For a company that started out in the 1960s, Aquadive is a relatively young watch manufacturer. Its success grew during a time when the desire for steel sports watches was at its highest. Most brands had dedicated at least one space within their collection to a dive watch design, however, no company was devoting the time and research exclusively towards dive watch manufacture in the same way that Aquadive was. This commitment set the company apart from its rivals during this time.
Aquadive watches were, and have always been, noteworthy for their robustness and durability. Devoted to the sport of diving, these rugged tool watches are equipped with innovative features that will assist the wearer thousands of feet under the ocean’s surface. Before digital wrist computers were invented, divers needed to track their depth and time underwater using a watch on one wrist and a depth gauge on the other. The risks associated with a diver overstaying his time underwater could prove fatal, hence the need for a reliable timekeeping device that could do both in one.
Aquadive’s popular dive watches were sold in specialist diving stores next to professional kit, wetsuits and snorkelling equipment. The company was also endorsed by astronaut and US Navy SEALAB aquanaut, Scott Carpenter. Aquadive’s most famous dive watch was launched in the 1970s. The Time Depth “Model 50” was a bold 47mm tool that sat 20mm off the wrist. It incorporated an oil-filled depth gauge into its unique design, along with an electronic movement.
During the quartz crisis, Aquadive laid dormant like many other brands. In 2011 it was revived by dive watch collector, Rick Marei. The watches manufactured thereafter boasted improved crystal glass lenses, legible dials and superior seals for ultimate protection over the internal parts of the watch. Aquadive pulled old models from its archives and revamped them with new features that would appeal to 21st century dive watch collectors. The Bathyscaphe launched during this time, based on the original design concept of the Model 50 but with a self-winding Swiss movement. The popularity of the Bathyscaphe has earned it a position in the company’s flagship range of timepieces.
As well as stainless steel dive watches, Aquadive has also crated some diving tools from bronze. This material not only develops a patina over time, giving the watch a sense of character but also possesses anti corrosive properties and strong resistance to saltwater exposure. The case of an Aquadive watch is now CNC machined in Germany. Other parts of the watch like the turning bezels made from cutting edge materials like ceramic are assembled in Switzerland. Despite this, Aquadive is as devoted as ever to creating dive watches with the same 1960s design codes as some of its first wristwatches. Other popular models from the company’s catalogue include the Bathysphere with a GMT function for utilizing when travelling and the Aquadive NOS Model 77 watch. The latter is built from the remaining stock of a batch of stainless steel cases built in 1977 and powered by either a new ETA movement or a serviced vintage mechanical movement.