The new iteration of the affordable, yet nicely designed Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 family was announced back in March 2012. Rated for an impressive depth of 500 meters, recently these timekeepers started to appear in online shops around the world. Available with quartz and self-winding mechanical movements, the watch is offered in a unisex 38 mm and a more masculine 43 mm body, which is the best choice for a budget-conscious customer.
While many “affordable” divers are usually offered in cases that mimic such living legends as the Rolex Submariner or the Omega Seamaster immortalized by the James Bond franchise, the Dive Master family (at least, its recent generations that I had a pleasure to wear or simply try on my own wrist) have always spoken a design language of their own.
This new Dive Master 500, for example, comes in a rugged-looking case with prominent lugs, a massive setting crown, and an impressively proportioned unidirectional rotating bezel that looks like it was inspired by the Lamborghini Diablo or the latest destroyer ship that uses the “stealth” technology.
Although I highly doubt that the watch will ever be used as a professional diving companion (there are tons of more suitable and also more reliable electronic diving computers out there), it is still a pleasure to note that the model sports a highly legible dial with large luminous hour markers and broad, partly open-worked hour and minute hands, also covered with Superluminova.
The first 20 minutes on the diving scale are, too, painted with the same luminous substance, which makes it especially comfortable for amateur divers.
As I have already mentioned, the watch is offered both with quartz (Swiss-made Ronda 715.5 caliber) and automatic (ETA 2892-A2 blank movement, also made in Switzerland) mechanisms.
The former looks like the best choice to me, since it offers superb accuracy and can run for a couple of years before you will have to replace the battery.
The automatic movement is clearly visible through a transparent case back. It doesn’t look especially sexy to yours truly since it offers only the most basic level of decoration. You will hardly impress anyone with just the branded rotor (the only thing that differs this particular movement from millions of its siblings ticking in other “Swiss-made” watches) while the other parts stay the same.
The quartz-powered model is also a lot less expensive: you can find one online at a price well below $500 USD.
See also: Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision
Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 specification
Price: $750 (Quartz model, MSRP)
Movement: Quartz (caliber Ronda 715.5) or Automatic (caliber ETA 2892-A2), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25 (for ETA 2892-A2)
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph (for ETA 2892-A2)
Power reserve: A couple of years for the quartz / 42 hours for the automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel, PVD Gunmetal grey
Bezel: Matches case, luminous diving scale
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 14.45 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Dial: White or Khaki Green (quartz) / Grey, Red or Brown (automatic)
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, skeletonized, luminous
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Black (or matching color of the dial) rubber band with steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Solid / Transparent