In our third release of “What Matters” and Lookbook last month, dive watches grabbed the spotlight as the main highlight of the article, exploring the vast and fascinating world of this exceptional genre of watches. Dive watches spark plenty of enthusiasm for the masses in the watch community. And if it isn’t already apparent enough, we’d definitely love our dive watches here at Gnomon with our extensive range of dive watches from various accomplished brands. So, kicking off our Lookbook for June, we explore a subgenre of dive watches that balances out performance and style, bringing the best of both worlds in beautiful timepieces many aficionados deeply enjoy.
At the higher end of the spectrum, we have hardcore dive watches that are truly meant for business in the deep ocean depths. Flaunting brawny specifications that could probably survive a nuclear attack, this form of a dive watch is widely recognized as professional dive watches. On the other hand, the type of dive watches we are looking at today can be considered lightweight dive watches for the everyday casual wearer like you and me, in other words, skin divers. Skin dive watches generally take a more refined approach with slimmer cases and elegant touches, ready to dress up for a nice night out.
For this reason, this category of dive watches easily appeals to most audiences, bringing the right blend between stunning designs and capable performance. So without further ado, let us dive straight into some of my favorite skin divers.
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Squale 50 ATMOS Galeazzi
When we talk about mechanical dive watches that pack a punch in terms of value, performance, and design, Squale is a name that instantly springs into mind. With a rich heritage in producing tried-and-tested dive watches trusted by professional divers and even the Italian Navy’s Diving Corps (Marina Militare Italiana), the first skin diver on the list for this month’s Lookbook combines both the accomplished watchmaking expertise of Squale and the technical know-how of a historic leader in subsea technology – Drass Galeazzi. So we sure are starting off with a bang.
It’s no secret that many of our readers here love vintage-inspired dive watches (we do, too). The Squale 50 ATMOS Galeazzi perfectly captures the look of the seventies with a strong inspiration from a true legend in the history of dive watches that Squale manufactured for Blancpain back in the day – the Fifty Fathoms 3H Bund. With the proper implementation of Old Radium lume here, the watch exhibits a pleasing warm yet robust vintage aesthetic, especially on such a classic bezel design. While I may not be a diver, the charming vintage appearance and impressive specifications make this an attractive and versatile piece on my wrist as a daily driver.
Squale Sub-39 Black Arabic
We simply can’t get enough of Squale with such irresistible releases from them in recent months, can’t we? So here is another one of my favorites from Squale this year that brings back many of their heritage designs in a retro 39mm package. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Squale Sub-39 Black Arabic is its tasteful dimensions. Besides portraying a timeless elegance, the compact form factor fits exceptionally comfortably on the wrist. Yes, this is one classy dive watch.
Despite looking like a fabulous ’60s dive watch, Squale upgraded the classic diver with all the bells and whistles we’d love to see in a modern-day mechanical dive watch. It’s certainly refreshing to see Arabic numerals here, pulling off the right proportions and font style that blends seamlessly on a piece like this. Accompanied with its well-defined case and that stunning highly-domed sapphire crystal, this would look right in place even in dressier situations.
Ball Engineer II Skindiver Heritage Blue – Ltd Ed 1000pcs Ref. DM3208B-S1-BE
Moving onto a brand that hasn’t been in the spotlight when it comes to dive watches, it truly delivers an over-built powerhouse, just like most of their other compelling offerings. However, this is where things get a little more aggressive. Coming in with a beefier diameter of 42mm, the Ball Engineer II Skindiver Heritage Blue carries a fuller appearance for a more pronounced wrist presence. Presenting an appealing sporty look, this would be my go-to choice to accompany me while working up a sweat during some weekend outdoor activities like kayaking or camping.
Being a skindiver, the Ball Engineer II Skindiver Heritage Blue still manages to look immensely refined with its highly-polished chamfer on the case and its mesmerizing blue sunburst dial that gracefully catches the light. Ball watches are perhaps best known for the use of their trademark high-powered tritium micro gas tubes. With an astonishing 31 tritium gas tubes lighting up the dial and a fully-lumed sapphire bezel, viewing this piece in the dark is simply a treat.
Seiko Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic Gilt Ref. SBDC105
Of course, a Seiko just had to be on the list. The Japanese are unquestionably talented in crafting beautiful-looking products, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic Gilt Ref. SBDC105 is no exception. Inspired by Seiko’s original and first-ever professional dive watch – the renowned 62MAS, the SBDC105 embodies the classic design with a dash of elegance with its gorgeous cappuccino brown sunburst dial.
Seiko Prospex dive watches ceaselessly appeal to both new and existing watch enthusiasts, and for a good reason. Offering an exceptional value proposition with excellent specifications, a tasteful appearance, and a proud heritage makes the Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic Gilt Ref. SBDC105 such an outstanding player amongst the crowd.
Squale 50 ATMOS Blackout
Off the beaten track of vintage-inspired 50 ATMOS models, there lies a unique variation that brings an alluring stealthy appearance, just in case you want to fly under the radar while still donning a spectacular timepiece. The Squale 50 ATMOS Blackout carries such an understated beauty; I guess Black will always be black here. Treated with a matte PVD coating, the case presents a tactical appearance that remains stylishly trendy nowadays.
On top of being exceptionally sleek, the 50 ATMOS Blackout boasts top-class performance for a dive watch as well. Equipped with a substantial water resistance of 500m and a reliable Swiss-made automatic movement, this could very well be a piece that could match perfectly with a vogue outfit or down in the deep depths of the ocean over a wetsuit. All things considered, Squale has clearly demonstrated how traditional dive watch designs can evolve into classy, contemporary timepieces that embody their proud heritage.
Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.