Diving watches are not meant for divers alone. Because they are built to withstand tremendous pressure at ocean depths, their construction makes them among the sturdiest watches you can buy. Here are some of the best ones.
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL SEA-DWELLER
Waterproof to 1,220 metres (4,000 feet), this watch is equipped with Rolex’s latest-generation mechanical movement, calibre 3235. For the first time, the crystal of the new Sea-Dweller is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock — a key characteristic of Rolex watches. The name ‘Sea-Dweller’ is inscribed in red on the dial. The model incorporates all of Rolex’s latest technical developments: a case and bracelet in highly corrosionresistant 904L steel; a unidirectional rotatable bezel with a Cerachrom insert in ceramic, virtually impervious to scratches and ultraviolet rays; a Chromalight display with long-lasting luminescence; a Triplock winding crown with triple waterproofness system; an Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening; and the Rolex Glidelock and Fliplock extension systems which, together, allow divers to extend the bracelet without the use of tools. Finally, the watch is equipped with the function for which it is renowned: the helium escape valve. It is activated automatically above a certain level of internal pressure to allow the gas to escape from the case, without affecting the waterproof-ness of the watch.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE DIVER
Following the success of the 2016 Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph in a range of bright and vibrant dial colours, Audemars Piguet has introduced a self-winding, non-chronograph model in similarly exciting hues. The 42 mm steel case with blue screw-locked crowns is water-resistant to 300 metres, and features a rotating inner bezel with diving scale and zone from 60 to 15 minutes. The ‘Mega Tapisserie’ dial features white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating for better visibility in or out of the water. It will be available in white, dark blue, acid yellow, lime green and bright orange. Power reserve of 60 hours.
CARL F. BUCHERER PATRAVI SCUBATEC
This automatic watch which is water-resistant to 500 metres, comes in a 44.6 mm 18k red gold and blackened titanium case with a automatic helium valve, screw-down crown and sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides. The stainless steel and rosegold bracelet comes with a diving lock. Power reserve of 38 hours.
BLANCPAIN FIFTY FATHOMS COLLECTIONS AUTOMATIQUE
This watch is fitted with Blancpain’s in-house automatic winding caliber 1151, comprising 210 components including two series-coupled mainspring barrels and offering a four-day power reserve. Nestled into its stainless steel 40 mm case, the movement as well as its solid gold winding rotor with a NAC coating and Blancpain logo, are visible through the clear sapphire case back. The balance-spring is in silicon, a material that makes it lighter and thus more shock-resistant, and is impervious to magnetic fields. This timepiece is water resistant to 30 bar, which is equivalent to 300 metres. It is limited to 500 examples and is offered with a NATO strap, sail cloth strap, or steel bracelet with a secure buckle.
ULYSSE NARDIN DIVER CHRONOGRAPH ARTEMIS RACING
This limited edition watch is water resistant to 200 metres and honours Sweden’s Artemis Racing team that is vying for the America’s Cup this June. The 45.8 mm stainless steel case coated with a matte-blue rubber is topped by vulcanized rubber pushers. Wave patterns decorate the sides of the bezel, while engravings of the Artemis Racing catamaran in action feature on the dial. The team’s logo appears both in the 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, and on one of the two bracelet elements. The chronograph counters are at 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock, with the permanent seconds at 3 o’clock and an angled date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. A flash of yellow on the counters, markers and minute and hour hands aids with legibility as well as providing a stylish contrast to the deep blue hue. Rubberized pushers make for a better grip when a start or stop function is necessary. The self-winding movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
PANERAI LUMINOR SUBMERSIBLE 1950 AMAGNETIC 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC TITANIO – 47MM
The latest version of the first anti-magnetic watch by Panerai comes in a 47 mm, brushed titanium case. A matt black ceramic disc applied to the rotating titanium bezel set with studs forms a graduated scale for calculating times of immersion. For synchronising the watch and changing time quickly the hour hand can be moved forwards or backwards in jumps of one hour, without interfering with the running of the watch. The minute hand and the stud at 12 o’clock on the bezel in bright blue colour provide a point of reference in calculating diving time. The automatic calibre has a power reserve of 72 hours.
BREITLING SUPEROCEAN HÉRITAGE II CHRONOGRAPHE 46
It is available in three colors: black, blue and bronze, with an exclusive brandnew rubber-leather strap in the same colour and enhanced by contrasting stitching. The model may be fitted with a steel mesh bracelet echoing the legendary 1957 version. This watch houses a self-winding chronograph movement chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute). The sturdy steel case with its screw-locked crown is waterresistant to 200 metres (660 ft). The fluted unidirectional rotating bezel, bearing a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock, is fitted with a 120-tooth system enabling extremely accurate adjustment and very smooth rotation.
