Dive Watch Releases / Articles

2017-11-20

BAMFORD WATCH Dept. MAYFAIR

Revered by many, emulated by some - bastardized others; the Benrus Type 1 with its iconic asymmetric case is a dive watch design that most of us recognize.



Perhaps we know of the original watch or one of the numerous homages such as the notable Mk II Paradive from Bill Yao.



It doesn’t matter, the fact is, the Benrus Type I is one the most legendary military divers watches full stop and as such should treated with a certain degree of respect –



it shouldn’t be given a pretentious name, nor equipped with a cheapo Japanese quartz movement and if you are going to do a remake of an acclaimed divers model – how about some proper water-resistance.



If you couldn’t give a monkeys about any of that or maybe you haven’t got a Scooby Doo what a proper, affordable divers watch is, then perhaps the new Mayfair from BWD is just what you’ve been looking for.



If it is then – here’s the lowdown for ya! Named after the poncey London district where BWD is headquartered, the Mayfair is powered by a Miyota 2035 Quartz movement – it has a water-resistance of 100m which is nearly 260m less than the original 12000ft. Benrus Type 1 which it is based on.



So what do you think? Looks kind cheap to me, apart from the misaligned bezel, the classic black version does have the right look but at £425 it’s a bloody expensive filler for a Christmas cracker me thinks. :(

http://www.bamfordwatchdepartment.com/

2017-11-15

ALSTA Nautoscaph II [you're going to need a bigger boat]

I was barely walking back then but the 1975 movie classic, Jaws is one of my all-time favorites – it still gives me the shivers to this day when I think about that giant shark.

A few years back a question was asked – what was the watch worn by Richard Dreyfuss’ character, Matt Hooper in the movie?



There was a lot of debate but finally thanks to an article written by a couple vintage dive watch geeks the diver’s watch worn by fictional ichthyologist, Hooper was REVELED as the Alsta Nautoscaph.



Like many independent Swiss watchmakers of its era that were producing mechanical wristwatches, Alsta was hit hard by the quartz watch crisis of the late 70s and eventually as many others did faded out of existence.

The brand lay dormant for decades but the Alsta Watch Co. is finally back with a revival of arguably its most famous model, the Nautoscaph now known as the Nautoscaph II.



Great attention to detail has been paid on the recreation of the Alsta Nautoscaph. Details like the specially-manufactured super-domed crystal for instance.



There were a number of configurations of the original Nautoscaph, including some different bezel and dial details, such as stick or coffin-shaped markers, and numerals at 3, 6, 9, 12 - all in various combinations.

Alsta’s new owners tried several different dial configurations before ultimately settling on the clean retro-modern-styled design seen on the Nautoscaph II, today.



Like the original, the Nautoscaph II is powered by a quality automatic movement. Every one of its components has either been manufactured in Switzerland or Germany, except however for its NH35A automatic movement which is manufactured by Seiko of Japan.



The movement snob in me says it’s a shame they didn’t go Swiss ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200 for few more dollars; however the NH35A has proven its worth as a reliable and trusty little workhorse – it’s just not Swiss, though is it?



Divers features of the Alsta Nautoscaph II include: a unidirectional divers bezel and a screw-down crown with a triple-lock mechanism and crosshatch engraving, a feature often seen on the crowns of super-compressor dive watches of the 60s and 70s.



It has been manufactured and tested to withstand pressure from depths of 999ft which is 300m or 29atm. The original Nautoscaph had 999ft on its dial which is a touch that the new Alsta team loved and therefore retained for today’s model.

The Nautoscaph II has also been manufactured and tested to be anti-magnetic resistant up to 4,800 A/m in accordance with ISO 764 compliance and shock-resistant to ISO 1413 standards.



The Nautoscaph II’s case is cast from 316L grade Stainless Steel. Grade 316L is the standard molybdenum bearing grade which means it has high corrosion resistant properties and particularly high resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. It is also anti-magnetic.



The Alsta Nautoscaph II’s domed glass is a hardened mineral crystal not Sapphire unfortunately. Alsta wanted the Nautoscaph II to follow its predecessor and have a lovely domed crystal therefore they specially designed and manufactured a super-domed crystal. They did though, decide to remove the cyclops. ;)



The Nautoscaph II comes on a Milanese mesh bracelet AKA Shark Mesh (what else!) – aesthetically it works, it works full stop BUT, it’s a pity that Alsta didn’t go full hog and recreate the solid steel bracelet complete with portholes like the one that Hooper wore in the movie. I would imagine that the cost of producing the bracelet would have made the watch too expensive – sigh :(

BUT – it is also available with an ISOfrane, premium quality diver’s strap – can’t argue with that!



The watch is available direct from Alsta priced 665GBP / approx. 875USD.

So what you think, folks? It’s a great looking watch but I can’t help thinking that some of us might pass up on what could be a great little dive watch with a real bit of nostalgia attached because of its Japanese movement and that mineral crystal. Are these deal breakers?

http://www.alstawatch.com/

2017-11-13

DAVOSA Argonautic BG AUTO [NEW collection]

As a producer of high-quality Swiss made divers watches, the Davosa brand are really coming into their own.



They have produced one of my favorite new divers of recent years, the pretty-faced APNEA Diver and just recently have taken their flagship diver, the Argonautic to the next level in terms of looks and performance.



