High Quality Replica Watches Blancpain Replica The Evolution Of The Dive Watch Replica Online Sale

The Evolution Of The Dive Watch Replica Online Sale

Of course, the Dive Watch Replica Online didn’t just come out of nowhere. Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex and all-around marketing mastermind, patented a design for a screw-down crown in 1926. His design was an improvement of an existing patent, which had been filed by Paul Perregaux and Georges Perret in 1925. Crucially, when Wilsdorf created the Oyster he coupled the crown with another design breakthrough: the threaded watch case of Francois Borgel.
In 1927, a Rolex Oyster ‘swam’ the English Channel. It didn’t make the journey on its own, of course. It was strapped to the wrist of female swimmer Mercedes Gleitze. Following the swim, the Daily Mail published a front-page article: not about the swim, but about the remarkable ‘waterproof’ watch that went along for the ride. And so the story of the dive watch began in earnest.

Of course, the Rolex Oyster didn’t just come out of nowhere. Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex and all-around marketing mastermind, patented a design for a screw-down crown in 1926. His design was an improvement of an existing patent, which had been filed by Paul Perregaux and Georges Perret in 1925. Crucially, when Wilsdorf created the Oyster he coupled the crown with another design breakthrough: the threaded watch case of Francois Borgel.

The First Rolex Oyster Dive WatchIn 1903, Borgel filed the second of two patents for a watch case intended to be less susceptible to humidity, dust, dirt, and water. His design showed a watch movement, complete with dial, with threads on the caseband. The caseback and bezfifel were able to screw onto the caseband, with a final outer band completing the watch. In theory, this rendered Borgel’s watch far less susceptible to the damaging effects of dust, dirt, and liquid.

Wilsdorf understood that the key to a waterproof watch was to do both: render the case impervious to water, and protect the crown with a seal. His updated crown design crucially placed the seal inside the crown tube (Perregaux’s design had the seal on the outside of the crown, between the bottom of the screw and the case).

Wilsdorf’s faith in the Oyster was total: allowing Mercedes Gleitze to wear one on a chain as she swam, he literally threw the watch in at the deep end. And it worked. The Daily Mail article called the Oyster the ‘Wonder Watch that Defies the Elements’. Its glowing write-up, which was practically an infomercial for the watch, and the success of the Rolex brand (which was really kicked off with the arrival of the Oyster), acted as a call to arms for the other luxury watch brands. Timepieces were going into the oceans, and the swimming pools, and the baths of Europe. And everyone wanted a piece of the action.

Early relatives: the Pasha de Cartier

But what if you wanted to go deeper? The Oyster and the Pasha were doomed if you subjected them to the pressure of a dive. Not that a diver would have worn something as dressy for a day beneath the waves. Divers, mainly a military and scientific lot, needed timepieces that were strong, functional, and easy to read underwater. And they wouldn’t get them until the late 1940s.

Intermediate forms: Omega and Panerai

The Dive Watch Replica  was twofold: pressure and legibility. If you actually wanted to tell the time when you were underwater, you needed a watch that could cope with the pressure of the water around it, and be large and bright enough for you to see the dial. Between Oyster, Pasha, and the luxury dive watches we know today, some evolutionary stages had to be completed.

Commercially speaking, Omega was first out of the gate. Its ‘Marine’ wristwatch started where Rolex’s Oyster left off, creating a dressy little number that could safely be worn in water. Instead of a screw case, the Marine used rubber seals to prevent water from getting in. This time, you could take your watch down to significant depths and it would still work. The prototype Omega Marine survived being submerged to a depth of 70 metres in Lake Geneva—and it did this straight after having been semi-boiled, in water measuring 85 degrees Celsius. But you still couldn’t read it properly under the surface.

The problem: the Marine was built with a bi-part case, essentially two cases that fit one inside the other. The small size of the case, the lack of lume on the dial, and the effort of trying to read the face through two crystals, all combined to mean you could drop your Marine to the bottom of a shallow lake, fish it out again, and still have it work. But you couldn’t (for example) re-weld the rivets on the hull of a battleship and see what time it was.

It was Panerai that got the ball rolling in legibility terms. Now a high-end, high-price-tag luxury watch for Hollywood action heroes, Panerai was originally an Italian dive tool. Most of the components of these watches—cases, movements—were made by Rolex. Crucially for the development of the dive watch, Panerai’s designs were tested in extreme conditions by the Marines. And the dials of the watches came to be coated with a substance never before seen in the history of luxury watch manufacture: radium.

Radium is a pretty stupid thing to put on a watch face. We know that now. Back in the 1910s, when Guido Panerai patented his ‘Radiomir’ watch lume, the dangers of radioactive substances weren’t so obvious. In fact, radiation in general was thought to be good for you: so much so that radium water (yes, that’s water deliberately contaminated with radium medallions) was drunk on a daily basis by millions of people. Including American industrialist Eben Byers, who nailed three whole bottles of radium water every day until 1932, when his face literally fell apart from the practice. Byers, and the radium water industry, died a horrible death—and the rest, as they say, is history.

