Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Die Evolution der Taucheruhr – Bachmann & Scher

Die Evolution der Taucheruhr – Bachmann & Scher

Dear watch enthusiasts, today Thomas
Bachmann and I will talk about diving
watches. Watertightness in watches became an issue only after WW I. In the 1920s, Omega, Rolex and a few other
brands tried to sort it out. First real success came with Mr. Wilsdorf`s
original Oyster, which was worn by Mercedes Gleitze, when she successfully swam the
channel between England and France. The basic idea that Mr. Wilsdorf applied to
the Oyster model was to screw together two opposite rings. Thus he produced a watch
which for the first time was truly waterproof. The watches were sold using a gimmick and placed in a glass of water in the shop
window so that passers-by saw ‘a water-protected, practical watch’. I find it remarkable that even then Rolex
offered the watches made of silver and of
gold. They were watches for gentlemen with
an active lifestyle. Let’s skip ten years between Mercedes
Gleitze’s watch and the first real diver’s
watch in history. As a matter of fact, this is just the same
watch, just larger, more massive, and with a
radiant radium dial. This is the third ever manufactured Panerai
watch from 1935-1936, reference 36-46. The first series can be identified by these two
screws on the dial, because they had
problems attaching it at that time. The lid and bezel were screwed in. It is an important detail that it has a
Rolex movement and a screwed crown. Panerai was actually just a middleman for
the Italian military. Rolex produced the watches. Thomas, we also have a new one here. Could you compare between the models
from 1936 and 2016? Actually, these old Panerai models are Rolex
watches commissioned by Panerai. New Panerai models have nothing to do with Rolex anymore. Today, it is a company on its own, the
Richemont Group, and they produce their
own movements. Of course they are still
based on Panerai’s iconic design from the
30s and 40s. Subsequently, Panerai went on
to build watches for the Italian police and
also for the Egyptians. Actually, they were
only active in the tool watch segment. Do you remember when we bought the first
one? We tried to sell it the same day because we thought the boom would be over
within a week. They were absurdly big. We both laughed about how clunky they
were. It was a Mare Nostrum. We bought it and immediately wanted to sell it off. We believed this could only be a joke. Well, we were massively wrong. Panerai is a huge success story and has a vast fan base. Paneristi even have their own nickname. They are absolute cult watches. Modern models are usually limited. There are various lines. But I really think that nowadays they
cannot be considered classic diver watches anymore. After World War II, Rolex registered many
patents and launched the first and probably
most famous dive watch ever: the Sub-Mariner. This is a model from the 50s. It is still without crown protection, nor with radium dial or rotating bezel. Lots of patents. Today, a watch must be more than 100
meters waterproof in order to be considered a diver’s watch. Probably, the old Panerais were 100 meters
waterproof, too. But they were not tested. It wasn’t until the mid-fifties, that a standard for waterproofness was introduced. The early models with the small crown were waterproof up to 100m. Later models such as… … the James Bond Big Crown were already
200 meters waterproof. One more striking feature: For the first time,
there is a rotatable bezel at Rolex. It indicates to divers how long they can stay underwater. You could set a new 12 o’clock by placing the
triangle on the minute hand and then knew how many minutes you had already spent in the water. An incredibly practical solution and if you’re
not jogging for more than an hour, it still makes great sense today. Of course it was a bit dangerous because the bezel could also rotate in the wrong direction. In the end, one thing is always important in a
diver’s watch: Waterproofness, obviously, but also good readability. I.e. the watches have to shine bright. Unlike Rolex, Blancpain even inserted the bezel numbers in radium. Very bright… While underwater you could read only faintly
a Rolex by the triangle where the luminous point is inserted. Whereas the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms,
because of the ring, you could even read numbers and the hour indices. The Mil-Spec is a very special model of it. It has a large field of radium in the middle. This radium discolors when moisture penetrates and so the diver could see: Oops, my watch is just drowning, soon it won’t be
showing the correct time anymore. Most of them have been delivered to the
American army and have been made for it. Blancpain equipped America’s and France’s
armies. Of course, soldiers lying in the mud needed
a dirt and moisture-proof watch. Someone who dives 100 meters deep, be it to fix a mine or lift an anchor had different requirements. How do you differentiate between a
swimming watch and a diver’s watch? For me, it comes down to a rotating bezel,
good readability even in the dark and waterproofness for more than 2 minutes in
30 or 40 meters. For this, you needed specially attached
crowns. More massive cases… It is not sufficient to screw the floor. The bezel on top of the glass must be screwed, or you need a special washer built in. One of the big Swiss manufacturers is Omega. They too, took the issue of diver’s
watches very seriously and equipped the Royal Navy, also the Americans, Israelis and many others. The Royal Navy also had Rolexes but mostly used Omega watches. There is an anecdote that many English divers left the crowns of their Omegas
unscrewed on purpose so that they would drown in order to then get a Rolex. As if they weren’t just as good. This total nonsense, obviously. Of course they are just as waterproof. This one went to Israel. This is an Israeli
