I had seen the Steinhart Ocean Titanium 500 around the inter webs, forums, and Instagram well before getting one on my wrist. It had caught my eye from afar just on looks alone—gun-metal gray titanium case and bracelet with alluring blue details on the dial. Steinhart is known to produce high quality pieces at a wallet friendly price point. The biggest knock against them is their insistence on producing homage watches drawing rather heavily from well known classics. The Ocean 1 Titanium 500, however, is a prime example of how good they can be when they branch out a bit. I was thrilled to finally take one for a spin.
My first impression of the Ocean Titanium 500 once I’d torn open the shipping box was, “Wow, this is insanely light!” I’ve handled a few titanium watches over the years, and the contrast to a steel watch on a matching bracelet catches me off guard every time. I wore the Ocean Titanium on a few long hikes in the mountains. Normally I’d pair a steel watch with a rubber or nylon mil-strap to keep things light, but I kept this one on its bracelet and barely noticed it on the wrist. The downside to all that lightness is well documented—titanium is more prone to scratches, swirls, and scuffs than steel, and the damage tends to be more visible when it’s there. Personally this isn’t a problem for me, particularly with a tool watch that I wouldn’t wear with a suit, but it is something to keep in mind if scratches make you cringe.
The case design of Ocean Titanium does a great job using classic lines while still feeling and looking thoroughly modern. While it’s listed at 42mm—and generally 42mm is the upper limit of what I prefer—I found that it wears quite a bit smaller on my 7.5-inch wrist. Two factors appeared to contribute to this. First, the dial has a beveled inner chapter ring that’s subtle and unobtrusive, but it does eat up some real estate on the dial causing it to feel a bit smaller. Second, at a thickness of just 13mm, the Ocean Titanium boats a relatively thin case, particularly for a 500m watch.