OceanicTime Archives

2021-10-22

ALPINA Seastrong Diver 300 HERITAGE [not in name alone]

Alpina has just released a new version of their Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage, compressor-style diver’s watch, a watch that is finally worthy of its ‘heritage’ name or is it? 

When the Seastrong Diver 300 HERITAGE debuted back in the summer of 2019; it was supposed to hark back to a bygone era when men were men and dive watches – 

well they diving instruments, integral components in any diver’s safety equipment. The only problem was the 2019 Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage didn’t feel that authentic.

The bonze models weren’t bronze at all, they were bronze PVD, and the dial had this awkwardly placed date window that looked off (at least to me). 

For 2021, Alpina has unveiled a new reinterpretation of its famous Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic, which now brings the collection up to five models.

Water-resistant to 300 meters, this new 42mm design with its Stainless steel case has done away with any unnecessary complications such as a date; 

however, naturally the rotating inner flange remains so that you can measure your immersion time in hours, minutes and seconds. The crown used for its operation is marked with cross-hatching.

Practical and timeless, its black lacquered sunray-brushed dial features gold plated luminescent hands, creating the contrast required to make it easy to read, even in the low light of the deep sea. 

In order to ensure it is waster-resistant to 300 meters, the two push-buttons (movement winding and time setting at 4 o’clock, adjustment of the movable flange at 2 o’clock) are screw-down.

The Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic's engraved case back also alludes to its nautical vocation with a wave pattern and trident motif. 

As a further update this new properly vintage looking model is equipped with an AL-520 movement, a modern automatic caliber with 38 hours of power-reserve.

Obviously, the traditional Hesalite glass used on the OG models has been replaced with modern anti-scratch, AR-treated, Sapphire crystal glass which I believe is also domed for that old school look. 

The new model also comes with two straps, one in brown calfskin leather and the other in beige topstitched rubber. It has an MSRP in Switzerland of 1,650.00 CHF.

Thoughts? It’s night and day; this is the watch that Alpina should have debuted back in 2019. It’s no Longines Legend Diver but it stands proudly as a handsome looking Swiss compressor-style diver’s watch. 

But what do you think?

 

2021-10-20

ISOTOPE HydriumX WILL RETURN [open all hours?]

Something whimsical this way comes! 

I told myself a long time ago that if I am ever to post anything affordable that it better bloody well be interesting – I’m pretty sure this qualifies. 

This is the new Hydrium™ X "Will Return" diver’s watch from the UK’s Isotope Watches and it is the diving embodiment of one the most iconic clock door signs.

Inspired by their many trips to New York, where the traditional clock door sign hung patiently in the window informing when the store will reopen; 

Isotope has created the ultimate souvenir for themselves and their fans in the new HydriumX “Will Return” diver’s watch.

The charming teardrop design of its hour and minute hands are said to be similar to Isotope’s "Lacrima" (whatever that is when it’s at home) while the adopted dial motif ties in with other Isotope designs. 

When the Pandemic reared its ugly mug at the end of 2019, Isotope started creating and adapting their quirky design for the real world.

After two years and several iterations; they are finally ready to put the watch into a numbered Limited Edition production series of 100 pieces. 

The "Will Return" is available on a bespoke watch case inspired by droplets and by the fluidity from the Streamline Moderne era – capeesh?

The watch case which measures 40mm in diameter has been machined from Stainless steel and given a toolish aesthetic thanks to a micro-bead-blasted finish – 

while AR-treated Sapphire crystal covers the dial, and more Sapphire has been inlayed into the 120-click unidirectional diver’s bezel as well the watch’s open case-back adding plenty of refinement.

The "Will Return" is more than capable of a withstanding up to 30 atm (300m) of pressure thanks to its screw-down case-back and crown, should you find yourself wanting to take such an odd little fellow with you on your next dive – and why wouldn’t you, it’s so darn cute? 

Meanwhile the gloss white dial which has been generously stocked with Swiss Super-LumiNova allowing for maximum visibility in the dark naturally remains, Open all Hours! ;)

Finally the "Will Return" Limited Edition diver comes with a Japanese Miyota 9039 automatic no date movement ensuring that the watch face remains as close to the original design as possible. 

It will come on 22mm quick-release Cordura and FKM straps with a signed micro-blasted Stainless steel buckle.

Btw, the photos shown are of one of the prototypes; if the final watch doesn’t come with a Swiss Movement, the Swiss Made seal will be replaced by Great Britain. 

MSRP is £563. However you can PRE-ORDER the new Hydrium™ X "Will Return" diver’s watch for just £450 by using code HydriumWillReturn when pre-ordering. Its expected delivery date is March 2022.

Thoughts? This immediately put a smile on my face; it’s perfect timing for something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

Do it with a Swiss movement and I’ll bite your arm off but I still want Great Britain on the dial whatever is inside! What do you think, folks?

DEEP BLUE Deep Star 1000 [retro beater]

DEEP BLUE Watches has a rather extensive inventory of diver’s models but if I had to choose one, it would be the Deep Star 1000.

The watch which is currently ON SALE from 499USD makes for a pretty enticing proposition. 

Firstly DB has been specializing in diver’s watches longer than I care to remember.

But this little Deep Star 1000 has all the looks of something that you might expect coming from a brand like Aquadive but at a fraction of the price. Its 45mm Stainless steel case is based on a DB original design and is water-resistant to 1’000ft. or 330 meters. Power comes from a Swiss made Sellita Sw-200 automatic movement with Incabloc anti-shock protection and a power reserve of approx. 42hrs. As with any of DEEP BLUE’s diver’s models, special attention has been given to the watch’s illumination; which in this instance includes brightly glowing Swiss lume. Diver’s features: include a unidirectional rotational bezel with a ceramic inlay with luminous dive-time scale, a Helium Escape Valve (case side 9 o’clock), a Sapphire crystal and a screw-down case-back and crown.

