Watchismo Times | category: diver


Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge Watches

Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge WatchesTwo new models from Pierre Kunz. The "Vertigo" with linear retrograde hour indicator on left, rising and falling with each 12 hour cycle and compartmentalized minutes and seconds in the displays on the right.

Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge Watches
Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge WatchesVertigo movement

Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge WatchesSecondly, the Pierre Kunz "Spirit Diver" with a depth gauge (up to 80 meters) inside a sapphire tube fixed to the left side of the case and rotating disc for seconds.

Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge Watches
via Selectism

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All Watches with Retrograde Functions

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Omega Reissues the Famous Ploprof Divers Watch - 1970s Jacques Cousteau Collaboration

Omega Reissues the Famous Ploprof Divers Watch - 1970s Jacques Cousteau Collaboration
Omega announces the 2009 Professional Ploprof Diver developed in conjunction with famed diver Jacques Cousteau.

Technical Specifications:
  • Movement: Co-Axial Caliber 8500
  • Case: Stainless Steel, Water resistant to 1200 meters
  • Sapphire bezel and crystal
  • Bi-directional rotating bezel with security push-button lock for the bezel
  • Screwed-in and protected crown at 9
  • Special Seamaster medallion on the case-back with grooved wave-pattern
  • Bracelet: New Omega mesh SHARK-PROOF bracelet or rubber strap (black or orange) that can be adjusted for wearing over the diving suit (can be up to 7mm thick thanks to a double extension system), a new sliding clasp, capable of fine adjustments

The watch has a MSRP of CHF 8,000 on the mesh or roughly $7,700.

Omega Reissues the Famous Ploprof Divers Watch - 1970s Jacques Cousteau Collaboration
via Watch Happening

Below, a watch collector friend provided a wrist shot of his enormous vintage 1970s Ploprof...

Omega Reissues the Famous Ploprof Divers Watch - 1970s Jacques Cousteau Collaboration

Omega Reissues the Famous Ploprof Divers Watch - 1970s Jacques Cousteau CollaborationThe solid caseback (movement was accessed from the front)

Some history on the Ploprof from Deskdivers;

Developed in conjunction with Comex and the legendary Jacques Cousteau, Omega conceived and developed what was probably the first waterproof watch designed and built solely for the diving professional.The watch took 4 years to come to the market after extensive testing and arrived in 1970. It was nicknamed PloProf by the French speaking development team and derives from the French term PLOngeur PROFessionnel (Professional Diver).Comex used early models of the PloProf and continued their research into living underwater for prolonged periods. One Issue that still concerned Comex was helium infiltration, which carried the danger of causing a watch crystal to pop out during decompression. There is no proof that this problem occurred with any Ploprof, and later tests by the American diving research centre Ocean Systems Inc. in Tarrytown, NY, certified that the Ploprof was ‘more watertight’ than a submarine. However, Comex wanted to be sure to combat the helium infiltration issue, rather than trust improved watch-case sealing. They chose to continue their research work with Rolex and Doxa to test their new Helium Expulsion Valve (HEV) designs. HEVs were incorporated in the Rolex SeaDweller which Comex used reliably for many, many years."

Read more about the vintage history here-->DesktopDivers

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Sea The Best Diver Watch Photographs Ever...

Mens Vogue fashion director Stephen Watson and photographer Raymond Meier have sunk to new heights with their stunning new spread of today's best Diver watches. Shot inside actual tanks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the watches including the Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible, Movado Series 800, Glashütte Original Sport Evolution Panoramadatum, Bell & Ross BR 02, and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographica are all featured with real sea creatures molesting them. See the whole series here-->Link

Sea The Best Diver Watch Photographs Ever...Jaeger-LeCoultre's Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic ($22,000; sports a push-button depth gauge. The sea nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens) travels up to 3,600 vertical feet daily.

Sea The Best Diver Watch Photographs Ever...Bell & Ross's BR O2 Steel ($4,000; is also water-resistant up to 1,000 meters, while the Sand Rose Anemone (Urticina Columbiana), spends its life stuck to a rock.

I recently met with Stephen who conceptualized this shoot and was impressed to learn that this was the real deal, not some photoshopped trickery. He described the custom tanks Monterey Aquarium staff set up for each watch and the buckets of tiny animals they poured into them.

Quite honestly these are the best thematic watch photographs I've ever seen. The bar has been raised to the bottom of the sea.

