Six Dive Watches that Made a Splash in 2017

As we approach the end of 2017 and prepare for a new year of watch releases in 2018, we wanted to take a look back at some of the most noteworthy timepieces that came out this year. Check back each day this week for a new list focused on everything that 2017 had to offer. — The WatchTime editors

Diving watches are arguably the most popular type of watch on the market today. They’ve become almost ubiquitous due to their sporty and practical nature and attractive layout, enticing both long-time enthusiasts and neophytes alike (It’s without-a-doubt the type of watch we encounter the most often in the wild). Anyways, a bevy of impressive diving watches this year proved that, once again, they remain a bright spot for an industry.

After launching the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph in 2016, Audemars Piguet followed it up at SIHH 2017 with new, colorful versions of the non-chronograph Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver. The first version of this luxury dive watch was launched in 2010, followed by a ceramic version in 2013. AP refers to the new models as “funky color editions;” each has a 42-mm case made of stainless steel with a sapphire caseback through which you can see the in-house automatic Caliber 3120. The dials — in choices of blue, yellow, white, green, and orange, with matching rubber straps — all feature Audemars Piguet’s familiar “Méga Tapisserie” motif and color-coordinated diving scales on the inner rotating divers’ bezel. You can read more here.

Japan’s Grand Seiko had its biggest year ever this year after the news broke at Baselworld that is was becoming an independent brand separate from the monolithic Seiko entity. This meant that the brand was re-releasing all its classic timepieces with rebranded dials. Of course, they also released new models including the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver, which became the first-ever mechanical Grand Seiko dive watch. The watch’s case, made of high-intensity titanium, measures 46.9 mm in diameter and 17 mm thick. Designed with saturation diving in mind, it features the valve-free helium-resistance technology pioneered by Seiko in some of its earliest divers’ watches, which uses an exceptionally heavy-duty case construction and an L-shaped gasket. You can read more here.

Rolex: new Sea-Dweller

It was another big year of anniversaries in the luxury watch world. While Omega marks 60 years of the Speedmaster and Patek Philippe, 40 years of the Aquanaut, Rolex celebrates the half-century mark for its extreme divers’ watch, the Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, by launching an all-new model, with a larger case and modern caliber. The original Rolex Sea-Dweller, created in 1967, was designed as a resilient and useful tool for professional deep-sea divers of that era. Among its many notable features was a helium escape valve, patented by Rolex that same year, which preserved the watch’s water-resistance while regulating the air pressure accumulated inside its case during the decompression phases of deep-water saturation dives. You can read more about the latest version of what is probably the world’s most famous dive watch here.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba - orange/black - strap

You may remember the Hamilton Frogman from 2016, but this year, the brand released a more casual dive watch with the Khaki Navy Scuba that should definitely appeal to all the desk divers out there. To create a more streamlined, less military-industrial look for the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba, the brand dispensed with the Frogman’s chunky crown-protection device (which was an echo of the 1951 watch that inspired it) and helium-release valve, scaled the 46-mm case down to a more wrist-friendly 40 mm, and opted for stainless steel rather than titanium for the case material. The Khaki Navy Scuba’s water resistance is a more common (but still impressive) 100 meters as compared to the Frogman’s “extreme” 1,000-meter level. Elements that have been retained include the black dial with luminescent triangular hour markers, the screw-down crown, and the unidirectional rotating bezel, here available in black with an orange-highlighted sector for the first 15 minutes of dive time. Orange is also used for dial highlights like the central seconds hand and minute track.  You can read more here.

Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver - front

To develop the BR 03-92 Diver, Bell & Ross consulted not only its watchmakers, but also experienced divers and other underwater experts, its goal being to develop a truly professional-grade diving instrument that would meet the strict ISO 6425 international standards that timepieces must meet before being labeled as as such. Among these criteria are a minimum water resistance of 100 meters, a calibrated bezel for preselecting dive times that is protected against accidental rotation, and indexes that are legible at a predetermined distance while underwater. (For a full explanation of the ISO 6425 criteria, and why many so-called dive watches fail to meet them, click here.) The BR 03-92 hits these marks with flying colors: its squared ergonomic case, made of satin-polished steel and measuring 42 mm in diameter, is water-resistant to 300 meters. It is equipped with a 60-minute uni-directional bezel with a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock for orientation. Its crown is protected by an impact-resistant guard and is fitted with a rubber insert for easy handling. You can read more here.

