A design hommage with many details done right, the Monta Oceanking. Its looks clearly remember us of dive watches as seen half way the last century. Modern techniques make sure this watch stands out from a crowd however.
Monta Oceanking – 52Mondayz
Author Michael Stockton already wrote an extensive write up on the brand after Monta had decided to participate at Baselworld this year. Now I’m happy to have the opportunity to actually wear one of their watches this week.
Mid-century design hommage
We might see a Rolex Submariner in every dive watch with a black rotating minute bezel and a black dial with clear white index markers. But too many details of the Monta Oceanking are different to say it looks like one.
As well these mainly tech details lift the Monta Oceanking high above being just another hommage. I’ll mention the ones I like most here below. Are there details as well which I don’t like that much? Yes. One, or probably two. I won’t refrain from mentioning them too.
Quite special, the domed crystal
Instead of flat ones, often seen on watches with sapphire crystal, Monta decided to use a domed crystal on this Oceanking. And not only just domed. A parallel double-domed sapphire with a 7 layer anti-reflective coating applied on the inside that is. And then it fits flawless to the inner edge of the bezel. Which is the next detail I’m coming to.
Not just a ceramic bezel
Nowadays ceramic as such is not a material we’ve never seen before on diver bezels. The bezel on the Monta Oceanking however is – just like the sapphire crystal – not flat. It is formed slightly coned, exactly in the same radius as the sapphire crystal, and as already mentioned, fitting flawless to each other. I hope the pictures will be able to show this in the right way. In real life it does a great deal in giving the watch its high-class feeling.
Besides the ceramic in the bezel, its design ensures a very grippy touch. Even with gloves on you won’t easily slip over the edges while turning the bezel. The 60 clicks are solid and rest exactly at the minute lines of the dial. That’s another touch of high-class quality feeling.
Which brought me to the dial
There are a few details which attract my attention in the dial. I’ll start with something for me somewhat less positive. The printing. Utterly sharp, however a bit bulky for my preferences. I like the logo but the MONTA writing below it could have been half the size for me. Even OCEANKING in the lower part of the dial seems a bit bold to me.
A nice little joke is the mention of the depth rating in the dial. Often seen as 1000 ft/300 m, Monta have their calculations more accurate and mentions 304 m in their dial.
What I like very much in the dial is the finish of the three cardinal marks 12, 3, and 9 however. Black polished on top and at the sides, and beautifully bending downwards towards the point where they meet the dial. The sides are not even straight up. They’re somewhat pyramid-shaped, and then filled with luminova.
Rehaut and hands
Just like the 12 3 and 9, the date window at 6 is applied and highly polished as well. The three-dimensional glass-ring, or ‘rehaut’, is another detail adding to the beauty of the dial. The sword style hands are black polished as well, and even more special, they’re slightly center-bevelled. They’re Swiss-made and rhodium plated. The same blue-ish luminova BG W9 as used in the dial is used here for the luminescent material.
Casing, crown and bracelet
Quality wise all done in a very nice way. I love the way the sides of the casing are high-gloss but with soft edges polished. And I love the way the brushing has finely been done on the top parts of the casing and bracelet. I like the absence of a crown guard as well, it makes the – slightly off-cylindrical – grippy crown much easier accessible.
All bracelet links are bevelled, adding highly to the comfort and feel of it. Personally, the bracelet could have been slightly thicker in order to match the size and height of the watch’ casing. The folding clasp again is another class act however. Finely brushed like the bracelet and with a polished flip lock bearing the Monta logo.
What doesn’t meet the eye
I’ll end with the interesting choice of automatic movement Monta made. No Miyota, no Seiko, no Sellita, not even ETA. Monta chose to use a newly designed and constructed 29 jewel Eterna caliber, the 3909A. Good about it are its power reserve of approximately 65 hours, its ability to quickly wind itself by the dual direction winding of the rotor, and that it’s regulated to chronometer standads. An in-depth review of this movement has been published by our friends over at Hodinkee, you’ll find it here.
Facts and figures
Diameter of the Monta Oceanking’s casing is 40mm, it’s made of stainless steel 316L. The screw-down crown is slightly recessed in the casing to prevent damage when hitting it. The sizing links of the bracelet are screw based. The deployant clasp provides 4 micro-sizing holes. The Monta Oceanking is supplied in a beautiful polised wooden box, containing an extra NATO-style strap in a complimenting color. The MRSP of the watch I’m wearing this week is US$ 2.350,= (which does not include for any taxes). More information and the possibility to order can be found at www.montawatch.com