5 Current Diving Watches and Their Historical Role Models

Diving watches Then and now.

Already more than 7,000 years ago, the first people immersed themselves in the depths of the oceans for pearls. But it was not until the end of the 19th century that the first waterproof (pocket) dive watch appeared. With the first wrist watches, there were already watches that were specially designed for diving applications. The beginnings of the 1920s made watches with special crown seals. At that time the dive watch had a purely utilitarian character–it was only used as a tool. Today, diver’s watches are no longer only worn for diving. Their sporty look also inspires people who feel more comfortable with land than underwater. Today, a dive watch is sometimes a fashionable statement, a popular collector’s item under Uhrenfans or just a cool accessory. Very popular are divers watches models, which look like their historical model in WatchTutorials.org. Good design just doesn’t come out of fashion. We show which divers watches have reappeared.

Current Dive Watch #1 and its historical role model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

The Blancpain fifty Fathoms was the first bracelet dive watch, together with the Rolex submariner. The dive watch wore its waterproofness already in the name: 50 thread, which corresponds to 300 feet or just 100 meters. With a compressive strength of up to ten bars, the fifty Fathoms was accompanied by the French Navy’s combat divers in their missions. The head of the French combat swimmer Corps, Robert Maloubier, had awarded the contract for the construction of such a dive watch. He demanded a black dial, large Arabic numerals and a one-sided rotating diving time bezel. The latter was particularly practical and is now regarded as the standard for diver’s watches. Already 1952, the watch brand for its dive watch fifty Fathoms had a detent rotating bezel patented and prevented other manufacturers from realizing this apparently waterproof protection. Rolex, for example, introduced the one-sided rotating bezel to the submariner only in the early 1980s. Blancpain has developed the dive Watch fifty Fathoms over the years into a large watch family. 2007 came out a three-pointer model that the version most closely resembles. The steel casing grows from 42 to 45 mm and remains waterproof up to 300 meters. The automatic caliber 1315 also offers a date display between four and five o’clock, which was still missing from the first fifty Fathoms.

Current Dive Watch #2 and its historical role model: Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea

The 1959 presented Memovox Deep Sea set a milestone in the history of divers watches: their automatic caliber 815 offered an alarm function that was usable up to a depth of 100 meters. The dive watch was then launched in two versions, one European and one American. 2011 appeared a new edition that looked exactly the same. Although Jaeger-LeCoultre is now more well known for its complications and elegant timepieces, the Swiss Manufactory currently carries three chronographs in the collection that have the deep sea housing. The chronograph deep sea with only two totalizers takes over the 12-hour bezel of the Memovox deep Sea as well as the housing material stainless steel. The 40.5 mm-large Bicompax chronograph also has the authentic Plexiglas and the stationary bezel. Even the calf leather strap corresponds visually to the model of 1959. The massive steel floor bears a historical engraving: a frog man. Among them is the automatic manufacture caliber 751 G with 65 hours of speed reserve. However, the dive watch is only available in the brand boutiques.

Current Dive Watch #3 and its historical role model: Omega Seamaster Ploprof

In the year 1970 it was still called Seamaster Professional 600 and was correspondingly up to 600 meters waterproof. The French dive equipment producer and dive service provider Comex participated in the design. The watch was intended for saturation diving in deep-sea chambers. The dive watch had a specially sealed housing that gases not penetrate. Another security feature: The bezel could only be turned when you pressed the red pusher. The nickname “Ploprof” (an acronym of the French name for professional divers from “plongeur professional”) led Omega almost 40 years later officially as a model name. The Ploprof still offered the characteristic pusher on the housing flank, which must be held down to turn the bezel. However, the Seamaster Ploprof now offers a compressive strength of 120 bar, i.e. 1,200 meters. For this, the date disappears from the dial. Slightly modernized in optics, there is a steel diver with dial and bezel in black or white – colorful rubber bands set color accents. 2015 Omega launched the PLOPROF in Titanium, which makes the 55 on 48 mm wide dive watch almost to light weight. This year there are three other titanium models, all of which are equipped with the co-axial master chronometer caliber 8912 (automatic).

Current Dive Watch #4 and its historical role model: Oris Divers Sixty-five

The Aquis models of Oris are very popular. They are sporty, modern and functional. In the year 2015, Oris launched the divers sixty-five dive watch, which looks similar in its retro design to the original of 1965 and yet has a modern look. The old diver had a 36 millimeter-sized housing made of chromed brass and was worn on a plastic tape. This mimics the modern rubber band visually, but there is also a beige textile band. The new divers works with a manual lift with the automatic caliber SW 200 and pushes the date from three to six o’clock. The window is noticeably smaller than the original. In addition, the housing is now completely contemporary in stainless steel and measures 40 millimeters in diameter. The sapphire crystal of the automatic is inwardly mirrored in order to reduce the glare, thus predominantly underwater for good legibility. The compressive strength of up to 100 meters remains unchanged at the time as today.

Current Dive Watch #5 and its historical role model: Rolex Submariner

The prototype of all modern diving watches is not to be missed in this list. It is probably the most famous and popular diving watch in the world. In addition, the modern submariner looks almost the same as the UR model of 1953. Since then, the dive watch has become an integral part of the Rolex collection. Of course the submariners benefited from the technical developments of the manufactory, which is why it now brings some properties that were still missing from the 1953 model. The housing diameter grows over the years from 36 to 40 mm and with sapphire glass instead of Plexiglas, the compressive strength increases from ten to 30 bar. 1953, the Submariner had no date, and her bezel was still turning in both directions. Since 1966, there is a submariner date with date and date magnifying glass on the sapphire crystal. However, it was only 1981 that the diving watch submariners received a one-sided rotating bezel. A submariner from the year 1953 achieved the proud price of 30,000 Swiss francs at Antiquorum. mg

Would you like to learn more about scuba watches? The most important about scuba watches, the new models 2016 with technical details and current price as well as new developments and a selection of underdog diver watches can be found in our current special: our site.

Which of the dive watches featured in our special is your favourite? Choose your favorite diver watch! Among other things, there is an oris divers sixty-five.

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Tags: automatic watches, Blancpain, Blancpain fifty Fathoms, stainless steel watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox, manufacture caliber, Omega Ploprof, Omega Seamaster, Omega watches, Oris, oris divers, Retro Watch, Rolex, Rolex submariner, diver Watches