Replica Halios Delfin PVD Review
Halios replica watches probably needs little introduction on worn&wound. Over the last few years, the Vancouver based dive replica watch brand has earned a reputation for making great, unique replica watches. We previously reviewed two versions of their Tropik replica watches, one in bronze and the other in steel, both of which earned high regards from us. Stylish, restrained, well built, well priced… they were hard not to like.
Last October, Jason, the founder of Halios, brought his wares down from Canada to show at our Wind-Up: NYC event. He had on display samples of all of his replica watches, from the coveted 1000M Puck to his newest at the time and the topic of this review, the Delfin. It was love at first sight. I’m not sure how many times I went over to his booth and quietly picked it up to ogle and try on, but hopefully I didn’t annoy him too much. Needless to day, I knew I had to review it.
Fast forward a few months and here we are with the Delfin PVD, the follow up to the initial stainless model. Sporting a sophisticated design that pulls from vintage, but feels contemporary the Delfin is a unique and highly attractive 500m dive replica watch. Coming in at $690 or $715 shipped to the US, this Miyota 9015 powered boutique diver is surely one you’re going to want to know more about.
The case of the Halios Delfin is where the subtle, but intriguing design begins. At a glance, it has a classic dive replica watch appearance. There is a bezel, lugs, crown guards, etc… Rotating the replica watch around a bit, however, and the elegant and ingenious lines are revealed. The central case is not a cylinder, but rather has a bowl shape, giving the sides a continuous flow that starts at the back, and sweeps up, then curves around the edge of the bezel, across the domed ceramic insert and then across the sapphire crystal. It’s simply a gorgeous design with lines that should make luxury replica watches jealous.
In terms of size, the Delfin is a medium/large, but comes across and wears a bit smaller due to the curves, PVD coating and good proportions. The case measures 43.5 x 49 x 15mm, making it a touch wide and tall, but short lug-to-lug (perhaps the most important measure of size practically speaking). The height is then mitigated by the bowl shape. Either way, it doesn’t look oversized at all… it’s a replica watch that feels exactly as it should be.
Back to the bezel, it features a 120-click uni-direction mechanism. It feels great, with little to no back play, a satisfying click and it lands on target. The rounded edge of the bezel features simple teeth, which add more than enough grip for use bare handed. A nice perk to the Delfin is that it features a curved, lumed ceramic bezel insert. It’s an impressive feature that adds to the Delfin’s value.
On the right side you have a large screw-down crown with guards on either side. With the replica watch as a whole, there is a slight vintage air to the design, but with a thoroughly modern build and attitude. The crown guards add to the modern tool diver side of the Delfin. It might have looked cool without them, but I think they were the right choice. The crown itself measures 7.5 x 4.5mm and has narrow grooves all around to aid grip. On the outside surface, you’ll find Halios’ three moon logo, which is an attractive alternative to using an “H” or something more typical.
Flipping the replica watch over, you have a solid case back. With a 500m diver, it’s no surprise, and the appropriate choice, over a display. The caseback itself is very simple, with only a minimal amount of etching. There are various details about the replica watch, and then in the center a small icon of sorts with the text “Halios Delfin Undersea” etched around it.
The dial of the Delfin is simple and clean, but mixes texture and depth to create something very attractive and unique. The first thing one notices about the dial, is that there is a central area in a very dark gray, which is encircled by a black ring. This gives the dial a slight two-tone look (they gray is very dark) which starts the semi-vintage flavor. The two areas are also finished differently, with the gray being an even matte surface, and the black having a light radial brushing, giving it a bit of sheen. The way the two interact is very attractive in the light, but not distracting. It’s a smart way to take the dial and dress it up a bit, without defaulting to a sun-ray, finish or a garish color.
The primary index consists of applied markers that sit on the brushed black circle. The markers are rectangles at 12, 3, 6 and 9, and triangles that point towards the center of the dial for the rest. Rather than having your typical polished steel surrounds, these are semi-gloss black, and then filled with BGW9 lume. This gives them the added depth and presence of applied markers, but a sleeker overall appearance. At 12, the rectangles double up, giving you a clear indication of the replica watches’ orientation. I love how the markers here make total sense on a dive replica watch, are familiar, yet give the Delfin a unique look. It’s very much its own design, a rarity in dive replica watches.
Stepping out, there is an angled chapter ring in matte black with a minute/seconds index. The index features numerals every 10 units, starting at 60, alternating with simple dark red marks. The individual minute/seconds are then white lines. This index adds some additional legibility to the dial for at a glance reading. The use of red here is brilliant. It’s very subtle, in fact almost unnoticeable in low light, but the tiny bit of color it adds to the dial brings some additional personality.
