Saturday, 1 June 2013

Ying Yang Twins - Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military and Ocean Vintage Military Black Ops

As some of you are well aware, I have a preference for retro/ vintage inspired timepieces. The Ocean diver range of watches from Steinhart is pretty well sought after. Particularly the Ocean Vintage Military (OVM). This piece is constantly out of stock.

However, I was fortunate to be offered a 3-week old OVM by a buddy who had bought it from another guy who sold the watch the same day he got it from Gnomon as he had grown out of the watch following a 6-month wait.

A couple of weeks later, Anders informed me that the OVM Black Ops (OVM BO) had arrived. I went down that same evening after work to check it out. After a tough 2-minute deliberation, I caved and surrendered my credit card.

Now, let's place the Ying Yang twins under the microscope...

The OVM is indeed a handsome beast. The patina-ed looking orangey-yellow indices are eye-catching. the spearhead second hand and the well-proportioned hour and minute hands provide a beautiful balance on a simple, minimalist matte black dial. The uni-directional bezel completes a full revolution in 60 loud, crisp clicks. The bezel is easy to operate, thanks to the serrated circumference.

These twins are powered by ETA 2824-2 under the hood. However, the date function have been removed.

The OVM BO is similar to the OVM in every aspect except that it's DLC coated. The other difference I noted was the sound of the bezel clicks. The OVM BO's is not as crisp but has a kind of echo to it.

Both watches are fitted with slightly domed sapphire crystals that are slightly raised above the bezel. The thin profile of the OVM and OVM BO allows it to be tucked neatly under shirt cuffs, thus enhancing their versatility. However, like most DLC and PVD watches, the OVM BO is pretty much restricted to a casual function. The crowns are also signed with the Steinhart logo.

Both case backs are engraved with the standard Steinhart Ocean One Logo of a trident-wielding King Neptune riding a Seahorse-drawn chariot. The outline of the OVm feels a lot sharper than the OVM BO's.

the OVM comes standard with brushed stainless steel bracelet with polished sides and screwed-in links. The OVM BO comes fitted with DLC bracelet in the same configuration as the stainless steel variant. I've swopped the bracelet of the OVM BO with mocha calf straps as I do not want any battle scars on the original DLC bracelet.

the two watches are rather versatile. I've paired the OVM successfully with olive, brown and tan NATO straps. Successful pairings with the OVM BO include black, olive, black and mocha leather NATO's. Simple leather straps have proved to be equally competent with these watches.

On the wrist, both watches command attention but the OVM has more wrist presence, in my opinion.

These boys are no slouch in the dark either.

The OVM is a truly versatile watch that is at home under the shirt cuff as well as a weekend warrior. Its 42mm case size, coupled with the vintage look, commands wrist presence.

The OVM BO, on the other hand is not a desk-diver's best mate. It completes casual outfits better than shirts and cuffs. As with most black watches, it looks more diminutive than its stainless steel brother.

The OVM tends to get more wrist time then the OVM BO. It is not because I prefer one to the other. Preference does not have any influence as I like both watches. However, the OVM BO servers as another casual watch in my inventory. And there are only two weekends per week. However, my only consolation is that I was told the OVM BO is no longer in procudtion. I hope this is true.

One note to current and prospective owners, the screws on the brcelets tend to loosen over time and come off easily. Do apply some loctite to secure them.

Case diameter : 42mm.
Material : Stainless steel (OVM), stainless steel with DLC coating (OVM BO).
Movement : ETA 2824-2.
Lug size : 22mm.
Crystal : Domed sapphire.

- Value for money.
- Versatility with strap options.
- Overall versatility (OVM).
- Commands wrist presence.
- Simple, eyetching design.
- Colour of markers.
- Balanced look.
- Just right case size.

- Long wait for watch.
- DLC coating can chip off over time, particularly bracelet (OVM BO).
- Screws on links loosen over time.
- Constantly out of stock.
- No longer in production (OVM BO).
- MNot very versatile, limited to casual watch status (OVM BO).


  1. They're okay but a watch so large without a date is just not all that can be..there are better watches for the price

  2. It's very subjective. Tneach his own. To some of us 42mm is not that big, just average. Pam 000, 005, 242 are larger, costlier and dateless bu highly sought after. Just like the ovm reviewed here. The fact that it's constantly sold out and has a long waiting list is testament to it's popularity. And how manY others disagree. With u on tthat front. But you're not wrong.

    Better watches for that price?definitely, but then again, subjective. How one defines better differs from another. One person's perception of value for money differs greatly from another's.

  3. Great Watch, i fell in love when i first found out about this watch which is only a few weeks ago.Managed to get myself a ovm last week, the last piece at gnomon.Too bad the bo version is not in production anymore.Planning to get the ocean black dlc when it is in stock.