Back in 2015, I got my Advanced Open Water dive certification which allows me to dive as deep as 40 meters. That’s plenty enough to see beautiful corals and shipwrecks, and being a little claustrophobic I wouldn’t be interested in going deeper anyway. Although I can’t go deep, I like for my dive watch to be rated to at least 200 meters. Not that I need it, I just like to have it. In that spirit, not long ago I wrote an article discussing extreme depths dive watches (LINK) in the likes of the Rolex Deepsea Challenge and the Omega Ultra Deep. During my research, I noticed that many divers categorized as being “deep” or “ultra deep” are actually rated for 1,000 meters. So I thought let’s look at five of these divers and what makes them special.
The Ollech & Wajs C-1000
Few people know that Ollech & Wajs made the first dive watch rated to 1,000 meters, many years before that Rolex and Blancpain did. In 1964, O&W partnered with Jenny Watches, a Swiss-based case manufacturer, to create the Caribbean 1000, probably the sturdiest dive watch of its time. The C-1000 is the modern re-interpretation of the Caribbean 1000 and boasts the same impressive depth rating in a seemingly slender case measuring 39mm in diameter. Powered by the ETA 2824-2, the C-1000 has a unique construction where both the crystal and the case-back are domed to resist pressure at extreme depths. The former is domed outward while the latter is domed inward. The Ollech & Wajs C-1000 is the smallest and slimmest 1,000m-dive watch on this list.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation
Zodiac was also an early key player in the development of capable dive watches. The first Zodiac Sea-Wolf was released in 1953, the same year Blancpain released the Bathyscaphe and one year before that Rolex released the Submariner. Over the subsequent decades, Zodiac developed better and more interesting watches and dipped its toes into the extreme depths divers category. That is what brings us to the Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation diver with its impressive 44mm case diameter and unique visual identity. It is powered by a COSC-certified STP-317 in-house caliber and has a rather bulbous case-back to account for the depth rating of 1,000 meters.
Seiko Marinemaster Professional
Going up still in diameter is the Seiko Marinemaster Professional. Seiko is not new in the dive watch world since it released its first diver, the 62MAS, in 1965. The Japanese brand is known for giving big-name Swiss brands a run for their money and it definitely does in this category. The Marinemaster Professional measures 52.4mm in diameter due to having a unique bezel protection system, making it a beast of a watch. It is powered by the in-house 8L35 caliber, a premium movement from the brand. What makes the Marinemaster unique is that it uses a variety of materials including stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic in its construction.
Mühle S.A.R. Rescue-Timer
I don’t know much about Mühle as a brand but their S.A.R. Rescue-Timer kept popping up during my research. I was immediately attracted by its utilitarian look and in particular the black rubber gasket surrounding the fixed bezel to protect the watch against shocks. S.A.R. stands for “Search and Rescue” and this timepiece was specifically designed for German sea search and rescue teams. (I know, the name gave it up.) The Mühle is the second slimmest watch in this list with a case measuring 42mm in diameter. It is powered by the Sellita SW200-1 movement and has a very tool-ish look thanks to the bead-blasted finish on the case.
Oris ProDiver GMT
Another big-boy, the Oris ProDiver GMT is the only serious diver on this list that comes with a GMT function. Oris is better known for making vintage-looking watches, including divers and pilot watches, which makes this model even more interesting to me. It measures 49mm in diameter and is powered by the Oris Caliber 748 based on a Sellita SW220. The ProDiver GMT has a neat trick up its sleeves: the bezel can be rotated in both directions. However, one has to lift the visible black metal ring in order to turn the bezel counter clockwise. This is a pretty neat feature that only exists on the ProDiver GMT.
You will probably never need a dive watch that can go 1,000 meters deep. Humans can’t go that deep without the help of a specialized submersible anyway. But—and here is the but—why not have one? At least you will feel at ease that your watch will be able to handle any levels of exposure to water like a champ. Is it necessary? Useful? Nah. But you and I didn’t get into this hobby because we are pragmatic. We go by feeling. So now you have five options for 1,000 meters dive watches that come in different diameters and with various price tags. (I didn’t mention the prices because what you pay will depend on where you live in the world.)Featured image: www.muehle-glashuette.de