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The Velan Legend Diver Auto announces itself as a high-quality diver’s watch with Swiss watchmaking qualities. All that packed in a stylishly classic design and – watch out – at quite an affordable price. The price-performance winner among premium divers? Find out the answer in this review!
Almost too good to be true
When the US brand Velan contacted me a few weeks ago, the description sounded almost too good to be true when I got a first look at my test watch and its specifications. Because according to it, the Velan Legend Diver Auto is exactly the watch I’ve been looking for a few weeks now. With its typical classic diver watch look, a Swiss movement in the case and premium quality at a comparatively affordable price, Velan’s diver offers a combination that I have been missing on the watch market. The watches are made in Switzerland, with their business operations in USA…The watch is calling just $ 895,00 for a watch that is supposed to keep up with its Swiss competitors but is 50 percent cheaper than the average premium diver. The designated insider tip? I’m curious.
Velan itself is still quite unknown to most people, at least in Europe. A quick search, however, is astounding and shows how broadly positioned the company is. In addition to a variety of watches of different types, Velan also designs and produces wristbands for timepieces and the Apple Watch. And what seems quite unusual at first glance makes a lot of sense after a moment’s thought. Velan even offers leather belts, which aren’t all that dissimilar to leather bracelets, right?
The products are made in the USA. Still, the motto is Swiss Made. For example, the Velan Legend Diver Auto is powered by an automatic caliber from the Swiss manufacturer Ronda. This is actually “almost too good to be true”. A watch review should bring light into the darkness and introduce you to Velan and the Legend Diver Auto in more detail.
The presentation – unbeatable!
You can’t help but be amazed. Rarely a watch brand has sent a more comprehensive “package insert”. Spread out over my wooden table are the high-quality box, an instruction manual, the warranty card, a useful microfiber cloth, a separate box for storing the two (!) interchangeable bracelets, a noble leather watch roll – and not to forget – the Velan Legend Diver Auto itself. Velan certainly seems to understand a lot about the power of first impressions. Even if the fancy gimmicks don’t carry too much weight in the test results: with the branded Velan lettering, they make quite an impression and announce that the buyer will be offered a lot here.
But now let’s go to the watch. The Velan Legend Diver Auto is without a doubt a true diver, a full-blown one at that. The generously sized timepiece looks really good, that has to be praised. Visually, the wristwatch finds the happy medium between sporty functionality and chic everyday wearability. Typical features of a diver’s watch are not missing. The black dial and bezel complete the cool stainless steel look.
From a purely qualitative point of view, I can’t find anything that would bother me at first glance. On the contrary, if I didn’t know the price of the watch, I probably would have put the Velan Legend Diver Auto even in the low four-digit price segment.
Two interchangeable straps successfully round out the first impression. We will put on the olive-colored Nato strap known from the press material and the sporty silicone strap later.
The Velan Legend Diver Auto on the wrist
Putting on is a good keyword. Because how the Velan Legend Diver Auto looks on the wrist is a crucial aspect when buying a watch. As briefly touched on just now, the size of Velan’s dive watch is quite substantial. The circular case measures 44 millimeters in diameter. This makes the Velan Legend Diver Auto especially suitable for those who have a medium to large wrist. Nevertheless, the watch lies flat on the wrist and thus emphasizes its sportiness.
It should be clear to everyone that diving watches nowadays have a purpose other than serving us underwater as helpful nautical measuring instruments. A good watch simply underlines one’s own personality. “Our goal for the Legend Diver was to incorporate all the functionality of a classic Dive watch without sacrificing style”, Velan says. The Legend Diver embodies style in any case, whether with the cool stainless steel bracelet, the trendy Nato alternative or the sporty silicone bracelet. Flexibility is writ large here. Since you can choose from a pool of no less than 30 bracelets, no one should have any trouble giving the Velan Legend Diver Auto their own personal touch on the wrist.
The wide selection is especially interesting if you want to wear your Legend Diver as a daily rocker. The flexible looks will suit any occasion – sports, business or festivities.
This watch dives 500 meters deep!
