Marked by a water-resistance of at least 100m (330 feet), diving watches have been a pillar of the horological directory since the beginning of the 20th century, when watchmakers tried to cater to the needs of diverse groups including explorers, professional divers and naval personnel.
Today, the diving watch is a statement timepiece that signifies a ruggedness and sense of adventure. Typically with a water-resistance of 200 – 300m, diving watches are designed to combine classic styling with adrenaline fueled functionality.
Dive trips and scuba holidays have become a popular choice for travelers of all ages. Beaches and seaside resorts are filled with people wanting to explore the exquisite underwater world and lose themselves in the tranquil depths of the ocean floor.
Being a thrill seeker doesn’t mean you have to leave your sense of style or identity aside, and a watch that allows you to experience the wonders of life beneath the waves is a sure -fire way to hold on to your individuality.
HOT takes a look at the latest offerings in diving watches from some of the world’s top watchmaking brands and brings you our top picks for your summer getaway.
Grey and Gold
Millennial pink makes a bold statement with the newest iteration of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Diver. Presented in a striking combination of pink gold and grey ceramic, the 42mm diving watch features the brand’s characteristic ‘mega tapisserie’ dial. A sapphire crystal case shows off the manufacture movement and an inner rotating bezel allows the most avid diver to keep track of the time spent under water.
This watch is water resistant up to a depth of 300m, making it perfect for the deep-sea fans out there.
Bell & Ross
Performance Under Pressure
Conforming to the exacting standards set for diving watches by the ISO, the BR 03-92 Diver from Bell & Ross is the labour of love of master watchmakers, designers and underwater experts. Water resistant up to 300m, features a square case and a choice of two straps. The first is woven black rubber with a steel buckle and the second is made from an ultra-resistant black synthetic fibre with a Velcro clasp system.
The black dial displays the hours, minutes, seconds and date with a striking contrast being created between the inky dial, the orange hours hand and the luminescent white minutes and seconds hands which lend themselves to crystal clear visibility underwater.
A perfect example of form meeting function, the BR 03-92 is the pinnacle of professional diving watches and a must-have for those men and women who are exposed to extremes of pressure and temperature in their lives.
Deep Blue Yonder
Inspired by the deepest depths of the ocean, the brilliant blue avatar of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe features a 38mm case with three hands indicating hours, minutes and seconds. The automatic manufacture Caliber 1150 is visible through the sapphire crystal case-back and provides a 100-hour power reserves while maintaining constant energy, in a technological achievement of mammoth proportions.
This exquisite timepiece is a cleverly disguised horological masterpiece clothed in a vintage aesthetic reminiscent of the Fifty Fathoms collection’s earlier offerings.
Waves Of Colour
Fashioned entirely from a single piece of blue ceramic, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean ‘Big Blue’ combines a GMT complication with a traditional divers watch. The blue ceramic dial features an orange GMT track and hands coated in 18K white gold.
A diving scale adorns the blue ceramic bezel and the first fifteen minutes are covered in a blend of orange rubber and ceramic. The Omega logo on the crown is also in orange, continuing to accentuate the contrast with the blue of the case.
This striking watch has a blue rubber strap highlighted with orange stitching and edges and is water resistant up to 600m making it ideal for those who want to explore far beyond the deepest depths.
The steel Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic from Panerai is the perfect watch for a professional diver. Water resistant up to 300m, the watch is powered by the P.9010 calibre with a power reserve of 3 days, showing the time remaining through the sapphire crystal case back.
The bezel rotates in one direction only and calculates the time of immersion. The black dial has a date marker at 3 o’clock and a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, which is in Panerai blue. The minute hand glows a bright blue to unmistakably calculate the time of each diver immersion.
The steel Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic has a black rubber strap to complete its sporty yet sophisticated look.
The original timepiece for deep-sea divers, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller makes a modern reappearance with water resistance up to 4000 feet. This 50th anniversary rendition of the classic has a 43mm case and features the brand’s patented helium escape valve which regulates the pressure built up in the watch during deep dives.
The black dial includes central hour, minute and seconds hands as well as a date window at 3 o’clock. The graduated bezel is unidirectional and enables dive and decompression times to be accurately monitored by divers. The Manufacture 3235 calibre movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
The Sea-Dweller comes with Rolex’s characteristic Oyster 3-piece solid link bracelet in steel with polished edges and an Oysterlock folding safety clasp.
Although designed to be diving watches, the sophistication and striking aesthetic of these master timepieces make them the perfect addition to any collection. Wear them deep underwater or just to lie by the beach, any of these watches will be sure to turn several heads wherever you choose to show them off this summer!