In this long-term watch review I’m going to dive deep into the Steinhart Ocean One Titanium and lay out the case why it’s a great value, great watch, and often overlooked. At the time of this writing I have owned the Ocean One Titanium for well over two years. If you don’t want to read the whole thing below….just buy the watch, it has my stamp of approval.
If you’re anything like me, you are always looking for that one great watch, you know, the one watch that can do everything. From looking good on a date, handling an adventure, wearing at work, to being your grab-and-go piece that makes you look like James Bond in a tuxedo, you want one single watch that can do it all. Then, after all of that, you can pass it down to your heirs when you die.
Now, I’m not sure there is such a watch, but the Steinhart Ocean Titanium comes mighty close. I am definitely not a “one watch collection” type of guy, and I can barely pack less than five watches when I go out of town. However, if you only have a few spots in your watch box, then you want to take a long look at this Steinhart.
Before I jump into the details, I want to acknowledge the love/hate relationship that’s out there with respect to Steinhart. While they do have several original designs, they are most known for building high quality, homage, dive watches that look very close to several Rolex watches. Many of the watches in Steinhart’s catalog pull design cues from Rolex, but there are enough original touches added to separate them out from other sheer replica and homage Rolex watches.
I am not for or against homage watches, and it’s a very complicated topic to get into. This review is not really the place for a long discussion on the matter. I own several Steinhart watches and they are flat out awesome watches at some unbelievable price points. When you consider the junk some micro brand companies are trying to push out, it’s easy to see why Steinhart has so much to offer.
Non-watch people have no idea what’s on your wrist…
As watch folks, we always need to remember one important thing: 99.99% of the world knows nothing about watches and has no idea what you are wearing on your wrist. If you’re reading this, you might be able to identify a specific watch from 50 feet away, but regular people can’t. You are the only one that needs to be happy with what you’re wearing.
When I unboxed the watch for the first time, I was not disappointed. It is beautiful, well-constructed, and perfectly finished. It’s hard to believe this is only a $670 watch. Steinhart delivers on the packaging, as the watch comes in a very nice padded box with a slide cover. This is one of the few watches that look better in person. For some reason, all the catalog and eCommerce sites use the same few stock images from Steinhart. The pictures are so goofy looking that they may dissuade buyers from picking one up – that’s where Instagram and YouTube come in handy. The watch passed my initial impressions test.
I’ve Also Reviewed The Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT Here
Is There That One Ultimate Do It All Watch Out There?
In my never-ending hunt for a great watch, I found all the YouTube video reviews of the Steinhart Ocean Vintage. This is the Steinhart that is very close to the Rolex Mil-Sub. I wasn’t really looking for that type of watch, but wanted more of an original robust diver. There is no shortage of dive watches out there, and it’s difficult to compare them all and make a decision.
However, I soon stumbled on the Ocean One Titanium and knew that was exactly what I was looking for. It had all the things I wanted: water resistance, lume, sapphire, screw down crown and case back, and a solid bracelet with screwed links. The fact that it was titanium was a bonus. You wouldn’t think it makes that much difference, but the weight savings is more than noticeable on the wrist.
I am fortunate to have a few choices when I go to put on a watch, and the Steinhart Ocean One Titanium gets a lot of time on my wrist. It’s pretty close to a perfect watch for me. There are definitely historic design cues here from Rolex, but really, don’t all dive watches pull something from them? However, there are also enough traits to make this an original watch from Steinhart. But let’s get into some specifics.
The Titanium Case:
The case and bracelet are made from brushed titanium. Neither Steinhart’s own website or Gnomon’s website (the other main place to buy this watch) mention the exact grade or blend of titanium. Regardless, it’s a very light watch. You have to get used to wearing titanium watches; their lack of weight can easily be misconstrued into believing that the watch isn’t substantial or robust enough for adventure. Of course, this is far from the case, but when you are used to the heft of a Seiko Samurai or Orient Triton, a titanium watch can actually feel like a toy. At the end of a long day of wearing the Ocean One Titanium, you will be very thankful for the weight savings.
