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A Brand's Story : Ocean Crawler by Extropian

brand's story
watch brand
Ocean Crawler
Ocean Crawler Great Lake
Champion Diver
Core Diver
A Brand's Story : Ocean Crawler by Extropian

In Focus : Ocean Crawler

When we talk about watch brands, we usually think of Switzerland as the epicentre. When it comes to independents and microbrands, there are many countries that can take part of the explosion that has been going on for last few years. But for some reason, the US is not one of the most active territories when it comes to new brands. This feels a bit strange as the heritage has always been there, in the past great names such as Hamilton, Timex, Bulova and Waltham just to name a few, were leading the way not only on the military front but also in the civilian one.


Today the story is a bit different, many of these brands are still around but under a conglomerate or subsidized by venture capital firms, focusing more on making profits with great product but sometimes missing a bit that passion they once had.

Lately, on the other side of the coin, we can find a new generation of newcomers such as Oak and Oscar, Dufrane, Brew and of course our main subject of the day Ocean Crawler with a great array of watches.

Ocean Crawler is one of those brands that have a big visual impact as soon as you see them for the first time. This is due to their use of colours and size, although is not only a visual impact that they are trying to go for, it is also the functionality and durability.

Let us begin our in-focus series with one of the most vibrant brands across the pond.


How it all begins:

With the opportunity to purchase 3rd party movements from Switzerland and Asia at an affordable price, the explosion of micro brand came at full swing in the 2010’s. We managed to see as many offers as possible and one common denominator was that diving watches were among the most popular ones.

Ocean Crawler was found back 2017 and the idea was to produce watches which had a touch of nostalgia but also use forward looking technology. It is hard to think about a mechanical watch as a forward-looking object but in our world, brands tend to add these minuscule milestones to perfect and develop what can be considered an obsolete artifact.

What Ocean Crawler did was to apply new technology such as escape helium valves and better designs which resulted in deeper meter ratings, and by adding bright/bold colours, the brand managed to merge the best of both worlds.


Who made it happen:

Ocean Crawler began in 2017 in Rochester New York, this detail appears on each one of their dials. It was founded by the enthusiast explorer and diver Christian Champion. Christian brought the passion to his watches and always with the vision that it could be a piece to use in a variety of situations. Sure, Ocean Crawler as its name depicts is usually based on diving gear, but the reality is a diver’s watch that can be use in any situation due to its robustness.

Once you have a force driving a brand, the rest is down to designing and meeting the expectation that you as the owner have set for the watches. Luxury is to have more than you need and certainly the brand can deliver on this promise.


Style and design

The design from the brand is something unique. Over the years, we have seen many retro vintage inspired watches but Ocean Crawler has their own twist by the use of colours. From bright reds to faded whites, the combinations feel very unique, not as 70’s and not as 90’s, they have their own vibe.

Another key characteristic on the watches is legibility, as a diver every Ocean Crawler must be readable under water, in here the colours aren’t the only factor to take into account but also touches like 7 layers of Luminova and antireflecting coating make these divers very bright at night, or in this case under water.

The design of the watches is also on the medium to larger size, from 40mm up to 44mm, the brand has gained a reputation for having pieces with presence. Some might want to have a smaller Ocean Crawler and the reality is that these are legible tool watches, they perform well, and this size is rooted into their DNA.


The current line up

Ocean Crawler operates a bit different than other brands they usually create limited edition in batches of 100 watches. They do this quite often, usually once per quarter which gives you plenty of options but also once a colour scheme is out, it will not be repeated. We enjoy this approach as it has a sense of uniqueness.

That said, the models are well cemented in their catalogue and below are the main ones:

  • The Core Diver: as the name suggest this is their most popular model. Despite as the name might suggest, the Core Diver is not a basic model, it has all the specification of a true tool watch with 600 meters of water resistance, a very thick sapphire glass of 4mm and a Swiss Selitta movement, all in a package of 44mm in diameter by 50mm lug to lug. There are many varieties of the Core Diver such as a black PVD version, meteorite dials and plenty colours to choose to from.


  • The Bolt: a personal favourite of us, the Bolt is Ocean ’s Crawler take on the integrated bracelet design. It is one of the most capable integrated steel sports watches around with 600 meters of water resistance and a slim profile of 12.3mm. as the brand calls it: ‘’ It's tough enough to handle deep dives but sleek enough for your daily wear…’’, we agree. The Bolt comes in different varieties such as red, blue, white, black, and yellow, they all have that colour twist we enjoy from the brand, they are not plain.


  • The Champion Diver: this is a focus tool watch, no date, helium escape valve and a larger dial that breather well and feels uncrowded. The machined spiral bezel gives the watch nice vintage look without felling fragile. It is a true diving gear.


  • The Ocean Crawler Great Lake: a unique watch with a unique dial, every marker feels connected to the centre of the watch giving a precision look. the Supercompressor style case also hawks back to those early pieces from Ervin Piquerez but again with a moder twist and lively colours such as purple, green and blue. The watch is very good looking and somehow restrain at the same time with a case of 40mm in diameter and 44mm lug to lug. It is the smaller watch produced by the brand today and it has a water resistance of 300m.

Ocean Crawler Great Lakes Diver V3 All Purple 9 Wkm


What is next for the brand?

Although there are not specific plans in the future that we are aware, there is one sure thing and that is that Ocean Crawler will continue to experiment with materials and colours. So far in the lineup we have seen great models such as their Champion Diver but with an enamel dial, this includes a Mermaid hand crafted! Yes you read that right. We can also find the Fordite dial which displays layers of colours and patterns that catches the eye line no other piece in their collection. A reissue of their Hunter Chrono will be also a welcome addition to the offering, it will diversify well their core diver offering.



We had a good experience focusing deep into the brand, there is so much to see, learn and appreciate. We think that the best is yet to come but if you are looking for bright red, loud greens and punchy oranges, then Ocean Crawler could be a good brand to explore.

One part that we also enjoyed is the pricing, although the watches are over engineer and unique on their approach, they still feel relative affordable compared to what is out there, always under the 1500 USD mark. The quality control seems also to be embedded in their DNA as we had a chance to look at them at World Time UK 2023 and everything look great not only on the wrist but also under the macro.

There aren’t many brands coming out of the US but we feel that the ones that are coming are doing it at a full swing, we have been paying more and more attention to them and we have to say that the quality is there. The fact that a brand can now concentrate in design and features rather than development a movement, give us as consumer a chance to enjoy more compelling products. We understand that the prestige of being a vertical integrated watch brand is unparallel but there is a price to pay for that performance. That said, ‘know how’ is something that you can definitely enjoy in microbrands, in fact with what you have as an offer today, the value is easier to perceive when comparing equivalent specs with more established luxury counterparts.

Diving with a watch from a company that only specialises on the genera like Ocean Crawler is what we call true luxury.


Created the 2024-02-13

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