You’d think, then, that Panerai’s original Radiomir dive watch would have been lumed with something less dangerous. It wasn’t. The first Radiomir watch came out in 1936, and its bizarre combination of Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, and indices were liberally applied with Radiomir (hence the name of the watch). In fact, luxury watches, in general, continued to use radium in lume until the 1960s, though at a greatly decreased level from early examples.

The indications on the Radiomir dial may have seemed outlandish: but actually, they had a significant purpose. It’s not enough simply to have a watch with a luminous face when you’re deep beneath the waves. You also need to be sure you’re reading the dial right—i.e. you know which pip is 12 o’clock, which is 6, and so on. So Panerai gave the Radiomir prototype a triangle for the 12 o’clock indicator, centre dashes for 3 and 9, and a lower case dash for 6. It also split the dial in half, with Roman numerals at the top and Arabic at the bottom. If you were an Italian naval diver, reading your Radiomir in the swirling murk of a silty bay, you stood a pretty good chance of getting the correct time from it.

After the Radiomir came the Luminor: the Panerai design you’re probably familiar with already. This now-ubiquitous luxury watch has a distinctive U-shaped crown protector: which, when the Luminor was first made, was more than just a snazzy design feature. It meant that the locked-in crown was physically held against the body of the watch, making it less likely that the seal would become compromised while military divers were working at depth, or involved in furious action. This extra security component of pressure against the crown also meant that the watch could be wound while underwater, without affecting the seal.

Panerai’s early dive watches were strong, legible, and extremely water resistant: within just 20 years, their ability to withstand water pressure had gone from 60 to 200 metres. But they still lacked a component that transforms a water resistant watch into a true modern diving tool. They had no rotating bezel. This last element in the modern dive watch would be created by another country’s navy—this time, the French equivalent of the Marines, Les Nageurs de Combat.

A new animal is born: Blancpain and the Fifty Fathoms

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5015-3630-52Around the time the Italian Navy was strapping the first Luminor to its collective wrist (the early 1950s), a French combat diver was trying to find a watch manufacturer that would build him a new timepiece. His name was Bob Maloubier, and he wanted a watch that could accurately time dive duration, be completely legible no matter what, and take military-grade punishment without faltering. Brand after brand refused to take on the project. But one company, itself helmed by a keen diver, decided to give it a crack. The company was Blancpain (at the time, a teeny-weeny operation), and the watch was to become the world’s first true dive tool, the Fifty Fathoms.

The Fifty Fathoms had a unidirectional bezel, enabling divers to precisely time the length of their trips beneath the surface. Just before entering the ocean, you would align the reference pip at the top of the bezel with the current position of the minute hand. Thanks to the lumed hands, you could see how many minutes had elapsed since you went under, up to a total of 60: and that meant you could gauge how much air you had left. The bezel could not be rotated counterclockwise, which meant it was impossible to accidentally reset it in a way that would prove dangerous to the submerged diver. If you knock the bezel on a Fifty Fathoms and it does move, it can only indicate that you’ve been down there for longer than you really have, never for a shorter time. The design of the basic model (now one of the most revered luxury dive watches in the world) has remained essentially unchanged for more than 60 years: a clear, easy-to-read dial with a hefty amount of lume on the indices and numbers, three hands, and a well-lumed bezel with knurled edges and a very obvious reference pip.

Submariners and beyond: the natural selection

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. That’s because the Fifty Fathoms pretty much created the design language for the luxury dive watch. When Rolex released the Submariner in 1954, just one year after the Fifty Fathoms, its functional aspects were identical. The difference: the Submariner looked like a dress watch you could dive with, while the Fifty Fathoms looked like a frogman’s best friend. The Fifty Fathoms was bulbous, and had a massive bezel. The Sub was slender, kept the iconic Oyster case, and featured a slimline bezel surrounding a broad, clean face. It was, in other words, the ideal Bond watch—which is why Sean Connery turned up wearing one in Dr No, in 1962.

The Rolex Submariner has since become the most imitated, most faked luxury dive watch in history. More importantly, for this article’s purpose at least, it kicked off a long line of dive tech innovations for Rolex, which culminated in the brand’s most impressive ‘first’.

In 1927, Mercedes Gleitze’s Rolex Oyster ‘swam’ the Channel. In 2012, James Cameron’s Rolex Deepsea Challenge went to the most dangerous and impossible-to-reach place on the planet: Challenger Deep. It wasn’t the first Rolex luxury watch to go there—that honour is held by the Rolex Deep Sea Special. But the Deepsea Challenge was the first fully operational dive watch to make the nearly 11,000 metre journey, straight down.

