Delma has been an independent and family-owned Swiss brand since 1924. It launched its first dive watch in 1969, the Periscope, which was followed by a bona fide professional diver in 1975, the Shell Star. Delma has been committed to both improving and expanding its underwater portfolio for decades, and the new limited-edition Quattro is a testament to that. Two strap options, several dial colours and a special decompression plate that can hold the watch case elevate this professional diver above the norm.
The stainless steel case is on the larger side at 44mm in diameter and 15.3mm in height, but the size is ideal for a pro diver. Water resistance is rated at 500 metres, and there’s a requisite helium escape valve on the left side. The unidirectional rotating bezel has six prominent notches instead of traditional knurling, giving it a more robust aesthetic. The diver’s scale is available in plain steel or black DLC, and all markers are coated with Super-LumiNova C5. The screw-down crown isn’t protected by guards but recessed into the case itself. It can be unscrewed by a provided tool or even a coin or by hand when removed from the watch head (more on that below). To detach the case, a lever on the left side at 8 o’clock is pulled up and then turned to 9 o’clock. The opposite is done to return it, inserting the case with the lever at 9 o’clock and turning it counterclockwise to 8 o’clock. It clicks firmly into place.
The reason to remove the case from the watch head is to utilise a specialized decompression plate. Known as the Rapid Bracelet Exchange System (RBES), this bayonet mount is similar to changing lenses on an SLR camera and can be performed in all conditions. The aluminium decompression plate features a detailed chart underneath the mounted watch case. The tables are based on the research of Hannes Keller and Albert Bühlmann and designed for multiple decompression stops with altitude considered. There are two sets of data on the plate – one for diving in the mountains at 700 meters above sea level (MASL) or higher and one below 700 MASL. The plate has a spring snap hook and can easily be attached to an oxygen tank or other equipment. A rubber strap or three-link steel bracelet with a safety deployant clasp can also be changed without tools via Delma’s RBES.
The dial comes in black, blue or orange, and all have the option of the steel or black DLC bezel. The minute and lollipop seconds hands are orange, while the hour hand is white for contrast and separation. All hands have Super-LumiNova inserts, as do the applied round and oval indices. A date window sits at 3 o’clock and is black on the black dial (white on the other two). Legibility is excellent, as expected for a pro diver.
Powering the Delma Quattro limited edition is a Sellita SW200-1 automatic (ETA 2824 alternative). This Swiss workhorse has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and comes with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. Although the watch has a 500-metre depth rating, there’s surprisingly an exhibition caseback. The movement is undecorated but features a nice gold (coloured) rotor.
The Delma Quattro is limited to 999 pieces and comes in a custom box to store the watch, strap and decompression plate. A special blue leather pouch is also included. It retails for CHF 1,990, EUR 2,090 or USD 2,390, which isn’t bad at all for a pro diver with unique features and custom accessories. For more information, please visit Delma’s website.