Hands on with the Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo

Hands on with the Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo

George Redgrave





Human exploration and time have always been linked and measured together, from a Speedmaster on the Moon to an Explorer at the top of Everest. This connection is as old as wristwatches; however, the journey Escudo has taken us on is very different because with them, we travel back to the 15th century and the golden age of maritime explorers. Presenting the beautiful Escudo Seacrest.

Six hundred years ago two countries dominated ocean exploration, Portugal and Britain. With crews using only the most primitive navigational tools, their ships crossed unknown seas in search of strange new worlds. In the words of Escudo themselves, "these extraordinary trailblazers contributed to humanity's insatiable quest for knowledge," and what better way to pay homage to this than with a specialist dive watch?

Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

To celebrate these incredible human achievements, Escudo has developed the Ocean Seacrest. At WatchGecko we love the story behind a watch and the astonishing history behind the Ocean Seacrest is inspirational.

For this test, we were presented with two beautiful watches. The Chocolate Bronze and the Silver Inox. These are, to all intents and purposes, the same watch however, we're going to look at each one individually because the presentation and the way each watch wears is very different. This feature is going to focus on the Chocolate Bronze.

Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

Unboxing the Ocean Seacrest feels like opening a box containing an antique piece of navigational equipment that has been packaged up for your voyage. Under the padded top lid decorated with a diver, we find all the contents in a rich chocolate brown and beige design (this is one of the best colour-coordinated boxes we've ever seen). The watch is located on the far left and on the right, we find a matching tropical vintage style rubber strap, a colour-coordinated strap changing tool, a cleaning cloth and various faux wax seals, which make the product feel high-end and much older than it is. We appreciate nowadays, there is a trend for boxes to be environmentally friendly, and we are sure the bulk of this one is, however, when you open a watch that is beautifully presented it is still a lovely thing, and it makes you realise how much this is part of the buying process.

Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

Hands-on with the watch and it feels even more like an instrument to guide you North, South, East or West. Each one of the cardinal points has a stylised arrowhead indice and the second hand has a mid-length pointer which fits neatly into the base of each hour marker. The design aesthetics are exceptional, and you can see that a lot of work has gone into it. Is there a hint of Tudor Black Bay? Maybe it could be the colours and the unprotected crown, or is it parallel evolution?

The colour palette is dominated by rust-coloured brown and bronze and polished gold on the hands and indices. It is worth talking about bronze because this material is front and centre.

Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

Whilst the case is stainless steel, which is practical for a dive watch, the bezel is solid bronze with an insert, and the crown is bronze. At WatchGecko we are very passionate about the ownership experience of watches, and including bronze on the Ocean Seacrest enhances that process. Bronze is still very in vogue for watches. Its appearance is hugely attractive, but the wearing experience separates it from other metals. The more you touch bronze, the more it had contact with the oils and salt on your skin, and the more it changes colour and patinas with age.

You would expect us to write these words about a leather strap so the same characteristics in metal will make the journey with the watch more special. Also, bronze was used for equipment long before we had access to more durable metals such as steel, so it seems only fitting that key elements of this watch are in this material when it is channelling the spirit of human explorers.

Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

The Escudo logo appears in many facets of the watch. It is a large cross, sometimes surrounded by a shield representing the enormous crest that would have flown on the sails of Portuguese ships. It is particularly noticeable on the screw-down case back, where it is deeply engraved into the steel. Its most impressive appearance is a secret within the sapphire crystal. When the lens comes into contact with condensation, the brand cross emerges within the glass and slowly disappears. It's a clever design touch. 

The Escudo Seacrest has a versatile case size of 39mm, which is constructed from 316L stainless steel with both polished and brushed elements. It is in every way a functional dive watch. The case sides are highly polished. The lugs have bevelled edges and are brushed in the top proportion above and below the dial. The case features drilled lugs for quick and easy strap changes if your strap does not have quick-release spring bars.

Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

The dial is multifaceted and, whilst not multi-layered, has a real 3D feel. This is principally because the indices are raised and sport two very distinct designs. Arrows at the cardinal points contribute to the navigational equipment feel and we find round dots on alternate markers. Each point is deep-filled with Super Luminova and surrounded by rose gold which presents a high-end look.

The screw-down crown is solid bronze with a black enamelled Escudo cross and is triple-sealed to ensure 200m water resistance. The unidirectional rotating bronze bezel with a chocolate brown aluminium insert follows the bronze crown. The whole look gives the watch a natural warmth and vintage feel. The bezel has raised markers at the 5-minute positions, which alternate from stick to circular, the later containing minute numerals. These markers are bronze outlined and contain a patina grade A 7750 Super-LumiNova. Escudo are proud of their heritage and have included a triangle marker at 12 o'clock, filled with green and red to signify the Portuguese flag.

Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

The beating heart of the Seacrest is the Swiss-made Escudo Calibre 1488 - base Sellita SW200-1 no date. The SW200-1 has a power reserve of 38 hours with hacking and hand-winding capability. Given the intention to deliver a high-end product it is no surprise that the Sellita has been used, especially as ETA is no longer available. Other more cost-effective automatic movements do exist, but we get the impression that it was essential to Escudo that all elements of the watch are seen to be of the highest quality, even those you can't see.

The strap feels thick and luxurious. It is layered genuine leather hand-stitched Italian Vachetta. On the Chocolate Brown model, the strap is in brown with a white stitch. Securing the watch is a brushed steel buckle once again displaying the Escudo logo laser engraved into the metal.

Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze EscudoOcean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze Escudo - Credit WatchGecko

Although there is no single definition for what Vachetta means, it is widely accepted within the watch industry to be a full grain vegetable tanned leather, which is synonymous with a particularly high fat content. This creates a soft and supple feel and allows the leather to shape quickly, almost as soon as you strap on the watch. The upshot of this to a user is that the strap hugs your wrist immediately and is extremely comfortable.

In keeping with the superior presentation, each Escudo comes with a tropical rubber strap, which is probably FKM and the spring bar tool. If you want to go for a completely different look, other leather straps are available on the website as well as a series of military nylon straps carefully designed to match a wide variety of the dial and bezel finishes.

According to the latest catalogue, the watch is available in six different finishes, with each one being technically identical, and we will look at these in the follow-up feature, which focuses on the Silver Inox.

Escudo Chocolate Bronze Tech Specs

  • Case – 39mm
  • Movement – Escudo Calibre 1488 (Sellita SW200-1)
  • Dial – Multi options – this variant in chocolate
  • Hands – Gold lined with Super Luminova
  • Crown – Screw in Bronze
  • Lens - Sapphire crystal with brand Cross "hologram"
  • Case and bezel material – Steel & Bronze
  • Strap – Genuine leather hand-stitched Italian Vachetta
  • Water resistance – 200M
  • Price - £1650

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George Redgrave

About the Author: George Redgrave

About the Author: George Redgrave

I have been interested in watches since I was a teenager. There is something so simple about telling the time and these little machines make it so much fun. It is exciting to know I am just getting started on my journey.

More Articles by George Redgrave