Sunday, 9 December 2012

Weapon of Mass Destruction - Aquadive Bathyscaphe 300

My interest in dive watches began earlier this year. My criterion is simple - BIG, hefty, BIG, aesthetically pleasing, BIG... Well, you catch my drift, I suppose?

My online search yielded a truckload of results. As I was scanning through them, the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 300 (BS300) caught my attention. Hopped over to the local AD for a quick look. After a quick examination, decided to purchase it as well as the NOS diver ( which I will review at a later date) for the lady at home as a couple watch.

Now, on with the watch.

The dial is polished black. A pretty glossy black dial, imo. In fact, I'd associate this kind of polished surface ore with an elegant dress watch than a rugged chunk of steel such as this. But I'm pleasantly surprised that it complements the watch quite well.

This is a rather massive watch. Although a 47mm case diameter should only warrant it to be a huge/ big watch, it's the thickness of the entire watch and the weight that makes it worthy to be called massive. It weighs in excess of 300g when strapped to it's original Isofrane straps. Case height is 20mm, thanks to it's relative thick bezel. The profile reminds me of a bathyscaphe as well.

The Helium Escape Valve (HEV) is subtly placed between the lugs. Partially hidden by the straps. A nice touch, imo.

The case is finished with both polished and brushed surfaces. The case back features the usual literature as well as the limited edition #.

The tall, grooved bezel is easy to operate. It completes a full rotation in 120 clicks. It turns with a very unusual rachetting sound. It's not particularly assuring in terms of reliability, imho. But there's been no problem so far. Maybe it's intentional, just to add to it's vintage look. There is also quite a bit of free play on the bezel. Again, I'm wondering if this is to add to its vintage appeal?

The lume is pretty impressive. There are supposed to minor supplementary lumed indices between the perimeter of the dial and the main arkers, but I was unable to charge them up well enough for this shot.
The lume burns bright but not for long, though.

This watch is depth rated to 3000m. Even if you meet with a mishap while diving, this baby would still be for treasure hunters, years after you've imploded!

The case houses the workhorse ETA2824-2. The sweep of the second hand is rather smooth for a watch this size running on this tried and tested, beater of an engine.

The watch comes with two pairs of Isofrane straps - black and orange. Both comes with engraved buckles. This is my first experience with Isofrane straps. They are very comfortable but a bitch to put on as the strap end takes some effort to push into the keepers.

The 24mm lug size is perfect for this watch however, they should have machined the lug holes deeper inside the lug arms. It is currently placed too near to the perimeter of the lug arms. Whether you're using the stock Isofranes or any after market straps, the lugs will be partially visible. Another gripe I have is the stock thin lugs that came with the watch. they are not very confidence inspiring. In fact, one of the lug ends was bent when I changed straps for the very first time.

Despite it's massive build, this hulk of a watch sits comfortably on my 6 3/4 inch wrist. It doesn't look too huge. It seems just nice. It doesn't look out of place.

This is a very successful take on a vintage design. Clear, visible dial, nice rugged looks yet not too over the top. A modern interpretation on a retro design. This is a beautiful monster. A beauty AND a beast wrapped in one package.

If you like chunky metal, this will not disappoint. If you like hefty watches, you should check this out. However, watches this size tends to be ding magnets so one has to always remember what's on your wrist and to give yourself enough clearance in order to prevent scratches and dents. But the heft should serve adequately as a reminder. And thanks to the weight, this watch can serve a defensive purpose.

Case size : 47mm.
Lug size : 24mm.
Movement : ETA 2824-2.
Power reserve : +/- 42 hours.
Straps : Isofrane (2 pieces).

- Aesthetically pleasing.
- A head turner.
- Hefty watch.
- Can be used as a weapon.
- 2 pairs of Isofrane straps.
- Very well constructed and machined.
- Easy to turn tall bezel.
- Bright lume.
- Limited edition, thus can be a rare sight.
- Reliable and easy to maintain movement (ETA 2824-2).

- Ding magnet due to it's size.
- Pricey - not exactly a cheap watch.
- too much free play on the bezel.
- Stock lugs are too tiny.
- Lug holes are too close to the perimeter of the lug arms/ housing.

1 comment:

  1. The aquadive BS300 case is identical to the original Aquadive model 50, thus the same short lugs to maintain its historical origin. I got mine on the aquadive link bracelet which is one of the heftiest I have seen. I agree the quality of the case is exceptional.