Island Watch Sands Level Titanium Dive Assessment


There’s loads to be stated for sincerity. Whether or not you’re designing, writing, or manufacturing, displaying open respect on your sources is a good way to make sure the integrity of your product.

This is among the causes I’ve developed a passion for New York’s Lengthy Island Watch. True, its Islander line started with a collection of homages. However beginning with the ISL-88 and progressing with the offbeat Ameriquartz Area, the model’s efforts really feel well-intentioned. And it’s since damaged floor of its personal.

Now, with the discharge of the brand new Sands Level Titanium Diver ($395), it feels as if we’ve come to the becoming a member of of a near-perfect circle.

I’ll save the apparent comparability for later, however for those who’re even casually conscious of wristwatches, this design will look considerably acquainted (and if not, preserve studying to search out out). After spending a while with the Sands Level, I can let you know it doesn’t reside as much as the legend.

As an alternative, it wholly surpasses it, together with many of the different divers at this worth level.

In brief: Lengthy Island Watch has executed it once more with the Sands Level Diver. From its excellent sizing to its accuracy and a spotlight to element, this timepiece manages to be each a profitable homage and a next-gen evolution for its maker. The supplies, performance, and general magnificence far outshine any qualms you may really feel about its inspiration. Should you’re trying to scratch your classic dive-watch itch, skip the eBay auctions and gray market websites and steer your pockets to Sands Level.

  • Case Dimension
    43 mm x 14 mm, 47 mm tip to tip
  • Case Materials
    Sandblasted titanium
  • Crystal
    Flat sapphire with interior AR
  • Motion
    Seiko NH38 automated
  • Lug Width
    22 mm
  • Band
    Rubber with titanium deployant buckle
  • Water Resistant
    200 m
  • Weight
    108 g

  • Attractive dial

  • Dependable and correct motion

  • Brilliant colours and aesthetic


  • No date window

  • Barely-worth-mentioning clasp rattle

  • Band should be minimize to suit

Islander Sands Level Titanium Diver Watch: Assessment

Sands Point #ISL-159 Titanium Diver Watch worn on wrist
(Photograph/Josh Wussow)

My first standards when reviewing a watch is straightforward: How lengthy can it sit on my wrist earlier than I really feel like taking it off? Nicely, I’m sending this loaner again tomorrow, and I’m nonetheless not prepared to maneuver on to my subsequent tester.

The sizing of its titanium case is ideal. At 43 mm throughout, 14 mm excessive, and 47 mm from lug to lug, it wears a lot smaller than you’d count on. That is due partly to its slight 108g weight and glorious 4-o’clock crown.

Then we come to the dial. Simply take a look at it — intricate blue waves, massive indices, and pops of coloration on the Islander emblem and on the tip of the second hand.

nighttime dial Sands Point #ISL-159 Titanium Diver Watch
(Photograph/Josh Wussow)

The corporate’s description is correct: “Utilizing gun metallic polished fingers and markers, all stuffed with BGW9 Tremendous-LumiNova, means the watch is straightforward to learn each in daytime and nighttime when the fingers and indices glow a cool blue.”

The bezel (120-click, unidirectional) matches the face and band with an insert of brushed ceramic. All of the titanium {hardware}, from the coin edge to the case, clasp, and screw-down crown, are brushed to the identical look.

Sands Point #ISL-159 Titanium Diver Watch back
(Photograph/Josh Wussow)

The crystal consists of sapphire with an antireflective coating, and the chassis is nice for 200 m of water resistance.

A Query of Motion

Beneath the waves beats the Sands Level’s coronary heart of gold (or at the very least, of jewels). Its Seiko NH38 motion “options hand winding and hacking, and a 40-hour energy reserve.”

This can be a confirmed mechanism, much like the shockingly correct NH35 that powered our Spinnaker Piccard tester. The principle distinction between the 2 is straightforward — the NH35 has a date complication, and the NH38 doesn’t.

Past this, they’re each working on the identical foundational Seiko tech. The spec sheet will let you know that the actions are manufactured to a tolerance of between -20 and +40 seconds per day. However after practically per week on the wrist, the Sands Level ran simply 12 seconds quick. That’s not fairly as profitable because the +1 on the Piccard, nevertheless it’s fairly rattling respectable.

Sands Point #ISL-159 Titanium Diver Watch clasp
(Photograph/Josh Wussow)

And I’m an enormous fan of the FKM rubber strap and the six micro-adjust holes within the mechanism. You’ll want these, together with a spring bar device and a pointy pair of scissors, to trim and match the strap.

I’ve solely a single grievance with this watch: Someplace within the clasp sits a tiny piece of metallic that may be simply the slightest bit rattly. However it’s so minor (we’re speaking “bubble popping in your La Croix” decibels) that it’s barely price mentioning.

Succeeding a Legend

Let’s tackle the elephant within the room. The Sands Level appears like a Seiko SKX — not slightly, however loads. Island Watch, to its credit score, isn’t shy about this reality.

“The Sands Level is predicated off the SKX007 platform; due to this fact, straps, bezel inserts, fingers, and crystals made for the SKX007 will match,” the model stated.

Frankly, this look-alike high quality sparked my curiosity within the first place, particularly in its ISL-158 black trim. However provided the selection of loaners, I adopted my convictions and went with the ISL-159 and its textured blue-wave dial.

Why? As a result of in some unspecified time in the future, we, collectively, as followers of wristwatches, might want to recover from that specific (although venerable) icon.

Sapphire crystal versus Hardlex. A hacking motion versus none. And a titanium case, higher strap, and considerably simpler availability. From its development to its perform, I really feel the ISL-159 is a greater timepiece in practically each means.

What’s it lacking? Nicely, the historic pedigree, I suppose. However the homage is so tastefully executed as to seize the spirit of the unique whereas surpassing its numerous shortfalls.

Assume alongside the traces of a well-done restomod on a basic automotive, and your thoughts is heading in the right direction.

Islander Sands Level Titanium Diver Watch: Conclusion

Sands Point #ISL-159 Titanium Diver Watch face on table
(Photograph/Josh Wussow)

We’re solely midway via February, and I really feel assured stating the Sands Level shall be among the many finest new watches of 2023.

With an absence of a date window or extra sub-dials, this lovingly-crafted device has precisely one perform: Measure the second-to-second time on a easy 12-hour scale. At this, it excels whereas trying merely beautiful within the course of. If this isn’t the perfect diver beneath $400, then rattling if it isn’t tied for the crown.

I’m enamored with this watch, and I’m unhappy to see it head again to the staff in Lengthy Island. Should you like what you see right here, I strongly encourage you to select one up for your self.

Seiko itself won’t be eager on offering a (fairly priced) successor to the SKX. However with upgraded appears and a motion derived from the exact same firm, the Sands Level has the center and magnificence of the unique, each figuratively and actually.