Monta Oceanking Review
Fans of the site have obviously been able to tell by this point that all of us here at GearZeit are fans of micro-brand watch companies. And today I’ll be taking a look at a very interesting offering from Monta Watches. Monta is the sister-company of Everest Watch Straps, a company cranking out high quality leather and rubber straps designed specifically for Rolex watches, and praised for their quality throughout the watch community.
The Oceanking, the model I’ll be reviewing today, was released originally at a price of $3,550, on a steel bracelet, and included an Everest made rubber strap. On the forums and Instagram, I saw a lot of critics claiming that the price was too high for the offering- however none of these individuals had even handled this fine timepiece. I remained interested in the brand, and the Oceanking, especially when Monta dropped the price to its current spot at $2,350 on bracelet, I was very intrigued. Monta was kind enough to supply us with this review unit, so let’s delve deeper into this diver.
The case of the Oceanking is made of 316L stainless steel, and measures in at 40mm wide. The tops of the lugs & caseback are finished with a nice, smooth satin, while the side of the case is a nice, but not too flashy polish. A nice touch to notice on the case is the finely polished chamfers on the edges, one of the many finer details about this watch that contributes to it’s overall high quality feel. The caseback is engraved with the Monta logo, and the usual markings (Swiss made, steel grade, etc). And of course at the 3 o’clock position, you have the big, (read BIG) Monta crown. This is a design choice I read a lot of criticisms on, but one that I found I actually liked a good bit. The crown feels solid during use, and is easy to grip while screwing it into the case.
One of my favorite things about the Oceanking is how well its size fits on my wrist. Granted, I have smaller wrists, but I found the size of the case to be great for every-day wear whether it be to the office, or out for a day in the sun. The size just worked and the watch blended in with its environment. While the styling of the case was nothing new when it comes to dive watches, I enjoyed its style nonetheless.
Rather than just plugging in a Miyota or ETA movement, as is common with many micro-brand divers, Monta decided to utilize the Eterna Caliber 3909A, a 29 jewel movement with a 65 hour power reserve. During my time with the watch, timekeeping was perfectly fine. One thing to note here- winding up this movement is some of the smoothest winding I’ve ever felt on a watch, rivaled only by my Omega Seamaster with the Master Coaxial movement. Again, all about the finer details.
Dial, Crystal & Bezel
The dial of the Oceanking is where the bulk of its personality shines through. The striking blue dial really stands out from the crowd, and legibility is great with the contrasting white markers. The indices at 12, 3, and 9 are all applied, surrounded with polished rhodium to really make them pop. Another finer detail I noticed here, is how finely the edges of the indices are polished and chamfered, one of those touches you might not even notice. The date window at 6 is also surrounded with polished rhodium. The inclusion of the date window is going to be a sore spot for some collectors, but for me, I love the functionality of a date window, and this one is implemented well into the dial without disrupting the design whatsoever.
The hands on the Oceanking are big, wide, sword hands, again, surrounded with polished rhodium. The indices and hands are all filled with an ample amount of BGW9 lume (which glows a nice cool blue), and they all play really well in the light as you’d expect with all that polished rhodium.
Keeping with the high quality materials and finishing, the bezel insert is ceramic, and on my blue review unit, the shade of blue on the dial & bezel match perfectly. In typical dive watch fashion, there is a countdown timer marked around the bezel, with a fun, almost vintage font (just check out the way the 5’s look). Now, where the bezel gets super cool, is the action. Monta utilizes a 12 piece bezel design, and while I don’t understand how it works, it is simply incredible. Each one of the 60 clicks is incredibly satisfying with action that is better than nearly every other dive bezel I’ve tried. This is one of the few watches that I’ve sat at my desk just turning the bezel for the sake of feeling the action. However, not everything is perfect on this bezel. There is interesting choice on this bezel, which is none of the bezel is lumed, not even the 12 o’clock pip. While I’m no diver, it seems like an odd choice to not have any lume whatsoever on the bezel, and something that could be a deal breaker for someone actually looking to make the Oceanking their dive buddy.
Topping off the whole watch is a double-domed, anti reflective sapphire crystal. I’ve always been a big fan of a nicely domed sapphire, and this one is no exception.
Bracelet & Straps
As I mentioned earlier, the Oceanking comes on a bracelet, and with a rubber strap made by Everest. Let’s start with the bracelet.
To put it simply, this is a fantastic bracelet. The links articulate so finely, that the bracelet perfectly drapes across the wrist. They articulate so well in fact, that you can almost stack all the links on top of one another. The links (like the edges of the case) have polished, chamfered edges, which add just enough flair to add some elegance to the watch. Moving down to the clasp, you have a nicely milled clasp adorned with the Monta logo, which opens and snaps closed with a highly satisfying sound and feeling. (Again, the little details). The clasp, like the rest of the bracelet, has those nicely polished edges. However, one interesting aspect to the clasp is the lack of diving extension. This combined with the lack of lume on the bezel leads me to classify this watch as more of an every-day sports watch, rather than a professional diving watch. That being said, I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
The rubber strap was equally well done, which should come as no surprise to those familiar with Everest’s offerings. The fitted ends of the rubber strap added a nice touch, and I found the rubber to be quite comfortable, and easy to install.
This is one area where Monta really blows a lot of watches in this price range out of the water. The Oceanking comes packaged in a Zebrawood box, containing the watch on a pillow, a suede Monta watch pouch, and the included rubber strap. This makes for quite the presentation for a watch in the $2,000 range. While it is just the box, and you likely won’t be looking at it too often if you decide to pick up an Oceanking, it’s nice a nice cherry on top of an already nice watch.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m very impressed by what Monta has done with the Oceanking. They’ve managed to create a watch that rivals (and possibly even surpasses) many established brands, and this is only their first offering. Monta has been teasing a few other models that should be coming soon as well, which I’ll be eagerly following. For more details, check out the Monta website and their Instagram.
As always, thanks for reading! Let us know in the comments what you think of the Oceanking, and Monta’s future offerings.