Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Dietrich SD-1 Skin Diver

A Unique, Glass-Focused Dive Watch Recalling Previous Collections While Also Looking Forward

| By Erik Slaven | 3 min read |

We’ve covered many Dietrich watches and the brand never disappoints with unusual, avant-garde pieces. Founder Emmanuel Dietrich can definitely be described as a maverick designer, always thinking outside of the box while remaining faithful to his own key design parameters. The hexagonal motif and interesting use of depth, shapes and textures define the brand’s collections. Whether it’s a radical piece like the Organic Time with colored forged carbon or more conservative sports watch like the TC-Pure Limited Edition, the Dietrich DNA always shines through. The latest SD-1 continues this trend with a bold new design, but one that’s also familiar.

The company announced that it’s taking a new approach to watch design. It will focus on reinterpreting the templates of iconic watches of the past. The SD-1 (Skin Diver 1) is the first piece to represent this new creative direction. It’s a modern interpretation of classic skin divers to be sure, not a me too heritage piece. When Emmanuel was seven, his passion for watches was ignited by a “Cuppillard Rième” mini diver’s watch he received as a gift. It’s fitting that this first piece is a diver that looks into the past, while also being positively futuristic.

Dietrich Skin Diver SD

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The stainless steel case is 38.5mm in diameter and 12mm in height. Although it’s nothing like previous collections, familiar elements can be found. The bezel has six individual grip points to reference the brand’s hexagonal motif. The bezel insert is sapphire with either Pacific Blue or Suave Black underneath, while the Super-LumiNova marks and detailed 15-minute scale are printed on the underside of the glass. The signed screw-down crown has a sapphire insert with a luminous white fish. There are six high points in the knurling as well, again referencing the hexagonal shape. The case is brushed with polished edges and the case back is solid with a brushed center and polished outer ring. I like that the back is a bit restrained without superfluous engravings. A sapphire crystal protects the dial and water resistance is rated at 150 metres.

Dietrich Skin Diver SD

The dial is both simple and visually complex. There’s liberal use of sapphire glass, an artistic choice to reference the sun shining on water. Like the bezel, there’s either blue or black at the bottom, but between that and the sapphire crystal is a middle sapphire layer with multiple anti-reflective coatings. The white luminous indices – squarish circles, ovals and a triangle at 12 o’clock – are printed on the sapphire layer, providing a sense of depth with shadows and light. A long date window sits at 6 o’clock with an oval frame, seamlessly maintaining the organic aesthetic. The hour and minute hands are the same as on the Organic Time models, filled with white Super-LumiNova. Borrowing from other collections is the steel bracelet as well, found on the Time Companion sports watch (although not integrated with the case this time). So, there’s a lot familiar DNA here, but in a very new package. A NBR rubber strap with a hexagonal motif will also be available in matching blue or black.

Powering the watch is a Sellita SW200 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 at 6 o’clock. Dietrich has used both ETA and Miyota in prior collections, and the Sellita is a good fit here.

The Dietrich SD-1 will go on sale in early July (subject to possible technical changes) and deliveries will take place as of October. The price for this Dietrich Skin Diver SD-1 is 1,050 USD (approx. EUR 890) on metal bracelet (circa EUR 890) or USD 970 on rubber strap (circa EUR 825). These prices are shipping included but without taxes (VAT and import duties). For more information, visit Dietrich’s website.

5 responses

  1. The first thing I do when reading an article about diving watches is looking for the size.
    It was thus a pleasant surprise to discover that the the SD-1 is 38,5mm wide : perfect size.

    The bracelet looks good but looks difficult to size and to open/close : I’d avoid it and choose the strap instead.

    I dislike crosshairs, but on the present dial it’s tolerable.

    The price seems acceptable – more expensive than a Hamilton but then again I doubt that Dietrich has the same pricing power as the Swatch Group.

    So for me the weakest point in this category of watches is as usual the movement. We don’t know which grade of the SW-200 will be fitted inside the SD-1, but I doubt it’ll be the Chrono version.

  2. V clean and refreshing design in the crowded divers market; and excellent size
    Appreciate designer’s courage to foray into the sub 1k market, outstanding and superior design for this price segment

  3. The style of the hour and minute hands are not to my taste.
    I do love the retro feel of the case, and of course, the blue dial

  4. At last a beautiful diver, that is not a submariner clone! Great size and affordable price.

  5. 38.5 is too small for a diver… the audience to buy that size is also very small…

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