I was thinking about Dive Watches and how many of the watches we see in the shops are under 100m resistant which is okay for getting caught in the rain, but professional dive watches go deeper than you may think. In the process of checking out some really cool Watches, I found some amazing, and quite mind blowing capabilities and I wanted to share them with you.
For those of you who may have seen some of these great watches, a large part of this list was first published in the November/December issue of WatchTime, but I have added my own examples to broaden the range and offered my own insight.
Let’s start by looking very briefly at the aquatic depths that we are talking about, so you have an idea about the crazy depths these watches can reach.
Tudor Pelagos 500m
200m to 1000m Mesopelagic Zone
Below the top Epipelagic zone is the Mesopelagic zone extending from 200 meters to 1,000 meters. This zone is known as the twilight zone where only the faintest of light penetrates the depth. At this depth, we see bioluminescent creatures and a great diversity of strange and bizarre fish such as swordfish, squid, wolf eels, or cuttlefish.
The Tudor as you may or may not know is the sister of the famous Rolex and the Pelagos certainly carries some of the design cues of her sister. The Pelagos was recently introduced back in 2012, featuring a full titanium 42mm case with a satin finish and a unidirectional rotating bezel in matte black ceramic. To aid with the water resistance to 500 meters the Pelagos is equipped with a helium release valve. Another really nice touch is the spring-loaded adjustment mechanism on the bracelet developed and patented by Tudor. It automatically adjusts during dives meaning as the wetsuit is compressed in deep water the clasp will adjust to fit, expanding and contracting during ascents and descents.
Sinn U1000 1000m
200m to 1000m Mesopelagic Zone.
The Sinn U1000 is giving a water resistance of 1000 meters so we are now on the very edge of the Mesopelagic Zone between 200m to 1000m where we find the swordfish, squid, wolf eels, and cuttlefish.
The Sinn U1000 is giving a water resistance of 1000 meters so we are now on the very edge of the Mesopelagic Zone between 200 meters to 1000 meters where we find the swordfish, squid, wolf eels, and cuttlefish.
The Sinn U1000 is German made piece constructed from German Submarine steel and put through an additional hardening process known as Tegimenting to 1200 Vickers on the hardness scale. This piece is so tough you can set your chronograph at depth and feel safe in its operation. The piece has a captive safety bezel (push down and turn) and powered by a modified Top-grade Valjoux 7750 mechanical Swiss movement, which converts the standard 30-minute counter to more useful 60.
Mühle-Glashütte Rasmus 2000m
1000m to 4000m Bathypelagic Zone
Below the Mesopelagic Zone from 1000 meters to 4000 meters the next layer is the Bathypelagic zone referred to as the midnight or dark zone. At this depth, the only visible light here is produced by the creatures themselves. The water pressure at this depth reaches 5,850 pounds per square inch but in spite of this, we see large numbers of wildlife like Sperm whales.
This 2000 meter Dive watch is the result of a collaboration between Glashütte and research divers, or scientists, from the University of Rostock, Germany.
The 44-mm stainless-steel case houses a Mühle modified version of the Sellita self-winding Caliber SW 200 movement, that protects its heart from magnetic fields using an inner case of soft iron. The bezel is easy-to-grasp and rotatable around the face of black, blue, or orange. I great example of a no-nonsense German function and style.
Breitling Avenger II Seawolf 3000m
1000m to 4000m Bathypelagic Zone
At 3000 meters we are still floundering in the Bathypelagic layer where primitive finned octopod, oil worms, see-through cucumber, and other gelatinous life forms are abundant.
The big, bright, in your face 45mm Avenger II Seawolf is water-resistant to 3,000 meters, having a real attention-grabbing color scheme which is just as well in the dark surroundings. This is a Self-winding Breitling Caliber 17 based on ETA’s 2824. A unidirectional ratcheted bezel and screw down crown, this is a COSC-certified for going to very dark places.
Hublot King Power Oceanographic Exo 4000m
4000m to 6000m Abyssopelagic Zone
Moving to the next layer we hit the Abyssopelagic Zone from 4000 meters to 6000 meters known as the abyss. At this level, the temperature is close to freezing, no light and few creatures other than invertebrates like basket stars and squids for company.
We are already deeper than seems sensible and we have certainly passed the point of any recreational and professional diving. This is deep sea exploration and few divers’ watches can descend to 4,000 meters.
A rare exception is the Hublot’s Oceanographic withstanding the pressures at 4000 meters. This most recent 48mm model has a carbon-fiber case housing the automatic HUB 1401 caliber, which is based on an ETA 7750 stripped of its chronograph mechanism, and rubber strap inlaid with white synthetic fibers.
Rolex Deepsea Challenge 12000m
6000, to the very bottom Hadalpelagic Zone
Finally, we hit the last layer beyond the abyssopelagic zone called the hadalpelagic zone extending from 6,000 meters to the deepest darkest depths of the seabed. At this depth, we are looking at the deepest points of the ocean like the Mariana Trench off the coast of Japan lying at 10,900 meters with a water pressure of eight tons per square inch, but still supporting life in the form of invertebrates such as starfish and tube worms.
Clearly, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge has taken the crown for the deepest diving watch that can take you to the very deepest darkest place on our planet. The brand some Watch snobs call the Texas Timex has proved itself the `Daddy` of the divers.
This amazing piece has a steel case 28.5 mm thick with a 51.4 mm diameter housing their in-house automatic Caliber 3135 and reinforced back cover. The sapphire crystal is 14.3 mm thick helping it survive the unprotected descent to the Mariana Trench.
How Deep Can A Human Dive?
The deepest point ever reached by a human was the Mariana Trench off the coast of Japan lying at 10,900 meters which is as deep as you can go. It has been reached a couple of times, first by U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard who sat through a 5-hour descent in a submersible, only to spend 20 minutes on the bottom before starting their ascent.
The second successful descent was made by the famous film director James Cameron in a one-seater submersible, accompanied by the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, strapped to an exterior gripper arm his craft. But if we are talking about a guy without a submarine the answers become a little like the water at depth, that is to say, a little murky.
while there are generally accepted safe depths for divers there is an official record of a French underwater exploration team (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises)reached the depth of 534 meters using specially formulated gas mixtures and in an elaborate saturation dive.