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000M - soldier

In a sea of retro-inspired dive watches launched during Baselworld 2017, Citizen stood out as one of the few brands that dared to launch something radically new. The Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m is the world’s first solar-powered watch capable of saturation diving – and the Japanese brand’s second 1,000-meter diver. The Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m (Reference BN7020-09E) was one of three major Promaster additions introduced in Basel this year and, thanks to its uncompromising look and a 52.5-mm-large and 22.2- mm-thick titanium case, also the one that stood out the most. Perhaps more importantly, it’s one of the few watches that rightfully fall into the category of “extreme dive watches.” In other words, it’s a contemporary tool watch. Its primary function is to withstand even extremes of pressure and to safely measure elapsed time under water, even for saturation divers, and definitely not to fit under a French cuff dress shirt. The Promaster 1000m is ISO 6425 compliant and has been tested “for 15 days in a pressurized chamber that contains helium and oxygen or even 100-percent helium gas” and then reverted “back to atmospheric pressure within three minutes after high-speed decompression.” Citizen also partnered with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAM- STEC) to test the Promaster 1000m under operating conditions. The Promaster 1000m was most likely the most “serious” dive watch introduced in 2017, and given its equally serious price tag of $2,300, there is probably only one thing we could wish for: a second version for Baselworld 2018, powered by one of the brand’s well-known mechanical movements. Learn more here.

Five Watches Under $2,000 You May Have Missed This Year

As 2017 comes to an end, the WatchTime editors wanted to cover some notable watches of the year in a variety of price ranges. First up, we covered a selection of timepieces under $500. Now, here’s our guide to watches under $2,000 that you may have missed throughout everything that 2017 had to offer. — The WatchTime staff

The sub-$2,000 range of watches is one of the most universal in all of horology. This is where mid-tier brands get to play around and stake their ground as a value proposition, lower-priced brands get complicated, and upper-middle brands get to offer an entry-level timepiece. This year, we had so many watches to choose from in this price range that it was almost impossible to limit it to five. Did we miss your favorite purchase of the year? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

First off, a few honorable mentions. The Bulova Chronograph C was a favorite of many in our office. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Field Scuba offers a lot of value for its good looks and modified ETA movement. A personal favorite of mine is still the Alpina Startimer 99MG, a limited edition that changes just enough design-wise from the original Startimer to entice me but retains its flight pedigree. The Mido Ocean Star Caliber 80 is also one that deserves a second glance. And, of course, like I mentioned in my sub-$500 article, it’s hard to beat Seiko in this area as well.

Rado HyperChrome Captain CookLet’s get this out of the way: I am biased in my appreciation of the Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook. I liked the 37 mm version so much that I ended up purchasing one for myself a few months back. This timepiece is so out-of-the-box for Rado that I couldn’t help myself. Combine that with the excellent size at 37 mm — I have small wrists and other diving watches I’ve owned have ended up looking like dinner plates on my wrist — and this checked off all the boxes for me. One of my favorite things about this watch is how faithful it is to the 1962 original. The size has been upped slightly from 35.5 mm to 37, but the crown, the date window placement and style, the inward-sloping bezel, and the caseback are all identical. It embraces its vintage background in the absolute best way. The 37 mm Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook is priced at $1,900 and it also comes in multiple 45 mm versions.

Baume and Mercier Clifton Club
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club 10338.

The Clifton Club collection from Baume & Mercier was without a doubt the Swiss brand’s major focus for 2017. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t scroll through Instagram without finding a Clifton Club staring back at me. But, unlike with other timepieces that have gone through similar levels of promotion, the Clifton Club deserved it. Of the five watches in the collection, two of them are priced right under $2,000, making them a perfect addition to our list. The orange and black color scheme works well and, just as they advertised, I can imagine this watch making a seamless transition from the office to the gym. All the watches are stainless steel, 42 mm, powered by Sellita movements, and have a thickness of 10.3 mm, making them the ideal size to slip underneath a dress shirt sleeve. This uniformity only adds to the appeal in my opinion, meaning there’s no sacrificing substance through the variety of style options. The Baume and Mercier Clifton Club 10337 and 10338 are both priced at $1,950.