Going Deeper: the Deep Sea Special and the Deepsea Challenge

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea DEEP BLUE JAMES CAMERON 116660 Challenger Deep is a special and terrifying place. It’s a small depression at the southern end of the Mariana Trench: small in width and length, but huge in drop. It’s named for the HMS Challenger, which first sounded it in the 19th century. If you’re down there in a deepsea craft, and something goes wrong with the pressure hull, both you and the craft will be squashed flatter than paper in seconds.

The mission to conquer Challenger Deep obsessed deepsea divers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh. When they eventually made it, in 1960, they did so with a Rolex Deep Sea Special strapped to the hull of their bathyscaphe, the Trieste. This was obviously an impressive feat. The watch was basically a bulky Rolex with a heinously thick profile, mainly thanks to its domed Plexiglas crystal. It had no rotating bezel or dive functionality. It had one purpose—to withstand pressure and keep on working.

52 years later, moviemaker James Cameron became the third human being to descend to the floor of Challenger Deep. He did it in a submersible that carried one extra passenger: a Rolex Deepsea Challenge clutched in its robotic fist. The Deepsea Challenge is an ultra-heavy-duty version of the already-heavy-duty Deepsea, which in turn is a heavy-duty version of the Sea-Dweller. In other words, the Challenge is a fully operational luxury dive watch. It’s a concept piece, so you can’t have one if you’re not James Cameron: but the Deepsea can be bought. Its massive 5mm thick sapphire crystal and gigantic 17.7 mm thick case make it, in some ways, the ultimate luxury dive watch: a statement on the wrist that simply cannot be ignored.

Adaptive forms, redundant functions

The Deepsea features what Rolex calls the ‘Original Gas Escape Valve’. The valve, otherwise known as a helium escape valve, was first seen on a Rolex Sea-Dweller in the 1960s. It was put there at the behest of Bob Barth, a diver in the US Navy. Its purpose: to allow helium to escape from the watch case after the diver wearing it has been in a diving bell or ‘dry habitat’.

This is the only situation in which a helium escape valve does anything useful. Divers who spend time working at depth in artificially dry environments, and who then spend time in decompression chambers before coming back to the surface, can find that the buildup of helium inside the watch causes the crystal to explode. The helium escape valve bleeds out the gas, essentially decompressing the watch while the diver decompresses his or her bloodstream.

When Rolex advertised its 1929 Oyster as the ‘Wonder Watch that Defies the Elements’, it began a long marketing tradition. Dive watches have always been sold on their functions. And like all good evolutionary journeys, some of those functions, like the helium escape valve, or form elements like radium-based paint, have become redundant.

What’s left is a streamlined animal, perfectly adapted to the least hospitable environments on the planet. Sure, you can take your Submariner or your Fifty Fathoms in a swimming pool. And you can rock a Panerai or a Tudor Pelagos at a movie premiere. But if you really want to see one of these beasts in their natural surroundings, you need to take them down below the waves.

The veneer of sophistication lent by a flawlessly-bevelled case, or a highly-polished three-link bracelet, does nothing to detract from a dive watch’s superb usability. Perhaps that’s why they’re the most popular luxury watches out there. In a world full of tourbillons and minute repeaters, the dive watch stands out as a tool that really does something. It’s a masterpiece of modern engineering, emblematic of the technical and technological advancements of the 20th century. And it looks great with a suit. Or casual holiday wear. In fact, it’s the only item of James Bond’s wardrobe that’s guaranteed to travel with him on any assignment—whether he’s infiltrating SPECTRE or enjoying dangerous liaisons with a femme fatale. And how many other luxury watch styles can you say that about? None.
Next time you strap a dive watch on your wrist, take a moment to think about the men and women who contributed to its existence. Hans Wilsdorf. Mercedes Gleitze. The ‘Radium Girls’—factory workers who painted the dials of the first dive watches with a substance so dangerous it gave them radiation poisoning. The Marines of Italy, France, the USA, the UK. The fearless explorers of the Challenger Deep. So much of high horology is concerned with history. And while a Breguet might give you a link to the inventors of timekeeping itself, a Rolex Sub or a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms takes you somewhere else. To the pioneering spirit of the 20th century, and the adventurers and inventors who created the modern world.

If you’ve ever seen a Replica Watch , you’ll know it as an elegant, round watch with a screw-down crown cap. The cap is attached to the rest of the watch by a chain, just as it was on its debut in 1943. But did you know that the original Pasha de Cartier was a commission from the Pasha of Marrakech—and that his brief was for a luxury watch he could go swimming in? Ordered in the early 1930s, the watch that became the Pasha de Cartier was (after the Rolex Oyster) one of the earliest water-resistant timepieces. Like the Oyster, it worked at surface level, preventing the movement from being damaged by splashing.

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