Scroll down for Diver Depth Gauge Watches.
READY FOR LIFTOFF
Citizen X Appleseed XIII
Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave
World’s first optical watch to receive time information from satellites
When it comes to the gizmo class of 2011, this ball of gadgetry graduates in the top one percent. Not reliant on distant towers for radioed time info as all the other “atomic” watches, this one receives its signal from satellites and according to Citizen, has a reliability that no other watch can claim.
Also, in the gizmo “wow” game, another innovation is incorporated in this timepiece; a solar recharging system imbedded in the side of the watch rather than the dial. The benefit of removing the collector from the face is the precious real estate can then be used for expanded ancillary timekeeping displays.
Construction is everything you’d expect from Citizen. The case is a marriage of CVD stainless and ceramic. The crystal is multilayer coated sapphire. WR is 5 bar. The band is urethane. The case is jumbo: 48.5mm.wide X 20mm thick. Fit and finish is typically Citizen: superb.
In the pro column, this product has a lot to admire. It’s form is reminiscent of the older bowl shaped Ikepods with distinctive green markings (it is a collaboration watch – Citizen X Appleseed XIII) and though rather bulbous, is racy, modern and unmistakably expensive. Extensive lamination is used on the dial and hands which make for easy reading in the dark, even from the other side of the room as you can see from the pictures. World time is well implemented and marked. Day and date are easy to see and there is a prominent 24 hour dial at three o’clock.
But in con column, there are some shortcomings worth noting. There are no chrono features at all. Slightly irking in the design is the inner dial reveal of the mechanical date and 24 hour wheels – you can’t help but wonder why Citizen would make such a strange mistake; to allow the upside down printing to show on what would otherwise be one of their most stunning dial designs. The hour and minute hands are bulky and when pointing toward the three and nine will obscure parts of the day and 24 hour dials. The high price, $4,300, is somewhat mitigated by the long range collectible value derived by limited edition (990 units), but is, nevertheless, a high price to pay for a gadget watch. Some admirers will say, “Oh look, you got a new G-Shock, how nice!”
Citizen makes super high quality classical watches – mostly mechanical looking without a lot of extra features (contrast: G-Shock) and this watch follows that trend. The dial is absolutely mechanical – round, rotating subdials in multilayer window reveals. We have come to expect more though and this watch with it’s almost flamboyant colorway hints that this may be the beginning of a new direction for them. One can hope.
Some additional snapshots that show the watch in real life and without the benefit of Photoshop are available at http://jikanwatch.blogspot.com/2011/06/real-life-pictures-of-citizen-appleseed.html
Here’s a flashy promo video that’s worth a couple minutes of your time
VIDEO — Watchmaking Adrift from Reality
(above) – Harry Winston, developed with Denis Giguet; the watch is the Opus Eleven
VIDEO — Not Your Granpa’s Timex.. I just scratch my head when I see a price tag on a watch of $400,000. It is a nice watch, though.
GIZMOS YOU CAN COUNT ON There are a zabilitrillion divers watches on the market, but they’re not for diving. They just look like they are. An electronic digital depth meter is the magical modern gizmo that makes a diver watch a diver watch. Here’s one from Citizen that has a nice set of features.
I won’t waste your time telling you what you already know about the perils of diving and why you need certain specific equipment for each of dozens of different underwater situations. Instead, I will share my observations about why the Citizen JP1040-09E watch is a good diving partner.
Most important is ease of operation. Simple is better!
Since time is so critical to diving, a watch has to be able to be read despite dark, murky conditions. This watch has large lume hands that have distinguishable points that help you know the exact marker to which they’re pointing. Since this model has much of it’s information in the digital readout panels, the analog hands are cut out so as never to obstruct your view. The designers had readability at the top of their list when they laid on the twelve huge, oddly shaped (hour) marks – your diving companion will be able to read your watch from ten feet away and upside down.
Titanium is used for the case and bezel protecting the silky finish from scratching. The rubber strap is supple and conforms well to both the boney parts of the wrist or the bunchiness of a wetsuit sleeve end.
I am not recommending this watch for “multi-dives in a day” divers; it’s missing some things that more expensive watches sport (the pro divers know what I’m talking about). But for the price (on sale for $390), it’s a tremendously strong value; a wise investment. I rate it a nine on a ten scale: more than capable and durable enough for hobby diving.
