BACKGROUND This year at Baselworld, as part of their anniversary celebrations CORUM presented the dive watch that I have always dreamt they would make. I was already a fan of the sporty nautical watches of the Admiral’s Cup line, but had secretly hoped that one day they would stick a divers bezel on one of them, this year they finally did. I had also felt that CORUM could have produced an incredible diver at any point, this year they have!
AESTHETIC The DEEP HULL 48 is a watch with a very distinctive look; you can immediately tell that it’s part of the Admiral’s Cup collection; but because of features such as its massive 48mm case with HEV, 1000M engraving and large rubber strap with oversized buckle you are made aware of how capable a dive watch this is going to be. It has the kind of rugged sports-luxury quality that you might see in a Panerai diver.
DIAL A twelve sided charcoal gray dial, sub seconds, chapter ring marked out with sailing flags , which are characteristic of all Admiral’s Cup watches. A sub dial that resembles a nautical compass marked out in gray with small seconds can be seen at 9 o'clock, again typical of the DEEP HULL 48’s Admiral’s Cup lineage. Its hands and index markers have been applied with luminous material.
If you’re already an Admiral’s Cup fan then you will no doubt appreciate its look. New comers to the range might have to get their heads around the signaling flags, they aren’t going to everyone’s taste, but are an integral feature of Admiral’s Cup range. In my opinion CORUM have done an excellent job on the dial; it (as it should do) recalls its DNA, but remains relatively clean and uncluttered despite the obvious elements that had to be included to tie it in with the rest of the collection.
HANDS The handset is typical of other Admiral’s Cup models they work perfectly with other elements of the dial, are easily distinguishable from each other, are of good size and have been sufficiently applied with lume.
CASE The DEEP HULL 48 has been crafted from high-grade titanium. As its name suggests it measures a substantial 48mm in diameter. As part of Admiral's Cup collection its case displays certain recognizable characteristics and traits of its pedigree, namely the bold twelve-sided case design, which has been incorporated into the design of the watch’s rotating bezel, or its massive crown and angular crown guard.
The DEEP HULL 48’s case is capable of withstanding the intense pressures exerted by 1’000 meters of sea as indicated by its uber-cool '1000m' engraving at the 9.30 position of its case, below which the watch is fitted with a design feature; de rigueur for any dive watch that wants to be taken seriously, an HEV or helium escape valve.
The entire case has been finished in such a way as to leave exposed the natural grain of the metal. The upper portions of the lugs have been polished; I understand that this creates more a feeling of luxury, but personally I think it was unnecessary with such a large and already charismatic watch.
HEV Since the watch was first presented at the Basel watch fair in March, Corum have redesigned its HEV. It now sports the more typical Rolex Sea Dweller-type circular escape valve, but with a tiny engraving of the chemical symbol for helium ‘He’ à la Panerai PAM243. I would have thought the reasoning behind the new HEV design was to make clearer its actual function, but CORUM say that it was an aesthetic choice considering the specific shape of the twelve sided Admiral’s Cup watch case.
BEZEL The DEEP HULL 48 has unidirectional rotating divers bezel with a 120 click cycle. Its twelve-sided design peculiar to the Admiral’s Cup collection. There’s a circular luminous pip at 12 o’clock. The bezel is big and chunky, and despite a lack of bezel grip per se it is still easily manipulated thanks to its 12 sides.
CASEBACK The DEEP HULL 48’s slightly domed caseback takes the form of a turbine-like design with 12 grooves that fan out from a center piece, which has been framed by two rings. Inside the center is a prominent ‘1000m METER’ engraving with a scuba diver symbol below. It’s not what you’d call spectacular, but it has a simplicity to it that is both contemporary and functional; besides this it just works. Unlike this one, all production timepieces, which are sold will have a unique engraving on the caseback with their limited number.
CROWN The DEEP HULL 48’s crown is the epitome of what (in my opinion) constitutes the perfect crown for a dive watch; oversized yet well protected and protruding just enough so as to be easily retracted, and sufficiently gripped so as to be easily manipulated. ‘Got Stem’! A thick, sturdy crown stem gives absolute confidence when setting the time and date. Finally its overall design and aesthetic, which again is typical of its heritage sends it straight to the top of what is a very short list of crown designs that were got 100% right! In short, this is a magnificent crown.
GLASS A massive domed sapphire crystal, which has been coated with anti-reflective material on its inside. The crystal has 12 sides.
