Cartier stopped short of throwing its new Calibre de Cartier Diver into Lake Geneva on its launch at the Société Nautique in Geneva earlier this summer, but the deepest point in the lake corresponds more or less to the 300 metres depth to which the watch’s water resistance is tested. Such is the level of water resistance required for a watch to earn the title “Diver’s watch” in accordance with the ISO 6425 standard that sets out the requirements for such timepieces.
The Calibre de Cartier Diver meets all these requirements while maintaining the distinctive look and slender silhouette of the Calibre de Cartier collection, with its in-house movement. For a full review of this piece, which is a mere 1mm thicker than the non-diver model, see our separate article.
Blancpain’s diver’s watch lineage dates back over half a century and the first diver’s watch that it presented in proportions suitable for everyday wear was called the Bathyscaphe. Presented in the late 1950s, the Bathyscaphe took its name from the self-propelled submersible invented by Switzerland’s Auguste Piccard (grandfather of Bertrand Piccard, who continues his family’s history of exploration with his Solar Impulse project to fly around the world using only the power of the sun). This historic model was reinterpreted by Blancpain last year in a new three-hand model which is followed this year by a flyback chronograph fitted with an entirely new self-winding movement.
Besides the F385 self-winding movement, which operates at 36,000 vibrations per hour, the Bathyscaphe flyback chronograph offers a number of other technological developments in its vintage style case: balance spring in silicon, an 18-carat gold oscillating weight coated in NAC, a platinum alloy, and the use of the patented LiquidMetal® alloy for the markers on the bezel. A choice of NATO or sail canvas straps completes the vintage look, while for the first time in the Bathyscaphe line a metal bracelet is also available on this model.
There are a number of horological gems in the Longines Heritage collection and the Heritage Diver launched just in time for summer 2014 is no exception. The cushion shaped-case with its unmistakable 1970s aesthetics recalls watches produced by Longines in this period for amateur divers. A screw-in case-back, crown and bezel ensure water resistance to 300 metres for the two versions available, a three-hander and a chronograph, each with their own distinctive ways of showing immersion times. Black synthetic or rubber straps complement the black dial with its contrasting red accents.
Emile Chouriet and Davidoff both make their debuts in the world of divers watches with two classic examples of the genres in stainless steel, each available with a contemporary design and a choice of black, silver or blue dials. The main visual difference between the Emile Chouriet “Challenger Deep” (named after the deepest known point under the ocean’s surface) and the Davidoff Velocity Diver is the use of a colour-coded turning bezel on the former and a consistent stainless-steel ring for the latter, which uses coloured PVD inserts on the crown and case sides as an element of contrast.