Halios Delfin PVD Review

Share this story:

Halios watches probably needs little introduction on worn&wound. Over the last few years, the Vancouver based dive watch brand has earned a reputation for making great, unique watches. We previously reviewed two versions of their Tropik watches, one in bronze and the other in steel, both of which earned high regards from us. Stylish, restrained, well built, well priced… they were hard not to like.

HALIOS_DELFIN_DIAL_11

Last October, Jason, the founder of Halios, brought his wares down from Canada to show at our Wind-Up: NYC event. He had on display samples of all of his watches, from the coveted 1000M Puck to his newest at the time and the topic of this review, the Delfin. It was love at first sight. I’m not sure how many times I went over to his booth and quietly picked it up to ogle and try on, but hopefully I didn’t annoy him too much. Needless to day, I knew I had to review it.

Fast forward a few months and here we are with the Delfin PVD, the follow up to the initial stainless model. Sporting a sophisticated design that pulls from vintage, but feels contemporary the Delfin is a unique and highly attractive 500m dive watch. Coming in at $690 or $715 shipped to the US, this Miyota 9015 powered boutique diver is surely one you’re going to want to know more about.

Advertisement
$715

Halios Delfin PVD Review

Case
PVD Steel
Movement
Miyota 9015
Dial
Black and Gray
Lume
BGW9 Superluminova
Lens
Domed Sapphire
Strap
Leather and Nylon
Water Resistance
500M
Dimensions
43.5 x 49mm
Thickness
15mm
Lug Width
22mm
Crown
7.5 x 4.5mm Screwdown
Warranty
1 Year
Price
$715

Case

The case of the Halios Delfin is where the subtle, but intriguing design begins. At a glance, it has a classic dive watch appearance. There is a bezel, lugs, crown guards, etc… Rotating the watch around a bit, however, and the elegant and ingenious lines are revealed. The central case is not a cylinder, but rather has a bowl shape, giving the sides a continuous flow that starts at the back, and sweeps up, then curves around the edge of the bezel, across the domed ceramic insert and then across the sapphire crystal. It’s simply a gorgeous design with lines that should make luxury watches jealous.

HALIOS_DELFIN_CASE_5

In terms of size, the Delfin is a medium/large, but comes across and wears a bit smaller due to the curves, PVD coating and good proportions. The case measures 43.5 x 49 x 15mm, making it a touch wide and tall, but short lug-to-lug (perhaps the most important measure of size practically speaking). The height is then mitigated by the bowl shape. Either way, it doesn’t look oversized at all… it’s a watch that feels exactly as it should be.

Back to the bezel, it features a 120-click uni-direction mechanism. It feels great, with little to no back play, a satisfying click and it lands on target. The rounded edge of the bezel features simple teeth, which add more than enough grip for use bare handed. A nice perk to the Delfin is that it features a curved, lumed ceramic bezel insert. It’s an impressive feature that adds to the Delfin’s value.

On the right side you have a large screw-down crown with guards on either side. With the watch as a whole, there is a slight vintage air to the design, but with a thoroughly modern build and attitude. The crown guards add to the modern tool diver side of the Delfin. It might have looked cool without them, but I think they were the right choice. The crown itself measures 7.5 x 4.5mm and has narrow grooves all around to aid grip. On the outside surface, you’ll find Halios’ three moon logo, which is an attractive alternative to using an “H” or something more typical.

Flipping the watch over, you have a solid case back. With a 500m diver, it’s no surprise, and the appropriate choice, over a display. The caseback itself is very simple, with only a minimal amount of etching. There are various details about the watch, and then in the center a small icon of sorts with the text “Halios Delfin Undersea” etched around it.

HALIOS_DELFIN_CASE_2

Advertisement

Dial

The dial of the Delfin is simple and clean, but mixes texture and depth to create something very attractive and unique. The first thing one notices about the dial, is that there is a central area in a very dark gray, which is encircled by a black ring. This gives the dial a slight two-tone look (they gray is very dark) which starts the semi-vintage flavor. The two areas are also finished differently, with the gray being an even matte surface, and the black having a light radial brushing, giving it a bit of sheen. The way the two interact is very attractive in the light, but not distracting. It’s a smart way to take the dial and dress it up a bit, without defaulting to a sun-ray, finish or a garish color.

