SēL Instrument MKI OmniDiver [the American UTS?]

07/12/2020 5:00 pm
SēL Instrument MKI OmniDiver [the American UTS?]

Could this be the US’s answer to UTS? 

On paper it certainly looks that way, so get your gear head on and make sure your favorite stimulant is at hand cos’ this sh!t’s bout’ to get technical. 

SēL Instrument is an R&D focused high-performance watch manufacturer located in Arizona, USA. 

Founded in 2013, their focus has been to challenge and deconstruct many traditional watchmaking practices while re-engineering better solutions for rugged field instruments. 

In addition to their products, SēL have developed significant intellectual property with several patents pending and new research in areas including high-pressure sealing, thermal stability, and impact shock mitigation.

The MKI OmniDiver is a Titanium Grade 5, multi-piece-constructed, 6’000 meters water-resistant diver, engineered for use in the harshest of environments and boasting a ton of technical innovations, the engineering explanations of which will likely leave your head spinning like a whirling dervish – 

look I didn’t attend MIT, okay, I’m just a guy who quite likes diver’s watches. 

Let’s kick the proceedings off with the OmniDiver’s bezel.

Anyone for Silicon nitride balls? 

I would imagine in not too dissimilar a way to the ceramic ball bearings that UTS use for their bezels, the MKI OmniDiver makes use of Silicon nitride balls for the smoothest high precision fit while large ratchet pistons guarantee crisp indexing in 120 positions with absolutely no counter-rotation AKA unidirectional. 

Silicon nitride btw or Si3N4 as my Mum calls it, is a chemical compound of Silicon and Nitrogen and is the most thermodynamically stable of the silicon nitrides as it has a high strength and fracture tolerance at high temperatures. 

It is used as for high-temperature structural components such as those in combustion engines or gas turbines. 

Apparently the OmniDiver’s Silicon nitride balls are ‘‘in a race held to +/- .0001” ‘’ – whatever the heck that means; perhaps something about tolerances?

The watch’s 6-piece-constructed case has a diameter of 48mm and a thickness of just 15mm, which is quite impressive considering its high level of water-resistance. 

The watch including its G5 Ti bracelet and clasp has a weight 168g. 

With 600atm/ 6000m (20X industry standard water-resistance), the OmniDiver has special two-stage seals with separate low-pressure and high-pressure seals that react dynamically to hydrostatic pressure. 

SēL have optimized all load paths in the OmniDiver’s 6-piece Titanium case to withstand 10,000psi to reduce structural failures that can compromise seal integrity.

As my dear old Nan (God rest her soul) used to say, there’s nothing quite like a nice bit of Kyropoulos Sapphire on a Sunday which is a good thing cos’ you guessed it the OmniDiver has a technically-mounted Kyropoulos Sapphire that compared to the industry standard “rigid mount” –

is said to be better protected in its “shock-isolating suspension mount” thus reducing the likelihood of fracture from strong impacts while protecting it thermodynamically from any changes in temperature. 

Kyropoulos Sapphire crystal is crystal produced using the Kyropoulos method that allows you to grow the large sapphire crystals of any crystallographic orientation, with an extremely low dislocation density of less than 1000 cm-2 – that’s all I have to say on that!

Oh, and speaking of impact – such forces can also cause watch hands to slip backwards or forwards – which over time adds up to decreased accuracy. 

So, for the OmniDiver, SēL exceeded all industry standards for mass, balance, and inertia optimization of their high visibility handsets to reduce these effects. 

And as far as accuracy is concerned the OmniDiver is offered with either a Sellita SW200 automatic movement or a next generation thermo-compensating, ETA PreciDrive movement capable of plus or minus 10 seconds per year accuracy AKA +/- 0.027 sec per day which is just a wee tad better than COSC accuracy 😉

But the OmniDiver’s technical innovations are far from over – next up the SēL WavLock clasp, machined from solid titanium, allowing for 24mm incremental adjustment (4mm increments) and a 14mm auxiliary extension. 

That’s 38mm total adjustment. No tools are required. Plus, when closed, the design puts all of the stress forces into the solid titanium bottom plate instead of the hinge and catch like a trip-folding clasp does. 

SēL bracelets are constructed using solid titanium links and cross bars perfectly spaced to allow mud, sand, and grit to pass through for easy cleaning. The links are adjustable with common hex wrenches of which 2 are included with the watch.

Btw SēL say of their crowns that they are positioned at 6 o’clock between the inner lugs for protection against impact and the added comfort of having no protrusions in the arm and hand contact areas. 

SēL crowns are pressure rated in their “open position” so forgetting to secure the crown is a problem of the past. 

The OmniDiver also uses SēL MKI retention to integrate lug adapters and dual case lugs for bracelet or strap configurations secured with machine screws that are captive at both ends for increased strength. 

All that means to you is that you can easily transition from bracelet to strap or back again, in about 30 seconds with a common hex wrench.

I love the smell of europium and dysprosium doped grade-0 particles in the morning! 

All I’m saying is Arizona has a lot of cactuses (or is it cacti) and possibly the odd cane toad or two knocking about – be it Mescaline or Bufotenine induced but here comes some psychedelic jargon. 

The OmniDiver offers a proprietary SēL blend of europium and dysprosium doped grade-0 particles and UV transparent binders for the brightest and longest lasting strontium-aluminate illumination in the world. 18+ hours means even at “zero dark thirty”, it’s always bright and early – praise be!

The SēL Instrument MKI OmniDiver Titanium Automatic has an MSRP of 5,975USD. 

It ships in a custom Pelican 1300 with selected accessories like WavLock Bracelet, ZULU straps, lug adapters, and a complete Wiha tool kit to size and service all user serviceable parts like the bracelet and lugs.

Thoughts? 

A technical tour de force from a bunch of mad-genius, scientists (that may or may not be using psychotropics) out in the middle of the Arizona desert – that could absolutely give the UTS 4000m a damn good run for its money but with the looks only a mother could love – I’d wear one all day long – how about you?

OceanicTime

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