A TOOL FOR THE DEEP
The dive watch has become the bedrock of 20th century watch design. After its inception in the 1930s this watch genre evolved to have an iconic aesthetic which took hold through the 1950s and has remained steadfast throughout the world ever since.
Luxury watches hold a special place in the world of timekeeping, and among them, the dive watch exudes a distinct allure as a piece of engineering that is designed to withstand the depths of the ocean while embodying elegance and precision. In this article, we will explore the essential characteristics of the aquatic timekeepers and how to identify one, with a special focus on Bremont’s dive watch collection: The Supermarine.
Over the years, Bremont has developed its diving watches to the exacting specifications required for professional divers and military personnel, having worked with the likes of the Royal Navy Clearance Divers, Special Forces Units, North Sea Deep Sea Divers and the Royal Marines. As such, our watches have achieved an enviable pedigree in this field and we are incredibly proud to have created a product which is relied on by the best.
Whether you're an avid diver or simply appreciate the craftsmanship of a fine timepiece, understanding the some of the key principles of dive watch design is a must.
Dive watches are built to endure the demanding underwater environment and the first port of call is the case. The Bremont Supermarine collection boasts Bremont’s highly durable Trip-Tick® watch case which safeguards the intricate movement and delicate components within from external elements, ensuring long-lasting performance.
The robust over-engineered construction utilises three pieces instead of the traditional two, allowing flexibility in the selection of materials such as Stainless Steel, DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) and Titanium, which are used to enhance its resilience and protect against the harsh conditions encountered in the depths of the ocean.
Dive watches possess distinct design features that set them apart from other mechanical timepieces. One of the most important factors in their construction is their impressive water resistance. A true dive watch should be able to withstand high-pressure environments and their superbly engineered construction should ensure the protection of the delicate movement within from high-pressure build up and water entry. The Bremont Supermarine collection incorporates cutting-edge technology to deliver outstanding water resistance from 200m up to 2000m, allowing you to explore the underwater world with confidence regardless of depth.
SCREW DOWN CROWN
All watches in the Supermarine Collection feature a screw-down crown. The ability to ‘lock’ your crown in place and create a secure seal by screwing it into the watch case protects the mechanism from any penetrating water, allowing the watch to withstand greater depths. Additionally, it offers increased protection against impacts and provides peace of mind, knowing the watch is built to withstand the demands of underwater exploration and other outdoor pursuits. For example, the Bremont S500 & S2000 models feature a crown guard which helps protect the crown from impacts to the watch.
HELIUM ESCAPE VALVE
This is a feature within some modern dive watches that is crucial for those who may spend several days working on commercial or industrial dive sites. When spending time in dive chambers with a high helium content, this feature allows helium to escape and prevents the glass of the watch being expelled from the case and component damage - another indicator that dive watch technology is constantly pushing the boundaries. For example, a helium escape valve can be found integrated into the profile of the case of the Bremont S500 and S2000.
Perhaps one of the most distinct characteristics of dive watches is the unidirectional rotating bezel. This bezel allows divers to measure their dive time accurately, a feature of significant importance when time is of the essence. A precisely crafted bezel with knurled edges that are easy to grip, allow a diver to set the time of their descent and track against their elapsed time, letting them know when they need to resurface. You can find out more about dive watch bezel in this article.
To enhance legibility in low-light conditions, dive watches often incorporate luminescent markers on the dial and hands. Ideally, your watch should have visibility from 25 cm in near total darkness, with luminous markings on the hands to keep track of dive time. Super-LumiNova® is a photoluminescent material that absorbs and stores light energy, subsequently emitting it as a glow. This compound is strategically applied to the hands, hour markers, and bezels of dive watches. Bremont's Supermarine collection employ up to as many as 15 to 20 coats of Super-LumiNova®, providing a vibrant and long lasting luminescent effect that stands the test of time.
Dive watches come equipped with many different movement types, each offering its own advantages. Mechanical movements are highly sought-after for their craftsmanship and precision. At the heart of our Supermarine watches lie exceptional Chronometer rated automatic mechanical movements that are self-winding, powered by the movement of the wearer's wrist.
Dive watches are some of the toughest and most durable timepieces you can find. Serious divers take pleasure in the watch, knowing that it has been down with them to places many people will never get the opportunity to experience and that it has got their back, even when their life depends on it. For those that may never go beneath the waves, the dive watch still offers rugged good looks, reliable functionality, and a desire for innovation other watches can’t match.