Halios Seaforth Review

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For micro-brand watch enthusiasts, Halios is one of those brands whose releases cause a particularly high level of excitement. The mix of infrequent new models and scarcity once available with a unique aesthetic and high value level make them almost irresistible, especially for dive watch fans. In many ways, Halios represents the modern incarnation of the boutique dive watch brands that were so popular a few years back. You know the ones with sketchy websites, but really cool overbuilt watches at decent prices? Halios is the refined version of those brands. No homages to be seen, a huge cult following that guarantees sell-through for the brand and good aftermarket sales for buyers (Halios’ watches actually gain in value a bit) and a decent web . . .  well, the website could use some work, but clearly a lot of effort goes into the watches.

Sapphire bezel, black/gilt dial. Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

We’ve previously reviewed the Delfin, Tropik SS and B, all of which are long sold out and highly revered. Today, we’re taking a look at their newest release, the Seaforth, which is a spiritual successor to the Tropik. It takes the DNA of that watch, but goes a different direction, creating a watch that is more a relative to the Tropik than an evolution. At its heart, the Seaforth is a modern sport watch with vintage dive elements; it’s rugged, but certainly stylized.

For the Seaforth, Halios decided to go customizable, with four dials, three bezels and a non-bezel variety to mix and match. There are some limitations, but you can likely find the combo that suits your tastes. All feature Miyota 90S5 automatic movements, box sapphire crystals and a water resistance of 200 meters. Coming in at a very reasonable $675 for the bezel version and $650 without, the Seaforth stays true to Halios’ high-value ethos.

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$675

Halios Seaforth Review

Case
Stainless Steel
Movement
Miyota 90S5
Dial
Varioes
Lume
C3
Lens
Box Sapphire
Strap
2 x Leather
Water Resistance
200m
Dimensions
41 x 47mm
Thickness
12mm
Lug Width
20mm
Crown
6.5 x 4mm screw-down
Warranty
Yes
Price
$675

Case

The Seaforth departs from the Tropik mostly in the case design, though it stays similarly sized, which is a plus. At 41 x 47 x 12mm with 20mm lugs, the Seaforth is a great size for a bezeled watch. It’s big enough to feel sturdy, small enough for everyday wear and comfort. The design also cleverly downplays the 12mm height–a portion of which comes from the very tall crystal–with good proportions and visual breaks. While the Tropik had a cushion design, the Seaforth has a more classic shape.

Looking at the watch from above, the lugs will immediately strike you. They are chunky, and feature planar facets along their edges where the finishing switches from brushed to polished. I’m a big fan of a polished bevel on a brushed diver, as it adds a nice bit of contrast and can be a very sexy detail. The Seaforth’s polished planes really push this concept, creating some impressive geometry and calling out the quality of the finishing they’ve achieved.

Box crystal, great brushing and faceted lugs–another great combination.

On the right side you’ll find a chunky 6.5 x 4mm screw-down crown sitting between low, wide crown-guards. The guards have polished bevels on their top and bottom edges, which elevate their look just a bit and tie them into the lug design. The crown then has deep grooves for grip and Halios’ three crescent moon logo on its outer surface.

Looking at the Seaforth from the side, the proportions of the various components become clear. The mid-case looks surprisingly thin, but a portion of it chamfers down to the case back, creating a bit of an illusion. There are some cool details on the mid-case as well, particularly at the lugs. Rather than coming back straight the lugs flare out a bit, connecting to the mid-case at an angle, which is emphasized with a hard connecting line. This helps break up the side surface, which is otherwise flat, and horizontally brushed. The lugs also come above the mid-case just a tiny bit, creating an area where the lug overlaps the bezel.

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Lots of details along the profile.
The sapphire bezel insert is the tallest of the three.
The polished facets really pop.
The box crystal is most visible on the fixed-bezel model.

Still on the side, the next layer is the bezel, which changes in height depending on the style chosen. The steel bezel is about 2.25mm thick at its edge, while the sapphire insert bezel is closer to 3.2mm. The steel bezel angles up towards the crystal, while the sapphire is flat. Because the steel is flatter, the box sapphire is more pronounced on that model. The last model then has a thin fixed steel bezel, which exposes the boxed sapphire the most of the three, really drawing attention to the vintage-style crystal.

Regarding the ratcheting bezels, both feature 120-click uni-directional mechanisms. As with previously reviewed Halios watches, the bezels are perfectly aligned, click into place with a reassuring snap and have no sign of back-play or wiggle. Their deep-toothed sides also make grasping and turning very easy.

