Dive watches are always at the top of my want list. No matter how many I get, there’s another one that piques my interest immediately after. About Vintage got me interested in their 1926 At’Sea model by creating a unique design and backing it up with top-quality components.
The Green Vintage Turtle model I chose got my attention with its chic diamond-patterned dial and resplendent green color that’s seldom seen in my watch box. What sealed the deal for me were the 20 hatchlings of an endangered turtle species that About Vintage saves with every watch purchased from the Turtle lineup.
In a world where microbrands are plentiful, I think they have no choice but to add value apart from the watch itself to interest customers. In my opinion, partnering up with the Turtle foundation is a great way to do this.
However, you’re not only saving turtles with the 1926 At’Sea. You’re also getting an incredible timepiece for a reasonable amount of money.
For instance, you get a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. This one is very subtle with its slight beveling and flat top. This gives the watch a thin profile, something that’s usually not true for those equipped with a domed crystal.
Next, I’ve only got positive things to say about the bracelet with its solid end-links, machined clasp, and tons of micro-adjustments. If I had one thing to improve upon it would be the clasp lock which I would change to a push-button for more ease when taking it off.
I usually steer clear of quartz watches as I’m somewhat of a mechanical movement purist. However, the TMI VH31 caliber lodged inside the 1926 At’Sea has something going on that’s pretty rare for quartz watches: a sweeping seconds hand.
This one beats 4 times per second instead of 1 time per second like basic quartz movements, which gives way more fluidity to the watch. With this, you get the convenience of a quartz watch (great accuracy, low maintenance) and the smoothness of a mechanical sweeping hand.
The bezel is a conflicting part of the 1926 At’Sea for me. On one hand, I love the crispness of the mechanism and the coin-edge pattern. However, it has quite a lot of play between the clicks, and it has the usual microbrand misalignment (not perfectly centered).
The 1926 comes with a 39mm case, which to me is the perfect sweet spot for dive watches. However, About Vintage got you covered if you think otherwise. You can either upsize it to 42mm or downsize it to 36mm, making everyone happy.
The case is pretty basic, although well-executed. You get thin brushed lugs and beautifully curved polished sides. The standard case back is already gorgeous with a heavy polish and a skyline of Copenhaguen. What makes it even cooler is that you can engrave two lines of text for no extra charge.
The 1926’s name is a reference to the Rolex Oyster, the first-ever waterproof watch. About Vintage has no choice but to offer diver specs on a timepiece with this name, and they totally deliver. You get 200 meters of water resistance, a characteristic that is proudly displayed on the dial and on the case back.
Combine this with the tight screw-down crown, unidirectional bezel, easy-to-read hands & indices, and amazing lume and you get an absolute beast of a dive watch ready to take on the ocean.
The elements of the 1926 At’Sea’s dial are nothing out-of-the-ordinary, but they’re all well-executed and work perfectly together. The round indices are a bit smaller than usual, but I think that goes well with the minimalist style of the watch.
The 6 and 12 o’clock indices are diamond-shaped and they’re one layer deeper than the dial, instead of the rest of the indices which are stuck above the dial. This gives a subtle 3-layer design to the dial that’s easy to miss, but very rich & deep when you look into it.
The minute indices are a bit muted by their dark metallic color and they’re in the distortion field of the domed crystal which makes them barely visible. The bezel insert won’t help much with this since it’s only minute-graduated up to 15, after which you get marks every 5 minutes.
This is no big deal to a typical desk diver like me, but professional divers who seek utmost accuracy might have to look elsewhere.
If I had one thing to change about the 1926 At’Sea dial it would be to remove the company’s name. “ABOUT VINTAGE by Skov Andersen” takes up a lot of real estate and removes symmetry between the upper and lower part of the dial in my opinion. The logo itself is cute and I wouldn’t mind if it was scaled about two times bigger.
The 1926 At’Sea came in a wooden box that really felt like I was about to open up a $10k+ swiss watch. This would be perfect for a gift to a friend or loved one without needing to package it differently. About Vintage also offers a two-year warranty with their watches, which shows they stick by their products.
The 1926’s $400 USD price tag can be brought down to $340 by using the code ROMEOWATCHES. At $340, the About Vintage 1926 At’Sea packs a lot of punch. The materials used are of great quality, the styling is truly unique, and the specifications are up to watch enthusiast standards.
Paired with the free shipping, free engraving, and 2-year warranty, I think the 1926 is very reasonably priced if you’re looking for a tried-and-true diver watch that will last you a long time.