Even though Seiko was the first watch company to use titanium for a watch case back in the 1970s, it was IWC that first commercially launched a watch made entirely out of titanium in the ’80s. Why titanium? It’s a material with high tensile strength and toughness, yet comparably light in weight and, most importantly, offering extraordinary corrosion resistance. In other words: on paper, it is an ideal metal to build dive watches with.
So, for this week’s Dive Watch Wednesday, let’s take a look at five currently available dive watches featuring a titanium case (in ascending order based on list price):
The company that introduced us to German submarine steel in 2005, Sinn also launched, surprisingly, two titanium dive watches with a more organically shaped case in 2013: The 45-mm- large Sinn T1 is water resistant to 1,000 meters; the smaller T2 can reach 2,000 meters.
In 2012, Rolex’s sister brand Tudor managed not only to introduce one of the most impressive contemporary dive watches, but also to find a design language both true to the brand and its heritage without trying to copy the much-imitated Rolex Submariner: the 500-meter water-resistant Pelagos (which we reviewed here) combines a ceramic bezel insert with a titanium case (except for the caseback) and an ingenious flexible clasp. If you opt for the 2015 model, you’ll even get Tudor’s new in-house caliber and a blue-dial version to choose from… and a lot more text on the dial.
IWC Aquatimer 2000
Relaunched in 2014, IWC’s flagship three-hand dive watch is equipped with a 46-mm titanium case. Due to the significantly increased diameter of the crystal (which covers the internal bezel as well as the dial), the current Aquatimer is still water-resistant to a depth of 2,000 meters, as was its much smaller predecessor, the legendary IWC Ocean 2000 (and the Aquatimer 2000 models that followed it).
Hublot King Power Diver Oceanographic 4000
Hublot’s first real extreme diver (let’s just pretend the Pre-Biver Subaquaneus didn’t happen) was launched in 2011 with a 48-mm titanium case offering a water resistance of no less than 4,000 meters. Additionally, the King Power Oceanographic 4000 features an internal bezel and a unique locking mechanism for the crown that operates it.
Omega Seamaster 1200 Ploprof
In 2015, Omega switched from steel to titanium for its increasingly large collection of Ploprofs. Along with an anti-magnetic movement and ceramic bezel insert, the 3rd generation Omega Ploprof also offers an exhibition caseback and still somehow manages 1,200 meters of water resistance. Also worth mentioning: the high-jewellery version, covered in 40 carats of diamonds, might well be the most expensive dive watch ever made, with a price tag of $760,000.
As a final note, If you do want the benefits of a titanium dive watch but prefer a look closer to a stainless steel one, both Omega (with the Seamaster Master 300 Co-Axial) and Seiko (the SBDC007) are two examples of brands that offer such watches with polished surfaces.