I’ve always been a fan of dive watches. I love the durable construction and high legibility that they usually offer, and this sort of reliable functionality is what makes some of the most practical watches. So it’s no surprise that over the last 50 years or so, dive watches have become some of the most popular watches for everyday wear. This category is a relatively new one for many Chinese brands. The domestic Chinese market has, to my understanding, mostly enjoyed a more traditional and dressier style of watch, so stepping outside of that safe zone can be a risky thing for a brand to do.
JIUSKO is a brand that has accepted that challenge and is designing watches with a broader appeal. The company (Formally Guangzhou Yonghong Watch Technology Development Co., Ltd) has been manufacturing watches since 1990, and has a wide range (including 3 brands) of quality affordable watches. There is a line of women’s watches under the KIMIO brand name, and also a line of medium range men’s mechanical and quartz watches under the EYKI brand. But it was their top-end JIUSKO brand that really got my attention with their range of attractive automatic divers.
This watch that I’ve been wearing for the last week is the JIUSKO 39LSB02 200M diver, which features a Seiko NH25 21-jewel automatic movement. From an exterior design standpoint, this watch has some interesting and unique features. The patented stainless steel case merges multiple textures and layers into an eye catching combination of angles. The lugs are curved slightly down to grip the wrist, and just barely fit me (I would say my wrists are slightly wider than average). An average wrist, or one slightly smaller than my own, would probably fit comfortably between the curved lugs. At 43mm wide and 15mm thick with a sturdy stainless steel bracelet, this watch is not for the dainty of wrist.
Extending from the lugs are large rounded screw heads that look cool, but are apparently just for aesthetics. The bracelet can be removed with a basic spring bar tool. The screw-down crown is large and grippy and popped out after 3 turns. Setting the date and time are a breeze. The rotating bezel has good action, wiggles just the slightest bit, but ultimately does rest exactly where it should. There’s a matte black finish that looks nice with the brushed steel hour markers.
If I had one request from a diving functionality standpoint it would be for an actual lume pip on the bezel. But other than that it’s a very legible watch, and the hands and indices do give a nice glow in the dark.
My pictures won’t do it justice, but the innermost section of the dial is very neat. It has some type of lenticular feature that changes shape when the watch is looked at from different angles. This gives an additional depth to the dial and make the words JIUSKO and 200M WATER RESISTANT AUTOMATIC seem to float slightly above the surface.
Overall I’ve been very happy with my experience wearing this watch, as well as with its performance. It's timekeeping is standard for this Seiko movement at plus or minus 30 seconds a day. It’s a thick watch, which I prefer to wear snug, so it sits high on the wrist. A shirt with a formal cuff might cause some interference. But with most casual attire this sporty watch will be comfortable, and probably turn a few heads your way. Mine has a black dial, but it also comes with blue, orange and green versions.