Non Rolex (Blasphemy??) Vintage Dive Watches - Your Thoughts

Vintage Rolex Discussion

Non Rolex (Blasphemy??) Vintage Dive Watches - Your Thoughts

Joined: April 1st, 2010, 2:34 am

August 26th, 2012, 6:55 pm #1

Gents:

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Just wondering about people's thoughts on non-Rolex vintage dive watches, and I thought VRF would be an interesting place to hear some thoughts, given the extensive knowledge of watch history and respect for dive watches that is here on this great and discerning forum.

I'm a HUGE vintage Rolex dive watch fan. My only two watches - a 1665 Great White and 16600 SD - are the absolute best in my eyes. I was just telling AG that I stare at them so much all the time that I am afraid one day I will have a car accident! HA! But, I know there are other great and legendary pieces out there. I see the Omega PloProf 600m pop its head up here occasionally. Same with the BP 50 fathoms.

I guess I'm just curious to hear people's thoughts on a few things. First, which other vintage dive watches do people here like and respect (or even own?) Secondly, for those established collectors, has anyone ever gone down the non-Rolex collecting road? How was it - did you turn back and return to Rolex?

And lastly, do other brands offer the seemingly endless variety of Rolex divers? What I mean is, Rolex just seem to have so much variation (red writing, bezel changes, case shapes, dial aging differences) and so much history and class that it just seems unavoidable. Does this exist elsewhere in the vintage diver world?

Anyway, as someone who was THIS close to getting a PloProf 600m over my 1665 (man, a 600m would still be nice one day!), I would love to hear others' experiences. Hope all is well gents!

V/R

Mike
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 3:10 pm

August 26th, 2012, 8:16 pm #2

i read an article on the net not too long ago and i am only reporting what i read so please i realize there are many more people out there who know more than me so please dont hammer me - i am just giving out some info and an opinion.

Methodology
Dive Watches Size Water Resistance Functions Stylishness Cachet Total
IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 4 5 3 5 5 22
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 5 4 3 5 5 22
Bulgari Diagono Professional 2000m 4 5 3 5 4 21
Tag Heuer Aquaracer 2000 5 2 3 4 5 19
Blancpain 50th Anniversary Fifty Fathoms 5 2 3 5 4 19
Oris TT1 Professional Divers 3 3 3 4 4 17
Suunto Stinger 2 2 5 3 4 16
Citizen Cyber Aqualand Nx 2 2 5 3 3 15
Divelink Nitrox B.U.G. 2 2 5 3 3 15
Freestyle Black Tip Shark 5 2 3 2 2 14
Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph 3 2 4 2 3 14

Values: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Good, 3 = Satisfactory, 2 = Could be better, 1 = Nothing special

sorry the table is a mess - not matter how i try and edit it, it wont stay in line

If I had to make my own chart, bearing in mind that i am not a professional diver and i think many who collect diving watches are not i would go with the following and these are new watches not vintage - my thought on vintage diving watches is that because of their price tag, no matter how good my service tech is and no matter how many pressure tests the watch passes, i get scared to jump in the ocean or a pool with a watch that i may not be able to replace if something goes wrong,

anyways here we go

1. Rolex DSSD - i own the watch, its a pleasure to wear and is a tank on your wrist. i have no doubt it will never be on my wrist when it reaches its max depth but i am sure commercial divers look at this watch as the king of the sea - its also IMO a beautiful example of rolex innovation. I must admit that when it first as announced i think in 2008 i chuckled at it because i thought it was a copy of the large watches that were constantly surfacing to impress - then wouldnt you know it i couldnt resist and i was first in line to buy one when it came out for sale and i grabbed it new from an AD with a great big smile on my wrist

2. Panerai Luminor 285 2500m - if you dont care about pushing the envelope on size, this watch is like wearing a straight up submarine on your wrist. its a little hard to get used to because it is so thick. I will say that this watch seems impervious to anything - you can dive and also get blown up and you may not be left there but the watch will remain keeping good time.

3. Blancpain fifty fathoms 5015 - here is another cool watch and i think blancpain has made several versions of this or at least they all look the same to me - very good daily wearer and also from what i hear a good reliable diver - i wouldnt know as i only tried one on for a but - never bought it.

