Whilst the impact and potential of the smartwatch certainly dominated many of the discussions at Baselworld 2015, one watch category in particular has already witnessed the rise of a digital instrument capable of doing so much more than just indicating time.
Today, a watch may not be as vital on a diver’s wrist as it used to be, but dive watches have not ceased to attract consumers and collectors, nor do they seem to have any problem co-existing with their much “smarter” counterparts, aka dive computers. It’s probably because both have managed to appeal to specific target groups and needs (with a small overlap), but only one of these watches has managed to create such a strong, emotional link to the silent world below the surface.
So we at DiveIntoWatches.com are happy to report that, at least for the moment, mechanical dive watches are not yet an endangered species, and the following — my personal top picks from this year’s Baselworld — will certainly make sure that the catgeory stays this way for at least another 12 months:
- Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe: Blancpain not only managed to present the first gold divers’ watch we’ve ever actually liked, but also, even better, added a black ceramic case model to the family, which is simply breathtaking.
- Tudor Pelagos: already one of the most sought-out dive watches currently available, the Pelagos just got more attractive thanks to its new movement. The upgrade to an in-house caliber at nearly no price increase is fantastic news, even though we could live with less text on the dial – and we still prefer the black-dial version, to be honest.
- Oris Sixty-Five Diver: If you (like me) immediately fell in love with this watch’s overall design — and especially its domed sapphire crystal — you’ll appreciate that Oris’s new, retro-styled, 40-mm dive watch is as affordable as it is good-looking. The 100-meter water resistance is a bit of a let-down, though, even if it is historically accurate.
- Sinn U212 SE: a 47-mm black edition of Sinn’s popular dive watch combined with vintage lume should comfort all those who were not able to get one of the even more attractive U2 C models made for WatchTime’s readers in Germany.
- Omega Ploprof versus the two new Seiko Marinemasters: Yes, we are undecided. Omega’s upgraded Ploprof in titanium does check off all the boxes, but the price increase that’s attached to this much-beloved timepiece probably needs time to get used to. The Marinemaster SBEX001, on the other hand, was not quite what we hoped for (especially the bezel-fixated end-pieces and the position of the date), and the SBDX014 – while good looking – strays a bit too far from the original dial design, with the hour hand a tad short. But since we love Tunas, and it is by far the most affordable of the three, the SBDX014 is probably this year’s best representative in the “extreme dive watch” category.
In short: we already know which ones we’d buy in an instant, and which ones we’d like to review, so, basically, we’re now ready for Baselworld 2016!