By Amos Kwon
on 7.25.11
Photo by AK

In 2009, Matt and Courtney Wilson embarked on an effort to create a dive watch that incorporated all the vital aspects of watchmaking that aficionados of niche brands were looking for, albeit at a remarkably affordable price. Hence the birth of the Irreantum Magellan ($545). We had the opportunity to review one recently, and we came away impressed. More details on the review after the jump.

The Wilsons appropriately sent the watch encased in a waterproof black Pelican case that makes you anticipate the opening all the more. What you get it is no less than a weighty and rugged piece that bears a nice sophistication that wouldn’t be out of place while piloting a million dollar yacht or driving a classic Jaguar E-Type convertible. Due to the smooth links in the polished 22mm bracelet, the Magellan wears comfortably despite its heft. The caseback is also quite easy on the wrist, as well as sumptuously designed with the triangle wave logo. Built around solid mechanicals, the Magellan runs on the classic ETA 2824-2 Swiss movement, ensuring the same kind of reliability and accuracy you seen in higher-end timepieces. The case is made of robust 316 stainless steel with a 45mm diameter and a case thickness of 13.6mm. The version we reviewed had the limited edition carbon fiber dial, which provides a modern feel to the classic 1960′s diver aesthetic. The tight CF weave contrasts nicely with the large markers painted with C3 luminova. We found the lume to be very strong, lasting over the course of several hours after a good charge, a boon to serious divers. As with many niche watchmakers, you can choose your dial color, including black, blue, orange and the carbon fiber you see here. Each version is a limited production, kept to 100 pieces each.

The triplock crown at the four o’clock position had solid action and was easy to deploy and secure. The bezel, something watchmakers often overlook in regard to grip and security, proved to ratchet well and was easy to grasp, even with dive gloves. The lume at the hour marker on the bezel was easily visible in low light conditions. Another aspect of this diver we loved was the pushbutton clasp with the diver extension, something many dive watch manufacturers neglect. No doubt, it costs more to produce, but it’s imperative over the thick wetsuit sleeve. The requisite sapphire crystal is thick and anti-reflective coated inside.

At $545, it’s a bargain, in this author’s opinion. You’d be well-equipped for both a night on the town and a night-time dive in Turks & Caicos. The Wilsons have done the niche watchmaking industry justice by producing a very affordable diver with all the important qualities collectors and aficionados have come to expect. It’s this kind of product that causes us to further lament when young men throw down good money for watches that should be relegated to the poseurs and amateurs that wander God’s green earth.

Buy Now: $545