Dive Watch Releases / Articles

2017-03-25

OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean BIG BLUE

Dive into the deep blue with the new Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue the result of OMEGA’s extensive research into the art of ceramic watchmaking, which has already resulted in the success of the 2016 Planet Ocean DEEP BLACK.



For 2017 OMEGA set out to create a GMT Diver built from a single block of solid intensely blue colored ceramic - known as the Planet Ocean Big Blue. Creating a new color of ceramic demanded a high level of expertise and understanding as it is, in fact, a very complex science.



OMEGA created the new Seamaster PO Big Blue’s blue ceramic case by adding the blue pigmentation at the early powder stage of a long and complex process. However it was all those careful steps that followed that were key to producing the finished result which I think you’ll agree is breathtaking.



OMEGA has for the first time created a case made entirely from blue ceramic. In addition to this, the Seamaster PO Big Blue sports a blue ceramic dial with an orange GMT track. Adding a little sparkle to the blue dial are hands and markers in luxurious 18K white gold with a white SuperLumiNova coating.



The blue ceramic diver’s bezel features a dive-time scale with OMGEA’s Liquidmetal markers. A blend of orange rubber and ceramic covers the 15 minute track. Orange rubber injections have also been used to color the OMEGA logo on the crown as well as the ‘’He’’ symbol of the manually operated Helium Escape Valve found at 10 o’clock.



The orange and blue livery of the PO Big Blue’s dial is quite stunning – however turn the watch over and the screw-down caseback is just as impressive, featuring its Alveol pattern plus a unique OMEGA innovation: a patented ceramic Naiad Lock that keeps the engraved wording perfectly in position.



A blue rubber divers strap with contrasting orange stitching and orange edges is held to the wrist via a blue ceramic flip-lock clasp. The PO Big Blue is water-resistant to 600 meters and is powered by the OMEGA Master Chronometer caliber 8906.

To achieve Master Chronometer status, it has passed the 8 rigorous tests set by METAS (The Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology). OMEGA’s confidence in the watch’s quality is evident in the full 4-year warranty.

OMEGA Seamaster 300 60th Anniversary LE MASTER CHRONOMETER 39MM

Released as part of OMEGA’s 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions, this is the Seamaster 300 60th Anniversary LE Master Chronometer 39MM based on the original Seamaster 300 that was first created along with two stablemates, the Railmaster and Speedmaster in the exact same year, 1957.

For 2017, OMEGA is paying tribute to Seamaster 300 by releasing a special 60th Anniversary edition, which can be acquired separately or as a beautifully presented trio that includes the Railmaster and Speedmaster.



Thanks to a unique digital scanning technology, OMEGA was for the first time able to supply its watchmakers with an accurate representation of the original Seamaster 300 offering

invaluable cross-sections and dimensions, along with drawings of the original model.



This served as the ultimate design template for the SM 300 60th Anniversary LE, which, albeit updated for the 21st century, remains true to the spirit of the original 1957 divers watch.

The very earliest Seamaster 300 was highly sought after, not just because of its excellent level of water-resistance, but also for its black dial, signature broad-arrow hour hand, bi-directional divers bezel, and recessed triangular hour markers. It was purpose built for scuba-divers and underwater explores, quickly becoming an icon.



The 39mm case of the SM 300 60th Anniversary LE is in brushed and polished Stainless steel and features a black vintage tropical-tropic dial. Its Stainless steel bracelet has been updated for strength and features a retro-style OMEGA logo on its clasp.

As a whimsical nod to the past, all logos on the watch are in a different style referencing how various suppliers back in the 50’s all interpreted the OMEGA logo in their own ways.



The SM 300 60th Anniversary LE, based on the CK2913, features a black aluminum divers bezel and retains the original’s Naïad sign on the crown, which back in 1957 was a mark of the watch’s exceptional water-resistance.

The Seahorse on the case-back is drawn just as it was in then. Powering the watch is the OMEGA Master Chronometer caliber 8806 which comes with a 4-year warranty.



The SM 300 60th Anniversary LE is limited to 3557 examples and delivered inside a presentation box inspired by the original 1957 packaging, right down to the Seahorse on its lid, the retro logo and red corduroy lining. The presentation box also contains two spare straps; one leather and one NATO, as well as a strap changing tool.

2017-03-24

BLANCPAIN Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

It’s been a while since Blancpain did a Fifty Fathoms Tribute watch. Remember the Tribute to FF Aqualung with its tasteful scripted Aqualung logo, or the Tribute to FF No Radiations with its not so subtle red and yellow No Radiations logo - some pretty cool special editions released for the FF connoisseur.



So now what’s this on the usually sober dial of one of the world’s most iconic dive watches? You’d be forgiven for thinking the design team at Blancpain had gone a bit bonkers and put a massive beach ball motif slap bang in the middle of the FF’s face.



