Today’s active lifestyles are all about exploration and sports. One of the top hobbies, especially in warm weather and tropic environs, is diving. While diving requires a lot of equipment and can be a bit costly, it can also be affordable. Imagine diving the incredibly beautiful yet super affordable Bali, for instance. That may well be why watch brands across all price points are offering divers watches that can weather the elements with them. Here we bring you a look at four top affordable dive watches unveiled in Baselworld 2017, that retail for less than $3,000, including Eterna, Oris, Edox and Citizen.
Details of What Constitutes a Dive Watch
Dive watches have become ultra-sophisticated timepieces that offer special functions and water resistance to at least a couple of hundred meters. Today’s finest pieces are highly legible and typically offer multiple functions. Additionally, as the watch world and the dive world have become ever more sophisticated, we are seeing watches that not only weather the elements, but also do it in style. They are defined by certain characteristics such as durability, extreme water resistance, anti-glare crystals, and case and bracelet materials that can withstand harsh elements of salt, water and temperature change.
Other important factors include double- or triple-locked winding crowns, additional gaskets for water resistance, silicon O rings, extra large crowns, alarm functions, double-locked bracelet clasps. Most dive watches are also COSC-certified chronometers. To ensure durability under extreme conditions, surgical grade stainless steel and titanium are most often the metals of choice for cases and bracelets, but some watchmakers also turn to ceramic, carbon fiber and other high-tech composites for parts.
Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000M
The world’s first light-powered 1000M Dive watch, from the Citizen Promaster collection, is the Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000M. It is ISO compliant, has passed all of the qualifications for saturation diving, features a helium gas escapement valve and is powered by light using Citizen Eco-Drive technology. A 1000M diver’s watch that performs in saturation diving must not only pass the water resistance test but also a test that places the watch for 15 days in a pressurized chamber that contains helium gas (withstand even 100% helium gas) and then tests the watch to make sure that it continues performing within 3 minutes of reverting back to atmospheric pressure. The pressure placed on this timepiece is an unthinkable 125 barometers which demands high durability as well as a reliable water resistance function. The clam shell case design is made from Citizen’s proprietary titanium material, Super TitaniumTM, in combination with “Duratect MRK”* (surface hardening technology) to significantly improve shock resistance. The watch features a bezel lock mechanism, is highly visible and offers a warning color in orange when the bezel lock is set to “free.” It retails for an incredible $2,300.
Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture Dive Watch
The features of the Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture watch remain true to the iconic line. Large luminescent triangular markers denote the 3,6,9 and 12 positions and smaller luminescent triangular markers indicate the remaining hours. The look immediately jumps off the dial, thanks to the shimmering jet black granite pattern — providing contrast and added legibility. The watch is framed by a unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel, equipped with a decompression limits scale as a backup instrument for divers (it indicates how long they can stay under water without needing to decompress). It is water resistant to 200 meters and is presented on a water-resistant durable leather strap with vintage look in chocolate brown to bring out the warmth of the bronze case and lugs. The watch is powered by the Calibre Maison Eterna 3902A that beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 65 hours of power reserve. It retails for $2,650.
Edox Delfin Water Champion
The original Edox Delfin watch was dubbed the Water Champion when it was first unveiled to the world, thanks to its double caseback and double O’ring construction for the crown and pushers. Edox patented these innovations, and continued to create the Delfin, water resistant to 200 meters. Now, the brand unveils the newest version packed with other sporty functions, including tachymeter indication, date display, dive bezel and chronograph. It is powered by the Edox Caliber 101 and is crafted in stainless steel with PVD coating.It is water resistant to 200 meters and is fitted with a rubber strap. it retails for less than $2,000.
The Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition watch is not just a superb underwater watch, but also it is geared to help fight the threat of certain species of shark extinction. A percentage of proceeds from the sale of the watch will fund Pelagios Kakunjá’s mission to understand movements and migratory pathways of marine top predators. Its latest project will look to learn more about migration routes of the endangered Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) species of shark in the Eastern Pacific. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the global population of Scalloped Hammerheads has declined by up to 90 per cent over the last 30 years. The Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition is based on the second- generation Aquis collection,with uni-directional rotating bezel with a black ceramic inlay, and water resistance to 500 meters. Just 2,000 pieces will be made, each retailing for about $2,550.