See the full spread at the Mens Vogue website here-->Link

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Afraid of the Deep End - Eterna Kon Tiki Diver

Afraid of the Deep End - Eterna Kon Tiki DiverAn anticipated model from Eterna, the Kon Tiki Diver. A behemoth of a watch at 46mm, ETA 2897 with power reserve display, hinged case, and more than a year overdue with a potential November release.

Afraid of the Deep End - Eterna Kon Tiki Diver

Afraid of the Deep End - Eterna Kon Tiki Diver
via The Watch Quote & Chad the Watch Guy
Eterna website-->Link

Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK

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The Killer Zodiac Watch of the Zodiac Killer

Warning! If you haven't seen the film "Zodiac" by David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en), this post contains spoilers for the movie.

This was a note left by the serial killer, the "Zodiac" in the late 1960s - One of many letters to the press taunting the police with ciphers and threats, terrorizing the city of San Francisco all the way through the mid-seventies. This one in particular described how he wanted people to wear his trademark crosshair logo on buttons with obvious hints of future bloodshed if he wasn't satisfied.

But my post today at TWT has less to do with his crimes and more to do with his strange wristwatch related identity.

Originally, his unsigned notes announced himself as "the killer". But soon after, he was compelled (if not convinced) to create an identity. Following letters featured a circle with crosshairs and the name "Zodiac", it was soon discovered later that the image and name combination was directly borrowed from the Swiss watch brand of the same name and same logo. Zodiac watches were the only known source where both were used. Although the crimes were never
officially solved, the prime suspect (to this day) did own a Zodiac Seawolf watch. It wasn't a very common brand to own and many other clues have linked this man to the murders. I've included the film scene below featuring the suspect interviewed by police where they discover his timepiece of choice. Forgive the quality, it was taped directly from my TV.

Press play above or go to the video-->Link

The Zodiac Suspect Arthur Leigh Allen and his Zodiac Sea Wolf

The Zodiac's 1967 Sea Wolf Diver

Movie trailer video->Link
or official Zodiac Movie Website->Link
The Zodiac Killer Timeline-->Link

Original 1960's Zodiac Sea Wolf Advertisement
(hey, is that diver killing that turtle??)

And an assortment of other vintage Zodiac
Seawolf Divers of the sixties, seventies and today;

1960s Sea Wolf Automatic

1970 Orange Diver

1970s Auto Diver

1970s SST SeaWolf

2007 Seawolfs

More styles in vintage ads-->Link

Watch photo credits;
Vintage Zodiacs

More info about the Zodiac Killer;
Crime Library
Zodiac Movie Site
Zodiac Killer-Wikipedia
Vintage Zodiacs
Zodiac Website

Click here for vintage Seawolf auctions
Find modern Zodiac watches here

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Vintage Watching #1 - Onsa Aquarius Super Compressor

Vintage Watching #1 - Onsa Aquarius Super Compressor
As much as I'd like to buy every unusual vintage watch I come across, I must begrudgingly resist. Therefore, I'd like to initiate the first official 'Vintage Watching' feature here at TWT. Take advantage of my geeky obsessions for the rare and obscure.

This strange 1960s Onsa Aquarius Super Compressor Diver with ETA automatic movement, dual crown and dive tables (or something) on the dial. Available for $775 at-->Link

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Vintage Enicar Watches - Reversing Time in the Sixties & Seventies

Enicar was created when Artiste Racine (Racine Watch Co.) spelled his name backward and created a hearty brand that many people are unfamiliar over 90 years later. A special time existed for Enicar in the sixties and seventies when they developed their own automatic movements & focused on sport watches in addition to the rare odd vintage-modern designs featured here. Holding a special place in my collection, some of these Enicar was the very first vintage watches I ever owned. The Sherpa models are named for the 1956 Swiss Himalayan expedition that relied on Enicar timepieces.

Two crater-shaped models including the faceted space-age 70's Sherpa Star 

And the bark-textured volcano 70's Sherpa Star
1970 Asymmetrical Sherpa 350 & 356 Automatic

1970's Sherpa 320 Automatic
1970s Enicar Automatic Digital Jump Hour
1970's Enicar Automatic Mechanical Digital Jump Hour
1972 Enicar Sherpa Star Rotorwind Automatic
1970's asymmetric Enicar Mantagraph
1970's Enicar Chrono
1965 Enicar Sherpa 'Jet Graph' Chronograph
1970 Enicar Superdive
1950's Enicar Triple Date Moonphase Chronograph

1960's Minimal 'CircleSquare'

James Bond Gadget Watch History - Q-Branch Issues

Original 1962 Rolex Submariner from first 007, 'Dr. No'

James Bond generally prefers wearing a Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster throughout the series but when issued a specialty watch from Q-Branch, 007 has worn every gadget from Geiger counters to circular saws. Interestingly, the first James Bond, 'Dr. No' had no real gadgets at all.

