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Duneshore Shallows Review

roadwarrior

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Founded on October 7, 2013

Visitor Watch Co. is an indie mechanical watch brand based out of Indiana. We strive to offer products of unexpected design and value.

Pre-orders have begun for those on the wait list! Deliveries will begin in December 2020 and stretch through February 2021.
DSS_specs_for_web.jpg

At-a-glance Specifications:
WIDTH | 44mm
THICKNESS | ~15.6mm
LUG-TO-LUG | 51mm
LUG WIDTH | 22mm
CASE MATERIAL | 316L stainless steel
CRYSTAL | Sapphire w/ underside AR
MOVEMENT | Miyota 9039
WATER RESISTANCE | 200M
BEZEL | 120 click uni-directional



SEAL TEAL


SHARK SIDE


The Duneshore Shallows reinterprets the original Duneshore into a fun-loving, unashamedly casual sport watch. Though the Shallows understands it will most often be worn with short sleeves and not a wet-suit, it does possess 200 meters of water resistance - enough for just about any recreational dive - should you choose to get wet. This 100 meter increase in water resistance over the regular Duneshore was achieved with a solid back, a 1 mm increase to the wall thickness of the central case, an additional seal in the screw-down crown, and a 3 mm thick sapphire crystal. These changes, along with the addition of a rotating bezel, mean nearly every component of the Duneshore Shallows is unique from the Duneshore. Thickening the central case (while maintaining the overall footprint) meant shrinking the dial 2 mm in diameter and creating an all-new handset. The change to the minute hand should be obvious, but the hour and seconds hands are actually new, as well. The dial is date-free and all of the lume on the watch is C3 SuperLuminova.

The Shallows makes use of a high-beat Miyota 9039 automatic movement. For more legible elapsed timing, the Duneshore minute hand is now less 'pen nib' and more 'plongeur nib.' The solid, curved caseback of the watch features a sea lion (notice the knocker held in its mouth) embossing. The Duneshore Shallows debuts in four dial colors - Seal Teal, Sharkside, Iron Jade, and Tangerine Fission - each which may be paired with a stainless steel bracelet, black NBR, white NBR, or rubberized textile strap. Dimensions are unchanged from the original Duneshore (44 mm x 42 mm “cushion” case; 51 mm lug to lug), except for thickness, which has increased to ~13 mm at the valley of the curved caseback and ~15.6 mm at the crest (“exact” dimensions are a little tricky due to the curved embossing). The Duneshore Shallows starts at $750 and the watch will be covered by a 2-year international warranty.

All images are of a prototype. Minor adjustments have been made in production.

IRON JADE


TANGERINE FISSION


"Even though writing about watches and giving them a lot of thought is what we do here at Worn & Wound, it strikes me that we don’t often think of watches in this interpretive way – you’d never ask someone about the artistic statement of a Tudor Pelagos, for example. But there’s a quirkiness and a veiled mystery to the Duneshore Shallows that invites this kind of thinking. It’s a physical object that seems open to interpretation in the same way as a Charlie Kaufman film, or a King Crimson record, or Moby Dick."

-Zach Kazan, W&W





WATCH REVIEW
Hands-On With The Visitor Duneshore Shallows Dive Watch
If you're looking for an extravagant diver, this could be it...

BY JORG WEPPELINK
JANUARY 11, 2021
8 MIN READ
Article Liink

In 2020 we once again saw a great number of releases from small microbrands. Some you might forget rather quickly and some stick with you for a longer period of time. The latter was the case when I had the pleasure of reviewing the Linden Snowfall from Visitor Watch Co. during the summer of last year. The brand has its unique take on watches and definitely stands out from the crowd. Just before the year was over I had a chance to go hands-on with the all-new Visitor Dunshore Shallows dive watch.

Before I laid eyes upon the Visitor Duneshore Shallows, I had already seen pictures of it online. From those images, it was clear: this was not your average dive watch. As soon as I received the Dunshore Shallows I was reminded that witnessing the watch in the metal creates a lot more impact. There is an incredible level of detail that brand founder and owner Phil Rodenbeck puts into his watches. And those details only come to life when you hold the Dunshore Shallows in your hands. And there are lots of things to take about. But let’s start at the beginning before we go into the details.



