Delma has a well-earned reputation for producing some of the most robust divers for the price. The Swiss brand has been producing dive watches since 1969, and its latest Blue Shark III series has a depth rating of 4,000 metres – yes, that’s almost 2 ½ miles. We went hands-on with the first Blue Shark III after it debuted at Baselworld 2019, celebrating 50 years of Delma dive watches. The latest two models, Blue Shark III Azores, 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. The Blue Shark III Azores models come with textured gradient dials to simulate the colours of the subtropical Azores at different depths. There’s a bright blue dial fading to a darker navy and turquoise dial moving to a vibrant green. Divers will encounter these colour gradients this summer as they study the sharks. Dial elements are consistent with both, featuring bright yellow hands with Super-LumiNova inserts and large Arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock. Bold, lume-filled indices round out very legible dials, and a date window sits at 3 o’clock.
The unidirectional rotating bezels have yellow Arabic numerals and markings with a detailed 20-minute scale, but the turquoise model has a steel finish, and the blue model comes with a black DLC finish. The stainless steel case is borderline massive at 47mm in diameter and 18.5mm in height, but with a depth rating of 4,000 metres (certified by the Swiss PST Laboratory), it’s basically a mini deep-sea submersible. It comes with the requisite helium escape valve for such a piece at 9 o’clock. A full guard protects the screw-down crown, and a sapphire crystal protects the dial. Given the extreme depth rating, the caseback is a hefty solid steel. The original 2011 Blue Shark model had a depth rating of 3,000 metres, still very rare at this price range, and the additional 1,000 metres really demonstrates Delma’s ingenuity and technical prowess. The watches come fitted with a 22mm, 3-link stainless steel bracelet, and an additional rubber strap comes in the box.
Powering the new watches is a Sellita SW200-1 automatic, an alternative to the ETA 2824. It has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, seconds and date.
Delma has a few dive watches linked to oceanic endeavours, such as the Oceanmaster Antarctica and Shell Star Black Tag Limited Edition. The purchase of each Blue Shark III Azores directly benefits the Megalodon Project and additional conservation efforts. The turquoise model with the steel-finished bezel retails for CHF 2,150 or EUR 2,250, and the blue model with the black DLC bezel is a bit more expensive at CHF 2,250 or EUR 2,350. Both come in a custom wooden box with a black rubber strap and tools. For more information and to place an order, visit Delma’s website here.