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The Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 is the debut of the still young Matterhorn Watch Company. The London brand, named after the world-famous mountain, has dedicated itself to genuine “tool watches”. So it’s obvious that the debut piece is a diver’s watch, isn’t it?
A watch dedicated to the Matterhorn
We are fascinated by the Matterhorn. We love its beauty, its perfection and feel drawn to the mountain, which lies in the Valais Alps roughly on the border between Switzerland and Italy. In the 19th century, the burgeoning alpinism led countless pioneers to start a race for the first ascent of the most beautiful mountain in the world. The story of two British competitors, of whom Edward Whymper was the first to reach the summit in 1865, is still legendary today. We admire the daring, the willingness to take risks and the spirit of adventure of the climbers.
The young London microbrand Matterhorn Watch Company has also dedicated itself to these values. It takes its name from the mountain that its compatriots competed to climb 150 years ago. Now, watches are to be produced that combine the British pioneering spirit with Swiss watchmaking craftsmanship – an exciting undertaking.
And while the Kickstarter campaign is expected to be launched in spring to raise awareness of the watch and brand, I’ve already received the debut DiveMaster 300 in advance.
First impressions count – especially with new brands. And this impression is anything but bad when the noble box is placed on my desk for the first time. The logo of a stylised mountain, the brand name and the name of the watch reveal which model it is. I open the magnetic clasp of the box and hold the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 in my hands for the first time. The design of the watch is unmistakably that of a real diver. The robust stainless steel case, the characteristic diver’s bezel and the large indices on the dial make quite an impression! This watch also feels good at first glance in terms of quality. Its satin-finished surfaces look well finished.
The Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 is a genuine automatic watch. A black rubber strap is also in the case, which can be worn as an alternative to the usual stainless steel version – the features are great. Even more surprising is the price segment in which the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 is located. It will cost around 200 pounds – the perfect diving watch for beginners?
The Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 on the wrist
On the wrist, I notice the compact proportions. With a case diameter of 41 millimetres, the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 is quite thick with a height of 14.1 millimetres. That’s how a real tool watch should be. Without its caseback, the watch has a high of 12.8 millimetres. With its functional design, the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 fits any occasion on any wrist. If the occasion is a little more chic, the watch can be worn with a stainless steel bracelet. If you’re going diving, the rubber alternative is unbeatably practical. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with this design on your wrist!
The inner values: the case
Visually, the case is divided into three visible components. The enormous middle section has a curved design and merges into the lugs, which give the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 a length of 49 millimetres. The screwed case back sits below the middle section and the diver’s bezel at the very top. No expense has been spared on the materials. Those who take the Swiss automatic watches as their role model use stainless steel. The material is versatile and very robust, so it protects the watch in everyday use.
The use of high-quality material for the watch glass is also anything but a matter of course. Matterhorn has opted for scratch-proof and resistant sapphire crystal, which is much rarer in this price segment. My pre-series model has received an upgrade at this point compared to the previous model. The sapphire crystal now has an anti-reflective coating, which helps you especially in bright sunlight. The dial is simply easier to read. All in all, I am very pleased with the materials and workmanship. I would not have expected that from a first watch.
Waterproof to a depth of 300 metres
Waterproof to a depth of 300 metres! That’s what I call an announcement. Surely none of us will ever reach these water depths. But the specification shows impressively the quality level of the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300. Pool, sea and shower are no problem anyway. This water resistance requires a screw-in crown. The one on the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 is a classic onion crown with fluted sides. A nice detail: the Matterhorn logo, the famous summit, is emblazoned on the top.
If you look at the opposite side of the crown, you will discover a so-called plate. This plate is screwed down and features an engraved Matterhorn logo.
Case back and movement
The new Matterhorn brand has not skimped on the back. The polished case back has been given a large viewing window, through which the movement inside can be admired. This is a Japanese automatic movement from Seiko. The Seiko NH35 is used in many microbrands and has proven itself through its good accuracy and longevity. At 21600 vibrations per hour, it has a power reserve of an absolutely sufficient 41 hours. You can see the shiny rotor through the glass back.
Maybe Matterhorn could use a Miyota 9015 for the market launch. This would mean an upward adjustment of the price by £30.
The dial of the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300
The second hand moves smoothly around the dial. In my opinion the design is functional and aims for good readability. This means, for example, that the hour indices are represented by thick lines. The time on the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 is easy to read from a distance. This is even better at night. Indices and hands are coated with BGW9 SuperLuminova luminous material and are correspondingly bright. I really like the red accents on the second hand and the minute track. This makes the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300 even more lively.
6, 9 and 12 o’clock are also shown as Arabic numerals. At 3 o’clock, on the other hand, there is a date window. On request, the watch will probably also be available without a date window. The customer is king! The dial does not need much more data. It is reduced to the most important things.
The genuine diver’s bezel with black inlay engages securely and without play in the movement. Good operation is facilitated by fluted sides. It can be read without any problems.
The bracelet – stainless steel or rubber
As a wearer, I am spoilt for choice every morning when it comes to the bracelet. Rubber or stainless steel? Admittedly, this is a real luxury issue. With the stainless steel bracelet, I really like the folding clasp including the individually adjustable diving extension. If I want to change to the alternative rubber version, that’s no problem. With an enclosed pin, I can loosen the stainless steel strap at the lugs and replace it with the black rubber strap in a short time. This is perfect if you want to take the watch to the pool or the sea instead of to a meeting. Here you have unlimited freedom.
Oh yes, both straps are of good quality and are very comfortable to wear.
My conclusion about the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300
The premiere for the Matterhorn Watch Company has been achieved. With the Matterhorn Watches DiveMaster 300, it has produced a diver’s watch that is more than solid. The objective of creating a real tool watch that combines the spirit of adventure with good quality has been achieved. What really surprised me was the choice of materials and the quality of workmanship. You have to consider that you are holding a watch in your hands with a Seiko automatic movement, 300-metre water resistance and a stainless steel case, which will be available at a low three-digit price. If that’s not good value for money!
I am curious to see how the watch will be received by customers. In any case, I have rarely seen such a mature product at market launch.