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Parnis 40mm Automatic Submariner Watch (Sterile Dial)

Hello, and thank you for checking out my latest watch review! In this post, I will be looking at a Parnis 40mm Automatic, Sterile-Black, Submariner-style watch.


FYI…the 40mm Parnis Sub is available in many other combinations, colors, movements, etc. The version for review has a Chinese mechanical movement (possibly the MingZhu DG2813?).  It is safe to say you will be impressed with the value of these timepieces.

NOTE-Before I get to the review, a word about Parnis: There are definitely fans/followers of Parnis watches, both their original designs…as well as their ‘homage’ watches. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are definitely those that despise Parnis, and many of the other Chinese manufacturers of Rolex/Panerai/Omega…fill in the blank…‘homage’ watches. I know this latter group does not consider them to be ‘homages’, but more like ‘knock-offs’. I understand this…and it has been argued ad infinitum on many other threads, and many other forums. I do not wish to dive into another endless debate about this issue….but I digress. Alternatively, I will focus on my impressions of the watch, and conclude with a 1-5 rating in five different categories…Cost, Looks, Durability, Function & Comfort.

40mm Parnis
Sapphire Crystal
Black Dial
White NO
Automatic Watch

Size: 40mm x 14mm (Note: 12.5 actual)
Movement: Automatic
Functions: Hour, Minutes, Seconds, Date
Case: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel Case
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
Dial: Black Dial with White Numbers
Bezel: Rotating Bezel
Strap:Stainless Steel Bracelet
Clasp Deployment Buckle



The pictures certainly feature an attractive looking product. The ‘sterile’ (no manufacturer markings anywhere) Parnis is a Submariner-style, homage watch. This version, with a Chinese automatic movement,

Ready to dive? Parnis Sub

This Sub homage is just as nice looking in person.

CASE/CROWN/CASEBACK/LUGS: The 316L Stainless Steel case is 40mm, and the overall height is 12.5mm high (13.75mm including cyclops)…which is a tad smaller size that I am usually comfortable with. I prefer about a 43mm, but this 40mm wears a tad larger. Lug-to-lug is 48mm. The top of the case is brushed, and the sides are polished. The crown protector extends a bit at the 3 O’clock side of the watch, covering about 3/4s of the crown. The screw-down crown is properly knurled and easily gripped. There are no manufacturer markings on any of these parts. The screw-down case-back requires a Rolex-style tool to remove, or as in my case, I used the rubber-ball method to remove the back. This method took some time as the case-back must have been cranked-down pretty tightly at the factory. There is a single black o-ring seal. There is no depth rating on this watch, and no paperwork indicating appropriate diving depths…so I cannot recommend this watch for diving.

BRACELET/CLASP: The solid link, 20mm Stainless Steel oyster-style bracelet has screw-pins on five links for easy adjustability. The end links are also solid. The center section of the bracelet is polished, and outside sections are brushed. The locking deployment clasp is of a decent quality, and has an unusual micro-adjustment that snaps or un-snaps to add or shorten the length a few millimeters. Again…there are absolutely no markings on the bracelet or clasp.

DIAL/HANDS/INDICES/FUNCTIONS: The black dial has traditional submariner indices. Inverted triangle at 12 O’clock, rectangles at 6 and 9, and circles on the remaining hours. Each indice is raised with a silver edge, and a white, lumed center. A date window at 3 O’clock takes the place of the missing indice, and is easily readable with the date-magnifier window. The date wheel is white, with black Arabic numerals. The hour-hand is a typical Mercedes-style, with the minute hand a much longer sword-style, and second hand more of a lollipop/pointer with a small lollipop counter-balance located on the opposite end. All hands are lumed, but could use a longer-lasting, better quality compound.

Added Lume Shot

Hanging out in nature ^

MOVEMENT: Chinese automatic of unconfirmed origin (MingZhu?). It is not noisy in the least bit…and has so far kept exceptional time, averaging a 3 second loss per 24 hour period!


No markings on this movement ^

CRYSTAL: The sapphire crystal is flat, and has a cyclops (date-magnifier) at the 3 O’clock position. The crystal does extend above the bezel ever-so-slightly, perhaps .5mm. I cannot determine for certain if the crystal has an AR coating, but I believe it does not.

BEZEL: The black ceramic bezel matches the watch well and has an almost mirror-like finish to it. There is a GITD pip at 12, in a traditional, inverted triangle. Minute/second hash-marks from 12 to 3 only. After that, large, Arabic numerals at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50…and larger hash-marks on the 5 minute marks. The bezel has a gear-tooth style surround, which is sufficiently grippy. For some odd reason, the bezel has 108 clicks. Clicks are solid, and there is absolutely no sloppiness whatsoever.

I think it looks quite snazzy on the wrist.

Very accurate automatic movement, -3 sec/day.
Handsome Submariner looks.
Watch has a nice, solid, weighty feel to it.
Movement also hand-winds, and hacks.
Attractive fit and finish.
Protected and grippy screw-down crown.
Tight bezel with zero slop.
Date function.
Decent, screw-pin bracelet with solid end-links/bracelet links, snap micro-adjustment and safety clasp.
Flat Sapphire crystal with easy to read, magnified Date Window.
Lume on hour, minute, second hands and indices.
Rotor is smooth and barely audible.
Many color combos to choose from.

Better quality lume needed.
No box or papers.
108 count click bezel.

Width: 44.5mm (including crown)
Case Diameter: 40mm
Lug to lug: 48mm
Bracelet width: 20mm
Crystal: 30.5mm
Overall Height (top of crystal to caseback): 12.5mm (13.75mm including cyclops)
Weight: 150gms

Cost: 5
Looks: 5
Durability: 4
Function: 4
Comfort: 4
Average: 4.4/5

CONCLUSION: The Parnis Sub is a very nice looking and nice feeling watch. While I can’t recommend it for diving, the watch wears well, and looks much more expensive that it costs. This is the fourth Parnis I have owned, and none of them have cratered, nor lost any functionality. Some other reviews have questioned the long-term build quality (as do I), but this is a story that only time will tell. Nevertheless…so far, so good on this fantastic, value-minded Submariner homage. Overall, considering the initial accuracy, looks and minimal cost, this is an exceptional deal.


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