(4 / 5)
In this review I will be taking a close look at a watch that a quick glance looks like a standard basic diver watch, but after closer inspection, it reveals many unique features that earns it a review here on my blog! Because of this premise, I will review this watch in a slightly different way than my other watches, so bear with me.
I present to you the Jack Mason Automatic Diver 42mm.
The watch comes in a nice little box, nothing over the top, but very good for this price range. It’s nicely packed in plastic, so it doesn’t get scratched during handling and transport.
The watch has a nice weight to it, which i really like, but it’s not too heavy. The crystal reflects a slight blue hue thanks to the AR coating, which is hard not to admire as you play with the watch in your hands.
You can’t help but looks for the smaller details that sets this watch apart from the myriad of look alike diver watches. And you keep finding more and more during the first 30 min, and some are so small only you and god knows they exist. This somehow tightens the bond you have with the watch.
A closer look
So as i said earlier, at first glance this watch looks like any basic Submariner look-alike (not the actual one). But that is far from the case, and you can almost feel that Jack Mason tried to steer away from this by taking inspiration from other divers like the Omega Seamaster and mixing it with unique details.
Why could some mistake it for a basic diver watch? Because it has the following attributes:
- A stainless steel bracelet and case
- A count-down rotating bezel with lume dot at the 12 o’clock
- A black dial with applied lume indices that creates a strong contrast and easy readability
- A large screw down crown
- Large hands with lume
So why should you buy this watch?
The bezel feature a ceramic inlay with a unique 15 min count-down marker that doesn’t have any numbers on it and a straight line holding together the markers. The markers are very crisp and are cut out from the ceramic and painted at the bottom, which is the best way to do it.
The 12 o’clock lume dot is beneath the surface of the ceramic inlay, filling a cut-out from the ceramic to ensure there is a thick layer of paint while having the bezel remain completely flat. Unfortunately, the other markers in the bezel do not have BWG9 lume, but that is not necessary for dive watches.
I also like how they polished the top of the bezel teeth, giving the bezel even more details that plays with the light. And let’s not forget how those big teeth makes it super easy to turn the bezel! This is the the nicest bezel action i have seen in this price range!
The dial has a shiny, polished black surface that plays very well with the light, like on some Omega Planet Oceans. The applied markers looks great and plays identically well with the light, as they should, and offers a great contrast to the dial. All of those things are basic for a diver, but the 12 o’clock marker stands out! Like the Omega Seamaster, it has 2 lines, but these turn into 2 arrow tips that meet at the middle of the dial! A very nice a unique detail!
The hands also draw inspiration from Omega divers and Tudor, but remains unique and original.
The hour and minute hands are large baton skeletonized (like the Omega Seamaster, but shorter) hands, with the hour hand featuring big round lollipop circle, just before the tip of the hand. This reminds me of the snowflake hand on Tudor’s watches but remains its own.
The seconds hand is a nice slim lollipop hand with the circle in red and a nice and understated detail at the tail (near the center). The colours of the texas flag are displayed at the tail, and I actually had to google the Texas flag to be sure it wasn’t a french callback. I really like this detail and it’s one of those things only you know is on the watch.
Most divers has crown guards, but Jack Mason chose to ignore this feature completely. Instead, the crown is screwed directly into the case, avoiding anything getting stuck in the crown and damaging it. The missing crown guards slims down the silhouette of the watch, and actually makes it a little more dressed up. The crown itself is very practical and features a very good grip and the Texas star where a logo usually sits.
The steel bracelet
You would expect an oyster bracelet on a basic diver, so Jack Mason chose a different one. With smaller links, this bracelet hugs the wrist in a much more comfortable way, like the Omega bracelet does. The end of the links are also angled, like on Breitling bracelets, but in a different way and with a more rounded profile. This works pretty well for this watch, because it’s silhouette is rounder thanks to the lack of crown guards.
The clasp has solid metal clasp mechanism, instead of the cheaper stamped metal ones. This should be standard for this price range, but it’s still nice to mention, especially since their website doesn’t show it!
The lume on the Jack Mason Diver is just perfect. I am a huge fan of the BWG9 lume, and even though they don’t say it on their website, i can reckognize it immediately! They should really put it up on their product page, because it could push the fans of this lume to buy this watch.
The BWG9 lume is 95% of the Superluminova C1’s brightness, and last almost as long. But the big difference is how easy it is to see under low light condition (not dark conditions), like in the shadow of your cuff when inside. It transitions much better than the C1 and i personally prefer the blue light.
What I think could be better
The watch case
The case is well bushed and well made, but I really enjoy when brands plays around polished and brushed finishes and this case does not. At least a beveled edge on the line connecting the lugs to the case would have been nice.
The bracelet could also have some polished elements, but I can’t really come up with a specific example. Perhaps I am just becoming a watch snob, because it is very comfortable 🙂 The endlink on this watch also seems to not fit the case as well as other watches in this price range.
This watch is powered by a Miyota cal. 821A automatic movement with a 3 o’clock date. It’s based on the 8215 but with a finer finish and a barrel bridge and a cutout rotor. It features 42 hours of power reserve and loses around 15 seconds a day on my wrist, which is less than specified by Miyota.
Miyota produces very sturdy and reliable movements, but I still wouldn’t go crazy with this watch on the wrist.
I think the price is ok
You get a good watch for the money, and it features the same elements as many other micro brand divers in this price range. Everything is well aligned, the bezel has a great click action, everything is as it should be. The case could have been a little more decorated with polished edges, but I think it’s more of a design decision than to save money.
You can compare this with a french pilot watch that I reviewed, which costs 100 USD more.
Jack Mason offers an understated, but original and unique diver watch that looks and feels great on the wrist. They didn’t try to go overboard with some crazy, unique design option, and therein lies its value. Most people won’t notice these small details that makes the watch one of a kind, but you do every time you look at the dial and this creates a stronger bond with the watch.
I recommend this watch for people who wants to start their collection of automatic watches with something unique and fun, but not too risky. If you like unique thing, but not because they are over the top colorful and flashy, but simply because you know no one else has it, then this watch is for you!
You can buy the watch here, or check out their other models.