Hands On: Raven Deep Tech (2020)

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It’s been just over six years since Zach Weiss took a look at the original Deep Tech, and quite a bit has changed in the watch world since then. Big watches were much more common and popular, which the Deep Tech could have easily gotten lost amongst. While the design of the watch hasn’t undergone too many changes, there are definitely some notable improvements and alterations to Raven’s 2500m beast of a dive watch. A double gasket-sealed case back, and triple-sealed crown cover the “Deep”, while a helium escape valve and thick sapphire crystal contribute to the “Tech” side. It’s Raven’s most capable watch, and the name drives that point home. Today, we’re taking a look at the newest edition of the Deep Tech and how this unapologetically large watch holds up in the current scene that’s trending towards smaller sizes and vintage-inspired design. Let’s start off with some specs:

$1100

Hands On: Raven Deep Tech (2020)

Case
Stainless Steel
Movement
ETA 2826
Dial
Various colors
Lume
BGW9
Lens
Domed Sapphire
Strap
Steel Bracelet
Water Resistance
2500M
Dimensions
42.5 x 52mm
Thickness
17mm
Lug Width
22mm
Crown
Screw-down
Warranty
Yes
Price
$1100

A 2500m water-resistant case is no small feat of engineering. It takes a lot to be able to withstand such harsh conditions, but the Raven Deep Tech manages to pull it off without feeling like you’re wearing an actual submarine strapped to your wrist. At 42.5mm, the diameter of the watch is actually quite reasonable. The lug-to-lug of 52mm is on the longer size, and there’s no getting around the fact that 17mm is quite tall on the wrist. However, the design and proportions are spot-on, making it about as wearable as a watch this size could be on my modest 6.75” wrist.

let’s get this out of the way – it’s tall

In looking at the case, you’ll notice that there are some similarities to the Rolex Sea Dweller. There are thick slab sides, a prominent crown guard, and that classic dive watch shape. On the left side of the case, there’s a helium escape valve should you find yourself saturation diving. Each surface of the case features a uniform brushed finish, which differs from the older version with polished sides. The brushing gives off a more tool-ish appearance, and to me, better suits the watch than the polished surfaces of the older version. The thick coin-edge bezel surrounds a hefty 4.5mm thick sapphire crystal that’s gently domed, standing just a fraction of a millimeter over the lumed sapphire bezel insert. Action on the 120-click bezel is snappy and smooth, while taking just the right amount of pressure to get it going as to avoid unwanted bumps out of alignment.

Under that beefy crystal is a printed dive watch dial with a triangle at 12, elongated pointed polygons at 3, 6, and 9, with squares filling in for the rest of the numerals. Each of the indices is treated with BGW9 luminous paint that gives off a pleasing blue-green glow. The Raven logo is proudly displayed at 12, counterbalanced by three lines of text just above six o’clock. “DEEP TECH” is on the first line, followed by the impressive “8000ft. = 2500m” water resistance rating, and finally “AUTOMATIC” at the bottom to let you know that the watch winds itself.

Gorgeous blue option
Clean, classic black
Thick bezel grip
Great lume

You read the time off a mirror-polished set of hands that are rectangular in appearance with the outermost corners chopped off at a 45º angle to add some refinement. The hour and minute hands are filled with the same lume as the rest of the dial. Both the hand set and dial give off the same amount of light, which is a nice little touch that shows Raven’s attention to detail. I particularly like the rectangular lume plot at the end of the seconds hand because it not only adds some extra visibility, but also some vintage-style charm.

Inside the Deep Tech, you’ll find an automatic ETA 2826 movement beating away at 28,800bph. The movement is Swiss-made, and features 25 jewels, a 38-hour power reserve, hand-winding and hacking seconds. The Deep Tech on hand does not feature a date window, but others in the lineup do, all with the same reliable movement.

The bracelet has a 4mm taper

Raven’s Deep Tech ships on a 22mm stainless steel oyster style bracelet. The entire bracelet is finished with the same fine brushing to match the case. Massive solid end links keep it secured to the case. Each end link is fitted with precision, matching the lines of the lugs perfectly. The 22mm bracelet tapers down to 18mm at the clasp. Raven does a great job with their clasp design. There are micro-adjust holes as well as a 5-position dive extension that’s integrated seamlessly into the clasp itself. Next to the two clasp release buttons, you’ll find another pair of angled sliders that allow a ratcheting portion of the clasp to extend out, adding nearly 15mm of extra length to the circumference of the bracelet. There are also two half links present in the bracelet to ensure that any sized wrist can get the perfect fit. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the design, and it really shows. The heft of the bracelet also does a great job of balancing out the large head of the watch.

Out of curiosity, I threw the Deep Tech on a nylon mil-strap with a keeper. The additional height that this style of strap adds is less than ideal on a watch that’s already 17mm tall, but the look is fun and sporty, albeit a bit over the top. You don’t always need your watch to be slim and sleek, and sometimes it’s just plain fun to have a monster watch on your wrist. The Deep Tech isn’t slipping under any cuffs, but it wasn’t meant to. I’d love the opportunity to take this thing out swimming in the ocean, even though I don’t personally stray too far from the surface.

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Big, but wearaable
Stylish on a mil-strap

Conclusion

Sure, the Deep Tech boasts some serious specs, but at heart, it’s a fun watch to wear. The attention to detail, impressive specs, quality materials, and high level of fit and finish result in a watch that definitely punches above its weight. As the owner of a Raven Solitude, it’s cool to see what a larger, beefier watch from the brand is capable of achieving. The Deep Tech is a large dive watch done right. It never felt overbearing, despite my average-sized wrists. At $1100, it represents a hell of a value too. Even though it’s Raven’s most expensive watch, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dive watch with the same level of sealing, water-resistance, and quality feel for the same price. Raven Watches


 

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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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