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Old 26 July 2020, 05:55 AM   #1
m j b
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Davosa - The Homage Diver

I looked it up in the dictionary, and homage is defined by Dictionary.com as:
Quote:
noun
  1. respect or reverence paid or rendered:
    In his speech he paid homage to Washington and Jefferson.
  2. the formal public acknowledgment by which a feudal tenant or vassal declared himself to be the man or vassal of his lord, owing him fealty and service.
  3. the relation thus established of a vassal to his lord.
  4. something done or given in acknowledgment or consideration of the worth of another:
    a Festschrift presented as an homage to a great teacher.
So, not really what many horologists would think when describing a homage watch. A homage is not a fake, it's not a replica, it's something that is designed to acknowledge and honor a design. I would not buy a fake or knock-off. That's just wrong. But for someone to put their own name on it, but closely remind us of a superior and original design, I think that's OK. Lots of manufacturers have Rolex Submariner homages even if they don't market them or represent them as such. It's such an iconic design, that it's well worth repeating some of the elements.

And let's be fair, not everyone can own or even afford to maintain a Rolex.

And for those who wonder, yes, I've owned many Rolex watches, including a 14060M, a couple of 114060 and other variations of the Submariner with the date in different metals. I am familiar with the watch. But you know what I hate? I hate spending a few hours working in the yard, around the house or on the car and then realizing a little too late, that all this time I've been wearing my $8000 watch, getting it dirty, sweaty, and on more than one occasion, scratched. I hate that. So why not a beater? And I don't wear smart watches, I don't do quartz and most inexpensive watches really don't hold up well, don't look good and aren't comfortable. So I thought I'd try one of these.

All pictures are mine. If you can't tell by looking, I'm not a professional photographer.

(review continues...)
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Old 26 July 2020, 06:11 AM   #2
m j b
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So, who/what/where is Davosa? Well, it's not a well publicized and probably not well known brand. Best I can tell, the watch is made up of a ETA 2824 movement and assembled in Germany, which is where it was shipped from (from the authorized USA retailer). It may very well be assembled in Asia or made up of some Chinese parts, it's really hard to tell. Davosa makes some obvious Rolex and Omega homage watches, including some in distinctive colors that closely match popular models from those manufacturers. I chose to go with the Submariner homage in black because, well, that's what I wanted. My last sub, quite frankly, I found to be just a smidgen too big for me. The high pressure rating of the "real" diver's watch requires a slightly higher case profile than I care for, and I haven't gone SCUBA diving in nearly 20 years. So, can you dive with the Davosa?

Sure. It's rated at 200M. I know what you're thinking, that's not so great. Well, 200 meters is something like 600 feet. Sure, the Rolex is 300 meters/1000 ft., but you know what? Very few recreational divers get far beyond 50 ft. You get down to depths like 90 ft., where a lot of shipwrecks can be found, and you have severe limitations with time and multiple decompression stops. Most divers don't get injured or killed from sharks or other accidents, it's decompression that can cripple or kill you. So 300M is pretty sweet, but it's not going to realistically be a consideration. Good, we got that out of the way.

People made a big deal of the new ceramic bezels when Rolex first came out with them. Unlike the old aluminum bezels of past which get scratched, fade and can get some horrible or lovely (depending on your perspective) patina, ceramic are nearly scratch proof and will not fade or lose their luster. But here we have a homage that also has a ceramic bezel, and looks just as nice.

