Today is… Friday! So not only it means that weekend is coming, but it also means that our 5 Cool Finds are online. To follow with last week’s article, we continue our “Cool Finds” selections, still with our trustful partner Chronext. What about the “5 Cool Finds”? Simple: 5 watches, not new, not vintage, most of the time young-timers (that we believe are the new trend) that we selected for you. Today, we go for one of the most sought-after categories, a type of watches that must be in every collection: dive watches. Here are 5 divers that look good now, that will look good in 10 years, that will look good everywhere and forever.
Not too sporty, not too dressy… the perfect all-rounder. The Rolex Submariner is an icon that can be worn in all situations
There’s something with dive watches that can’t be explain. It is quite strange, but most of us have or wish to have a dive watch and most of us actually don’t use it the way it should be. However, the truth with dive watches – at least those that are not professional tools – is that they are perfect all-rounders, watches that can be worn in all situations, that look casual, that are practical, solid and masculine. Great names exist, such as Submariner, Seamaster or Radiomir. And today, together with Chronext, this is exactly what we’ll bring to you: 5 essential dive watches, from large and respected brands, all icons in their own way – but all with one little detail that make them very cool.
The essential watch – Rolex Submariner 14060
Is it still necessary to present the Submariner? Probably not. This Rolex is simply one of the most iconic watches ever created – if not the most famous luxury watch around the world. It is part of a very small group of watches where you can remove the logo and, in 1 second, most people will recognize it. The key to the success: a incredible longevity, as created in 1953, and an amazing continuity in the concept and in the design. A Rolex Submariner, whatever the model, the metal or the reference, will be recognized as a Rolex. Don’t listen to what few collectors say about its consensualism. A Sub can’t be a bad choice. Everything in it has to be considered: its robustness, the solidity of the movement, its precision, its understated look, its diving capacities, its ability to be worn in all situations…
The Submariner we have for you today is definitely a very good choice: modern (but not too much), clean, still quite small (not as bulky as the current editions) and affordable. We have here a reference 14060. This model was launched in 1989, to replace the 5513. it came with modern features, such a solid sapphire crystal, a triplock crown, the unbreakable calibre 3000 and applied indexes on the dial. It is both functional, sleek and elegant. The present example is from the first series (produced from 1989 to 1998), meaning hollowed lugs, tritium dial with only 2 lines on text (and not an entire bibliography) and no “Rolex-Rolex-Rolex” inscription on the inner flange. It is the purest edition you can find in modern Submariners. Our selected Rolex Submariner 14060 is from 1996, has its original box and come in a very decent condition, even a light restoration could be done – but at 4,890 Euros, this is a very good deal. Listed here.
The future collector’s piece – Tudor Black Bay Black 79220N
If you are a recurrent reader of Monochrome, you certainly know that we have a thing for the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. This watch, even if quite recently introduced (the first one dates back to 2012), has gained an incredible status among the watch community – and for very good reasons. This watch is all a good and classical diver should be, and it even adds a vintage-touch to its modern construction. Quality is over expectations, details are great (domed dial and crystal, gilt hands and indexes, solid bracelet) and the movement is more than reliable. After a burgundy version and a blue edition, Tudor introduced the Black Bay Black, the watch collectors were expected for a long time: black bezel with red triangle, gilt dial, snowflake hands, chamfers on the lugs, no-protection big-crown… It has everything a vintage Sub had, in a modern package and for a very decent price.
We sourced one today, in this Dive Watches 5 Cool Finds. But the one here is quite special. In fact, Tudor updated this watch in March this year, adding their own movement and changing some details of the dial (more text written at 6). The first Black Bay Black, ref. 79220N (the one with ETA movement and curved text at 6) was presented in October 2015, meaning that it has been produced for only 6 months. What you’ll have here is a double opportunity: enjoying one of the coolest current dive watches and investing in a watch that could gain in price, as it will definitely become a collector’s piece, knowing its rarity and short production period. This watch is like new, features its original bracelet, box and papers and is listed here for 2,790 Euros (500 Euros less than the current model). We told you, a good opportunity.
