ChronoDivers Watch goes on SAFARI

A customer of ChronoDivers bought a CD200SKX7 in October 2023. The reason behind the purchase was the need for an affordable, reliable, mechanical watch to accompany him and his wife on a Serengeti Safari. This is the tale of the ChronoDivers CD200SKX7 on Safari.

My wife, Luisa, retired from a gruelling teaching career last year. Keen to make the most of new found freedom, she reckoned we had ten years of good health & fitness in which to cram some bucket list adventures.

So it’s January 2024, I’ve put my work on hold for a month, and we are on a camping safari adventure in Tanzania. Everything we need has to fit into our rucksacks and a tight budget.

No frills, but we do have to invest in vital technology: from vaccinations to backpacks to head torches to mosquito nets. The biggest expense is a long lens zoom camera to photograph the animals. My iPhone won’t get me close enough unless I want to get eaten. And I also need a watch fit for the challenge. Keeping my Apple Watch charged will prove difficult . We may have a month – but we can’t waste a second!

Required specification for a proper outdoor adventure watch?

  1. Tough stainless steel case, water resistant enough for swimming, snorkelling – and that would never need to be taken off in the usual cold showers either
  2. Invincible, accurate, automatic workhorse movement – with date so we can keep track of these exciting 30 days
  3. Strongly luminous dial – it’s dark in Africa
  4. Modest price and branding so thieves will shrug with indifference if they spot it and it won’t be a tragedy if it got lost or broken
  5. Sapphire crystal to resist scratches and cracking.

Tempting though the great, but fearfully costly, swiss watch names are, I decide to invest in one of the growing breed of micro brands. Small companies who case up good movements – many in design homage to Rolex, but at less than 1% of the price.

Chronodivers is a small British based enterprise that draws a lot from Seiko. The 200m Diver I choose fully matches the spec. It tops it off with a ceramic bezel and a steel flip lock bracelet, the latter making it even more loss resistant.

All this is delivered in a an eco friendly presentation box, with genuinely detailed instructions and 12 month warranty. I even had a personal email from Tristan – the founder & owner of the business. What price for a beautiful quality watch and prompt personal service? Just £105 with free postage.

So here we are in the Serengeti and how’s the adventure doing?

The tour has proved even more exciting than we had hoped. Landing in Dar es Salam, we had a few days on the coast before an 11 hour bus ride north to Arusha.

A four day camping safari follows in Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. Lots of monsoon rain turn the land cruiser guides into mud slide rally drivers. Sadly Land Rover let the market they created go to unbreakable Toyota.

My 600mm camera lens captures lions, elephants, gazelles, warthogs, hippos and rhino and even a zebra crossing.

Our tents keep out the rain, but we wake one night to find buffalo roaming around. At daybreak an elephant has taken over campsite patrol.

The people on the safari are all younger than us and from a variet of countries, notably Germany, Korea, Rumania but not the UK. It’s the Land Rover over again.

Brilliant would describe the remarkable all night luminosity but it would also be a fair rating of the accuracy of the Seiko NH35 movement. The water resistance has also stood up to monsoon rain sending torrents flooding the park tracks – as well as swimming. My 2007 Bata safari boots (bought in Kenya) hate the water but dry out as good as new given time.

We’ve had the odd stomach issue and got really tired. Maybe we won’t have that full 10 years after all. Whatever we manage, I think the Chronodivers will see me through.

We have one last week to go and will be back out on safari for much of it.

With THANKS to David White of Whitehorn Consulting.