The stainless steel case and bracelet are polished beautifully, the brushed sections are very nicely done and the quality of workmanship is very good. Does it feel as good, as tight and well done as the Rolex? No. Not even close. But if perchance all you ever knew was Seiko or Citizen, you'd be impressed. The clasp closes securely, it feels like it was made with better and thicker material than the original Submariners with their flimsy stamped parts, and although it does not have the easy adjustment that the current Submariner has, you can still make micro adjustments via the movable pin.
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Old 26 July 2020, 06:17 AM   #3
m j b
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The watch wears very well. I have small wrists, and I was able to easily remove several links on both sides, no annoying locktite to make it hard to remove the screws. I have no trouble telling the time, as the large hands covered in their luminous paint are a great contrast to the shiny black face. There is a bit of writing and the Davosa logo on the face, but it's subdued enough to not be a bother. And both the printing and application of markers appears to be precise and very nicely done. I think they've done an excellent job with the presentation and aesthetics of the watch here.
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Old 26 July 2020, 06:25 AM   #4
m j b
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Accuracy? Bah. I did do a fair amount of research on the watch, and accuracy is apparently not the strong suite. Some purchasers remarked on the difficulty of getting it repaired or regulated by the manufacturer, as it requires shipping it back to Germany and waiting, waiting, waiting. Unfortunately, my watch was a solid 22 seconds per day fast when I first wore it. This is, in my mind, unacceptable. The ETA movement is not considered a top-quality movement like the 3135, but then again it is used by many manufacturers and getting it serviced or repaired in the USA (or anywhere for that matter) shouldn't be a concern. But I wasn't going to pay for it.

Now, I've never taken the back off of any of my Rolex or Omegas or even a Breitling. I just don't know what I'm doing. But on this thing, I figured, hey, what have I got to lose? It was just a few hundred dollars, and I've lost more than that flipping watches that I didn't care for. So, I removed the bracelet (which was a bit of a chore, largely because it does fit so well with tight tolerances) and spun off the back. The movement (shown below) is nothing fancy, and as I expected, there is a small adjustment screw. It took me several weeks and a lot of youtube videos to figure out what I was doing wrong and how to get it right, including a small adjustment to the mainspring itself. Time will tell (no pun intended) how well I did, and how well the movement will do, but right now it's within a second or two, per day.
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Old 26 July 2020, 06:31 AM   #5
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So, in summary...

It's a nice watch, this Davosa. It looks good, it feels good, and now (finally!) it keeps accurate time. The bracelet looks the business and doesn't pull on my arm hairs or pinch. The action of the watch, setting the time, winding it, changing the date, etc., doesn't have the slick, beautifully engineered feel of a Rolex or Omega. But neither does it cost thousands of dollars, and if you adjust your expectations for what you paid for it, it's really quite satisfactory.

Davosa Ternos Ceramic Diver. $799 US.
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Old 29 July 2020, 04:05 AM   #6
Kevin Dumont
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What a nice post, thanks m j b! I recently became a Davosa owner myself and now I feel even more vindicated in my decision to take a chance on this relatively little-known brand here in the US.

Mine is a Davosa Ternos Pro USA Limited Edition, a little over a month old now. It arrived to me 3 days after purchase and is a new release launched earlier this year to be sold exclusively here in the States, just as the name suggests.

Much of what has been talked about by m j b is what drew me to Davosa and helped me overcome some of the misgivings associated with them and other companies (e.g. Mido & Squale) whose homage designs have made a splash in the microbrands space. Being the patriotic soul I am, I was also always gonna be fascinated by the idea of a limited ed. watch with lots of pro-USA branding :)

It is not a perfect watch by any chance. Loses between 7 and 10 secs a day, and the rotatable bezel action plus time-setting are not nearly as smooth or impeccably done as on the watch this one is meant to pay tribute to.

Would I rather have a Rolex in its place? Yeah, no doubt. Nonetheless, it is a solid, well-built watch that comes on a jubilee bracelet and sits delightfully on my wrist - well enough for me to consider the ~$1200 I paid for it very well spent. The workmanship and finishing was quite a surprise - very well done for that price tag.

I'm yet to open the case, and neither do I expect to have any need for that. The watch comes with a 2-year warranty in the USA and the customer care appear responsive and professional. Also, I was promised that repairs & service are actually done right here in the states (therefore no need for overseas shipping). Overall, I'm mighty pleased!
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Old 5 August 2020, 10:52 AM   #7
m j b
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Nice catch Kevin! Yeah, I looked at that model too, I really liked the colors on the dial.
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