Monochrome Watches
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The Sleek Sherpa x TRTS OPS in Sandblasted Steel

Sherpa Watches introduces a new stainless steel OPS model in collaboration with The Real Time Show (TRTS).

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |

A name that might resonate strongly in the minds of vintage watch enthusiasts, Sherpa is a beloved historic name in the watchmaking community, as it stood for decades as a robust and very capable diving tool. It was given this name following a successful expedition to the summit of Mt Everest and Lhotse. Although the Enicar name is a thing of the past, the Sherpa compressor dive watch made a remarkable comeback recently. And the folks at The Real-Time Show, a twice-weekly podcast, did notice that, too and decided to team up with the brand. The result is this sleek, uncoated matte steel version of the OPS. 

Known as TRTS, The Real Time Show is a twice-weekly podcast that takes its listeners behind the curtain of the watch industry. It is hosted by Amsterdam-based retailer Alon and Ben Joseph and Dresden-based watchmaker/journalist Rob Nudds. Both Rob and Alon met Martin Klocke – the man behind Sherpa Watches – separately, but both were equally impressed by his take on the emblematic compressor dive watch. Modelled after the historic models that were once offered by Enicar, the new Sherpa watches are technically modernized, a bit more contemporary design-wise, but keep alive one of the most important features of the old model. Indeed, these watches have a genuine compressor architecture, something rare enough to be mentioned, and there’s also a certain philosophical approach inside the watch, but more on that later.

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The comeback of the Sherpa was incarnated by two watches: a polished steel version named Ultradive and a black DLC-coated model named OPS. And while talking with Klocke individually, both Joseph and Nudds got the same idea: why not put the black OPS dial in a blasted steel case? And there you have the genesis of the Sherpa x TRTS OPS with a non-coated matte steel case…

Let’s talk about the facts. The new Sherpa watches are faithful recreations of the original Enicar Sherpa Ultradive and OPS watches. The strategy isn’t limited to a design statement but goes as far as reintroducing a compressor case construction, something rarely seen in modern watchmaking. It incorporates the EPSA-STOP bayonet compressor system, which was also used by the Enicar Sherpa back in the day. As water pressure builds up, the cases and seals are compressed (hence the name), resulting in a tighter fit and a higher water resistance. And surprisingly, despite the ISO-certified 200m water-resistance, the Sherpa OPS doesn’t have screw-down crowns – to be precise, it relies on proprietary MONOFLEX crowns, another bit of technology carried over from the original Sherpa. Classically, the one at 2 o’clock operates the inner bezel, and the lower one operates the movement.

The case, which measures 40mm in diameter, with a height of 13.5mm and a length of 49mm, is identical to the standard OPS version. It’s entirely sandblasted but isn’t DLC-coated anymore, resulting in a sleek look. The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal with AR coating, and the back is screwed and decorated with the traditional EPSA diver’s helmet. The only mention of the collaboration with TRTS is letters discreetly engraved inside the diver’s chestplate. As for the dial, no evolution compared to the black OPS model photographed here. It retains its matte black dial with large luminescent markers and a grey rotating bezel with white and orange markings, paired with an orange seconds hand.

Inside the case is a Sellita SW200 automatic with a personal touch. According to the brand, the mechanical movement inside is not a regular automatic; it is a Mantramatic. As explained in this article, each movement has two wheels that are microscopically laser-engraved with a traditional Tibetan Buddhist mantra of Om Mani Peme Hung, often found on Tibetan prayer wheels. With it, the Sherpa watches send out vibes of love, wisdom and compassion at a rate of 30 million times per year (given the rotational speed of the two wheels in question). The rest of the movement remains classic.

The Sherpa x TRTS OPS is presented on a tropic-like rubber strap, offered in black, orange, green or off-white. The watch is now available for order at and priced at EUR 6,200 or USD 6,400. Unlike most collaborations between media outlets and brands, the Sherpa x TRTS OPS is not limited by time or number. It is a core collection piece and will remain in the catalogue indefinitely.