Nomos Club Campus - wrist

Of all the watch brands I write about, the one I probably get the most questions about from non-watch enthusiasts is Nomos Glashütte. The German brand really owns the market among millenials looking to purchase their first serious watch. It’s the combination of an impressive design that appeals to the Instagram-era as well as an intelligent marketing approach that divides each collection into bite-size descriptors. One of the latest releases from the brand that fits this trend is the Club Campus series that is targeted to, you guessed it, people about to graduate high school or college. These are fun, crowd-pleasing watches that boast an in-house caliber to boot. The three watches in the collection come in two different sizes (36 and 38 mm) and are all stainless steel. Something really interesting about all three is that they feature a California dial, meaning Arabic numerals up top and Roman numerals on the bottom. To my knowledge, this is the first-and-only time Nomos has ever made a dial like that, which adds its own sort of funky peculiarity to the mix. The Club Campus series starts at $1,500 for the 36 mm and goes up to $1,650 for the 38 mm version in the brand’s trademark Nacht blue — my personal favorite. Each model is also available with a sapphire crystal caseback for an extra chunk of change, otherwise they come with a closed stainless steel back.

Oris ChronOris Date

Oris has really embraced its vintage side recently. From the constant churn of Sixty-Five divers, to this year’s fan-favorite addition — the ChronOris Date. The original ChronOris was actually the brand’s very first chronograph back in the 1970’s and has been produced off-and-on ever since. Currently, the ChronOris Date is the only non-chronograph ChronOris in the collection, but it’s also the one that is the most heavily influenced by its ‘70’s background. Lucky for us, the lack of a chronograph movement places it nicely into our the sub-$2,000 price range. It includes two crowns, the one at two o’clock manages the time, while the one at four o’clock controls the inner rotating bezel. You get to choose between a stainless steel bracelet or a leather, rubber, or NATO strap — personally I’m a fan of the leather. It’s priced at $1,750 for the strap versions and $1,950 on a bracelet.

Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Military Edition

Bell & Ross introduced a trio of new watches under the Vintage Collection label this year. All three jettison the recognizable B&R square case, but only the BR V1-92 comes with a military-inspired sibling. Bell & Ross — which was founded in 1992 — has no authentic military history of its own, but it leans heavily on historic defense themes to attract a wide fanbase. For this specific watch, the brand chose to use rising minute increments rather than traditional hour markers and to include a date window that is squeezed in between three and four o’clock. Finally, there’s a red logo above six o’clock that spells “MT” for Military Type. Inside the 38.5 mm case, the BR Caliber 302 — based off of the Sellita SW-200 — offers up a 38-hour power reserve. The Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Military Edition is priced at $1,990.

Five Watches Under $500 You May Have Missed This Year

As 2017 comes to an end, the WatchTime editors wanted to cover some notable watches of the year in a variety of price ranges. First up, here’s our guide to watches under $500 that you may have missed throughout everything that 2017 had to offer. — The WatchTime staff

Everyone loves a good bargain, even in the watch industry where prices can reach the unaccessible in the blink of an eye. While a lot of what we cover at WatchTime deals with watches in the four, five, even six figure range, we always keep an eye on timepieces that have more value to offer. And while there are thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of great looking new and vintage watches that can be found for under $500, we wanted to focus on what was introduced in 2017 with this list.

Seiko Presage SARB065 - reclining
The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time “Martini” SARB065

While I have a profound appreciation for the Seiko SKX (I’m wearing a Pepsi 007 while writing this), there’s a recent addition to the Seiko stable that I’ve had my eye on for the past few months: the Seiko Cocktail Time. My colleague Mark Bernardo recently wrote about his experience wearing one here, and as you can tell by his review, I’m not the only one thirsty for a Cocktail on the wrist. You can find them for $425.

Tissot_Swissmatic_Nato
The Tissot Everytime Swissmatic

Back in 2013, Swatch unveiled the Sistem51 which was hailed at the time as the “only mechanical movement ever made whose assembly is 100 percent automated.” Priced at a neat $150, the movement had 51 total components, no regulator, and a power reserve of 90 hours. It provided a lot of bang-for-your-buck and was an instant favorite among many of my industry friends. We’ve seen a few different Sistem51 variations since, but a few months ago, we got the first taste of the Sistem51’s mechanics in a different Swatch Group brand: the always-approachable Tissot. The Tissot Everytime Swissmatic has an automatic movement with a 72 hour power reserve that was developed off of the Sistem51. At 40 mm, it’s available in multiple variations, such as white or black dials, a variety of straps, and a PVD rose-gold-covered version. Prices start at $395.

Citizen Promaster Diver
Citizen Promaster Diver

If you’re a diving watch fanatic like I am, then a Citizen Promaster is an easy selection given its good looks and affordability. This specific diver is 45 mm and came out earlier this year. It’s powered by the Japanese brand’s famous light-powered Eco-Drive tech. The dark-blue bezel and dial are a real treat to look at in person — and so is the 200 m water resistance, meaning the Promaster can tag along on your most intense adventures. At $395, it’s a lot of watch for the money.

