One theme I have been working on for many years is the “Early Divers”…
What define an early diver?
For me: that is a watch which was launched in the beginning of the “modern” divers watch era, as a divers watch, but lack some of the typical divers watch trades.
Some brands like Blancpain and Rolex were very early into the game while most brands followed as “skin diving” became more popular in the mid and late 1950’s.
Yes, there were earlier “waterproof” watches… Like the Omega Marine… But to me, the modern divers watch was born in the 1950’s.
Often “just an enlarged copy” of the brands dress watch from the time, with the difference of the case being waterproof.
Instead of size between 33 – 35 mm, these cases are 35 – 37 mm. Often with the same movement as the dress watch which resulted in that many of these early divers have wider bezel and manual movement inside.
No turning divers bezel or screw-down crown, but one thing that most brands did was to add larger lume on hands and dial.
Manual movement resulting in more wear on the crown seal and without the screw-down crown protection, many of these early divers did not survive…
The modest size in today’s fashion, makes them perfect to wear as a dress watch – a dress watch with an edge!
These early divers are often the first generation of the brands divers line which would develop during the 1950’s and 1960’s and some of them still in production today…
With such history – it’s hard not to love this theme!
Upper row, left to right:
1957 – Girard-Perregaux 7254 Deep Diver: 100 Fathoms
1958 – Zenith S. 58: 150 Meters
1958 – Eberhard & Co 11535 Scafograf 100: 100 Meters
1958 – Eterna-Matice 130T-1414 KonTiki: 200 Meters
These were all originally black dial watches, but several of them existed also with white dials… One day we will look into these as well…
Stay tuned, more early divers to come…