The last time we wrote about echo/neutra, I reviewed their unique Averau 39 Moon Phase, a watch that successfully turned a moon phase complication sporty and featured a very approachable price tag. I was quite impressed. Following up on that launch, the young Italian brand has just announced their third collection, the echo/neutra Cristallo a “professional diver designed for diving professionals but also suitable for everyday occasions” to pull directly from the press release.
Going “pro” is always an ambitious endeavor for a brand, one that seems to be interpreted differently every time. In this instance, echo/neutra thought practically about what a diver might need in terms of features and then built up a watch with impressive specs to support those, including a 500m water resistance. Unlike most brands right now, they ditched vintage inspiration for a decidedly modern look and scale that might be refreshing to some, and possibly frustrating to others.
Coming in 42mm x 49mm, it’s wide, though not very long, which will likely make it fit a variety of wrists. That said, 42mm is certainly on the large side for divers coming out in 2022. The Cristallo is also 13.9mm thick, which is quite reasonable considering the depth rating. The style of the case is also quite contemporary with slabs sides, short crown guards, and a touch of decoration from polished bevels. A helium escape valve is placed at nine for saturation divers (pro stuff), and a solid case-back seals in the elaboré Sellita SW279 movement.
The visual character of the watch comes from the ceramic bezel insert and the dial. The former features a less commonly seen “no-deco” scale, which indicates when to ascend from the listed depths based on the time elapsed once set. Hence the decreasing numbers, as greater depths allow for less time. Another “pro” feature, it has no use above water but does give the watch a more technical look.