Check out this lovely looking Titanium faced beauty accented with orange for starters – it looks good enough to eat but not just another pretty face this watch like all of its new Argonatutic BG Automatic family members has –



in the last few months, undergone some subtle yet important modifications to create a new edition of the three-hand DAVOSA classic: one that incorporates all the latest technological advances as well as input from fans of their brand.



Like previous Davosa Argonautic models, the new Argonautic BG Automatic is a professional diver’s watch with a Helium Escape Valve, brightly-glowing lume and a diver’s bezel with a ceramic inlay – however the new range now has some innovative colors on offer.



Specifications include: a Swiss Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement, a scratch-resistant, anti-glare Sapphire crystal and a neatly designed dial with its 15-minute scale on the bezel inlay to provide orientation in an emergency ascent.



I couldn’t tell you what the BG suffix stands for, but most likely it relates to the BG W9 SuperLumiNova that has been applied to the numerals and hands, and now for the first time on an Argonautic to the 15-minute scale and all the numerals on the ceramic bezel.



BG W9 is considered the best-in-class luminous pigment. It appears white in the daylight, but in the dark it shines brightly and clearly in blue.



A manual Helium Escape Valve can be found at 10 o’clock on the side of the case – this has been technically optimized and is now clearly identifiable thanks to a new He (Helium) symbol on the crown face.



The winding crown at 3 o’clock now boasts a new tube and crown construction, DAVOSA’s technicians have found a way to optimize the interaction of these components –



in order to further the lifespan of the one component on a watch that is subjected to considerable stress from being screwed open and shut.



In addition to the above, the DAVOSA Argonautic BG Automatic has a unique new look thanks to an elaborate furnace process, allowing for Sandy Grey and Navy Blue inlays which have been produced in high-tech ceramic as well as a more Classic Black.



The dials are color-coded with the bezel rings in color as well as in their matt, slightly grainy texture.



A high-precision finish results in a fine color dot in the triangle, providing an additional color accent on the bezel inlay in yellow, orange or white, depending on the model. The orange dot looks very cool!



Finally, thanks a new a Stainless steel bracelet with a safety clasp and divers extension, the DAVOSA Argonautic BG Automatic can now be easily worn over of a diver’s wetsuit.



The new Argonautic BG is available, now priced from 758 euros from selected DAVOSA boutiques. Pretty nice, eh- don’t you think?

CHRISTOPHER WARD C60 Trident 316L Limited Edition BLUE

This is the new Limited Edition, C60 Trident 316L Blue from Christopher Ward with its lovely, textured blue dial and contrasting orange Trident seconds hand and elements all neatly packaged into a 316L Stainless steel case.



We not so long ago saw the ORANGE version of the watch which was boasting the use of the 316L Stainless steel. I think this version is even better looking BTW, but I'm still at a loss over the hoo-ha over the use of 316L Ss.



Agreed Marine Grade 316L is a good choice for a divers watch and while it does have some anti-corrosive qualities and performs pretty well in saltwater environments it isn’t necessarily the last word in top quality steel.



The 904L used by Rolex is a lot better as are other some grades. Although 904L isn't any harder than 316L, it does however resist seawater corrosion a lot better.



But in all honesty more serious tool watchmakers (Sinn, Dievas, Damasko, H2O) have been turning to hardened steel as 316L has its limitations. There are also some companies that are producing steel with incredible levels of seawater-resistance too (watch this space).



I digress - Limited to an apt 316 pieces; the C60 Trident 316L LE has a case measuring 43mm in diameter by 13.3mm thick.



It is of course constructed from said grade of steel (with a brushed finish), as are all of its components such as: the bezel, case-back and crown (I think) which play beautifully against the watch’s textured blue dial.



Divers features of the watch include: a 3.4mm-thick anti-reflective treated Sapphire crystal, a screw-down case-back and crown and 600 meters of water-resistance.



Like all CW Trident models, the watch bares all the typical hallmarks of the family such as the Trident on the seconds hand counterbalance, and the one deeply stamped into its case-back.



The new C60 Trident 316L Limited Edition is powered by a Swiss made Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 26 jewels, an anti-shock system and 38hrs of power-reserve.



In this version, the watch is presented on beautiful brushed and polished 3-link 316L Stainless steel divers bracelet with a divers adjustable and locking clasp.



The C60 Trident 316L Limited Edition is available, now, priced £795. It comes with 4 different strap options. You like?

2017-11-12

SEIKO Prospex Diver Scuba LE by Giugiaro Design SBEE00E

Here’s another one of those Seiko Scuba Divers by GIUGIARO Design with a black honeycomb dial. When I first posted these, I thought they were pretty cool – well at least fun. However most of you were unimpressed.



Now that I’ve seen this one from a few more angles, I’d have to agree – it seems to have been hit every single branch on its way down as it fell out of the ugly tree.

Its case is made from Stainless steel and plastic like any good Propsex Diver; however its shrouding has been given a knobbly Lego-like surface.



It measures 43.8mm in diameter with a lug-lug measurement of 48mm and a height of 11.2mm – and is fitted with a domed Sapphire crystal, a diver’s bezels and screw-down crown and case-back with its engraved LE number.



Further divers features include: anti-magnetic resistance, water-resistance to 200 meters and hands and markers with Seiko LumiBrite.

Powering these two unusual suspects are Seiko Quartz 7N36 calibers which have an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month.



The Scuba LE by Giugiaro Design SBEE00E has a Japanese retail price of 45,000¥ +TAX. So what do you think an acquired taste or downright f’ugly?

https://www.seiko-watch.co.jp/prospex/