Dive Watch Releases / Articles

2017-07-05

21 Amazing DIVERs you don’t OWN!

What happens when you have an affinity for wristwatches and the ocean but aren’t convinced that; a generic steel case with a black ceramic coin-edged bezel an HEV at 9 o’clock, a Mercedes-Benz handset and a tapering 3-link steel bracelet are the last word in dive watch design?

What if the typical Japanese and Swiss offerings don’t tickle your fancy? Is there another route? Actually, yes there are several routes, genres within dive watch genres but here’s one particular group of dive watches that have always appealed me.

They're weird and wonderful, beautifully unconventional, mostly handmade, many of them are inspired by historic experimental prototype watches, not always with proper diving bezels, either, but they comprise of some of the best, the deepest diving and most extraordinary aqua-mechanical creations that the industry has to offer.

It is worth mentioning that these are examples of but one model from each of the watchmakers below, most if not all them have several other models that are every bit as interesting. Follow the links to discover more.  

1. Aeronaval Instruments Manufacture Kraken



What I know about this watch could probably be written on the back a postage stamp. It’s handmade in Spain, has a 300m water-resistant Stainless case, houses a modified ETA 2824 and retails for 6500USD.

2. Angular Momentum Freehand Beryllium Diver Magnus



Its 3-part 60mm Bronze case is handmade in Switzerland by Martin Pauli of Manu Propria. Its interior parts are in Beryllium. It features a turning bezel with 11 Email Lumineuse Green markers plus, a  screwed "end-of-dive-time" marker with an Email Lumineuse dot in blue.

3. Azimuth Xtreme-1 Deep Diver



It boasts a special two-part hand-crafted Titanium case with an inner 2000m water-resistant capsule - housing an ETA 2824-2. Its retail price is 4250USD. You can read my review of this extraordinary watch HERE and see some nice photos HERE. Picture is of rare OceanicTime SE.

4. Cronus Prototype #2



It has been hand-assembled in a strictly limited series by Cronus in their Munich watch workshop. Its 316L, Stainless steel 1.4435a case has 300 meters of water-resistance, a Swiss automatic ETA 2824-2 caliber and boasts a patented crown-locking device with a dial indicator.

5. Ennebi Seimila Metri 6000M



The Seimila Metri has been hand engineered from the ground up by arguably one of the watch industry’s leading dive watch specialists, Alessandro Bettarin, a former Panerai engineer responsible for creating the legendary Mille Metri – who has lovingly incorporated some very special features into the overall design. It has 6000M of water-resistance.

6. EXTático DIVER Nº1



One of only a couple of dive watches that has been entirely manufactured from the ground-up in Spain. It is distinguished by its massive saw-tooth bezel. It Stainless steel case has 400 meters of water-resistance and is equipped with a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. Its retail is just shy of 1000euro - ridiculously good value! 

7. H2O Watches Kalmar II X-Diver 15000M



I take little credit for the production of this collaborative effort between OceanicTime and H2O Watches other than managing to persuade, a very sensible German company that is was a good idea to engineer a watch that could operate a good few thousand meters deeper than the deepest point in the ocean.

You have to stop thinking in earthly scales, surely there are far deeper oceans beyond ours! A production version is coming soon!

8. Helberg CH1 6000M



There is no mistaking the CH1's pedigree - it was of course borrowed from the legendary Rolex Deep Sea Special. Several specialist watch brands have created their own interpretations of the DSS, but imho, the CH1 stands head and shoulders above them in terms of execution and overall specification. You can read my in-depth review HERE.   

9. Helson Gauge TB 2000M



The Helson Gauge was initially released as a fixed bezel diver with 3500 meters of water-resistance. It boasted a monococ Titanium case, a bronze bezel and a hand-cut crystal. It even had a nifty telescopic key-operated crown-mechanism. The watch spawned several iterations.

However in my opinion the TB or Turning Bezel while not the highest spec'd version was by far the best looking of them. Its spec. includes a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement and 2000m of water-resistance. MSRP is around 1700USD.  

10. Kaventsmann Hadal II 1200bar



11. Kaventsmann have done it - they have created the deepest diving bronze mechanical wristwatch, ever!  The Hadal II has been successfully tested at the institute in Germany to 1200bar, the equivalent of 12000 meters of water-resistance.

