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.
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.
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.