combat diver watch. You can see that all those who traveled a lot in the 50s and 60s needed battle-tested and solid watches. And it left its traces on the watches. Let’s see something else exciting. You have
a Blancpain Barracuda. One can say of course that all diver watches
of the 60s looked a bit similar. After all, most have been built for army units. If you hold the watches next to each other,
you see … … a basic similarity, whereby the Barracuda
is of course an incredibly attractive watch … Certainly one of the coolest Blancpains ever made. We did not want to talk so much about Rolex, but let’s talk a bit about Rolex nevertheless. Here is one of those important patents, you
can see it quite well in these two models. They are about 8 years apart. The crown protection in the case of the 5512, with the great golden dial and the 65 36-1. You can see that the watches actually still look the same until today. The crown protection is very important so
that you don’t get caught while diving and the crown breaks off. That is the most distinctive feature here. There are two things a watch company can
boast with: either their products are very accurate. Or – and that’s how Rolex made it – that they
are particularly waterproof or particularly robust. The Rolex Submariner is certainly one of the watches that has transformed from a pure
tool watch to a lifestyle product. That’s a Sea Dweller now. Correct. For a long period of time The Sea
Dweller was merely a tool watch. A professional diver’s watch. Why? It had been co-developed by the Comex Company. Comex had been a professional diving
company in Marseille, France. At the time, derricks were built, platforms in the sea.
There, it wasn’t about 200 or 300 meters. No, they needed watches that were up to
500, 600 meters waterproof. The problem was, if you went down to 600
meters with a classic Submariner that was really tight, that watch would burst. When coming up, helium which had formed
in the depth wanted to escape the watch and often caused the glass to burst. Exactly, either you had a glass that was about this thick or you had a Sea Dweller. That’s what the Comex Company had
developed together with Rolex around 1966/67. The so-called Helium Escape Valve. Classically also very massive Plexiglas, which is highly arched and thus improves the readability even more. Normally, you couldn’t buy a Comex. It was a watch that you could only obtain as a professional diver and you also kept a watch diary. Could you show the number on the back of the watch? I can’t show it completely, because obviously it would identify the watch. Nowadays, these watches are most in demand when they come with the full history,
a dive book, ID card of the diver, contracts with Comex etc. The more litany, the more the collector pays. It tells you on which dives the diver wore the watch and that makes it real fun for collectors. So now Rolex considered of course , if
something was good for Comex, it could also be good on the ordinary diver’s watch market In 1967 they launched the Mark I, Submariner Sea Dweller. Here we have a Mark III, double red. The first generations still have a red lettering. Collectors also distinguish between Mark I to Mark V which can be found in various slightly
different versions and various years of make. All watches made between 67 and 83 share some features: They have a rather highly curved plexiglas, just like the original Comex model. And they all have the classic valve
opening on the side, where can can escape. A lot of people don’t know that Omega was part of the Comex battle. They too built a watch that was waterproof even at this depth. Up to 600 meters. The so-called Ploprof. With a big block-like design. In order to remove the movement you have to remove the glass, first. You need a special wrench for it. A lot of engineering had gone into this, but
eventually the Submariner won. It was the first time anyone had thought that it would be great if the diver’s bezel wouldn’t rotate in both directions so that the dive time would not be accidentally extended. The fat red button released the lock in order to rotate the bezel in one direction only. By this you had certainty not to stay underwater for too long. In my opinion, Jaeger-LeCoultre has built
one of the most beautiful and cool diving watches. The Polaris 2 with the incredibly beautiful, egg-shaped case, rotating bezel but here with a second crown for the alarm clock. So this watch…Does it ring under water? That’s the great thing about it. It is waterproof and rings underwater. Can you hear that underwater? Have you ever heard that? Underwater it sounds much, much louder. That’s the great thing about water. Water carries sound better than air. The great thing about this watch was the alarm which reminded you to come up, to decompress or of other vital things… Such as lunch break. Lunch break, exactly. Vital lunch break. To me, the Polaris 2 is a true design highlight in this whole collection. Taking a look at the formal language, it is quite obvious that we have arrived in the 70s. The watch cases are all larger, egg-shaped and come in amazing dial variants. The Zenith Thousand Meters, called Big
Lemon. Big lemon, yes. An incredible sexy watch. It is one of my absolute favorites. IWC too, contributed something with the Aqua Timer. It was available in different dial colors. We have a black one here, but they also came in red and blue. But I think the Big Lemon and also the Enicar are the greatest. Design lovers with a watch collection are very satisfied that not everything is always steel black but finally bright yellow, cool gray and bright orange. That’s been typical of the Seventies, the
space-age was just more colorful. Tudor, a subsidiary of Rolex, sold very exciting similar-looking Submariners, too. They also went to the military in France and
