After waiting nearly a year for it to become available again, during which time I grew impatient and was nearly tempted by a few other watches, my Halios Tropik SS finally (FINALLY!) arrived in early January! A nice belated Christmas gift to myself. Since then, it has been strapped to my wrist most every day.
I stumbled across Halios Watches last spring, and immediately fell in love with the Tropik SS. It just checked all the right boxes for me. Upon seeing it in person, and holding it in my hands, it did not disappoint.
Like many, I compare every dive watch against the king of this style, the Rolex Submariner. For as long as I have been interested in watches, my grail watch has been a Rolex Submariner…a “Red” Submariner Ref. 1680, an early Ref. 16800 with a matte dial, or a more modern Ref. 16610 would probably be my favorites. It’s a versatile and iconic watch, that is just at home on your wrist whether you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt, a suit, at the beach, or SCUBA diving. And everyone from James Bond to Steve McQueen have famously worn a Submariner.
What immediately struck me about the Tropik SS was that even though it has some Submariner inspiration (find me a dive watch that doesn’t), nobody is going to see it on your wrist and mistake it for a Rolex. As odd as this may sound, that is a good thing. The Tropik SS pulls off a clean, simple, and gorgeous vintage-inspired design, that is every bit as versatile as a Submariner, and yet still a tool watch. It’s that balance that I love about the Tropik SS.
The Tropik SS case hits a sweet spot for my wrist size. Although, in terms of modern watch sizes, it’s a touch small at 41mm wide (without the crown), 48mm lug-to-lug, and 14mm thick. But that is not a bad thing.
The case itself has a brushed finish, which gives it less bling, and more of a tool watch feel…a bonus in my book. This offsets nicely with the shine of the ceramic bezel, the glossy black dial, and the domed sapphire crystal, which definitely dress the watch up.
The chunky, notch-edged bezel is very easy to grip, especially with the bracelet attached…something that isn’t always easy on watches when a bracelet is attached, and the bezel tapers down to the case. The Tropik SS bezel is a 120-click mechanism, that only turns counter-clockwise. The bezel feels very tight and precise, with zero play, and has a solid click to it when it moves.
Perhaps my favorite detail on the case, is the crown at 3 o’clock. Particularly, the ceramic (or maybe enamel?) Halios three crescent moon logo insert. It’s a small detail, but one that really stands out.
The case back is simple, giving the basic information on the watch…the model, that it contains an automatic movement, the serial number, and water resistance information. The center of the case back has an etched drawing of a Capricorn (that odd goat/fish thing).
Inside the case beats the dependable Miyota 9015 automatic movement…a 24-jewel, 28,800 bpm, hacking, quick date set, shock resistant, workhorse of a movement. An Apple Watch may be cool, but there are few things cooler than having a tiny mechanical machine like this strapped to your wrist.
The dial on the Tropik SS is clean and simple…and very, very pretty. The dial is glossy inky-black, with lume-filled applied steel markers. The typography on the dial is simple and clean, and uniform(!) to all text on the dial. The TROPIK typography in a dark khaki color, adds just a touch of color to the dial (and makes the watch pair wonderfully with a sand or khaki colored Crown & Buckle Premium NATO, or a Halios leather strap).
The date window at 6 o’clock is one of my favorite date window integrations on any watch. The date dial itself is black, to match the black dial, with white numerals that fit the date window perfectly. Attention to small details that really make a difference.
The sword shaped watch hands are, again, clean and simple, and just fit with the overall look of the watch.
The ceramic bezel insert is downright gorgeous, I’m not sure how else to describe it. Depending on the light, it can appear anywhere from an inky-black to a light silvery grey. The lume inlaid markers on the bezel are clean and legible, and not overdone.
The sharkskin strap that the first run of Tropik SS watches came with is no more. It has been replaced with a brushed steel bracelet, with solid end links, screw-in links, and a nice clasp sporting Halios’ three crescent moon logo, and a diving/wet suit extension. It’s very comfortable, and well made. While I like the bracelet, and it is very comfortable, my only criticism of the Tropik SS, is said bracelet. It appears that the bracelet was designed to fit on both Halios’ Tropik SS as well as the Delfin, and while it looks good on the Tropik SS, I just think it looks better on the Delfin. It’s a small detail, and certainly doesn’t affect my high opinion of the Tropik SS.
I should note that I did have a small issue with one of the end links on my bracelet not fitting quite right, but kudos to Jason (the man behind Halios) and his top notch (and when I say top notch, I mean top notch) customer service for getting me a new set of end links that worked perfectly.
As a watch enthusiast, this Halios Tropik SS offers a massive bang for your buck. The Tropik SS is an extremely versatile watch, and in my opinion, at a bit over $700 shipped, there is no dive watch even close in this price range for the quality and design you get.