Oh, and reliability.. This watch has a five year warranty. Rolex and Patek Philippe warranties are two years. That should tell you something. And as a used, scratched, out of warranty, box and tags long gone, but working – it’s worth $275+ – an easy sale on eBay.
SEIKO IS IN THIS GAME, TOO. FOR REAL!
Of all the watches appearing under this heading (Gizmos – depth guage), the Seiko STN009 is far and away the most complete and capable product for diving endeavors. It also carries the highest price tag and is the least attractive. It’s not likely you’ll see this watch on the wrists of the wealthy patrons of South Beach Jazz clubs – but, on-board scuba expeditions, this is the one wrist-gizmo that everyone will covet. It looks ironically like an overblown Timex HRM, but don’t let that fool you – what, at first, appears to be plastic is a mix of titanium alloys and stainless steel. It has a retail price of $2,995 . The great news for those who want one is that the competitive market has driven the “everyday” price to around $1,225, making it a fantastic value and takes away the one excuse not to have this competent computer on your wrist when taking the bigger plunge into the deep. (Update November, 2011 – Amazon is currently offering this watch at $1020. and have a few of them in stock – link below)
If it bothers you that for over a thousand dollars you get a rather plain digital screen and no fancy radioactive luminescence hands and hour indicia or even a tricky-clicky bezel to set – let me help you put this in perspective. You could also spend that kind of cash on a G-Shock “Frogman,” also digital only, but end up with a watch that can tell you when the moon is full or what time it is in Bankok, but without any of the actual diving features that you need. Frogman, my butt. Anyway, look at the pictures in the gallery above, click through for more information, and then, if you are a diver and you want a true diver watch, click here and scroll down for additional details, owners testimonials and purchasing information.
AND THE UNREAL ENTRY IN THE DIVE WATCH CATEGORY..
October 26, 2011 Blancpain announced their X Fathoms diving watch in the Dubai Mall Aquarium (and I mean in – pictures in the gallery above). This exotic wrist puck is distinguished by it’s highly accurate mechanical depth gauge and analog dial and a retrograde decompression timer. While I doubt that this watch will be embraced by professional divers, I do see it as the ultimate aquarium diving buddy.
I have not had a chance to research (in depth) the Chris Benz watches, but my reading so far leads me to the conclusion that it’s a brand that is oriented to the hobby diver market, is serious product capable of providing well, at least the basic functionality and durability that divers need. What has thrown me off is that the brand is very fashion oriented – I’m a sucker for all the designer touches. The watch pictured is about $900 and it features an analog depth guage. More about this line will be sorted soon – there’s more to come; check back.
Casio has offered depth-gauge watches in the past. Of particular significance is the Model SPF100S-1V which takes diving seriously by not only reporting the depth, but recording up to 20 separate dive events and keeping all the relevant information that a diver needs regarding gas uptake including surface intervals. This watch is no longer available from Casio and at this reporting was not available at Amazon, eBay, or any of the big on-line diving suppliers. It’s worth looking for because of it’s extensive feature set and low price (original retail: $550. Street: $400). Were I to make deep or long or repeated dives, I’d want dive watches on both wrists and the Casio Pathfinder would be one of them. You can check out the official specifications since, oddly, this product is listed in the US Casio-on-line catalog – even though it’s been out of production for several years. And you can check out the instruction manual #2172 in Casio’s database to see how to operate all the diver’s features , including detailed “how-to” info for the nitrogen graphing function. Here’s a picture of the watch.
Casio SPF100S-1V – Worth tracking down!
From the “long-gone-wonders-and-dead-sea-scrolls”, the Casio SPF70T-7V has a depth gauge capable to 98′ and a submerged timer. It’s “dive memory” measurements (that include; dive month and date, total time submerged, maximum depth, water temperature at maximum depth) make this watch a helpful hobby-diver companion. It is reported here because on the used market it should be a cheap pick-up, probably under $100. Here’s a pic of it from Casio’s archives
Casio SPF70T-7V – It’s a beater for under $100 used
Here’s a video of an older dive watch that will give you an idea of how the standard dive features work.
Here’s a video of the Aqualand 20th Anniversary, features and benefits, then in action in a pressurized bottle illustration the main functions in a simulated dive to about 40 feet.
Thanks, Nik – good job on the vids.
AERIS MANTA WRIST COMPUTER
for SCUBA & FREE DIVING
Despite being considered “entry level” in the diving sector, the Aeris Manta has more features than any of the so-called diving watches offered by the mainstream watch manufacturers. Granted, at first glance, this model looks like a great big Timex Ironman, but looks ain’t everything.
