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Three Vintage Dive Watches In Modern Sizes


February 8, 2019 Watches By Photo by Analog / Shift

For all the interesting history and quirky character of vintage watches, diminutive dimensions keep some modern buyers away. There are exceptions, but this is often true even of dive watches. Probably considered massive for their time, here are some cool vintage dive watches measuring around from 42mm to over 44mm which should fit well on wrists that are accustomed to more modern sport watch sizes. One caveat: even though their water-resistance ratings were impressive back in the day, we recommend getting the seals replaced on vintage watches before actually taking them in the water.

Richard Aquamax Supercompressor Diver 8835

What we like: Swiss-made from 1962, this is a cool example of a less common form of dive watch featuring two crowns and a rotating inner bezel in a case type known as a “Super Compressor” — one crown is for time-setting, and one for turning the bezel, and the deeper one dives with the watch, the better the water resistance. As vintage designs have made a comeback, this type of dive watch has also returned here and there in modern interpretations. The Richard Aquamax Supercompressor is the real thing, however, and the indices’ unusual shapes and handset design along with touches like the crosshatch pattern on the crowns give it an unmistakable 1960s character. A domed crystal that seems to echo the shape of the raised dial adds to the charm, and its 42mm width will feel perfectly contemporary.

From the seller: Overall, the watch is in very good condition. The original black glossy dial is almost flawless and shows radium lume. The hands have been professionally color-matched to the dial.

Omega Seamaster 1000 “Grande” Diver

What we like: With an unusual case shape at a whopping (for the 1970s) 44.5mm wide without the (left-hand) crown, this watch is a firsthand look into Omega’s hardcore 1970s dive watch history. Water resistance of 1,000m is not even common today (though it’s not unheard-of), but at the time of its production the Omega Seamaster 1000 “Grande” Diver was pushing the limits of dive watch technology. This was part of Omega’s quest to go ever deeper and was probably for professionals and not the average consumer, but today bold sporty divers from Omega and others are more popular than ever.

From the seller: Case is in excellent condition overall with minor signs of use and wear. Genuine Omega service dial is in very good condition as are the Omega service hands and bezel. 

Breitling Cordura Sicura Sea-Gull

What we like: This Cordura Sicura Sea-Gull made by Breitling in the 1970s is the most traditional-looking of the three dive watches gathered here. However, it also by far the most affordable. Don’t be confused by the Sea-Gull part of the name: the movement is indeed a Swiss automatic. The bezel’s raised markers and numerals are a particularly nice feature, and at around 42mm wide it will easily fit into a modern watch collector’s rotation, especially those on a relative budget. Plus, it’s got a fun-to-say name.

From the seller: Running great. It would make an excellent addition to any collection!

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