The finishing on the case is excellent. I assume it’s brushed titanium, however in one spot on Steinhart’s website under specifications it calls the watch “Titan Stained.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, and couldn’t find anything else on it. What I can tell you is that after 2+ years of ownership, the case and bracelet have held up extremely well. The clasp shows the normal fine marks from daily wear, but after several vacations and lots of life, the case is virtually scratch-free and still looks new.
The watch has a see-through case back, which is a nice touch, but I could care less about it. The more and more I wear the watch, I find I never really stop to stare at the movement. But, it does highlight the extra features and build quality you get on the watch. It’s impressive that it has 500 meters of water resistance with an exhibition case back.
The case has a dimension of 42mm with a lug-to-lug of 49mm. The watch wears very well and it’s a good looking 42mm. Some watches look smaller than their dimensions while others look a little larger than what the ruler says. In the case of the Ocean One Titanium, it’s spot on. The 42mm actually comes from the bezel diameter, the case itself is about 1mm shy of the edge of the bezel. What really makes this watch wear so well is the 13mm overall height, which includes the domed crystal. The low height really helps to make this watch perform multiple functions in your watch collection, as it can easily slide under a shirt sleeve.
That Dial Is Something To Look At!
Besides the titanium, the dial is what really makes this watch stand out from the crowd. It’s clean, crisp (if that can be used to describe a watch dial), and has a utilitarian look to it. The dial is uncluttered and easy to read with minimal text and no unnecessary decorations. The date window is at 6 o’clock and helps to give the whole dial layout a very symmetrical look.
I like how Steinhart went with a more minimal design on the dial; it’s very simple with just the bare minimum of extra text such as water resistance and the name.
The dial hands and markers are more pronounced, which leads to the great legibility and also the industrial look (which I love). This also gives the dial a lot of surface for the lume, and there is plenty of it! The hour markers, hands, and bezel all have Superluminova BGW 9 painted on, and this watch does not disappoint if you’re a lume junkie.
Capping off the dial is a domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating on the underside. They did a great job on the anti-reflective coating, and the dial is visible in every situation. The coating does give it a slight blue tint at certain angles, so if you see any pictures on the internet, the dial looks like it has a blue chapter ring. The chapter ring is black with blue markers at each 5 min mark.
Besides the beautiful crystal, the bezel is fitted with a ceramic insert. This ‘little bit of extra’ really gives the watch a premium feel, and the bezel is also lumed.
Inside is an ETA 2892-2 Elaboré Premium.
Inside is an ETA 2892-2 Elaboré Premium. I mentioned above the watch has an exhibition case back, which (while I don’t use it too much) is nice to have. Steinhart has put a few custom touches on the ETA movement inside, most notably, the gold rotor and several blued screws, both of which are visible from the underside. The watch has been extremely accurate, but the one downside of these ETA’s is the power reserve: I only get about 36-37 hours when the watch just sits.
Steinhart has done an excellent job on the fit and finish, and the crown and adjustment of the watch is smooth and firm. I have a few other watches with the same ETA movement and they are very vague when you pull out the crown, meaning you have to fiddle with the crown to get it in position to adjust either the date or time. Here, with this particular Steinhart, the tactile feel of the movement on adjustment is fantastic. I am not sure if the “Elaboré Premium” has anything to do with it, but the watch keeps solid time and feels good when setting the time and date.
The Bracelet: Solid Endlinks & Screws
The bracelet on the Ocean One Titanium is almost excellent. I say ‘almost’ because the clasp really is a pain. At first I didn’t think much about it and when I got the watch I was just getting into wearing bracelet watches. Prior to this, I wasn’t a bracelet guy, but now it’s almost all I wear. The high points are that the bracelet has four micro-adjustment positions and has screws holding the links together, which I love. Screws make adjusting the bracelet so painless and it’s great on a seasonal level if you like to add a link for summer and remove one for winter.
