As a veteran GearJunkie watch tester, I am no stranger to Raven Watches. In fact, it was around this time last year that I managed to get my hands on not one, but two examples of the company’s Airfield lineup. These were hailed as “a soaring success in style [and] utility,” and I’ve been waiting for the maker’s next release to land ever since.
Now, it’s here — the Raven Endeavor II. This $680 dive watch takes the promise of the Airfield and plunges it deep in the sea, with a lumed unidirectional bezel, a heavy-duty case, and an overwhelming 500 m of water resistance. And as Halloween approaches, it occurs to me there’s a theme going here: Large birds with black wings, a ticking clock, and symbols that glow in the dark — feels like Spooktober to me.
But while the Endeavor II is available in both alarming Emergency Yellow and midnight Deep Black, I went with Boat Deck Blue for my tester. The watch arrived about 2 weeks back, so I’ve had significant time to judge the success of Raven’s latest Endeavor. Read on for the verdict.
In short: The Raven Endeavor II ($680) is inarguably the finest watch I’ve handled for under $1,000, and perhaps the best under $1,500. With hand-tuned accuracy, an incredible spec sheet, and credentials that stand up in the field, this is a powerhouse of a wristwatch that manages to be as comfortable as it is gorgeous. Come for the looks and 500m rating, stay for the NodeX clasp, and grab yours before this production run taps out.
- Diameter 42 mm
- Lug distance 47 mm
- Thickness 12 mm
- Crystal Flat sapphire, AR inside
- Steel 316L anti-allergenic stainless
- Water resistance 500 m
- Bracelet 22 mm to 18 mm, quick release
- Clasp NodeX adjustable
- Lume Super-LumiNova X1 Blue
- Movement Miyota 9015
- Price $680
- Shocking accuracy
- Luxury-level materials
- NodeX adjustable clasp
- Screwed links
- Great looks
- Limited (for now) production run
- A handful of sharp edges (though none that touch skin)
Raven Endeavor II Watch Review
There’s a lot to gush about here, but first things first — by the time this review goes live, there won’t be too many of these available. If you’re even remotely interested in what you see, head over to Raven’s website and snap up your Endeavor II — like, right now.
The early release pricing has expired for this batch, but at $680, I still consider this watch an absolute steal, for reasons which will become clear as we go.
A Glowing (and Accurate!) Achievement
Instead of discussing the specs in detail (read them above), I’d like to cover the on-wrist impression of the Endeavor II. I can sum this up in two words: solid and beautiful.
Seriously, just look at this thing — the gorgeous blue, gold, and white colors of the dial, the lumed ceramic bezel, and the placement of the date window at 6 o’clock. Everything under that flat sapphire crystal screams “capable class,” and the weight of all that steel lends credence to the package.
The three numbers I will call out involve the case, where the 42mm diameter, 47 lug-to-lug, and 12mm thickness combine to form a just-right bear of a timepiece that wears like a perfectly sized tank. On my 7-ish-inch wrist, this is about as good as it gets.
At the heart of this Raven beats a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, with a power reserve of 42 hours. This Citizen-derived Japanese mechanism is rated at -10 to +30 seconds per day, according to Caliber Corner.
But over its 2 weeks of wear, I got a different departure from zero, or rather, a lack of one. When strapped to my wrist, this particular Endeavor II registered somewhere in the neighborhood of +0.1 seconds per day — more or less dead on. Now, when placed face up on a table overnight, it showed a tendency to add about 4 seconds.
Beyond its hand-tuning of the movement, Raven has done a great job with the cohesion of this design. From the bezel edges to the 4 o’clock crown and the thick gobs of blue Super-LumiNova, the Endeavor II doesn’t feel like it’s a close copy of anything. Sure, there are bits and pieces of familiar divers, but this is a watch that’s uniquely its own.
A Bracelet for Everyone
Last year, my lone complaint with the Airfield involved the basic (but serviceable) nature of its metal clasp. With the Endeavor II, the bracelet is arguably the watch’s greatest strength.
For those not familiar with the wonders of the NodeX clasp, here are the basics. See that little branded button? By pressing it in, you can pull or push that notched metal tongue into five different points (shown fully extended in the photo).
This allows you to adjust for the daily shrink and swell of your wrist, eliminating my biggest complaint about the rigidity of most steel bracelets. And just as key, the links here are screwed, not pinned. All you need to fit this watch to your wrist is a few minutes, a tiny flathead driver, and a little coordination. Groundbreaking? No, but this is the first time I’ve seen this setup on a model with this kind of (relatively) affordable price point.
I should note that my tester arrived with one of Raven’s 22mm FKM rubber straps in tow. I don’t believe these are a standard inclusion, as the company sells them separately for $30 apiece. I’ll chalk it up to the GearJunkie experience.
Either way, this branded strap was an immediate entrant in my Comfort Hall of Fame, managing to feel both pliable and tough while giving off a decidedly premium vibe.
Conclusion: Raven Endeavor II Dive Watch Review
Oh wait, you want a few nitpicks before we go? Let’s see — the logo on the branded crown is turned sideways when fully screwed in. And there are a couple of sharp edges at the angled corners of the lugs, and likewise at the outward-facing surface of the clasp itself. But none of these areas contact your skin, so chances are it won’t impact your wearing experience.
And heck, what would something like a hammer or screwdriver be without edges?
Because that’s what the Raven Endeavor II is — a tool. A well-made, capable, and joy-to-use piece of practical, everyday art. You can rely on it to perform its intended function while looking damn fine in the process. I adore this polished, workmanlike aesthetic — as at home on the construction site as it is in the mountains, or the pool at a fancy hotel.
As for the limited availability, sure, it’s a bummer. But how is that different than the manufactured scarcity practiced by much bigger brands, with a world of resources at their disposal? At least with Raven, I know each of the timepieces is being handled by someone who genuinely gives a damn, and who’s operating at a level where personal attention can be devoted to each piece. And if you miss this drop, you can always keep an eye out for the next one.
All these factors combine to prompt me to buy this watch for myself. That’s right. The piece you see here is my personal Endeavor II, which I snagged just days before the end of the promotional pricing.
And where this sort of large purchase has been a source of guilt in the past, I have zero regrets with this Raven. And if you’re lucky enough to snap one up before this run flies the coop, I think you’ll feel exactly the same.