VeriWatch Octopus 1973Silvia Bonfanti
- Italian brand VeriWatch revives their Octopus 1973, a dive watch inspired by the Adriatic Sea-dwelling creature
- The Octopus 1973 features a rare sight in a diver with its internal pulsometer scale
- Both the Classic and No Date models feature automatic Sellita calibres and a host of different strap options to suit the 38mm size
The exponential growth of microbrands is evident. New brands established by enthusiasts who, with courage, bring their dream to life, wearing and seeing others wear a watch that originates from their imagination. However, we know very well that creating a good-looking and well-crafted watch is not enough to break into the market. Crucial elements, beyond an original design, include a good understanding of the target market and a proper value for money. The first question these enthusiasts should ask themselves before embarking on this adventure should be: “Why should someone buy my watch instead of another one?” More pragmatism and less imagination; more entrepreneurs and less dreamers. That being said, diver models are very popular, and there’s a new challenger in the vintage-sized market – the Italian VeriWatch Octopus 1973. The year 1973 included in the name is already an indicator of a story, and its name is curious, too.
Even though it was briefly called VeryWatch, “Veri” was eventually adopted as the diminutive of Saverio, an acquaintance of the brand’s founder, Giulio Capezzuto, who in 1956 helped him open his first watch shop in Bari, a city in Puglia. As we know, the 1970s were golden years for divers. This was also true for VeriWatch, thanks in part to the collaboration with Squale which helped establish the Italian brand as a reference point in the world of diving watches. The year 1973 was when the Octopus was introduced as VeriWatch’s flagship model and one of the very few medical divers with a pulsometer scale in the world, its name name a tribute to the king of the Adriatic Sea.
The stainless steel case maintains the typical style of 1970s skin divers, and like the 1973 model, it measures 38mm in diameter with a thickness of 12mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 47mm. Thanks to these proportions and the short lugs that follow the wrist’s contour, the Octopus is a compact and comfortable watch to wear: it’s present without being cumbersome. Having a slim wrist of 15mm/5,9 inch, I can only be pleased with this trend.
In terms of finishes, the standout is simplicity with longitudinal brushing along the case sides carried also to the front. The brushed surfaces, besides being pleasant to look at, also help conceal any minor scratches from everyday use. The big screw-down crown with double o-rings provides a depth up to 20 ATM, and is easy to manipulate thanks to the absence of crown guards. The screw-down case back has a new addition compared to the 1973 model: a well-made 3D engraving of two octopus tentacles with alternating sandblasted and polished parts.
Like the 1973 model, the new Octopus is also offered in both matte black and blue gradient dials. Both models have a date window at 3 o’clock, rectangular indices and style-pencil hour and minute hands (filled with Grade A Super-LumiNova BGW9 on the new model). Despite being a fan of no date designs (the Octopus is also available without the date display) I must admit that the date window doesn’t disrupt, integrating well with the dial. The generous luminescence makes time reading effortless even in low light conditions, and for a reasonable duration. Another difference is the text on the dial. In the 1973 model, the brand name and model were both placed at 12 o’clock, while the 2023 model features the logo name and model separated at 12 and 6 o’clock respectively. This is graphically more pleasing and less confusing.
As a true diver’s watch, it sports a unidirectional rotating aluminium bezel, satin-finished in a two-tone scheme of black and grey with a dot at 12 o’clock. Highlighting the numbers 25 and 55 has no functional purpose, but simply adds a nice aesthetic touch. The bezel, with its 120 clicks, rotates precisely and accurately, providing a good grip. The slightly domed sapphire crystal features an anti-reflective coating on the inner side. What catches the eye immediately, however, is the pulsometer scale placed on an anodized aluminium ring, surrounded by metallic blue with striations that mirror those on the bezel. How do you read the pulsometer scale? When the seconds hand with its red tip reaches 12 o’clock, one can start counting heartbeats. As soon as 30 heartbeats are reached, the number indicated by the hand indicates beats per minute.
The Octopus houses the automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement in its base version with the addition of the Incabloc Anti Shock system. It beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and comes with 38 hours of power reserve. It’s a reliable and easily to maintain movement which, in this case, demonstrated an average daily deviation of around 7 seconds.
Currently, the watch is offered with three custom VeriWatch straps made in Italy. The first two are both made by Seacult, and consist of a comfortable black rubber tropic and a perforated rubber evocative of the ’70s. The third is a black NATO-style strap, with blue accents mirroring the pulsometer scale, made from recycled material with stainless steel for the buckle and keepers and made by MilanoStraps. The package is completed with a sturdy tool for strap replacements and a microfiber cloth, both customised by VeriWatch.
VeriWatch Octopus 1973 pricing and availability
The VeriWatch Octopus 1973 is available from VeriWatch’website. Price: €1,050
|Case Dimensions||38mm (D) x 12mm (T, excluding crystal) x 47mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||20 ATM|
|Dial||Black or gradient blue|
|Strap||Tropic-style rubber, perforated rubber, NATO-style, all with steel hardware|
|Movement||Sellita SW200-1 a|
|Power Reserve||38 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date (optional)|