Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 3 Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver + Rolex Submariner Date + IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm
Previously, in part 2 of this series we reviewed; the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatic 43mm, Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm, and Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m.
6 – Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver [w7100056] RRP: £5,800
Cartier’s dive watch may be a tool watch – but it’s a very sophisticated one at that. The Calibre de Cartier Diver is a capable dive watch whilst simultaneously looking great with more dressy appearance compared to its competitors.
It’s water-resistant to 300m (does not include a helium escape valve) and is unusually thin for a diving watch at only 11mm thick, and tipping the scales at just 111g. It has a practically sized casing at 42mm, with its oversized bezel and crown guard making it look bigger than it really is. The blue synthetic spinel crown gives the Calibre de Cartier Diver an elegant look, letting this Cartier diving watch feel more at home in a formal environment in addition to its life under water.
Being different to most of the watches on this list the bezel is covered in a black ADLC coating, over either a steel or rose gold case; it’s unidirectional and can be adjusted in 30-second increments (120 clicks in total). Featured at the 12-marker is the bezels only luminescent part, a luminescent triangle that lights up green.
The dial’s hour markers are all Roman numerals, and the running seconds use Arabic characters. When in low light the Super-LumiNova glows green; from, only the XII Roman numeral at the top, but just the small rectangle markers for each hour marker, all three sword-shaped hands, and the register of the running seconds sub-dial.
The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver’s strap is on the small side for a man’s watch, and would only be able to fit over the diving suit of a guy with slim wrists. The strap is the non-standard width of 23.5mm by the lugs.
A single running second sub-dial sets this watch out from the crowd, adding some dynamics to the dial. Sat in-between the 2 and 4-hour markers is a curiously trapeze like date window showing three days simultaneously with a triangle pointing to the current day.
Protecting the Caliber 1904 MC automatic mechanical movement is a solid case back; with, two barrels coupled in series to smooth out the energy transfer from the mainspring, at a rated power reserve of 48 hours. Contained within the movement are 27 jewels, and it beats at 28,800 v/h or 4 Hz. Cartier’s in-house movement is built from a total of 186 parts.
Variations: Case material: Stainess steel, Black ADLC coated stainless steel, Stainless Steel & Rose Gold and 18kt Rose Gold.
Strap Type: Black Rubber Strap, Stainless Steel Bracelet, Steel and Gold Bracelet.
Dial Colour: Black or Blue.
All variations of this watch can be brought from our site at a discounted price [Here].
7 – Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date [116610LN] RRP: £5,700
The universally iconic archetypal dive watch – the one that started it all, the Rolex Submariner. Starting life in the 1950’s as an answer to the cries for a watch that could survive the punishing environment deep under water, the Submariner has progressed into the most famous of all dive watches around. Recognised by both the horologically inclined and watch novices alike.
Built from the tough and durable 904L stainless steel alloy that basically only Rolex use because of the additional costs involved when working with it: this special steel alloy is used for the fine finish that can be applied to it and an increase in durability – so it will hold its finish for longer than a lesser steel alloy.
With a 40mm diameter, the Rolex Submariner is one of the smaller dive watches on this list but due to some clever designing by the people at Rolex, it wears more like a 42mm watch. It is water resistant down to a depth of 300m – it does not include a helium escape valve.
At the top of its class, the Submariner uses Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent compound that Rolex states ‘lasts up to eight hours’ meaning that dial legibility should be good enough to read the time whether exploring life underwater or checking the time in the middle of the night.
This Rolex’s beating heart is the completely in house 3135 calibre movement, built with a Parachrom hairspring giving the watch a great resistance to shock and temperature caused timing variations. It has a 48-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800v/h. The movement in each Submariner will have been sent to COSC for chronometer certification, and after casing Rolex conduct their own accuracy tests – each movement will be within -2/+2 seconds a day to become a Superlative chronometer. The 3135 calibre movement also includes a date window by the 3 o’clock marker which is magnified by a cyclops window.
The Rolex Oyster perpetual submariner date is the archetype dive watch. It has been around for a good long time and it’s not going to be disappearing anytime soon. If you can’t decide between this and another dive watch then just pull the trigger on the Sub – you can’t go wrong. They are also one of the few watches that reliably hold their value – with it not being unheard for a used two-year-old used model only losing a couple of hundred pounds on a list price of some £5,700. But when Rolex eventually increase their prices – the value of your Rolex will increase too!
Buy this Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN from our [Shop Here].
Shop all Rolex Submariner Dates [Here]
Variant: Dial and bezel colour: Black, Green or Blue
Case and Bracelet Material: Stainless Steel, ‘Rolser’ Two Tone Gold, Solid Gold in either Yellow or White 18kt.
Other variant: Submariner (no date) [Here]
8 – IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm [iw376801] RRP: £5,500
IWC’s offering for recreational divers is the Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm (iw376801 pictured). It’s available on both a rubber strap with a tang buckle (which is fitted with a quick change system and sells for a RRP of £5,500) or a metal bracelet (RRP £6240) and has a water resistance of 300m.
Its 44mm case width and 17mm thickness make the Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph of average proportions for a diving watch. Of all the diving watches on this list, it is the only one to include the day of the week in addition to the date, which IWC have combined with a charming chronograph complication.
Dial legibility is enhanced with the use of a blue luminescent compound on each of the hour markers, and the hour and minute hands (though having both a light coloured dial and hands means visibility is not the best it could possibly be – if that’s a concern then go for this watch but with a black dial).
Its chronograph complications pusher buttons do not screw down; but, considering that this watch is only water resistant to 300m I don’t suppose they are really needed. The 30-minute subdial is located at the 12-position, and the hour subdial counts up to the usual 12 hours (being sat by the 6 o’clock position). A running seconds dial is located opposite the date and day windows by 9 o’clock.
The Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph’s casing does not include a helium escape valve but does have a rather intriguing bezel: to progress the diver’s bezel you turn the external bezel counter-clockwise, and this will advance the internal bezel and its markings; if the outer bezels knocked clockwise it will not affect the inner bezel. This is thanks to a sliding clutch system that allows the external bezel to communicate with the internal bezel while maintaining the 300m water-resistance of the watch. The clutch mechanism’s protective covering is found at the protrusion of the left of the watches casing.
Inside is an IWC calibre 79320, it beats at 28,800 vph, includes 25 jewels and has a power reserve of 44 hours.
The additional IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm watches can be found from our [Shop Here].
Continue: Part 4 Omega + Breitling + Oris (coming soon)!