To wrap your head around this – Aeris makes more-than-basic dive computers: a company that specializes in diving equipment that is worn on the wrist. It does not feature a compass and this computer is not set up to be used with a transmitter for tank pressure readings.
A USB connection to PC (sorry, won’t work on a Mac) allows use of ACI software to download, store and analyze dive data as well as an upload of settings. The battery is hot-swappable and the readouts can be user-set to either metric or imperial readings.
Since there are way too many features to list here, we recommend a visit to Aeris’s feature page http://www.diveaeris.com/p_computers_manta_features.html to find out more about this great product.
TRASER IS FIRST CLASS IN IT’S GROUP
What group would that be? (you ask). This watch, which is the more expensive of several models from this manufacturer, is in the same group as Luminox: ie, super-lume in a military style; chunky and bezel-centric. This watch has a Swiss Ronda 715 quartz movement from a Swiss company and is made, you guessed it, in Switzerland. It sports a sapphire (with anti-glare coating) crystal, titanium case and polished screw-in back, safety link bracelet with uni-directional etched bezel – all the right stuff, so far, right?
Well, folks, here’s where it gets even better – the crown is screwdown with double-o rings for water resistance below 600 feet and the illumination system is stunning – powered by GTLS which is alphabet soup for: Gaseous Tritium Light Source and if you are wondering what that is; simply put, it’s a radioactive stuff that won’t burn its way through your wrist bone and that will glow brightly for more than a decade. On this watch, it’s a white lume applied to all three hands, all the hour markers and the bezel-pip (as pictured). At 43mm wide it’s serious looking but at 11mm thick it’s not thick and as all titanium, it’s super light – a combination for comfort and impressive military style. You can get one for around $450. If that’s too much, there are cheaper models with less lume and less titanium. Click through my astore under “watches that are cool” to see the options.
UPDATE: August 30, 2011
Traser has expanded their line to include some new colorways and we’re glad they did. As mentioned above, Traser’s claim to fame in the market is their GTLS (and Trigalight) super illumination which they include on these more fashionable new models.
Traser P6602 Extreme Sport Chronograph Watch
Ronda 5030 quartz movement with chronograph
Steel case, black dial
Steel bezel, unidirectional rotating
Orange rubber strap (black rubber or steel bracelet available)
Water resistant to 20 bar
Size: 45 mm
“Trigalight” Illumination: 1-11 blue, 12 orange, blue hands, blue bezel pip
Three year mechanical warranty, 10 year illumination warranty
Made in Switzerland.
Traser H3 P6507 Commander 100 Pro Titanium Tritium Watch
43 mm black PVD-plated titanium case
Unidirectional rotating titanium black pvd bezel
“Olive” green dial
“Foliage” green textile strap
White GTLS illumination,1-11 white, 12 orange, white hands, orange bezel pip
Swiss quartz movement inc. second hand and date window
Screw-down crown with double o-ring, 200M (660 ft.) water resistance
Screw-in titanium back plateThree year mechanical warranty. 10 year illumination warranty.
Made in Switzerland.
Traser H3 P6504 Para Marine Tritium Diver Watch
Swiss quartz movement with second hand and date window
GTLS illumination: hands, hours & bezel, blue dial. orange 12, & green bezel pip
Black PVD stainless steel case
Black rubber dive strap
Available in yellow,orange or blue dial with black numbers
Screw-down double o-ring crown, 20 bar WR
Screw-in stainless steel back plate
Uni-directional rotating carbon fiber bezel
Three year mechanical warranty, 10 year illumination warranty
Made in Switzerland.
This is a technology shift that we didn’t see coming. With all the new touch-swipe-pinch gadgets dropping all over the place, you have to wonder what took so long for it to happen on a watch? You gotta check out the video!
These mondo-cool gizmo watches retail for $259. You won’t find them at the local mall – in the US you have to go to New York or Las Angeles to see one in a retail setting, but fortunately, you can buy one on-line directly from the company with a blazing fast shipping time of two to three months. Unlike other watch manufacturers who put out hundreds of new models each year, Mutewatch offers one model in a few colors.
To get an idea of what sort of company could bring such an innovative product to the market, I spent a little time checking out their blog. I like them, but I understand them less now than before. This was the first image that I saw when I clicked into their blog.