Splash! A Plunge Into the Colorful World of Watersports Watches

Take the plunge with us into the colorful world of water sports. Here you can find professional instruments with appealing technologies, styles, and prices. In this article, we present divers’ watches without complex additional functions (e.g., chronographs) because the watches listed here are designed to focus your undivided attention on the time of day and the dive time. Screwed crowns and unidirectional rotatable divers’ bezels are standard equipment on dive watches and, therefore, are not specifically mentioned in the following descriptions.

IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000

IWC Schaffhausen recently added bright yellow accents to its professional divers’ watch. Its other features are the same as those on the standard model with conventionally colored luminous material: water tightness to 2,000 meters, 46-mm titanium case, rubber strap with an extension piece, manufacture Caliber 80110, and special dive-time system. The dive time is preset by turning the bezel counter-clockwise, which causes the inner scale to come along for the ride; but when the bezel is rotated clockwise, the inner dive- time ring remains motionless. With so much built-in security, no reservations remain – except perhaps the price of $9,500.

Sinn U2 S

Boasting a case made of specially hardened submarine steel with a hard coating, this ticking jack-of-all-trades from Frankfurt am Main resists corrosion by saltwater and stays watertight to 2,000 meters. But that’s not all: Sinn’s own stay-dry technology relies on a sulfate capsule to effectively capture any moisture that might penetrate into the case as the years go by. Furthermore, tests conducted inside a climatic exposure cabinet guarantee that this 44-mm wristwatch functions perfectly at temperatures ranging from -49 to + 176 degrees Fahrenheit. The bracelet and case are equally well protected against scratches; the former culminates in a folding clasp with a divers’-extension mechanism. Along with the time of day or night and the date, ETA’s self-winding Caliber 2893 also shows the time in a second time zone. Considering all you get for your money, $3,230 isn’t a bad price to pay.

Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver’s

This Japanese manufacturer’s Prospex line includes higher-priced dive watches as well as excellent entry-level models. The classic among them is designated as reference SRP777K1. It measures 44.3 mm in diameter, stays watertight to 200 meters and – thanks to a hardened mineral glass rather than a sapphire crystal – costs only $495. Like every Seiko watch, it’s equipped with one of the brand’s own calibers. In this case (no pun intended), the movement is self-winding Caliber 4R36. The highly elastic, corrugated, urethane strap stretches to slip over the sleeve of a diving suit. Lumibrite luminous material, a Seiko development, glows with uncommon brightness.

Longines HydroConquest

A solidly built Swiss divers’ watch with ETA’s bestselling Caliber 2892, a steel bracelet, a divers’ extension in the bracelet, and a price tag of just $1,000: That’s what we call a favorable price-performance ratio. But those who opt for     41-mm stainless-steel watch will have to make do with an aluminum bezel. The case stays watertight to 300 meters, which is 50 percent deeper than the required 200 meters, but it’s not in the extreme class of pressure resistance offered by some Breitling, IWC, Rolex or Sinn models.

Rolex Sea-Dweller and Rolex Deepsea

Manufacturers of professional divers’ watches essentially measure their products against these two Rolex models. While the case of its “little sister” (the Submariner) is 12.5-mm slim and can pass as a sporty and elegant dress watch, the approximately 15-mm-thick Sea-Dweller (shown above in the 2017 version) and the whopping 17.7-mm-thick Deepsea are genuine professional instruments. The Sea-Dweller stays watertight to 1,220 meters while the Deepsea keeps its feet dry all the way down to 3,900 meters. Outstanding features of these 43-mm and 44-mm models include Rolex’s special stainless-steel alloy (which is uncommonly resistant to corrosion by seawater), scratch-resistant bezels made from a ceramic developed by Rolex, an automatic manufacture caliber with chronometer certification, helium valves, and folding clasps with intelligently conceived divers’ extensions. The many technical advantages help justify the price: $11,350 for the Sea-Dweller and $12,050 for the DeepseA