The Visitor Duneshore Shallows

The Visitor Duneshore Shallows is part of the brand’s Calligraph collection along with the original Duneshore and the Linden that I reviewed last summer. The name comes from Rodenbeck’s love for pens and calligraphy that is reflected in all the dials and hands of the models in that collection. The Duneshore Shallows is a re-interpretation of the initial Dunshore that was announced back in 2014 and Robert-Jan reviewed here. Roughly six years later, Rodenbeck has released a re-interpretation of the original Dunshore, turning it into a dive watch.



But the new Duneshore Shallows is not just your typical run of the mill diver. It’s an extravagant and bold statement that definitely looks like the original Duneshore. But an incredible number of things have changed compared to the original. The most eyecatching is without a doubt the addition of the rotating bezel.

But there are so many smaller but very significant updates that turn this into a completely different watch. And once you’ve noticed all the details, it is easier to understand how much love went into creating this timepiece. I have to give Rodenbeck credit for his incredible eye for detail. The Duneshore is without a doubt a labor of love and I respect that greatly.



The Dunshore Shallows Case

It all starts with the remarkable 44mm case of the watch. The inspiration for the outer part of the case comes from the flowing lines of sand dunes. It’s obviously also where the name of the model comes from. It’s also the part that is most similar to that of the original watch. But where the original Dunshore had a polished finish, this Duneshore has a brushed finish. The central circular case was redesigned to make this a dive tool instead of “just” a striking dress piece. It has been thickened-up to increase the water resistance to 200 meters.

The polished center case creates a nice contrast with all the brushed parts.
As a result, the dial opening became 1mm smaller, resulting in a smaller dial and a completely new handset in order to keep the right proportions. A nice detail is the polished sides of the central circular case. It’s the only part of the case that is polished and it creates a nice contrast with all the brushed parts. Another change is the beefier crown that fits the profile of the case very well.



A steel curved bezel

The biggest change is obviously the addition of the rotating bezel. Rodenbeck decided to go for a 120-click unidirectional steel bezel with a curved top that recalls the profile made famous by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. On the bezel, you will find the first twenty minutes of the diving scale are fully marked out by a combination of lumed minute dots and 5, 10, 15, and 20 numerals in black paint. After that, you will find a black painted mark every five minutes. The exceptions to that rule? Three polished steel inset indices also filled with lume at the 30, 45, and 60 minutes positions.

The bezel feels really good quality.
What immediately stands out is the quality of the bezel. Not only when it comes to all the little intricate details that went into the design but overall it feels really good quality when you use it. With the combination of the domed top and conical bottom, and the flowing lines of the outer shape of the case, the bezel is very easy to use. I have to say it’s impressive to see how well Rodenbeck designed all the different parts and how well made it is.

When you turn the watch around you will find the same curved case back as on the original Duneshore. The major difference, however, is that the original featured a display case back. This new Duneshore model features a solid case back to increase water resistance. The back features an embossed image of a sea lion emphasizing the character of the watch.



Calligraphy inspired dial and hands

The Duneshore Shallows shares the aesthetic of the dial and hands with its peers in the Calligraph collection. The standout feature reflecting that is the pen-nib-inspired handset. Compared to the original Duneshore, the minute hand has changed style. It is a bigger and bolder hand that fits the functional nature of the watch a lot better. It features a big slab of C3 SuperLumiNova that is used for the hour hand and the indices as well.

The dial finish is supposed to remind us of wet ink.
The specific model Duneshore Shallows we had for review is called the Iron Jade. It is the version with a semi-gloss dark green dial color. The semi-gloss finish is another detail typical of the Callipgraph collection. It is supposed to remind us of wet ink. I have to say the shade of green used is a very nice one. It is probably best described as army green and fits the color of the lumed parts nicely. It features a black crosshair that is typical for the models we know from Visitor Watch Co.



As with the other Callipgraph models, the watch also features a sandwich dial that is visible if you look at the minute marks. The green dial has a second, lume-coated dial underneath it, which gives the dial extra depth. That’s a nice detail. Another shared element in the Calligraph collection are the ink-drop-style applied polished steel hour markers. Overall it’s a familiar aesthetic but once you are reminded of the level of detail, it is impressive to see all over again.



The Miyota 9039 movement

Inside the remarkable case, you will find the Miyota caliber 9039. Rodenbeck switched from the “regular” Miyota caliber 9015 that has a date function to the caliber 9039 that does not have a date. And I have to say I like that it does not have a date. It keeps the dial nice and clean and I like that for a divers’ watch.

