From the ’50s through the ’70s, dive watches became extremely prevalent on the consumer market, and with that onslaught of watches came a variety of different designs meant to make a more efficient, robust diver. Perhaps one of the most iconic varieties was the SuperCompressor. Named so for its case design (cooked up by famed case maker Ervin Piquerez SA ). It featured a spring-loaded case back that created a tighter gasket seal in the presence of higher pressures than normal. The design also featured an inner-rotating bezel that sought to negate a potential timing error caused by a bump against a traditional outer rotating bezel, knocking it out of place. The thing is, while the SuperCompressor was meant to be a robust solution to a real problem faced by divers, the result is a cleaner profile compared to a more traditional diver with an outer bezel. And since most vintage divers deserve to be retired from dive duty (on account of their aged, worn-out gaskets), they do make excellent statement pieces — even when dressing to the nines.
What We like: Technos is one of those long-forgotten brand known only to enthusiasts “in the know,” which is why you can score mint pieces from the brand at solid prices. This SkyDiver looks to be in near-perfect shape (even featuring its factory brushed finish), save for the faded lume which mixes nicely with the black dial and red seconds hand.
From the seller: “Stainless steel SuperCompressor case is in very good condition with sharp bevels and factory brush finishing. Dial is in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Technos crown. Technos case back is in very good condition with minimal signs of use and wear.”
What We like: Perhaps one of the most iconic SuperCompressor designs, the Hamilton Cape-Horn is distinguished by two design facets. The first is the contrasting black bezel and white dial, which helps set it apart from many of its all-black SuperCompressor conterparts. The second is its small 36mm case diameter which gives it an overall more-restrained aesthetic, thus making it particularly suitable for dressy wear decades after its initial launch.
From the seller: “Features a beautiful, professionally refinished cream dial with applied indexes with aged luminous and matching aged luminous match stick style hands. Fully serviced and comes with our one-year warranty.”
Universal Genéve Polerouter Sub
What We like: At nearly $10,000, this Polerouter Sub is far from affordable, but it’s one fascinating timepiece. In addition to the SuperCompressor case, it has a healthy smattering of lume on the countdown bezel that has aged beautifully, and slick, Rolex-like hour markers. Then there’s that movement — a super-slim automatic with a micro-rotor, begetting a sleek overall profile for what is supposed to be, at the end of the day, a robust diver.
From the seller: “Case is in very good condition, showing signs of moderate use and wear. Dial is in very good condition, showing darkened lume plots in the hour markers. The lume is missing from the hands. Correct crowns.”