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  Tidemaster UK Moonphase Tide Watch Review

Tidemaster UK Moonphase Tide Watch

Produced by: Yachting Instruments Ltd

Available at: (no longer available)

Movement: Quartz

MSRP: $199.99 - $225.00

Our overall rating: 8.5/10

  • Case quality: 10/10

  • Fit - Finish - Hand alignment: 8/10

  • Accuracy: 9/10

  • Bang for the buck: 7/10 (explained below)

The Tidemaster Moonphase is a well known timepiece in the UK, where the Tidemaster line (produced by Yachting Instruments Limited) has been sold for over 30 years with a good deal of success. Many strap selections are available, including velcro, leather, or stainless bracelet.

Packaged in the Tidemaster black plastic "egg" type box as with every Tidemaster model, the Moonphase comes complete with instructions. The instructions were straightforward, and easy to read. 

Like the Tacticel, the Moonphase features a stainless steel case, replacing the aluminum alloy case in 2004. The stainless case increased the guaranteed working depth from 25 to 50 fathoms. The stainless case was of impressive quality - especially considering some of it's UK competitors - stout, with a  flawless finish. The 2 color tidal bezel is well fit, and easy to read, and has a glossy finish. The stem operates easily, and is nested by the case.

While we did not test the "guaranteed working depth" of 50 fathoms, our impression of the casework suggests it to be well within tolerance.

The screw caseback is polished stainless. The blue sharkskin strap was the first shark strap we'd tested, and we liked it better than any leather strap we've tried. Unlike most leather straps, it required no "break-in" period to mold itself to the wrist, and was quite pliable and comfortable right out of the box - almost soft in feel. The feel, combined with the color, make this the perfect strap to compliment this watch. There are many different straps available - from velcro to stainless, dependent upon your taste and application.

We tested the dark blue dial - a white dial was introduced in 2004. The dial, featuring the moonphase window in the top 1/2 - is a TRUE moonphase - not a 24 hour look alike. The moonphase display features a royal blue background with stars, and the moon. As the moon cycles through the month, the phases (1/4, 1/2, full) are displayed, as well as neap tide information. The date window is at the 6 o'clock position. The watch hands are easy to see against the dark face. There is no backlight, however, the hands, markers and high tide bezel indicator are highly luminescent...and quite bright.

We tested the Moonphase for 60 days against our standard - the Oregon Scientific RM-103A (radio controlled clock syncronized with the NIST atomic clock signal from WWVB @60Hz). During our test period, the Moonphase lost 17 seconds, which is quite respectable, putting it on par with other more expensive quartz watch makes.

BOTTOM LINE: Our favorite Tidemaster model, and one of our favorite watches of any make. The Moonphase is unique in face design - it's easy to use, fun to wear, and it's tough. There is nothing else like it on the U.S. market.   

To explain our "bang for the buck" rating: While the price of the Moonphase is currently inflated by about 35% due to the devaluation of the U. S. Dollar against the British Pound - we still gave it high marks, because of it's uniqueness in the marketplace.


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