Diver Bill by The 220 Watch Company
Why is the watch called Diver Bill
On the grave stone of William Walker it reads:
William Walker M.V.O
The diver who with his own hands saved Winchester Cathedral
William Walker was known as ‘Diver Bill’. The undertaking he took in saving the Winchester Cathedral is nothing less than extraordinary given the technology of the the day. A scuba diver myself, I’m in ore at the challenged he faced. Winchester Cathedral was built on peaty soil and the trenches filled with water because of the high underlying water table. Bill’s undertaking was to enter these dark and dangerous peas soup like trenches and rebuild the foundations by touch alone. Eventually Bill supported the cathedral foundations up with 900,000 bricks, 114,900 concrete blocks and 25,800 bags of cement.
Inspiration Behind Driver Bill
The Idea behind the Diver Bill watch came to Jared shortly after the launch of the original William Walker Watch. A watch modelled after Bill’s helmet and made from copper and brass. I will be doing a review on the latests models in this range in the near future.
Once again Jared took inspiration from the helmet worn by Diver Bill and the Rolex submariners of the 1970’s. And by default or design this watch is a sort of a homage to the Oris Carl Brashear which is based on their Oris diver sixty five range. Although, the Diver Bill will come at 15% of the price of the Carl Brashear that is now sold out and became highly sort after.
The Diver Bill has a rich glossy enamel black dial which has applied gold coloured indices filled with C5 superluminova. And the dial has an applied gold company logo below 12 o’clock. Above 6 o’clock is the and printed model name Diver Bill in red and depth rating of 1000ft / 300m in white. A half train track minute marker ring around the outside of the dial. The sword hands are also gold coloured and filled with superluminova. At the 6 o’clock list the date window for the black date wheel. Due to the date wheel being black its difficult to see the date in low light conditions. However, during the day there is no such problems on this highly legible dial.
Underneath that glossy enamel dial lies a Swiss made STP calibre 3-13. The decorated movement has 26 jewels, blued screws, perlaged bridges and a blued swan neck regulator. Based upon the ETA 2824-2 movement the STP 3-13 uses a larger, thinner mainspring to offer a power reserve of 44 hours. The compilation also offers date, hacking seconds, hand winding and quick set date. The movement is a workhorse movement that will last a lifetime if properly cared for. As it is based on the ETA 2824-2 movement, servicing in the future will not be a problem as this is a common movement.
The case is simple stunning for a watch in this price range. A clean cut 40 mm bronze cast case and its low profile 11.1mm is the type of watch I personally love. One of the first thing that drew me to the Diver Bill was the 3D bezel. The three layered bezel comprises sunken minute markers, the main and the raised 5 minute makers offer a great contrast.
Bronze watches, for me are a thing of beauty and the Diver Bill is no different. There is a lumed pip on the bezel at 12 o’clock. The watch has solid crown guards and a custom engraved crown. Over time the patina on this watch will be beautiful and unique given this textured layout and will be a joy to watch develop and rest. To finish the case off there is two sapphire crystals. The sapphire on the front dances in the the light offering a great view of the beautiful enamel dial. On the open case back the sapphire gives the view of the movement. There is also an inscription on the back casing that reads ‘The man who saved Winchester Cathedral’ along with the company name and unique serial number.
During the development of the Diver Bill watch it was robustly test by Jared. He found that the original design architecture for the bezel was incorrect during a 3 day diving trip. This led to a complete redesign of the bezel architecture ensuring that the watch works and operates as it should under conditions it was made for. This commitment to getting the design right really shows in the final prototype as the build quality is excellent.
- STP calibre 3-13 Bi-Directional Automatic Movement
- 44 Hours Power Reserve
- 28,000 vph
- Quick Date Correction
- MATERIAL : Bronze
- DIAMETER (mm) : 40
- LUG – LUG : 47mm
- THICKNESS (mm) : 11.1
- SHAPE : Round
- COLOUR : Bronze
- BEZEL : Unidirectional Bronze
- DIAL COLOUR : Black
- Material: Enamel
TYPE : Bracelet
COLOUR : Bronze Coated Stainless Steel
BUCKLE : Sliding Adjustment Clasp with Secure Buckle
WIDTH (mm) : 20
TYPE : Rubber
COLOUR : Black
BUCKLE : Bronze Buckle
WIDTH (mm) : 20
WATER RESISTANCE : 30 ATM/ 300M
WATCH WEIGHT (g) : 120 / 200 with bracelet
WARRANTY : 1 Years International
Free Travel Watch Case
The Driver Bill will be shipped with it’s very on travel watch case. The watch case is excellent quality and has the ability to hold an additional watch. This is just a little extra that top off the watch.
- Price is excellent for the quality of the watch.
- Diver styled with an excellent 3D bezel
- The bracelet and strap are both excellent, which is going to be a choice when the Kickstarter goes live.
- Customisable options on the rota to make your watch more unique.
- The free watch travel case is excellent quality.
- I think a 42mm case would have been the sweet spot. Although I’m buying this watch so the size is clearly not that much of a problem.
- Unable to make out the date in low light conditions.
- The logo is a bone of contention with some who’ve commented on social media.
Would I buy this watch? Well the answer is simple. Yes, I would and I am. The Diver Bill does something for me as I love heritage timepieces. That and the inspiration behind the range speaks to me as a scuba diver. Despite the watch being 40mm I absolutely loved wearing it. It was a difficult watch to send back. I’m looking forward to receiving the one I’ve ordered as it will get plenty of wrist time despite my large collection.
My only problems now is whether to pick option 1 or option 2 which offers strap / bracelet or both. Personally I loved it on the bracelet but that’s just me. However, I’m going to jump at Option 2 as they are both very comfortable on the wrist and look great with the watch. After the campaign an additional customisation will be offered in the form of a customisable rota which comes in two versions. The watches will be offered with the option of a custom rotor wheel. A black rotor wheel with a gold dive helmet, and gold writing.
If you’d like to purchase this watch it’s going live on Kickstarter on the 10th July and will be discounted for the first 72 hours.The campaign will have options to choose from the start.
- Bracelet or vulcanized rubber strap with signed bronze buckle. Initially priced at £359 for early bird discount raising to £375 thereafter.
- Both bracelet and vulcanized rubber strap with signed bronze buckle. Initially priced at £374 for early bird discount raising to £395 thereafter.
After the campaign you’ll be campaign you’ll be contacted at the assembly stage to select your custom rotor wheel.
Expected delivery is late November early December 2020.
Click on the Kickstarter logo below and away to the watch you go!
If you like this review join us on our Facebook Group!