Here’s a review that’s outside my usual realm of writing instruments. I was supposed to be writing for a watch review website, but it ended up fizzling out. I figured since I’ve prepared some reviews, I’d share them with you guys. Please let me know what you think in the comments, and if this is something you would want to see more of. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the review!
The Bali Ha’i “Q”
PVD / Carbon Fiber
Specifications (from Bali Ha’i):
- Swiss Quartz Movement with ultra-long battery life (up to 10 years)
- 316L Marine-Grade Stainless Steel Construction
- 120-Click Rotating Diver’s Bezel
- C-3 Superluminova
- Sapphire Crystal
- Rated 500m Water Resistant (250+ Fathoms)
- 42 mm Diameter (excluding crown)
- 22 mm Strap / Lug Width
- Italian natural rubber (“NBR”) strap with engraved buckle
- Leather strap with engraved buckle
- Packaged in Seahorse dive box
- 1 year limited warranty
- Price: $450 + shipping for the PVD
Introduction and Packaging:
I had been eyeing this watch for a while, and I was finally able to get my hands on one for a reasonable price on a forum. A coworker of mine used to own the same configuration and I was jealous every single time I saw it. The watch is an impressive tool diver, that wears like a tank. The PVD finish was smooth, even, and dark over the entire surface of the watch. The first time the crystal caught natural light, you could tell it was sapphire from the slightly blueish hue in the reflection. I was happy to get the watch, and it went immediately onto my wrist. Before even seeing the watch, I was impressed by the packaging. The watch comes nicely displayed in a bright orange dive box, thoroughly protected by custom-cut foam. Included in the box was the two extra straps, some extra end links, a bottle opener, and a warranty card.
Movement and Features:
While I prefer a fully mechanical movement, I almost don’t mind the Swiss Quartz movement in the Bali Ha’i Q. The movement never gave me any trouble and it was nice to have a watch that I didn’t have to make sure it was wound and running. In terms of maintenance, the Q has a supposed 10 year battery life, making battery changes quite infrequent. There’s no winding, just the need to correct the date if you’re going to a longer or shorter month. The watch was accurate, as quartz movements tend to be, but I did not test time gained/lost. The time and date are adjusted via the crown, which is at the 2 o’clock position. The location of the crown was a nice departure from the rest of my collection, where the crown is usually at 3 or 4 o’clock.
The Q has an extremely solid 120-click bezel that give off a satisfying “click” as it’s turned. The dial uses C-3 Superluminova, which is easy to see and keeps a charge for a good while. What drew me towards this watch was the combination of the PVD coating and the carbon fiber face. The contrasting white numbers on the bezel made the watch stand out just enough, and the brightly colored hands added some needed flair. The date window is at the 3 o’clock position, 6 and 9 are rectangular, and 12 o’clock is a downward pointing triangle that matches the 12 o’clock marking on the bezel. Overall, I like how the watch looks, but I think that the aesthetics would benefit from slightly more coherent markings on the face and bezel. All of this is encased underneath a highly scratch-resistant, flat sapphire crystal. The size of the watch is on par with modern divers, with the case at 42mm and the lug width at 22mm.
On the Wrist:
The Bali Ha’i Q wears on the larger side for a diver of it’s size. The stainless steel construction also makes for a heavy watch. While being weighty, the watch was in no way uncomfortable. I preferred to wear the watch with the included bracelet, which was also made of solid stainless steel, and PVD coated. The bracelet was one of my favorite bracelets I had ever used. The easy-adjust diver’s extension made adjusting the watch throughout the day a breeze. It was easy to tighten and loosen the watch up. On hotter days, it was great to be able to make it a bit looser on my wrist without having to fiddle with spring bars. I wish every bracelet had the diver’s extension that this one did. The Q was comfortable, and had a nice wrist presence. It didn’t stand too tall, and would hide under the cuff of my shirt if I needed it to. Included with the watch were two other straps, an Italian natural rubber “NBR” (that had a nice vanilla smell to it) and a clunky leather strap with a large buckle. When I wanted to take some weight off the watch, I would use the NBR strap. It was very high quality and had a knurling pattern on the bottom side that kept the watch in place. The leather strap was not really my style, but the construction was solid. The Bali Ha’i Q was a great watch, although if you do not like some weight on your wrist, it may not be the choice for you.
For $450, the Bali Ha’i Q is a great deal. Although it does not have a mechanical movement, it’s a great looking, low maintenance watch. This watch is meant to be worn, and the construction can stand up to it. The lume is always bright, and it was a pleasure to wear. The bezel is still one of the most satisfying “click” sounds I’ve heard on a watch, which does nothing but add to the overall quality of the timepiece. The inclusion of two extra straps and the great packaging was a nice touch, and I’ve found many other uses for the dive case. There are not many other companies that can provide the amount of quality at this price point than Bali Ha’i did with the Q.