For my article this week, I thought it would be nice to revisit a mini-series that I previously started called '3 at 3'. The initial instalment focused on the somewhat ambiguous Weekend Watch. For this instalment, I am going to look at one of; if not the most popular style of watch off all time, the Dive Watch. Again, as the format suggests; but for those of you who did not see the first article, I am going to take a category (In this case dive watches) and talk about one that I have chosen at three categories: Affordable (£150-300), mid-tier (£3,000 - £5,000) and what I have coined 'stupidly expensive'. So without further ado, shall we talk about some watches?
Now, for those of you who are seeing the words 'dive watch' and affordable in the same sentence and are getting a tingly feeling in the pant region, I am unfortunately not picking the SKX. Now, hear me out. It is not because I think it is not the best and most obvious choice in this category (it is). The issue here is that it was my affordable pick for the last instalment of '3 at 3'. So, in the interest of variety and not being boring, I am going to pick something else.
Affordable: Seiko SRP775
Now as a former owner of this watch, I can testify to it being more than just a beefed-up SKX in a chunky case. This watch is unbelievable. You might be surprised to hear that I not only loved the watch, but owned one for a period of time. Coming in at 45mm, that is at least 5mm larger than my usual maximum. However, this is why I love the case on this watch. Due to having what has been nicknamed a 'turtle' case, this watch hugs this wrist remarkably snuggly. This means that it feels more like a 40mm on wrist. Outside of this, in typical Seiko fashion, this watch is value for money. I know this phrase gets thrown around a hell of a lot, but yet again Seiko has smashed it. This watch feels like a £1,000 plus watch. The build quality is stunning, the movement (the brilliant 4R36) is a true workhouse, and will go for years and years without needing a service. This watch is truly brilliant.
As you can see, this watch is stunning, and yes it wears large, but do not let that put you off...
Mid tier: The IWC Aquatimer
IWC are a brand that are certainly more known for their pilots watches, but they have also made a few memorable and legendary in-roads into the world of dive watches. Namely with this, the IWC Aquatimer. This watch was introduced in 1967; in the reference 812. The watch started life as a 200m water resistant, compressor style watch, in a slender 37mm case. Over the years, however; it has got a lot more 'sporty'. The case profile has been increased to 42mm, as well as increasing in heft. The watch still maintains some of its traditional design cues, with the inner rotating bezel being utilised in some modern iterations of the line. The reason I have picked this over say an Omega Seamaster (Sorry Cal) is just because I think more fun can be had with this watch. Yes dive watches in this price range are much of a muchness... I mean there isn't really a dive watch in this price range that stands out above the rest. But for me watches are all about having fun, and I think a dive watch with a splash of colour (pardon the pun) makes the IWC Aquatimer range my pick of the bunch. The three models I have inserted below to give you an idea of what I am talking about, can all be had for under £5,000 new, and significantly less on the second hand market.
All of these brilliant variations of the IWC Aquatimer can all be had for less than £5,000...
Stupidly expensive: Richard Mille RM32
Now, writing this article I have to assume that there are some people out there just have crazy amounts of cash to spend on watches. With that being said here is the 'Stupidly Expensive' instalment for this weeks article. The watch in question is the Richard Mille RM32. I must admit I hate this watch, i think it looks like a shit sandwich. But unfortunately very expensive dive watches are actually pretty few and far between, and with a price tag of £145,000, this is certainly one of the most expensive out there. As the name suggests, this is a complicated watch. It houses hours, minutes, seconds, a 12-hour totaliser and flyback-chronograph functions, combined with an annual calendar sporting an oversized date at 12 o’clock and a month indicator. This watch, in order to be in-keeping with its 'dive watch' label, is water resistant to 300m. Apart from the frankly horrible (But totally RM) aesthetics, the other problem I have with this watch is the size. It is 50mm...that makes Panerais and Breitlings look like the size of chocolate buttons. Despite not being a personal fan of this watch, if you are after a dive watch that does not look like a Sub or Seamaster, and like the crazy, avant guarde Richard Mille styling; then this is definitely the watch for you. Not only will it do the job it needs to do, with that 300mm water resistance, it will also turn heads. Not to mention you could use it as a side plate if you get to a restaurant and see they have failed to provide you with one to put your bread on! Thats value for money...
Not only is this watch 50mm wide, it is also a whopping 18mm deep.... This watch is something only Richard Mille would ever come up with...
I hope you have enjoyed this latest instalment of '3 at 3'. I have to say I am really enjoying writing these mini series. I think being able to take a popular category that we all know and love, and collect watches in, and take a look at three different watches at three drastically different price ranges, is really fun. Next month I will write another one on another category, which I have yet to decide upon. if there is a particular category that you would like me to write about, please shoot us a message!! At the end of the day we want to write articles that we know you all want to read, so we appreciate your feedback!
Editor and Co-Founder