When it comes down to choosing an accessible dive watch, there are plenty of options to consider. Understandably, it isn’t too difficult to create a watch with a 200m water-resistance and stylish look. When it comes to a true deep diver’s watch, capable of withstanding extreme pressures, and fully equipped for saturation diving, the story isn’t the same. Such watches require more complex architectures and thus, a more capable manufacturer. Recently, Edox presented the SkyDiver Neptunian, a powerful 1,000m deep diver with classic look and all the necessary features. Let’s say that the news somehow tickled our interest, and we thought this watch would deserve a closer look.
Contrary to some newcomers, Edox has been around for quite some years and thus has some experience in creating robust dive watches… to say the least. The brand was indeed founded in 1884, in the city of Biel, Switzerland. The brand will quickly embrace the concept of dive watches and introduced several aquatic innovations in the early 1960s, including the renowned Delfin dive watch with a patented crown system. This double waterproof joint allowed for a 500-metre depth rating, unheard of at the time, and became a hit with both divers and boatsmen. With this, the brand has forged its reputation amongst the diving world and continues today to create powerful aquatic models.
For today’s matters, it’s another watch that needs to be explored. A rather mysterious watch actually, found in the brand’s archives. The watch in question, photographed above, had a scrawled note reading “1973. Special production in strictly limited edition” but no other indications could be found. According to the brand, “A long-retired Edox watchmaker shed light on the story. The SkyDiver, he said, was rumoured to be a secret project for a mysterious, wealthy Swiss colonel. The anonymous colonel wanted an exclusive timepiece for elite mountain paratroopers under his command. The watch had to be dependable and rugged – just like his troops. He chose Edox because of the brand’s exceptional water-resistant watches, able to handle any situation the paratroopers might face – on land, air or sea. The colonel insisted on total secrecy.” This very watch was reissued recently with the SkyDiver Military Limited Edition. And today its overall design has been used to create a slightly more modern and mostly far more powerful watch, the Edox SkyDiver Neptunian we’ll explore today.
The New Edox SkyDiver Neptunian
What is this new Edox? Basically, an ultra-robust, fully-equipped, well-executed automatic deep dive watch that comes at a very reasonable price. Classic in style, yet with a twist (specifically for the blue version we have today), it comes with everything you need in such a watch and more. And even though few will use it to its maximum capacities, when wearing it you’ll know what it is capable of.
The Edox SkyDiver Neptunian comes in an ultra-robust stainless steel case measuring 44mm in diameter and 15.6mm in height – classic proportions for such a deep diver’s watch. The case is built to last, with precise adjustments and an assembly that leaves no doubt on the watch’s durability. The design is typical of rugged dive watches from the late 1960s and early 1970s, with pointy crown guards protecting an oversized screw-down crown. This shape is also found on the lugs, which are rather short making this watch quite friendly on the wrist – at least for a 44mm watch. As you can expect, the SkyDiver Neptunian has some presence and weight on the wrist, however, the case is well-conceived and feels balanced.
There are some nice details on this SkyDiver Neptunian, such as the combination of polished and brushed surfaces, as well as a bevel running on the side of the lugs – bringing a more dynamic style but also enhancing the perceived quality. Being a deep diver’s watch, it is equipped with all the necessary features. To resist a pressure of 100 ATM, the caseback is screwed and the top of the watch is protected by a 3mm-thick sapphire crystal. Also, a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock makes it capable of saturation diving. The solid steel caseback features a pleasant engraving of Neptune, Roman God of the Sea.
Despite being friendly priced, nice attention has been given to the materials all over the watch. For instance, the necessary unidirectional bezel, with its deep notches for easy operation, features a glossy black ceramic insert, engraved with a fully-graduated 60-minute scale and a luminous insert for the zero mark. The bezel is pleasant to use with a nice, firm click.
The Edox SkyDiver Neptunian is available either with a classic matte black dial or, as presented here, with a more original and more modern gradient blue dial, recalling the vocation of this watch. Changing from dark blue on the periphery to a bright ocean blue in the centre, the dial retains great contrast day and night, thanks to large applied indexes and hands, all filled with SuperLuminova X1. The hour hand has an arrow shape while the minute hand is straight, making it easy to distinguish them in low light conditions. The dial is framed by an angled inner flange, with water-resistance indications – maybe something that could have been avoided.
The Edox SkyDiver Neptunian can be ordered on a black rubber strap, for a more casual look. But, of course, this is the present stainless steel bracelet that suits best the watch. With its 3-link profile and brushed/polished surfaces, it is solid and precisely adjusted, just like the case. The folding clasp is complex, with a fold-over part, pushers to secure it, as well as a clever extension system for fine adjustment.
Inside the case is the calibre 80, which is based on the tried-and-tested Sellita SW 200-1 architecture. This automatic movement allows for a reasonable price, is known to be durable and will be easy to service.
Availability & Price
The Edox SkyDiver Neptunian is part of the brand’s permanent collection and is now available from retailers. It is priced at EUR 1,250, which seems like a fair price for a fully-equipped and well-executed deep diver’s watch produced by an established brand.
For more details, please visit www.edox.ch.