Earlier this year, we introduced you to the Magrette Regattare prior to its much anticipated release. Well, we were able to get our hands on one to see for ourselves if the horological fanfare was justified. More photos and the full review after the jump.

The watch itself is able to both echo the Panerai-style case and still remain fairly original in design due to the markers, the fantastic inner bezel and the luscious leather strap. We’ve seen a lot of homage type watches that get lost in the replication process but the Regattare is certainly not one of them. The smooth and unmarked brushed stainless bezel is well-complimented by the AR coated double-domed sapphire crystal. This diver is unique, in that it eschews the traditional diving bezel with a classy inner bezel that adjusts via the upper crown. We wouldn’t recommend trying to make this semi-delicate adjustment with diving gloves, but the change is refreshing nonetheless.

The watch is powered by the Miyota 8215 automatic movement which isn’t as smooth as a Swiss ETA, but is very reliable and accurate. Too bad it’s a non-hacking movement, which would allow the second hand to be adjusted, but at this price point, it’s not expected. Though they claim a minimalist design, Magrette has more appropriately made a diving watch into something that can pull double duty as a near-dressy watch with a very clean design. In a world of overwrought watches, it’s welcomed. The hands and markers are slim and lend to an elegant look on this diver, but you don’t forget that this watch is part tool with the twin crowns offset on the right side of the case with mini-Magrette logo on the top of each one. The lume is nothing short of fantastic. There isn’t a ton of it, but the C3 Super Luminova is bright and noticeable without looking like Christmas decorations.

Wear on the wrist is very comfortable, and the textured leather strap with the red backing is perfectly matched with the 44mm watch case. It also comes with a practical rubber dive strap. And dive you can with the 500 meter depth rating. The only two issues we had, which were fairly minor, were 1) the bezel crown’s thread engagement when trying to secure it. It was touch and go, but we can’t state whether or not it’s endemic to the Regattare or just our tester; and 2) the presentation box, though intentionally environmentally conscious, needs an upgrade. The thin wooden box with the Magrette logo betrays the quality of the watch. Really, not much to complain about.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with the Regattare. It was just at home in the office as it was underwater. For those of you looking to upgrade your collegiate timepiece, it’s a worthy candidate and won’t break the bank in the process. Nor will it look like something you overpaid for at the mall jeweler.

Buy Now: $545