Flipping the watch over, you’re presented with a very plain case-back. It’s solid and has a minimal amount of printing. The Tropik had a simple, but enjoyable etching of a Capricorn Goat. A similar detail would have been nice here, though is obviously unneeded.

Bezel or no bezel?

Looking at the three versions side-by-side, you can see what a difference the bezel style makes. The sapphire insert has a pronounced vintage look to it, simulating plastic inserts and adding some enjoyable depth. The use of lume also makes it feel the most like a dive watch. It’s worth noting that the sapphire bezel is available only with the black and black/gilt dials. The steel bezels then feel more like general sport watches, with the 12-hour version even hinting at some sort of military concept. The fixed bezel model then becomes a sporty-casual concept, shedding some of the more aggressive tones of other styles. This one could verge on dressy depending on the dial combo, though the crown guards and size maintain a general sportiness.

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Dial

The Seaforth’s dial closely resembles the Tropik’s, though various details have been changed. There are four different colors/versions, but their layout is identical. All feature a flat surface with a primary index of applied rectangular blocks with copious C3 lume filling that glows very well. The blocks are all equally sized, though there are two at 12 to add some emphasis. Around the applied markers is then a printed index of lines for the minute/second getting thicker at intervals of five. Lastly, you’ll find “Halios” and “Seaforth” printed just below twelve, and “auto – matic” in small text on either side of the marker at six.

Pastel Blue with black surrounds.

I was glad to see that the hands from the Tropik returned on this model. I can’t say if they are identical in length, but they have the same style and geometry. It’s a particularly nice set of hands that at once seem familiar, speaking to classic designs, and yet are finessed to a point of being unique. The hour and minute are sword shaped with a faceted design, giving them some three-dimensionality and a touch of dressiness. The lume filling is then in a diamond shape, which is an appealing detail. The seconds hand is a thin stick with a lume-filled rectangle toward its tip.

And that’s it for the dial, save the different colors. It’s very simple, clean and effective. It’s so simple that had a proportion or detail been off, it would have been a glaring issue.

One notable omission on the Seaforth is the lack of the date, a point of differentiation from the Tropik. This obviously mean Halios avoided any potential issues that might arise from date windows, though the Tropik pulled it off. That said, in order to go date-free, Halios chose the Miyota 90S5, which is actually a skeletonized version of the 9015 that happens to also lack a date. There’s no phantom crown setting on the Seaforth.

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The gold surrounds add a certain vintage charm.
The classic combination.
The sunburst blue has a slightly green tint.
Unexpected, but cool.

The Seaforth comes in four dial variations; gloss black with silver accents, gloss black with gilt/gold accents, sunburst blue and pastel blue. The black with silver is the most classic of the colorways with a deep gloss surface and polished surrounds and hands. The black with gilt then gets a bit more exciting, adding gold surrounds and hands into the mix. I’m a sucker for well-used gold accents, so this version really called out to me.

The sunburst blue features a deep teal/blue color with burst texture giving it a metallic sheen, and it has polished silver surrounds and hands. This one took me by surprise as the blue chosen is a captivating tone. By verging on teal, it has green undertones that prevent it from being too blue,  and the sunburst texture, which doesn’t always work for me, comes across very tasteful with the applied markers. On the steel bezel model, this dial really clicked.

The pastel blue is the oddest of the group, but no less attractive. The surface is matte powder blue. It’s a soft, sky-on-a-sunny-day type blue that is not something you typically find on a watch, particularly a men’s watch. Yet, it works. To temper the blue, Halios went with black surrounds and hands, injecting some masculinity back into the design. In the end, it’s a nice alternative to a white or silver dial as a light dial option, and it rounds out the grouping well. I could definitely see this as a great way to get some mild color into a collection, particularly for the tool-watch crowd.

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Straps and Wearability

The Seaforths come with two 20mm vintage-styled leather straps. Though I’m uncertain of what two straps comes with each of the models, I had four to play with and all were exceptionally nice. They feature 2mm tapers, hand-tied knots, beveled and painted edges, black lining and discreetly signed buckles. The four colors we had were black, blue/gray, tan brown and a more yellowy mid-brown. All were very nice looking and felt high quality.

The Seaforth’s best feature is simply how well it wears. This watch fits so well, it’s like it was made for my 7-inch wrist. At 41 x 47mm it has a bold, modern presence, but never feels too big. In fact, in seems to be in a sweet spot for a modern diver, for me at least. The thick, faceted lugs and squat crown guards give it a rugged posture that make it feel very tough, which plays well off of the more refined elements, like the polished bevels and applied markers. The 12mm is also very tolerable as the watch reads thinner due to the crystal and mid-case shape.