BUILD QUALITY This is a beautifully engineered timepiece the overall build quality reflects this; every last detail has been flawlessly executed.
WATER-RESISTANCE The DEEP HULL 48 is water-resistant to 1’000 meters; although this is pretty incredible depth and well beyond anything that any normal diver could or would ever venture to, it has become almost an industry standard for any dive watch that wants to be considered ‘professional’; in other words suitable for both recreational and commercial scuba diving, which thanks to its HEV also includes saturation diving.
MOVEMENT The DEEP HULL 48 houses a Corum exclusive movement, the CORUM caliber CO947, a C.O.S.C certified chronometer with 42 hours power-reserve . Its functions include; hours, minutes, small seconds, day-date. C.O.S.C certified movements should keep time to within –4 to +6 seconds a day.
STRAP The Admiral’s Cup Deep Hull 48 is fitted with an extra large black vulcanized rubber strap. The strap, which measures 26mm does not taper, so it’s every bit as wide at the buckle end as it is at the lugs. The rubber starts off strong and rigid at the lugs gradually becoming softer and more flexible where it meets the buckle. The strap that I have wasn’t quite long enough to be suitably fitted over a divers’ wetsuit, but CORUM have assured me that they have since developed longer straps for the DEEP HULL 48.
BUCKLE The DEEP HULL 48 sports a massive oversized engraved titanium buckle. I love how CORUM have a made a feature of the buckle; it’s not just a functional element, but is a beautiful, prominent feature of the watch. The lower portion is engraved ‘CORUM’ whereas the tang has been engraved with Corum key logo.
FUNCTIONALITY The DEEP HULL 48 has been designed as a professional divers watch, a functional, utilitarian diving instrument and as such has been equipped with every feature that one would except to find on such a watch. Functions include; time (hrs. mins., secs.), day date, 120 click divers timing bezel, HEV, luminous material.
WEAR-ABILITY The DEEP HULL 48 is a large watch, but because of its titanium construction it is a very light and comfortable watch to wear. Of its many attributes titanium is hypoallergenic, which means that even in hot, wet and sticky weather the caseback shouldn’t cause any irritation to its wearer.
DURABILITY Another of titanium’s great properties is ability to heal its own wounds, light scratches and swirls from desk diving will (over time) fix themselves as the metal oxidizes. The DEEP HULL 48 is a tough and rugged watch; I would never dream of abusing it, but if one did, thanks to its construction and use of tough materials like titanium, sapphire crystal and vulcanized rubber it would undoubtedly hold up very well and will certainly stand the test of time.
LUME Luminous material (I would assume Swiss C3 Superluminova) has been applied to the hands and markers as well as the circular bezel pip at 12 o’clock. The lume glows green. It’s not particularly bright, I wish CORUM would made it glow much brighter than it does, especially considering that it’s a professional divers watch, but it isn’t terrible. I would rate the lume at average to good.
VALUE The list price here in Taiwan in 296'000NTD / circa-9’800USD This is not a cheap watch, its price though is relative to the strength of its brand name and is reflective of the kind of luxury sports watch that it is. The DEEP HULL 48’s movement although exclusive to CORUM is not in-house and you could buy a diver with a manufacture movement within the same budget. The Admiral’s Cup Deep Hull 48, has been made in a limited series of 555 watches with a further 155 in PVD.
ALSO CONSIDER Looks-wise there isn’t really much about that’s comparable to the DEEP HULL 48 other than one of the many none divers models in the Admirial’s Cup collection (typically 300m) or perhaps one of the PANERAI Submersibles; such as the PAM243 (1000m), PAM194 (2500m LE) or new PAM285 (2500m LE). The new XL sized JLC MC Diving GMT might be worth a look, too, it has a Manufacture movement.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS The Admiral's Cup DEEP HULL 48 is a nautical watch in every sense; combing the world of yachting above the waves with the world of diving 1’000 meters below them. As suited to the consummate professional at helm of a racing yacht as it is to the deep-sea diver or executive in the boardroom.
I’ve always held the belief that every great watch-making house is at least capable of creating one exceptional dive watch; the DEEP HULL 48 is Corum’s. Forget the Bubble Diver, now CORUM are in the business of making professional dive watches. Lets hope that the popularity of this watch is such that CORUM make the DEEP HULL a permanent model of the Admiral’s Cup collection.
Many thanks to CORUM.