HALIOS_DELFIN_DIAL_9

The primary index consists of applied markers that sit on the brushed black circle. The markers are rectangles at 12, 3, 6 and 9, and triangles that point towards the center of the dial for the rest. Rather than having your typical polished steel surrounds, these are semi-gloss black, and then filled with BGW9 lume. This gives them the added depth and presence of applied markers, but a sleeker overall appearance. At 12, the rectangles double up, giving you a clear indication of the watches’ orientation. I love how the markers here make total sense on a dive watch, are familiar, yet give the Delfin a unique look. It’s very much its own design, a rarity in dive watches.

Stepping out, there is an angled chapter ring in matte black with a minute/seconds index. The index features numerals every 10 units, starting at 60, alternating with simple dark red marks. The individual minute/seconds are then white lines. This index adds some additional legibility to the dial for at a glance reading. The use of red here is brilliant. It’s very subtle, in fact almost unnoticeable in low light, but the tiny bit of color it adds to the dial brings some additional personality.

One more level out, and you have the bezel which extends the dial to the case. The bezel insert has a certain vintage feel that is very appealing. This comes from the use of a full index, rather than one with an emphasis on the first 15 minutes, as well as a thin, wide typeface. The black ceramic provides a deep, glossy surface for the numerals that, like the chapter ring, are at intervals of 10, alternating with rectangles, all with small white lines in between. It’s attractive and easy to read, making it the default minute/second index when not turned. This leads me to my only real criticism here, which is that the chapter ring and bezel feel a bit redundant. In this instance, the chapter ring could have featured hour numerals instead.

Within the inner gray circle you’ll find the Halios logo below twelve, and “Delfin 500M” above 6. Both are sized appropriately and in clean, modern typefaces. At 3 is a date window featuring white text on a black surface. It’s discreet, though I don’t love that it cuts through the circle. Far from a deal breaker, and I don’t think there was any way around it, but worth noting.

HALIOS_DELFIN_DIAL_8

The handset on the Delfin is very cool, and a bit atypical. The hour and minute hands are simple tapering points, almost alpha style, with a slight bend down their centers. They are both in matte metal, giving them an interesting light gray tone, and filled with BGW9 lume. Their shape works well with the dial, playing off of the triangular markers, and their color does a good job of standing out against the dark surfaces below. The seconds hand is also matte steel with a stick design that ends in a bright red, lume filled triangle. Like the red on the chapter ring, the touch here adds a nice counterpoint to the blacks and grays.

The lume on the Delfin is very good. It’s BGW9, as stated before, which is white in daylight, and icey blue in the dark. It’s very well applied through out, including in the ceramic bezel. When glowing, the watch takes on a cool and aggressive alter ego.

Advertisement

Straps and Wearability

The Delfin features 22mm lugs, which suits its diameter well. To test the watch, Halios sent me a couple of straps to try. The first one I tested was a teal nylon 2-piece, that’s built like a rugged leather strap. It’s a great looking strap with solid construction. The nylon is wrapped around a firm foam, giving it shape and strength, and is then backed with thin black leather. On the watch, the teal looked great against the PVD case adding an almost tactical quality, giving the watch a more modern feel.

HALIOS_DELFIN_STRAP_1

The other strap was a handmade distressed leather. This one is thick straight cut leather with raw edges, hand tacking by the lugs and buckle. It’s a fold over design, so the same leather that is on the top is against the wrist. It’s a great looking strap. The leather has variations in color through out that look like scars on the surface, for a very rugged, worn in look. This brings out some of the more vintage, rugged elements of the Delfin design. The medium/dark brown of the strap also looks great against the PVD case. Naturally, the Delfin would also take to rubber.

HALIOS_DELFIN_STRAP_5

On the wrist, the Delfin wears very well. The 43.5 x 49mm size makes a lot of sense when strapped to your wrist. It’s big enough to be sporty and bold, but short enough lug-to-lug to fit right. While I tend towards smaller watches, I wouldn’t want the Delfin to be reduced. The proportions are so spot on that I think any change could ruin it. Making it smaller could make it too compact and dense, and make the height feel bigger. As is, there isn’t a sense of wasted space in the watch, which I often feel on large divers or pilots. Speaking of height, the bowl shape makes the watch sit in your wrist more than a cylinder would, making it wear lower. Additionally, the flowing lines of the case subdue the height visually.