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge

Like the ordinary Aquis, this 46-mm special instrument is robustly constructed, watertight to 500 meters, and scratch resistant on its front side, thanks to a ceramic bezel. But this model also provides a unique technical highlight: No other brand offers a watch with a depth gauge quite like this one. When this watch submerges for a dive, water penetrates into a ring-shaped channel along the rim of the sapphire crystal and compresses the air inside the channel. The diving depth can be read on the dial’s periphery at the point where the dark water meets the bright air. Powered by Sellita’s automatic Caliber SW 200, this stainless-steel watch with a rubber strap and additional steel bracelet is delivered inside a watertight carrying case. Each wristband has its own folding clasp with integrated divers’ extension. For this power package with a unique depth gauge, $3,500 isn’t too high a price to pay.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

Audemars Piguet ventures into colorful spheres with last year’s update to the Royal Oak Offshore collection. The most eye-catching versions of this 42-mm-diameter, 300-meter-watertight stainless-steel watch come in bright green, yellow or orange; white and blue versions are also available. Technical strong points in manufacture Caliber 3120 include a longer-than-average 60-hour power reserve, a soft iron inner case to protect against magnetic fields, and an inner rotatable ring that can be turned in both directions via an additional screwed crown. A shortcoming for divers: The rubber wristband has no extension mechanism. A shortcoming for the frugal: The price of this version is $19,900.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver

Last year, Bell & Ross introduced its first dive watch in the square case shape for which the brand has become renowned: the new BR 03-92 Diver. Its squared ergonomic case, made of satin-polished steel and measuring 42 mm in diameter, is water resistant to 300 meters and houses the automatic BR-Cal.302, based on the Sellita SW 300. Price is $3,700.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Fifty fathoms are equal to 300 feet or nearly 100 meters – the depth to which the original Fifty Fathoms from 1953 remained watertight. The contemporary version of this iconic divers’ watch is watertight to 300 meters and comes with a sapphire crystal that curves above the rotatable bezel. Caliber 1315 amasses a five-day power reserve and is protected against magnetism by a soft iron inner case. The stainless-steel case is 45 mm in diameter. The canvas wristband is water resistant, but its wearer has to make do without an extension mechanism. Divers who appreciate luxury must part with $14,500 to own this watch.

Certina DS Action Diver Automatic

Certina’s entry-level divers’ watch is attractively priced and equally attractively designed. The 43.2-mm-diameter stainless-steel case comes in black or blue; a version with a gray titanium case is also available. Although the steel versions offer a sapphire crystal and a metal bracelet with built-in divers’ extension, they cost just $895. A useful feature: Not only is the zero point luminous, so are all the other indexes on the bezel. The water tightness up to 200 meters satisfies the standard specified for divers’ watches.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Titanium

Hamilton’s new dive watch is available with dials and bezels in various colors. Notwithstanding its burly 46-mm size, the titanium version is comfortable to wear. From a technical point of view, this model offers lightweight and sturdy titanium in tandem with a special safety mechanism for the crown, a helium valve, and a further evolved descendant of ETA’s Caliber 2824 known as the “H-10.” If left unmoved after it has been fully wound, this new caliber will continue to run for 80 hours rather than the previous span of just 38 hours. The water tightness is quite deep (1,000 meters), but the individually designed rubber strap lacks an extension mechanism. This well-equipped watch retails for the surprisingly low price of $1,445.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Master Chronometer

Omega’s Seamaster family offers divers’ watches in a wide range of designs and in an equally wide range of prices. All of these time-pieces boast professional features and Omega’s own self-winding movements with chronometer-accurate coaxial escapement. A good cost-benefit ratio is provided by the 43.5-mm Seamaster Planet Ocean Master Chronometer: In return for its price of $6,550, divers get an attractively styled watertight steel watch that stays watertight to 600 meters and has a metal bracelet, a helium valve, a ceramic bezel and antimagnetic manufacture Caliber 8900, which relies on two barrels to amass a 60-hour power reserve.

