brand steeped in history and a deep passion for diving watches. Founded in 1956 by Giulio Capezzuto in the heart of Bari, VeriWatch quickly established itself within the watchmaking community. Its early offerings comprised a diverse range of timepieces, from alarm clocks to chronographs, but the brand’s true calling lay in the realm of dive watches. As I delved into the world of VeriWatch, I found myself enticed not only by their timepieces but also by the rich tapestry of history woven into the brand’s identity. VeriWatch has now resurrected the bold spirit of 1970s diving with the new Octopus 1973, bringing back the iconic pulsometer scale to a modern masterpiece. This diver’s watch is inspired by the original 1973 model and as the VeriWatch Octopus 1973 found its way into my hands, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of history on my wrist. This Italian timepiece, a tribute to the golden era of dive watches, intrigued me from the start.
The first impression of the Octopus 1973 is undeniable: it’s a trip down memory lane. Its 38mm stainless steel case oozes vintage charm with its classic “skin diver” design, characterized by a gentle tonneau shape and short lugs. This look is reminiscent of the 1970s, a golden era for dive watches. The slightly domed sapphire crystal further accentuates the retro feel, while the screw-down crown guarantees a respectable 200 meters of water resistance, making it suitable for actual diving adventures.
One of the most unique elements of the Octopus 1973 is its caseback. Unlike the original model, the new version features a unique design with two octopus tentacles in raised 3D relief, adding a “wow factor” to the watch while showcasing VeriWatch’s commitment to aesthetics; although I couldn’t help but wonder if it might be prone to scratches with daily wear. Regardless, this detail adds a touch of whimsy and reinforces the watch’s connection to the Adriatic Sea, where the brand originated.
The dial options are where the VeriWatch Octopus 1973 truly embraces modern flair. My review model boasts a black dial, which beautifully complements the blue pulsometer scale on the anodized aluminum ring. This blue rehaut framing the dial, serves as a tasteful border that complements the overall aesthetics. It’s only a subtle detail but contributes to the watch’s overall cohesive design, which I find very appealing. The broad arrow hour and minute hands, filled with generous amounts of SuperLuminova BGW9, guarantee excellent legibility in all lighting conditions. The red lollipop seconds hand is a nice touch too, injecting character into the dial and creating a focal point that adds a playful touch to an otherwise classic design. It’s a thoughtful addition that enhances both form and function.
The next element that drew my attention was the unidirectional bezel as I examined the VeriWatch Octopus 1973. Its 120 clicks felt satisfying, with almost hypnotic precision, and the two-tone satin-finished aluminum radiated an aura of enduring sophistication. The purposeful placement of the dot at 12 o’clock serves as a vital reference point for any self-respecting diver venturing into the depths. However, a minor imperfection surfaced upon closer examination – the bezel alignment, while not a deal-breaker, wasn’t flawless. Though even pricier competitors like Omega sometimes share this slight flaw, I couldn’t help but note it during my thorough appraisal of this otherwise handsome tool watch.
Below the surface of VeriWatch Octopus 1973, we encounter the renowned Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. This reliable and robust movement is recognized for its precision and longevity, making it an ideal choice for a daily wearer and ensuring that the Octopus functions as a sturdy workhorse capable of enduring any adventure thrown its way. Its precision aligns with the expectations of the most discerning dive watch aficionados, offering a level of dependability that inspires confidence in the deepest depths.
One area where the Octopus 1973 truly shines is its diverse strap options. Our review model came with three straps: a comfortable Tropic strap, a Seventies-style Sport strap, and a NATO strap made from recycled materials. Each strap is meticulously crafted and complements the watch’s overall aesthetic. I can confidently say that the rubber straps are one of the most comfortable ones I’ve ever had on my wrist, quite surprisingly, in fact.
In conclusion, VeriWatch’s Octopus 1973 emerges as a commendable beater watch, offering vintage aesthetics, reliable movement, and a comfortable fit. Its robust construction and thoughtful design overshadow the flaws. While the current iteration certainly impressed me, I feel like there’s further potential for additional versions that could cater to diverse tastes within the market. The brand’s commitment to innovation is promising, and expanding the collection may solidify VeriWatch’s standing in the competitive dive watch arena.
I can’t wait to share my thoughts on the date model with its alluring blue dial, planned for review in January, the no-date version already has me hooked. Personally, a 40mm case would have felt more substantial on my wrist, but I understand the desire for a smaller size in 38mm to maintain that authentic vintage vibe. As for the price of the watch, it retails at EUR1,050 for the EU and EUR860 outside the EU; although the price tag doesn’t break the bank, VeriWatch faces stiff competition in this price range. They’ll need to continue refining their offerings to stand out, as a slight price revision could make the Octopus even more enticing to potential buyers.
So, does the VeriWatch Octopus 1973 sink or swim? We would love to hear your verdict in the comments section below!