Delma is a relatively discreet brand, not necessarily known by a wider audience, but that still impresses us with its combination of high-quality watches and fair prices. Something that we don’t see that often these days… The brand has long been involved in the field of dive watches, starting in 1969 with the so-called Periscope, followed in 1975 by the Shell Star, its first pro-diver. But it’s mainly with the Blue Shark collection that the brand has gained interest in this field, with one of the toughest watches on the market, despite an accessible price. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the latest iteration of this watch, the Delma Blue Shark III Azores edition.
As you’ve probably guessed thanks to its name, the Delma Blue Shark III represents the third evolution of a watch that was launched in 2011, as the brand’s most robust and most capable dive watch ever created. While the Shell Star was paying tribute to past watches of Delma, the Blue Shark is all about instrumental look, performance and robustness. The first model was already impressive with 3,000m water-resistance. Then followed the Blue Shark II, with an upgraded design and in 2019, the brand launched the Blue Shark III. And this time, it was a full 4,000m water-resistance, a helium escape valve and full protection all around. You can look around, and you won’t find many dive watches with such resistance to pressure. There are, of course, the Rolex Deepsea, with a 390-bar rating (or 3,900m), and a few prototypes such as the Omega Seamaster Ultra Deep with its 15,000m rating. But watches with a 4km water-resistance are something of a rarity, and the existing models are often far more expensive. The only real competitor for Delma, at least in an identical price range, would be the Sinn U2, yet with “only” 200 bars of pressure resistance.
While the Blue Shark III isn’t a new watch, Delma has decided this year to give it a new, rather cool update and coincidentally to support a good cause. This new limited edition model will support the Megalodon Project in partnership with Magnus Lundborg, ocean conservationist, photographer and brand ambassador. The Megalodon Project focuses on shark tagging to better understand elusive species in the waters surrounding the Azores archipelago. A network of these satellite tags will collect data on the sharks’ behaviour, along with underwater photography. All of this will be used to educate both governments and the public to help with shark conservation.
When you look at the Delma Blue Shark III Azores edition, you’ll have not a single once of doubt regarding its vocation. It is deliberately made to be an instrument, a watch designed to go deep and to perform in one specific environment, that of the depths. Don’t look for refinement or elegance, don’t expect restrained proportions. The Blue Shark III Azores has one goal and one goal only, and that is to be a reliable ally for deep divers. But that doesn’t mean the watch doesn’t look cool. Far from that.
The version of the Blue Shark III Azores we had for this hands-on session is part of a duo of models, which has been presented here. It comes with an ultra-robust and oversized case of 47mm in diameter and 18.5mm in height, mostly due to the impressive thickness of the crystal and caseback. Resisting to 400 bars of pressure requires some concessions. The case is fully devoted to performance and protection, and feels like a tool designed to match a deep-diving breathing apparatus. The screw-down crown is protected by a full crown guard module and all parts of the watch feel tightly assembled.
The present edition of the Blue Shark III Azores is equipped with a black DLC-coated bezel with deep notches on the side, a configuration that enhances the contrast with the orange-coloured 60-minute scale. As you can expect, on the wrist this Delma is a beast of a watch that makes an impression. But if you’re looking for an ultra-sporty dive watch, you’ll be served.
The main specificity of the Azores edition is to features a slightly more “cool” dial than the traditional, non-limited models. If the indexes and hands are identical, the base of the dial now has a gradient blue colour with a pleasant texture that we’ve seen already in other watches of the brand. Ranging from light to navy blue, the dial simulates the colours of the subtropical Azores at different depths. It is equipped with oversized applied markers, as well as hands and Arabic numerals in the same orange colour as the bezel. This combination of colours is bright and fresh, and works well in the metal. Finally, all indications are largely filled with Super-LumiNova, so low-light legibility won’t be a problem.
In order to keep the price reasonable, Delma relies on a tried-and-tested automatic movement, the outsourced Sellita SW 200-1, an alternative to the famous ETA 2824. Beating at 4Hz and boasting a 38-hour power reserve, this movement is a no-brainer that is known to be reliable, precise enough and easy to service.
Finally, a good dive watch wouldn’t be complete without an equally robust bracelet. And once again, the Delma Blue Shark III Azores doesn’t disappoint, with a solid steel bracelet with a folding clasp and diving extension. Additionally, the presentation box also includes a black rubber strap with a steel pin buckle, as well as a dedicated screwdriver to remove the bracelet.
Availability & Price
With its Blue Shark III Azores edition, Delma confirms its ability to manufacture impressive watches that are designed with a purpose in mind, but also adds a cool flair. While there’s no denying the imposing stature of this model, which won’t be to everyone’s liking, it is one of the rare watches to feature such deep-diving capacities in this price range, making it a watch to consider for professional divers… or for anyone wanting an ultra-robust sports watch.
Limited to 500 pieces, the Delma Blue Shark III Azores with DLC-coated bezel is priced at CHF 2,250 or EUR 2,350. More details and orders at www.delma.ch.