By Jason Heaton
on 1.13.09

Big Watches From a Small Company

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Fellow dive watch enthusiasts, we live in fortunate times. The big Swiss and Japanese watch houses are cranking out new models annually in a veritable arms race to see who can go deeper. Lucky for men like us, at the other end of the spectrum there exists a burgeoning set of upstart watch companies who are gaining a foothold through creative design and high quality watches that intend to give more expensive timepieces a run for their money.

jason-zinex-nitrox-underwater.jpgOne of these small watchmakers is the Zinex Watch Company. In the past year, Zinex has released two popular dive watches – the Nitrox and the Trimix. The owner of Zinex, Joe Sadri, is an accomplished diver and his creations are brimming with functional features that are tested in real world conditions.

I scored a Nitrox to take diving recently (see photo to the right) and I found out what the buzz is about. Suffice it to say, it is well justified.

[Continued after the jump]Make no mistake, this is a big watch. At 46mm across, the steel case with double-sealed, screw-down crown and thick sapphire crystal is water-resistant to a lung-crushing 500 meters. I only took it down to 97 feet but was still able to appreciate the chunky, tactile timing bezel, highly visible dial, and oversized luminescent hands. The watch came on a steel bracelet with safety clasp and wetsuit extension, but I swapped it out for the supplied rubber strap that was plenty long enough to fit around a 3mm wetsuit sleeve. An accurate and durable Swiss automatic movement keeps the time, and mine stayed within a couple of seconds per day over the course of my week long dive trip.

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Dive watches are simple brutes by design. They need to be visible underwater, withstand the depths and the knocks of rough use, and have a method to track elapsed time. The Zinex Nitrox does all of these things very well, all whilst sporting in a hyper-masculine classic dive watch design.

Cost: $975

Also See: Doxa SUB 800Ti | Victorinox Swiss Army Legacy Reserve De Marche Platine

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