By TLex CUSTOMIZATION is KING What does it mean to truly customize a dive watch? Are handsets, dial colors, case finishes and a choice of straps or a bracelet a true representation of a fully customizable dive watch? Apparently not! Apparently not according to newcomer to the dive watch arena, H2O Watch, whose design mantra should read ‘Customization is KING’!
H2O have taken customization to new dizzying heights and extremes, they epitomize what it means to truly customize a dive watch, yet thanks to H2O's genetic building blocks such as their original case design, a unique custom built handset and bold dial layout, which itself not only pays homage to, but improves upon what is in my opinion one of the coolest utilitarian dials to have graced a dive watch, each and every H2O Kalmar will not only be instantly recognizable as, but unmistakably unlike anything other than an H2O Kalmar.
KALMAR The Kalmar takes its name from the German for Giant Squid; a creature that can measure up to 13 meters long and that inhabits a dark world thousands of feet below the waves. The Kalmar like its namesake will be capable of enduring the crushing pressures of the deep. At this precise moment I am not at liberty to say what the Kalmar's exact depth rating will be until pressure testing of the first prototypes has been carried out in Germany, but let’s say it should be capable of 2500m, possibly more.
The Kalmar's 45mm x 17.6mm case has been constructed from hypoallergenic aerospace grade titanium. It has been fitted with a lateral HEV (helium escape valve) and a 5mm thick sapphire crystal, which has dual anti-reflective coating on its inside. A further 4mm thick sapphire crystal makes the center for an optional exhibition caseback, allowing the Kalmar's wearer to gaze upon its custom CNC milled DLC coated H2O rotor. The standard Kalmar will come fitted with a massive screwdown titanium caseback engraved with . . . you guessed it a giant squid; thus catering to both the horological dreamer and latent deep sea explorer.
H2O FINISHING SCHOOL The Kalmar's customization options begin here with a modest choice of (for the moment) two case finishes. Brushed, or beadblasted-DLC, a unique process where the titanium is first beadblasted and then DLC coated, giving the alloy a tough black textured patina.
INTERCHANGEABLE The Kalmar's case configuration can be altered by means of a simple system of hex-keys that allow you to change the look and feel of the watch by interchanging bezels, crown-guards and casebacks. At the moment the Kalmar has two additional bezels, two additional crown guards and a choice of either a standard engraved screwdown or exhibition caseback. H2O are confident that even with its exhibition caseback fitted the Kalmar will still be able to maintain a water-resistance of 1500m or more.
LUXOR DIAL The H2O dial pays tribute to the vintage diver, the Luxor International 1000m (Google it). When compared to the Luxor's dial, the H2O dial has larger, more defined markers allowing for its 8-Layer SL BG W9 lume application. The Kalmar will offer a total 12 different dials including 2 fully lumed dials and 1 black carbon dial. Rather than use Luxor style hands H2O have gone for a set of custom semi-skeltonized arrow hands.
SWISS CALIBRE The H2O Kalmar comes fitted as standard with the ubiquitous Swiss made ETA 2824-2, but H2O will also offer an ETA 2836 for a GMT version of the Kalmar.
TITANIUM BUCKLE The H2O Kalmar will come supplied on 5mm thick, handmade black leather strap with a 24mm H2O custom CNC milled titanium buckle. The buckle’s form closely mimics the design of one of the H2O crown guards. It utilizes the same Hex-key system that is used on the bezel, caseback and crown guard. There will be more options for a titanium bracelet and plenty more handmade leather straps. The Kalmar will ship with an additional Italian rubber strap and a NATO.
H2O have developed what could be the most customizable watch, if not the most customizable dive watch in existence. It boasts no less than 10’368 possibilities. And a staggering 100’000 different combinations, if we take into account their numerous strap options, and this is JUST the beginning . . .
Coming soon, (part2) ‘H2O CUSTOMIZATION ACADEMY’ . . .