Coast Watch Company is fronted by Tyler Coast, a long-time watch enthusiast from Copenhagen whose journey has led him to launching his own watch brand, while working with a few micro-brands along the way. The first model from the Coast Watch Company is the Pacific Explorer, described as a “travel diver” by the brand itself. I like that label for a watch that is more than capable of handling underwater activities with the added functionality of a 12-hour bezel. It’s not quite a true dive watch, and certainly not a real GMT, but for many people I suspect this combination of features and functions represents the best of both worlds.

Coast Watch Company Pacific Explorer

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black, brown
  • Dimensions: 40 x 11.8 x 47mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Movement: ETA 2824
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet, leather strap
  • Price: $599
  • Expected Release: July 2020

On paper, the package looks quite appealing. The case measures 40mm in diameter and 47mm from lug to lug, so the sizing is going to hit the sweet spot for many. The overall thickness is 12mm excluding the crystal, which is likely to add another 1mm or so to the height. The Pacific Explorer features a double domed sapphire crystal with internal AR coating on the front, with sapphire also used in the exhibition case-back. Other specs and features of note are the sandwich dial with C3 Super-LumiNova, ceramic bezel insert, solid bracelet end-links and 200m of water resistance.

Specs aside, the most intriguing aspect of the design is the use of bronze and stainless steel. This is one of the few plays on ‘two-tone’ that actually appeals to me. Using bronze in a dive watch runs the risk of being pigeonholed, but in the case of the Pacific Exploer everything apart from the bezel and crown are still stainless steel. That means there’s enough bronze on show to provide visual interest, especially as it patinates over time, but not so much as to ostensibly categorizes it as a bronze watch.
The choice of 12 hour markings on the bezel lends itself to being used as a “poor-man’s GMT” to track a second time zone (in 12 hour format only) and it’s good to see this is backed up with 60-clicks of bi-directional movement – a nice marriage of functionality that allows you to move time-zones forward and backwards.

Coast Watch Company make mention of a custom handset, and although I find that the hour and minute hands don’t seem to have huge differences between them in terms of length or width at a glance, the segmenting and framing of the minute hand’s lumed areas should provide enough distinction once you get used to it.
Three variants of the Pacific Explorer are available for pre-order. The “Vintage Gold” and “Seaside Forest” have black and green dials respectively, each with colour-matched bezels. My favourite is the ‘Ultraburst’ version with a brown fume dial which, especially when coupled with the sandwich dial, gives off a PAM687 vibe.

Priced at $599 and including leather and nato straps in addition to the oyster-style bracelet, this is a dive watch which appears to have a lot going for it. The Pacific Explorer is expected to be delivered in July, with more details available at their Kickstarter here. –*Coast Watch Company

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