A visually faithful re-edition of a vintage dive watch, the classic version of the Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster – which we reviewed here – combines the charm of an old watch with the ease-of-use of a modern watch, built with contemporary features and materials like sapphire crystal. And in all fairness, this is a perfect package for most watch enthusiasts. But what if you want something even more faithful, even more special? Look no further, as this Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Orange Limited Edition comes with new old stock original-era dial and movement.
Since its return, the team behind Nivada Grenchen has done a great job resurrecting some of the brand’s most glorious past watches, such as the Antarctic Spider, the Super Antarctic or the brand’s most famous model, the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver. All of them used a simple yet highly efficient recipe: vintage design, faithful proportions, modern mechanics and contemporary materials. For many, the best of both worlds. And, in addition to all of these models, Nivada also brought back its powerful 1960s dive watch, the Depthmaster, including the quirky-cool Pac-Man version and the more classic version with oversized Arabic numerals.
The Depthmaster was launched in 1965 as a powerful dive watch that could withstand a pressure of 100 ATM or 1,000 metres (quite impressive back then and a record for the industry until Rolex introduced its Sea-Dweller two years later). A couple of years ago, as part of its strategy to bring back vintage watches, Nivada launched the new Depthmaster with a highly faithful design and specifications to match the original watch. Of course, everything in this model was otherwise modern, with a sapphire crystal over the dial, Super-LumiNova on the markers and hands and a Sellita SW 200-1 inside the case. Nothing wrong with that; it allowed the watch to look cool, be usable without having to think about it and, importantly, remain quite affordable.
But today’s launch is a bit more special, to say the least. While an orange dial (newly produced) is joining the regular collection, a very small batch of watches with original vintage dials and historically relevant ETA movements will also be offered. And that is quite cool! Named the Depthmaster Orange Limited Edition NOS (for New Old Stock), this version will be produced in 10 pieces only, which is understandable knowing the difficulty of sourcing vintage parts in good condition.
At first sight, there are not many changes compared to the classic, non-limited models. In fact, the case has the same modern construction. Measuring 39mm in diameter, with a thickness of 13mm, it is barely larger than the original 1960s watch and remains fairly compact for a robust dive watch with a 1,000m water-resistance and helium valve (located at 9 o’clock). The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal, the crown screws down, and the caseback is a thick, screwed piece of steel.
What matters in this Depthmaster Orange Limited Edition NOS is the dial… Recently, in a stroke of luck akin to unearthing a hidden treasure, Guillaume Laidet, CEO of Nivada Grenchen, came across a batch of 10 vintage Nivada Grenchen dials, astonishingly pristine and untouched – and to make it even better, we’re talking about glossy orange dials, known as some of the most desirable vintage editions. These still feature original tritium-coated hour markers and, a nice touch for vintage watch enthusiasts, the “T SWISS MADE T” signature at 6 o’clock. The hands, on the contrary, are modern with cream-coloured Super-LumiNova.
Inside this LE is yet another surprise. Instead of a modern Sellita movement, Nivada meticulously sourced vintage new old stock ETA 2472 movements, the same movement used in the original Depthmaster. A movement produced from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, it beats at a slow 18,000 vibrations/hour (2.5Hz frequency) and delivers about 42h of power reserve.
A highly limited edition of 10 pieces, the Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Orange Limited Edition NOS is available with multiple straps and steel bracelets. It is available for order on the brand’s website today for USD 2,890 (a copy of the Depthmaster book is included). For more details, please visit nivadagrenchenofficial.com.