The tool – Oris Aquis Titan 500m
Dive watches means… diving capacities. Even if all the watches we have in this selection will be more than able to withstand recreational plunges – and even more – the Oris we chose for you will be capable of much more. This watch is a proper tool, made for the deep blue sea, but that can be worn as a desk-diver too. Oris is a brand that should be considered as, even if it doesn’t benefit from the same aura as Rolex or Omega (and it shouldn’t be seen as competition either), it is a brand that knows how to create serious watches, with great manufacturing quality, proper professional capacities and cool designs for reasonable prices. This is exactly what you’ll have with the watch we found today, an Oris Aquis Titan, a bold, large, professional-oriented dive watch, well-constructed and well-priced.
The Oris Aquis is a great watch already, but this Titan version adds more. First of all, it is fully made in titanium (and grade 5 one, with polished parts), to the exception of the bezel, in tungsten. Thus, it will be both super solid, resistant to corrosion, lighter than steel and more scratch-proof. Then, it combines this material with a 46mm case – not for all collectors but some love large watches, and titanium makes it more practical. Then, its dial… To match with all the metal used for the case, it has a dark grey dial and, quite special for an Aquis, it has a small second (and a date). The watch is water resistant to 500m (more than you will certainly test by yourself) and has an automatic calibre. All of that comes for a price as light as its titanium case: 1,290 Euros (the watch is from 2013, and has box and papers). Listed here.
The special-agent – Omega Seamaster Diver 300m
It’s name is Master, Seamaster… OK, that was easy. However, the reason why the coming watch is famous is not only his name and its heritage. For sure, the Seamaster Diver 300m is the worthy successor of the 1957 Seamaster 300 and it features all the attributes of a great dive watch. In addition, we must also remember why this particular model became famous. It is the first watch that marks the collaboration between Omega and James Bond, as worn by Pierce Brosnan in the 1995 movie GoldenEye. Since then, this watch has always been in the collection, with however evolutions, some being more than welcome to modernize the look and the mechanics.
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300m we have today is the latest edition, meaning that it retains most of the iconic features – case with lyre lugs, bezel with 12 facets, hollowed hands, blue dial and bezel, multiple links bracelet) and adds some nice modern features. First, it is powered by an automatic movement with co-axial escapement (calibre 2500, COSC certified). Then, the dial has been cleaned and doesn’t feature a wave pattern anymore (something that looked very 1990s). Finally, the bezel is made in super resistant blue ceramic. With its 300m and a 41mm, it is both a rugged diver and a casual watch to be worn in all occasions. A watch you can’t go wrong with, and for a very attractive price: 2,770 Euros – remember that it is an Omega, with co-axial calibre and the overall quality of the brand… Listed here.
The Italian exception – Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days Acciaio PAM00425
What would be a selection of dive watches without a Panerai. We’re talking about the mother of all dive watches here, a piece made in the 1940s for military divers, thus created with one unique goal: perform under the sea. This is why, even if the brand has a more lifestyle vocation nowadays, we had to have one in this “5 Cool Finds” selection. I know some will say that all Panerai watches look the same – something that is true in a way but it’s also the reason of the brand’s success – however, this one has a real interest, as being slightly different from the masses. No crown protection device or classical dial here. The PAM00425, a.k.a Radiomir S.L.C. is definitely one of the coolest modern Panerai watches.
First of all, it is a Radiomir, meaning that even if sized at 47mm, it remains easily wearable, due to the shape of the case and the wired-lugs. It is not too bulky and can even be imagined with a suit, or an elegant weekend attire. Then again, an all-rounder. Then, there’s the “sandwich” dial, which combines a minimalistic look, with discreet dots and batons, a matte black plate with the S.L.C (Siluro Lenta Corsa) at 6 and gilt hands – and just two hands, not more. Inside the case is an in-house hand-wound movement, the P3000, visible from the caseback. All together, a very interesting package that brings vintage and Italian appeal to the concept of dive watches. Price: 5,250 Euros (box and papers), listed here.
Chronext is a London-based online marketplace for buying, selling, and servicing of luxury watches – and here, online goes together with the same security and service as any high-end boutique (for more details – and the possibility to win a 2016 Rolex Explorer – please look here). For more watches for sale, keep an eye on Chronext. Everyday, some new items are listed.