Tag Archives: diver

TAG Aquaracer 300: New Night Diver Variants

Is a TAG watch cool or not? That’s a tough one, because a Monaco in Gulf colours, or even the blue dial, is a winner. Some of the Carrera models also look the business, as do the fume dial Autavias, with their vintage 70s racing driver vibe remixed for the modern era perfectly. But then, there’s the quartz stuff..and that smartwatch thing. Hmm.

But the Aquaracer has its fans, and for good reason; this is a dive watch you can wear with a suit and it looks distinctive, quality and reasonably fresh. Here’s the word from TAG;

INTRODUCING THE NIGHT DIVER

Following the launch of the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer
Professional 300 series during Watches and Wonders Geneva in April, TAG Heuer announces three additions to the go-anywhere family of watches, including a new iteration of a TAG Heuer icon, the all-black, lume-dialled TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Night Diver.

TAG Heuer enthusiasts will recognise the name “Night Diver”, which was first introduced in the mid-1980s. Loved by active, style-conscious watch buyers who push their limits, exploring nature and
going beyond the edge, it became one of the most celebrated sports watches of its era.

Today’s TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 collection picks up this story. TAG Heuer’s design, engineering and heritage teams worked together to deliver a faithful update to a much-loved watch,
retaining and improving signature details such as the famous 12-sided bezel and the dial’s horizontal engraved lines to produce a refined, highly versatile modern classic.

So there are now 11 references in the new Aquaracer line-up. All three new models are non-limited and go into the core collection, each with a 43 mm stainless steel case and rubber strap equipped with TAG Heuer’s innovative adjustable folding clasp.

The new black and blue versions pick up on the bracelet models introduced at Watches and Wonders: both are colour-themed with matching black or blue dials, ceramic bezel inserts and rubber straps.
The standout model of the release is the black DLC-coated Night Diver, joining the TAG Heuer AquaracerProfessional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 as the collection’s hero pieces.

Its stainless-steel case, bezel, crown, caseback and clasp are all coated in matt black diamond-like carbon, known as DLC, a high- performance, hard-wearing finish designed for use in extreme conditions. The bezel insert is highly resistant black ceramic.

EXTRA LUME

The Night Diver’s other signature feature is its fully luminescent dial, which is coated in green SuperLumiNova® to deliver exceptional glow-in-the-dark performance. To ensure ultimate legibility in extreme low-light conditions, the watch’s minute and central seconds hands are filled with blue lume to contrast with the green of the dial.

The hour hand and octagonal hour markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock are filled with green lume, and the remaining octagonal hour markers are all edged with black lacquer. The triangle on the unidirectional rotating bezel at 12, which is crucial to accurately and safely measure dive times, is also filled with striking blue lume to match the blue of the minute and central seconds hands.

FUNCTIONALITY

There’s a unidirectional rotating bezel, a screw-down crown, water resistance to at least 200 metres, luminous markings, a scratch-resistant crystal and a double safety clasp.

The 12 sides of the bezel are all faceted for grip, the crown is protected to prevent accidental damage and there’s a magnifying glass over the date, which is integrated into the underside of the sapphire crystal, making it smooth to the touch.

UK Prices start at £2250.

VERDICT; What we like about the Aquaracer 300m dive models is that you are getting much the same spec as the Omega Seamaster, but without the £3500-£4500 price tag. Forgive the pun. It’s a versatile watch, and at 43mm suits most wrists. You will always find someone wants to buy it from you pre-owned as well, and often for a decent percentage of the original RRP.

The many-sided bezel also adds a little difference, a bit of visual appeal, because so many dive watches – and all their homages – essentially look the same; round case 40-44mm, uni bezel with big lume numbers, cyclops and a screwdown protected crown. Sometimes a detail like the 12-sided feature makes you, the owner, stand out from the crowd. That’s a good thing we reckon.

Heimdallr New Arrivals

Heimdallr has plenty of new models on their site right now to tempt you. One we love is the retro style Turtle model, with a big 45mm case diameter, Seiko NH35 movement and a ceramic bezel.

