Into the Deep With Our Buyers Highlights of Dive Watches
By Amanda Evans | 5 minute read
Diver’s watches are undoubtedly some of the most popular timepieces to grace our showrooms. And while not many of us will ever take them for a dive, their robust designs, impressive power reserves and water resistance make them the ideal watch to wear every day.
Many brands began their foray into underwater designs because of requests from military groups for watches suitable for their personnel and professional diver’s. Yet the tool watches proved popular with the public as well, and watchmakers have since used these early military models as prototypes for permanent collections. But why would you need a diver’s piece if you have no need to descend metres below the waves? Well, diver’s watches are popular because they are simply very good timepieces. The designs have to be extremely durable to cope with the extreme conditions of the ocean, as well as often holding an impressive power reserve and, of course, water resistance. These complications are vital for diving but they are still highly useful for every day. Diver’s watches are intended to be read underwater, so the dial design must be clear and uncluttered, with luminescence for reading in poor light. When paired with the precious metals and special alloys these pieces are crafted from, the result is a robust yet attractive watch with a reliable movement. What’s not to love?
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional
For a brand synonymous with chronographs, TAG Heuer’s history with diver’s watches is often overlooked, yet the brand’s underwater timepieces are as impressive as the rest of its collections. An underwater sports watch was debuted by Jack Heuer in 1979, and it did so well that, by the following year, the brand had adapted it into multiple different case sizes and dial designs. Today, the brand’s best-known collection for diving beneath the waves comes in the form of the legendary Aquaracer.
OMEGA Seamaster 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer
The word ‘icon’ is overused in watchmaking, but it’s undeniably relevant when it comes to the OMEGA Seamaster. First launched in 1948 to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary, the Seamaster has become an OMEGA staple, finding fans in everyone from professional divers to James Bond himself. The Seamaster quickly became a leader in the field of diving tools, and a favourite among those who worked at sea. Today, the design remains true to the original, although enhanced with the very latest watchmaking technology.
Breitling Heritage B20 Automatic 42
Like many other brands, Breitling began its foray into diver’s watches by designing a piece intended for use by the military and other professional divers. However, the brand’s Superocean collection became an instant hit with leisure lovers and land lovers alike. Today, the piece has all the hallmarks of a quintessential diver’s watch. The collection can withstand the most extreme of weather conditions, yet its sophisticated stainless-steel case and mesh strap means this Breitling can take you from the ocean to the office.
TUDOR Black Bay
TUDOR has a proud history of excellence in diver’s watches. The brand’s underwater tool watch dates back to 1954, with a model that was waterproof to 100m. Ever since then, TUDOR has remained persistent in its desire to produce reliable, robust and affordable watches to aid divers, and has won the respect of naval forces across the world, from the French Marine Nationale to the US Navy. Inspired by these close connections to the French Navy, the brand first created the Submariner diver’s watch with a blue colour scheme in 1969. The Black Bay collection is the modern iteration of the iconic Submariner, retaining the elegance and status of the original while updating the movement and complications to keep up with the latest technologies.
Panerai Radiomir 45mm
A brand with an instantly recognisable aesthetic, Panerai’s cushion case, paired with large crown for this Radiomir iteration, is repeated throughout the brand’s diver’s watch collection. The brand’s aquatic roots date back to 1936, when the Italian Navy needed a maker of precision instruments to design watches that could be worn underwater. In fact, Panerai’s research into luminescence had begun decades earlier, having patented the substance ‘Radiomir’ in 1916, which helped to ensure the watches were readable in the dark depths
Ulysse Nardin Diver X Nemo Point
Named after Point Nemo, the farthest point from land on the planet, this piece was one of three designs released to celebrate the Vendée Globe Ocean race. This dive watch features a Titanium 44mm case, automatic movement, approximate 60-hour power reserve, unidirectional rotating bezel, sand-blasted dial, date display, power reserve indicator, fabric strap, water-resistant to 300m, and comes as a limited edition of 300 pieces.
DOXA Sub 300 Professional
Ever since it began creating timepieces in the small Swiss town of Le Locle in 1889, DOXA has been heralded for its accuracy and innovation, especially in the field of dive watches. Originally prioritising function over beauty, Urs Eschle, DOXA’s head of product development during the 1960s, was inspired by the creation of the Aqua-Lung breathing regulator for his first designs. The very first diver’s watches were expensive military tools, but when Eschle began DOXA’s ‘Project SUB’ mission in 1964, he wanted to cater for the burgeoning community of amateur underwater explorers with a dependable yet affordable diver’s tool, perfect for exploring a whole new world of adventure beneath the waves.
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