By Nirja Dutt
There was once a time when watches were purchased for the sole purpose of being prompt, and over the years as the industry grew, so did people’s needs and the horology world as we know it made watches more than just a device to tell time. Year after year, houses would yearn to create a timepiece that could do more—from making time stand still to chiming on cue, they did it all. One of the other reasons that drew the industry to this indomitable feature finding was actual purpose: aviators, sportsmen, divers, drivers, they needed instruments to excel and this strap on seemed like the one who could be the answer to all their high pressure woes.
Around the turn of the century when technology advancement made its way into people’s daily lives, it soon became clear that one can depend on it and maybe machines themselves can be equipped enough with elements that solve pressing issues. And so we reached a new level of watch buyers—the hobby led purchaser. Don’t get me wrong, there are still so many who buy timepieces for what they are intended to be, and let me know of a captain who wouldn’t lust after the IWC Yacht Club Moon & Tide but would he really buy it for his next journey? You know the answer: he’d buy it to have and to hold, to cherish and collect, even pass down someday, and will use it on his travels for sure but will he really purchase it for the journey in specific? No he wouldn’t.
And while we are at sea, one of the most curious cases of the hobby led purchasing is presented by the diver category of watches. While brands dig deeper and deeper to add yet another 100 meters to their resistance, they say that only 10% are actually used for diving. Then what is it about these rugged waterproof pieces that always have the market in a tizzy? The look is definitely numero uno on the list, I mean who can forget Sean Connery wearing a Rolex Submariner in the early bond films? Attaining that level of cool may need many devices but getting a Submariner on the wrist seems like a plausible option. Number deux is the ease of wearing a piece you know is waterproof. Expensive as they may be, the fear of H2O is basic, however the diver watch will never let you second guess a splash again. And number three is the fantasy of it all, the unspoken declaration of your love for the great outdoors! Just ask me the hour, you’ll know what my deepest desire is in a glance.
So as you plan this year (without being too preemptive) and slate your maybe holidays for 2021, here’s a list of diver watches that will can be used for many reasons other that being at sea, you’ll see:
The Italian navy trusted Panerai is first and foremost known as a diver watch go-to. Their latest Submersible Goldtech promises an eclectic mix of heritage and new age technology with the clever use of house made materials like Goldtech (a blend of copper and gold with a touch of platinum) and Carbotech (high pressured carbon fibre sheets fused together for a stronger bond) that come together at 44mm. The latest P.900 caliber gives you a three day power reserve and day indicator brought to life with luminescent hands, dots and and indexes. Oh and its water resistance is 300 meters, enough to last you at sea.
What can I say about the legendary Submariner that hasn’t already been said? The latest version comes at 41mm with a slightly broader centre link that adds to its slick appeal. It also features the latest 3200 calibre family that promises a 70 hour power, the patented chronergy escapement and 300 meter water resistance.
Diver X Nemo Point
As official timekeepers of the roughest ocean race— the Vendée Globe, Ulysse Nardin has been pushing its boundaries for creating timepieces that rise to the occasion. The Diver X Nemo Point comes in a true blue hue equipped with a blue rubber bezel and fabric strap lined with red. The UN-118 movement that guarantees accuracy in any hemisphere, night or day.
Superocean Heritage 57
Borrowing from the Californian surfer culture between the 50s and 60s this edition of the Breitling Superocean series allows the wearer to imagine a bygone era with them. The bidirectional stainless-steel bezel and an ultrahard scratch- and shock-resistant ceramic bezel ring on the exterior bring out the retro in your whilst inside lies the calibre 10 which offers a 42 hour power reserve and 100 meter water resistance.
Seamaster Planet Ocean
Fired up by the shade of orange, the Planet Ocean is fashioned in ceramised titanium dial with rhodium plated hands and indexes. The 45.5mm wonder comes with a five stripe orange, grey and white polyamide NATO strap and has the Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 9900 that gives 600 meter water resistance.
Aquis Date Calibre 400
This is one of those stainless steel creations you can depend on, it’s fitted with the house’s latest movement that assures anti-magnetic accuracy, a decade of warranty and a 5 day power reserve. Honestly, what’s not to love?
After 55 years, this Seiko still makes heads turn everywhere it goes. The anniversary edition features a whopping 1000 meter water resistance, Lumibrite hands, indexes and bezel and an automatic manual winding capacity that does not give up on you for 50 hours at a stretch.
SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers
A first for the brand, this foraged carbon and titanium creation comes with a black leather strap, a unidirectional bezel and a dome shaped sapphire glass that ensures visibility like none other. Light on the wrist (literally 87grams) and heavy duty on within, count this one for your adventures that can go down till 300 meters
And as we finally close our list of hopefuls, the thing to remember is that the market for this category will always be crowded, but what you will always find in every creation is style and depth.