Moisture has always been the arch-enemy of mechanical watches. Though most premium and luxury watches today boast respectable water resistance, the genre of diving watches takes this to another level, or rather, depths.
Divers watches essentially are tool watches that come handy when you go swimming or diving. A typical diver’s watch must have at least five characteristics: a water resistance of at least 100 metres, clear readability underwater, a rotating bezel (to know how long the diver was underwater), stainless steel or rubber straps (most adaptable to seawater and extreme pressure), and a helium escape valve (to release trapped helium during re-emergence).
Also read: Futuristic watches: Going the distance
These watches must also undergo some of the most stringent and excruciating tests to be called so. For example, ISO 6425 is an official standard for diver's watches that is regulated by International Organization for Standardization. Watches are tested by them in static or still water under 125 per cent of the rated (water) pressure. A diver's watch can have quartz, manual, or automatic movements. If you are looking at getting your hands on a high-end diver’s watch that can handle robust diving conditions, then here’s a list of timepieces you can pick out of, regardless of whether you are an amateur or a professional.
Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80
Price: Rs85,000 (approximately)
The Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80 is truly a high-performance watch that has a water-resistance of 600 metres. The watch has a unidirectional ceramic bezel, a wave textured fume dial in blue-black, a date window at 6 o’clock, and the Tissot 1853 logo engraved at 12 o’clock. With a screw-down crown and a helium valve, Super-LumiNova can be found in both the indexes and hands. Powering the watch is a Powermatic 80.111 automatic movement with nivachron™, with an 80-hour power reserve.
The case is made of 316L stainless steel, with domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with antireflective coating. The stainless steel strap gets a folding clasp with safety, diver extension, and push-buttons for interchangeable quick release bracelet.
Rolex DeepSea 'D-Blue' Dial
Price: Rs8.96 lakh (approximately)
A water resistance of 3,900 metres is unbelievable, but the Rolex Deepsea ‘D-Blue’ Ref (126660) achieves this. The case of this 44mm diver’s special watch is made of 904L stainless steel, called Oystersteel, and the watch features a domed sapphire crystal with Cyclops lens magnifier, helium valve, Rolex Ringlock System, and a Grade 5 titanium base. The carefully selected materials have all the characteristics to handle extreme conditions and are capable of a water-resistance of 4,900 metres.
The dial has a two-tone gradient, moving from smoked blue to black, pointing to how deep underwater this watch is capable of going. A brushed case and bracelet combined with a unidirectional ratchet bezel give this watch a sporty look. The screw-down crown has a Triplock triple waterproofness system, and the watch is completed in a bracelet with safety folding clasp and a 10-step extension piece. The watch is powered by an in-house Caliber 3235 automatic movement, and comes with quick date adjustment system, Paraflex shock absorber, and a 70- hour power reserve.
Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400
Price: Rs2.79 lakh (approximately)
The 41.5mm stainless steel watch has a domed sapphire crystal and anti-reflective coating, and a water-resistance of 300 metres. The indices and hands on the fume blue dial gets Super-LumiNova, with a date window, and engraved 5 Days at 6 o’clock. Headlining the Oris Aquis Date is the Calibre 400. The key aspects of this movement is the 5 day power reserve and high levels of anti-magnetism, combined with service intervals and warranty period of 10 years. The Oris Aquis Date is finished in a stainless steel bracelet with security folding clasp with extension.
Longines Legend Diver
Price: Rs1.9 lakh (approximately)
The new Longines Legend Diver watch is a reinterpretation of the original 1960s watch. The 42mm stainless steel watch has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass and anti-reflective coating. The Legend Diver has got the same fonts, logos, and hands as that of the original variant, with a date window at 3 o'clock. The central part is blue and turns dark around the hour markers. This timepiece comes with a 300 metre water-resistance and a screw-down caseback, which features an engraving of a retro Legend Scuba Diver.
Powering this watch is a L888 automatic, self-winding mechanical movement with a 72-hour power reserve. The watch is completed in a blue leather strap with buckle.
Omega Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41mm
Price: Rs5.5 lakh (approximately)
First introduced in 1957, the Seamaster 300 was created for avid divers, and after more than six decades, the timepiece is now available in a whole new look, targeting a new generation of sea explorers. In the featured version, this 41mm steel watch gets a blue dial and a blue oxalic anodized aluminium, unidirectional rotating bezel, and features a diving scale filled with vintage Super-LumiNova. The watch has a water resistance of 300 metres.
Powering the watch is the Omega 8912 calibre self-winding movement with co-axial escapement, giving it a 60-hour power reserve and a 3.5Hz frequency with two-barrels. The watch comes in both nato and leather straps.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
Price: Rs12.4 lakh (approximately)
Launched in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms design has undergone tremendous changes in terms of sizes, colours, and technicalities. However, the classic Ref 5015-12B40-O52A is super lightweight and can be identified with its titanium construction that is coupled with the blue colour theme. The 45mm model is capable of going 300 metres deep, and is powered by Caliber 1315 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 5 days. The watch gets completed in a rubber-lined sail canvas and a pin buckle system while NATO-models are entirely made of rubber. Wearers also can choose steel, leather, or rubber strap options for diving.