River Watch Company Tiber Sport
There are many ways to choose a watch in this market that is getting increasingly saturated with Micro Brands. Great for the buyer, tough for the watch companies. Some choose based on aesthetics, some specs, some are brand loyalists, some showoffs, others purchase whimsically, some bargain hunters and then there are opportunists. I acquired this watch because it’s a local company for me. It’s from Chiliwack BC only about 90 minutes from where I live. Cool! Not only that but I had never heard of them, so I was thrilled to try something new and scarce, and as I’ve mentioned before being an individual matters to me.
There were 2 versions of this watch produced, the Tiber tuxedo which has a black dial with yellow hands and has a rather vintage feel, but in my opinion is slightly generic in appearance. Then there is this model the “Sport” with hands and indices so blue they practically leap out of the watch and punch you in the face! I mean it really stands out. Not to mention a beautiful champagne sunburst dial that plays with the sun’s rays like school boys play with fidget spinners, it all comes together for a striking finish. Retro, yet modern and flashy.
It’s kitted out nicely as affordable watches go, with a brushed stainless case on the sides and polished on top. Weight that’s not too light, but it’s certainly not a heavy watch either. Inside beats a Miyota high beat 9015, sapphire glass, screw down crown sporting its logo, sapphire crystal, lumed inner rotating bezel, and a screw down case back. And it’s all ready to go down to 200 meters. Now obviously this watch is stylized after the popular twin crown super compressors that were made back in the ’50s and are resurgent all over the place now.
It’s a comfortable watch to wear, I already mentioned the weight is nice, the size is also great at 42mm diameter with a subtle 11.3mm thickness. Now it came with a good quality black leather crown and buckle strap with white stitching which I immediately took off and replaced with rubber. I don’t think any watch that calls itself a diver should have leather. At least not for my purposes. I want it to be sweaty, dirty, wet, dusty, salty. All the things that go along with using a tool watch. The problem is, that after wearing it in the back country, I realized I’d made a mistake. You see although this watch ticks the boxes to be a diver, it doesn’t feel like one. It feels like it’s a dress watch that was told no, it’s not allowed to go on the boat for this dive trip, but it didn’t like that answer. So it put on a scuba costume and snook on board anyway. It’s sort of a stowaway. It’s a lovely watch don’t get me wrong, it just feels like it’s an actor cast in the wrong role. It’s a bit too pretty, it doesn’t have quite enough heft to it. The polished stainless around the outer bezel is thin and feels like it wouldn’t wear a battle scar proudly. It’s just too dainty.
Now these aren’t actually issues I’ve mentioned, merely my personal tastes. There are a couple issues I did have with it though and it came down to the QC on this particular unit. The crown doesn’t screw down very smoothly. The lume is noticeably unevenly applied when you look closely in some spots. And also there’s a small black dot on the dial near the 12 o’clock mark that doesn’t appear on the photos, but I noticed it. And that’s the thing about this watch. It shows imperfections. That makes me not want to wear it for it’s designated purposes. I do like it, it looks really nice. But if I keep it in my collection it’s going to be worn as a fashion watch.
One of the things that I like most about Micro Brands is that these are watches made by people who arent necessarily career watch makers. They have day jobs just like the rest of us. Just like I blog because I’m passionate about watches. I’m a 911 police dispatcher in my “real life.” Their creations are labors of love. Expressions of their passion for watches and are someone’s personal work of art. When a watch or brand is well received, maybe we get to see more models from that person. Maybe we don’t. But if we do, everything they have learned from making that first model goes into the second one and they tend to get better. I wish there was a second model in the works for River watch company. But from what I understand, there isn’t, for whatever reason. That’s too bad because overall the Tiber is a very cool watch, whatever its purpose. So excuse me while I go put the leather strap back on back on this stowaway.