Thread: Dive Watches
View Single Post
      12-25-2013, 01:44 PM   #8
Major General
tony20009's Avatar

Drives: BMW 335i - Coupe
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Washington, DC

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by BASTOS HUMARUROT 335i View Post
Check out UTS dive watches. Got introduced to the brand by dive friends active in the German MIL/LE. They are IMO, one of the best dive watches to own.

I have to say, I love that most of the coolest dive watches are made by brands "nobody ever heard of." UTS doesn't have a lot of brand recognition, so they won't have any perceived status value either. I have said before and will repeat:
The customer does not gain status from the watch. It's quite literally the other way round: the watchmaker gains status from the customer. If you, "Mr. Accomplished or Celebrity person," didn't buy the watch and wear it, what status would the watch or watchmaker have? Not one bit. Period.
I do hope more and more folks realize that and start just buying "stuff" because it's what they think is cool, ignoring whether anyone else has heard of it or not. Your bank balance is your business and so is the watch you bought from funds that were once part of that balance.

If one is seeking UTS's look and aren't entirely settled on UTS, consider Pita and Kobold too. The modern chunky look is shared among the three. UTS make a big deal out of their watches being essentially sculpted from a hunk of metal rather than molded. I don't know how much of a difference that makes, but it's what they sing about.

They make excellent watches. I've seen a couple of them. One thing I can tell you is that a UTS feels like the horological equivalent of a tank in one's hands. There's a reason for that too: they are 1000+ meter dive watches that don't use a helium release feature. As a result, their construction takes the "brute force" approach to preventing the watch to succumbing to the destructive affects of helium entering the watch. There are other "valveless" dive watches with similar depth ratings. They too use the same "brute force" approach; there really isn't another approach if the watch lacks a HRV. So all of them will feel rock solid. The mechanical ones will feel a bit more so because they've got the metal of the movement inside rather than a quartz movement, which is considerably lighter in weight.

If one wants UTS quality at a slightly lower price, Aquadive's products are well worth considering (there are probably others). Aquadive use an automated HRV. Although I don't care too much for the aesthetics of the one Aquadive I've seen, I have to grant that the tall bezel it has makes it quite easy to rotate the bezel, even with gloves on. I suppose there could well be folks who find uses for them (outside of dive-specific uses) and for whom the larger size of the Aquadive one may be beneficial. For me the bezel ergonomics is irrelevant because even though I swim, I don't have any reason to care how well a dive watch performs when I am swimming. For regular scuba divers, I guess it'd matter; one can never have too much redundancy when it comes to making sure one ascends to the surface in a timely manner.

Between those two, I personally would choose a UTS because I like the aesthetics better, seeing as non-temporal functionality doesn't matter to me.

The bigger truth as goes dive watches, and most especially the ones that will serve only as "desk divers," all of them are incredibly well constructed and durable. The movements one is going to find in them -- in-house, ETA, Selitta, Miyota, F. Piguet, Sea-gull, etc. -- are going to be quite reliable. Choosing a good one, for 90%+ of users, is going to be a decision based on something other than pure functionality, construction quality and reliability. For the remaining 10%, I advise choosing one that meets the requirements at the lowest price that also looks good to one's eye. Some collectors will buy Bremont, Rolex, Blancpain, JLC, Patek, and other pricey ones, while others will choose UTS, Mido, Deep Blue, Obris Morgan, Hexa, Squale and others. Suum cuique.

I am willing to say in some cases X is better than Y, but I also know I'm splitting hairs when I make that sort of statement. I can even say it's better from a watch collector's point of view, but that's still just a general statement that is made with zero awareness of the actual person collecting's collection objectives.

Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100

I know for myself, I buy watches that are "just because I think they are cool" and I buy so called "collection" watches. The latter are always very expensive, but the former are almost always not. Dive watches fall into both groups and as they are so super easy to own and wear, I'm glad there're lots and lots of great ones to be had at all sorts of price points.

Bremont Supermarine -- among the pricier choices, this one is IMO superior to Omega and IWC and the only thing, from a collector's standpoint, that it yields to a Rolex Sub and JLC Master Compressor is that it's not in-house. Of course it doesn't carry the magnifying cyclops, but then that's patented/trademarked by Rolex.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut and Nautilus -- PP is all that and a bag of chips. Then again, nobody looking for this level of watch ever did or didn't chose PP because of the price. For folks into "flipping" watches, it's the one brand that keeps pace with Rolex re: resale value. Sometimes thought of a bargain Nautilus, the Aquanaut is the one I like, but they are quite similar. I just find the look of the Aquanaut to be something one wouldn't expect to find from PP and it's as rugged a thing as PP is likely to offer. Regardless of which one you like, both are among the best looking things the 1970s ever produced.

JLC Navy Seals Master Compressor (1st pic) -- a beautiful watch, but it's not the best thing JLC's put forth. I advise buying it if one loves it for one won't be disappointed, but if one wants something from JLC, the Reverso or Master Control or Master Ultra Thin (MUT) are better picks, again from a general collector's standpoint. That's a bit of a shame for me because JLC is easily one of my favorite brands. If for no other reason, I really like them because among the "holly trinity" they are far and away the bang-for-the-buck way to go, yielding only the most minor of movement decoration details to their peers. Indeed, some Patek movements start out as JLC ebauches. The list of great watchmakers to whom JLC provide movements of one or another extent of completion is not short.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Bathyscaphe (pro) version - Beautiful. Sublime really.

IWC Aquatimer - Love the look with the rubber strap

Mido - Although Deep Blue is my personal favorite among the sensibly priced options, I have to admit that Mido offers nice styling touches and make no lesser a product. In this price range the little "wave like" detail on the dial is nice to see.

H2O -- Several models -- Priced between Aquadive and Deep Blue, these guys offer great style and great functionality. Check out the bezel edges. Super cool. You can tell from some of H2O's models that they are well aware that most of their watches will never see serious functional duty on a dive. Check out the model that has no markings on the bezel and the dome on the one that does (last pic). I think it's quite cool when a serious manufacturer an yet admit that there's nothing wrong with a touch of silliness, even as they also make pieces that are very serious (first pic).

All the best.

'07, e92 335i, Sparkling Graphite, Coral Leather, Aluminum, 6-speed
Appreciate 0