The last time we wrote about echo/neutra, I reviewed their unique Averau 39 Moon Phase, a watch that successfully turned a moon phase complication sporty and featured a very approachable price tag. I was quite impressed. Following up on that launch, the young Italian brand has just announced their third collection, the echo/neutra Cristallo a “professional diver designed for diving professionals but also suitable for everyday occasions” to pull directly from the press release.
Going “pro” is always an ambitious endeavor for a brand, one that seems to be interpreted differently every time. In this instance, echo/neutra thought practically about what a diver might need in terms of features and then built up a watch with impressive specs to support those, including a 500m water resistance. Unlike most brands right now, they ditched vintage inspiration for a decidedly modern look and scale that might be refreshing to some, and possibly frustrating to others.
Coming in 42mm x 49mm, it’s wide, though not very long, which will likely make it fit a variety of wrists. That said, 42mm is certainly on the large side for divers coming out in 2022. The Cristallo is also 13.9mm thick, which is quite reasonable considering the depth rating. The style of the case is also quite contemporary with slabs sides, short crown guards, and a touch of decoration from polished bevels. A helium escape valve is placed at nine for saturation divers (pro stuff), and a solid case-back seals in the elaboré Sellita SW279 movement.
The visual character of the watch comes from the ceramic bezel insert and the dial. The former features a less commonly seen “no-deco” scale, which indicates when to ascend from the listed depths based on the time elapsed once set. Hence the decreasing numbers, as greater depths allow for less time. Another “pro” feature, it has no use above water but does give the watch a more technical look.
The dial pulls in elements from echo/neutra’s previous collections, namely in the arrow hour hand, and balance of large numerals with thin lines, and adds in some complications. At 12, 3, and 6 are oversized numerals, providing at-a-glance legibility as well as orientation for the dial. Rounded lines in various sizes then tell the other hours as well as individual minutes. In an interesting move, there is no center seconds hand, rather a sub-seconds at nine. A double-sided hand ticks away here to quickly indicate that the watch is functioning, the seconds themselves being less important than the minutes and hours on a dive watch.
At six you’ll find a power reserve, which is another unexpected feature. The concept here is that prior to a dive, it gives a diver the opportunity to make sure their watch is adequately wound up, which seems like a fair redundancy to have. Another check off the “pro” list. The dials then come in two colors, full black, and black to blue vertical degradé, clearly inspired by a well-known deep diving watch but supplying an undeniably appealing look.
Lastly, the Cristallo comes mounted to a steel H-link bracelet with a diver’s extension clasp for fitting around a wetsuit. Overall, the echo/neutra Cristallo appears to be a rather complete high-spec dive watch package with some interesting additional functionality, namely from the power reserve and no-deco bezel. While the bezel might limit its everyday usage (not that most bezels are really so useful), it is nice to see a dive watch that is really made for divers. That’s not me, granted, but I’m not lacking in options as a land lover either.
The echo/neutra Cristallo goes on pre-order today, shipping in September, with a presale price of $890, and a full retail price of $1,190. Like the Averau the Cristallo represents a solid value, especially for the specs and complication. So, should you happen to be wanting to take your diving to the pro level, perhaps this is the watch for you? echo/neutra