Ancon watch company has been around for few years now, their famous Sea Shadow was a great success, picking up on this success they released Sea Shadow II late 2014.
I was always over the fence when it comes to the Sea Shadow ll, I like homages to vintage Rolex and I own few of them, but this one didn’t really talk to me, maybe because of the bigger case size, or maybe the steep price that placed it a bit higher than the Steinhart Ocean One line.
Anyways there was a promotion, so I jumped on it on a 40% discount without hesitation.
Sea Shadow II has 2 models mainly, the first is a homage to Rolex 6538 submariner, and the second is a homage to the 5513 or the famous 369 Submariner; I picked the later as at that time I didn’t have a proper 369 homage.
The watch came in a very nice presentation box; my first impressions were good, the watch has a nice heft, and screams quality!
The watch came on a vintage style leather strap, I consider this one of its weak points, I prefer leather straps in general, but this one was very stiff, and had a strong glue smell, it took me more than a week to break it in, and now I can say it is comfortable. In general it is sturdy and well made with a nice engraved buckle.
The watch case is one of the best things here, it is very very well finished with all brushed surfaces and polished beveled edges, very nicely executed with a nice balanced heft. It is 41.5mm, 49.5mm lug to lug and 13.5mm thick. Maybe it is a bit bigger for the taste of some, but it has a nice size and wears well, the main issue about the case is the awkward lugs’ width which is 21mm which limits the strap options.
The crown is a sturdy big 8mm crown, smoothly and nicely engraved, the crown action is really smooth and it locks down securely as a proper tool watch should be, securing the 300 meters WR.
The dial is high glossy black with faux patina applied indices, it has 4 lines of text at the bottom and a full minutes index all around, to me it is very busy, and not well balanced, I would have preferred less text and the 369 indices to be a tad smaller.
The bezel is a bit bigger at 42.5mm, it is a bidirectional one with 120 clicks, it clicks nicely and rotate with a firm feel with no play at all.
The insert is a ceramic one with lumed indices, it is nice but very modern for the classic design, I would have preferred a steel stamped one instead.
The watch overall had a nice lumed dial and bezel that glows nicely and stays readable for quite sometime.
This watch is powered by the truly trusted Miyota 90S5, which is the twin sister of the well known 9015.
The later had a date function and it is widely common, I really admire that they took the hassle to source the 90S5 rather than going with the mainstream, so the crown is only pulled into one position to adjust time.
Not sure why they opted for the display case back while the movement is not decorated at all; even the rotor is stock Miyota one without even minimum engraving. I would say a solid back would have served the purpose better.
The crystal is a chunky flat sapphire crystal about 3.2mm thick and sits proudly higher than the bezel.
The data sheet never mentioned AR coating, and I’m not sure if there is any AR coating applied or not, but the watch is truly readable in different lighting conditions.
Finally it seems that I have mixed feelings about this watch, it is nice toolish watch, feels sturdy, but I don’t really like the dial, not sure if it will eventually grow on me or not.
Also the price tag is inflated, it positions this Sea Shadow above the Swiss Made Ocean One line, maybe the built quality is comparable, but in my opinion the Steiny wins all the way;
But if you are looking for a nice 5513 homage, I would recommend looking at this one, maybe a pre-owned one will be a nice option.