Unraveling The Mystery Of The Crafter Blue Hyperion Ocean Chronograph
Some may know Hong Kong-based Crafter Blue for its aftermarket rubber straps to customize your Tudor or your Seiko for instance. But Crafter Blue also makes watches. The deep-diving Hyperion Ocean 600m with its powerful neo-retro appearance, for instance. The latest creation is a diver’s chronograph that one day miraculously showed up at Fratello HQ without any information accompanying it. That’s when I started unraveling the mystery of the Crafter Blue Hyperion Ocean Chronograph. And how intriguing it was.
The box was sent to us from Kowloon, Hong Kong. And inside the cardboard box was a black protective, plastic hard case with a plaque that read “Crafter Blue Hyperion Ocean”. No papers or brochure or anything else. I had seen some mails from our managing editor Rob that went back and forth to Crafter Blue about straps that were underway to the office. But the straps turned out to be a watch. What watch? Well, a Hyperion Ocean according to the plaque on the box, but the watch inside the box didn’t look anything like the Hyperion Ocean 600m I had seen before. So what was it?
Unraveling the mystery of the Crafter Blue Hyperion Ocean Chronograph
A closer look at the dial revealed the word “chronograph” just above the date window at 6 o’clock. And because it was positioned just below the words “Hyperion Ocean” I could puzzle the name together: Hyperion Ocean Chronograph. Some things were obvious. The case is made in steel, the strap in vulcanized rubber, the crystal is domed (sapphire? Most likely) and the oversized crown and pushers are screwed in. The solid case back with an engraving of a globe is also screwed in. By doing so the water resistance is 200m, it says so on the dial.
Measuring and opening up the Hyperion Ocean Chronograph
Time to bring out the ruler. The case measures 42×16.9mm and has a lug width of 20mm. The unidirectional bezel sticks out a little to the sides of the case and because the case back also has a tall profile, the proportions of this chronograph become a bit barrel-like. In other words, it’s quite high for its diameter. The surfaces are both polished and brushed, creating a dynamic play with light. More things to clarify the soul and nature of this watch can be found inside the robust case.
Time to bring out the tools! And there it was, the beating heart of our mystery watch, a Seiko SII NE86A Japan Automatic Movement. This 4Hz automatic chronograph movement with a vertical clutch and column wheel is a very pleasant surprise. I shook the watch before, didn’t hear a raw rattling bearing, the tell-tale sign of a Seagull or something, but still, the Seiko is a nice surprise. Actuation of the start, stop, and return to zero functions felt precise and clean, and the central chronograph hand didn’t jerk when activated. So, even though I kind of expected a Seiko, it felt good to be confirmed. Comforted even.
There’s science behind the three-colored sub-dial
The Seiko chronograph movement with 34 jewels delivers 45 hours of power reserve. It also has a second stop device and a quick changing date for accurate time setting and not losing track of the day of the month. On the dial, the movement has the small seconds at 3 o’clock and the minute counter of the chronograph at 9 o’clock. And of course, there’s also luminous material on the dial to keep things clear in dark conditions.
It brings me to the other, more colorful things that are going down on the white dial. Apart from white, gray, orange, and black are used. It makes for a bi-compax kind of exotic panda dial. A dial I really like. The touches of orange brighten up the watch, the gray soften the contrast between black and white of the dial, and the black bezel keeps it all together. Oh, and the black date disc with white numbers blends in nicely with the black hour markers.
Not just a pretty design that looks good in Photoshop, but a composition that is also scientifically substantiated.
While trying to make up my mind about this Hyperion Ocean Chronograph, I received an email from Crafter Blue. They informed me in typical brand fashion that the Hyperion Ocean Chronograph is “Built for ocean researchers and professional divers”. That’s good to know. It also explained about the colors used in the sub-dial that measures the minutes. With the design of two color segments replacing the numerical indication, the Hyperion Ocean Chronograph offers a better comprehension of time reading up to 78%, according to research.” How about that? Not just a pretty design that looks good in Photoshop, but a composition that is also scientifically substantiated.
Guess the price
I now knew about the size, the materials, the movement, the materials, the functions, and the idea behind the Hyperion Ocean Chronograph, but I still didn’t have a clue about the price. That’s when the balancing act of common sense and gambling starts. What do you think? Don’t scroll down. After putting the pieces of the Crafter Blue puzzle together, I thought $1,500 would be a fair one.
Chunky and charming
And the price I got from Crafter Blue is $1,299 for the Hyperion Ocean Chronograph with a rubber strap that integrates very nicely with the case and wears very easily. To my surprise, you can also get the watch on a steel bracelet AND a strap for a price of $1,399. No idea how that bracelet looks, feels, wears, etcetera. But t does sound like a good deal in all cases. It’s a watch I enjoy wearing. Casually with a T-shirt, in the sun, relaxed, ready for a dip. Yes, it’s a bit top-heavy.
And no, diving chronographs with screwed pushers aren’t really my thing. Please tell me, how do you unscrew these things while the watch is on the wrist? But still, after unraveling the mystery of the Crafter Blue Hyperion Ocean Chronograph, I say “yes” to the overall design of it. Maybe it’s a bit too chunky, too stocky, but it’s also quite charming.
The Crafter Blue Hyperion Ocean Chronograph will be available in September. And you can find more about the diver’s chronograph at the brand’s official website.
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