By TLex Here's a first divers model from the French Manufacture, Piquignet who had been producing watches for over 40 years before they made a dive watch. As a debut divers model, the Royale 300 is a great looking watch.
While its design is understated, it does have the required toolish look about it and despite a dial endowed with a power-reserve indicator at 8 o'clock and a sub-seconds counter at 3 (I'm not in love with that), the watch face remains super clean.
On to the case, which is 43mm of polished and satin finished Stainless steel with typical divers features such as a unidirectional rotational divers bezel with a billight capsule Luminova at 12 o'clock, a non-reflecting multilayer Sapphire crystal and 300 meters of water-resistance.
Not only is the additional pop of color from the orange crown a really nice touch, but this a patented rubber-molded Vulcamix crown with a 1/4 turn for simplified screwing with Fleur-de-Lys logo.
This is protected by a elongated crown guard that extends down to lug. Perhaps a vague comparison could be drawn with the Bremont Supermarine 500's crown guard? But I like Piquignet have added bezel-style notches onto its side - it makes the watch look properly rugged.
The black dial has multiple levels with Luminova appliqué chapter ring, small seconds and 88-hour power reserve and Luminova hands Pequignet marked.
Powering the Royale 300 is an automatic mechanical movement with 21,600 vibrations/hour (3 Hz). Dual direction automatic winding. Initial force distribution by a central barrel axis. Large balance with compensating screws.
Integrated complications include: an 88-hour power reserve design, guaranteeing an exceptional 72-hour isochronism. Small seconds at 3 o’clock and power reserve at 7.30 o'clock. The Movement's finishing include: bridges and main plate circular-grained and snailed, with Côtes de Genève and the rotor with a sun-ray finish and rhodium plating, gilt Lys logo.
Finally the strap, a wonderfully detailed and grippily designed piece of orange rubber with Fleur-de-Lys logo in relief and double-folding divers clasp. If the price is right, this is going to make a fantastic alternative to a Swiss diver.