Designed for a person who thought that Ulysse Nardin’s earlier Diver Chronometer 44 was too pricey, too big, and too cluttered for a diver (or, perhaps, for a person who is happy with the watch and wanted to augment their collection with a simpler version,) the 2018 Diver 42 automatic three-hander offers a beautiful, clean exterior, superior build quality, and a mechanism that, alas, is a bit too simple for the price that the brand asks for this thing.
In 2017, Doxa has released several “anniversary” timekeepers that celebrate the brand’s first semicentennial in the business of making professional diving tools. While the blackfaced Sharkhunter and the silver-faced Searambler attracted their fair share of attention from collectors and, um, more normal enthusiasts alike, it was the Sub 300 “Black Lung” Limited-Edition automatic diver that broke the brand’s own sales record with the whole bunch being pre-ordered during the first 24 hours after registration officially commenced.
Presented at Baselworld 2016, the Eberhard & Co. Scafograf 300 (ref. 41034) looks like a faithful recreation of a classic model that was sold by the brand back in the 1950s. Offering you a nice combination of a robust Swiss-made movement, adequate water resistance rating of 300 meters, and an elegant exterior, it is mildly overpriced but will probably be successful in the long run when all sorts of discounts and rebates kick in.
The 2016 Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage (refs. AL-525S4H6 & AL-525G4H6) collection of dressy divers is a clear reference to the brand’s so-called “days of independence” when, back in the late 1950s and throughout all the 1960s, the company introduced one beautiful model after another. Although I can’t call it a real “homage” (and I actually like that it is not,) this new pair of timepieces does a good job at recreating the spirit of the days long gone. Perhaps, the only thing that somehow devalues these gorgeous retro-styled models -besides the fact that, differing so much from other members of the Seastrong family, it needed to become a foundation of a completely new collection- is the simple mass-produced mechanism: each of these beauties just screams for a hand-wound NOS job!
The iconic TAG Heuer Aquaracer family finally gets a handful of new members that have their stainless steel bezels replaced with ceramic ones. Available in black and blue, with plain or blacked-out steel bodies, and featuring a nice choice of available straps, they are still relatively affordable if you take into account a nice combination of attractive styling, reliability and a bullet-proof automatic movement to finish the picture.
The 2015 Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Chronograph Big Date expands the brand’s line of affordable diving companions with yet another product. Featuring a reliable and accurate quartz mechanism packed into a visually attractive, nicely sculpted stainless steel body, the timepiece looks like a perfect “first real Swiss watch” choice for a young customer who still can’t afford to buy “a real thing” be it a member of the same collection powered by a more expensive mechanical movement or something of an entirely different league like, say, an Omega Seamaster or a Breitling Superocean.
The German watchmaker has just started taking orders for its new Stowa Seatime Black Forest Edition 1 automatic diver. Offered at a moderate price of just €1390 (including VAT), the new timekeeper is a wise choice for a person looking for a nice diving companion, but not willing to pay the premium for an Omega Seamaster or a Rolex Submariner. Reserved, but also handsome, this is so far one of the most attractive divers that money can buy.
Mean and cool, huge but comfortable, the Breitling Avenger Blackbird limited edition “tactical” three-hander offers you a COSC-certified version of a mass-produced automatic movement packed into a feather-light titanium body with its machine-brushed surface blacked with a special carbonization technique. What more can one desire from such a manly time measuring device?
The 2014 Longines Heritage Diver Chronograph (Ref. L2.7184.108.40.206) takes you in the same direction as their earlier cushion-shaped models: the 1970s. If you have always wanted a watch in a “cushion” or, perhaps, “tonneau” body, but always thought that Panerai and TAG Heuer chronographs look a bit too tiring with their deliberately repetitive, run-of-the-mill design, this is the one to consider.
For a business entity, which is essentially a one-man show, Steinhart is surprisingly prolific. Although most of their watches are so-called “homages” and “tributes”, there is a lot of them. Starting from “divers” to “pilots” and going all the way to sporty chronographs, the brand offers you plenty to choose from. This self-winding Ocean One Vintage, for example, is designed for the kind of people that are longing for a historic Rolex (or, perhaps, even a re-issue of a historic Tudor,) but either can’t afford one or plain don’t want to bother sifting through the thousands of “pre-loved” models with a questionable history.
Introduced right before the holidays, Breitling Super Avenger Military Limited Edition (ref. M2233010/BC91-100W) brings to your doors just about everything that you can expect from a contemporary “luxury tactical” timekeeper: it is huge, it is black, and it is powered by a COSC-certified chronometer movement. It is also obscenely expensive.
Based on their earlier Oktopus II Moon, the hand-engraved Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Tattoo Limited Edition strongly reminds me of vintage pocket watches that often had their cases lavishly decorated with floral motifs, birds, dragons, and exotic animals. Limited to just 59 pieces, this particular timekeeper, however, takes the idea to a whole new level.
The automatic JeanRichard Kind Surf Aquascope Edition (60400-11l706-FK7A) was created together with an NGO founded last year by Almudena Fernandez, a Spanish top model, in order to support kids from “socially disadvantaged environments”. It looks like by buying one of these limited-edition timekeepers, you will support a good cause.
Edox has recently expanded its Grand Ocean collection with a new Extreme Sailing Series special edition model. Featuring the same basic styling as other chronographs in the family, the 2013 Edox Grand Ocean Extreme Sailing Series Special Edition (ref. 45004 357B BUIN) is available in three versions: black, blue and, don’t look now, pink PVD.
The company that makes watches for American presidents, has re-released its classic Nautical model. First released as a faithful recreation of the 1960s diver and then re-issued around two years ago in almost the same shape (but with a different movement), this new Vulcain Nautical DLC (Ref. 100152.024LDLC) version gets more modern look with its mid-sized stainless steel body treated with scratch-resistant DLC coating. Still, it loses something in the process.