The case-back btw has a Sapphire crystal exhibition window showing the Sw-200 with its custom DB rotor. Much of the Deep Star 1000’s charm comes from its enamel dial offered in an array of colors and with various index styles. Orange is SOLD OUT btw. In addition to the dial options there are also several strap and bracelet options to suit most tastes which include a vintage style, Milanese shark-mesh bracelet in Stainless steel. Thoughts? Built like a little Swiss powered tank and with plenty of retro appeal, this is a lot of watch for 499USD; it would make a fantastic daily beater. 

What do you think?

 http://www.deepbluewatches.com/

CHRISTOPHER WARD C63 Sealander GMT

Rolex released their long awaited Explorer II this year; it’s kind of a non-diver grail of mine. It retails for around 8’850USD – 

oh, that’s if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one as you should expect to wait a good 6-18 months to get one.

Meanwhile Christopher Ward has just released something that will happily tide you over until you can get one, or perhaps it might even totally scratch that Explore II itch of yours for good. 

This is the new C63 Sealander collection; designed in England and made in Switzerland.

Featuring three go-anywhere, do-everything sports watches that take in everything from an affordable alternative that features an innovative pop-out crown so that you can set one of the world’s best ‘GMT’ movements. Like its name says this watch has been designed to perform and land and sea: from rock climbers to channel swimmers, deep-sea divers to professional cavers – all require a reliable tool watch to accompany them on their adventures.

The C63 Sealander GMT carries on this tradition, recalling the classic GMT-explorer’s watches of the 1970s (no names mentioned): 

then updates it for today – at a price that will leave you with plenty enough left over for your next adventure.

Unlike most of CW’s other GMT watches, the C63 Sealander GMT has a fixed outer bezel. 

This is because the early GMT-explorers were designed for spelunkers exploring dark caves who needed to know whether it was AM or PM.

A moveable dial might have prevented an accurate calculation.  

Of course, you can use the C63 Sealander’s GMT function this way or to monitor the time zone of your choice – as you would any traditional GMT. 

In addition to the obvious and black and white dial offering CW’s new Sealander has blue and green variants available. 

The Hunter Green dial is particularly special as its dial has been hand-distressed for an ‘ombré’ finish – a CW specialization – that makes each watch unique.

You could think of the dial like a pair of jeans or perhaps a rusty old v dub beetle: changing subtly as time passes. 

There’s also a date window at 6 o’ clock, which gives you more information and balances the Christopher Ward logo at 12. 

The watch’s indexes and hands-set are coated with Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 BL C1 for visibility in low light, so if you’re planning on a spot of cave dwelling you’ll at least be able to see what time it is before something nasty jumps out if the shadows and grabs you. Meanwhile the SNL X1 lume will also put you in good stead for any sea dwelling adventures as will the watch’s 150 meters of water-resistance. Made from marine-grade 316L Stainless steel, the 39mm CW Light-catcher™ case is not only sized to suit most wrists but is comfortable to wear. Powering the watch is a Swiss made Sellita SW330-2 GMT, a movement that allows you to set the fourth hand separately. As well as being robust, it has a minimum power reserve of 50 hrs.

Finally, if you like to mix things up your watch, swapping a bracelet for a strap is super-easy thanks to CW’s innovate, quick-release system. 

MSRP in the UK is £900 (bracelet version).

Thoughts? If you aren’t some sort of brand snob or purist, this is a lovely looking, affordable alternative to the Rolex Explore II but alas I am at least one of those so it will eventually be a toss up between a Milgauss or the Explorer II. 

But what do you think? Do you have a non- diver that you’ve been dreaming of someday owning? 

 

2021-10-19

BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms Bathysacphe BUCHERER BLUE

Behold Blancpain’s beautiful Bathyscaphe Bucherer BLUE; now that’s alliteration for you. For 2021 Bucherer has given seven luxury timepieces their iconic corporate blue treatment; Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, Girard-Perregaux and Longines were among those to receive the blue honors. But as far as we are concerned; two diver’s models were among the lucky seven; an Oris AQUIS Date and this Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe in ceramic. Special Bucherer BLUE features of the watch include: a blue sunray dial, a blue oscillating weight with dual Blancpain & Bucherer branding and a navy blue NATO-style strap. Basic specifications of the Diver's Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe include: a 43.6mm in diameter case in ceramic, a sapphire crystal and a water-resistance up to 300m. The unidirectional diver’s bezel is also in ceramic while the case-back comes with a sapphire crystal exhibition window showing the – the Blancpain Caliber 1315 automatic mechanical movement with its 120hrs of power-reserve as well as said blue rotor. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathysacphe Bucherer BLUE Ref. 5000-0140-NAOA comes in Pelican-style dry box. It is a Limited Edition of just 188 pieces. You’ll have to contact Bucherer directly for the price as it is not listed. All models in the 2021 Bucherer BLUE Collection are available exclusively from Bucherer boutiques.

Thoughts? So it’s got a slightly different blue dial and a snazzy blue rotor with Bucherer on it, and sure it’s more exclusive but would it really be worth whatever insane premium they might or might not be asking for it? 

Only you could decide but for me – nah, I don’t think so; I’d go regular every time. But what do you think; Bucherer, MOKARRAN or DESERT