The young American watchmaking brand updates its CalDiver 500 small family of large diving watches with a yet new edition. Called Deep Blue CalDiver USA 500, the new watch differs from its siblings not only with a restyled dial, but also with a silk screen USA flag, which is combined with the brand’s logo and is clearly visible through the transparent case back of the piece.
Compared to the earlier version of the watch, the new CalDiver USA 500 edition features an even more legible -albeit not as good-looking- dial with the original hour and minute hands replaced with wider, more legible hour and minute hands that are generously covered with Superluminova.
Looking white in broad daylight, the compound nicely changes its color to turquoise: a color, which is bright enough to be visible even in murky waters.
Powered by the Japanese Miyota 9100 automatic caliber, which is, by the way of speaking can be hand-wound, the watch features whole five indicators (not including the hour, minute and central hands) with an easily readable power reserve display at 12 hours, a rather small date aperture at 4 o’clock and three circular counters at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The mechanism that animates the piece is relatively new, which can be a deal crusher for some since it is obviously not as refined even compared to ETA calibers with similar functionality. However, if ability to keep good time (and the 9100 is really good at that for a mechanical movement) is more important to you, this may actually be a better choice.
The first and third counter indicates months and days of week, while the second respective sub-dial indicates the second time-zone in a 24-hour format. Rather predictably, the rims of the sub-dials bear the colors of the U.S. flag: blue, white and red.
Continuing to compare the two models, I must admit that the full calendar on the new one clearly loses in terms of instant readability. Since the usual “JAN”, “MAR” and “FRI”, “SAT” inscriptions were changed to less intuitive J|F|M and F|S respectively, it takes extra time to get their reading. On the other hand, this may only pose a problem for a person who wakes up from a deep alcoholic coma: a guy in his right mind usually knows what day and month it is right now without a calendar.
By the way, you have probably already noticed the extra push-piece at 2 hours. This rugged-looking piece is designed to easily set the “months” indicator at 3 hours.
Like a decent “professional” diver, the new watch comes equipped with an oversized, machine-brushed stainless steel body, which may be a problem for some buyers. Being 46 millimeters in diameter and 17 mm in height, the watch measures 55 millimeters lug to lug, so don’t forget to try this on your hand before ordering one.
Although the watch is officially priced at impressive $599, you can order one for more bearable $499, shipping not included.
Photos: Deep Blue
Deep Blue CalDiver USA 500 Full Calendar Automatic Diver watch specification
Price: $599 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Miyota 9100, Made in Japan
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, full calendar
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 46.00 mm
Case height: 17.00 mm
Lug width: 24.00 mm
Dial: Black / Blue / White
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Steel bracelet
Case back: Transparent