Posted on June 23 2021
He keeps an eye out for invaders, using his keen eyesight and hearing. He has gold teeth and is described as the whitest of all the Norse Gods.
So Heimdallr isn't an obvious name for a young Chinese homage watch brand.
Maybe that is why the brand's logo is a shark and many of us know them by the name Sharkey.
Either way, they're an interesting company that produces some exciting homage models. They're particularly strong when it comes to recreating classic dive watches.
So don't let the brand name confuse you. Let's jump in and learn more about them. Then we'll look at the best watches that they currently offer.
Who are Heimdallr and Sharkey Watches?
Heimdallr describes itself as a leading Chinese microbrand. That seems like a fitting description.
They're keen to point out that they're an independent brand. They aren't linked to San Martin and other similar Chinese homage brands. They claim to be founded by watch fans, stating " we are not a Chinese factory brand".
Are Heimdallr and Sharkey Watches Good Quality?
On the whole, Heimdallr watches have been well received by watch geeks.
I spend my days trawling internet forums and Facebook groups and the feedback has been consistent. In the flesh, I've been impressed by the quality of affordable Chinese watches.
There is no reason why they shouldn't be of good quality. China is one of the watchmaking giants. A lot of watches that you see in the West are made in Chinese factories.
And Heimdallr uses reliable Japanese automatic movements in their watches. When you get a Heimdallr watch that mimics a Seiko watch, it is usually powered by a branded Seiko movement.
It will also have a sapphire crystal and legitimate water resistance.
Just use your common sense. Chinese watches for £20 are junk - as you'd expect. Chinese watches for £150 are a lot better and often very good value for money.
The Five Best Heimdallr Sharkey Watches
Here are the best five Heimdallr watches.
I've included some less obvious designs and not included some of their more colourful models. The brand also uses bronze regularly. But again, I've tried to concentrate on the watches that best represent the brand and are true to the original watch.
The 62MAS was Seiko’s first dive watch. Released in 1965, the watch now has a cult status. Seiko has recreated the watch themselves, but it’s not a very affordable watch.
Heimdallr has produced its own version. It’s slightly larger than the original but otherwise is faithful to the skin diver styling of the Seiko.
It’s not an obvious watch to replicate and is more subtle than a Rolex or Omega homage. The styling is vintage, but the watch uses modern watchmaking knowledge. It’s powered by a Seiko Japanese automatic movement and has a domed sapphire crystal.
It’s the first watch on my list because it’s one of my favourites. Most people who’ll see you wearing this watch will never know that it is a homage to something else. I like that.
It’s a Chinese watch, inspired by a historical Japanese piece and definitely the first place to start with this brand.
This is another homage to a classic Seiko. This time the 6105. A model made famous by the film Apocalypse Now and known as the Captain Willard.
Once again, Heimdallr's watch is faithful to the original design.
The turtle case is distinctive and Heimdallr have mimicked Seiko's case, including the unusual crown guards. At 44m it's also a comfortable size.
In terms of specifications, it's as you'd expect at this price point. It has the ubiquitous Seiko NH35A movement, a sapphire crystal and 200M of water resistance.
So you get a pleasing mix of vintage styling and modern dive watch features. You also get this for a lot less than the price of a vintage Seiko 6105.
The Seiko is an iconic watch. But it's not cheap. The Heimdallr homage fills that gap.
Heimdallr Captain Willard
Sticking with the theme, I want to show you a homage to a modern Seiko watch. This Heimdallr is based on Seiko's chunky diver, the Monster.
It's a unique design that is instantly recognisable. The case is substantial, with a bezel that has deep grooves, making gripping it easy. The dial is beautiful and features a deep red background with teeth style markers.
It's a real dive watch too. So it has 200M of water resistance and a heavily knurled screw-down crown at 4 o'clock. This helps with comfort and minimises the crown digging into the back of your hand.
There's a lot of watch here.
Remember, it has a Seiko automatic movement and a sapphire crystal too. All for around £150.
The Rolex Submariner is arguably the world's most copied watch. And it's not just Chinese brands creating homages of this model. You can see Submariner style watches on your local high street - many from big-name brands.
So what is noteworthy about Heindallr's version?
Firstly, it's the colour. This all green model is based on the Rolex Submariner Hulk. That watch is now discontinued, so a homage model is a realistic alternative.
Secondly, this is an inexpensive way to get the Submariner aesthetic. It's very affordable and again offers decent specifications.
Like the original, this is a mid-sized dive watch with both a green dial and bezel. And like the original, it has Mercedes hands and a cyclops lens over the date window.
It's all as it should be.
Aside from the bold colouring, this is a fairly conservative watch. The Submariner style is nearly 70 years old and has been tried and tested. It's the watch James Bond wore.
But if a plain black Submariner seems too sedate, take a closer look at this Hulk homage.
Heimdallr Hulk Submariner
The final watch that I'd like to highlight is again based on a discontinued model. Seiko's SKX007 was a very popular dive watch that has been dropped by the manufacturer in favour of its Seiko 5 Sports line.
Again, Heimdallr has built a watch to fill that vacuum.
And there is no mistaking the inspiration for this piece. This watch is very close to the Seiko original. It has the same round markers, 4 o'clock crown and distinctive arrow hands.
It's about half the price of the Seiko too.
Ironically, the Heimdallr has a higher spec Seiko automatic movement than the original Seiko does. So it's another watch that represents good value for money.
At this affordable end of the watch market, it's fair to ask if a homage watch makes sense. Why try and save £150 on the price of a watch?
That's a good question. I own the Seiko so this watch wouldn't be for me. But if you don't already own the Seiko, and the watch is now discontinued, your options are shrinking.
This isn't the difference between a £10k Rolex and a £150 Heimdallr. Instead, it's a £150 saving on a £300 watch. You'll have to be the judge of whether that is a good deal.
Let's skip the ethical minefield of buying homage watches. I've covered that when writing about Pagani Design, Corgeut and others.
Assuming you're ok with wearing a homage watch, then the question becomes more about which brands to choose.
In that regard, Heimdallr is one of the good guys. They use branded Seiko automatic movements, decent components and are competitively priced.
They're keen to stress that they are watch enthusiasts and that their watches aren't just clones of Swiss luxury watches.
As you've seen in this piece, they're more likely to recreate a vintage Japanese dive watch than a contemporary Swiss design.
They don't do the obvious.
And that's what I like about this brand. They're accessible and watch focused. It feels like they're reissuing iconic watches, rather than providing fashion pieces on a budget.
As usual, I'd suggest that you follow some of the affiliate links and investigate yourself. And as ever, let me know your thoughts below.