Aesthetically, the Seaforth is solid, with each of the bezel and dial options giving it a slightly different feeling. Initially, I was most drawn to the sapphire bezel/black gilt variety. Somehow, despite the abundance of vintage-styled divers, it felt unique. It has a “coolness” to it that is hard to pin down. But, I was slowly tempted by the blue sunburst with the steel 12-hour bezel. The subtle teal/blue really appealed to me, giving the watch a distinct personality, while the steel 12-hour bezel downplayed the dive theme. In fact, it didn’t really feel like wearing a dive watch at all. Instead, it felt more like I was wearing an all-purpose sports watch. The 12-hour bezel, which can be quickly turned to add a second time-zone to the watch, then implies traveling. The utility of that speaks more to my lifestyle.

The fixed bezel version was the hardest to pin down. It’s almost a different watch entirely as so much of the purpose and style of the other watches comes from the bezel. Without it, it’s a simpler watch, though with 200 meters of water resistance it is still very much a sports watch more in the vein of a Sinn 556i and Tudor’s fixed-bezel Black Bays. Part of me wishes that there was something a little more different about it. While the bezel is significant, it could have pushed further into other terrain, perhaps by ditching the crown guards and scaling down the crown. This could have played up the formal elements a bit more, making it more of a hybrid business/casual-meets-discreet-sport-watch concept. Or it could have been a couple of millimeters smaller, though that would have required new everything. Regardless, it’s still very attractive. The pastel blue is interesting, though ultimately not to my personal taste. The version with the black/gilt dial–now that one would be very interesting.

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Conclusion

It’s easy to see that Halios has another hit on their hands with the Seaforth. They are attractive, beautifully made and extremely well-priced. The choice of bezels and dials allows you to find the version that best suits you, whether you want a crisp vintage-diver, a rugged outdoors watch or a versatile everyday sport/casual watch. There’s really not that much else to say. At $650 – $675 you can’t argue with the price (well, you can, but you’d be wrong) as Halios manages to achieve a quality and aesthetic that far surpasses the price tag. I guess the only question is which version do you want and will you be able to get it before these too inevitably sell out?


For more info and to pre-order: HaliosWatches.com

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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
  • I think a lot of people have a lot of faith in Halios to deliver. They have done so time and again and pre-orders for the Seaforth were closed within 48hrs (due to reopen later this month). Thanks for the review and the confirmation that the Seaforth is another winner. Looking forward to mine #teampastel

    • chenpofu

      I think he opened the preorder for a short period by design, so he doesn’t get too many orders at once, and then resulted in some people waiting for a while to get their hands on the watches after paying. I don’t know the dude, but there seems to be a good amount of thoughtfulness when it comes to his customers, not just his watches.

      • Yeah, absolutely. He closed preorders after the first morning, then opened them again for a short period and, according to the site, the first tranche is sold out but another is coming this month. He mentioned on Instagram that he’s very particular about doing quality control on each watch before it goes out the door, so he’s definitely giving himself time to do that without being overwhelmed. Presumably it’s planned so he’s not overwhelmed, as you say, but I think it all went better/faster than expected.

        It’s fantastic to see so much demand for a watch that’s essentially the work of one man. It’s good to know that quality still counts for something!

      • Latest update on instagram is that pastel dial and sapphire bezel models are indeed sold out! Might be a second production run later in the year.

        • chenpofu

          I saw he said sapphire bezel is done, but did not know pastel dial is all gone as well. Not surprising as both of those elements generated lots of interest since he started showing them on instagram.

  • nyonya

    Any comparison thoughts with the Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 and Oris DIver 65? Similar sized, vintage-style divers.

  • arsenal55

    Really nice review Zach, and once again I find myself looking at Halios with interest. I once attempted to trade for a Laguna, but it fell through and I intermittently find my interest piqued. I like almost al of their models and these are especially attractive, the only issue being trying to decide which version to choose from! Thanks for a really thorough, well thought out review.

  • jconli1

    Great review and pictures.

    After a few months of living with a black/gilt Black Bay, I found the gold against steel to be kind of inflexible… no matter what strap I put it on, it just felt like it was clashing. Wound up selling it but wanting some sort of modern/retro diver. No luck finding a good used original Tropik SS, and the 62MAS’ re-release price wound up being far steeper than I’d hoped… so a black/sapphire Seaforth seems like a no-brainer.

    … but then Jason announced the pastel would be getting PVD indicies and hands. The initial prototypes seemed a bit too bright, but the black makes a big difference against that flat blue dial, especially once the 12-hour steel bezel was added to the mix. (Simultaneously, my longstanding dislike of the equally summery 16570 polar Explorer II was rapidly reversing into “next watch” status…). So that’s also a sure thing.

