More than just a diving watch
Diving watches, which are often synonymous with performance and technicity, are riding the waves in some Maisons' latest watchmaking collections. Besides having a catalogue full of sporty watches, brands are also introducing diving instruments fit for scuba diving and extreme water sports. Get ready for a deep dive with Mido, Seiko, TAG Heuer and Blancpain.
MIDO, Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer
A watch for globetrotter frogmen
The new Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer by Mido, inspired by the 1960 Ocean Star Skin Diver Watch, is a special edition in steel of 40.5 mm. Besides the decompression times, it also displays a second time zone. This unique watch shows off a multicoloured scale with multiple indications. The decompression times are displayed on four circles: yellow, green, pink and blue. The bidirectional rotating bezel is marked with the world’s major cities on a blue ceramic insert.
A big red arrow – which contrasts with an already very colourful display – points to the time in the second time zone. As for the diamond hour, minute and second hands, they indicate the local time or “home time”. For optimum visibility under all circumstances, the different elements are coated in luminescent material, and protected by a sapphire crystal in a “glassbox” shape, a direct reference to the plexiglas used in the original model. Full retro.
The Ocean Star Decompression Worldtimer, with a 200-m water resistance, is powered by an automatic calibre 80 equipped with a Nivachron™ balance spring and a generous 80-hour power reserve. The only sad thing is that the closed caseback completely hides from our view the oscillating weight decorated with a Côtes-de-Genève finish. We can only imagine its beauty. This watch is delivered with a navy blue, rubber strap and an additional bracelet with Milanese mesh work, which can be changed in one click.
A diving watch… under debate?
For the most sceptical, this Mido watch is not a diving watch, according to the ISO 6425 norm. It has a bidirectional bezel, and the second hand is not coated in luminescent material… but you must admit that this model is extremely attractive to the average globetrotter frogman!
Automatic movement, Mido Calibre 80 (ETA C07.661)
Nivachron™ balance spring
Oscillating weight decorated with a Côtes-de-Genève finish
HMSD + GMT 24h functions. Three different positions for the highest precision
80-hour power reserve
Stainless steel case, 40.5 mm
Bidirectional rotating bezel with a blue aluminium ring and silver markings
Sapphire crystal glassbox
Screwed-in crown and caseback with an embossed, polished starfish
Water-resistant up to 200 m
Textured, navy blue rubber strap
Polished pin buckle with engraved Mido logo
Date display at 3 o’clock
Decompression scale displayed on four coloured circles (yellow, green, pink, blue)
Diamond flat hour and minute hands, red-lacquered second time zone hand, coated in natural Super-LumiNova®.
SEIKO, Prospex Automatique Diver’s 200 m – Collection Save the Ocean
In terms of diving watches, Seiko has built a solid reputation since the 60s and 70s with reliable and strong references. A reputation which was put to the test when many explorers left to discover the North and South poles.
The brand is actually introducing a new trio to pay tribute to these older models. These three watches from the Save the Ocean collection display dials inspired by the colours of a glacier. Their textured finishes, which go from white to deep blue to sky blue – sometimes even icy blue – emulate the grooves of the ice.
The version shown by Frank Sans C displays an icy blue dial topped with a navy blue bezel. It is a reinterpretation of the 1968 Diver, the first Seiko watch to be water-resistant up to 300 m and to be fitted with an automatic movement of 10-V/s frequency. This 42-mm-diameter Seiko Prospex was crafted in steel with ultra-hard coating to resist both scratches and impacts. This sporty watch is powered by an automatic calibre with a 70-hour power reserve and strong magnetic resistance. A tad useful when you are at the Pole!
This watch has all the characteristics of a diving instrument: screwed-in crown and caseback, hands and indices coated in long-lasting luminescent material (Lumibrite) for maximum visibility in the deep icy waters and water resistance up to 200 metres. Last detail: the one-of-a-kind second hand, with two different colour markers, one in icy blue and the other in white.
TAG HEUER, Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
The Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph by TAG Heuer is cut out for adventure and a robust sports watch that is particularly light. This special quality stems from the material of the watch: titanium.
It is also due to the watch not being powered by an automatic calibre, but by a solar movement. Developed in close collaboration with Swiss manufacture La Joux-Perret, this solar TH 50-00 unit is one of the most perfected models on the market. Only two minutes of exposure to sunrays are enough to power it for a whole day. A 20-hour exposure is enough for six months! It also works with artificial lighting, so no worries if there’s no sun at all.
An incredible performance, given that the instrument is equipped with an icy blue centre second hand and a date display disc, two functions that consume a lot of energy. As for the design, its 40-mm-diameter, 200-m water resistant case houses a sun-brushed, black dial with horizontal grooves. In stark contrast, the hands and indices are coated in luminescent material, as well as the date display at 3 o’clock.
At the back, the screwed-in, closed, titanium caseback is engraved with a wind rose… a little helping “hand” for adventurers to not lose their bearings.
Price: €2,950 euros
Click here to read the TAG HEUER Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph full technical sheet.
BLANCPAIN, Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 2 : Tech Gombessa
The new Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 2 Tech Gombessa is the epitome of the diving watch and an exclusive model with a device capable of measuring immersions up to three hours.
This – patented – innovation was co-developed by President and CEO of Blancpain Marc A. Hayek (who is also an avid diver) and Founder of the Gombessa Project Laurent Ballesta. Its main features are the unidirectional bezel with a ceramic insert and the specially graduated three-hour scale linked to a hand that completes one full rotation in these three given hours. This hand is displayed on an ‘absolute black’ dial with optimum visibility. The design of the hour markers as large luminescent ‘blocks’, orange with a blue glow, ensures visibility under all circumstances.
The watch is very light despite its 47-mm diameter: it was crafted in grade 5 ELI titanium – the purest alloy of titanium due to its lack of inclusions – with great corrosion resistance. The Tech Gombessa is real diving gear with its 300-m water resistance and its helium valve which helps let out gas during the decompression phase and protects the watch from any damage. It is powered by a finely crafted calibre with three barrels allowing a 120-h power reserve.
The model also features an anthracite-grey oscillating weight stamped with the Gombessa Expeditions logo and a Cœlacanthe, a type of fish everyone thought had been extinct for millions of years. Laurent Ballesta himself photographed and filmed it.
Click here to read the Blancpain FIfty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 2 Tech Gombessa full technical sheet.