Piano Wire Watch

1963's 'From Russia With Love' is the first 007 movie to introduce a multi-function watch, only it's worn by the villain, Red Grant. Fitted with a retractable piano-wire for strangulation.
Grant tried to strangle Bond with the wire aboard the Orient Express during a fierce battle. However when Bond was being choked, he grabbed for his throwing knife and stabbed Grant in the leg, snatching the wire and strangling him.
An ordinary looking wrist watch, but on the side of it was a small tab, when pulled, a long steel wire would retract like a tape measure.

1965 'Thunderball' 'Geiger Counter'
Breitling 'Top Time' Diver Chrono

(No crown, no chronograph pushers)

Bond gave the camera to Domino, with instructions to turn it on whilst aboard the Disco Volante, Domino did this and the device worked well. However Largo came into the room, Domino dropping it in fright, Largo was not a fool and heard the distinctive clicking noise of the Geiger counter. And began to torture Domino, who was saved by Kutze who had a change of heart when the bombing was ordered.
An ordinary small camera, common to the one's carried by tourists. However it contained a Geiger counter device, with it's reading gauge around the bezel of the lens.

Almost timing to real world watch technology innovations, Roger Moore is introduced as the new 007 and with that - some of the most inventive watches of the series are introduced in 1973's 'Live and Let Die.'

1973 'Live And Let Die'
Hamilton Pulsar 'P2 2900' LED digital watch

(non-gadget but latest technology)

Pulsar P2 LED

1973 'Live And Let Die' - Rolex 'Buzzsaw" Submariner
(spinning saw bezel used to cut free of rope)

Bond firstly used his watch for a more entertaining purpose, by activating the magnet and unzipping Miss Caruso's dress. Towards the end of the mission when Bond and Solitaire were being lowered into Kananga's shark pool, Bond used the magnet to get hold of a compressed air bullet. Bond then used the mini saw to cut through the rope around his wrists and free himself. After a fight with Kananga, Bond forced the bullet into Kananga's mouth, making him "bite the bullet".
A standard looking Rolex diving watch with a few added extras:
  • High power electromagnet, which could deflect the path of a bullet
  • The bezel was equipped with a diamond cutting wheel

1973 'Live and Let Die'
Rolex 'Magnetized' Submariner Wristwatch
(Best use - Unzipping a dress,
Most utilitarian - Bullet guard)

1974 'The Spy Who Loved Me'
Seiko 0674 'Ticker Tape' Wristwatch

This device was used to dispatch Bond back to headquarters. He was required to "pull out" of his current "mission", in a warmed up log cabin with a stunning blonde KGB agent.

A digital watch with an in built satellite link, short messages could be sent from MI6 and printed from the watch on a thin spool of tape.

1979 'Moonraker'
Seiko m354 Memory Bank 'Plastique Explosive' Wristwatch

(explosive coil hidden in caseback)

Bond and Holly Goodhead were trapped inside the bunker of a space shuttle's launch pad, under it's rocket boosters. Time quickly running out, Bond removed the explosive, stuck it to a welded exhaust grate and blew it off the wall, making for an easy escape.
A digital watch, with an extended back-plate that could be removed to reveal a small but powerful explosive charge and a detonator wire. The explosive is removed and the detonator wire plugs into the side of the watch, a button detonates the explosive at a safe distance.

Octopussy Wrist Dart Gun

Bond used the wrist dart gun 3 times, once saving his life. Firstly he tested it out in M's office by firing a dart into a painting. Bond's life saving came, when he was in a centrifuge, the control room was taken over by Drax's henchman Chang, who turned up the G's to a lethal volume. Bond flicked his wrist, firing an amour piercer into the overridden stop button, stopping the machine with a short circuit. Lastly Bond used a poison tip to kill Drax, firing it into his heart and forcing him though an airlock into space.
A small gun like device propelled the darts by using pressurised gas, good for 10 firings before refill. The poison tipped darts, were coated with concentrated cyanide, the amour piercing dart had cores of depleted uranium - like the ammunition used in large bore military machine guns.

