Keeping it Reel: Hands-On with the Fishing-Inspired Visser Ocean Blue Automatic

“Visser” means “fisherman” in Dutch, which gives you your first hint as to the interesting pedigree of the very distinctive-looking Visser watch brand, which was founded by Robert Koelewyn of Holland a few years ago. Koelewyn, who parlayed his experience in manufacturing machines for the Aerospace industry into developing some of the most coveted high-tech fishing reels in the world for sport fishermen, sought out a new challenge: designing a timepiece that avid fishermen would appreciate, with a design they could relate to.

Visser Ocean Blue - Front
Visser Ocean Blue

The Visser Ocean Blue model, from the Dutch brand’s Tech Collection — which recently made its way to the WatchTime office for a little hands-on time — channels the look of the fly-fishing reels created by Koelewyn’s three sports-fishing equipment brands, Van Staal, Zeebaas, and 3-Tand, with its nautical blue dial, cut on CNC machines from anodized aluminum; a central hub resembling a knob over the double-domed sapphire crystal; and beneath it, the hands — long and V-shaped for the hours and minutes, the seconds hand tipped with a fishing-hook-shaped counterweight — coated with gold PVD.

Visser Ocean Blue Dial
A fishing hook motif finished the central seconds hand.

The 42-mm case is made of micro-brushed 316L stainless steel and water-resistant to 50 meters, which means it’s suitable to wear on a fishing boat. The watch features a low-profile, “snag-free” crown for winding the watch and setting the hands. Copious dial details are coated with Super-LumiNova — the hands, the hour numerals on the flange, and the tiny 60-second dots on the dial’s edge — so you can read the time no matter how late or early you set out on your angling expedition.

Visser Ocean Blue - Crystal
A knob-like steel hub rises above the crystal.
Visser Ocean Blue -Profile
The crown is built to be snug to the silhouette of the case.

So, we know what would appeal to an avid fisherman about the Ocean Blue. What is here to make a watch aficionado take notice? There’s the movement, a self-winding Miyota Caliber 9015 from Japan’s Citizen, and while it is tucked out of sight behind the solid logo-engraved caseback, it offers a number of features, including a hacking seconds function, a Parashock shock absorption system, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 42-hour power reserve. Then there’s that other element that is increasingly popular in watch fandom — namely, adaptability. The case attaches to the segmented bracelet via snap-on “headers” made from aerospace-grade stainless steel and durable titanium nitride posts. The segments on the Ocean Blue bracelet are made of steel and carbon fiber and use screwed pins rather than pressed-in pins, meaning the wearer, in theory, can both adjust the length of the bracelet by removing or adding segments and swap out the bracelet for another Visser bracelet or strap.

Visser Ocean Blue - Clasp
The segmented bracelet attaches to the case through snap-on headers.

Watches and watersports have long been linked, with more timepieces built for diving, sailing, swimming, navigation, and regatta timing making their debut every year. A watch engineered specifically for fishermen, however, is something relatively new and rare, and perhaps, at least in Koelewyn’s view, overdue. The Ocean Blue is priced at $789. (If you happen to be attending this week’s ICAST Sport Fishing Trade Show in Orlando, you can check them out for yourself.)

What do you think of Visser Watches? Would you reel one of these in or throw it back? Let us know in the comments.


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  1. Richard Ayer

    My first glance was a “WOW”. A very distinctive watch which would definitely catch the eye of any enthusiast. I can only hope price isn’t crazy (Under 3K$) and proves to be a reliable timepiece. Sign me up for more details!

  2. Richard

    Why don’t you list the price? Don’t you think it’s important?

    • Mark Bernardo

      The article has been updated with the price ($789). Thanks for pointing out the oversight.

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