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Saturday, June 22, 2024

A Complete Take a look at Mechanical Depth Gauge Watches – Reprise


Except for Favre-Leuba, there have been three different firms working with membrane depth gauges. One was IWC, who adopted up its Aquatimer Deep One with two membrane depth gauge fashions: Deep Two (2009-2014) and Deep Three (2014-2018).

IWC Aquatimer Deep Two (left) and Deep Three

The IWC Deep Two makes use of a membrane depth gauge, which in all probability labored properly sufficient for the reason that model additionally got here out with a Deep Three with one as properly. Sadly, IWC stopped manufacturing of diving watches with depth gauges in 2018.

Two years earlier than the Deep Two got here out with its attention-grabbing model of the membrane depth gauge, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched its tackle an aneroid field on a watch that transposed water strain with out letting any water enter the watch.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Compressor Diving Professional Geographic

The JLC Grasp Compressor Diving Professional Geographic maybe holds the world file for the diving watch with the longest title, nevertheless it featured a brand new sort of membrane strain gauge. As an alternative of a flat chamber with a giant membrane (that may require a giant case), the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Compressor Diving Professional Geographic used a vertical chamber with a small strain lid and a spring inside – so it’s not fairly an aneroid can.

This watch additionally integrated a second time zone (the subdial at 9 o’clock) and an influence reserve indication (5 o’clock) along with the date. So many problems in a single watch definitely account for the lengthy title.

The Diving Professional Geographic additionally got here in a restricted gold version for the Navy Seals: preventing males meet luxurious watch. This timepiece definitely loves contradictions!

There have been additionally some issues with membrane depth gauges even when they didn’t clog. The issue with the fashions from IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre was the fairly small strain plate, the gadget that’s pressed contained in the watch by the water, shifting a spring that prompts a system of gears to show the depth.

The issue: the smaller this plate was, the tougher it was to get an actual “knowledge switch.” Thus, the reliability of the indicated depth is put in query – a query that would change into life threatening when diving to a depth of 80 meters. As incredible this mechanism is perhaps in principle, it was questionable as dependable tools for the intense diver.

As a collector with restricted cash, I’d have gone for the IWC Deep Two with its nice historical past and nice mechanics. No one is doing decompression dives with this watch anyway.

That leaves two manufacturers: Favre-Leuba with its “new” 2018 Memodepth and Blancpain, who launched the X Fathoms precisely ten years in the past – which nonetheless has one downside in regard to membrane depth gauges: the membrane itself.

An aneroid can depth gauge within the previous sense includes a metallic membrane that compresses when descending and depresses when ascending. Over time, this membrane will weaken and put on out, at which level you both recalibrate the depth gauge earlier than every dive (to maintain it very exact) or undergo with misreading after some time.

And, to get a much bigger floor for higher strain transmission you might want to have a much bigger watch case. Simply examine the comparatively small IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre watches with standard depth gauges. These devices are actually huge. Thus, each the Favre-Leuba and the Blancpain X Fathoms are huge!

The membrane nonetheless leaves one downside open. As I discussed earlier, the depth studying within the first 12 meters ought to be as exact as attainable to permit for decompression stops that usually happen at 12, 9, 6, and three meters.

For depth gauges it’s both nice decompression readings or extra exact depth indication down deeper, so deep-sea divers typically use two devices. That is no downside when you purchase two depth gauges that value about €50 apiece, however I’ve by no means seen a diver with each a Favre-Leube and an Oris!

Blancpain X Fathoms

The Blancpain X Fathoms is the mom of all diving watches with a depth gauge inside highlighting what a number one Swiss watch producer is able to – particularly when divers are a part of the corporate’s management.

Except for fixing the issue of the metallic membrane in an aneroid can, the X Fathoms additionally solved the issue of getting two completely different readings for its depth measurements: one for diving deep (91.45 meters = 50 fathoms) and the opposite for an in depth scale of decompression depth readings – plus an additional decompression timer on prime – to make full use of the large dial within the 51 mm watch case.

In a phrase huge is gorgeous – if it weren’t for its huge price ticket of €30,000!


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