My issue with the bracelet is the clasp. The nail nick to open the clasp lock is almost non-existent, and it’s very difficult to get your fingernail underneath to undo the lock. The second issue is that there are no push button releases, the entire clasp is friction-fit, including the lock and the locking clasp; it just isn’t the easiest clasp to open. I have found friction-fit clasps to get relatively loose over time, and I’ve taken a pair of pliers and squeezed the clasp sides together to tighten things up on some watches, including my Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military. (I am fortunate to own a gray dial version!) This is absolutely NOT a deal breaker here, I bring it up just to be honest and thorough.
I also want to note here that the bracelet matches the case exactly. I have seen on other precious metal watches, and on other titanium watches, that the case and bracelet have a slightly different color. Not here; the finish matches perfectly. The bracelet is a standard three-link style that tapers from the 22mm lugs down to 18mm at the clasp. The end links are female (or negative depending on your verbiage). This means the bracelet links drop directly down from the edge of the case which aids in getting a good fit on the wrist.
Wearability & Daily Use
So, how does the watch wear and perform? I have to say, quite well. The Steinhart is light and comfortable on the wrist, thanks to the use of titanium in both the case and bracelet. It’s accurate and has plenty of lume for your next adventure. Where the watch really shines is in its ability to multitask. Of course it’s really a diver at heart, but with its solid build quality and legibility it works perfect in any type of active situation. In addition to performing outdoors, the matte titanium is subdued enough to look casual for a family party, but also exotic enough for a fancy dinner or a more formal setting.
If you need your watch to be able to do it all, then the Ocean One Titanium just might be for you. It definitely looks a lot more expensive than what it sells for, but it’s not too flashy to send the wrong signal.
Is The Ocean One Titanium A Good Value?
The actual and perceived value of a watch is a huge sticking point for me. There is nothing worse than spending your money only to be disappointed. This can easily happen with watches because on paper they seem to add up, but in real life they are a let down. I have experienced this so many times, and it stinks.
However, you are getting a lot more watch for your money with the Ocean One Titanium. It’s actually hard to believe that the Steinhart Ocean One Titanium retails for only $670! In fact, it’s crazy when you look at other watches on the market within $100 of this (up or down). You are getting an upgraded movement, titanium, 500M of water resistance, a great bracelet, sapphire, good lume, and all the looks. This watch could easily be $1,000+!
If you are looking to get a lot of watch for your money, the Steinhart Ocean One Titanium should definitely be a contender.
Should You Buy The Steinhart Ocean One Titanium?
This is always the question that it comes down to. We all work hard for our money, and sometimes it can be difficult to say if something is worth a purchase. However, I feel no qualms about telling you that this is a great purchase. With the Ocean One Titanium, you are getting a German made watch with a Swiss movement, basically blending some of the world’s best engineering into one package. It’s pretty nuts to think about the sheer volume of sub-$500 dive watches on the market. I am always in awe of any brand that can actually sell enough units to stay in business.
When you handle the Ocean One Titanium in person, it becomes very easy to see why not only is it an awesome watch, but why Steinhart is so successful. They have assembled a really solid diver with a lot of extra features and touches to give you something special to strap on the wrist.
The Ocean One Titanium has become one of my top watches. I grab it in a bunch of different situations. It blends a lot of watch history into an affordable dive watch that is sure to last for years to come.
Why did I wait so long to review the Ocean One Titanium? I can tell you that a long-term watch review is very different from wearing a watch for a week or month and then sitting down to pen your thoughts. Your initial opinions can really change when you spend a year or so with a watch.
I definitely have a few watches that I thought I loved, only to leave them aside after a few months. That’s not the case with the Steinhart; I wear it on a very regular basis and still look forward to putting it on. Recently, while waiting for a meeting to begin, I looked down to see the time, and was struck again by just how great of a watch it is.
I love wearing this guy, and I am sure you will also.
The Steinhart Ocean One Titanium
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.