When it comes to watches, no two people have the same preference. Some like timepieces that are made of gold, embedded with diamonds, and elegant timeless designs. Others prefer super-tough outdoor watches that can brave the elements and toughest conditions. Some people prefer their watches to have bold designs, bright colors, and oversized faces. If you belong to the last group, this Oceanaut watches review is for you.
Oceanaut is a fairly obscure brand from California. I’ve always enjoyed discovering new manufacturers and microbrand watches, especially when they offer something interesting to the table. Oceanaut watches offer timepieces with unique designs, good build quality, and relatively affordable pricing.
If you’re looking to expand your collection without resorting to big brands, this Oceanaut watches review should be worth your time.
Looking into the history of Oceanaut watches, I must admit that I didn’t find anything substantial about the company. I’ve looked into the company’s official website and also didn’t find good information about how the Oceanaut brand came into fruition. I did find out that Oceanaut is based in Los Angeles, California. Again, nothing much to go on from here.
Also, the Contact page offers very barebones information as well. The company even uses a Gmail account for its official email – it’s not giving me a vote of confidence, not gonna lie. The phone number is also available from the Contact page. They do have social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram).
According to the Oceanaut Our Story page, the company makes watches that evoke a lifestyle of luxury and fashion. They specialize in making watches with classic designs but with great details like textured dials, bold colors, oversized faces, and many others. Oceanaut claims that they use high-quality Swiss & Japanese components and I’m not sure as to what extent is that true.
Unfortunately, there’s very little information about Oceanaut on the web. But hey, you came here because of watches, right?
Oceanaut Watches Review: Pros and Cons
Are Oceanaut watches worth your time and money investment? Although Oceanaut is a fairly unknown brand, I did my best to give it a fair shake and here are the things that I love and don’t love about Oceanaut watches.
What We Love
Good Overall Build Quality
Majority of Oceanaut watches I’ve seen come with stainless steel construction. Some models have ceramic materials but most of the models are made of stainless steel. At this price point, it’s hard to complain about the stainless steel construction. Plus, I think Oceanaut did a good job with the construction so most of the watches I’ve worn feel solid and tight.
As for the dial crystal, it seems that Oceanaut has an affinity towards mineral glass. It’s not a bad choice at all as it provides good protection and scratch resistance. However, I wish they used sapphire glass but I guess that would shoot up the price quite a bit. Water resistance is also good with Oceanaut watches, especially the Submersion line which is a dive watch collection. I was half-expecting the watches to feel “budget-friendly” and I was pleasantly surprised.
Oceanaut watches are all about being bold, loud, and colorful – fans of minimalist designs can look elsewhere. Many of Oceanaut watches have oversized cases and sporting bright colors. Take for example the Oceanaut OC3324 Baltica with a full yellow bezel and dial except for the indices and hands. The Baltica is big, bold, and certainly loud.
Obviously, the big and loud design philosophy is not for everyone. However, in my opinion, Oceanaut’s design is quite well done. What I like is that Oceanaut goes all-in with its colorful designs because the colors are not just limited to the bezel or the strap.
There’s some variety in the model designs as well but it’s nothing too crazy or innovative.
Amazing Selection of Watches
You can criticize Oceanaut watches all you want but you can’t ever accuse them of not offering enough options.
Oceanaut has an impressive lineup of watches across all types. They offer dive watches in the form of the Submersion line. The Actuator collection is a great looking pilot/field watch. In addition, the Magnete collection is comprised of highly stylish semi-formal timepieces.
This is one of the best things about Oceanaut – the sheer variety of watches that they offer.
Good Price Point
While Oceanaut watches do have good designs and build, I hesitate to call them luxury timepieces. However, this means that Oceanaut watches are offered at a good price point. I’ve been looking around and not a single model is sold for more than a thousand dollars.
Conversely, except for a few entry-level watches, Oceanaut pieces aren’t exactly cheap and are priced in the hundreds. You can even find some watches that are priced below $50. Although the price point is a boon for Oceanaut, it also proves to be a drawback (more on that later).
What We Don’t Love
While I do like most of Oceanaut’s watch designs, I have to say that many of them don’t inspire innovation and originality. Maybe it’s just me but many watches by Oceanaut remind me of other watch models from other brands.