Casio X Pigalle
The Casio X Pigalle DW-5600PGB-1 and DW-5600PGW-7.

Almost everyone I’ve ever met that is passionate about watches owns a G-SHOCK and for a good reason: They’re affordable, unbreakable, and generally just funky timepieces. There’s a lot to love about Kikuo Ibe’s 35-year old invention. Last month, Casio rented out Madison Square Garden in Manhattan for a big party celebrating the G-SHOCK’s 35th anniversary. Amid the festivities (which included performances by A$AP Mob and Virgil Abloh), one of the new G-SHOCKS released to celebrate the anniversary caught my eye. This collaboration with Pigalle — a streetwear label out of Paris — is shockingly simple and brings a whole new level of appeal to the ever-classic G-SHOCK design. They’re limited to 1,800 total and cost $140.

Finally, my last choice for watches under $500 from this year goes to the always-affable Timex. This year, Timex introduced two super-cool new watches to its catalogue. First, a collaboration with New York City menswear-designer Todd Snyder, and second, a supremely-unique, mechanical reissue from the 1960s that has a whole lot of sex appeal for its age.

Timex Todd Snyder
Timex-Todd Snyder “Blackjack”

The Todd Snyder collection currently includes six different watches that encompass a variety of vintage styles. There’s three military-inspired watches that are inspired by military-spec watches from the 1970s, a Mod Watch with a bullseye dial, and a digital Ironman. My personal favorite has to be the “Blackjack,” which serves as a homage to the automotive glory of Formula One drivers in the 1960s and 1970s. The Timex Todd Snyder collection starts at $98.

The Timex Marlin
The Timex Marlin

Finally, we have the Timex Marlin, a curious watch if there ever was one. The hand-wound Marlin marks the first time in over three decades that Timex has made a mechanical watch. First introduced in the 1960s, it became recognizable across the country after a particularly noteworthy commercial in which the Marlin was attached to an outboard motor underwater and flung from a propeller. Of course, the Marlin kept ticking and was instantly an icon. And now it’s back. You can find it for $199.

The Oris Clipperton Limited Edition

If you know anything about Oris, then you’re probably aware of its diving heritage. Both the Aquis and Diver Sixty-Five lines have fans all over the world and with the brand’s entrenched aquatic history comes conservationist endeavors through the sale of limited-edition timepieces. In 2017, we’ve already seen the Hammerhead LE and the Great Barrier Reef LE II, and now we have the latest update to the conservation collection.

The Oris Clipperton Limited Edition benefits Clipperton Island, a tiny French atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is, unfortunately, covered in trash and debris. This impacts the diverse surrounding ecosystem, in particular its role in the migration of various species of sharks. It’s the world’s most isolated landmass, approximately 685 miles from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The 2.3 square mile coral atoll surrounds a freshwater lagoon and you can spot a large variety of bird species as well as coconut palms throughout the island. It’s currently uninhabited by humans, although it has a checkered past over the centuries as a landing spot for pirates, military personnel, and guano miners. In recent years, the only visitors tend to be scientific researchers, fishermen, and, on occasion, shipwreck survivors.

Clipperton Island - Oris
Clipperton Island 

Back in June, Oris announced that it was sponsoring the “Clipperton Expedition,” which supported a group of scientists, photographers, and conservationists on a visit to the remote island. Only accessible by boat, it took over 80 hours for the crew to reach the landmass. Six months later, this watch is the culmination of that trip and the brand’s efforts in getting the word out about the atoll and its precarious future.

Oris Clipperton

The Clipperton LE has a gradient blue dial that reflects the deep blue of the lagoon inside the atoll, which reaches a depth of 40 meters at some points, so it’s good thing the Clipperton LE offers 300 meters’ water resistance. Inside the 43.5 mm case, the Oris Caliber 733, which is based on the Sellita SW 200-1, offers a 38-hour power reserve. The dial is quite striking on the wrist and the color dances with the light in a manner similar to the constant motion of the ocean.

One of the more appropriate aspects of the timepiece is the presentation box that the watch comes in. Made from regenerative algae, it is an active demonstration in how Oris has embraced the landmass and its commitment to ocean conservation. The Oris Clipperton LE costs $2,000 on a rubber strap and $2,200 on a stainless steel bracelet. It is limited to 2,000 total pieces and will be available in retailers in February.

Oris Clipperton LE