10 responses

  1. I was in love until I saw the price. It’s like 2001 Space Odyssey meets Jacques Cousteau. The mantramatic movement is a cool touch.

  2. Why not 60K? Nobody bought “remarkable comeback”, nobody will buy this one either at this price.

  3. $6400 for a watch with a Sellita 200 movement, rubber strap, a “sleek” 13.5 mm thickness and a direct purchase so no bricks and mortar rent to pay.

    Oh, it is Mantramatic. Never mind, totally worth it.

    Interestingly, the Euro price for a non EU resident minus VAT would be about 5000 Euro or $5400. But we in the States are blessed (obviously by the Mantramatic) to pay about $1000 more. Nice!

  4. I have six grand to spend suddenly – Zenith, Omega… Nah, two Tag Heuers! No! Six Certinas it is. Wait, better get this one – just feels like a good move.

  5. Martin Klocke, Founder and CEO of Sherpa Watches here.

    Just to give a bit of perspective regarding the price, as this seems to raise a few questions:
    Sherpa Watches assembles the watches in very low volume (most models limited to 150 pieces each) in Germany, and _only_ from components made in Germany and Switzerland. Currently we produce between 100-300 watches per year.
    This makes a huge difference in many regards, also the price.
    We take pride in our 100% European supply chain, which keeps the knowledge, craftsmanship and business in Europe and ensures that this is a sustainable business also for the future. We cannot keep outsourcing everything to Asia… Apart from that, we know that the environment and human rights are well kept and cared for. Short transport distances and communication channels as well as personal contact to the suppliers round things off. Most of the suppliers are small family owned businesses.
    We list most of our suppliers very transparently on our website.
    Most of the companies supply very high quality German and Swiss brands.

    Concerning the movement, we chose a Sellita SW200-1 in top configuration, highest decoration, gold plated as our basis. But we don’t just slap it into the case, but disassemble it more or less half, take out the seconds and escape wheel, have them micro-laser engraved to the smallest Tibetan buddhist prayer wheels in the world, to connect to the Sherpa culture. Then we re-assemble the movement, have our own custom rotor manufactured, finish the movement and regulate it, and then assemble the whole watch. This is done at our master watchmaker’s atelier, and not at a (half) automated assembly line.
    It is then pressure tested in water to ISO 6425 200m, as the watches are depth certified.

    The case system and the crowns are reinvented EPSA compressor designs. The case is a bayonet compressor case (like the original Enicars had, but improved) and the crowns are non-screw-down compressor crowns with a unique compressor gasket system, also improved to the original design.
    So the watches are the only complete compressor watches on the market.
    It took us quite a while to do the research and development to achieve this.

    We manufacture the crowns in-house, as it is a unique design.

    The Swiss made sapphire box glass is especially designed to reduce the whitish glare around the rim. And to minimise this, it is covered with black metallisation on the bottom. Compare this to an Omega speedmaster with Sapphire glass, please.

    The dials are domed and printed partially with a custom “Sherpa Orange” Super-LumiNova. The seconds hand, too.
    The hour / minute hands are diamond cut and faceted, in the case of the OPS satinised, in the case of the Ultradive diamond polished.

    All watches come in packaging made in Europe. The center piece of which is a double leather travel roll made from Italian leather inside out.

    Of course pricing is always a discussion topic, I understand this.
    Have a look at what we do in detail, and maybe it is more understandable.

    I hope we can meet sometime and show the watches to you.
    It makes always a big difference in evaluating the watches.
    It is good to see and feel the quality, and feel the good vibes 🙂

  6. @mark K.
    Thank you for the explanation.
    Why the $1000 premium above the pre VAT EU price for export to the US. As you may know there will be a duty on the watch when he arrive stateside. Is it necessary to keep your small family owned Swiss banker solvent?

  7. @Yachtmaster 2021:
    Firstly, we are not Swiss so we don’t have a Swiss banker. Neither family owned.

    Secondly, the price in the USA is either out of Philadelphia or San Diego, where our two dealers are.
    Or, we send out from Europe, and this includes US customs.

    The consumer end price in the USA is currently below the Euro price.
    (around 5930 Euro)

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