Based in Lengnau, Delma is an independent family-owned watch brand with a long tradition of crafting dive watches. A rugged, technical professional dive watch, the Delma Blue Shark III is the brand’s latest professional dive watch (and as its name suggests, the third evolution of the model). Replacing the previous 3000m version, it was officially presented at Baselworld 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand’s first dive watch.
A monster of the abyss, the massive 47mm steel case of the Delma Blue Shark III is now built to fathom depths of 4,000 metres/12,120 feet and was tested and certified by the Swiss PST Laboratory for Product Safety Testing in Zwillikon, Canton of Zurich. But this is not the only modification to Delma’s deep diver. The case design has also been slightly adapted with a new crown guard and new security screws. The PVD steel bezel used for some versions of the Blue Shark 3000m has been replaced with a more resistant DLC-coated steel bezel. Paired with highly legible numerals, indexes and hands, the dial comes in black, blue or orange. The abundant use of luminous material allows for easy and accurate timekeeping in all conditions.
As you would expect from a professional dive watch, the Delma Blue Shark III features a Helium Relief Valve (HRV) at 9 o’clock (more information below). The screwed caseback is engraved with the ‘Delma Blue Shark’ logo as well as the individual limited edition number. The unidirectional rotating bezel operates precisely and smoothly (120 clicks/coined edge for a better grip). It comes in stainless steel or DLC steel with bright orange markings.
Helium Release Valve – Saturation Diving
Saturation diving allows professional divers to live and work under important levels of pressure for days or weeks. The underwater work teams are compressed to the working pressure and decompressed just once, thus limiting the risks associated with decompression to a single exposure. In this environment, divers breathe air that has been saturated with helium. Helium is one of the smallest elements and will penetrate the watch where water cannot. The pressure inside the watch (initially surface pressure) gradually becomes the pressure of the diving depth. Depressurization poses a problem when the diver returns to surface pressure. Without an HRV, which enables the pressure to escape as soon as it reaches a certain level, the pressure may cause the crystal to pop out.
The watch is powered by the tried-and-tested ETA 2824. This ubiquitous automatic workhorse ticks at 4Hz and offers 38 hours of power reserve. It displays the hours, minutes, seconds and the date.
The Delma Blue Shark III is delivered with both a rubber strap (now embossed with the Delma name) and a steel bracelet. The tools included in its wooden box allow you to swap the straps.
On the wrist, this beast of a watch is definitely not for the faint of heart. If its depth rating far exceeds your most extreme needs, there is always something fascinating about these professional watches engineered for the deep. Such specifications are not common in the industry, especially for watches in this price range.
The Delma Blue Shark III retails for CHF 1,990 in steel and CHF 2,090 in steel with DLC-coated steel bezel. This is the same price as the 3000m versions but with some serious product upgrades. For more information, please www.delma.ch.