True amphibians, as effective on land as in the water, Swiss dive watches in 2016 plunge into a sea of vibrant colours and cool textures combining their solid underwater credentials with a refreshing sense of style.
Ulysse Nardin, the high-end Swiss watch brand with an anchor as its logo, sails into brightly-coloured waters with its striking Diver Black Sea collection. The impressive 45.8mm steel case is coated with vulcanized black rubber and the bezel is inlaid with bright yellow ceramic tiles that are echoed on the yellow wave motif undulating across the open dial. Treated with luminescent material for maximum legibility in the dark, this diver is water-resistant to 200 metres.
You would be correct in associating Breitling watches with aviation but its dive watches are as formidably endowed as their airborne counterparts. The Avenger II Seawolf Blacksteel dive watch is a monster of the abyss capable of plunging to depths of 3,000 metres -10,000 feet- a watch suited for saturation or extreme diving. Equipped with a helium escape valve, the Avenger II Seawolf comes in a beefy 45mm steel case, covered with an ultra-resistant black carbon coating and a bright ‘cobra yellow’ dial with large luminescent hour indices and hands.
For something totally different in dive watches, check out the contemporary graphic design and mind-blowing mechanical solutions of the Type 5 watch from Ressence, the brand that tells the time without hands. Inspired by the anatomy of a sea turtle, the Type 5 is made from titanium and features revolving discs on the convex dial to indicate the hours, seconds, minutes and even the temperature of the oil. Oil? Yes, all 142 components, including the dial of the watch, are immersed in oil, a world-first for a mechanical watch. Not only does oil compensate for pressure, it keeps the components lubricated and, by maintaining them in suspension, makes them lighter. But perhaps the most important advantage of oil is the impeccable legibility it offers divers from every angle. Designed to meet the official ISO 6425 standard for dive watches, this extraordinary watch is water-resistant to 100 metres.
It would be hard to miss this acid green diver, the latest member of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore collection. The industrial spirit of the Royal Oak Offshore collection, with its octagonal case and muscular contours, has been primed to withstand depths of 300 metres with a fully functioning chronograph on board. Measuring 42mm across, the stainless steel case is fitted with black ceramic pushers to highlight the vibrant ‘citron’ coloured dial which comes with the hallmark ‘méga tapisserie’ or chequerboard decoration. Unusual in a dive watch, the caseback is made from sapphire crystal allowing a view of the in-house automatic movement and the solid gold winding rotor embossed with AP’s coat of arms.
The colour scheme of Omega’s Planet Ocean 600M dive watch, a mix of smooth shiny greys and vivid orange details, is sporty and elegant at the same time. The sleek and lightweight 43.5mm titanium case is crowned by a grey ceramic bezel and keeps the components of the watch water-resistant to 600 metres. Certified as a Master Chronometer – a new industry standard awarded by the Swiss METAS institute – the watch is not just a reliable underwater ally, it is resistant to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss.
There’s no excuse now not to splash out and have some serious underwater fun.