Anyone who collects dive replica watches knows that the market is chock full of micro-brands, and they run the gamut from overpriced weak sauce (I won’t throw anyone under the bus, but you know the guilty parties) to incredibly well-made, bang-for-your-buck pieces (Crepas, anyone?). Generally though, what you’ll find are solid, reasonably priced divers with respectable specs. One micro-brand diver that breaks out of this standard mold quite a bit is the crowdfunded Haldor Abissi 1000m.
The Slovenian-based Haldor Replica Watch company got their start on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo with the goal of creating a high-spec dive replica watch for as low of a price as possible. They met and exceeded their funding goal, and were able to produce their Abissi diver and deliver it to their backers. The Haldor Abissi retails now for about 600 Euros for those outside of the EU, which translates to about $637 for those of us in the States, and for that coin you get a whole lot of replica watch (literally and figuratively).
The Abissi is a beast that is not for the faint of wrist, and it has legitimate specs to match (but more on that later). As far as styling goes, it’s neither Earth-shattering nor is it been-there-done-that boring—it kind of falls somewhere in the middle. While it’s not really one that lights my fire, I can see how folks who are into big ol’ knuckle-dragger, chunk-of-steel divers would dig it. But the real story here is the build quality, which is totally impressive for a replica watch at this price. Let’s get to it.
The Abissi measures 45.5mm wide by 57mm long and 15.5mm thick. While there are certainly bigger replica watches out there, this one just looks and feels very large. The quasi-tonneau shaped case is brushed all over and features an angular, geometric design with sharp angles between the planes, giving it a very precise, almost-industrial look. The right side of the case has angular crown guards that keep the huge 7.5mm crown safe from getting knocked about. It’s a functional detail, but one that I also think looks good for the style. The 24mm lugs are a bit short for my taste, but they go well with the overall design of the case.
The bezel is definitely one of the better features of the Abissi. It is large, with deep-machined grooves for an easy grip. It rotates counter-clockwise with 120-clicks. The insert is made of Zirconia ceramic, which is tough as nails. The insert has large, deeply engraved numbers for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50, with minute hash marks for the first 15 minutes in orange, and the rest of the numbers in white. The only lume on the insert is the dot in the triangle at 12 o’clock, Personally, I would have preferred luminous paint on all of the numbers and hash marks. The bezel protects the slightly raised, flat sapphire crystal which has an internal anti-reflective coating. Overall, this is a really nice bezel with solid action and little play.
All put together, the Abissi is rated to an incredible (some might say excessive) 1000 meters of water resistance—which Haldor claims to have test-certified in a Swiss laboratory—so it should be safe from leakage unless you’re trying to help Dirk Pitt raise the Titanic. And if you do happen to test some deep waters, the automatic helium release valve on the left side of the case will keep your crystal from popping off when you resurface. Overall, this is impressive engineering for the price.
The dial design is well-executed and easy to read, and all the while very familiar. It is black with large, framed numbers at 12, six and nine, and baton shaped markers for the remaining hours. Likewise, a steel framed date window sits at three o’clock, a placement that forgoes some of the dial symmetry. I’m personally not a fan of floating date windows between four and five, so it’s refreshing to see one at three here.
There is a large Haldor “H” logo and “HALDOR” in raised chrome letters below the 12, and “Abissi, Automatic, 1000m/3300ft” above the six. Even with all the text, the dial doesn’t feel cluttered, and I think the large 12, six and nine do a good job at drawing your attention. The large sword hands are lume filled, with the border of the hour hand painted white and the minute hand painted orange. An orange second hand has a lume-filled rectangular plot at the tip. The Super-LumiNova compound on the dial and hands is excellent, and like I wrote above, it is very easy to read—day or night.
The movement is a top-grade ETA 2824-2, adjusted to five positions by Haldor. For those unaware, the 2824 is an industry mainstay—it’s a 25-jewel caliber with hand winding, hacking seconds and a quick-set date. Haldor claims the Abissi will keep time to about +4 sec/day, which they point out is within COSC specs, although it is not actually Chronometer certified. That said, during my time with the sample, it did keep time to within a few seconds a day. Lots of micro brands are going towards Miyota or other movements to keep costs down, but Haldor has managed to keep the costs down and include a top-grade ETA caliber, which is to be commended.
Bracelet, Additional Straps and Wearability
The Abissi comes on a brute of a bracelet. It’s 24mm wide and quite thick, and very heavy. It has solid, multi-faceted screwed links, and a burly flip-lock deployant buckle with security push-buttons on the side. I have to say that the bracelet is very well made, and the buckle is excellent. There are some downsides, though. The links are very tight fitting which made removing and installing them a bit tedious, though not really a big deal. The biggest issue, however, is the added weight from the bracelet, making this a bit of brick on the wrist.
The Abissi is a beast, no doubt, especially on the bracelet. I found the combo to be a little bit too big and heavy for my tastes and comfort on my 7.25-inch wrist. But I suspect that for those with bigger wrists and/or those who really like big replica watches with some palpable heft, the Abissi is a winner.
Advertisement Also included are a carbon fiber-patterned strap and a striped nylon mil-strap. The hardware is branded with the Haldor logo.
As I wrote above, the Haldor Abissi is a lot of replica watch for the money. Haldor’s goal of creating a high-spec dive replica watch for the lowest possible price was an ambitious undertaking, but in my opinion they hit the mark. You get a well-constructed, 1000m-rated diver with a sapphire crystal, a ceramic bezel, great lume and a top-grade ETA 2824 for less than $650, with a hefty bracelet and two extra straps to boot. Now, aesthetically, it’s obviously not for everyone. It really is a huge replica watch, and I for one found it to be too big and heavy to comfortably wear on a daily basis. That said, I prefer vintage replica watches and the sizes that go along with them, so this one isn’t really in my “wheel house,” so to speak. But For those who enjoy large replica watches (and I know there are a lot of you out there), this replica watch is a bargain for the price, and you won’t be disappointed.