Omega Seamaster Ploprof

The Omega Seamaster Ploprof boasts an even greater number of professional features. The case, which measures 55 mm by 48 mm, is made from lightweight titanium and stays watertight to twice the depth (1,200 meters) of the Planet Ocean. For safety’s sake, the bezel can be rotated only when the diver presses the orange button. When this button is depressed, the bezel can be conveniently reset in both directions. Two easy-to-use divers’ extensions are contained inside the secure folding clasp on the titanium link bracelet. As with the Planet Ocean, innovative protection against magnetic fields is provided by a totally antimagnetic movement (automatic Caliber 8912), so Omega can equip the case with a sapphire back. This companion for professional divers costs $13,800.

Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanio

With a 47-mm titanium case, ceramic bezel, and protection against magnetic fields, this model is one of the professional dive watches from Panerai. Also worth a mention: inside the watch is the automatic manufacture Caliber P.9010 with temperature-insensitive Glucydur balance and a three-day power reserve. The case stays watertight to 300 meters. The corrugated strap can be stretched to fit over the sleeve of a diving suit. The price is not insignificant: $11,000.

Luminox Deep Dive Automatic Scott Cassell Special Edition

Thanks to hands and indexes that bear tubules filled with tritium gas, this dive-watch leader from the Swiss sports watch brand continues to glow with undiminished intensity for many years, and without having its wearer recharge the luminous indicators at a light source. This watch is also convincing thanks to its water tightness (500 meters), helium valve, and sturdy rubber wristband with an extension piece to facilitate wearing over the sleeve of a thick diving suit. Power is provided by Sellita’s sleekly simple Caliber SW 200, which is fabricated in large series, thus enabling Luminox to offer this watch at the affordable price of $2,200.

Doxa Sub 1500T MKII

The orange-colored Doxa Sub is considered a classic among dive watch enthusiasts. It’s available in various designs and with water tightness to different depths. The model shown here can descend to far-reaching depths: Its stainless-steel case protects Soprod’s self-winding Caliber A10 against incursions by water to a depth of 1,500 meters. The case is 44.7 mm in diameter and is equipped with a helium valve. As on almost all Doxa Sub models, the rotatable bezel is calibrated with a decompression scale. Military frogmen use such scales to read the number of minutes they can stay at a specified depth (measured in feet) without having to pause for a decompression stop during their ascent. An extension piece can be pivoted from the bracelet’s folding clasp. Each of the 1,500 pieces in this limited series sells for an affordable $2,390.

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Caliber 5 Blue Camo

Last year’s Aquaracer update from TAG Heuer came with an “Arctic” blue camouflage pattern and matching NATO strap as well as a water resistance rating of 300 meters. Its 43-mm case is made from Grade 2 titanium with a matte black PVD treatment. The watch is powered by TAG Heuer’s Caliber 5, which is based on the ETA 2824 or the Sellita SW200. The price for this version is $2,800.

 

Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy: Longines Heritage Classic “Sector Dial”

In a follow-up to its enduringly popular Heritage 1945 and interesting Heritage Military watches, released in 2017 and 2018, respectively, Longines this fall has opted to release another retro-look timepiece evocative of the 1930s and ’40s. The new Heritage Classic “Sector Dial” is a modern reissue of a 1934 “Calatrava”-style sector-dial model currently residing in Longines’ museum (pictured below, vintage model left, modern model right).

Longines Heritage Classic Sector Dial - pair

These “Calatrava” models— which historically is a complicated designation based on Patek Phillipe’s cross logo but colloquially has come to describe any small 1930s-1940s dress watch— featured common designs of their era and have come to symbolize some of the most cherished qualities of all vintage watches among enthusiasts. These qualities notably include the compact sizes around 32 mm; the straightforward, balanced design, and their impressive longevity, some being almost 90 years old and still ticking. The contemporary re-issue we see today is missing both the age and size, but nonetheless seems to have already struck a chord among watch writers and enthusiasts alike.

