Review of Crepas Cayman 3000 Automatic Diver

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Model # Crepas Cayman 3000

Brand/Model:  Crepas Cayman 3000
Movement:  Swiss automatic, top grade
Material:  stainless steel case and bracelet
Complications:  none
Price:  MSRP:  approx. $1,030 USD plus shipping


Plenty of photos follow the review. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
I like dive watches.  I really like dive watches.  So when Crepas introduced the Cayman 3000 in 2013, I started to look into the brand and the watch and liked what I saw. 
I wanted to apologize in advance for the reflections in the pictures, as the domed crystal, although it is anti-reflective coated, is a hard one to photograph and the fully polished case doesn’t help, either.  I did my best and trust me, it’s a stunner of a watch.
Crepas is an acronym for Compañía Relojera Especializada para Actividades Subacuaticás (Specialized Watch Company for Underwater Activities) based in southern Spain.  The company slogan is ‘technical watches for extreme divers.’
Their watches (at least the Cayman to the best of my knowledge) are assembled in Germany with top grade Swiss ETA automatic movements.  While not cheap by ‘boutique’ watch standards, the company only makes automatic dive watches in limited quantities (299 total pieces for the Cayman 3000), so quality and exclusivity are all but assured.  And when you think about it, $1,000 USD for a true 3000 meter dive watch with a Swiss engine is not by any means an unfair price.
Crepas watches can only be ordered through the company’s web site and you’ll probably have to wait a bit, as they produce a certain number of pieces at a time and wait until they have enough orders to do a production run. 
I waited about two months after my order for delivery, which was totally acceptable and the order process was smooth.  Communication via email was satisfactory and I was incredibly impressed with the speed with which my watch was delivered once it was shipped.  It came from Spain in about three days and I was able to track its progress the entire way.  Nice.
Crepas does not make any watches larger than 45mm, which is still on the large side for many people.  I have thin wrists and 45mm is my upper limit, but the Cayman fits me well.  This watch starts with a fully polished 316L all stainless steel case measuring 43mm without the signed screwdown crown; 48mm crown inclusive.  The bezel diameter is 44.5mm.  It’s nice to see my measurements match up with those shown on the Crepas web site for the Cayman.
Total thickness of the Cayman including the 4.6mm domed sapphire crystal is 19.9mm, but remember that includes the domed part of the crystal.  Crepas lists the case thickness without the crystal at 16.9mm.  Lugs are 22mm.  The overall heft of the watch is what one would expect for a 3000 meter diver.
Despite its large dimensions, the Cayman wears well and doesn’t feel too top-heavy, as some thick dive watches do.  Don’t be scared off by its size, the Cayman is a wearable, usable watch.
An automatic helium escape valve is located on the left side of the case at the 9 position.
The caseback is of course screwed down and very robust, with the Crepas logo (a propeller) rendered in sapphire with blue SuperLuminova.  A very unique and cool touch, albeit a bit impractical.
Overall quality and finishing of the watch is superb, although I would prefer a partially brushed case instead of the full polish.  It doesn’t look bad fully polished, but I always think tool watches look better a bit more subdued.  Also, some sort of crown guard would be a nice addition.
The bezel is a 120-click unidirectional design with a sapphire coated and fully lumed black insert.  Bezel action is tight with no backlash and it rotates with a satisfying click.
The cleanliness and functionality of the dial is part of what appealed to me about the Cayman.  The dial is pure gloss black, thanks in part to being a ceramic overlay with applied markers.  The hands are simple polished and faceted pieces with lume and the seconds hand is a simple straight piece with a lumed arrow-style tip. 
Rectangular markers are used at each five minute mark, with the quarter hour markers larger than the others.  Small hash marks make up the remaining minutes markers.  The dial looks superb, is easy to read and of course, the lume is superb (blue SuperLuminova BG W9).
The Crepas logo and name are under the 12 marker, with ‘Cayman 3000’, ‘3000 meters’ and ‘(9900 ft)’ located above the six marker.  This wording seems a bit redundant, as it would be cleaner to just have the name ‘Cayman’ without the ‘3000’, but it’s not a big deal.
The Cayman is also highly anti-magnetic, rated at 70,000 A/m.  The gaskets for the case and crystal are Viton and Tefzel.  Again, these specs speak of a quality piece.
The dial is capped by the nifty 4.6mm domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside.  No distortion or defects are noted on the dial or crystal, it’s a flawless presentation.
The Cayman 3000 is factory rated for an amazing 3000 meters of water resistance (300 atm) and Crepas includes a printout of the prototypeof the Cayman having achieved a water resistance of 400 bar, which is greater than the rated 3000 meter depth.  Crepas says each Cayman is individually tested at 250 atm so you can be assured of its water-tightness.  Why they don’t test it to the 300 atm rating is a bit puzzling, but are you really going to go that deep?
Inside the Cayman beats the venerable ETA 2824-2 Swiss Made automatic movement, this one in ‘top grade’ fashion (better finishing of the movement).  Although you can’t see the nicer movement because the caseback is not a display type, it’s good to know that Crepas spends the extra dollars to equip the Cayman with a very high-quality movement. 
The movement hacks and manual winds and has performed as expected.  The watch winds and sets fine and has ran at about +5/24 hours with an acceptable 41.25 hour power reserve.
The stainless steel bracelet that comes with the Cayman is a true ‘beads of rice’ design, with seven individual pieces of steel on each link.  The beads of rice are polished, with the outer links being brushed, with all links being solid along with solid end links. 
The bracelet comes with two clasps; a continuous link butterfly clasp and a standard signed foldover stamped steel clasp with safety lock.  Both clasps have machined deployants and the foldover clasp also has a machined diver extension. 
I installed the foldover clasp, because it has four microadjustments on it, while the butterfly clasp has no microadjustment.
The links are held together with a rod that has a screwhead on one end, with a small screw on the other end, so you need to have two screwdrivers to remove the rod and therefore the link.  This method is always a bit cumbersome, but Crepas includes a set of quality screwdrivers for this task, as well as extra spring bars in a small vial.
The bracelet is continuous width, measuring 22mm at the lugs and at the clasp.  Crepas also includes a rather thick black nylon NATO style two-piece strap with polished buckle.  A leather strap is an option and I believe a rubber strap is also available.
Presentation is quite nice, with a large outer cardboard box with removable lid and an inner black plastic box with pushbutton opening.  Crepas includes the watch, bracelet, two clasps as described above, a black two-piece nylon strap and buckle, the extra spring bars, two precision screwdrivers, warranty information, instruction manual, the prototype pressure readout and a polishing cloth.  No complaints with the presentation, as it is very complete.
The Crepas Cayman 3000 represents a top quality, well engineered automatic dive watch that is very exclusive given its small production run.  The watch looks stunning, feels great and performs as it should, with plenty of its own style to send other wannabe divers running for cover.  My introduction to Crepas by way of the Cayman has been very favorable and I’m hoping that Crepas will continue to produce more unique, solidly built divers for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Pros: clean, functional look, top quality movement, high quality throughout, great lume, nice real beads of rice bracelet  
Cons:  no crown guards, a bit heavy/thick/large for some, high polish case a bit much
Verdict:  a true dive watch for those who dive and a great looking dive watch for those who don’t, the Cayman delivers it all at a competitive price with top quality and unique looks.  Well played!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.
Excelsior!

-Marc


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