Watches specifically designed for divers are among the most popular timepieces ever made. They’ve been around a long time, with models from the ’50s right up to the present day. Divers will often wear these watches as cufflinks, necklaces, and rings due to the variety of designs and styles available.
In this article, we will discuss the development of the Divers watch throughout history.
Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms watch debuted in 1949 and was made specifically for scuba divers. The watch is water-resistant to a certain depth, and it displays the correct time and depth for its wearer no matter where they are. Even though their round cases made them look like they could withstand water, the earliest watches marketed as “divers” were not actually watertight.
This style remained popular until 1956, when Omega introduced the revolutionary Seamaster 300. The watch had a rotating bezel and a square case, both of which are common features in modern dive watches. The “pilot’s watch” or “aviator’s watch” case is the standard for many modern dive watches.
The Swiss government adopted the ISO 6425 standard, which designated 300-meter-rated water resistance for divers’ watches, in 1970. They developed the ISO 6425-1 standard in 1971 to determine how precisely a watch performs in liquid.
In 1988, Seiko released the 7s26, the first 5 jewel chronometer diving watch with a GMT complication, to better meet the needs of divers and offshore workers. In 1989, this was succeeded by the 6309 version. Because they were both cheap and reliable, the military began using them. Because of this, Seiko is still known as “The Timepiece That Goes Wrong-Free” (TM).
The Glashütte Diver was introduced by Glashütte Original in 1992. The “diver’s bezel” on this watch made it unique, as it allowed the wearer to keep track of time while submerged. Diver watches had a special bezel with a rotating disc that sealed the watch from underwater action.
Omega noticed the rise in popularity of specialised dive watches and responded in 1995 with the Seamaster 600m.