Nowadays, you can hardly throw a dead fish without hitting another new dive watch brand. The availability of Far East shops that will stamp out a few hundred watch cases based on a napkin sketch means that almost anyone with a little ambition and a small loan can start their own watch company. And there are many, with names and retro designs evoking the romance and adventure of the early days of diving. While it’s great to see such a swell in interest in timepieces and the entrepreneurial spirit so healthy, it’s also great to see an old name revived and a brand that is staying faithful to its heritage. Case in point: Aquadive and its Bathyscaphe dive watches in two sizes. I’ve been wearing the smaller Bathyscaphe 100 in stealthy black DLC trim for the past few months and have come away duly impressed.
The Swiss brand, Aquadive, was popular in the 1960s and 70s and, as their name suggests, they specialized only in dive watches. Huge for their era, sturdy and affordable, Aquadive quickly became the brand of choice for recreational divers. Their innovative Time-Depth 50, with its integrated depth gauge and electronic movement cemented Aquadive’s name in the annals of great dive watches. Collectors hunt for Time-Depth 50s in good condition but, given their age and regular underwater use, they are scant. And while Aquadive produced other models over their brief history, the brand went the way of so many others when cheap Japanese quartz watches took hold of the market.