Every year, Diveintowatches.com tries to cope with the rather difficult task of creating something like a “best in show” list of the new dive watches presented at the Baselworld watch fair. As we approach Baselworld 2015, let’s revisit my top five dive watches from last year’s Baselworld and compare them to my final list of top five dive watches from all the new models introduced in 2014.
My list of the year’s top dive watches from Baselworld 2014 consisted of the following:
- Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial (Ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001)
- Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback (Ref. 5200-0130-NABA)
- Tudor Heritage Black Bay (Ref. 709220B)
- Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 (Ref. 116600)
- Edox Hydro-Sub North Pole Limited Edition (Ref. 80201)
While I personally wouldn’t mind owning all of these watches, there are, of course, other influencers when it comes to creating a personal — and therefore totally subjective — list of contemporary watch models. One of those influencers might come as a surprise to those who don’t write about watches: a big advantage when writing in-depth reviews of watches is that, in some cases, the longing to actually own a certain watch model sometimes fades after one has taken loads of pictures and analyzed every aspect of the watch in question. This is the main reason why the Edox Hydro-Sub, which made the Baselworld list, didn’t make the final 2014 list despite its refreshing appearance.
The Blancpain Bathyscaphe Flyback, on the other hand, regardless of its killer looks, ceramic case and new in-house movement, should thankfully soon be replaced by the much more budget-friendly standard model in steel (5000-1110-B52A) from 2013, and I have yet to review either model. So, at the moment, neither of these watches are on the final list.
The beautiful blue (or red) version of the Tudor Black Bay is going to be replaced the Pelagos Diver (Ref. 25500TN) which already had a top place on the list since its introduction in 2012 (and somehow it is difficult to justify why you’d need all three of these watches).
Finally, both the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 and Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial offer few reasons not to instantly fall in love with them (again), so both remain in the top 5.
So… taking into account SIHH as well as Baselworld, and a few other models launched after both fairs, we arrive at my current “most wanted” list of top dive watches for 2014:
- Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial (Ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001): Classic look, great specs. Another winner from Omega.
- Tudor Pelagos (Ref. 25500TN): A perfect, performance-oriented tool watch that also marked the beginning of a bold new era at Tudor.
- Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 (Ref. 116600): The first of two rather unexpected dive watch releases from Rolex this year. And it made us realize how much we missed the “real” Sea-Dweller.
- Citizen Grand Touring Sport (Ref. NB1031-53L): Despite a rather unfortunate name, this U.S.-only model seems to offer great quality, specs and a rather special look.
- IWC Aquatimer 2000 (Ref. IW358002): An innovative bezel mechanism, an in-house movement, and – compared to the official press image – a huge difference in appearance when encountered in real life make the impressive Aquatimer 2000 a strong contender. Not sure about the rubber-coated parts, but there’s still the standard Aquatimer Automatic (Ref. IW329001), just in case.
Thankfully, I opted to include no vintage dive watch models here; otherwise, this list could have easily been a “Top Seven Hundred Fifty-Three” list.
This article was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated.