Islander Bayport #ISL-120
Dimensions: 48mm lug to lug, 40mm wide, 13.5mm thick
Case: stainless steel
Case Back: stainless-steel engraved with the new Islander design
Strap: H-link bracelet with female end links
Crystal: AR flat sapphire
Lume: SuperLuminova C3
Movement: Seiko NH35
Water Resistance: 200M
Marc at Long Island Watch began the Islander line of watches when the SKX was discontinued. The first Islanders were Seiko homages with the “problems” that man people complained about having been fixed, specifically sapphire crystal and a movement with hacking and hand-winding. Since that beginning, the Islander line has been expanded greatly with a number of different styles and over one hundred models. More recently, Marc has been offering more original designs, beginning with three models using the case from the #ISL-53/54 and three new dials designed by Marvin Menke of Hemel Watches and featuring racing livery colors. These sold well, although I did not get one myself. The next new offering went even further and featured a case designed by Marc, the Bayport. This is also the first named Islander and features the new engraved case back. I have had my Bayport for a few weeks now, and I thought I would share my thoughts.
I almost passed on getting one of these, as I had just received my #HMBT-ISL-1, and the dial is very similar to the Bayport. In the end, I couldn’t pass on the first named Islander and the first case designed by Marc, so I got one, in blue of course. I have to say I am so glad I did. The case is the perfect size for me at 40mm, and it hugs my wrist nicely, with just enough downturn on the lugs. Without that curve on the lugs, it might fit a little large at 48mm lug-to-lug, but the fit doesn’t suffer, and it wears very comfortably. It is fairly thin for an automatic diver, at 13.5mm, and the bezel is also angled so the edge is thinner than the center. It also has a flat AR sapphire crystal, keeping the profile somewhat thin and granting good readability.
The movement is nothing special, being an NH35, but it is a solid movement. The bezel protrudes slightly beyond the case, making it easy to grip and rotate. It is a 120 click bezel with a nice coin edge and a good amount of tension, making the action tight without being hard to rotate. There is very little back play, practically none at all, and absolutely no wiggle. The finishing of the case is also a nice combination of brush and polish and is executed well, with a nice chamfer edge running from lug to lug on both sides.
Atypical of an Islander dive watch, this model does not have drilled lugs. I actually prefer the look without drilled lugs, even if it does make it harder to change the bracelet/strap. The dial features a sunburst in the center and a circular pattern under the indices and chapter ring, creating a nice contrast.
The indices are applied and filled with lume, and there is an applied border around the date complication. The bezel insert is ceramic, fully lumed, and matches the dial color. It has simple sword style hands with lume, and a red lollipop second hand that has lume in the tip. The lume is C3 SuperLuminova and the application is good, except for the lume in the hands. The hands are where I have two small problems. First, I would have liked to see something a bit more…interesting. These hands remind me of the hands on the newer Tissot Seastars, which many found to be a letdown compared to the hands on the older Seastars. The second hand is much better, being red and a lollipop second hand. The lume on the hands is the other small problem, as it appears much weaker than the lume on indices and the same as the bezel. The hands are still plenty visible, they are just not quite as bright as the indices, which is a bit odd for a dive watch.
Overall, this first named Islander is a great watch representing a great new direction for the Islander brand. Since the release of the Bayport, we have seen the Southold, a larger dive watch with a new case designed by Marc, and we have just seen the release of the first hi beat Islander dive watch, the Northport, which also has a ripple dial. Based on my experience with the Bayport so far, I am really excited about these new named Islander models and to see this new direction for the Islander brand. I will be adding a Northport to my collection by the end of the summer. Marc and Co. may not have hit it completely out of the park with this first named Islander, but the Bayport is still an in-the-park home run.
I've been collecting for a few years and have a decent collection of mostly budget and entry-level watches with a few mid-tier watches. I consider myself a lucky watch enthusiast, as the six watches i...