HALIOS_DELFIN_WRIST_1

Aesthetically, the Delfin looks great. It reads as a sport watch, but one with a lot of style. It’s at once serious and playful, looking like a capable dive watch but with moments of fun in the triangular markers and dashes of red. It’s also aggressive yet approachable, with strong shapes, layers of black, but smooth lines for a vintage twist. It’s obviously great as a sport or everyday watch, trending more towards rugged, outdoorsy clothing.

Conclusion

The Halios Delfin is another winner from the young brand. It’s well designed, well built and finished, unique, a pleasure to wear and offers a good value. At $715 shipped ($690 before), it’s very fairly priced for a 500m dive watch with no stock parts, a ceramic bezel, and tolerances that should make the Swiss check their standards. I know people like to kvetch about any Miyota 9015 watch that costs more than $500, but the reality is, there is a lot more to a watch than the movement, and paying for quality and unique design is worth it in my book.

HALIOS_DELFIN_DIAL_5

As of writing this article, the PVD Delfin is the only model still available, with the stainless model having been retired. That leads me to believe the PVD’s days are numbered too, so don’t wait too long if this one piques your interest. I have to say, it’s honestly a bit of a shame to retire such a gorgeous watch. Sure, it makes the ones out there more special, but so few brands offer what the Delfin holds, that I’d like to know more were around.

Advertisement
Images from this post:
Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw

28 thoughts on “Halios Delfin PVD Review”

  1. I’ve never bought a sports car without a high performance engine, and I’d never buy a sports watch without a high performance movement. It’s time for Halios to move up a level and offer their otherwise quite terrific watches with a movement beyond the Kickstarter watch level. Imagine this watch with a Soprod A10-2 or even a Top grade Sellita or (unlikely due to supplies) a Top grade ETA. They’ve been recognized for their design and appeal on sites from A Blog to Watch to worn&wound in reviews. Now they need to complete the package and break away from fashion watch territory.

    1. But this immediately puts them into more competitive category. While they can stand out with a $700-800 price tag, can they stand out with a $1500-2000 price tag? For that kind of money it’s not that obvious anymore.

      1. Where do you get those prices from? That doesn’t reflect the difference in the price of movements! It wouldn’t have to break the $1000 barrier. Look at what Steinhart does between their standard and premium models. A couple hundred added to the cost of the watch.

        A Miyota 9015 movement at a supplier like https://www.cousinsuk.com/ costs
        £69.95 a unit for Miyota or about $100 US.

        Looking around for the Soprod A10, it’s at about $260 US to $300 US.

        £305.00 for an ETA 2893 or $435 US.

        So a premium version of this Halios Delfin might jump from $715 shipped to $875 or at most $975 shipped. And you’d have a far more desirable watch in my opinion.

        1. If I recall correctly the Miyota 9015 and Soprod A10 are the same diameter and similar in thickness. A local watchmaker could probably swap the movements for you. Actually, have you asked Halios if they could swap movements for you?

          1. That is an interesting idea. This Delfin in steel with a Soprod A10 in it would be a pretty terrific watch. I don’t know if they’d be interested in doing something like that, and I’m not sure if this is the watch for me at this moment — but that is something to think about.

    2. The thing is, to use your sports car analogy, the miyota has the same horsepower. There is really nothing on the outside to differentiate the movement other than accuracy so unless its a cosc movement the point it moot. Just my opinion of course.
      Maybe you can expand on what aspects of performance you find the miyota lacking.

      1. I’ll leave it to you to look up the specs, technical points, and accuracy differences between the Soprod and the Miyota for yourself. They are SUBSTANTIAL. Well worth an added $200 to a watch. Probably worth a $1000 in value, but there isn’t that much difference in cost between the two movements.

