Hands-On: History Repeats Itself with the Wolbrook X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer

Why start a watch brand from the ground up if you inherently have a keen eye for defunct brands with a legitimate history and product design substance that present-day enthusiasts can easily get behind. It’s a playbook we’ve seen exercised occasionally within the past decade, but in recent years, it seems like a go-to strategy implemented by those with incredible foresight, time and time again. I hope you don’t mistake this as complaining. As much as I love seeing a brand release something completely new and refreshing, I am overjoyed by seeing bygone brands properly getting resurrected. It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen with the likes of Aquastar, Vulcain, and Wolbrook

Now what do these brands have in common? Well for starters, they were all revived around the same time frame, beginning in 2019 (Wolbrook). Brand heritage, as well as name recognition seems to be another trait at their core. For Aquastar, you have their charming divers famously worn by Jacques Cousteau and his crew during countless expeditions in the 1960s. With Vulcain, how could we not think of the Cricket and its historical ties to the United States presidency. And as for Wolbrook, well, you have a brand history that has a connection to the dawn of the space race, hypersonic rocket-powered jet testing and the first man to ever step on the moon, Neil Alden Armstrong.


Wolbrook’s latest release is the X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer and is a tribute to one of the watches that Armstrong wore during his storied career as an engineer, test-pilot and astronaut. The Wolbrook X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer also celebrates the 60th anniversary of flight 64 of the famed X-15 program. It retains all the vintage charm the original had and resembles the very aesthetic I’d look out for during my earlier days of eBay scrolling for vintage divers. If the X-15 has garnered your attention already, then unfortunately you might have to do the same eBay scroll to get your hands on one, as the watch has already sold through its limited edition run. Bummer, I know. However, if you still need some convincing as to why you should add this as a WatchRecon or eBay alert, continue reading through my Hands-On review below.


Hands-On: History Repeats Itself with the Wolbrook X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer

Stainless Steel w/ Hexaplex Structure
Miyota 8315 Automatic
C7 Super-Luminova
Double-Domed Hesalite Crystal
Black One Piece Nylon & Leather Strap w/ Black Leather Bund Plate
Water Resistance
12 ATM
Lug Width
2-Year Warranty

Notable Specs & Features

The X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer is as true as it gets to the original Skindiver Worldtimer. Its vintage features and old-school charm are ever-present. A black dial serves as a canvas for cardinal numerals (open 6 and 9, ftw), lengthy rectangular hour markers, an integrated cyclops within the double domed Hesalite crystal, and an inner numeral ring displaying a 24-hour military timescale. Beneath the 12 hour marker, Douglas reads across the dial but rest assured, Wolbrook and Douglas are one in the same. Douglas is actually a sister brand launched by Wolbrook several years after its inception in 1949. Douglas represented the utilitarian, G.A.D.A. watches for the working professional or weekend warrior within the Wolbrook catalog, highlighted by a water-proof and shock-protected case, as well as their signature green luminescent indices, also seen here within the current iteration of the Skindiver Worldtimer.

The X-15 also features a world timer bezel constructed out of stainless steel and an aluminum insert. With one rotation of the bezel, the time in 12 different locations (including the main time) can be figured out by way of the relationship between the hour hand and bezel positioning. All you need to do is just line up your current location via the bezel with the hour hand and presto, you’ve got your world time bearings (for the moment, at least). Also a part of the original design, the X-15 sneakily incorporates numerals with intervals of ten within the bezel display, so the element of tracking elapsed time is not lost for the sake of having a world timing function on the bezel.

The stainless steel case is of modern skindiver proportions – 40mm width, 48m lug to lug, and 13mm thickness. The case is constructed with a Hexaplex structure which translates to a water-tight housing equipped with a movement fixture highlighted by “3D” shock absorbers, a robust mono-bloc midcase, and a screw-down caseback. The photo below displays a caseback adorned with the Wolbrook insignia on a loaner model, but the production X-15 limited edition Skindiver Worldtimer features an engraving of the hypersonic X-15 jet.

Not Pictured Here Is The Iconic X-15 Test Jet That Is Engraved Into The Limited Edition Caseback

In true pilots watch fashion, the X-15 delivers on a single nylon-leather combo strap and a black leather bund plate. The leather accents are stitched within the nylon strap at the adjustment perforations for the pin-buckle as well as on the tail-end. The strap is accompanied by matching stainless steel hardware and a signed buckle.


I’ve always been partial to watches that serve as a platform for multiple functions. So when the X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer combines a dual function world timer bezel with a dive watch format, naturally I’m intrigued. But it’s kind of difficult to pinpoint exactly what this watch is. Its case silhouette is a diver. Its bezel and bund strap give off pilot watch vibes. The cardinal numerals and inner 24-hour ring speaks of a field watch. It all comes together in sort of a wabi-sabi way, but I guess that’s part of that “vintage charm” I keep speaking of.

I’ve always been impartial to the placement of a date window next to an hour numeral. I can’t un-see the date numeral adjacent to the fixed three hour numeral and the constant display of random numbers on that side of the dial. For example, a date that reads the first, to my eyes, reads as “13” at the three o’clock space. Or if the date reads the twenty-seventh, then I frustratingly see “273”. Does that make sense? Am I the only one that feels that way? Throw in the integrated magnifier that cuts off the three o’clock numeral, and it just confuses me even more. But as I said before, I’ll chalk this trait up to its wabi-sabi design intentions.

I See “313”

Then there’s the bund strap, of which I fully understand the history and purpose of the polarizing accessory. I entered this Hands-On review as an anti-bund guy, but I got to say, I can somewhat see the appeal. The bund plate offered on the X-15’s strap isn’t your traditional outline. The bund plate is trimmed and doesn’t follow the case as it rounds out at its sides. As a result, it kind of makes the bund strap discreet, especially at the end of a jacket cuff. Now am I going to buy a handful of bund straps the moment I finish writing this? Absolutely not, but if we were to entertain the idea of wearing one, it would be of this design (don’t hold your breath though). Best bet, in my opinion, is to throw this thing on a proper pass-through nylon strap and call it a day.



I’ve always been interested in how the current leadership of these resurrected brands navigate the future of their own respective brand. Do they keep telling the same story, or do they attempt something totally new? Wolbrook certainly has a format for what has made them successful by staying dead-center in the brand’s original design lane. But when you start tugging on the heartstrings of past historical achievements and exploration, then that’s when a certain piece increases its gravitational draw. The X-15 Skindiver Worldtimer embodies that and at a retail price of $492, it’s no wonder the thing sold out in Mach-10 quickness. We’ll be tuning in to see what type of story Wolbrook will write for itself. In the meantime, set those watch alerts. Wolbrook

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.