Speaking of which, you would most likely not need the integrated helium release valve (first photo, below), but it is an interesting new visual take on the topic, with an additional shroud. However, you would definitely need, and appreciate, the rotating divers’ bezel, which features a two-tone ceramic inlay and a large bezel pip treated with green lume, while the dial and hands glow blue in the dark (second photo, below).
The dial is one of the strengths of the ScubaTec: It features an interesting “fish-scale pattern” (even though the manta rays that are engraved on the caseback, as shown below, don’t actually have scales), bold applied markers, and large hands which are quite distinctive. Most importantly, the dial is ultra-legible.
Another beautiful detail is the screw-down crown surrounded by a separate crown guard: Its blue strip in the middle repeats the color of the bezel insert (as seen in the below photo), and the whole device is a pleasure to operate.
Inside the watch is the CFB 1950.1 automatic movement, which has been chronometer-certified by COSC. We presume it is either based on the ETA 2824 or (perhaps more likely) on a Sellita SW 200, measuring 26.2 mm in diameter and 4.8 mm in height, with 25 jewels, approximately 38 hours of power reserve, a quick-set date function and hacking seconds. Whatever its base, it is a robust, reliable movement and has probably been treated well to deserve its own number and COSC certificate. Nevertheless, considering Carl F. Bucherer’s positioning and ambitions as well as the list price of the ScubaTec, we would have preferred a more “exclusive” choice for the movement. As of 2014, Carl F. Bucherer offers you a choice of three different dial versions of the ScubaTec (the more recent silver and blue dial versions are combined with rose-gold elements), either on the bracelet (as shown) or on a rubber strap. A fourth version, with a red and black bezel insert, was dedicated to the Swiss Soccer Association during the 2014 World Cup, but it came with a different dial pattern. They are all available with either a matching, branded, custom rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. Considering the relatively slight price difference of about $400, we recommend going for the bracelet option. The clasp (close-up below) features an integrated dive extension (which is a little short) as well as fine adjustment (which is great), but no safety clasp.
In short: if you like the look of the watch, we are quite sure you will be amazed at how good it will look and feel on your wrist.
What we would have changed:
- No need for a helium valve in a watch clearly made for scuba diving
- The base movement could be a bit more exclusive
What we liked very much:
- Over-delivering in most aspects
- Beautiful bracelet with massive clasp and great integration into case
- Two-tone ceramic bezel insert with large pip
- Crown with matching color code, beautiful crown protector
- Perfect design evolution of the Patravi family
What we absolutely loved:
- Dial and hands
- Outstanding overall quality of manufacture
- Great wrist presence
Manufacturer: Carl F. Bucherer
Model: Patravi ScubaTec
Reference: 00.106126.96.36.199 (bracelet), 00.10632.23.33.01 (rubber strap)
Case: 44.6-mm diameter, 13.45-mm height; stainless steel case with screw-down crown- integrated helium-release valve; massive caseback; 4-mm-thick sapphire crystal with nonreflective coating on both sides; unidirectional bezel (120 clicks) with two-tone ceramic inlay, 500 meter water-resistance
Bracelet: 20-mm lug size, stainless steel bracelet, butterfly clasp
Dial: black with fish-scale pattern and applied markers
Movement: CFB 1950.1 automatic movement with COSC certification
Price: starting at $6,400