There’s a silver dial option, or the black dial, with blue details, which we reckon is the better looking of the duo. On offer right now at $219 – plus the import duty and VAT of course.

The Sea Ghost has a useful $100 price reduction too – same Seiko movement, 42mm case width makes it a more practical everyday watch for many people.

 

Bell & Ross Diver Bronze Gets a Red Dial Option

Known for their pilot themed watches Bell & Ross have a natty dive model, with a striking red dial and bronze case. Here’s the press info;

Bell & Ross has developed DIVER BRONZE timepieces that are perfectly in-keeping with the marine depth. After releasing a black version in 2018, a green version in 2019, and a blue one last year, the brand is now completing its shade card with red.

BR 03-92 DIVER RED BRONZE

Its case and bezel are made of satin-polished CuSn8 Bronze, an alloy combining 92% Copper and 8% Tin, that is deeply linked to diving history as it was used in the past for deep-sea helmets and naval construction. Adorning hints of pink, the bronze will age well. The patina will emphasize the authentic and unique character of this DIVER watch, much-loved by collectors. Anodised red for the bezel, red lacquer for the dial and a reddish-brown strap. The 3 shades work in perfect harmony and feature a high-quality finish. As on previous versions, all the metal parts of the case are made from bronze except the case-back, which is made from stainless steel, and the anodised
aluminium bezel ring.

Available in a limited edition of 500, the BR 03-92 DIVER RED BRONZE sports the watch’s emblem, a deep-sea diver’s helmet that is engraved on the case-back. Precious yet resistant, the BR 03-92 DIVER RED BRONZE is full of character and designed to accompany the gentleman adventurer both on land and at sea. The brand’s constant strive for excellence, challenge and innovation is confirmed in this elegant BR 03-92 DIVER RED BRONZE that meets all the standards for diving watches set by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, ISO 6425. Water resistant to 300 metres, it is ready to conquer the depths of the ocean. The matte brown leather strap and beige stitching confirms
the watch’s authentic vintage spirit but can be replaced with a rubber strap for use while diving.

 

 

Seals Launch Sea Storm Skin Diver – $300 Pre-Order Deals

Seals have a new model on pre-order. The Sea Storm is a sports/casual dive watch with 150m depth rating, optional date window and six different dial colur choices. It’s due to be delivered in April and the pre-order cost is $300. There is a $15 US-UK shipping charge too, plus any taxes that Customs levy too of course.

Here’s some spec details from US brand Seals;

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Case Diameter 38.00mm
  • Case Height 11.10 Without Crystal
  • Sapphire Crystal Boxed With Anti-reflective Coating On The Inside
  • Lug To Lug Length Is 47mm
  • Lug Width Is 20mm
  • Rotating Bezel 120 Clicks, Unidirectional
  • Water Resistance 150 Meters
  • Screw-down Crown, Signed and 7.00mm Diameter
  • Case Material 316L Stainless Steel
  • Hands are Rhodium plated with C3 SuperLumiNova
  • Bezel Markings employ the typeface Decimal by Hoefler & Co
  • Date Complication

MIYOTA 9015 MOVEMENT SPECIFICATIONS

  • Power Reserve 42 Hours
  • Vibrations 28800 Per Hour
  • Jewels 24
  • Functions Include Stop / Hacking Seconds, Quick Date Set
  • Winding Automatic or Manual
  • Stock Accuracy -10~+30 sec per day

FINISHING NOTES

The case finish of the “Sea Storm” will be comparable to its classical inspirations but more modern, consistent with our brand’s DNA. The case sides will have a vertical satin-brushed finish. Between the lugs to be sandblasted as to protect from spring bar scuffing. The top-down facing case surface will be circular satin-brushed and have a slightly polished bevel outside the lug edges that tapers toward the case centre.

Verdict: Great spec for the money and although it isn’t a serious dive watch this has all the right elements fro a durable life on holiday doing some snorkelling, plus daily wear just for it’s indie style. the Sea Storm is also a great name for a watch – just saying!

