From the folks that brought you Stratton Watches, comes a new sub brand — Signum Watch Co. After successfully launching several funky 1970s-inspired mechanical watches on Kickstarter, the brand wanted to shift to a more forward looking approach. With the creation of the new brand comes the Cuda dive watch. Kyle, the creator of the brand, set out to create unique and affordable modern dive watches with the best specs possible. Let’s take a closer look at these new entrants into the world of affordable divers.
Each watch is available in two sizes – 40mm and 44mm in a brushed 316L stainless steel case. The measurements include the rather prominent crown guard at 4 o’clock, so these watches will be a little bit smaller than the measurement suggests. It’s great to see brands offering two sizes, especially the smaller 40mm. The 40mm example measures in at 13.2mm tall, while the 44mm is a slightly taller 13.6mm. Good for 200m of water resistance, these watches are built to handle all kinds of activity above and below the water’s surface. Inside the watch, you have the option of selecting either the SII NH35 with a date display, or the NH38 with no date. Protecting the dial, there’s a sapphire crystal, which is surrounded by a unidirectional dive bezel rendered in shiny, scratch-resistant and ceramic. A bold, lumed hand set is easy to read at a glance, which points at polished applied indices on the dial.
The most unique thing about the Cuda divers is their interesting dial options, especially for a watch in this price range. An abalone shell dial is an excellent fit for a dive watch. The inside of this sea dwelling creature’s shell is a swirly iridescent mix of blues, purples, and pinks — all visible on the dial of the watch. If the abalone is too intense for you, the mother of pearl dial has a similar effect, yet a bit more subdued. You have the option of either a black or white pearl dial. If snail and mollusk shells aren’t your cup of tea, there’s also a fully lumed dial that glows bright into the night, or a unique meteorite dial in two colors. What stands out the most is Signum’s meteorite options. A natural meteorite dial reads as a silvery grey complete with the natural crystalline structure of the metal on full display. Signum also offers a heat treated version, which is superheated to a purplish blue and changes based on the available lighting.
If you’re looking to get your hands on a modern dive watch with a unique dial, the Cuda from Signum watches are a compelling choice. Starting at $249 for the pearl dials, moving slightly up to $299 for the abalone and full lume, and ending at $349 for the meteorite, the line up represents a solid value. Fully modern looks, exotic dials, and an impressive set of specs set these watches apart from the pack of affordable dive watches currently on the market. Signum Watch Co.