Longines Heritage Classic Sector Dial - dark blue - front

At 38.5 mm, the new brushed steel model uses a simple case shape, with slim lugs, a sturdy, textured crown, and comes on either a black or blue leather strap with an additional NATO-style alternative bracelet. The dial of the watch is clearly the star of the design, with a white outer section and a silver minute ring within, showcasing the printed, horizontal Arabic numerals and dark areas that divide the face. Further within is the white inner section, with a black crosshair and vintage Longines logo toward the 12 o’clock position. At the bottom of the dial is an engine-turned seconds subdial, complete with a small blued steel hand, and determining the hour and minute are two blued-steel stick hands also constructed in the vintage style.

Within this modern timepiece is the Longines Caliber 893, based upon the ETA A31.501; it’s an automatic movement beating at an unconventional 25,200 vph and maintaining a relatively long 64-hour power reserve. This brand new release will be available through dealers and Longines boutiques later this fall, and will be priced at $2,150.

Longines Heritage Classic Sector Dial - dark blue - reclining

The exact details on the dimensions of the vintage model outside of a picture are scant, but this historical model likely measured around 32 mm in diameter. In comparison, the modern 38.5-mm steel piece is significantly larger, but at this size offers a happy contemporary medium for ardent vintage-watch enthusiasts and modernly interested consumers alike. The bezel seems more steeped rather than the flat outline seen on the vintage model, and the lugs are clearly thinner. Furthermore, the crown is of a sturdier construction, while the automatic movement it controls inside certainly differs from the manually wound movements universally found in watches from the prewar era.  The features on the dial are very similar, with the modern edition seemingly taking each of the vintage details a step further using its modern capabilities: a more noticeable contrast between the sectors, brighter blues and darker blacks, and most notably, a silver-colored seconds subdial replacing the vintage model’s white one.

Longines Heritage Classic Sector Dial - black - front

As other writers have already commented on this watch, the new “Sector Dial” is rare effort by the brand to appeal directly to watch enthusiasts geared towards the vintage market. This doesn’t mean, of course, that Longines’s Heritage collection hasn’t already been successful, only that this watch is one of the rare examples in which the brand has taken a vintage design and done little more to alter it than to boost its size and upgrade its finishing.

This is not the first time we’ve covered the Longines Heritage collection in the “Vintage Eye” series; other members we’ve examined include the Heritage Skin Diver, Avigation BigEye, and Legend Diver, among many others. It is also unlikely that this is the last time we’ll cover either. This new watch demonstrates the continued popularity of the vintage-inspired trend, and likely indicates that Longines, a brand that was well ahead of this trend, is continuing its commitment to developing historically relevant models.

Longines Heritage Classic Sector Dial - light blue - reclining

In our last edition of “Vintage Eye,” we compared the modern Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 to the vintage editions that inspired it, and discuss what this new watch means for the modern Navitimer series. You can check that article out, here.

Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

Before receiving a pair of Trasers in the mail, I had very little knowledge of the brand. Their arrival served as a stark reminder that there are still so many brands that exist just beyond each collectors’ horizon. And it is truly one of the best things about working with replica watches for a living that these brands often present themselves rather than having to be sought out. Included in the package were two very different models: a Traser P59 Essential S Black (reference 108212), and a Traser P96 OdP Evolution Chrono Petrol (reference 109050). If packaging tells a story (which it certainly does in this day and age), then the boxes these replica watches came in told no lies. Here we have a brand that places functionality right at the top of its list in nice, big, bold letters. Make no mistake, these are not luxury replica watches; they are designed to be used and take a beating in the process.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