 

Baltic Gets Set to Launch Aquascaphe GMT

If you’re a fan of Baltic watches then the Aquascaphe GMT launch on Nov 27th is a date to remember. The new watch features a very high spec, with domed sapphire crystal, 316 steel case, superlume numbers and hands, the famous GMT hand of course, plus a beads of rice, polished steel bracelet which lends it a kind of Omega feel. It has a date window at 6pm, plus a glossy balck dial – classic lines we reckon.

Green and blue bezel combo is our fave from the trio.

Inside there’s a Swiss Soprod movement, with 42 hours of reserve on full wind. Bi-directional bezel is made from sapphire too, which may well prove to be more durable long term than some ceramic bezels, or those with PVD coatings, on rival watches. Time will tell. The first 600 Baltic GMT models will be numbered 1-600 too, so that adds to the collector appeal. Made in France, the Baltic is a beautiful GMT, and priced at just over £1100 on pre-order.

This is an undeniably handsome watch and the GMT feature is always good for those lucky enough to be allowed international travel in these climate emergency times. The only downside is the 100m depth rating, which isn’t that impressive at this price level, you would expect 300m, maybe more. For example the LPW Luna offers 200m depth for just £549, then there’s the Marloe Morar which has 310 metres for under 400 quid. Made in Scotland too.

More details at the Baltic website.

New Zelos Horizons Dive Models Are On The Money

Zelos are one of our fave indie brands, simply because they make tough, decent spec dive watches at a reasonable price. Amazing selection of dial colours too. Well, they’ve been busy during lockdown creating the Horizons range and it looks like they’ve nailed it.

39mm case sizes, lots of Superluminova, sapphire crystals and a 200m depth rating make these watches versatile all-rounders. There is a quick adjust steel bracelet, an impessive range of fume and different coloured dials, plus the ever dependable Miyota 9039 movement inside the case.

The 39mm case size is a good compromise between visual impact on the wrist, or in the water, and the practical aspect of wearing it all day. Some bigger dive watches need a big wrist frankly, so anything over say 42mm isn’t a watch that suits everyone. Zelos models, especially the recent bronze case editions, have sold out quickly online. So if you like the look of the Horizons range, best act sharpish.

Wear `em every day, go swimming on holiday, stay indoors until next May wearing a mask and shopping online…OK, sorry, we know it’s depressing being part of the New World Order.

Seriously, these are good value at $449 or therabouts on the website. The teal fume is a standout model for us, plus the brass detailed dial on the Moss Green model. Retro meets modern. More info at the Zelos site here.

Mido Ocean Star 1961 Limited Edition

The word from Mido on their distinctly Austin Powers Ocean Star Dive model;

The Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 reproduces the vintage charm of the Ocean Star Skin Diver Watch, a popular 1960s Mido model that remains one of the brand’s most sought-after.

Dedicated to the underwater world, this watch also served as a precious diving tool thanks to the multicoloured display of decompression stops on the dial. The version paying tribute to it today is limited to 1,961 pieces – in reference to the year the original model was released – and features a polished 40.5 mm case.

It uses the best of current technology, like a rotating bezel with countdown timer and a coloured table beneath a ‘glassbox’-style sapphire crystal. The Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 is driven by the Caliber 80, which offers a power reserve of up to 80 hours. It’s the same base unit seen in the Tissot Powermatic. For dive fans, there’s a starfish engraved on the caseback, next to the timepiece number. Each model comes with three interchangeable strap options to vary the mood.

A nod to the ‘diving’ spirit of the 1960s

To help calculations before a dive, the `61 Ocean Star Skin Diver Watch indicated decompression times 6 metres below the surface. These times were displayed around contrasting coloured circles for enhanced legibility: yellow for a diving depth of 25 to 29 metres, green for 30 to 34 metres, pink for 35 to 39 metres and blue for 40 to 44 metres. By simply placing the minute hand at 12 o’clock before immersion, the wearer could read the information throughout the dive. The rotating bezel allowed diving time or decompression stops to be calculated.

