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Watch Freek
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Welcome to my unpaid and un-sponsored dive bezel review.

Warning, if you enjoy this review, you have to get yourself a life. Of course, that includes me!

There have been several head to head lume battles on YouTube, I know, I think I have watched them all, but to my knowledge this hasn’t been done with dive bezels. It’s worth noting, this review only covers a selection of my watches and their bezels, so I am sure there are plenty of others on the market that could compete.

I have twenty dive watches in my collection, and whilst there are differences between bezels, I don’t believe I have any that can be classed as poor. That said, I have owned watches in the past that I have sold, purely because I couldn’t live with the poor bezel. You see, watch people can be quite sad creatures, and sometimes the smallest thing can be enough for us to fall out of love with a watch.

This isn’t about the mechanics, as my knowledge in this field is quite limited. I tried the once to remove and replace a bezel, and from that point onward it would never turn. If you want to learn more about this subject, I suggest you watch a few modding videos, especially the WATCHER, who really knows his stuff.

With great difficulty I have chosen the seven watches in my collection that I consider have the best all round bezels. Apologies to those watches not chosen, especially the Phoibos Voyager, which very nearly made the cut.

I will briefly talk you through each bezel, and start in reverse order, with the winner being reviewed last. I shall be taking the following qualities into account.

1. Aesthetics and lume (if applicable)
  • Durability
  • Alignment
  • Action, resistance and noise
To start things off I am briefly going to show you two watches that have fallen a long way short of getting in the top ten, both of which are iconic models. The first of which is the bezel on my Seiko SKX. Like all Seiko watches the action is spongy, and on this model the knurling is too smooth and has little grip. As well as that, if worn regularly the paint on the bezel wouldn’t hold up well. In its favour, this one is well aligned, and has about the right resistance. The second is on my Combat Glycine Sub. It’s well knurled, aligns beautifully, has about the right resistance, but it’s 60 click action is industrial to say the least. I should point out, I don’t have an issue with bezels that are 60, 90, or 120 click, I know some people do.

Kicking things off, in 7th place is instrmnt D series diver. I was originally only going to have my top six listed, but for one reason I felt I had to include this watch. Like the rest of the watch, the bezel is more dressy than practical. Its matt finish gives a lovely look, and it aligns well, although the “30” is slightly out. Unfortunately, it already has a mark on it, and is far from durable. Whilst it doesn’t have the resistance I would like, its action and clicky sound are almost sensual. It has a type of springyness none of the other bezels have in my collection. The knurling around the outside is excellent, and this makes using it very easy.

In 6th place is my Nodus retrospect. This is the only one of the seven that has a solid bezel without an insert. It’s also the only one of the seven that is concave. The fact it doesn’t have an insert should make it reasonably durable, and everything aligns beautifully. There is no back play, or bounce, and the clicks sound excellent, however it does lack a little resistance. The knurling is very good, and the operation of the bezel is a piece of cake.

In 5th place is my RLG. This has a lumed sapphire insert, which makes it both attractive and durable. Unfortunately, even though the twelve market aligns perfectly, it’s a bit hit and miss with the rest of the markers. There is no back play or bounce, the resistance is perfect, the sound is excellent, but lacks some of the smoothness other bezels have. Again, the knurling on this bezel is excellent, thus making the operation nice and easy.

In 4th spot is my NTH Nazario Ghost. This bezel has an insert that has a DLC coating. This will make it very durable. It lines up very well, although the 5 marker is slightly out. It is a lumed bezel, and lumed very well. As expected, there is no back play or bounce, and the resistance is close to perfect. Unfortunately, it does sound a little industrial when being turned. The knurling is excellent, but its only practical to turn the bezel from the sides.

In 3rd position is my Steinhart Ocean Red. Its an attractive bezel, although not the most attractive. The steel/alloy insert looks fitting for the watch, but isn’t the most durable. Everything aligns pretty well, the knurling is good, and it’s easy to use. The main reason this bezel has achieved third spot is because of its action. It has the perfect resistance, its clicky and smooth at the same time, and it sounds fantastic.

Well, its getting exciting now, in 2nd spot we have the Borealis Cascais. This has a lumed bezel, and probably the best out of the lot. In fact, the watches lume overall is the best in my collection. Everything aligns perfectly. It has a steel insert that is nicely brushed. Some people may find the resistance a little heavy, but that is subjective. The clicks are positive, and as you would expect there is no back play or bounce. The knurling on the sides of the bezel is excellent, making the bezel easy to turn despite its slightly heavy feel.

Drum roll. In first place is my Zelos Blacktip. This watch not only has a forged carbon dial, Zelos gave it a forged carbon bezel insert. Needless to say, this makes the bezel quite hardy. The alignment gets 9/10, which is one short of the ease of use. The bezel is shaped nicely to just overhang the case. The knurling is beautifully executed, and the action is both clicky and smooth. The resistance and feel of this bezel is close to perfect.

That brings me to the end of the review. I wanted to do something a little different for a change, so I hope you have managed to stay awake. I should like to mention, like all things watch related, bezels are quite subjective, so just because I may rate a certain bezel, or in fact a certain watch, doesn’t mean you will.

Super Moderator
14,660 Posts
Yowza, this was a real treat Wiggles ! 🥇🏆

To tell the truth I really don’t watch a lot of watch videos,
and have never seen one that rated bezels, so this really
is outstanding to me. 😀 And although I am not nearly
as demanding of my bezels as you sir, I love that you are,
and know what makes a bezel exceptional. (y)(y) Just
seeing all of the watches that made the cut is great !

Even seeing the ones that didn’t was fun to tell the truth.
..Yes, this was different, but was so much fun MW ! 😎
Thanks so so much for doing this, and posting it up for
us !!!

Premium Member
648 Posts
Thank you for the write-up Wiggles. I've been attracted to internal bezels with a second crown lately.

Super Moderator
14,660 Posts
MW, I forgot to mention this, you wouldn’t care for a lot
of my more vintage divers, and their bezels. 😊 So many
of them move so easily sir. Kind of like a hovercraft going
over land, or over water rather. 😄
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