On Tuesday, June the 21st, 2011 in the German University town of Kiel, also a naval base and an important German harbor, in fact one of Germany's largest passenger ports. H2O Watches had a date with destiny and an appointment with Umwelt- und Meerestechnik Kiel GmbH (K.U.M.), a company specialized in the manufacture of deep sea instrumentation, specifically for the continuous development of Ocean-Bottom-Seismometer-Systems for the detection of subsea seismic movements or seaquakes.
The maritime location couldn't have been more apt for what was about to happen. And for what was possibly about to happen to the 3’000m Kalmar prototype, which was soon to be tested to a degree that only a very few dive watches have ever been tested to, let alone have survived to tell their tale!
Like the H2O Kalmar K.U.M.’s measuring instruments are also constructed from Grade 5 Titanium, a material chosen by both companies for its high resistance to pressure. G5 Titanium is more than four times more resistant to pressure compared to 316L stainless. These instruments are put to work in unarguably one the toughest environments that there are, and are tested to be able to perform up to 600 bar of pressure. That means they can be placed as deep as 6000 meters down.
Although the H2O Kalmar bears a 3’000m water-resistance on its dial, H2O Watches had designed the watch in such a way that it should exceed its water-resistance, they just weren’t sure by how far.
H2O’s Clemens Helberg: “We knew it would have to at the very least exceed its WR by 25% and possibly more, but we’re conservative German’s and wanted to be cautious so we felt that the Kalmar’s 3’000m depth rating, which is still quite exceptional for a mechanical dive watch would be more appropriate, but were we in for a surprise?!’’
Two H2O Kalmar prototypes were successfully tested by K.U.M. to 600 bar of pressure. There was absolutely no leakage or damage to either watch. In fact the machine used to test the watches maxed-out at 600bar, so the watches might even have been able to take more pressure. H2O Watches were fully prepared to complete the testing with two destroyed prototypes, but returned home with two perfectly intact watches and an independent test certificate that says the H2O Kalmar is water-resistant to 6000m!
Test certificate from K.U.M. Germany to say that the H2O Kalmar successfully past testing up to 600 bar of pressure . . .