One more level out, and you have the bezel which extends the dial to the case. The bezel insert has a certain vintage feel that is very appealing. This comes from the use of a full index, rather than one with an emphasis on the first 15 minutes, as well as a thin, wide typeface. The black ceramic provides a deep, glossy surface for the numerals that, like the chapter ring, are at intervals of 10, alternating with rectangles, all with small white lines in between. It’s attractive and easy to read, making it the default minute/second index when not turned. This leads me to my only real criticism here, which is that the chapter ring and bezel feel a bit redundant. In this instance, the chapter ring could have featured hour numerals instead.
Within the inner gray circle you’ll find the Halios logo below twelve, and “Delfin 500M” above 6. Both are sized appropriately and in clean, modern typefaces. At 3 is a date window featuring white text on a black surface. It’s discreet, though I don’t love that it cuts through the circle. Far from a deal breaker, and I don’t think there was any way around it, but worth noting.
The handset on the Delfin is very cool, and a bit atypical. The hour and minute hands are simple tapering points, almost alpha style, with a slight bend down their centers. They are both in matte metal, giving them an interesting light gray tone, and filled with BGW9 lume. Their shape works well with the dial, playing off of the triangular markers, and their color does a good job of standing out against the dark surfaces below. The seconds hand is also matte steel with a stick design that ends in a bright red, lume filled triangle. Like the red on the chapter ring, the touch here adds a nice counterpoint to the blacks and grays.
The lume on the Delfin is very good. It’s BGW9, as stated before, which is white in daylight, and icey blue in the dark. It’s very well applied through out, including in the ceramic bezel. When glowing, the replica watch takes on a cool and aggressive alter ego.
Straps and Wearability
The Delfin features 22mm lugs, which suits its diameter well. To test the replica watch, Halios sent me a couple of straps to try. The first one I tested was a teal nylon 2-piece, that’s built like a rugged leather strap. It’s a great looking strap with solid construction. The nylon is wrapped around a firm foam, giving it shape and strength, and is then backed with thin black leather. On the replica watch, the teal looked great against the PVD case adding an almost tactical quality, giving the replica watch a more modern feel.
The other strap was a handmade distressed leather. This one is thick straight cut leather with raw edges, hand tacking by the lugs and buckle. It’s a fold over design, so the same leather that is on the top is against the wrist. It’s a great looking strap. The leather has variations in color through out that look like scars on the surface, for a very rugged, worn in look. This brings out some of the more vintage, rugged elements of the Delfin design. The medium/dark brown of the strap also looks great against the PVD case. Naturally, the Delfin would also take to rubber.
On the wrist, the Delfin wears very well. The 43.5 x 49mm size makes a lot of sense when strapped to your wrist. It’s big enough to be sporty and bold, but short enough lug-to-lug to fit right. While I tend towards smaller replica watches, I wouldn’t want the Delfin to be reduced. The proportions are so spot on that I think any change could ruin it. Making it smaller could make it too compact and dense, and make the height feel bigger. As is, there isn’t a sense of wasted space in the replica watch, which I often feel on large divers or pilots. Speaking of height, the bowl shape makes the replica watch sit in your wrist more than a cylinder would, making it wear lower. Additionally, the flowing lines of the case subdue the height visually.
Aesthetically, the Delfin looks great. It reads as a sport replica watch, but one with a lot of style. It’s at once serious and playful, looking like a capable dive replica watch but with moments of fun in the triangular markers and dashes of red. It’s also aggressive yet approachable, with strong shapes, layers of black, but smooth lines for a vintage twist. It’s obviously great as a sport or everyday replica watch, trending more towards rugged, outdoorsy clothing.
The Halios Delfin is another winner from the young brand. It’s well designed, well built and finished, unique, a pleasure to wear and offers a good value. At $715 shipped ($690 before), it’s very fairly priced for a 500m dive replica watch with no stock parts, a ceramic bezel, and tolerances that should make the Swiss check their standards. I know people like to kvetch about any Miyota 9015 replica watch that costs more than $500, but the reality is, there is a lot more to a replica watch than the movement, and paying for quality and unique design is worth it in my book.
As of writing this article, the PVD Delfin is the only model still available, with the stainless model having been retired. That leads me to believe the PVD’s days are numbered too, so don’t wait too long if this one piques your interest. I have to say, it’s honestly a bit of a shame to retire such a gorgeous replica watch. Sure, it makes the ones out there more special, but so few brands offer what the Delfin holds, that I’d like to know more were around.