Hexa K500 + Q500 Review

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When considering Hexa’s dive watches, you immediately have to decide whether or not you are down with the crown being located between the 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock markers. It’s not a conventional placement, but it’s also not on the part of the watch that might dig into your hand — a bonus in my book. It’s a bold design decision and since I applaud messing with convention, count me in.

HEXA_K500_Q500_DIALS

But if you are that sensitive in general, the Hexa probably isn’t for you. These watches definitely go better with the guy who drives a F150, not for the guy who carries a copy of “Pride and Prejudice” in his back pocket. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, let’s get to total package. Hexa’s automatic K500 and its quartz sibling the Q500 are utilitarian tool divers that borrow visual cues from the Sinn U1. There are lots of sharp angles throughout the watches, which share the same case shape. If these watches were a human body, they would have a low body fat percentage.

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Rated to 500 meters, Hexa offers a highly functional dive watch that will appeal to people who are ready to backpack the globe — or those who want to get the adventurer look. My outings with both watches involved playgrounds and swing sets instead of the Great Barrier Reef, and the Hexas served me well in the unspoken contest of dads who still want to look cool. And there would be no doubt the Hexas would be conversation pieces on a group dive.

HEXA_K500_Q500_GRID1Case: Brushed or Matte Steel
Movement: Seiko Instruments NE15 for $750 or Miyota quartz for $350
Dial: Black (automatic version), Grey (quartz version)
Lume: Lum-Tec C3
Lens: Sapphire (flat)
Strap: In-house Italian rubber and 5-link engineer style bracelet
Water Res.: 500M
Dimensions: 44 x 51mm
Thickness: 14.75 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Crown: 6 x 6 mm
Warranty: 2 year
Price: $663 rubber only/$738 w/bracelet option added (automatic), $350/$424 (quartz)

Case
Made of 316L surgical steel, the chunky case is unapologetically modern. It’s a piece of metal that only has curvature where it needs to. The 45 x 51mm case diameter fits modern sport watch standards and definitely takes up most of my 6.5-inch wrist.

HEXA_Q500_CROWN1

The before-mentioned crown on the upper left hand side uses integrated crown guards that seamlessly match the lines of the rest of the case. Functionally, you can set your watch off the wrist pretty easily. However, the crown guards are sharp, so it doesn’t make for the most pleasant crown turning experience.

Hexa offers several bezel finish options including bead-blasted and PVD. It has an easy-grip design (5mm thick) with protruding squared edges. The look really pops and from a far away glance, it’s clear it’s a serious dive watch. The 60-click bezel rotates with strong positive clicks that inspires confidence. The numbers around the bezel sit on the outside of the bezel, making it easy to read elapsed times.

HEXA_K500_CASE1

The K500 came with a black PVD bezel that contrast nicely with the case and matches the dial, which is accented with a red minute hand and 500m on the dial. As Michael Jordan proved, red and black go quite well together. As sharp as the K500 looks, the grey dialed Q500 combined with a bead-blasted case is a standout color combo that is dramatically subdued. It’s a particular hue of gray that gets noticed without any need to shout.

It’s a bit of a cop out to not state a preference for case finish style, but I truly enjoy both finishes equally. Also adding to the functionality of the watches, drilled lug holes make strap changing a pleasure.

HEXA_K500_Q500_CASEBACK

Dial
Hexa lets us know that its dial designs employ “numerical letterforms based on interstate signage – designed to be absorbed at quick glance.” Well, it works — very well. In fact the sweeping seconds hand with a rectangular tip and straight edge hands and markers all add up to an easy-to-read dial. The Lum-Tec branded C3 Superluminova is no joke as a quick night run to my local bodega lit up my entire walk home on dark streets.

Everything about the dial is straightforward and designed with a commendable minimalism. The date window just below 4 o’clock is a smartly placed out of the way for maximum time telling ability.

HEXA_Q500_DIAL1

I must gush about the grey dial on the Q500. The particular shade of grey Hexa chose is so classy and gives the entire piece an elegant air. As much as the interplay between the PVD and brushed surfaces works on the K500, the grey dialed quartz watch, which employs a vertical 500m signifier at 6 o’clock, is a scene stealer. It’s really different without trying too hard to stand out.

Both watches come equipped with a flat 3mm sapphire crystal with inner anti-reflective coating that matches the functional esthetic. No complaints in this department.

HEXA_K500_DIAL4

Movement
The choice of the 6R15 movement is solid. Hand-windable and hacking, it’s been proven in the field and is known to be reliable as far as timekeeping. Fans applaud its stated 55-hour power reserve. The Miyota quartz had no issues and at the below $500 price point is a reasonable spec.