        1. Seems like it would be way easier for you to find the specs and post them since you already know them to be “SUBSTANTIAL”. Plus it would be a benefit to the community.
          I own several watches with the Miyota 9015. Please, enlighten me as to what I’m missing and why it behooves me to spend an extra 200 bucks. I’m not picking an argument, I just want to know.

    3. Jason and many other boutique brands have to use movements like miyota 9015 to
      stay competitive. Maybe you can add the new STI movement one day, but
      really what are you talking about? You have to know your customer
      base and like the review mentioned, you’re getting great design/value for the
      price with a reliable movement. Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini are all
      owned by larger parent companies why? because the wouldn’t be profitable
      without them. Koenigsegg and Pagani? Priced wayyy out of most, just to turn a profit.

      1. Just keep it under $1000 and put together the great styling and seemingly quality build with a premium movement and they’ll stand head and shoulders above their competition. As it is now you have buyers like me — and I am in the market right now, and looked carefully at Halios (I also live in Vancouver, in fact) — and I’ll never buy a watch with a bargain basement movement in it again. I was going to buy the new re-release of Steinhart’s Ocean 2 Premium with the Soprod A10 which was supposed to come out this month but just the other day they suddenly delayed it until July, so now I’m ticked off after months of waiting and started shopping around. That watch, before it sold out was, by the way, less than this watch with its crappy Miyota. http://www.steinhartwatches.de/en/OCEAN-Two-black-PREMIUM,846.html

        1. It seems to me, steinharts price advantage has to do with their seemingly catalog case and parts. I think borealis had a watch with an identical case. Still, one has to wonder how they have such easy access to eta’s.

          1. Probably, but the switch to a better movement costs 160 euros in the case of the Ocean One. It has nothing to do with catalogue parts advantage.

      2. I drive an old 911, from back when Porsche was independent. I’ve owned a couple over the years. You have no idea of what you’re talking about. They were independent and made a profit for over four decades. The only reason they are not independent now is because of a real jerk idiot named Wendelin Wiedeking who was the CEO when they were really raking in the billions as the most profitable per car company in the world — and this idiot tried to do a hostile takeover of VW and it backfired and the reverse happened when the Great Recession hit. And now VW owns them.

    4. Way to hijack the comments section with a topic that has been beaten to death and resolved many times over.

      1. If it were “resolved” I would not have had any responses to my initial post and seven people with opinions on it — including you. When things are “resolved” that doesn’t happen. I could care less what a bunch of peanut brains “resolved” amongst themselves in the past on a topic which is very much subjective.

    5. An A10 would be nice, but Halios production is spotty as is. I’d like to see a bracelet option. I think he had issues with the supplier so there aren’t any available currently. I owned a Tropik SS with the bracelet and it was somewhat disappointing, which is too bad because the watch itself was great and the bracelet appearance was pleasing and somewhat unique. Halios design really stands alone IMO. I would pay a lot for a chrono with the Seiko auto NE88 movement and Halios design ethos.

      1. “I would pay a lot for a chrono with the Seiko auto NE88 movement and Halios design ethos.”

        That would be a great watch.

    6. By ‘high performance’, you mean like a quartz movement?

      I’m not sure what benefits a fancier movement would bring to a dive watch.

      1. A better movement, not fancier. Rolex and Omega would disagree with you — they’ve seen lots of benefits and profits using the basic concept for a very, very long time.

        1. You mean a benefit to their bottom line?

          Personally, I don’t see an advantage to putting a fancy pants co-axial movement (as is the case with Omega this year) into a tool watch. The 9015 does it’s job admirably, and keeps costs down. In my opinion, assuming the movement is of a good enough level, it is the least important consideration of a dive watch.

  2. What a nice looking watch. Keep us updated on how the PVD holds up. I’ve never owned a PVD or DLC watch and have always been curious about long term wear.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Good question, but honestly without both in front of me I hate to compare as I can’t quite remember all the details. But for what matters to me with watch purchases, the Halios would win because of having a more original design.

      -Zach

  3. Another cool detail not mentioned in the review is the blue metallic finish on top of the chapter ring. That thin ring of blue adds another cool detail on top of all the other cool details on this watch. Really liking Jason’s design.

    1. I’ve almost missed that blue finish till read your comment.

Comments are closed.