4. Jaeger Le-couture Master compressor pro geographic - okay so when i saw this watch i did think it was strange and frankly i still do but i guess in diving circles this is another revered watch. its very large as the others and i will say its kind cool on the wrist but just not my style

5. IWC Aquitamer 2000 - i really dont have much to say about this watch because personally i dont know how to be nice about this - i think the design is just plain ugly. the only IWC watches that i find i like on my wrist are not diving watches but from information i have read, this watch seems to be good under pressure - no pun intended

6. Hublot big bang power oceanographic - i dont know much about this watchmaker at all but i have read good things about the diver and it does go to 4000m which is impressive - however the price is over the top and i will say no more

7. Bell and Ross BR Instrument BR-2 - this watch i think is actually pretty cool - the design is different from a lot of the other watch makers and also looks cool on the wrist - the price point is also pretty good at somewhere around 3k or so as compared to the top of my list which now retails for 10,600 - i still wouldnt trade my DSSD for 3 of these

after that i know we can go into a category that is less expensive but still good dive watches

the short list would probably be -

#8 Tag Heuer Aquagraph - actually my first watch before my rolex addiction was affordable was a Heuer Autavia and then a Tag - my autavia had a bad service tech install a crystal and i thought i was good to go until i went in the ocean and came out with a watch filled with water - BUT the watch survived and i sold it for about $300.00 to a friend a couple of years later

#9. Seiko marine master professional - i know what you will all say about seiko but i must say this is a big ballsy watch - i have worn it for a few days before and is just a cool watch what can i say - its not cheap for a Seiko but its worth every penny

well thats my list for now - i would love to hear what others have as their own list.

I WILL SAY THIS IN CLOSING, MY STILL FAVORITE DIVING WATCH BY FAR IS THE GOOD OLD ROLEX 1665 - NOTHING BEATS IT IN MY BOOK EXCEPT MAYBE A 1665 DRSD OR COMEX LOL - I STILL HAVE YET TO OWN A COMEX - MAYBE SOME DAY

CHEERS!
Last edited by scottb2 on August 26th, 2012, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 1st, 2010, 2:34 am

August 26th, 2012, 9:10 pm #3

Scott:

Wow! What an informative post. I can remember seeing/reading that graph awhile back. Very interesting and I was surprised to see the IWC come out on top.

I know what you mean about the Seiko MM300. I have heard that watch is the best bang for the buck out there. And, it has one of the most loyal cult followings this side of Panerai!

Very interesting thoughts though. And, it was VERY interesting to hear that, at the end of the day, you still come back to the 1665. See - that is what I am talking about. Rolex seems to have that intangible pop where, you may stray, but at the end of the day, those Rolex divers are just too damn classic not to love.

After I posted this thread a few hours ago, I googled BP 50 Fathoms No Radiation, Omega PloProf 600, and Rolex 5508. And, surprise surprise, the image I was completely captivated by was the 5508. I don't know what it is and I can't put my finger on it, but I there is just something about these Rolex divers...

Again, great graph and info. Thank you for the informative and thoughtful post.

By the way, do you still have the DSSD? How does it compare to the 1665? Any comparison photos? I've always thought it was too big for me as it is just such a beast, but something about that dial always intrigues me...

V/R

Mike
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Joined: April 13th, 2009, 6:15 am

August 26th, 2012, 9:20 pm #4

i read an article on the net not too long ago and i am only reporting what i read so please i realize there are many more people out there who know more than me so please dont hammer me - i am just giving out some info and an opinion.

Methodology
Dive Watches Size Water Resistance Functions Stylishness Cachet Total
IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 4 5 3 5 5 22
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 5 4 3 5 5 22
Bulgari Diagono Professional 2000m 4 5 3 5 4 21
Tag Heuer Aquaracer 2000 5 2 3 4 5 19
Blancpain 50th Anniversary Fifty Fathoms 5 2 3 5 4 19
Oris TT1 Professional Divers 3 3 3 4 4 17
Suunto Stinger 2 2 5 3 4 16
Citizen Cyber Aqualand Nx 2 2 5 3 3 15
Divelink Nitrox B.U.G. 2 2 5 3 3 15
Freestyle Black Tip Shark 5 2 3 2 2 14
Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph 3 2 4 2 3 14

Values: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Good, 3 = Satisfactory, 2 = Could be better, 1 = Nothing special

sorry the table is a mess - not matter how i try and edit it, it wont stay in line

