Swiss watchmaker Delma has worked to establish itself as a brand committed to the realm of deep waters, and a testament to this commitment is its Blue Shark series, which stands out in the domain of deep dive watches. The inaugural Blue Shark, introduced in 2011, set a new standard with its extraordinary water resistance of 3,000 meters, laying the groundwork for a lineage of watches. Building on this legacy, the Blue Shark II, launched five years later, incorporated an upgraded bezel for enhanced operability with gloved hands. Fast forward to 2020, and we have the Delma Blue Shark III, pushing the boundaries with 4,000 meters of dependability and ruggedness packed into its design. Suitable for a 5,000m dive, the Delma Blue Shark IV arrived earlier this year with six references, distinguished by appearance. We had a hands-on experience, and here are our findings.
Each successive generation of Blue Shark watches brought distinct characteristics to the forefront – performance, durability, and advanced underwater capabilities. The 5,000-meter rated Blue Shark IV stands tall, engineered for strength and security, and every component of the Blue Shark IV exudes quality, with features like the helium escape valve and screw-down crown, protected by guards, to ensure exceptional water tightness, making it a reliable companion in the ocean’s depths – or on the beach, for the Blue Shark IV is an aesthetically appealing series, at least in its category of ultra-robust, purely utilitarian watches.
At 47mm in diameter and 20mm thick, the watch packs all the impressive water-resistance into a bulky, weighty container. This isn’t a leisure-style aquatic watch; it is, by all means, a genuine tool for deep waters. The case boasts well-defined surfaces and features a large crown on one side and an automatic helium escape valve on the other. The unidirectional bezel properly graduated with a scale in Super-LumiNova, can be brushed or DLC-coated steel, resembling brushed ceramic. It is a testament to Delma’s craftsmanship and is easy to grip and operate. The ratchet is quite loud and has an excellent springy feel, adding to the fun of use.
Despite its 20mm height, the case profile is aesthetically pleasing, with much of the thickness coming from the domed caseback, laser-engraved with the brand’s logo and image of a shark, individual limited number out of 999 (the Blue Shark IV comes as limited to 999 pieces per case type), and water-resistance rating, emphasised twice, the 5,000-meter with the shark image, and 500ATM on the periphery of the caseback (and there’s another 5,000m mention on the dial in case you made it that far and forgot that your watch can’t handle it anymore…)
The dial, whatever its colour (black, blue or orange), offers exceptional legibility. Coated with Super-LumiNova, the hands stand out with clarity against the bold numerals and indices, ensuring clear visibility even in the darkest depths. The date window at 3 o’clock is a feature designers should have skipped; still, it does not make the watch lose points. The sapphire crystal, equipped with an anti-reflective coating, mitigates any hindrance to readability despite its thickness.
Moving to the bracelet/strap, the Delma Blue Shark IV offers some noteworthy features. The three-link bracelet feels smooth and refined, and users can easily switch to a robust leather or rubber strap they own, for the lug distance is quite common at 22mm. However, every Blue Shark IV has a rubber strap matching the dial included in the presentation box. Delma employs security screws to secure straps and bracelet links, providing a screwdriver for the screws fixing the bracelet to the lugs and another for the screws between the links. The safety clasp is wide and thick yet proportionate to the weighty watch, ensuring a balanced feel.
With a stainless steel bracelet, the watch weighs around 300 grams. For those who appreciate a substantial timepiece but this seems a bit too heavy, the Delma Blue Shark IV on the rubber strap offers a noticeable improvement in wear comfort. Power comes from a Sellita SW200-1, a tried-and-tested movement known for its decent precision, durability and ease of serviceability. Nothing spectacular, but a robust movement perfectly fitted for the job – and one that allows a lower price, too.
The Delma Blue Shark IV is quite a dive watch, ready to conquer the challenges of the deep waters. It is all about performance underwater and over a wetsuit, less about comfort on shore. With the lug-to-lug size of 55mm and 20mm thickness, the Blue Shark IV is not for everyone, but so is the deep diving. Still, the watch offers exceptional characteristics and good looks for EUR 2,390 in steel or EUR 2,490 in steel with a DLC steel bezel. To dive into your pockets or not, the choice is yours.
For more information, please visit www.delma.ch.