Want a “skin diver”? Rolex and Tudor already have you covered.

Want a “skin diver”? Rolex and Tudor already have you covered.

Cole Pennington wished for thinner dive watches in the spirit of 1960s and 1970s skin divers in a Hodinkee article about editors’ wish lists for 2022. Pennington wrote: “Most folks who wear dive watches these days don't dive much anyway, and for those that do, your 200m models already in production suffice. Don't be afraid to introduce some 38mm x 11mm watches that clock in at 120m WR. I'd buy a few of them!”

Photo by @officine_scrivano

I’d argue that there are quite a few options for us already. The Rolex Submariner and Tudor Black Bay 58 are both under 13mm thick and wear rather well. Those brands also offer chunkier dive watches such as the Deepsea Sea-Dweller or the Pelagos, for example. Other brands such as Oris offer quite a few selections in the genre that Pennington describes. Its Diver 65 lineup includes multiple models 40mm and under and are pretty thin at 12mm thick. Zodiac, Squale and Citizen are other brands that offer something along the lines of a more svelte water-resistant watch with a rotating timing bezel.

Photo by @westwoundwatches

I get that Pennington is simply calling for even more manufacturers to make smaller and slimmer dive watches. The second part of his entry talks about ISO certification adherence ruining some of the aesthetics of watches, mentioning Seiko’s recent need to add a bit of lume to the three o’clock date window area to comply with the diving organization’s standards. I back him in wanting more watches to simply be designed in the spirit of dive watches for those of use who have never donned SCUBA equipment.

Photo by @watchdawg

Even Casio has introduced thinner cased G-Shocks, which have historically been pretty beefy. The demand must be there, but as you could tell from my glowing review of the Black Bay 58, I feel you can get the best of both worlds even if your options aren’t as wide open as they could be. My 14060M Submariner is 12mm thick and has a case width of 39mm. It feels very slim on the wrist for a sports watch. The jangly old-school bracelet makes it super comfortable while wearing it too.

But if you are seeking a lower-priced alternative to Tudor and Rolex, the Oris Diver 65 comes in at $2,000 and features a time-tested Selita movement. Speaking of Selita movements, we can’t forget to mention our own MONTA Oceanking, which comes in at 11.9mm thick with a 40mm case. The Oceanking sells for $2,140.

As I write this, temperatures are in the teens with the wind making it feel like single digits. So now is the best time to plan your summer trips and purchase a skin diver-style watch for your future adventures.

Or you have pick up and rubber strap for your Submariner and up your comfort level.

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