Dievas Shadow Review

Featured | Review | 02.06.2013

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Since we started w&w, Dievas has been a brand we’ve kept an eye on. They don’t come out with new products that often, but when they do, they tend to be interesting. Since the release of the very popular Vortex model, they’ve been on a tactical watch kick that recently reached an apex with the introduction of super-hardened steel cases. By making this step into the world of over-engineered super-tough watches, they’ve gotten into the territory of brands that typically cost quite a lot more. Their newest watch, the Shadow, not only offers high end components and machining that earns the “Made in Germany” label, it has a look that is altogether unique, balancing the sinister dark of a phantom with the legibility of fluorescent markings and hands. At $1,430, the Shadow is an easy and exciting way into the world of tactical watches that though costing several hundred to thousands less than similar watches, doesn’t cut corners to save or disappoint.

Case:  6Steel Black
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Dial: Black w/ Fluorescent Yellow
Lume: Superluminova
Lens: Domed Sapphire
Strap: Rubber and Leather
Water Res.: 500m
Dimensions: 45x54mm
Thickness: 14.5 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Crown: 5 mm screw down
Weight: 156g (our measure)
Warranty: 1 year

Case

One of the many highlights of the Shadow is its deep black, super-hardened, German made, steel case. 6Steel, Dievas’ proprietary material, is approximately 6 times harder than normal steel (1300Hv), which is achieved through a 20-day tempering process. Over that, there is a black “plasma coat”, which I imagine is a fancy way of saying DLC (diamond like coating) that is itself even harder than the 6Steel at 1800Hv… And the 6Steel is not limited to the body of the case, but rather is used for every component including the case back, bezel and crown. What does this mean for you?.. Well, basically, this watch is tough. Real tough. Your daily life is not going to result in scratches, nicks or abrasions, and you should feel more confident in wearing this watch in an active environment. It’s sort of a guarantee that your watch visually isn’t going to age at the same rate as a typical steel or PVD watch. That being said, a hard case does not translate to shock protection, so don’t go jumping out of airplanes without a chute…neither you nor your watch would be in great shape after.

The case design itself also exudes a tough and masculine demeanor. If you are familiar with the watches of Kobold, then you have seen this case before. Designed for a watch with practical and tactical usage, this case is bold, sleek and aggressive. It’s also quite large, measuring 45 x 54 x 14.5 mm and has a fairly simple overall shape. The most visually significant details are the thick straight lugs that protrude from the center of the case. Each lug is a mighty 5mm thick and 12mm long, giving them a strong appearance. At 8 there is a screw-down crown shrouded by crown guards on either side. The left-hand crown is actually a great design feature that not only makes the watch a bit more unique, it makes it much more comfortable to wear. Also on the left side of the watch, at 10, is an automatic helium-escape valve for those of you with underwater bunkers.

Topping off the case is beautifully machined 60-click unidirectional bezel. The design of the bezel is also a bit unique. Whereas typically bezels are fairly tall, this bezel is thin and flat, with an elegant curve to it that flows seamlessly into the domed sapphire crystal. Not that the rest of the case doesn’t suggest as much, but the build quality and detailing visible in this one component is suggestive of the overall high manufacturing standards Dievas holds itself to. Measuring 46mm in diameter, the bezel overhangs the case ever so slightly making it very easy to grasp and turn…and turning the bezel is genuine pleasure. The bezel has a proper amount of resistance to it, and when turned it clicks over with an aggressive snap going just past the mark, then precisely shifts back to line up.

Dial

As the name “Shadow” implies, this is a watch that is defined by its dark appearance. Yet, unlike typical phantom or blacked out watches, the deep black dial of the Shadow is punctuated with shocks of fluorescent yellow. Though perhaps betraying the otherwise stealth exterior, the day-glow tennis ball color is vibrant and electric. The color, which is a custom Superluminova pigment, allows the watch to be read easily while simultaneously giving it a unique personality.

On the dial, the yellow can be seen as hour markers consisting of triangles for 12, 3, 6 and 9 and dots for the hours in between. The date, which is visible through a window at 6, is also this color on a black background. I was really glad to see that they went the extra mile and customized the date wheel, rather than going with a more typical white on black. On the bezel, the yellow is featured on the 0/60 marker and for the markings up through 15 minutes. Lastly, and most significantly, the hands are almost entirely coated in a thick layer of the stuff. The hour and minute hands are large and roman sword style while the seconds hand is a thin stick. The yellow is most potent on the hands, making them really pop. In the dark, everything glows an acidic green. The hands glow most brightly, followed by the markers on the dial.

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  • http://URL Will

    I was excited about this watch…until I read that it’s a standard-grade ETA 2824-2. For $1430, I’d better be getting at least top-grade, if not chronometer-grade.

    You can get ~3 Steinharts with elaboré-grade 2824-2s in them for the price of one Shadow.

    • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com w&w

      Rhodium plating and decoration aside, the only difference between the grades is that they have been adjusted by ETA in more positions (3 for elaboré and 5 or 6 for top, I believe) for accuracy… Dievas claims to adjust these in 5 positions. Steinharts are a great deal…but don’t expect that to last. They likely bought all of their movements a few years ago…and once they use those up, expect their prices to go way up, or for them to switch to Japanese movements.

  • http://URL PB&J

    I’ve read from another blog that cutting the rubber strap to fit was a pain to do. Once you cut, you can’t go back. Have you encountered that at all?

  • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com w&w

    The rubber cuts very easily with a sharp pair of scissors…but yes, once you cut you can’t go back, so do it in small increments.

  • http://URL howie

    Website says two-year warranty

  • http://URL joseph

    its an elaborate movement with incabloc, not standard grade. i was told u can request for top grade for a little extra. i just bought my Sinn U1 , my next will be a dievas focal or shawdow, Love german engineering. Thanks W&w, those r terrific pictures. swayed me over.

  • http://URL Frank (NL)

    I like the styling, but not the price. And I don’t think this qualifies as a tactical watch.

  • http://URL Kim

    German engineering, not..Dievas is from Singapore…sorry to break a good PR story.

    • http://www.zachstarrweiss.com w&w

      Hi Kim,

      Only partially true… Dievas is owned by a person/company in Singapore, however the watches are engineered and manufactured in Pforzheim, Germany by Fricker.

      Thanks,
      Zach