Big Watches From a Small Company
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.
One 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.
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.