In the world of diving, a group of people is held with a high degree of respect all over the world – the U.S. Navy SEALs. They are held with such high regard that any dive equipment or accessory that receives their coveted “stamp of approval” is automatically billed as top quality.
For some reason, this year seems to be the year for the introduction of diving watches. In the case of long-time brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, which has had diving watches in its permanent collection since the 1950’s, they have decided to take manufacturing of diving watches to a whole new level by co-branding their three latest addition to their Master Compressor Diving line with one of the most respected names in diving – the Navy SEALs. Their first circa 1950’s Memovox Deep Sea watch has evolved into the new Master Compressor Diving Navy SEALs watches – the Diving Alarm, the GMT, and the Pro Geographic.
So why are watch manufacturers trying to outdo each other in creating diving watches that can withstand even more deep sea challenges? If we try to take a survey, quite a significant number of people who own diving watches are not exactly deep sea divers themselves, and not all watches that can withstand the pressures of the deep have actually gone there. I have to admit that I am one such person; my favorite piece in my not-so-extensive watch collection is a Tag Heuer that has been with me for the better part of 22 years, and the most I have really subjected it to is snorkeling.
When manufacturers introduce a new diving watch, it is as much about expanding its market as it is about challenging its in-house designers. Richard Mille, president and CEO of the Richard Mille collection, who is launching his first diving watch this year, says it all when he observes that consumers are not exactly using the dive watch features for the exact purpose they are meant for. Split-second chronographs may be used to time eggs in the morning as opposed to measuring speed. Sometimes, it’s all about the knowledge that if you want to dive 300m into the ocean, you can. Just that fact is enough to make you one of the cool guys.