SDC OceanRider – Luxury Automatic Dive Watch Review

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SDC watches is a British watchmaker that makes diving watches with a difference. I am reviewing the Oceanrider, a 300-meter waterproof automatic dive watch, SDC watches first collection available to the market.

The difference between SDC Watches and other watch manufacturers lies in its three core values.

  1. Offers luxury watches designed for everyday dive adventures, and as I may say everyday life as well.
  2. Upcycling materials to reduce waste and protect the world’s oceans.
  3. Educate and grow the dive community.

The whole idea is that by purchasing the OceanRider watch, you help the world’s oceans and as a diver, you get to enjoy in the long run better and healthier oceans. I will review the watch along these three core values.

Luxury Watch For Everyday Dive Adventures

I am an occasional diver that got my diving certificates in my 20s when I was travelling the world for a few gap years. Years later I only dive once every 3 to 4 years, whenever I am in a location that has decent diving. Dive watches were popular in the 1970s and 1980s when the rotating bezel would be used to calculate the bottom time of each dive. Now almost all divers use diving computers, making the luxury dive watch more of a statement watch identifying them as scuba divers.

The OceanRider collection consists of four different watches, basically all the same watch but with different colour dials: Ocean Blue (review model), Black Tip, Great White and Silky Grey. All watches retail at £425.

What stands out is the big 4mm thick strap which uses the neoprene from wetsuits stitched into silicone rubber. It immediately shouts I am into diving and other watersports.

OceanRider Blue

The stainless steel case is 14.3 mm thick and has a diameter of 42mm. It feels solid but is not overly big, it fits well on my small wrist size, so small that I am in the first hole of the strap. This size makes it a perfect unisex watch. The rotating bezel feels solid and there are some reassuring clicks when rotating, it feels premium. The case is finished with scratch-resistant and sapphire crystal glass. All this solidness ensures that the Oceanrider is rated 300m waterproof. In the real world that means no water will ever enter the watch, in the diving world it means it is certified for mixed gas diving.

The dial indices consist of dots and lines marking the 15 mins and 5 mins intervals. Together with the hands and the rotary bezel, they have Swiss Super-LumiNova applied to them, you can follow the time in the dark, useful when underwater visibility becomes poor.

The reassuring thick crown which shows the SDC logo has three different functions, one is to hand-wind the automatic watch movement, pull one click out to set the date, pull two clicks and you can set the time.

Oceanrider side profile

The back of the watch is transparent and shows the Seiko NH35 automatic movement with 24 jewels in all its glory. On the stainless steel frame, reassuring words are etched like 316L Stainless Steel, Saphire Crystal, 300M/1000ft along with the OceanRider name.

SDC watches OceanRider

The overall feel of the watch is premium and everything feels reassuring and solid. The watch does not scratch easily and looks still like it came out of the box after wearing it now for a solid 5 weeks.

The Strap

The strap of the OceanRider is what sets this watch apart from other dive watches in that it is made from upcycled neoprene from UK sourced wetsuits, which is then stitched onto silicone rubber. The strap feels solid and is chunky and in my opinion, will last a long time. This strap shows that yes you can use upcycled materials in watchmaking and why not use a material that is so common in the diving and watersport world. The buckle of the strap is made from the same stainless steel as the case and has the letters SDC engraved. To finish the strap there are two rubber hoops. In the unlikely case that the strap breaks or is worn out, SDC does sell spare straps for the OceanRider.

SDC watches OceanRider

Charity

Now how can the purchase of a watch help and educate the diving community better? SDC believes that it’s everyone’s responsibility to help and protect our Oceans for future generations. So to give back and fight for our oceans, it donates 5% of each watch sale to support the Marine Conservative Society. The Marine Conservation Society is the leading UK charity fighting for a cleaner, better protected, healthier ocean.

Technical Specifications

  • Case:
    • 42mm diameter
    • Lug width: 20mm
    • Lug-to-lug length: 48mm
    • Thickness: 14.3 mm (includes crystal and case-back)
  • Water Resistance: 300m/1000ft or 30 bar
  • Crystal: Flat scratch‑resistant sapphire crystal
  • Bezel: Ceramic unidirectional bezel with Swiss Super-LumiNova
  • Movement: 24 Jewel Japanese Seiko NH35 (Automatic)
  • Watch Straps: Upcycled wetsuits stitched into silicone rubber, fitted with quick-release bars for easy removal. Total thickness: 4mm per individual band.
  • Warranty: 2-year protection on all SDC Watches

Where to buy

The OceanRider is for sale at sdcwatches.com with free worldwide shipping.

Conclusion

I like automatic watches as I have quite a few watches in my collection and the battery ones always seem to run out of battery after 18 months and I stop wearing them. So it is a massive plus for me that the SDC OceanRider is automatic and uses the world’s favourite Seiko NH35 mechanism. It is solid, reassuring and premium in choice of materials and look and feel. The strap is the real difference-maker in that it shows you love watersports and you care by using upcycled materials. The charity aspect in helping our Oceans should make this watch a hit with the diving community.

Me, as a very rare diver but a lover of all sorts of watersports, I love this watch. I know it will not break on me, it will last, it will not leak water in like some 50m rated watches do, and it will not run out of battery on my travels. And best of all it looks great.

SDC watches OceanRider

SDC watches OceanRider SDC watches OceanRider

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