1981 'For Your Eyes Only'
Seiko H357 Analog Digital Display with scrolling LED message bar

(also Dick Tracy style two-way radio)

A newer version of Bond's mothballed ticker tape watch, the Voice Link watch. Beeped at Bond, just as he was ready for a moonlight swim, Bond threw the watch to Melina Havelock's pet parrot. None other than Margaret Thatcher was on the other end of the line from 10 Downing Street, where Q had wired up the phone to the satellite link.
A digital/analogue combination watch, with a built-in satellite phone to receive calls direct from MI6.

1983 'Octopussy'
Seiko Liquid Crystal TV Watch


Isn't it obvious?

1983 'Octopussy' Seiko G757 Sports 100
Homing Device/Hidden Microphone Monitor

1995 'Golden Eye' Omega Seamaster
Laser emitting, explosive device wristwatch

1997 'Tomorrow Never Dies' Omega Seamaster
Detonator Watch

1999 'World Is Not Enough' Omega Seamaster
Dual Laser/Grappling Hook Watch

"Goldeneye": When Bond and Natalya got trapped inside the ICBM train, surrounded by one-inch thick amour plating. As Natalya pounded away at a computer keyboard trying to trace Boris' location, Bond activated the laser cutter on his watch and proceeded to cut a manhole in the floor of train. With seconds left, Bond ripped Natalya away from the computer, the two dived through the man hole, and ran from the train seconds before it exploded. Later in the mission, Bond had a series of magnetic mines activated in Trevelyan's HQ, and his watch could arm or disarm the mines. Trevelyan, being a former MI6 agent, knew about Bond's watch, he took it from Bond and disarmed the mines.
"Tomorrow Never Dies": Bond picks up a new version of the Omega courtesy of Wai Lin's stock of gadgets. Bond uses the detachable remote detonator to make a booby trap with a grenade and a glass jar. When Bond needs a diversion after Carver shoots his hostage, Gupta, 007 triggers the detonator causing the grenade to pop free and self-arm.
"The World Is Not Enough": Bond first uses the watch to illuminate the inside of the inflated bubble ski jacket whilst himself and Elektra are trapped in an avalanche. The watch is useful later, when stuck in an inspection pit in the nuclear bunker, Bond fires the piton wire to jump 50 feet.
An Omega Seamaster with blue face and bezel. Modified to incorporate a high-power laser diode, capable of cutting through two inches of steel. It was also equipped with a button used to arm and disarm the magnetic mines.
Wai Lin's gadget masters incorporate a detachable detonator into the watch for "Tomorrow Never Dies". Bond notes they have a newer version than his Quartermaster at MI6.
For "The World Is Not Enough", the watch is fitted with a miniature grappling hook which includes a 50 foot high tensile micro filament, able to support 800 pounds. Bond puts this into use to escape a potentially explosive situation. Q-Branch has also incorporated dual high-powered lasers into the design, and the casing is made from titanium.

2006 'Casino Royale'
Back to basics with gadgetless Omega Seamaster
Special thanks to;M16
Pocket Calculator Show
James McMahon
James Bond Dot Com

UFO of the Sea - 1953 "Deep Sea Special" Diver

Side-view of Deep Sea Special

Created to test new endurances of a diver watch, The Deep Sea Special was fixed to the outside of Auguste Piccard's deep sea diving submarine, the bathyscaph "Trieste." It proved itself at a record depth of 10,335 feet (3150 meters) in 1953. Waterproof up to seven miles and capable of withstanding pressure at seven tons per square inch.

Obviously, the appeal to my tastes occurs with the domed bubble crystal and enormous 57mm length. Purely prototypical, approximately less than seven exist with a potential of 35 additional replicas.

Pierre Kunz Retrograde Vertigo & Spirit Diver Tube Depth Gauge WatchesOmega Reissues the Famous Ploprof Divers Watch - 1970s Jacques Cousteau CollaborationSea The Best Diver Watch Photographs Ever...Afraid of the Deep End - Eterna Kon Tiki DiverThe Killer Zodiac Watch of the Zodiac KillerVintage Watching #1 - Onsa Aquarius Super CompressorVintage Enicar Watches - Reversing Time in the Sixties & SeventiesJames Bond Gadget Watch History - Q-Branch Issues

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