Exclusive Review: Aquadive Poseidon GMT

Strapping the Aquadive Poseidon GMT to your wrist feels a little bit like hopping into a time machine. This heavy-duty diver draws heavy inspiration from the brand’s own back catalog. It’s got all the vintage looks and funky charm of a ’70s dive watch, but it’s built with modern materials to exacting standards that result in a robust, modern 500m dive watch. The brand has had its share of ups and downs throughout the decades (flourishing in the ‘60s and ‘70s, shutting down in the ‘80s, followed by a major revival in 2011). Today, they’re coming in strong with their Poseidon range of watches.

Launching today, Aquadive’s Poseidon GMT boasts a new slimmer design that’s less chunky than what you’d expect it to be, measuring in at a reasonable 12mm thick. Limited to just 300 pieces, the Poseidon GMT is a collaboration between Aquadive and Poseidon dive equipment, a premier manufacturer of cutting-edge dive gear and a company well known among dive watch enthusiasts for its relationship with Doxa. Let’s dive right in.

Editor’s update 9/21/19: The sample that was sent for review and is featured here is a prototype. After some last minute changes, we confirmed that the final specs include 1,000 meters (not the 500m previously reported) of water resistance and no HEV, which you can see in the sample here.


Exclusive Review: Aquadive Poseidon GMT

Stainless steel
ETA 2893-2 Automatic GMT
Black with yellow accents and Poseidon logo
Flat sapphire with double AR
2 ISOfrane rubber dive straps (black and yellow)
Water Resistance
42mm x 49mm
Lug Width
Screw down

The very first thing that stood out to me when removing the Aquadive from its packaging is how much it looks and feels like a tool, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s a solid, robust watch that follows the ethos that form should follow function. Despite being a tool watch, it’s still executed to a high degree. The brushed finish of the 316L steel gives off a glow, playing with the light in a very subtle way that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. Circular brushing on the top surface and linear brushing on the sides of the case are separated by a polished bevel. Each edge of the watch is crisp and uniform. My eye was drawn towards the cut out between the lugs, where the finishing in the corners is just great.

Sitting atop the case, you’ll find a chunky steel bezel with machined grooves around the edge and a shiny lumed ceramic bezel insert resting inside. The outer surface of the grooves are polished to a high shine, while the inside is matte finished. Each edge is as sharp and crisp as the finishing seen throughout the case, and this provides ample grip in numerous conditions. The bezel rotates easily, with no discernible play and an aurally satisfying “snap” as it locks into one of the 120 internal grooves that keeps the bezel in place.

The 42mm barrel-shaped case oozes vintage style, while the rock-solid construction and feel of the watch suggest a much more modern approach to manufacturing, as they rightly should. At 12mm thin, it’s pretty impressive that Aquadive is able to achieve a staggering 500m water resistance while retaining wearability. It’s proof that a serious dive watch doesn’t have to be a hulking monster on your wrist.

On the right side of the case there’s a chunky crown that’s super easy to operate. The threading on the crown is top-notch, too. It’s always a bummer when a watch is finished so well throughout, but the crown feels janky. I’m happy to say that’s not the case here. The Aquadive logo is engraved on the side of the crown.

Flip the watch over and you’ll find a simple and and straightforward engraved case back. A minimal Aquadive “A” logo is featured in the middle, surrounded by the reference number, serial number, and some more information about the watch. The underside of the case features some nice circular brushing as well. It’s nice to see that the same level of care is applied to everything on the case, not just the most visible elements.

Poseidon’s logo is prominently featured in their signature shade of yellow at 9:oo. I think the logo is tastefully applied and looks cool where it is. That iconic stamp also lends some serious credibility to the watch, considering Poseidon makes some next-level professional dive equipment. Running around the outside of the dial is a matching yellow GMT scale with highly legible black printed numerals. Each of the hour markers are denoted with a rectangular plot of lume that glows bright green. The 12:00 spot features a triangle, and there’s a date display at 3:00 with white text on a black background to match the dial.

I found that the dial felt a little small in relation to the rest of the watch. Personally, I’d like the dial to be a little larger to give it a bit more presence, especially because the bezel really seems to dominate the front side of the watch.

The mirror-polished hands might also be a point of contention. While admittedly they do look cool, the sword-style hands feel a touch small and because of the finish they can sometimes get lost against the dial. Out of all four hands on the watch, the bright-yellow GMT hand with its hollowed out arrow is easiest to read. With that said, the Poseidon is by no means illegible; I’d just personally prefer a little bit more breathing room on the dial and a larger set of hands with a finish that provides greater contrast.

Inside the Poseidon is the tried-and-true ETA 2893-2 automatic GMT movement. Commonly seen in GMT watches within this price range, the movement represents an excellent value with functionality to match. Aquadive regulates the movement to five positions, which is an extra step above just having a stock movement in there. The way the 2893 works is the GMT hand is tied to the hour hand, so when you’re setting the main time, the GMT hand is along for the ride. However, you can jump the GMT hand independently of the hour hand. This is perhaps not ideal for when you’re traveling compared to a GMT with an independent hour hand, but perfectly serviceable and it get’s the job done.

Included with the watch are two ISOfrane rubber straps with signed Aquadive clasps. These ladder-style straps are a classic dive strap made from thick premium rubber. You’ll get both a black and yellow strap inside the box. I found the straps to be a little chunky on my smaller 6.75” wrist, but their heft did do a nice job of balancing out the heavier watch head on the other side of my wrist. While considering the watch for review, I strapped on a tropic-style strap that was a bit thinner. It looked pretty great on the watch, and I found it a bit more comfortable for regular wear.

The Aquadive Poseidon really does feel like something straight out of the ‘70s. The vintage look and feel of the watch are a welcome departure from the modern pieces I wear on the regular, and the excellent finishing, solid dive bezel, and bright yellow accents make for a watch that looks just as good underwater as it does out and about. If a dive gear company as serious as Poseidon can sign off on the watch with their logo, then you should have little to worry about.

The Aquadive Poseidon GMT will be available later today for a pre-order price of $1,395 (regularly $1,895), which I believe is more than a fair ask for something with an automatic GMT movement and the level of fit and finish seen throughout. Aquadive

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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.