So Swatch not only saved the Swiss watch industry; it probably also played a key role in the renaissance of the dive watch as an everyday watch: people got interested in, or at least used to the idea of, wearing a dive watch, even though most of them would never dive with it. And, in combination with the successful comeback of the mechanical wristwatch, the dive watch started to become more popular than ever. For instance, in 1993, Omega launched the Seamaster 300. Shortly after its appearance in the James Bond film “Goldeneye,” Omega would sell more than 50,000 pieces of that model per year. Shortly afterward, Panerai staged its impressive comeback, Blancpain reintroduced the Fifty Fathoms for a short time, the IWC Aquatimer returned, and, in 2002, Breitling launched the first mechanical dive watch water-resistant to 3,000 meters. The list of milestones goes on and on.
Today, most watch brands offer at least one divers’ watch model, and while people don’t spend their night camped in front of a watch store anymore, the Swatch brand is still in the game. The recently introduced Swatch Scuba Libre (above) remains a refreshing, affordable, and — most importantly — fun take on the dive watch genre. For more on dive watches, visit my blog, www.diveintowatches.com.