Argentina. It used to be a poor man’s Rolex, which is why the army was interested in it during the 70’s. In principle, the function was the same as with a Submariner. Not quite, it was not that waterproof. If a Submariner was 300 meters waterproof, a Tudor was 200 meters waterproof. They were always a bit of the slimmed-down version, without a Rolex movement and of course with an ETA movement . Though of course the case, strap and crown system were still supplied by Rolex. Today these models are particularly popular with the large, characteristic, wide hands called “Snowflake”. Tudor watches were not spared. Because they were cheaper, they were worn with less care and less maintenance. Nevertheless – today Tudor is one of the most sought after brands of collectors watches in our business. Tommy, as we move from the seventies to
the eighties, I automatically think of one watch. A true representative of the 80s – in terms of design. The Ocean 2000 by IWC. A masterpiece by Porsche Design which at that time had a very successful cooperation with IWC. Unfortunately it ended in the 90s. The great thing about this watch is that it was waterproof down to 2000 meters. It is built in titanium, which was a new
material in the watch market at the time. It was so attractive that even the German Bundeswehr frogmen switched from Blancpain to IWC, to this clock. The watch came with flat glass and also with a quartz movement. They were available for fighter swimmers
and mine sweeping missions. I think it is so cool. There is something both ugly and nice
about it, but it does not leave you untouched. I find it exciting and would definitely wear it, too. When combined with a Velcro textile strap I find you can’t take its design any further. With the titanium strap you had a lot of trouble, because the pins were made of steel which had the unfortunate tendency to wear out, if you wore the watch a lot and often. It is not the only IWC watch made of
titanium, but certainly the most significant. Definitely. We have arrived in the 90s, and here is a classic Submariner. Actually, this was a further development of the watches from the 60s. Anbody with a Submariner collection usually gets to hear from his wife: “You always bought the same watch. Why are there 35 watches all the same? I don’t understand at all!” As a man, of course you know the reason. There are small differences but one really has to point them out. There have been more changes in Rolex in
the last five to six years. Around 2007/2008. That is almost 10 years ago, Tommy. Right. Actually, the ceramic bezel and the sapphire crystal are the biggest difference. You now have in your hand a Sea Dweller
4000 that was built during three years, only. Correct. It was launched with 40 mm diameter. And that one is 1220 meters waterproof. Like its predecessor. Correct. And the successor … the Deep Sea, Deep Blue, Sea Dweller is waterproof up to 3900 meters. With 44 mm of diameter. Actually, this is really something for you. I cannot wear it. It also has a helium valve. It is built much more massive, has a narrower proportion of the strap and is really big. The whole thing reminds me a little bit of SUVs. In the 70s, SUVs were really needed to drive off-road. But today, if you stand in the city and look around, you will see a large SUV every minute. But they are only used for normal city traffic. And it is similar with divers’ watches. People actually wear these diver watches
today as lifestyle products. But when they do go diving most people prefer to use quartz watches and spare their diver’s watches because they could be scratched. This reminds me of a golden Submariner. You can hardly imagine wearing one while diving. Maybe for swimming – but certainly not for diving. Well, that depends on the pool. Depends on the pool. Here is a current Rolex with ceramic bezel. This one seems to have gone through quite a bit. But really these are watches, that you do not wear for diving. It is a tool watch stripped of its original purpose. Because 18k gold as material is
simply too scratch-sensitive and too shock-sensitive. Nevertheless, it looks good and the first golden ones were made in the 70s. Summarizing, one can say that it is a status symbol to wear a great diver’s watch. Whether it is 3900 meters waterproof or made of gold or white gold. It is mainly a show object. But of course they are real fun. Right. Tommy, we started with Panerai, now, last but not least, let’s look at a current Panerai. Of course, it is a diver’s watch, as well. This is a Bronzo model. It is yet another watch that you can hardly imagine being used underwater. Bronze is a very interesting material for watchmaking. You should not wear it directly on your skin, which is why these watches always have a steel bottom. And if you use the watch in salt water they will change dramatically. It gives a nice vintage effect. The watch will suddenly look 70 years older. So bronze oxidizes like mad and will quickly stop being red… But there is something to it. Yes, there is. Panerai was the first company to use this in the diving watch sector. Looks great in any case and always ages differently, depending on how you use it. I think Tudor has a bronze too. IWC, too. It seems to be trendy now. That’s why we show it. We have arrived in 2018. These are the watches of the last one, two years. Not much new has arrived at the diving scene. These days, it’s more about style and looks. So which watch would you take home tonight and not on the beach? I chose the 1961 IDF Eterna-Matic. Its size fits my wrist well. I find it beautiful, it has a wonderful dial and is in well preserved condition. And I also
know the historical background of this watch. It went through a war, which I find quite
thrilling. I would probably take the Eneka with me tonight.
Because I am so attracted to the design and the orange that I would like to wear it. And why does it say ‘sex’ on the dial? OK. now I have one small task for all viewers. Please show our mysterious device. What could this device have done? Please write us on YouTube what you think
for what the purpose of this device. And which company made it. That’s easy. See you next time and subscribe to our channel. And do not forget: Water resistant is not waterproof.

