Avid readers of WatchTime, especially those who devoured luxury author Aaron Sigmond’s best-selling hardcover book, DRIVE TIME: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles and Racing in 2016, and its expanded edition in 2018, will be lining up to dive into its sequel, SEA TIME: Watches Inspired by Sailing, Yachting and Diving — a volume that teams Sigmond (who also penned last year’s horological history tome, Bulova: A History of Firsts for Assouline) with WatchTime’s own Senior Editor Mark Bernardo as co-authors and features the most comprehensive collection of nautical-inspired timepieces ever assembled between two covers.
With a foreword by legendary adventure novelist Clive Cussler (whose most famous literary creation, Dirk Pitt, helped make the Doxa Sub famous in dive watch circles), photographs by fine art photographer Peter Eaton Gurnz, and additional essays by a curated collective of watch-industry insiders and experts, including Analog/Shift’s James Lamdin, Gear Patrol’s Jacob Sotak, and Monochrome’s Xavier Markl, SEA TIME offers a wide-ranging look at an enduringly popular timepiece category, its historical impact, and its most legendary standard-bearers. The authors delve into more than 100 vintage and modern watches, starting with “The Icons” — a dozen industry classics, including the Rolex Submariner, Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Panerai Luminor, and Patek Philippe Nautilus — before expanding the scope to focus on such specialized genres as “Sailing and Regatta Watches,” “Dive Watches,” and “By the Pool and At the Shore,” i.e., timepieces that take inspiration from the sea but aren’t necessarily suited to spending time under it. The digestif to this multi-course feast of seaworthy timepieces is an afterword by Blake Buettner, Director of Watches at StockX and longtime watch journalist.
Far from being just a multi-brand catalog of today’s seaworthy timepieces, SEA TIME delves into all relevant areas of the fascinating world of onboard and underwater timekeeping, with an opening chapter devoted to the historical quest to make the world’s most waterproof watch, from Hans Wilsdorf’s invention of the Rolex Oyster case, to Guido Panerai’s first project for the Italian Navy, all the way up to today’s “extreme” water-resistant watches. Another chapter explores “The Anatomy of a Dive Watch,” detailing what characteristics qualify a timepiece for the coveted ISO standards for professional diving. Large brands, as well as lesser known independent makers, are represented among the product lineups, and the most up-to-date contemporary pieces share the spotlight with some of the legends of yesteryear, like the original Cartier Pasha, Tudor Oyster Prince, and Heuer Skipper. The authors take a particularly deep dive (pun intended) into the history of dive-watch pioneers Rolex, Omega, Blancpain, Panerai, and Doxa, providing details and anecdotes that should engage and inform even the most seasoned and knowledgeable aficionado, while also giving due to significant and collectible models from brands like Breitling, Seiko, IWC, Ulysse Nardin, Oris, and a host of others.
Published by Rizzoli International, the hardbound 240-page volume ($85.00), on sale June 2019, packs 150 color and B&W photographs, including Gurnz’s lavish lifestyle shots that evoke the allure of the sea as well as vintage advertisements and archival images from the history of horology, and serves as both an invaluable reference and a beautifully illustrated paean to the eternal link between seafaring and timekeeping. As Cussler states in his foreword, “The following pages reveal a wonderful collection of dive watches from watchmakers all over the world, suited for all types of tastes and styles… whether you’re diving on a wreck or driving down the street to the dive shop.”