The new Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 pays tribute to the model created by Mido in 1961 and its innovative decompression scale function. Against the black background of the dial, Mido reproduces the bright colours of the original table – a subtle nod to the aesthetics of its predecessor. The depths are indicated at 12 o’clock: in metres (left) and feet (right). Super-LumiNova® adorns the diamond-cut hour and minute hands, as well as the polished indexes, for perfect visibility underwater. The Mido logo from the 1960s also features on the black dial, and as an engraving on the case back, crown and strap clasps.

‘Glassbox’ and stainless steel

A modern version of the ‘glassbox’-style crystal from the 1950s-60s (less prone to scratches than the original) reinforces the vintage feel of the Ocean Star. For added radiance, Mido has polished the case. At 12 o’clock, a large Super-LumiNova® dot provides a point of reference on the fluted black aluminium unidirectional rotating bezel. The screwed crown and case back further enhance the durability of the watch, which is water-resistant up to 200 metres.

Presented in a special box with a limited edition certificate, each of the 1,961 timepieces comes with a choice of two leather straps and a metal bracelet: in black calfskin with four stitches in the colours of the table, in leather with a black synthetic coating and yellow stitching, and in braided polished steel. A user-friendly system facilitates quick strap changes.

At £940 the Mido isn’t expensive for a Swiss watch, but it is pricey for something with a Powermatic movement, depsite its extra bells and whistles. If you love the retro looks, this could be the entry level dive watch for you. But for our money, an indie brand like Baltic, An Ordain, Zelos or many more offers a better spec for a grand – or quite a bit less in some cases.

New on Kickstarter: Reverie Diver, Offers Miyota Power, 3 Dial Colour Options

The Reverie diver watch, from the Singapore based company, is on Kickstarter right now, with a cost of £270 shipped to the UK. Delivery is expected in December if the funding target is reached and it should make it, as the Reverie Diver was at 66% of target today with 21 days to go.

They also have a nice Meca-Quartz powered GT chronograph on the site and good to go now.

OK, here’s the tech spec on the Diver project from Reverie Watches website;

  • 316L Stainless Steel Case. Dimensions: 40mm diameter, 43mm lug-to-lug, 11mm thickness and 20mm lug-width. Brushed and high-polished surfaces for contrast. 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel also provided.
  • Miyota 9039 Movement. Premium Japanese automatic movement with a 42 hours power reserve, hacking seconds function and high frequency of 28,800 per hour. Expect a smooth sweeping seconds hand.
  • Movement Engraving. The Japanese ‘Seigaiha’ pattern (i.e. “blue sea and waves”) is engraved on the rotor as a tribute to the movement’s Japanese roots and the watch’s aquatic theme.
  • reverie diver watch automatic
  • Guilloché Dial with 3 Color Choices. Double-layer dial with our signature guilloché effect displays different color tones depending on lighting conditions. Choose from: (1) navy; (2) olive green; and (3) warm grey.
  • Super-LumiNova. 2 types of Super-LumiNova luminous material aid reading the time in the dark: BGW9 (blue) on the hands and C3 (green) on the hour markers and bezel marker. Super-LumiNova is the benchmark for the luxury watch industry.
  • Sapphire Crystal. Sapphire crystal with AR-coating minimises glare when telling the time. Sapphire is scratch-resistant as it is nearly as hard as diamond.
  • Screw-Down Crown & 20ATM Water Resistance. Water resistance up to a depth of 200m, The screw-down crown further improves water resistance.
  • Adjustable Tapered Bracelet. The brushed stainless steel bracelet includes: (1) a 6mm taper for comfort; (2) on-the-go adjustability allowing you to adjust the bracelet by up to 11mm quickly; and (3) easy removal design allowing you to swap out the bracelet for another strap without a tool.
  • Additional Rubber Strap. 20mm wide strap which tapers down to 18mm at the buckle. The strap will also have an easy removal design allowing you to change straps without a tool.
  • Limited Quantities. Limited edition with each watch’s number engraved on the case-back. Like all other Reverie collections, we do not reproduce any designs once sold out.
  • Watch Roll. Each watch comes with a leather travel roll which fits up to 4 watches.
  • Free Worldwide Shipping. Complimentary tracked shipping via DHL Express.
  • Warranty. 2 year international repair warranty provided.

Indie Brands: Raven Watches Offers Value Automatics

There are so many indie brands doing great work right now that it’s hard to imagine the major Swiss brands won’t be impacted by this democracy of design and manufacturing at some point. Yes, a Swiss prestige brand has collector/investment value, but in terms of tool watch ability for under £500, it is hard to beat the hundreds of indie brands out there.

One of them is Raven, based in the USA and making a competitive automatic, powered by Seiko’s NH35 movement, from $430 retail. You get a 40mm steel case, a 300m depth rating and three rubber gaskets protecting the screwdown crown. That’s crucial because in my experience, that is exactly where the water can sneak inside on a typical fashion watch.

raven watch rubber gaskets crown winder

There’s an ETA powered Deep Tech model too, which costs $1100, but has upgraded dive features, like a 2500 metre depth rating. I mean that’s rescue-the-Titanic type depth, for the sort of cash that Rado wants for an entry level quartz. Let that sink in.

A case width of 42.5mm is arguably the perfect balance between size and comfort on the average wrist, and you get Superluminova, double gasket caseback, domed sapphire crystal, helium valve – all that good stuff.

Rivals from the Indie marketplace include the Deep Blue Bronze, which has a modest 500m depth, but at $899 is worth a look. Then there’s the Helberg CH1 Bronze, which has that Jules Verne vibe for 1426 euros – 6000m depth rating by the way. In case your submarine trip under the North Pole is going ahead with social distancing this summer.

 

Enosken Build-Your-Own-Watch Concept Offers Collectors Total Control

Here’s a micro brand doing it different. Based in Belfast NI, with watches assembled in Germany, Enosken was founded three years ago and their philosophy is simple; affordable, well made watches for collectors who want tough, high quality timekeepers.

Enosken are creating top notch dive watches, like the Deep Dive E01 model, which has a 1000 metre depth rating – impressive. Rivals like the Marloe Morar for example can offer 310 metres for £449 retail, while a Ulysse Nardin Diver offers just 300 metres for £5300.

So the Enosken Deep Dive models are undeniably fantastic value at £390. That gets you a Seiko NH auto movement, screwdown crown, 44mm case, superlume markers and hands, sapphire crystal. You don’t get the cachet of showing off your Swiss watch brand at the golf club, but you do get a damn good tech spec for Armani fashion watch money. There’s also a 24mm lug width, so you can order all kinds of straps online if you don’t like the factory options. The Deep Dive looks like an almost military grade tool watch – really chunky and well finished.

enosken dive watch bezel
Enosken Deep Dive model – ready for any terrain

If you choose the Build Your Own section, then starting at £195 you can custom build your quartz daily watch; bezel colour, dial, strap etc. Some strap and bracelet options cost another £25 -£30 on top, but still good value. We gave this a go and matched a blue/grey weave strap to a blue bezel, white dial combo.

Great fun and as people have been doing this type of online customisation with cars for a decade or more, we think it definitely adds some value to any watch brand. Just imagine if Rolex let you choose the bezel, strap and dial colour on your GMT instead of telling you what to buy via their dealership waiting list racket!

You can add a tool roll/pouch to keep your Enosken watch clean and safe too. These start at £25.

enosken drive chronograph white dial made in belfast
Enosken Drive chrono model

The Drive chronographs have a nice vintage 70s feel about them, with twin sub-dials, date window at 6pm position, and the usual start-stop and flyback buttons on the right of the steel case. Slightly narrower at 43mm case width, and £275. We would love to see an Enosken logo on the dial on all the watches, just adds a touch of brand loyalty we feel.

Check out Enosken here.