A movement indicator perhaps? To understand what the large half white, half yellow circular disc is on the 2017 Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC we need to go back 60 years to 1957 when Jean-Jacques Fiechter, a sport diving pioneer who also happened to be head of Blancpain who had already addressed one of the major challenges of scuba-diving by inventing the divers bezel.



Obsessed by diver safety, Jean-Jacques Fiechter decided to incorporate an additional feature for his dive watches: a circular water-tightness indicator. If, by chance, water was to leak into the watch case, a disk at 6 o’clock would signal the problem by changing its color from white to red.

We have to remember that the seals on dive watches were not what they are today with Teflon-coated O-rings etc. This water-tightness indicator was present on the dial of the Fifty Fathoms model called the MIL-SPEC 1, which was introduced in 1957-58 to meet the strict requirements of the military.



In the late 50s, the US Navy tested a variety of different watches with the aim of drawing up specifications for a divers watch to be used in their underwater missions. Following those tests, the Fifty Fathoms became the standard-issue watch on the wrists of US combat swimmers, as well as the reference point for future production to take place in the US.

Meanwhile, Blancpain obtained contracts to equip members of the elite UDT and the Navy Seals with MIL-SPEC 1 watches. Later on, in the early 1960s, those evolved into the MIL-SPEC 2 and, under the Tornek-Rayville name, the TR-900. The water-tightness indicator became a requirement of the US Navy, and was incorporated in all these models.



The 2017 Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC’s black dial features indexes in SuperLuminNova and a water-tightness indicator echoing the designs of the 1950s MIL-SPEC 1. The unidirectional rotating bezel covered in scratch-resistant Sapphire, a Blancpain innovation which first appeared in 2003 with the 50th Anniversary Fifty Fathoms, protects the luminescent indications underneath.



Like other models in its family the 2017 Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC’s is water resistant to 30 bar, which is equivalent to 300 meters. It is limited to 500 examples and is offered with a NATO strap, sail cloth strap, or steel bracelet with a secure buckle.

Powering it is Blancpain’s in-house automatic winding caliber 1151, comprising 210 components including two series-coupled mainspring barrels and offering a four-day power reserve. Nestled into its 40mm Stainless steel case, the movement as well as its solid gold winding rotor with a NAC coating (a platinum alloy) and Blancpain logo, are visible through the clear sapphire case-back.

TUDOR Heritage Black Bay STEEL

TUDOR has once again focused its attention on its most celebrated vintage diver’s model, the Heritage BLACK BAY, a direct descendant of the watches worn on the wrists of Royal Navy sailors in Greenland more than 60 years ago.



We have seen all manner of iterations released since the Heritage Black Bay was first released back in 2012. BRONZE, BLACK, BLUE, DARK a one-off piece for ONLY WATCH that inspired the Black Bay Black and even a cute lil’ BABY version with a fixed bezel!



For 2017 the Heritage Black Bay is being released in a further two versions, S&G (steel & yellow gold) and all-steel. Both new versions will be fitted with full steel or steel & gold divers bracelets; a first for the Heritage Black Bay family.



The new Black Bay Steel has three major differences over a regular Black Bay model. Firstly its diver’s bezel is now fitted with a circular satin-brushed inlay machined from Stainless steel. The new steel inlay has a dive-time scale with a red triangular 12hr marker as the Black Bay Black.



Then there’s the Black Bay Steel’s bracelet, inspired by the folding riveted bracelets of the TUDOR watches produced in the 1950s and 1960s. These were famous for having rivet heads for attaching the links, shown on the side of the bracelet.

The links also had a distinct stepped construction. These two aesthetic details are incorporated into the bracelet of the Heritage Black Bay Steel model, integrating modern manufacturing methods using solid links.



Finally you might have noticed that there is now a date window on the BB’s dial; another first for the Black Bay family. This is because it is now powered by the MT5612, a variation of the movement first presented by TUDOR in 2015, developed especially for the Heritage Black Bay Steel and S&G models.



The new Black Bay Steel is available in two designs as it also comes on a black distressed leather strap with a Stainless steel folding clasp. Both versions come with an additional khaki green fabric strap.



Made using the Jacquard technique, a traditional method achieved by a 150-year-old family firm from the Saint-Étienne region of France, this strap is a signature feature of TUDOR’s Heritage line. Its Swiss MSRP is 3600CHF for the Steel bracelet version or 3300CHF for the aged leather strap version.

TUDOR Heritage Black Bay S&G

TUDOR has once again focused its attention on its most celebrated vintage diver’s model, the Heritage BLACK BAY, a direct descendant of the watches worn on the wrists of Royal Navy sailors in Greenland more than 60 years ago.



