As the trend for vintage-inspired watches consolidates, brands continue to dig into their archives to find inspiration and breathe new life into past glories. Ready to travel back in time to the golden age of dive watches? (Yes, that means the 1960s) Here are the top five vintage-inspired dive watches of 2019.
Doxa Sub 200 130th Anniversary
Founded in 1889, Doxa has achieved cult status among dive watch snobs but is still “niche” for a mainstream audience – which makes it even cooler! The brand celebrates its 130th anniversary this year with a re-edition of its Sub 200. This no-nonsense dive watch is presented in a 42mm 316L steel case water-resistant to 200m. The solid caseback features a 130-year anniversary logo. Inside is the tried-and-tested automatic ETA 2824. The watch comes on a “rice grain” steel bracelet and folding clasp with diving extension. This inaugural limited edition of 130 watches will also be available in a non-limited version later this year. And besides the very cool design, the price is also quite impressive!
Quick facts: 42mm steel case – water-resistant to 200m – automatic calibre ETA 2824 with hours, minutes, seconds and date – steel bracelet – limited edition of 130 pieces – CHF 1,190. For more information, visit www.doxa.ch.
Tudor Black Bay P01
With its unusual construction and polarizing style, the Tudor Black bay P01 was one of the most discussed watches at Baselworld 2019. Bold, unconventional, controversial, weird, but it manages to stir emotions. A true “love or hate” model. The model is inspired by a 1960s prototype (P01 stands for Prototype 1) for a US marine tender. The 42mm case comes with an unusual bezel-locking mechanism. The “hood” at 12 o’clock needs to be flipped up to unlock it. The screw-down winding crown is positioned at 4 o’clock. The watch is powered by the in-house, chronometer-certified automatic movement MT5612 and features an original assembled strap. Quality is on par with what we’ve seen before at Tudor, meaning impressive.
Quick facts: 42mm steel case – water-resistant to 200m – automatic calibre MT5612 with hours, minutes, seconds and date. COSC-certified – leather/rubber strap on folding buckle – CHF 3,750. For more information, visit www.tudorwatch.com.
Seiko 1970 Diver’s recreation SLA033
Seiko dive watches have a solid reputation and history. Honouring this rich past, the Japanese manufacturer has released a re-edition of the 1970 reference 6105–8110. The new reference SLA033 features an asymmetrical “turtle” case with its crown located at 4 o’clock – two iconic features of Seiko’s divers. At 45mm in diameter, its case is made of polished and brushed steel and it is now water-resistant to 200m. The patterned high-strength silicone strap is closed with a pin buckle. It is a limited edition of 2,500 pieces… And it obviously looks pretty cool!
Quick facts: 45mm steel case – water-resistant to 200m – automatic calibre 8L35 with hours, minutes, seconds and date – silicone strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 2,500 pieces – EUR 4,350. For more information, visit www.seikowatches.com.
Glashutte Original SeaQ
The Glashütte Original SeaQ is inspired by the 1969 Spezimatic Type RP TS 200. At 39.5 mm in diameter, the steel case features a unidirectional bezel and a screw-down crown. The solid caseback is engraved with a trident symbol and aligned. Water-resistance is of 200m. The watch has been tested to meet both the ISO 6425 and German DIN 8306 standards for dive watches. It is available in limited (69 pieces) or unlimited editions – the main difference being the colour of the luminescent material on the hands and the caption “25 RUBIS SHOCKPROOF” on the dial of the limited edition.
Quick facts: 39.5mm steel case – water-resistant to 200m – automatic calibre 39-11 with hours, minutes, seconds and date – available on steel, rubber or nylon – from EUR 8,500. For more information, visit www.glashuette-original.com.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda
A watch that helped establish the universal criteria of the dive watch, the Fifty Fathoms needs little introduction to watch aficionados. With the Barakuda, Blancpain releases a re-edition of a rare iteration of the model – a 1960s diver delivered to the German Bundesmarine. With its 40mm diameter, the case of the new Barakuda is water-resistant to 300m. Its black dial features large rectangular cream and red hour markers with “old radium” type Super-LumiNova. Inside is the high-grade calibre 1151 delivering a solid 100-hour power reserve. The perforated “tropical” dive strap is also inspired by the original model. It is limited to 500 pieces.
Quick facts: 40.3mm steel case – water-resistant to 300m – automatic calibre 1151 with hours, minutes, seconds and date – tropical dive strap on pin buckle – limited edition of 500 watches – CHF 14,500. For more information, visit www.blancpain.com.