As one of my previous posts recently showed, there are many choices when it comes to “Divers” models, especially when considering major brands. There are also other models from Casio, Invicta and Momentum to name just a few. There are also others that advertise as Divers, but for me I only consider “dive rated” models at 200m or better. Plus basic features such as good dial legibility under water, large hands and numerals, good luminous qualities, a screw down crown and a uni-directional bezel.
I highlight here some that caught my attention, starting with the classic Seiko “Monster” Divers SKX781K, Automatic in Orange and black versions – one that I particularly like.
This is an absolute classic Divers watch and very popular with good reason. Solid chunky watch in Stainless Steel watch with high visibility dial and contrasting hands and markers, rated at 200m Water Resistance and with a large uni-directional bezel that is a delight to use. The bezel markings are sharp and clear with the conventional 15, 30 and 45 minute graduations in large high contrast figuring with a luminous dot marker at Zero. The orange dial also features a Day and Date in a nicely outlined window @3 again with good contrast luminous figures and large enough not to require any magnifier bubble. The luminous system used is Seiko Lumibrite, which for me has one of the best luminous properties of any (I don’t include Tritium light source technology). The large screw down crown is very well protected by the projecting case profile on one side and the cleverly extended solid case lug on the other. The mechanical automatic movement is the dependable 7S26 which has reasonable accuracy at around +/- 25 secs/day – not quite in the quartz bracket, but good for a mechanical model. The crystal is the Seiko in-house “Hardlex” which is a good combination of scratch and shatter resistance.
These models are available from around $120 to $160 depending on discounts etc. and represent superb value when you consider these are from a major Manufacturer with good guarantees and service back up.
I have not included Citizen this time as featured some in the previous post on Divers, so this time I’m looking at other brands that offer a similar capability, such as Momentum from the St Moritz Watch Company of Canada. They have quite a neat range of 200m Water Resistance “Divers”, though I find it difficult to know what’s current and what’s discontinued. Of several Diver models I have opted for and particularly like the Shadow 11 model (IM-DV86B0), which is a good sized black IP coated stainless steel version at 41mm x 12mm case size. It has a quartz movement with Day/Date window @3, luminous hands and markers with a second hand with arrow tip. The uni-directional bezel is well defined, though as others in the Brand, they use slightly unconventional 20, 30, 40 and 50 minute markers (another model uses, 5, 15, 25, 35, 45 and 55, which I find confusing). There is also an offset semi-protected screw down crown.
This model version has black IP 316L steel case and bracelet, though my next featured watch has the more usual stainless finish. The Momentum Storm 11 model, which I find more compact looking in case a dial set up, perhaps as I’m more used to the Seiko and Citizen models, but certainly worth considering.
The dial on both models appear quite Seiko looking with the round markers and so on which I find very pleasing. The prices of both watches seem to be in the same bracket as the more popular models and certainly shows there are no shortage of models in this Divers category.
Another brand at the low end of this price bracket is the Invicta Watch Group, a US Company trading on the original Swiss Invicta Watch Company name since 1991 and they feature a few Diver category models in their range.
A more Rolex Submariner looking watch you’re unlikely to see, which can be got for around $80 or £65+ in the UK (may be subject to VAT and customs here in the UK). Good looking 200m Water Resistance model with uni-directional 120 click bezel with good markings and that luminous Dot at Zero. It uses a Miyota 21j automatic mechanical movement and has a mineral crystal. The movement from memory does not have the best power reserve, so unless you are pretty active it could be an issue. The later model 9937 the features a 23j movement, where the power reserve is improved, a sapphire crystal and better magnifier date window. Though the date is actually OK for me on this model. A screw down protected crown @3 and watch dimensions are 40 x 12mm, so is a really neat sized Divers watch which will suit the smaller wrist. Rolex style dial with luminous hands and markers, plus center sweep seconds hand, sets off a rather handsome watch.
As long as you don’t expect Rolex quality, this watch should manage quite well, but time will tell in the long run.
So a few more Divers to consider and I hope to have a more in depth look at the Seiko “Monster” and the Citizen BN models in the near future, which should be fun as I’m hoping to replace some of my older Divers and move them on.
That’s diversity for you.