Islander ‘Sands Level’_ One of many Finest Titanium Dive Watches Ever, Beneath $400

With a titanium case, excellent accuracy, and a phenomenal dial, Lengthy Island Watch’s Sand Level Titanium Diver is perhaps the most effective dive watch below $400.

There’s quite a bit to be stated for sincerity. Whether or not you’re designing, writing, or manufacturing, exhibiting open respect on your sources is an effective way to make sure the integrity of your product.

This is among the causes I’ve developed a keenness for New York’s Lengthy Island Watch. True, its Islander line started with a sequence of homages. However beginning with the ISL-88 and progressing with the offbeat Ameriquartz Discipline, the model’s efforts really feel well-intentioned. And it’s since damaged floor of its personal.

Now, with the discharge of the brand new Sands Level Titanium Diver ($395), it feels as if we’ve come to the becoming a member of of a near-perfect circle.

I’ll save the plain comparability for later, however when you’re even casually conscious of wristwatches, this design will look considerably acquainted (and if not, hold studying to search out out). After spending a while with the Sands Level, I can inform you it doesn’t dwell as much as the legend.

As a substitute, it wholly surpasses it, together with a lot of the different divers at this value level.

In brief: Lengthy Island Watch has performed it once more with the Sands Level Diver. From its excellent sizing to its accuracy and a spotlight to element, this timepiece manages to be each a profitable homage and a next-gen evolution for its maker. The supplies, performance, and total magnificence far outshine any qualms you would possibly really feel about its inspiration. In the event you’re seeking to scratch your classic dive-watch itch, skip the eBay auctions and gray market websites and steer your pockets to Sands Level.

Islander Sands Level #ISL-159 Titanium Diver Watch Specs Case Dimension 43 mm x 14 mm, 47 mm tip to tip

Case Materials Sandblasted titanium

Crystal Flat sapphire with inside AR

Motion Seiko NH38 computerized

Lug Width 22 mm

Band Rubber with titanium deployant buckle

Water Resistant 200 m

Weight 108 g Execs Attractive dial

Dependable and correct motion

Shiny colours and aesthetic Cons No date window

Barely-worth-mentioning clasp rattle

Band should be reduce to suit Josh Wussow

Islander Sands Level Titanium Diver Watch: Evaluate

My first standards when reviewing a watch is straightforward: How lengthy can it sit on my wrist earlier than I really feel like taking it off? Nicely, I’m sending this loaner again tomorrow, and I’m nonetheless not prepared to maneuver on to my subsequent tester.

The sizing of its titanium case is ideal. At 43 mm throughout, 14 mm excessive, and 47 mm from lug to lug, it wears a lot smaller than you’d anticipate. That is due partially to its slight 108g weight and glorious 4-o’clock crown.

Then we come to the dial. Simply have a look at it — intricate blue waves, massive indices, and pops of shade on the Islander emblem and on the tip of the second hand.

The corporate’s description is correct: “Utilizing gun steel polished arms and markers, all stuffed with BGW9 Tremendous-LumiNova, means the watch is straightforward to learn each in daytime and nighttime when the arms and indices glow a cool blue.”

The bezel (120-click, unidirectional) matches the face and band with an insert of brushed ceramic. All of the titanium {hardware}, from the coin edge to the case, clasp, and screw-down crown, are brushed to the identical look.

The crystal consists of sapphire with an antireflective coating, and the chassis is nice for 200 m of water resistance.

A Query of Motion

Beneath the waves beats the Sands Level’s coronary heart of gold (or not less than, of jewels). Its Seiko NH38 motion “options hand winding and hacking, and a 40-hour energy reserve.”

This can be a confirmed mechanism, much like the shockingly correct NH35 that powered our Spinnaker Piccard tester. The primary distinction between the 2 is straightforward — the NH35 has a date complication, and the NH38 doesn’t.

Past this, they’re each working on the identical foundational Seiko tech. The spec sheet will inform you that the actions are manufactured to a tolerance of between -20 and +40 seconds per day. However after almost per week on the wrist, the Sands Level ran simply 12 seconds quick. That’s not fairly as profitable because the +1 on the Piccard, however it’s fairly rattling respectable.

And I’m a giant fan of the FKM rubber strap and the six micro-adjust holes within the mechanism. You’ll want these, together with a spring bar instrument and a pointy pair of scissors, to trim and match the strap.

I’ve solely a single criticism with this watch: Someplace within the clasp sits a tiny piece of steel that may be simply the slightest bit rattly. However it’s so minor (we’re speaking “bubble popping in your La Croix” decibels) that it’s barely value mentioning.

Succeeding a Legend

Let’s tackle the elephant within the room. The Sands Level seems like a Seiko SKX — not a bit, however quite a bit. Island Watch, to its credit score, isn’t shy about this truth.

“The Sands Level is predicated off the SKX007 platform; due to this fact, straps, bezel inserts, arms, and crystals made for the SKX007 will match,” the model stated.

Frankly, this look-alike high quality sparked my curiosity within the first place, particularly in its ISL-158 black trim. However provided the selection of loaners, I adopted my convictions and went with the ISL-159 and its textured blue-wave dial.

Why? As a result of in some unspecified time in the future, we, collectively, as followers of wristwatches, might want to recover from that exact (although venerable) icon.

Sapphire crystal versus Hardlex. A hacking motion versus none. And a titanium case, higher strap, and considerably simpler availability. From its building to its perform, I really feel the ISL-159 is a greater timepiece in almost each means.

What’s it lacking? Nicely, the historic pedigree, I suppose. However the homage is so tastefully performed as to seize the spirit of the unique whereas surpassing its numerous shortfalls.

Suppose alongside the strains of a well-done restomod on a basic automotive, and your thoughts is heading in the right direction.

Islander Sands Level Titanium Diver Watch: Conclusion

We’re solely midway via February, and I really feel assured stating the Sands Level will probably be among the many finest new watches of 2023.

With an absence of a date window or further sub-dials, this lovingly-crafted instrument has precisely one perform: Measure the second-to-second time on a easy 12-hour scale. At this, it excels whereas wanting merely attractive within the course of. If this isn’t the most effective diver below $400, then rattling if it isn’t tied for the crown.

I’m enamored with this watch, and I’m unhappy to see it head again to the workforce in Lengthy Island. In the event you like what you see right here, I strongly encourage you to select one up for your self.

Seiko itself may not be eager on offering a (moderately priced) successor to the SKX. However with upgraded seems and a motion derived from the exact same firm, the Sands Level has the guts and elegance of the unique, each figuratively and actually.