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Khuraburi is a coastal town in southern Thailand known for some of the best diving in the Andaman Sea. No surprises then that the timepiece namesake is a serious, ISO 6425 compliant diving watch.

I’ve reviewed Helm’s Vanuatu (both the first release and the V2, the upgraded version), and can honestly say that it’s one of the finest affordable divers available; punching well above it’s weight for $275.

The Khuraburi is only $25 more, so it still looks to be a pretty epic watch for $300 / ~£215. Let’s take a closer look to see if this is the case.

The specs

The case

With the crown at 10, the crown wears a little unusual – I like it as I wear watches on my left wrist and it keeps the crown clear from the back of my hand. Whilst the diameter of 42mm isn’t anything outrageous, the 16mm height is definitely on the tall side – so beware. The drilled-through lugs make changing straps much easier.

It’s entirely brushed which is hard-wearing and ensures longevity. The shape of the case is nice and rotund, with rounded sides breaking out of the barrel shape norm.

Sitting on top of the case is a double domed sapphire crystal – this watch is from the second Khuraburi production batch, with some slight modifications, one being that the crystal has been cut slightly differently to reduce the bevel that created some distortion around the edge of the dial. It’s rather reflective still: the anti-reflective coating not doing the best job.

The sapphire bezel insert is a pleasant, unexpected feature. The naturally reflective appearance is eye-catching and merges well with the crystal. The bezel action itself is a little on the stiff side for my liking; not the smoothest. It is very easy to use thanks to the decent toothed grip.

The caseback is updated in the second production batch too; the central H logo is deep–stamped rather than etched, and it really is impressively done for this price. The rest of the detailing is all accurate and deep.

The crown has a smooth thread and is really easy to use thanks to the huge grip. It has the Helm logo accurately and deeply engraved on the end.

The dial

The dial is exceptionally bold and legible – just look at those chunky hands and hour markers. The blue base of the dial is a pleasant change to the normal black you see so often; it’s not a super bright blue either – quite classy.

Pretty much the only issue I have with the entire watch is the printwork of the logo in the top half. It’s not standard printed like the details in the bottom half, but rather a thick shiny paint, and it doesn’t look right to me – the colour clashes with the colour of the dial base and looks a little bit tacky.

The hour markers are all applied, heavy wide arrows which provides a nice amount of depth to the dial. The subtle minute track is also on a higher level to the base of the dial, which support this feeling of depth.

The hands are a similar shape; very wide swords with a skeletonised base. The seconds hand is a straight stick with a lighter blue tip and a lume filled arrow.

The lume strength is great throughout the watch – matching well from the hour markers, to the hands, through to the bezel insert.

The bracelet / strap

The bracelet measures at 22mm wide at the lugs, tapering down to 20mm at the buckle. It’s super engineered and the thick, angular links are chunky and a sight to behold. The angular tops provide a variety of reflections in the light. They’re fully brushed with screw links – so the bracelet is easy to adjust, but make sure you tighten them regularly to stop them gradually coming undone.

The buckle is just as chunky – it’s single locking with the top flap, which has the Helm logo engraved on. It also houses 6 micro adjustment points so you’re definitely going to be able to get a perfect fit.

All Khuraburi’s come with a free NATO strap, which is a nice touch. It’s pretty standard quality so nothing exciting to mention. I also received one of the optional blue canvas straps, which is lovely and thick (albeit a tad stiff to begin with). Watch the video review to take a look at them.

The movement

The movement powering the Helm Khuraburi is the Seiko NH38. It’s the brother of the more popular NH35 – having pretty much exactly the same specs, apart from the omission of a day / date complication.

Specs include hacking and manual wind, 21.6k bph, 24 jewels, and ~40 hours power reserve. This movement is very well-regulated too, coming in at an amazing +4.2 sec/day – well within COSC specs.

Final comments

I thought the Vanuatu was a great watch. The Khuraburi, however, is so much better at a mere $25 more. I feel the design is a little friendlier; it’s sure to appeal to more people – but entire watch as a whole feels like an incredibly substantial timepiece for $300. The bracelet is delightful, the case is a nice shape and well finished (albeit a tad tall), it has great lume, and the sapphire bezel insert catches the eye.

The only negative is the way the logo appears to the eye, but you could class that as personal preference. I really can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t buy one of these – it’s that impressive.


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1 comment

  1. johnnyjohnny

    just got mine. had to return the orange lumed one as i didn’t find the lume enough for my taste, but Helm was super incredible customer service-wise and sent a black and white out even before i got the other one in the mail. superb people.

    with the brighter lumed version i think it’s a stellar unique piece of diveware, which your closeup shots do wonderful justice to. i’d disagree about the color/printing of the logo, i really like it, so i’d say it’s more taste vs an actual detriment.

    technically the watch is as good as anything at any price range, Swiss or whatever, with a mind-blowing sharply aligned/no backplay bezel that’s fun to time anything with. a gorgeous diver piece that stands out in my rather overlarge collection of Japanese and Swiss divers. and a review with pics that does it justice.

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