We have seen all manner of iterations released since the Heritage Black Bay was first released back in 2012. BRONZE, BLACK, BLUE, DARK a one-off piece for ONLY WATCH that inspired the Black Bay Black and even a cute lil’ BABY version with a fixed bezel!



For 2017 the Heritage Black Bay is being released in a further two versions, S&G (steel & yellow gold) and all-steel. Both new versions will be fitted with full steel or steel & gold divers bracelets; a first for the Heritage Black Bay family.



The new Black Bay S&G has three major differences over a regular Black Bay model. Firstly its diver’s bezel is made from yell gold with a black aluminum inlay with a gold-accented dive-time scale and gold triangular 12hr marker. The winding crown is also in yellow gold.



Then there’s the Black Bay S&G’s bracelet, inspired by the folding riveted bracelets of the TUDOR watches produced in the 1950s and 1960s. These were famous for having rivet heads for attaching the links, shown on the side of the bracelet.



The links also had a distinct stepped construction. These two aesthetic details are incorporated into the bracelet of the Heritage Black Bay Steel model, integrating modern manufacturing methods using solid links. The bracelet’s center links are in yellow gold.



Finally you might have noticed that there is now a date window on the BB’s dial; another first for the Black Bay family. This is because it is now powered by the MT5612, a variation of the movement first presented by TUDOR in 2015, developed especially for the Heritage Black Bay Steel and S&G models.



The new Black Bay S&G is available in two designs; it also comes on a black distressed leather strap with a yellow gold folding clasp. Both versions come with an additional khaki green fabric strap.



Made using the Jacquard technique, a traditional method achieved by a 150-year-old family firm from the Saint-Étienne region of France, this strap is a signature feature of TUDOR’s Heritage line. Its Swiss MSRP is 4750CHF for the S&G bracelet version or 3600CHF for the aged leather strap version.

2017-03-23

ROLEX Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600

It seems like it was only yesterday that Rolex released their brand-new Sea-Dweller 4000; in fact that was three years ago so what’s happened in meantime that warrants another new Sea-Dweller model?



To start with it was exactly 50 years ago in 1967 that Rolex first designed a dive watch to meet the demands of sea-dwelling folk – in particular their mates working for COMEX who were for the first time starting to spending pre-longed periods of time at depth which involved decompressing in Helium filled chambers.



The short version of the story is - Helium being the tiniest of molecules was starting to seep into the cases of the watches worn by COMEX’s SAT divers. The Helium built up inside the watch case, until upon returning to the surface it reached a critical level of pressure with the resulting force popping the watch crystal out the case.



This of course was not on, so in answer to the problem Rolex’s engineers invented the Helium Escape Valve, a feature that has become somewhat ubiquitous on a divers watch and to be honest unless you’re a SAT diver is an absolutely redundant and superfluous feature that we just happen to love all the same. However it is important to remember that Rolex invented it first and it does serve a purpose.




That was 50 years – today Rolex presents the brand-new Sea-Dweller Ref. 12660 which boasts 4 new features over the current Sea-Dweller 4000. First off is a new 43mm in diameter case which is the same size as the SD’s bigger brother the DEEPSEA.



Then there’s an all-important aesthetic feature – the Sea-Dweller in red, a nod to those famous watches worn by COMEX back in the day that can fetch silly money when going to auction.



The next feature isn’t going to be appreciated by everyone; the Ref. 12660 has a magnifying lens AKA Cyclops over the date-window. Personally, I love it as it kind plays on the Sea-Dwellers tool-watch character. However to the purist it might be considered a bit of an eyesore.



I don’t think anyone will be complaining about the fourth and final new feature of the Sea-Dweller Ref. 12660 which is fitted with the latest generation Rolex caliber 3235. With a total of 14 patents, it offers basic gains in terms of precision, power-reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields as well as reliability.



The new 3235 incorporates the new Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference.



An optimized blue Parachrom hairspring is fitted to the oscillator, the true heart of the watch. Patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy, it is up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks.

A Rolex overcoil ensures its regularity in any position. The caliber 3235 is also equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its new barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of caliber 3235 extends to approximately 70 hours.

2017-03-22

KAVENTSMANN Hadal II Bronze 12000M

Named after the realm of the mythological Greek underworld, the Hadal or Hadopelagic Zone is composed of the ocean’s deepest trenches – you can’t ger any deeper!



The same could be said of this new 12000 meter uber-diver from Kaventsmann. The Hadal II Bronze 12000M was recently tested by the Fraunhofer research institute in Germany to 1200bar which makes it the world’s deepest bronze mechanical diver!



The Hadal II will be handmade in Kaventsmann’s workshop in Germany with a dial made by Immelmann and powered by a Swiss automatic movement. Price and availability TBA, so stay tuned for more info.

http://www.kaventsmann-uhren.de/