OMEGA SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN “BIG BLUE”
This is the first time Omega has delivered a case made entirely from blue ceramic, along with a blue ceramic dial with an orange GMT track. Adding sparkle to the blue dial are hands and indexes in 18K white gold with a white Super-LumiNova coating. The blue ceramic bezel features a diving scale with Liquidmetal numerals. Orange rubber injections have also been used to colour the logo on the crown and helium escape valve symbol. The reverse side has an alveol pattern screw-in caseback, which features a patented ceramic Naiad Lock. The blue rubber strap with orange stitching and orange edges is held to the wrist by a blue ceramic foldover clasp. The watch is water-resistant to 600 metres and is driven by the Omega Master Chronometer calibre 8906.
BELL & ROSS BR 03-92 DIVER
The first square diving watch from Bell & Ross comes in a sturdy 42 mm satin-polished steel case that is water resistant to 300 metres. It is equipped with a 60-minute calibrated uni-directional rotating bezel, whose luminescent dot at 12 o’clock is used to set time references. It is also equipped with a soft iron cage to increase resistance to magnetic fields. The deep black dial features indices in skeletonized metal appliqué filled with white Super-Luminova for enhanced legibility. The self-winding watch comes in a water-resistant Pelican box.
FAVRE-LEUBA RAIDER HARPOON
This automatic retro-style watch in a 46 mm steel case is water resistant to 500 metres, and features a bezel topped with an anodized aluminum insert. Its uniqueness comes from the fact that it has only one moving hand that indicates both hours and minutes. In this patented time indication system the hour is read off the numerals on the edge of the case, while the minutes are indicated by an inner moving disc with indexes.
LONGINES HERITAGE DIVER
This three-hand successor to the Longines diving watches from the 70s, comes in a black, satin-finish dial with one red hand, red minute zones and a bidirectional rotating inner flange. The chronograph version features a slightly different colour combination. The 43 mm steel cushion-shaped case is water resistant to 300 metres. The graduated scale from 0 up to 60 enables the diver to calculate the time spent underwater by synchronising the 12 o’clock hour symbol with the minute hand. The inner flange is activated using the crown at 2 o’clock.
ORIS REGULATEUR ‘DER MEISTERTAUCHER’
The non-coaxial hands of this watch allow the diver to set dive time by aligning the minute hand to the 60-minute scale on the uni-directional rotating bezel, which is fitted with a black ceramic insert with red and white markings. It has a lightweight titanium case and bracelet, with an automatic helium escape valve secreted on the side of the case at 9 o’clock. The titanium case back is embossed with the Oris shield and the inscription ‘Meistertaucher’. It is presented in a water-resistant case with a red replacement strap and strap-changing tools. This watch is water resistant to 300 metres.
TAG HEUER AQUARACER 300M CERAMIC (43MM) AUTOMATIC CALIBRE 5
This new version of the famous automatic diving watch is water resistant to 300 metres and comes in a larger 43 mm steel case. The ceramic bezel has been restyled with the engraved silver lacquer numeral. It also features the magnifier on the date window (as reintroduced last year). The dial comes in two versions, black or blue.
CASIO FROGMAN GWFD1000NV-2
Part of the Master in Navy Blue series, and water resistant to 200 metres, this watch is targeted at search and rescue crews who work on the sea and under the sea. The navy blue base colour is accented by touches of gold-yellow, which is similar to the color of rank insignia and braiding of navy uniforms. The solar powered watch’s many features include digital compass, thermometer, time indications for 31 time zones, moon data and tide graph.
VICTORINOX I.N.O.X. PROFESSIONAL DIVER
Water resistant to 200 metres, the 45 mm case of this watch features a unidirectional rotating bezel with luminescent marker. It is made of scratchresistant, triple-coated antireflective sapphire crystal. Luminescent hands and hour markers facilitate readability in challenging environments. Featuring a Ronda 715 Swissmade quartz movement, it also has Super-LumiNova hands and indexes along with an ultraresistant stainless steel bracelet with diver extension.
Water resistant to 200 metres, this limited-edition watch (1500 pieces) comes in a 48.5 mm case in titanium with super-hard coating. Driven by solar power, its features include GPS- controlled time and time-zone adjustment, dual-time function with AM/ PM indication, perpetual calendar that is correct to the year 2100, world-time and daylight saving time function.