Dive Watch Wednesday: How to Turn Any Watch Into a Dive Watch

Brass Watch CaseIf you want to take pictures under water, you can either use a regular camera in a matching, separate underwater case, or simply opt for a waterproof camera that comes with an already-sealed case. Chances are that, as a diver, you would go for the separate-case option (offering increased water resistance, versatility and a broader choice of camera options), whereas for a dive watch, you’d go the opposite route.


Sure, Omega did offer something like a second-case construction with its Omega Marine (below) in 1932, but let’s be honest: a real dive watch is one whose own case is able to protect the movement from water.

Omega Marine watch

There is, perhaps, one exception. In the 1950s, you could buy a piece of diving equipment to be worn on the wrist that was, in fact, advertised as a “Waterproof Watch Case.”

With an inner diameter of 45 mm, the chromed brass case was large enough to accommodate a dress watch, with the idea being that any watch inside the case could then act as a timing device under water as well. Equipped with a 5-mm-thick “shatterproof lens” (or, in other words, a flat Plexiglas crystal), the case retailed for $7.95 (which was about one tenth the price of a basic dive watch at the time).

Brass Watch Case

The increasing size of wristwatches, and most of all the growing popularity of the dedicated dive watch, eventually rendered the invention obsolete — though it was marketed for a while afterward as a solution for storing coins, car keys, et cetera.

And we at diveintowatches.com are quite thankful for that, considering all the great dive watches that have been developed since then — even though this means we still can’t use our Patek Philippe Calatravas for diving…

This article was originally published on August 20, 2014, and has been updated.

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