In addition to classic models, with a clearly-defined style and set of functionalities, watchmakers also love to mix genres. What about a perpetual calendar pilot’s watch? Or a sports skeleton timepiece? There’s another combination that feels, at first, a bit unusual but that, however, became more and more popular over the years, a watch combining the resistance and robustness of a diving instrument with the practicality of a chronograph. Diving chronographs were first popularized in the mid-1960s by Aquastar, soon followed by Omega with the iconic Seamaster Automatic 120m Chronograph “Big Blue”. And today, we’ve listed 5 very capable, desirable diving chronographs that have been recently launched – watches that will feel home practically everywhere, under the sea, on land, at the tracks, and in the air. Or if you want to time the cooking of your pasta while taking a jump in the pool…
Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph Re-Edition
No doubt, this is a fairly unusual watch… But also a very cool one, with some background and history. Made by a company that existed mostly in the 1960s and 1970s, producing true diver’s instrument, the Aquastar Deepstar is a niche icon that has been recently revived by the man behind the renaissance of Doxa and Aquadive. Modelled after the historic watch, the new version is almost entirely faithful, down to the unique display and overall style, including its complex Successive/Multiple dive non-decompression table calculator, and features a 200m water-resistance. It is also fitted with a nice column-wheel chronograph movement by La Joux-Perret and, mostly, it has that unmistakable late-1960s tool style that will please vintage enthusiasts. Read our full review here.
Quick facts: 40.5mm diameter – stainless steel case – bidirectional rotating bezel with Successive/Multiple dive non-decompression table calculator – 200m water-resistant – sunray-brushed dial in blue, grey or black – La Joux-Perret movement, base 7750 – automatic bi-compax chronograph with column wheel – Tropic rubber strap – USD 3,590 – aquastar.ch
Blancpain Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Green
Blancpain being one of the precursors of the dive watch, it is no surprise to see it making this list. Born in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms is one of the definitive diver’s watches and both the classic model and its more modern counterpart, the Bathyscaphe, have been edited as diving chronographs. The latest version in line is this cool combination of materials and functionalities, the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Green. It features a black ceramic case, with uni-directional green ceramic bezel, a 300m water-resistance, a gradient green dial and, at the heart of this high-end watch, an in-house automatic flyback chronograph with column-wheel and high-beat escapement (beating at 5Hz). Quite an impressive package. Read our hands-on article here.
Quick Facts: 43.6mm diameter – black ceramic case – unidirectional green ceramic bezel with Liquidmetal markers – 300m water-resistant – gradient green dial – calibre F385, in-house – automatic 5Hz flyback chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch – black NATO or sail canvas strap – 5200-0153-B52A – CHF 16,000 – blancpain.com
Doxa SUB 200 C-Graph
When it comes to specialized diving instruments, Doxa is a brand that often finds its way in our guides. The brand has true legitimacy in this field and is no stranger to diving chronographs – already in the past, with for instance the T.GRAPH, recently re-edited. In addition to this confidential and niche model, the brand also introduced recently an accessible, solid and more mainstream chronograph, the SUB 200 C-Graph Available in the usual 6 dial colours the brand is famous for, it is a great alternative to the usual suspects with tried-and-tested Sellita movement, great overall quality and specifications (sapphire bezel, BOR bracelet, 200m WR) for a reasonable price. Read our introducing article here.
Quick facts: 45mm diameter – stainless steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel with sapphire crystal bezel – 200m water-resistant – orange, silver, black, yellow, dark blue or turquoise dial – Sellita SW-510 automatic cam-lever chronograph – BOR steel bracelet or rubber strap – from CHF 2,650 – www.doxawatches.com
Nivada Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver re-edition
While we recently talked about the Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster, the brand mostly made some noise with the re-edition of its most iconic model, the Chronomaster. A typical 1960s watch, it was a mix of many features, as its name implies; the Aviator Sea Diver. What you’re looking at it a very faithful reproduction of a watch that was shaped as a pilot’s chronograph, yet with diver’s credentials and ability to withstand some pressure. Its bezel has a double scale, with 12-hour and 60-minute graduations (respectively for flight calculations and diving) but also has a tachymeter scale on the dial… An all-rounder, capable of almost everything, powered by a hand-wound or automatic Sellita movement, with a compact 38.3mm case, a very cool vintage look, a 100m WR, multiple strap/bracelet options (including the cool extensible oyster you see here), with a reasonable price. Hands-on article to come soon.
Quick facts: 38.3mm diameter – stainless steel case – steel, bi-directional bezel with aluminium insert, 60-min and 12-hour scales – 100m water-resistance – matte black or white dial – Sellita SW 510 automatic or hand-wound, cam-lever chronograph – leather strap, rubber strap, flexible oyster bracelet or BOR bracelet – from CHF 1,570 – nivadagrenchenofficial.com
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph Tri-Metal
It is no surprise to see Omega in this list. As said, the brand was one of the first to enter the market of diving chronographs. And it continues to do so, with several Seamaster Chronographs, like the Planet Ocean and the Diver 300M. Recently, the brand revived one of its most unusual but also ultra-cool designs from the 1990s, the tri-metal Diver 300M… A combination of titanium, tantalum and gold, this watch is clearly going to make an impression, specifically since it isn’t a compact one. Yet, the look is emblematic and the execution, like all SM300, is impressive. Under its blue ceramic dial with wave pattern is the brand’s Master Chronometer Calibre 9900, an integrated automatic chronograph with column-wheel and vertical clutch. Read our introducing article here.
Quick facts: 44mm diameter – grade 2 titanium case, brushed – tantalum bezel, unidirectional, Sedna gold insert with 60-minute scale – 300m water-resistant – blue dial in polished ceramic – Omega Calibre 9900, in-house – Master Chronometer, automatic chronograph, column wheel and vertical clutch – titanium, tantalum and Sedna gold bracelet – 18.104.22.168.03.001 – EUR 18,200 – omegawatches.com