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Top 10 Watches that Dive to the Deepest Depths

iW’s August issue is dedicated to all-things-nautical. In celebration, here is a list of some of the best dive watches that can dive to the deepest of depths.

-Brought to you by iW Web Editor Kate Lawler, with the aid of Editorial Assistant Matthew Klahre

* Full interactive features on various formats available here.

1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver (ceramic)

At SIHH 2013, Audemars Piguet unveiled the latest update to the Royal Oak Offshore Diver features a brushed and polished black ceramic case water resistant to pressure to a depth of 300 meters.  The black dial is decorated with Mega Tapisserie pattern and uses white gold applied hour markers and hands with luminescent coating.  The watch includes a rotating inner bezel ring with diving scale and orange highlighted zone from 12 o’clock to three o’clock.  This feature alleviates the jamming or accidental movement prone to external rotating bezels after exposure to seawater, sand and salt.  A watertight ceramic crown positioned at ten o’clock controls the internal bezel.  Inside the watch is Audemars Piguet’s self-winding manufacture caliber 3120 that provides a 40-hour power reserve.  The movement powers the diver’s hours, minutes, central seconds and date function, and can be seen through the sapphire crystal centered in the titanium case back.  The ceramic case is affixed to a rubber strap with titanium pin buckle.

2. Tudor Pelagos

The Tudor Pelagos was introduced in 2012 and features an entirely titanium case, satin finished and measuring 42mm.  This diver’s tool is water resistant to 500 meters and is equipped with a helium valve that reads GAS ESCAPE VALVE.  The unidirectional rotating bezel is equipped with a matte black ceramic disc that is luminous and thick to promote ease of handling.  The titanium bracelet is fitted with a folding clasp with a unique spring-loaded adjustment mechanism developed and patented by Tudor, automatically adjusting during dives as the wetsuit is compressed in deep water and expanded during ascent.  The watch is also delivered with a rubber strap complete with a diver’s extension.  A self-winding movement with a 38-hour power reserve powers the Pelagos.

3. Oris ProDiver Date

The ProDiver Date takes inspiration from the brand’s ProDiver Chronograph.  It utilizes a titanium case, ceramic top ring, crown protection and the innovative Oris Rotation Safety System (RSS) on its bezel.  The 49mm titanium case is water resistant to 1000 meters and features an automatic helium valve positioned at nine o’clock on the case.  The black dial features a printed wave structure, and its hands and indices utilize Superluminova BG W9.  The bracelet is titanium and fitted with a folding clasp with a diver’s extension.

4. U-Boat U-1001 Classico

The U-1001 Classico from U-Boat features a 47mm steel case with IPB coating, water resistant to 1001 meters and distinguished with U-Boat’s protective crown and a helium escape valve on the left side of the case.  Inside the case is an automatic movement modified and personalized to U-Boat specifications to accommodate the 9 o’clock stem position.  Water resistance is further ensured by the scratchproof sapphire crystal measuring 9mm in thickness.  Beneath the crystal are two superimposed dials, one in carbon fiber and a second cut and treated with composed opaque black pigments.  The watch is delivered on hypoallergenic black rubber strap.

5. Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000

The Superocean Chronograph M2000 is highlighted by an exclusive magnetic pushpiece system wherein the chronograph controls are operated via the metal of the case.  This allows the timepiece to be water resistant and fully operational to a depth of 2,000 meters, and is combined with a screw-locked crown with two gaskets.  The 46mm steel case is fitted with a 4mm thick sapphire crystal for increased sturdiness.  Inside the case is the SuperQuartz thermocompensated quartz electronic movement with fast-action time zone changing functionality, and has a running life of up to three years.  The chronograph complication is accurate to 1/10th second and additionally features split timing and flyback capabilities.  A date aperture is positioned between four and five o’clock.  The watch is available on Breitling’s leather, Diver Pro, Ocean Racer or Professional straps.

