ZULUDIVER Octopod System and Typhoon Sailcloth User Review

6 min read
Don Russell


How To's Reviews

Don Russell


How To's Reviews

A few months ago, while filming an episode of 'Expedition Unknown' off the Cornish coast looking for the lost treasure of the infamous pirate Henry Avery, I used ZULUDIVER OctoPod and Typhoon Sailcloth straps extensively.

Those articles are no doubt buried in the WatchGecko magazine archives, never to be seen again (Ed comment: Not buried, here's a link). Moving on to the present day, Richard, the Editor-in-Chief, and I were having a working coffee when he took the opportunity to remind me that at the end of the aforementioned articles it stated that I would do a follow-up in a few months time to see if my thoughts were still the same.

I assumed, quite wrongly as it's turned out, that Richard just put my ramblings into the magazine without actually reading them; nevertheless, I'll make good on the promise. Let's get started with the OctoPod!

OctoPod. Yes! I'm still convinced.

I've kept the OctoPod on my Seiko Limited Edition 'Golden Tuna'. Ref: S23626J1 since filming. It's on the plain black OctoPod strap and the black OctoPod clasp which compliments the watch perfectly. The strap, although being immersed  in sea water on many occasions, has not lost either its shape or its elasticity, neither has it required any further adjustment from the day I fitted it.

Seiko on ZULUDIVER Octopod

Seiko Golden Tuna on the ZD Octopod - Credit WatchGecko

'Tuna' is a lump of a watch to keep in place, but the OctoPod makes light work of it. Even when I'm out on the tops running, it remains steadfast. Comfort wise, the OctoPod system doesn't rub or tug the hairs from your wrist, neither does it make you sweat. The clasp itself is a joy to operate and sits exactly where you've put it. During all this time the black coating has remained scratch free and the twin-button clasp has never released on its own, but even if it had, the OctoPod strap would retract and stop it falling off my wrist! I also have a self-colour OctoPod clasp that offers the same level of stability and security to my HELM Vanuatu. As the strap fits through both spring-bars, should I ever be unfortunate enough to 'pop' one, the watch will just swing about on the other, rather than end up on the floor or indeed, the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Both clasps, as well as the straps (obviously) have seen a good deal of use and abuse, but nevertheless, they're as good now as when I fitted them quite a few months back.

Octopod clasp - Credit WatchGecko

I look after all my gear to the point of obsession, as my life often depends on it. When they've been out they go into the sink with some warm, soapy water and are cleaned with a toothbrush while still fitted to the watch, they're then rinsed in cold water before being thoroughly dried with a cloth. Although I don't tend to bother myself, you can change the OctoPod strap in seconds for a different colour, and you can buy them all separately or as a package! I'm sure that Richard will put a link to the original article, so if you're having trouble getting off to sleep, dreams of treasure are only a click away. If you've stuck with it this far, the chances are that you don't have an OctoPod strap system, in fact, you're one of only nine people in the world that haven't had the time to get one! Don't worry, ZULUDIVER have it covered. Check it out!

Seriously, it's not often that something emerges that changes things significantly. The OctoPod falls into this category, there's no doubt about that, and once you have the clasp the strap options are almost endless!

The ZULUDIVER Sailcloth TYPHOON watch strap

If the OctoPod strap system is so good, why on Earth do I need a Sailcloth TYPHOON strap? To the sane people of this world there is no answer; however, to the completely unhinged watch community, of which I must admit to being a fully paid-up member, the answer is obvious! Because I do!

Marloe Sceptre on ZULUDIVER Octopod

Marloe Sceptre on a ZD Typhoon - Credit WatchGecko

The reality of the situation is that no matter how good something is, there will always be times when something else may be just that little bit more suitable. It may be nothing more simple than wanting a different look. I've dived in the TYPHOON and its variants in rough, shallow water and, as any diver will tell you, being pushed onto rocks that are covered in barnacles while searching for treasure in a swell, is no picnic.

The TYPHOON is waterproof, strong and hard-wearing; it's extremely flexible and is comfortable against the skin in everyday use. Diving in the OctoPod has many advantages, such as not having to adjust it to go over a wetsuit, and it retracting automatically when your wetsuit compresses at depth keeping your watch firmly in place; however, sometimes you just need your watch tight on your wrist so that nothing can get under it. I look on the TYPHOON as an important addition to my kit; at the moment I have a TYPHOON on my Certina DS Action 200m Powermatic 80 GMT.

NTH Devil Ray

NTH Devil Ray on the ZD Typhoon - Credit WatchGecko

The shape of the DS Action's case seems to favour being held in place a little more firmly; the TYPHOON does this extremely well while still remaining extremely comfortable, and it looks great too! Although it's not a diving watch I never think twice about going into water with it, and with the TYPHOON fitted, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. The strap dries almost instantly after exiting the water and doesn't rub, even with seawater. Indeed, those that have purchased straps from ZULUDIVER previously, know that the quality of all their stuff is up there with the very best. Some may wear their watch with a good quality leather strap for the majority of the time, but it would be very unwise to go swimming in it.

The TYPHOON excels in all things wet, while still looking good doing all things dry. You may just want to fit the TYPHOON for your holiday so that you don't need to worry, it's all about convenience. Certainly, the OctoPod system and the TYPHOON are excellent, and I'd struggle if they were suddenly taken away, but I suppose that I'd just go back to the ZULUDIVER 5-ring Zulu. It's all about having the best gear for the job in hand and if these two items suit your job, you won't be disappointed! However these few words may come over, they're certainly not meant to be a sales pitch! Updates like these not only provide information to the reader but also provide feedback to see if the product is performing as it should under real-world conditions. If memory serves, I think that I did an article on the TYPHOON as well, and that being the case, I'm sure that Richard will place a another link where you can get at it, should the urge get the better of you. Don't forget to set your alarm clock!

Helm Vanuatu

Screen capture of Helm Vanuatu on ZD Typhoon - Credit WatchGecko

A final word before you turn off the light

Reading the above you could be forgiven for thinking that these straps are only for extreme situations, but that's far from the reality of the situation. Some will assume that my life is full of adventure and yes, I do tend to keep myself busy on that front; however, much of my time is taken up in researching these projects, and even now, I'm sitting in the office typing this update.

At this particular time I'm wearing a TYPHOON, indeed, it's happy enough just sitting there taking it easy, but if the end of the world takes place while I'm having lunch, it'll cope with it. That's what I like most about the OctoPod and the TYPHOON, both are comfortable, capable and ultra-presentable, but when life's little adventures take you by surprise, they're one less thing to worry about.

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Don Russell

About the Author: Don Russell

The timepiece of an adventurer serves not only as a trusted companion, but also as a portal to their inner self. My interest in watches goes back more than half a century; my reliance and passion more than half of that time. My hope is that I may inspire others to use their timepiece on their own adventures so that they may share a passion that has enriched my own life and given me so much enjoyment.

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