The case of a diver’s watch must withstand the greatest stresses: Salt water, water pressure, sharp objects and much more. Accordingly, the construction of a diving watch case requires special know-how and the highest quality materials. Velan has chosen 316L stainless steel for the manufacturing of the Legend Diver Auto, which is actually always a good choice. I particularly like the case finish. The partly polished, partly satin-finished surfaces are very well finished and also visually convincing.
One of the most important key figures of a diver’s watch is perhaps its water resistance. And the key figure mentioned here is probably the one that surprised me even more than the model’s affordable price. The Velan Legend Diver Auto is water resistant to a depth of 500 meters! 500 meters – most premium divers can’t do that. Although no human could even dive to these depths, the water resistance still impressively shows how well-made the case of this diver’s watch is.
However, the watch glass is also of an importance that should not be underestimated. That of the Velan Legend Diver Auto is slightly domed, as with classic watches, and is made of particularly scratch-resistant and durable sapphire. In everyday life, it also ensures the clear and perfect readability of the dial. It should also be emphasized at this point that sapphire crystal is anything but a matter of course in this price category.
Those who actually want to wear the watch on dives will appreciate the helium valve at 9 o’clock.
Swiss quality in the Velan Legend Diver Auto
I turn the Velan Legend Diver Auto over and look at the back of the timepiece. The protruding caseback has six screws and is polished. In its center is a circular viewing window that reveals the Swiss movement, now frequently seen on a wide variety of watches. As you would expect, the specifications are engraved on the rim. The engravings make a clean impression.
Velan donates an automatic movement from Ronda to its Legend Diver Auto. The Ronda 150 is a refreshing alternative to the more common movements from ETA or Sellita. With a power reserve of 40 hours, it offers enough performance for everyday life and also convinces with accuracy and longevity.
Dial and bezel of the Velan Legend Diver Auto
Design needs a function. With this in mind, the dial of the Velan Legend Diver Auto has been designed. Its strength lies primarily in being able to read the time in an uncomplicated and quick manner. Under water, that’s all that matters. Thus, gimmicks have been dispensed with at this point. The good readability reveals itself especially in poor lighting conditions or in the dark. The large, round indices and the broad hands are coated with luminous material and glow brightly. For everyday use, a rectangular date window at 3 o’clock rounds out the functionality aspect.
The unidirectional rotating bezel, which can proudly call itself a ‘diving bezel’, evokes enthusiasm in me. The haptic feel of the 120 clicks is phenomenal, as the clicks have no play whatsoever. Set in a stainless steel ring, the black bezel is made of ceramic.
30 bracelets to choose from
For this review, Velan provided me with a total of three wristbands. When buying the watch online, you have the option of buying two wristbands at no extra charge. A total of 30 variants in different colors and materials are available to you.
I have now tested the watch with the stainless steel and the black silicone strap as well as the olive-colored Nato strap. I can’t really say which combination of watch and strap I like best. Each variant is suitable for certain occasions and situations. If I want to take the watch with me to sports, I use it with the practical silicone strap. In everyday life, stainless steel is used. I wear the Nato strap when I want something fancier and trendier.
All bracelets can convince with good quality. Velan supplies the stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp, the other two bands with a pin buckle. The width of the lugs is 22 millimeters.
My conclusion about the Velan Legend Diver Auto
The Velan Legend Diver Auto is a diver’s watch that simply makes you feel comfortable. The model knows how to very elegantly package the practical functionality of a diver with attractive everyday wearability. Exquisite materials are processed in a high-quality manner and meet a variety of straps, with which you can make the Velan Legend Diver Auto your very own wristwatch. On top of that, the manufacturer installs a Swiss automatic movement.
These many small details add up to an attractive overall package that each of you can only recommend. If you also consider what you pay for this total package, it becomes clear why the Velan Legend Diver Auto is THE insider tip among diving watches. 895 Dollars are more than fair!
The international warranty is two years. Below you’ll find all the important info about the watch and the Velan brand.
More about Velan and the Legend Diver Auto
Here you can find the watch in the store
The best diving watches – my recommendations