I like that the watch does not have a date.
The Miyota 9039 is part of Miyota’s Premium Automatic line of movements. The movement operates at 28,800vph, has 24 jewels, and has a power reserve of 42 hours. It’s a proven, reliable workhorse movement that is used by quite a few microbrands. One of the better knowns is probably the Baltic Aquascaphe.



Wearing the Visitor Duneshore Shallows

Before I even thought about putting the Duneshore Shallows on my wrist, I checked all the shapes and details from up close. All the words I spend on this review will not do all the work that Rodenbeck has done justice. It is a watch that is made with an incredible eye for detail. And it’s also a watch that evokes reactions. The extravagant shapes of the outer part of the case a pretty much a love or hate element.

After all, it is a tool watch.
But there is a nuance to that. When you see the watch from the side, it comes across as very bold and a mixture of shapes and styles. But once you put the watch on your wrist, it is nowhere as outspoken as it looks from the side. And that’s a good thing. In the end, you don’t want all the shapes and details to distract from what a divers’ watch should do. After all, it is a tool watch. Sure, it is one that not too many future owners are likely to take diving, but still…



A divisive character

With its 44mm diameter and 51mm lug-to-lug size, the watch fits my wrist quite perfectly. The curved case back also ensures the watch sits comfortably on my wrist despite its 15.6mm thickness. Yes, this is quite a big watch. But the more I started wearing the watch, the more I got comfortable with it. In all honesty, at first, I wasn’t really sure what to think. There are things I love about the watch and there are details that are less to my liking.

The thing that I have a hard time getting used to is the calligraphy style of the hands. I had the same feeling with the Linden Snowfall I reviewed. While I have come to terms with the style of the hour markers, the new handset is a tough one. Next to the outspoken style of the hands, the minute hand is also very prominent. And if you are not a fan of the style, it’s hard to get away from. It’s right there every time you look at the watch. But there is also a lot I love about the watch.

The watch becomes an intriguing piece of design.
Overall, the shape of the case grew on me a lot. My first impressions were that there was too much going on for me. But as soon as you start wearing it, the watch seems to settle down and it becomes an intriguing piece of design. I quickly wanted to check the watch multiple times a day from different angles. Another thing of beauty is the steel bezel. I absolutely love its curvy design with all its nice details.



Straps or bracelet

The watch comes with a choice of straps and a bracelet. I had the opportunity to check out all the different variants and I preferred wearing the watch on the very comfortable black rubber strap. The same strap is also available in white, which gives the watch a completely different aesthetic. A third option is a black rubberized textile strap that is also a great option. Lastly, you also have the option of a steel bracelet. And not just a simple steel bracelet.

The bracelet is a cross between a mesh and a beads-of-rice style bracelet and features a huge butterfly clasp. The design of the clasp resembles the style of the case and features the Visitor Watch Co. logo prominently on it. While the bracelet feels very well made, the style is too over the top for me. It’s a great match for the watch when it comes to the design, but I really prefer to wear the watch with the black rubber strap with its big steel buckle.



Final Thoughts

Overall I am very impressed by what Phil Rodenbeck has done with this Visitor Watch Co. Duneshore Shallows. There is an incredible amount of love and man-hours that went into designing and producing the watch. I take my hat off to what Rodenbeck has achieved. You can debate the style and it might not be a watch that you particularly like, but Rodenbeck creates these watches primarily because he likes them himself. That passion for his watches really shines through in every little detail.

A great watch for the people that love its design.



And it becomes even more incredible when you discover that the prices for the Duneshore Shallows start at $750 which roughly translates to €615. Depending on whether you prefer a strap or the bracelet, prices will vary. But without a doubt, the unique looks, the level of quality, and the affordable price make this a great watch for people that want something different on a budget. And after reviewing the Linden and now the Duneshore Shallows, I will definitely keep my eye on the brand for future releases.

There will be a total of four versions available of the Duneshore Shallows. Next to the Iron Jade version, other dial colors that will be available are Seal Teal (turquoise), Sharkside (grey), and the Tangerine Fission (orange). And, as said, there is the choice of three different straps and the bracelet. The first watches are being delivered as we speak to the people that have pre-ordered one. After that, the watch will be publicly launched in the last week of February in the Visitor Watch Co. web store.

If you want to find out more about the Duneshore Shallows, you can visit the official Visitor Watch Co. website here.



 

daycoo2

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One very sharp, mid size, automatic, three hand, in some outstanding executions, from Duneshore. :dance2: Thanks Mike.:hat:
 
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