In our story behind the Ocean-Scout we noted that part of the inspiration for creating the watch was the magical moments brought by your first days in an uncharted land. This feeling is unique, a mix of trepidation and excitement, and one of the great joys of travel.
When the Ocean-Scout was in the final production stages and ready for field trials it was pure luck that I was about to head off to the heat and dust of the Valley of the Kings and take a boat down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan. What better journey, with harsh climate and terrain, romance and ancient mysticism, to test our new watch.
Geckota Ocean-Scout in 40 degree heat - Credit Geckota
A country everyone should visit
It's fair to call our family Egyptophiles. We've done this trip three times already and my mother-in-law studied Egyptology at university. As a child we dragged our son around tombs and temples in far-flung places like the Mexican jungle and South East Asia.
However, none of these locations compare to Egypt. It's the one trip we consistently say to people “you really should do this”. The sail down the Nile is serene as you watched the East and West banks drift by witnessing scenes that have not changed for 4000 years. Young boys driving water Buffalo into the Nile to cool down at the end of the day. Shadufs lifting water from this most revered river to irrigate crops. And every day on this trip you see incredible ancient temples that leave you baffled as to how they were made. Indeed you see so many that by the end of the week you are left with a peculiar illness known as temple-itis.
Kom Ombo Temple - Credit Geckota
Double packing watches
We picked a hot week for our journey with temperatures reaching 40 degrees. This not only puts considerable strain on human explorers but also on the equipment we were carrying. Hence I took two watches on this trip: the Geckota Ocean-Scoutand a backup tan coloured Casio AE1500WH-5AV.
Geckota Ocean-Scout in the Valley of the Kings - Credit Geckota
Both watches performed very well. I had no doubt that the bulletproof Casio would but the Ocean-Scout was after all on its maiden voyage. It was not long before the thought process we had put into the design of the Geckota seemed worthwhile.
Avenue of Sphinxes at Karnak Temple - Credit Geckota
The Ocean-Scout’s maiden voyage
The 38.5mm 316L marine grade stainless case is a prefect field watch size. The end points between the lugs are specifically designed to accommodate the military nylon strap I was using, and this became a welcome feature. Occasionally such straps do not sit well on watches, my Breitling Blackbird being a prime example, however on the Ocean-Scout, thanks to the bespoke cut case, the fabric sat flat between the lugs and allowed the watch to sit snug against my wrist.
Geckota Ocean-Scout sailing the Nile - Credit Geckota
The decision to do away with crown guards on the case projected a vintage look, reminiscent of some of the great 1960s dive watches such as the Rolex 6538. Sapphire crystal with AR coating inside kept legibility clear and the case back with its engraved compass logo reflected the whole concept of the watch.
I had the black dial variant however the watch, with its classic 3,6,9 design dial, is also available in blue and green colour. Sword hands complete the vintage look and the red designation Ocean-Scout seemed eminently appropriate as I stood on the bow of the ship watching the next stunning temple appear round the bend of the Nile. The watch is equipped with BGW 9 luminescence which was very bright when I stepped into the darkness of the breath-taking Pharaohs tombs.
Geckota Ocean-Scout at Kitchener's Island, Aswan - Credit Geckota
Accuracy was good but then I would expect that because the Ocean-Scout is equipped an automatic Miyota 9039 movement. This slim unit has a diameter of just 26mm, a thickness of 3.9mm and is only 5.6mm high. It has 24 Jewels, vibrates at 28,800 bph and has a Para shock anti-shock system. As part of Miyota’s 9000 family, this calibre falls within their Premium Automatic line. It tells the time via a standard 3 hand display with no date option and the crown has no phantom crown position.
Back to the golden era of travel
The Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile - Credit Geckota
The magic of this country was once again not lost on us. One of the benefits of this trip is that during the day you get to feel like a vintage explorer and in the evenings you get to dress up nicely, enjoy some cocktails on board, and still feel like you've been catapulted back to another era. Fortunately, there were no murders on our now boat although we were amused as always to see half the passengers reading a very specific Agatha Christie novel and the other half engrossed in one of Wilbur Smith's Ancient Egypt series. I merely mention this because the Ocean-Scout looked wonderfully appropriate at whatever point of the day I wore it such was the thought that had gone into the classic design; truly a watch for all occasions.
Geckota Ocean-Scout on a ZULUDIVER Classic Bond - Credit Geckota
Even though this travelogue is about the Ocean-Scout it would be churlish not to mention the Casio. This was a brand new watch for this trip so I was very keen to see how it performed. The E 1500 is a hybrid of watches which is neither G-Shock nor ProTrek nor basic Casio. Its ridiculously cheap at around £40 for what you get and I ended up wearing more than I thought I would, simply because I could knock it around an in tan it looked cool.
Casio AE1500WH-5AV taking the heat - Credit Geckota
As always we left Egypt with a heavy heart and for sure we will go back again. It is a truly amazing country and if you don't know much about it there is a wonderful programme on Channel 4 (UK) at the moment where the wonderful Professor Alice Roberts travels down the length of the Nile by train visiting most of the temples we saw on this trip.
Ocean Scout – end of a voyage
Of course, she didn't have an Ocean-Scout with her. It's a huge privilege to take a new watch overseas for the very first time in the sure knowledge that no one has ever done this before and whilst you're trying to look at it analytically and professionally, and obviously hoping that nothing goes wrong, it is wonderful when you complete the trip and the watch now has a story to tell.
The start of the Sahara Desert at Aswan - Credit Geckota
As I mention in my small bio at the end of every feature I have always seen watches as travelling companions, and my latest partner, the Geckota Ocean- Scout was a joy to explore with.