Reader Comments

  1. Moin und Vielen Dank
    Sie haben DOXA kult uhr vergessen und Seiko und Amphibia von Vostok
    Das gerät ist ein alter unterwasserlicht (vielleicht)

  2. Das müsste eine von Panerai entwickelte "Lichtpistole" sein, um Lichtzeichen abzusetzen oder sich unter Schiffen zu kommunizieren.

  3. Endlich! Habt Ihr nicht Februar gesagt😉😁 Wirklich schönes Video! Muss mal in Eurem Laden vorbeischauen. Grüße!

  4. Really really great video! Amazing pieces. Are most of these pieces from personal collections or from the store? Danke aus Australien

  5. Hersteller wird vllt Comex gewesen sein. Als Lupe und/oder Lichtquelle?
    Tolles Video! Bitte mehr 👍

  6. Danke für diese Videos! Interessiere mich dank euch immer mehr für Uhren! Danke dafür! Macht Spass so viel darüber zu lernen.

    Zu dem Gerät: ich denke damit wurde bestimmt die wasserdichtigkeit getestet 😉

  7. Servus, ein weiteres überaus aufschlussreiches Video von euch, mit viel neuem Input. Klasse!

    Sagt mal, mir wurde neulich eine Submariner angeboten, habe leider weder auf Ref. noch auf Seriennummer geachtet. Ist aber eine 5512 no-date mit Tritium-Dial. Braucht 'ne neue Lünette und laut B*****rer ein neues Band. Darf ich euch dazu eventuell mal 1-2 Fragen schreiben und eure Meinung einholen? Wenn ja, FB? Mail?

    Grüße aus dem Münchner Süden, Chris

  8. Ein unfassbar gelungener Channel. Immer wieder sehr informativ, und sehr bewundernswert, welch schöne Uhren ihr zum Vorschein bringt. Bitte aktiver werden👍

  9. Interessantes Video, aber bei den Taucheruhren habe ich – gerade wegen der technischen Innovationen – die Sinn UX vermisst…

  10. Mercedes Gleitze musste leider die Durchquerung des Aermelkanals mit der Rolex Armbanduhr am Arm, kurz vor dem Ziel abbrechen!

  11. Dieses Video sollte eine Kennzeichnung als Dauerwerbesendung enthalten, denn es geht hier lediglich um die Werbung für das Geschäft der beiden Protagonisten und nicht um tatsächliche Hilfestellung beim Uhrenkauf! Auf Ratschläge dieser Art kann man getrost verzichten, auch die Kommentare, die hier so voller Lob sind, scheinen mit Fake Accounts geschrieben worden zu sein, um den Hype zu pushen. Warum sollte man unbedingt eine Luxusuhr kaufen, wenn es hervorragende Qualität schon für unter 1000 €uro gibt? Ganz klar, damit Herrschaften wie diese beiden ein luxuriöses Leben führen können, eine Ladenmiete in einer der teuersten Innenstädte Deutschlands, ihre teuren Wohnungen in ebendieser sowie den ausufernden Lebensstil zahlen können. Fazit : wer eine qualitativ hochwertige Uhr kaufen möchte, sollte, während er das Geld ein Jahr lang beiseite legt, im selben Jahr intensiv lesen! Mit dem erworbenen Wissen kann man dann wirklich unterscheiden, was gut ist und braucht sich nicht vom Händler flachquatschen zu lassen (Zitat).

  12. Wenn man schon über professionelle Tauscheruhren spricht, dann sollte man die Fakten schon richtig und komplett darstellen… die Rolex Submariner war nicht die erste wirklich professionelle Tauscheruhr, da Blancpain zum einen etwas früher die Fifty Fathoms vorgestellt hat, auch war die Fifty Fathoms bis in die 1970er Jahre praktisch konkurrenzlos, da das Patent der einseitig drehbaren Lünette von Blancpain patentiert war. Somit wurden Blancpain Fifty Fathoms und Bathyscaphe Uhren auch in erster Linie in Geschäften für Tauschequipment verkauft. Erst in den 1970er Jahren bekamen Rolex Uhren, Submariner oder Sea Dweller, ebenfalls eine einseitig drehbare Lünette.
    Ansonsten recht unterhaltsam.

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