First Look: Dryden Watch Company Chrono Diver Series 1

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Dryden Watch Company is a newcomer to the scene of small independent brands. Hailing from Kansas City, USA, Dryden has brought a solid new watch to market — the Dryden Chrono Diver Series 1. This collection borrows the best features from both dive and chronograph style watches, seamlessly mixing the toughness and legibility of a diver with the timing capabilities and functionality of a chronograph. The result is a capable watch that’s ideal for everyday wear.

Measuring in at 42 millimeters across by 49 millimeters lug-to-lug and 13.5 millimeters thick, the Chrono Diver is sized to suit a variety of wrist sizes. The 316L stainless steel case features lugs that curve downward to hug the wrist, which generally makes for a more comfortable fit. To break up the straight lines and brushed finish on the case, Dryden added a polished bevel between the top and side surface of the lugs. Altogether, case shape is reminiscent of vintage watches from the 1960s — the lines are simple and nothing is overly flashy, yet everything looks nicely finished.

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You’ll find an oversized screw down crown at 3 o’clock that sports the Dryden “D” engraved in its side. Flanking the crown are two oversized pushers that are polished to a high shine (on the stainless steel models). To my eye, this straightforward case really works well to counterbalance the busy chronograph dial and 120-click timing bezel surrounding it.

Looking at the dial, you’ll find a familiar chronograph layout with sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9. Each sub-dial is slightly inset into the dial — this small detail adds some welcome depth to the design. The register at 3 o’clock shows the 24-hour time, the 6 o’clock register displays running seconds, and the 9 o’clock register counts minutes elapsed.

When the chronograph function is activated, you can easily tell how many seconds have elapsed thanks to the bright accent on the large central seconds hand. Printed along the edge of the dial is a tachymeter scale that you can use to calculate speed and distance. Even though the dial is busy (not a knock — just a characteristic of most chronographs), the broadarrow hours hand paired with the tapering pointed minutes hand make reading the time an easy task.

Other notable features on the dial include polished indices, which are filled with Super-LumiNova paint and a date window at 4:30. Protecting the dial is a scratch-resistant, double-domed sapphire crystal that has anti-reflective coating on the inside surface to improve legibility.

Inside the watch is the Seiko VK63 meca-quartz movement. It’s a workhorse caliber that can be seen in a wide range of affordable chronographs. It gives the Chrono Diver a mechanical look and feel due to the sweeping seconds hand and instant mechanical reset that snaps the second hand back to its starting position. To learn more about these calibers, click here.For a new brand, launching with one or two colorways is challenging enough. Dryden’s Chrono Diver is coming out of the gate with six offerings, each configuration giving the watch a different look. In addition to the three featured here (Black Modern, Steel Blue, and and PVD Yellow), there is Blue White, Blue Modern, and Blue Vintage. The standout model for me is the Steel Blue. I think it’s the best looking of the bunch with its medium-blue dial, white sub-dials, and striking steel bezel insert. The light brown leather strap looks awesome with the watch. I’d happily wear one.

Each Chrono Diver ships inside of a waxed canvas watch roll that can be used to store the watch, whether you’re at home or on the road. Starting at $319, Dryden’s Chrono Diver is a great affordable option that’s perfect for those who can’t decide between a dedicated chronograph or dive style watch. Dryden

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.
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