Spec. includes a Swiss ETA auto and a stunning handcrafted dial by Immelmann. It is on sale now for 7500euro.

12. Mark Gold The GAMECHANGER 3000 GMT



If you're looking for that prototype-style divers watch, but you're on a bigger budget and want  want something a little more luxurious then check out - The GAMECHANGER from leading South African Jewellery designer, Mark Gold.

The watch can be ordered in a number high-tech materials, including Grade 5 Titanium, Forged Carbon and Super Alloy. 

13. Mola 923M



Inspired by a diving bell, the MOLA 923M is another rare gem in a sea of derivatives and clones; with a distinct point of view and its own story to tell; and while some of the design elements such as its crown protection system or lugs may not be to everyone's tastes; it has some pretty wonderful and charming qualities that shine through. Its 42mm case house an ETA 2895-2.

14. Pita Oceana 5000


Hand-crafted in Spain, the oceana by Pita Barcelona is not only one of the deepest diving mechanical watches with a water-resistance up to 5000 meters, but it is also one of the most advanced and evolved. It uses two patented systems for a water-entry free case. In addition to this - its seconds indicator doubles as a chronomatic depth-gauge and it operates without a traditional winding crown!

15. Timemachinist Naval Destroyer Timepiece



From the mind of a submarine engineer come sculptor. This watch has been precision finished to the same impeccable standards required by the United States Military for their weapons grade components.  It has a case inspired by the DSS experimental watch.

Part of the Timemachinist philosophy is that nothing is more reliable or more precise than a quartz movement - so that is all that they offer. It comes in a stunning handmade wooden box with brass fittings. MSRP is 2400USD.

16. Vintage VDB P1070 12000M



From maverick German watchmakers, Vintage-VDB is this red beast which has a gob-smacking 12000 meters of water-resistance, it is one of the deepest diving wristwatches on the planet; equal only to the Rolex DEEPSEA Challenge and Kaventsmann Hadal II Bronze.

The P1070 received its certification for 1200bar from the Frauenhofer Institute in Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germany, which is one of the only facilities capable of testing to such a high degree of pressure-resistance.

17. Visconti Scuba Abyssus 3000



They say, from chaos comes order! This is certainly one of the most chaotic designs you’ll likely to come across and while there is little chance of there being and semblance of order here – there is certainly an incredible 300m Titanium and Bronze divers watch that is the fruit of labor between former Panerai, Anonimo engineers who now work for a high-end Italian pen-maker.

18. Cavenago Acciaiopuro SUB



This is the latest creation from Cavenago of Italy. Its Stainless steel case has 300 meters of water-resistance, is fitted with a blasted sterile bezel and houses a Unitas 6497 hand-cranker. Its retail 1795. Photo courtesy of Militare Watch where the watch is currently available from. 

Dievas MG-1 Limited Edition



Each of its components including the case, bezel, inner cage, crown tube, crown and 20 other inner components have been CNC milled in Germany from a high strength German marine grade Superalloy . It has 1000m of WR, an ETA 2824-2 modified by Dievas Uhren Technik and a retail price of 1290USD.

19.DRASS Tecnologie Sottomarine SAT DIVE Tungum PVD



This ultra-rare diver is manufactured in Italy by a leading deep-sea diving solutions manufacturer – it is only issued to divers working in the off-shore diving industries. Its PVD-treated steel case has 1200m of water-resistance, houses a Sellita SW200 and is fitted with a non-sparking Tungum fixed bezel.

20. Germano & Walter 500m



These guys have been around longer than many of their German and Italian counterparts. The G&W 500m is a Rolex DSS derived diver, the first of its kind. It has a sibling called the T-500m which is fitted with a divers bezel with a locking-device. Its 500m case houses a Swiss auto and is handmade in Germany. Its retail price starts from 3500euro.

21. Gruppo Ardito Kraken 5000M OceanicTime SE



The Kraken 5000M OceanicTime SE is based on their flagship diver, the KRAKEN – only with some special upgrades that take the watch to the next level in terms of looks and performance. Its Grade 5 Titanium case now has 5000 meters of WR and is home to an ETA 2824-2. Its bezel and crown has a special DLC coating. Its price is s priced 1880€.

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