    I think it’s a pretty solid tribute to Jason’s efforts that the only real issue anyone seems to fixate on is “something with a Miyota should be a bit cheaper.” Personallly, I think the design detail (and restraint), quality of finishing, and included strap quality are well worth $700 shipped. Really excited for next week.

  • chenpofu

    Very nice review. I ordered one, it will be my first watch from a small independent brand, really looking forward to it, hopefully won’t wear too big on my small wrist.

  • eSPi ✔ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Are these watches protos are you reviewing?
    If u look closely at the pastel blue with the black indices and hands, there are some small flaws here and there. Look at the picture n°9 for example, mostly all the indices in that macro look choppy, the 12 left bar has some pvd coating inside the lume and near the 10 one at the bottom left theres more of it on the dial…

    • chenpofu

      I noticed that also, hopefully these were prototypes, the production version will be better.

  • crezo

    I’ve been following this since the announcement a while back and great to see such a detailed write up and killer pics thank you!

    This is one of the nicest simple, pure retro type dive watches I’ve seen, and I love the sapphire and black.

    The lume in the bezel looks a lot greener than I was expecting though… Is that because it’s charged up or is that it’s natural state?

    When (not if… When… I have faith 😉 ) they release a date version at 6 like some of their other models I will be ordering one for sure.

    Georgeous watch!

    • thejames1

      I too had noticed that sapphire bezel lume looks a bit more green. I studied all the photos I could find, and it seems that the colors are just slightly different. Probably due to the lume being enclosed by the sapphire bezel. The lume photos sure looks great with the sapphire bezel!

  • thejames1

    Nice write up. Having them all together and watching the video, it was interesting to see how the bezel changed the look of the watch. I was having a hard time with all of the choices, but went with a “safe” bet of a steel diver bezel and black dial. These Seaforths are slightly reminiscent of the vintage skindiver watches that I have been eyeing recently. Looks like another hit for Halios!

  • BM

    Guys when you do a video , keep moving the watch around so you get to see it from all angles (see the sides , the way the light reflects etc etc ) . Whilst Worn and Wound always have insightful comments and great brand choice, their videos are verging on poor because the video is mostly always showing the watch straight on from above. Move the watch around (for reference refer the SRP777 video done by a Blog to watch). I guess the question is what is the point of having video if you only show the front on view ? may as well just have a photo and not bother with video. A picture tells a thousand words, a video a billion. Don’t get me wrong, I love W&W – best content by far.

    • chenpofu

      I thought the video was really well done.

  • Gerald V Cerdan

    Great read! I’ve had one of his early watches and Jason has come a long ways.

    To the editor:

    You might want to delete the last two sentences below since you started the following paragraph with the same two sentences, but in completion:

    “And that’s it for the dial, save the different colors. It’s very simple, clean and effective. It’s so simple that had a proportion or detail been off, it would have been a glaring issue. One notable omission on the Seaforth is the lack of the date, a point of differentiation from the Tropik. This obviously”

    • Thanks for the catch! It was an issue on the backend duplicating text. – Ilya

  • egznyc

    The sapphire bezel looks really great, in combination with the box sapphire crystal. Not sure how susceptible each element would be to shattering in the event I were to knock into something. The Tropik, with its ceramic bezel, might be more robust; I’m not knowledgeable enough regarding materials to know. Whether to go black with silver or gold accents? Tough call.

    Although I thought I’d find this case’s design boring vs. the Tropik, I like how they handled the lug detailing. But I do prefer the longer 12, 3, and 9 markers of the Tropik’s dial, along with a discreet date at 6:00.

    The color options are interesting but I feel it’s important to see one in person before committing to anything too unusual.

  • Mark Holland

    Wow how did I miss that video? Superbly well done video, and those close ups just sold it even more for me, the details and polished bevels really give it that subtle but sexy sheen when the light catches it – which is something I always .issue on all brushed cases, this strikes that balance of not being too flashy, yet not being too flat either.

    The crystal profile looks even better in the video, and I’m seriously tempted to pick up one now, knowing the resale prices of halios watches will easily let me flip if (I mean WHEN 😉 ) a date version is released.

    I actually really like the super simple case back too, it works well with the simplicity of the watch overall.

    Genuinely one of the nicest divers out right now I think… Just a shame it comes in nearer the 1k mark by the time you add on import duties etc to the UK.

  • Elijs Dima

    So… Halios is the Nomos of microbrands?

  • Michael Happe

    Without a doubt , one of the best Micro out there. Thanks Zach for this review.