Clearly legible, robust, precise and – of course – watertight these are the basic requirement one looks for in diver’s watches. Hiren Kumar Bose selects ten diver’s watches that made a splash this year
AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Initially introduced in 2010, this year the watch is in the pink gold example with a grey titanium bezel and links, and grey ceramic screw-locked crowns in a 42mm case and water resistant up to 300m. Like its earlier avatars, this too has the automatic calibre 3120, “mega tapisserie” dial, sapphire crystal caseback, and inner rotating bezel to measure the diving time. It has a power reserve of 60 hours and comes with functions like hours, minutes, date and an inner rotating bezel.
ULYSSE NARDIN Diver Deep Drive
Loaded with unprecedented technical specs, including a helium escape valve its water resistance to 1,000 m. Powered by the in-house calibre, UN-320, which has a patented silicium lever and escape wheel configuration. The balance spring is also in silicium. Along with 1 km water resistance — the world record diving depth is 701m — new technical standouts on this limited edition (300 pieces) masterwork include a removable titanium guard on the crown at 2 o’clock and a helium release valve at 9 o’clock, for deep dives of prolonged periods of time or under saturation. The rubber strap has an expandable element that adjusts to changes in wrist size during dives, caused by the compression of your neoprene diving suit. The robust, angular-shaped case is in titanium, with cut-edged horns. The large bezel has 12-notched teeth for easy manipulation, even with diving gloves.
ROLEX Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea
Waterproof to 3,900m (12,800 feet), the 44-mm Oystersteel case watch with redesigned lugs and sides and a broader Oyster bracelet, as well as a correspondingly adapted Oysterlock folding safety clasp. This professional diver’s watch is equipped for the first time with calibre 3235. The unidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic.
OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M
A popular professional diver’s watches since 1993, the present watch in 41 mm case has a certification by Swiss Institute Of Metrology with a new version of the ceramic bezel as well as a ceramic dial. It features a re-designed and patented helium escape valve. It comes with a novel strap and buckle–the first keeper for the strap has a small metal insert to hold it rigid so one can more easily insert the tip of the strap, and the second keeper has a small projection on its inside surface that notches into a hole in the strap, to help keep it from slipping.
Watertight to 300m, this diver’s watch has uni-directionally rotatable diver’s bezel and is equipped with a scratch-resistant ceramic inlay that’s coloured to harmonise with the grey, black or blue dial, which is adorned with a sunburst pattern. Super-LumiNova glows on the indices and hands.
BREITLING Superocean Héritage II B01 Chronograph 44
This debutante is a reinterpretation of a legendary diver’s watch that Breitling introduced six decades back. The 44mm watch combines Breitling’s self-winding manufacture Calibre 01 and a stainless steel case with a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel.
SEIKO Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s
It commemorates a legendary Prospex diver’s watch from the 1960s. Limited to 1,500 models pieces, each of which has a 44.8-mm-diameter stainless steel case that remains watertight to 300m. It’s Calibre 8L55 amasses a 55-hour power reserve and can resist magnetic fields up to 16,000 A/m in intensity.
EDOX Sharkman II Limited Edition
Limited to 300 pieces this watch’s 45-mm stainless steel case remains watertight to 1,000 m. A scratch-resistant ceramic bezel can be used to preset the diving time and a helium valve allows molecules of the gas to escape. The back of the case sports an engraving. A Ronda quartz movement performs chronographic functions and shows the date at “4 o’clock”. This is the watch which Christian Redl wore while entering the freezing waters of Austria’s Lake Weissensee to break his own under-ice free-dive world record.
The Longines Legend Diver Watch
Made of stainless steel the 36mm watch is specifically geared toward the ladies but sits snuggle on men’s wrists too. The watch has the same black dial that we know and love from the 42mm version, with luminous numerals at six, nine, and 12, as well as an inner rotating bezel. The dial is further embellished with a trusty date window at three o’clock. The watch dial comes in five different colours: black, purple fumé, teal fumé, burgundy fumé, and white (which is actually mother-of-pearl).
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date
The 42mm watch’s trapezoidal indices are treated with a vanilla-coloured Super-LumiNova and has a box-shaped crystal over the dial. Its caseback features an engraved Scuba diver’s helmet, and its dial has a date window at 3 o’clock (a feature left off of the new Polaris Automatic). Behind that engraved caseback beats Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Caliber 899/1, with a 38-hour power reserve. This tribute model to the 1968 Memovox Polaris boasts a 200-m water resistance and is available on a new rubber strap with a clous de Paris pattern.