EXPLORER Blasted Version Review on WatchFreeks.com

Author : Don Evans

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First Impressions:
When I opened the box and un-mummified the watch, the first thing I did was put it on my wrist to check out the bracelet. Now, some might find that odd, knowing that I am more of a strap guy these days, but this bracelet just looked comfortable, and I was not wrong. I also noticed immediately that it looked bigger than its stated size of 42mm, which for me, was great.

I want to state right up front...........this watch costs $289 USD....I might say that quite a lot through this review. Packaging as you can see below is a medium orange pelican style case, Inside it includes, the watch , the rubber strap, screwdriver, extra lug bar, instruction manual and warranty card. Now, I am not a huge fan of these style of cases.....only because they do take up a lot of room in storage, but one thing is for sure, is that you know your watch is protected in transit, nothing will hurt this in its trip from overseas. Beyond that, the reason I mentioned price is as we get onto the watch, you will see that between the watch and the packaging, this watch is an outstanding value.

The dial is a matte black dial with stark white hands and markers. The hands are are bead blasted stainless steel hands, which is a nice contrast against the black dial. The dial writing is much more subdued on this Explorer model than past Obris Morgan offerings, which is a welcome change. The dial itself somewhat reminds me of a pilot style dial, most likely due to the large triangle for the 12 marker. You will notice it is lacking a date. This was obviously done on purpose, but I am not sure why. I think a date could have worked on this dial, but that said, it is fine without it as well.

Case, Bezel and Crystal:
The case on my example is all bead blasted. It is a 42mm case with a 41mm diameter unidirectional rotating bezel. The bezel insert is your standard black aluminum. One thing to point out is the 30 marker, being right side up, instead of upside down. While I don't really notice it at all, I know many pointed it out when this watch was in rendering and prototype stage. Well, it did make it to production. I am not sure if it was an oversight, or done intentionally to be different. For me, I don't use my bezels to time anything, so its a non issue. The bezel turns very nicely with firm clicks. The case is a somewhat standard or traditional dive case, with very nice curved lugs, which really ride nice on the wrist. It utilizes screw bars to hold the bracelet in place, which on my example were extremely easy to remove and swap the bracelet for the rubber strap, and then back again. The crystal is an AR coated sapphire. The AR coating, could honestly be a little better in my opinion, as it is not as clear as it could be, but I am being nit picky with that. It has a large screw down crown with the engraved Obris Morgan logo, and is very smooth to operate, and screws down with ease.

Case back:
The screw down case back isn't very flashy, but they still did some etching of the Obris Logo , and it is done in a combination of brushed and blasted finishes. It also tells important info such as water resistance, steel type (316 of course) and serial number.


The bracelet is a big highlight of the Explorer and I think helps elevate the watch. It is a beautiful multi-link bracelet, completely bead blasted front and back and very well finished. It is very smooth with no rough edges whatsoever. The bracelet attaches to the case using solid end pieces and the links are held together by one sided screws. It has your standard dive clasp with a push button opening, and a safety latch. One thing I noticed is it is missing a dive extension.

Rubber Strap:

The rubber strap at first glance reminds you of an Isofrane, which is true, but I think it reminds me more the original isofrane strap from the 60's. The holes are bigger and more square and placed farther apart. That said, it is made of natural rubber, feels good on the wrist and collects no dust or lint. The buckle is a large isofrane style buckle which has been bead blasted to match the watch case.

As with many of these micro brand watches, this utilizes the miyota 9015 automatic movement. For most reading this you know I love this movement.....for those that have not heard of this movement, it is a fantastic movement that keeps incredible time and is very smooth to wind, as well as the sweep second being very smooth. My review model has been a consistent -5 seconds over a 24 hour period.

The lume used is C1 SuperLuminova. As you can see below, it gives off a greenish/blue glow. The hands are definitely better lumed than the markers, and overall, the lume is what I would call average. I have seen far worse, but I have seen better. This is truly one of my only gripes about this watch at all. The hands do glow for an extended period of time, so telling time is not an issue, but the markers do fade rather quickly.

I truly believe this is a great watch. No if and or buts, I do find this to be not only a great watch, but a fantastic value. My only real gripe which I stated above is the lume, and while I do love lume, I do not think a watch should be measured by lume alone. It comes in a great presentation case, comes with a super comfortable and good looking multi-link bracelet, rubber strap, tools and extra lug bar as well, with a sapphire crystal and Miyota 9015 movement all for $289. These days ...that is hard to beat. The watch is well finished and well constructed, and I would dare say there might not be another dive watch for this price with these specs out on the market right now. As always, it all comes down to personal style and taste, but if you like the looks, you do not have to worry about the build quality on this Obris Morgan Explorer. They did a very good job with that. Thank you for reading, please check out the video in the post below.

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