I breathed a sigh of relief as I removed the Raven Solitude DLC from its leather case and placed it on my wrist. But why? After all, I had just removed a luxury watch from my wrist to make way for the Solitude. It was supposed to feel like a step-down, yet I was happy because the Solitude not only looked and felt great on my wrist but because the lume actually allowed me to see the dial markers in low-light conditions — something the vastly more expensive watch did not do well.

It seems like such a small thing, but for me, the ability to read my watch in low light situations is very important. Particularly with watches that feature a black case and dial, legibility is often an issue when the lume is not up to par. Fortunately Raven got it right on this watch with the Super-LumiNova BGW9 used on the hands, bezel, and dial. By also using a raised and polished edge around the hands and dial markers, they ensured legibility in any condition. To me, there is nothing worse than owning a beautiful watch that does not allow you to utilize its most important function — telling the time. The Raven Solitude gets it right in every condition.

Raven Watches is owned and operated by Steve Laughlin. They are headquartered and designed in Overland Park, Kansas. Raven features several watches at various price points that correspond with different design and movement options. For the Solitude, it houses the uber-reliable Seiko NH35A automatic movement, a Sapphire crystal, 300m water resistance, and a date window at 6 o’clock. The unidirectional bezel is very crisp and comfortable to move, with no extra movement or wiggle.

This is a watch that will be able to stand up to everyday wear, overland adventures, or underwater exploration.

With the included rubber strap and stainless steel bracelet, you can comfortably dress it up or down. If you purchase a Raven Solitude, I highly recommend that you utilize Steve Laughlin’s instructional video that demonstrates how to properly size the bracelet, which uses a pin and collar system. It isn’t complicated but you’ll want to make sure you do it right.

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As with any DLC watch, it is prone to show scratches, fingerprints, dust, and general wear and tear. For me, I like it because it shows the character of a daily-worn watch so well. If you plan to buy a watch to wear it and use it, then a DLC finish shouldn’t stop you from buying one.

If that is a showstopper for you, then Raven also features a Solitude in brushed stainless steel with various color options for the dial and bezel.

With an MSRP of $550, the Raven Solitude is a great option for someone looking in the crowded market at that price point. In that range, the things you should look for the most — outside of general design and appearance — are a reliable movement, Sapphire crystal, excellent water resistance, and good lume. The Solitude checks every one of those boxes.

Raven Solitude DLC Specs:

  • Black dial
  • Black bezel
  • 40mm DLC case
  • Lug to lug is 47mm, height is 13mm.
  • Water-resistant to 300m.
  • Rubber gaskets in the screw-down crown and case back.
  • 20mm solid stainless steel bracelet with an adjustable clasp.
  • Crystal – domed sapphire – chamfered edge.
  • Crystal – inside AR coating.
  • Rotating bezel with lume filled markers.
  • Raised and polished hour indices and polished hands.
  • Super-LumiNova BGW9 on the dial, hands and bezel.
  • Timed and regulated Seiko NH35A.
  • $550.00