If I had to make my own chart, bearing in mind that i am not a professional diver and i think many who collect diving watches are not i would go with the following and these are new watches not vintage - my thought on vintage diving watches is that because of their price tag, no matter how good my service tech is and no matter how many pressure tests the watch passes, i get scared to jump in the ocean or a pool with a watch that i may not be able to replace if something goes wrong,

anyways here we go

1. Rolex DSSD - i own the watch, its a pleasure to wear and is a tank on your wrist. i have no doubt it will never be on my wrist when it reaches its max depth but i am sure commercial divers look at this watch as the king of the sea - its also IMO a beautiful example of rolex innovation. I must admit that when it first as announced i think in 2008 i chuckled at it because i thought it was a copy of the large watches that were constantly surfacing to impress - then wouldnt you know it i couldnt resist and i was first in line to buy one when it came out for sale and i grabbed it new from an AD with a great big smile on my wrist

2. Panerai Luminor 285 2500m - if you dont care about pushing the envelope on size, this watch is like wearing a straight up submarine on your wrist. its a little hard to get used to because it is so thick. I will say that this watch seems impervious to anything - you can dive and also get blown up and you may not be left there but the watch will remain keeping good time.

3. Blancpain fifty fathoms 5015 - here is another cool watch and i think blancpain has made several versions of this or at least they all look the same to me - very good daily wearer and also from what i hear a good reliable diver - i wouldnt know as i only tried one on for a but - never bought it.

4. Jaeger Le-couture Master compressor pro geographic - okay so when i saw this watch i did think it was strange and frankly i still do but i guess in diving circles this is another revered watch. its very large as the others and i will say its kind cool on the wrist but just not my style

5. IWC Aquitamer 2000 - i really dont have much to say about this watch because personally i dont know how to be nice about this - i think the design is just plain ugly. the only IWC watches that i find i like on my wrist are not diving watches but from information i have read, this watch seems to be good under pressure - no pun intended

6. Hublot big bang power oceanographic - i dont know much about this watchmaker at all but i have read good things about the diver and it does go to 4000m which is impressive - however the price is over the top and i will say no more

7. Bell and Ross BR Instrument BR-2 - this watch i think is actually pretty cool - the design is different from a lot of the other watch makers and also looks cool on the wrist - the price point is also pretty good at somewhere around 3k or so as compared to the top of my list which now retails for 10,600 - i still wouldnt trade my DSSD for 3 of these

after that i know we can go into a category that is less expensive but still good dive watches

the short list would probably be -

#8 Tag Heuer Aquagraph - actually my first watch before my rolex addiction was affordable was a Heuer Autavia and then a Tag - my autavia had a bad service tech install a crystal and i thought i was good to go until i went in the ocean and came out with a watch filled with water - BUT the watch survived and i sold it for about $300.00 to a friend a couple of years later

#9. Seiko marine master professional - i know what you will all say about seiko but i must say this is a big ballsy watch - i have worn it for a few days before and is just a cool watch what can i say - its not cheap for a Seiko but its worth every penny

well thats my list for now - i would love to hear what others have as their own list.

I WILL SAY THIS IN CLOSING, MY STILL FAVORITE DIVING WATCH BY FAR IS THE GOOD OLD ROLEX 1665 - NOTHING BEATS IT IN MY BOOK EXCEPT MAYBE A 1665 DRSD OR COMEX LOL - I STILL HAVE YET TO OWN A COMEX - MAYBE SOME DAY

CHEERS!
for its amazing functionality as a dive instrument. I have one and love it.
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Joined: December 26th, 2009, 7:39 pm

August 26th, 2012, 9:33 pm #5

Gents:

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Just wondering about people's thoughts on non-Rolex vintage dive watches, and I thought VRF would be an interesting place to hear some thoughts, given the extensive knowledge of watch history and respect for dive watches that is here on this great and discerning forum.

I'm a HUGE vintage Rolex dive watch fan. My only two watches - a 1665 Great White and 16600 SD - are the absolute best in my eyes. I was just telling AG that I stare at them so much all the time that I am afraid one day I will have a car accident! HA! But, I know there are other great and legendary pieces out there. I see the Omega PloProf 600m pop its head up here occasionally. Same with the BP 50 fathoms.

I guess I'm just curious to hear people's thoughts on a few things. First, which other vintage dive watches do people here like and respect (or even own?) Secondly, for those established collectors, has anyone ever gone down the non-Rolex collecting road? How was it - did you turn back and return to Rolex?