Hexa regulates its autos in 6 positions before shipping. That little bit of extra effort will certainly earn an allegiance for this small brand.

Straps and Wearability
First off, the bracelet is superb, a bit difficult to adjust, but once it’s on it wears well with on-the-fly adjustability through a solid ratcheting clasp. I happen to like the small five-link (engineer) style for its tough looks and heft. If you are a bracelet guy, get the bracelet.

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That said a nice rubber such as the Italian straps Hexa provides fit the serious-business motif better. These are thick, durable vanilla-scented numbers, available in rich black, red, dark grey and olive green. While not everyone can pull-off a red rubber strap, the grey and green versions offered a subtle pop and contrasted well with the watch head.

Paired with rubber was also the most comfortable setup for me as I have smaller wrists with flat tops (for your reference). I never really noticed the weight of the watch on my wrist, but I would not give these watches any extra credit for comfort. Like most aspects of these 500s, the job gets done.

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Packaging

The black Pelican-style case is a highlight of purchasing from Hexa. I don’t get excited about how a watch is presented very often, but these watches are packaged to look like something Q would hand Bond. With dual latches that flip open and a bombproof construction, Hexa’s presentation lets its buyers feel like they are about to unleash a purpose-built piece of machinery.

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Conclusion

Like the Cubism movement in art, Hexa is challenging conventional forms of representation of what a dive watch should look like. For those who value precision and modern-looking shapes, the Hexa is a match for your wrist. Both watches are defiantly distinct in appearance.

In the very-competitive $700 dive watch market, I must commend the company for not doing things the safe route. The Q500 for $350 may be priced on the higher end with a conventional quartz movement, especially with Citizen’s Eco-Drive (solar) quartz technology offerings that often are priced below the $200 range. For its unique design and dial color, the Hexa quartz makes a lot of sense for those want the look, but aren’t willing to pony up for the K500‘s asking price. Considering it keeps the water resistance and build quality of its mechanical sibling, $350 actually makes quite a bit of sense.

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Behind the scenes I can picture these guys deciding to create a dive watch they would want to wear–not what they think people would want to wear. Both the K500 and Q500 represent that new breed of small batch productions that pack in a lot features at a fair price point. Now whether you can live with that crown position is a very personal choice.

by Li Wang

Images from this post:
Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw

10 responses to “Hexa K500 + Q500 Review”

  1. Traviss says:

    Unfortunately I am one of the people who do not like the crown at that position because otherwise I love the look of these watches.

  2. tyreko says:

    Not quite sure how I feel about the crown position, but it’s still a striking design.

    The bracelet looks impressive too

  3. Tom A. says:

    I have the Q500 with rubber strap. It was launched with a promotion: $50 cheaper than the current price.

    I agree with all the observations, it is really a nicely made and original watch for the price.
    The lume is pretty good, not on the level of my Sumo (but then, what is?) but better than most.
    I love that the strap has that vanilla scent, a nice touch.
    So, the postion of the crown… Indeed it makes it less evident to adjust your watch, but frankly how oftend o you need to do that with a quartz watch? Hence, I don’t mind, and it wears comfortably.
    All in all it is a very nice casual watch with more character than many other watches at the price.

    • Li Wang says:

      i agree with you, Tom. I am spoiled by Seiko lume too, and on the quartz the crown placement is a non-issue functionally, but I understand those who don’t like it looks wise.

  4. Pat O says:

    Interesting design, not my thing though. Never liked rubber straps.

  5. Dnguyen says:

    Nothing special.

  6. Roger G says:

    What a fantastic looking watch. Tough and minimal, utilitatian yet unique.

    And love the analogy, spot on.

    “If these watches were a human body, they would have a low body fat percentage.”

  7. Roger G says:

    Oh and I just wanted to point out, the rubber strap shape is really similar to the Bell&Ross’s – which has Sinn in it’s lineage.
    All makes sense, really.

    I actually prefer this design to anything from Sinn or B&R.

  8. Will says:

    To me, it looks inspired by the ploprof and the u1, both very good designs, and yet this had its own unique look, and it’s very practical. The “destro” position of the crown means that although it’s not as easy to a adjust, it doesn’t dig in to either side if you’re bending your hand back, which is one of my annoyances with traditional watch designs and especially those with big crowns. I like it. A serious tool watch.

  9. paulie says:

    I found your review very helpful. Especially since I have a 6.5″ wrist as well. I also agree with your observations of the watch–well, as much as I can without owning one. I actually have a K500 in the air at the moment. Looking forward to getting it. I’m hoping it’s as comfortable as it is tough looking. Thanks for a great review.