6. Sinn U2 SDR (EZM 5)

The U2 SDR (EZM 5) from Sinn utilizes a case made of seawater-resistant German submarine steel that is tested to the European diving equipment standards and certified by Germanischer Lloyd in Hamburg.  The bezel is crafted with TEGIMENT technology to raise the hardness level of the base material significantly.  The watch is kept free from fogging via Ar-Dehumidifying Technology, in which the movement is mounted in a nearly anhydrous atmosphere thanks to a drying capsule, EDR seals and protective gas filling.  The case is water resistant to a 2,000-meter depth and houses the ETA 2893-2 self-winding movement that is both shock resistant and anti-magnetic.  A second time zone is displayed on a 24-hour scale.  The key markings on the pilot’s bezel are highlighted with luminous material.

7. Bremont Supermarine 2000

The Supermarine 2000 is an update to Bremont’s line of dive watches, this time with a larger 45mm case redesigned to withstand pressure at an increased depth of 2000 meters.  The modified caliber BE-36AE automatic movement is protected by an anti-magnetic Faraday cage and an anti-shock movement mount.  The sapphire unidirectional rotating bezel is coated with SuperLumiNova for increased readability in low light conditions.  SuperLumiNova is also applied to the indexes and hands.  The Supermarine 2000 is available on a stainless steel bracelet or on an integrated rubber strap as shown here.  The name Supermarine refers to the British aircraft manufacture founded in 1913 that became well known for producing a range of seaplanes.  Bremont is an award-winning British watch manufacture that is headquartered in Henley on Thames, England.  The brand began by producing pilot’s watches that were tested to withstand more than the normal call of duty.  Every watch in the standard Bremont collection, including the Supermarine 2000, is C.O.S.C. Chronometer certified.

8. Panerai PAM 00364 Luminor Submersible 1950 2500M 3 Days Automatic Titanio

The PAM 00364 Luminor Submersible 1950 2500M 3 Days Automatic Titanio is crafted from brushed titanium that combines lightness with structural robustness.  Water resistance of 2,500 meters is ensured by the classic Panerai winding crown and a helium valve positioned at eight o’clock on the caseband and engraved with the symbol He.  This valve allows helium to escape when ascending from deep dives and prevents the gas from exerting potentially dangerous pressure on the case.  The unidirectional rotating bezel features small markers and a graduated scale that allows the length of the dive to be monitored.  The dial contains luminous bars and studs, and a date window is positioned parallel to the running seconds subdial at nine o’clock.  The watch is powered by the P.9000 automatic movement, designed and manufactured by Officine Panerai in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

9. Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk 3000 Meters

The Sea Hawk 3000 Meters is capable of withstanding water pressure at a maximum depth of 3,000 meters as its name suggests.  Measuring 44mm in diameter and 5.90mm in thickness, the case is outfitted with two helium release valves to aid in decompression following a particularly deep dive.  A screw-down caseback and sapphire crystal measuring 4.85mm in thickness further ensure water resistance.  The watch is powered by the GP033R0 caliber with a minimum power reserve of 46 hours that is tracked on the dial.

10. Rolex Deepsea Challenge

Rolex took an active role in filmmaker and explorer James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition done in partnership with the National Geographic Society.  On March 26, 2012, Cameron made a record-breaking solo dive 35,787 feet to the Earth’s deepest point in the Mariana Trench.  The Deepsea Challenger, Cameron’s vessel, carried this experimental watch from Rolex on its robotic manipulator arm.  The Deepsea Challenge’s design began with the parameters of the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea, and calculated the new dimensions of the watch based upon what was required to withstand the shock of a 1,500 bar pressure test and the equivalent of 10 SUVs piled onto the watch that would be experienced at the depth of 15,000 meters.  The Deepsea Challenge’s case measures 51.4mm in diameter and 28.5mm in thickness.  Together, the Oyster case, Triplock crown and Ring Lock System successfully endured Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE and were designed and manufactured by Rolex in just over four weeks time.

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