So let’s start with the similarities: While there are many options for both models (with leather straps and mesh bracelets available), I chose the versions on fabric NATO straps. The P59 was delivered on a plain black strap with black hardware, while the P96 came on a fetching striped strap, which alternated between petrol blue and ice gray. Both straps were comfortable and were held in place by slim keepers that were happy to stay put once fastened.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

Since these replica watches are quartz-powered, their movements add negligible weight. Although the P96 is considerably bigger than the P59 (44mm-wide in comparison to the dinky 37mm piece I requested), its glass-fiber-reinforced polymer case (not too dissimilar to Breitlight) means they weigh about the same. There was no doubting the ease-of-use of these pieces, which are ready to strap on and go straight out of the box. The time and date are easy to read and set on the P59, and the Chronograph function of the P96 (with a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, and a 12-hour register at 6) has a nice rapid reset feature that is cool to play with.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

None of that surprised me. From what little I knew of Traser before I conducted this review, I expected tough, no-frills replica watches, designed for the outdoors. I wasn’t expecting to be particularly impressed with any element, but a couple of things did stand out to me. Firstly, the material of the P96 is, while not in any way luxurious, comfortable to wear and cool to look at. It also makes for a pretty neat rotating bezel — it doesn’t bind or jam up at all, and while it lacks the godly click of, say, a Rolex Submariner, it has a very good level of performance for the price).

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

Secondly, the lume, on both models was outstanding. Yes, the brand makes a huge deal out of this, and yes, it is tritium and so should be expected to put on a dazzling light show, but the performance of it in real life is very impressive.


Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

I’ve not worn many tritium lume replica watches in the past, and one of the things that really grabs me about them is how they seem not to be glowing at all in daylight (whereas Super-LumiNova can sometimes be seen to be humming during the day), but then suddenly blaze into life the second the surrounding light disappears. This enhances their legibility in both day and night as the complete neutrality in daylight is less distracting than a greenish or blueish hue desperately trying not to be noticed.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

I wore both models alternately for a week, heading out on long walks with both in tow. I found myself quite enjoying the simplicity of the P59 and enjoyed wearing it in the evening after returning home, while the P96, which was a much better trek companion, came off the wrist as soon as I completed my activity. The truth is, when not being used as the pure tool it is designed to be, it is, for an experienced collector at least, a bit between things.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

And I think that zeroes in on the main problem I had with both models. As undeniably fit for their intended purpose as they are, I struggle to envisage the end customer profile. And that comes down to price. The A Traser P59 Essential S Black (reference 108212) retails for CHF 225, and the Traser P96 OdP Evolution Chrono Petrol (reference 109050) retails for CHF 495, and, once again, I think that places them in a tricky no man’s land.

Traser P59 And P96 Replica Watches Reviewed Wrist Time Reviews

The optimist would say these are excellent replica watches for someone who wants a cheap replica watch to knock around in, while the Omega, the Blancpain, or the IWC has a rest away from the action. And that’s fair enough, but if that’s all you want, why not a Casio G Shock, or even something simpler like the old faithful Casio F-91w? In addition to a much lower price point, the name recognition, versatility, and collectibility of a Casio trump those of these Trasers. Where I think they might find their groove would be with hunters or servicemen or women looking for a truly functional replica watch that looks aesthetically at home with the rest of their gear. To learn more about this Swiss brand, please visit traser.com.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Traser
>Model: P59 Essential S Black and P96 OdP Evolution Chrono Petrol
>Prices: CHF 225 and CHF 495 respectively
>Sizes: 37mm and 44mm, respectively
>When reviewer would personally wear them: During trench warfare, if I somehow passed the medical.
>Friend we’d recommend them to first: Someone who likes camping (or trench warfare).
>Best characteristic of these replica watches: The tritium lume lives up to the hype.
>Worst characteristic of these replica watches: Product positioning. Seriously, for the job they are designed to do, these are more than capable. But the release of the update Casio Mudmaster with Quad Sensor and Bluetooth tech for $350 has created an extremely competitive price point.