ICON Shane Dorian Signature 5304
By Cory McLaughlin
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Just the Facts:
- 42mm 316L Brushed Stainless Steel Case with IP Black Plating
- Unidirectional Rotating Timing Bezel
- Screw Down Locking Crown
- Screw Case Back
- Black Dial
- Thick Swiss SuperLuminova Lume Hands and Dial Numbers
- Japan Quartz 3 Hand + Date Movement
- K1 Hardened Mineral Crystal
- 22mm Genuine NBR Rubber Strap with Signature Buckle and Easy Change On/Off Fingernail Pull Spring Pins
- Black Rubber Strap comes on watch. Green is available for separate purchase.
- 200 Meters Water Resistant
When I first walked by the Time Concepts booth at summer OR in Denver I was instantly hooked. The booth was paired up with the folks from Swiss SuperLuminova and I was intrigued. I had the great pleasure of talking to the lead watch designer Barry. He was knowledgeable to say the least, and he left me with the feeling that I needed a Time Concepts watch.
After the show I spent considerable time looking at the Time Concepts collection and worked to find a watch that fit my lifestyle. Just when I thought I had found a watch that would work I was sent into a tailspin as I was introduced the to the ICON Shane Dorian Signature 5304. Admittedly I was not aware of who Shane Dorian was or why I was being urged to check this watch out so I had to ask some questions. I found out that Shane is a world class big wave surfer and while that was impressive I was still not sure where the connection was? I was then told that Shane was also a very avid bowhunter and he wanted to make sure that part of his life was included in the ICON story. Now I was listening.
After talking to my TC contact I decided that I needed to catch up on Shane and what he stood for. Like most people I went straight to google and started reading. Soon I was listening to podcasts and more often than not finding myself shaking my head in agreement. Shane is a true advocate for what bowhunting is meant to be. He is a realistic hunter and a well-spoken advocate for fair chase. While I know nothing of surfing I am well versed in the language of bowhunting. Shane is also successfully fluent in that language and from what I can gather from interviews or podcasts Shane represents the fabric of a true bowhunter. He has become a great asset to the bowhunting community by sharing his experiences and thoughts of the sport.
Now that I spoke about the ICON which prompted the name of this particular watch I think it’s time to talk about the watch itself. So, lets jump into the features starting with water resistance. The ICON claims a 200M water resistance rating. This is far beyond the depth that even a season scuba diver would go. So it should hold out for anything an average Joe would throw at it right? I mean, Shane is a world class surfing ICON so it must be water worthy! I was ready to test that out and I had just the place to do so.
My mother has a summer cabin on a lake in north central Washington which has excellent visibility and several docks. I have long thought about diving these dock to see what treasures I might find. 2019 was to be my year and I was excited to use this opportunity to test the water resistance of my new watch. I knew that I would likely not be diving past the 20 foot mark so I felt very confident everything would be fine. Sadly this was not the case.
My max depth was only 19 feet for the whole dive and when I emerged from the water I was extremely disappointed to see that my watch was showing signs of water impregnation. The glass was fogged and the watch, in my eyes, had failed. I contacted TC and after we talked about what had happened they were happy to send me a replacement. I was told that this was the first failure they had ever had with this watch.
The reason for the failure was not clear but it could be that the timing adjustment knob was not screwed in completely, though I believed it was, and that allowed for seepage. In any case the watch was wet and when given the chance to make things right Time Concepts stepped up and did so without hesitation. I would be remiss to omit this from my review and thus it stands. I would also be remiss not to mention that my replacement has been through the same testing at even more extreme depths and is holding strong! Whether it was user error or a faulty watch the jury is out but in the end things were made right and I find that the watch is fantastic in the water!
The unidirectional timing bezel has been very useful. I have used it for diving, cooking, timeouts for the kids, running and many other tasks. While it is nothing more than a timing piece that does what you could easily do by looking at the minute hand and a bit of simple math the bezel is nice to have as it takes out the guess work making it impossible to forget where you started keeping time. I love this feature.
Let’s talk about comfort. Is this watch comfortable to wear? The simple answer is yes’ish. Okay, I know that is not really simple. Here are a few of my small issues I initially found. The watch has sharp edges. If you have smaller wrists, as I do, you may find that when crossing your arms or other actions that put pressure on the watch will cause the sharp edge of the ends of the watch to dig into your wrists. It is not horrible but I had to mention it.
Additionally this watch is no feather. The weight of the watch takes some getting used to but I have now found it to be comfortable and I miss it when it is off my wrist. Does this watch take some getting used to? Absolutely it does, but I have faith you will learn to love it as I have. The strap is very comfortable and functional with enough adjustment for just about anyone. I love that it can be changed out with the simple flick of a fingernail and needs no tools. There is really no room for improvement here. I liken the watch to a new ring. At first it might be bothersome but you will learn to like it.
The Swiss SuperLuminova Hands and Dial Numbers are freaking fantastic! Daily life will provide sufficient lighting to this watch to provide visibility though even the darkest night. I have had this watch for over a month and I have never found a time where I could not clearly read the watch. The coating provides readability at no expense to battery life which I see as a solid grand slam!
My last testing area was in the mountains of Eastern Washington. Daily I bathed the watch in the September sunshine and cool evening air. It was my companion over countless hours of many mornings and nights in my stand and on the ground. The elk woods called to us and we, the bowhunters of the world, are powerless against their cries. Shane and I are part of a brotherhood and though we have never met, and likely never will, I am positive that we could talk for hours about mountain winds and the beasts that breathe that sweet thin air.
Shane and I both answer the call of the wilds and to truly test a watch that holds his namesake I needed to find success in the sport we both love. Luck was with me on Friday September 13th and with it came the end of my review period.
My finial thoughts on the Time Concepts ICON Shane Dorian 5304 watch are mostly positive. There are some issues such as the water failure that will always be in the back of my mind. I do not love the sharp edge that can sometimes dig into my wrists. The watch, like all things, has some minor issues but as a whole it is fantastic. It holds time extremely well and is versatile. It is a beautiful watch that can go from the office to a dinner party and into the field all in the same day. Durability and functionality abound with features like the bulletproof K1 Crystal which is sure to remain clear under even the toughest conditions. I truly believe you will love this watch for the price.
Find it Here:
What can be done better?
I don’t know if the water failure I had was simply a fluke or user error, though I cannot see what I would have done differently. Whatever the reason it was a bummer to have that issue. The new watch has performed flawlessly and I am assured by Time Concepts that my failure was the first they had encountered. This leads me to believe it was a complete fluke and not likely to be an issue most will face. I have faith that this will not be a common issue but I had to mention it. The only other change I would like to see is a slight rounding of the sharp corners of the watch. This would only add to what is mostly a very comfortable watch. Overall this is a quality time piece that I think is appropriately priced.
Note to Time Concepts,
I would love to see you add a bit more of a story to your webpage about the ICON’s that you use for this line of watches. I believe people would love to read a bit more about these great folks without having to google search the names. Keeping folks on your page is a win for you as well as they may find something else to buy. As a sportsman and consumer I think it is important to support those that share my passion for the outdoors. I would like to see you outline Shane’s dual passions for both surfing and bowhunting. A little banner at the top of the page might be a nice addition. Just my thoughts.
Overall I have to ding the watch a star because of the water issue leading me to give it a solid 4 stars. I would have gladly rated it at 5 had I not run into the water issue.