First announced in January 2019 days before SIHH 2019 show, the limited-edition Oris Dive Control Chronograph (ref. 01 774 7727 7784-Set) offers a blend of great caliber, interesting exterior, and an overall flamboyant attitude of a heavy-weight boxing champion delivered in a single -albeit slightly overpriced- package.
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.
With this gorgeous Khaki Navy Scuba Automatic (ref. H82305931,) Hamilton not simply expands its line of diving companions. It finally offers a model that is not just “different” from the rest of the crowd, but -unlike their last year’s Navy Frogman- can actually be worn by a casual person without attracting weird glances from persons who “just don’t get it.”
Already released as the Japanese Domestic Market (ah, that legendary ‘JDM’ abbreviation that’s been rice-rocket freaks’ and watch aficionados’ darling for so many decades!) models, the 2017 limited-edition Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design (available at the time of writing as refs. SBEE001 & SBEE002) is an almost perfect re-issue of the model from the 1980s that had a great potential, but for some reason failed to become an icon of industrial design. I can only welcome the Japanese brand’s decision to give the collection a second chance, even as only a limited-edition model.
Introduced to celebrate the brand’s tenth anniversary, the 2016 Deep Blue Master 2000 10 Year Anniversary collection is currently offered in a choice of three color schemes including two versions in black and blue that feature a combination of white and orange accents. The version in black and orange (ref. M2KILBLKORGBLKORG,) which is reviewed in this article, is the most interesting -or at least the most striking- among them. Delivering an impressive level of legibility in all lighting scenarios that I can imagine and combining good build quality of the case and bracelet with the dependability of a time-proven Swiss-made movement, it may be a bit expensive compared to their earlier models of similar design, but still offers good value for money if you can afford one.
Recently bought by a Chinese investment holding company, Eterna keeps on churning out great (while a bit overpriced) time measuring devices that also happen to be elegant accessories. Far from being “groundbreaking,” their 2016 Super Kontiki Chronograph (refs. 77184.108.40.2062 & 77220.127.116.118) collection is now available not only in the brand’s numerous stores around the world but also at some online retailers albeit at very small discounts.
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.
First revealed at the Baselworld 2015 trade show, the 2015 Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7747 4055-07 4 17 18) automatic diver pays homage to a classic model from 1965. Although it is absolutely not a true reissue (even the choice of the movement makes it a different model), the Sixty-Five makes a strong impression and will be a wonderful choice for a person who wants to buy something “vintage”, but with brand new guts to power it.
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 new Breitling Superocean II 36 Diver sports the usual styling that the series is known for. Basically offering the same unisex model in a slightly smaller size, the timekeeper won’t surprise you with new ideas, but will rather deliver the usual blend of sportiness, good build quality and a bullet-proof (albeit, mass produced) mechanism that will keep time as you would expect from a COSC-certified movement. What else there is to want?
Although the 2014 Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley Automatic Diver (Ref. PM2096B-S1J-BK) still features that “polarizing” patented crown guard system as previous iterations of the watch, it is still one of the most elegant members of the growing family. As refined as a diving tool can be, it is also not expensive sporting a price tag around $1000 lower than that of an IWC Aquatimer.
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.