One of the best value propositions for dive watches is the Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver, hands down. We covered the 44mm original a couple of years ago and the brand quickly followed up with a more mainstream 40mm version. At only USD 250, this was their first model to quickly sell out. A new 40mm edition is back with some improved specs and new colors, and again an affordable price of USD 290. Founded by ardent watch collector Dan Henry, the company bearing his name focuses on quality, period styling and affordability, and the new 1970 Automatic Divers exemplify that.
The stainless steel case of the Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver, measuring 40mm x 14.8mm, has the unmistakable Super-Compressor aesthetic that was popular in the 1970s, featuring dual crowns and an internal rotating bezel. The double-domed mineral glass crystal mimics vintage plexiglass with a high arc that reflects light and distorts dial elements at angles. The new models have a K1 crystal that’s both harder and 30 per cent thicker than before. A black PVD case (physical vapor deposition) is now offered alongside traditional stainless steel with four new color combinations. All models also have the option for either a date window or no date. The knurled crowns at 2 and 4 o’clock feature a nice cross-hatch pattern at the ends, with the 2 o’clock crown controlling the internal bezel and screw-down 4 o’clock crown setting the time (and optional date). The Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver’s solid case back has an engraving of Scaphtopus, an octopus wearing an antique diving helmet. The case is water-resistant to 200 meters, which is the traditional depth rating of vintage Super Compressors.
The matte dials come in either black or blue with substantial applied indices coated with Swiss LumiNova. The hour and minute hands have significantly more lume than before for better visibility, and the seconds hand has a lume-filled square. The internal rotating bezel features Arabic numerals every ten minutes, with a traditional lume-filled inverted triangle at the top.
The chapter rings vary by model with either a consistent color scheme or second color for the first 15 minutes.
The four new color combinations include a black PVD case with black dial, grey internal rotating bezel and black and white chapter ring, steel case with black dial, grey internal rotating bezel and black and orange chapter ring, steel case with blue dial and white internal rotating bezel and chapter ring, and steel case with blue dial and blue internal rotating bezel and chapter ring.
Five new colors of tropic-style rubber straps are also available with tool-free quick-release levers. They are available in black, navy blue, royal blue, orange, grey and white.
Powering the new Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver collection is the same Seiko NH35 automatic workhorse as before. It has 24 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 41-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date (optional on the dial). It features Diashock shock protection and can be hand-wound, and is both reliable and easily serviced.
These new editions of the Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver 40mm are limited to 1,970 pieces each and are individually numbered, providing a bit of exclusivity. They’re all priced at USD 290, come with a canvas and leather watch roll with three slots and one-year international warranty. That’s an increase of USD 40, but still an incredible value proposition. For more information or to make a purchase, visit danhenrywatches.com.