For example, the Oceanaut Aqua One collection reminds me of some Victorinox watches. Another example is the Oceanaut Actuator line which closely resembles some pilot watches from Seiko.
But don’t get me wrong, many Oceanaut watches look unique and interesting. At the top of my head, the Lexington and Sentinel are two of my top favorites. I just wish that Oceanaut were more consistent with their designs and not derivative.
Competitive Price Point
As mentioned earlier, Oceanaut watches are fairly affordable but I’m not sure if the value proposition is that good – at least when compared to other brands in a similar price range.
To clarify, Oceanaut’s prices seem to compete with Seiko watches, especially with the mid-range models. I don’t know about you but I think most people will most likely go for Seiko watches just because of its long-standing reputation. Plus, Oceanaut pieces don’t come across as very collectible for me. Sure, you can get a watch that you can wear daily and it will serve you well throughout the years. However, as far as collecting goes, the relative obscurity of the brand stops it from being a desirable option for collectors.
Best Oceanaut Watches
1. Oceanaut OC0114 Aviador
The Oceanaut OC0114 Aviador is not exactly mindblowing. In fact, it’s one of the more derivative watch designs by Oceanaut. However, the Aviador is a good example of an aviation-inspired watch done right.
The Aviador line benefits from Oceanaut’s excellent build quality and attention to detail. Despite having a busy dial, everything in the dial is legible and easy to read. Even the subdials boast good layout for the best legibility. There’s also a date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock but it’s a bit too tiny for my taste.
Additionally, the Oceanaut OC0114 Aviador feels a solid and durable watch. The pure stainless steel construction feels appropriately weighty but not too heavy that it becomes uncomfortable. It doesn’t hurt that the watch looks good on the wrist as well. Depending on your color of choice, the dial really stands out but in a good way.
Overall, the Oceanaut OC0114 Aviador is one of the best models that Oceanaut has to offer.
2. Oceanaut OC3320 Baltica
Next, we have the Oceanaut OC3320 Baltica which is a sports watch model from the L.A.-based manufacturer. I’m a bit of a sucker for black-dialed watches, so the Oceanaut OC3320 Baltica caught my attention immediately.
Consistent with Oceanaut’s design philosophy of being big and bold, the Baltica’s oversized dial is simply eye-catching. The size of the dial gives the Baltica an excellent wrist presence and great legibility. I love the thick hands of the watch but they can sometimes obscure the subdials. Also, the 3, 6, 9, and 12 numerals are stylish which gives the watch an interesting look.
Again, the stainless steel construction of the Baltica comes through and it helps the watch to feel solid and secure. It features a water-resistance rating of 330 feet which is fairly decent for this type of watch.
3. Oceanaut OC6115 Biarritz
Lastly, we have the Oceanaut OC6115 Biarritz for you, which is my favorite fashion piece from Oceanaut’s stable.
The Biarritz is notable for having crazy colorful dials and I have to say that it works great. Particularly, I am a fan of the Oceanaut OC6115 Biarritz which sports a cherry red dial with a black case and bracelet. This black-red combination gives the watch a handsome masculine look.
This is the type of watch that you can wear daily or to semi-formal events. Again, this is a fairly large watch at 44mm. If you have a small wrist, the Biarritz might be too small for you. Personally, the Oceanaut OC6115 Biarritz’s size is just right although it does have a bit of heft to it.
Also, the black stainless steel bracelet feels comfortable and solid. In terms of comfort, the Biarritz doesn’t disappoint. Finally, it’s a sports chronograph priced at below $500, so it’s hard to complain at this price point.
Oceanaut Watches Review: Are They Any Good?
As per usual, we wrap up this Oceanaut watches review with our verdict.
Are Oceanaut watches worth checking out? I have to answer with a cautious YES! There are many elements of watchmaking that Oceanaut got right. The first thing that comes to mind is the design. The bold, big, and colorful design philosophy can be hard to pull off but Oceanaut did it. I also like the fact that there are so many options to choose from.
On the other, there’s really nothing too mindblowing about this brand. Many of its designs are derivative and some elements are fairly mediocre.
Ultimately, Oceanaut watches are worth checking out if you love big and colorful timepieces.