Looking for a dive watch to wear during your winter vacation? Sure, you could go the classy and handsome vintage dive watch route, but those pure classics like the Rolex Submariner are inevitably familiar. Somewhat lesser known are many other genuinely badass dive watches of decades past. They’re fun to discover and conjure images of a time when lots of things, including diving, were actually significantly more dangerous than they are today. We found three cool examples that showcase the wide variety available in the vintage dive watch market.
Stowa Skin Diver
What We Like: The “skin diver” is a kind of dive watch with a case that doesn’t have a super-deep water resistance rating. Like this one, they tend to share certain distinctive features, such as a thin bezel and a long, angular, relatively thin case, leading to a different character than that of the familiar Submariner. Interestingly, this 1960s example stems from the German brand Stowa, which is better known for its pilot watches.
From the Seller: Overall, the watch is in good condition. The stainless steel watch case appears to be unpolished.
Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster “Pacman”
What We Like: It’s obvious looking at the unique Art Deco font of the numerals (6 and 9, in particular) why this watch has been nicknamed the “Pacman.” Given a production date in the 1960s, however, it’s clear that the name was applied later by collectors, since the Pac-Man video game it references debuted in 1980. That’s not the only reason this watch stands out, however: Powered by an automatic ETA 2472 movement, its 38mm cushion-shaped case, steel bezel, and familiar handset all combine for an interesting, offbeat look. In its day, it was rated to 1,000m, which is far more water-resistant even than most modern dive watches of today.
From the Seller: The overall condition of this watch is very good. The black gloss dial does have some signs of aging w/ some blemishes. The case is very good w/ just some superficial scratches.
Omega Seamaster “Baby Ploprof”
What We Like: This “Baby Ploprof” features many elements similar to Omega’s Ploprof watch, from its mesh bracelet to its handset and even the angular block-of-metal look of its case. Obviously, however, it lacks the Ploprof’s most famous, distinctive, and polarizing features — namely, a completely odd case shape with exaggerated crown guards and a protruding bezel-lock pusher. One thing you can say about this “Baby Ploprof” is that it’ll be a lot easier to wear with its more traditional shape. It measures a manageable 39mm wide, is water-resistant to 120m, and is powered by an automatic movement.
From the Seller: Watch is in new/unworn condition.