Back in the summer of 2012, we brought you our review of the Obris Morgan Branco PVD, an ultra-affordable mechanical watch that exceeds your expectations for value from a watch that costs just $249. Naturally, when we saw Obris Morgan’s next release, the Nevon, we knew we had to get our hands on one. Suiting a 60s/70s dive inspired aesthetic with a modern edge, the Nevon, like the Branco, combines quality components and solid build with a surprisingly low price of between $249 and $269. What’s not to love?
Movement : Miyota 8215
Case : 316L Stainless Steel- Brush – Blasted – PVD Black Coating
Bezel : 120 Clicks uni-directional bezel
Dimensions : 43mm diameter, 14mm thickness
Lug width : 22mm
Lug to Lug width : 49mm
Water Resistance: 20 ATM / 200 meters
Crystal : Sapphire(Single side anti-reflective coated)
Bracelet : 5 links 316L Stainless Steel (5mm thickness)
Weight : 240g
Price: $249 (brushed) $259 (blasted) $269 (PVD)
In designing the Nevon, Obris Morgan hoped to bring “the style and dependability of a vintage high end dive watch”, and they certainly seem to have achieved that with the watch’s case. Designed in the style of vintage divers, the Nevon features a lugless barrel case design measuring 43mm in diameter and 49mm top to bottom. This size and shape immediately strikes a vintage dive watch chord. When viewed from above, the case of the Nevon transitions smoothly from end to end, and the bottom portion of the case lines up perfectly with the bezel.
When viewed from the side, the height of the Nevon is apparent. Measuring 14mm tall, the sides of the Nevon’s case are flat and abrupt, giving it a distinctly machined, masculine look. The signed screw down crown at three o’clock measures approximately 8mm in diameter and has a well machined feel. The crown’s geared design provides an easy grip and it locks down tight without much effort and doesn’t turn too freely when unscrewed. The automatic Miyota 8215 movement that powers the Nevon does allow for manual winding, but the seconds are non-hacking.
On the front of the case is a sapphire crystal with single sided anti-reflective coating, a remarkable value on a watch that costs less than $300. Meanwhile, turning to the back, you’ll find a screwed down case back with the Obris Morgan logo and little other information (brand name, reference number, case material).
The case of the Nevon is stainless steel and comes in your choice of three finishes – brushed, blasted or black PVD – with price varying for each. We were fortunate enough to have two models in for review, one with a blasted finish ($259) and one with PVD ($269). Both finishes were evenly applied and very matte, creating a rugged look consistent with the hard lines of the case. All told, the case of the Nevon feels and looks solid and has a great deal of presence. When worn with the bracelet provided, the Nevon weighs in at around 240 grams (depending on sizing), which only adds to its masculine style.
The design of the Nevon’s bezel is among its most striking features. Considerably wide and tall, with gear tooth edging and blank insert, the bezel really stands visually, and is arguably the most modern design element of the entire watch. To an extent, it does frame the dial and draw your attention inward, however, its lack of markings may be seen as a functional disadvantage for some. Frankly, this may be the make or break detail for many considering the Nevon. That said, we like its clean design, and appreciate that it brings a distinctly unique look to the watch.
The bezel of the Nevon is also as responsive and precise as you expect it to be, if not more. While slightly too rigid at times, the 120-click, unidirectional bezel has a very nice machined feel to it, and appears to line up precisely with the hour markers on the dial. The bezel shape and finishing allows for a secure grip when rotating, in addition to being in tune with the other design elements of the watch case.
The dial of the Nevon is another area where Obris Morgan has combined the old with the new. You once again have your choice of colors here, with the dial coming in navy, black and grey. The two models we reviewed featured the black and navy dials, and it is worth noting that the navy is a bit lighter than expected, though still attractive.
Interestingly, the dial of the Nevon is clean and simple, just hash markings at each hour, and triangular tips to each hash marker at twelve, three, nine and six o’clock. You will also find the Obris Morgan name and the worn mechanical printed at twelve o’clock, and the model number, 200 meter depth rating and the word sapphire printed at six o’clock. While this dial certainly isn’t sleek, it does provide a more contemporary, simple look that is in contrast the vintage diver aesthetic of the case.
Also in juxtaposition to the dial design are the hands of the watch, which are, as far as we can tell, in reference to those hands found on certain vintage divers, such as the Zodiac Super SeaWolf dive watches (an example). First released in the 1950’s, the Super Sea Wolf featured a large orange hour hand of the same shape as that found on the Nevon. Both the hour and minute hand are in this distinctive shape, and for the hour hand, you have your choice of yellow or orange.
Blue lume can be found throughout the dial on the hour markers while the lume dot on the bezel glows green. While it glows sufficiently bright, the lume on the Nevon is not the brightest we’ve seen. The contrast of blue and green lume is certainly cool looking however.
Straps and Wearability
The Nevon comes with a very nice 5mm thick, five link stainless steel bracelet with signed deployment clasp. The finish of the bracelet matches perfectly to the finish of the watch case and has an equally smooth and well finished feel. It attaches to the Nevon case via two sided screw down lug bars, and the links of the bracelet can be easily removed or added using the single sided screw pins that hold them together. Generally speaking, the bracelet that accompanies the Nevon is an outstanding value. We’re happy to see Obris Morgan choose to include one very quality strap option, rather than several inferior pieces.
When we first got the Nevon’s in for review, we immediately knew they would also look outstanding on nylon military straps. And thanks to our friends at Crown&Buckle, we are able to show both Nevon’s on some killer matching straps. We were provided three of Crown&Buckle’s heavy duty NATO’s in grey with stainless hardware, green with PVD hardware and orange with PVD hardware. As you can tell from our photos, the Nevon’s are right at home on a military style nylon strap.
As Zach noted in his review of the Obris Morgan Branco, its almost impossible to argue with its value. This is no less the case with the Nevon. The combination of components (Miyota 8215, sapphire crystal, gorgeous bracelet), finish and build quality found with the Nevon is enough to demand a significantly higher price tag than $249 to $259. But further take into consideration the truly unique and thoughtful design, and the Nevon quickly becomes an absolute steal.
At the very least, the Nevon should get you excited about what more Obris Morgan has in store. This marks the company’s second major success, in our eyes anyway, achieved with a distinct voice, sense of style and commitment to true value. Whether the Nevon speaks to you or not, it should get you interested in what Obris Morgan has in store. We certainly are.
by Blake Malin
Thanks to Obris Morgan for providing the Nevons for review
Thanks to Crown&Buckle for providing straps included in the photos