And lastly, do other brands offer the seemingly endless variety of Rolex divers? What I mean is, Rolex just seem to have so much variation (red writing, bezel changes, case shapes, dial aging differences) and so much history and class that it just seems unavoidable. Does this exist elsewhere in the vintage diver world?

Anyway, as someone who was THIS close to getting a PloProf 600m over my 1665 (man, a 600m would still be nice one day!), I would love to hear others' experiences. Hope all is well gents!

V/R

Mike
I enjoy collecting watches with 7733 and 7734 movements. You can find them all sorts of 60s70s watches. Generally they have very jazzy dials and are a nice size case watch. I also collect b line and off brand divers as well. You can find many brands rich with history and good looks. Heuer 844s, early breitling chronomats, autavias, camaros, el primeros, yema, bulova, Clinton, and others all made some cool watches. They do not have to be 5000 dollars to make me happy.

I love my panerais too but they are not what they used to be. Personally I feel the in-house stuff killed the brand. I think the mid stuff from the late 90s early 2000s will appreciate and newer watches will stay where they are at, which is at a loss.

But again nothing out there is quite like a rolex.
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Joined: October 18th, 2009, 12:39 pm

August 27th, 2012, 12:49 am #6

Gents:

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Just wondering about people's thoughts on non-Rolex vintage dive watches, and I thought VRF would be an interesting place to hear some thoughts, given the extensive knowledge of watch history and respect for dive watches that is here on this great and discerning forum.

I'm a HUGE vintage Rolex dive watch fan. My only two watches - a 1665 Great White and 16600 SD - are the absolute best in my eyes. I was just telling AG that I stare at them so much all the time that I am afraid one day I will have a car accident! HA! But, I know there are other great and legendary pieces out there. I see the Omega PloProf 600m pop its head up here occasionally. Same with the BP 50 fathoms.

I guess I'm just curious to hear people's thoughts on a few things. First, which other vintage dive watches do people here like and respect (or even own?) Secondly, for those established collectors, has anyone ever gone down the non-Rolex collecting road? How was it - did you turn back and return to Rolex?

And lastly, do other brands offer the seemingly endless variety of Rolex divers? What I mean is, Rolex just seem to have so much variation (red writing, bezel changes, case shapes, dial aging differences) and so much history and class that it just seems unavoidable. Does this exist elsewhere in the vintage diver world?

Anyway, as someone who was THIS close to getting a PloProf 600m over my 1665 (man, a 600m would still be nice one day!), I would love to hear others' experiences. Hope all is well gents!

V/R

Mike
I got hung up on old chronos for a while but then shifted allegiances to 1960's Swiss made, tool watches.

This means that Rolex and Tudor share space in the safe with Breitling, Omega, Ollech & Was, Cauny Submarine Prima, Heuer Autavia, Tressa, Lee Eloga, etc.

In the realm of divers watches, I'm a sucker for the Rolex Submariner clones that poliferated in the early '60s. Ollech and Was did well when they made this one in 1964 IMO.




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Joined: July 29th, 2007, 3:20 pm

August 27th, 2012, 12:49 am #7

I enjoy collecting watches with 7733 and 7734 movements. You can find them all sorts of 60s70s watches. Generally they have very jazzy dials and are a nice size case watch. I also collect b line and off brand divers as well. You can find many brands rich with history and good looks. Heuer 844s, early breitling chronomats, autavias, camaros, el primeros, yema, bulova, Clinton, and others all made some cool watches. They do not have to be 5000 dollars to make me happy.

I love my panerais too but they are not what they used to be. Personally I feel the in-house stuff killed the brand. I think the mid stuff from the late 90s early 2000s will appreciate and newer watches will stay where they are at, which is at a loss.

But again nothing out there is quite like a rolex.
If you are interested in super rare and cool dive watches try a vintage Blancpain. So many different variation used by many military forces all over the world. Here are a few examples. Brian
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[/IMG]
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Joined: April 1st, 2010, 2:34 am

August 27th, 2012, 1:43 am #8

I got hung up on old chronos for a while but then shifted allegiances to 1960's Swiss made, tool watches.

This means that Rolex and Tudor share space in the safe with Breitling, Omega, Ollech & Was, Cauny Submarine Prima, Heuer Autavia, Tressa, Lee Eloga, etc.

In the realm of divers watches, I'm a sucker for the Rolex Submariner clones that poliferated in the early '60s. Ollech and Was did well when they made this one in 1964 IMO.




[/IMG]
Wow! Great to see some vintage O&W! I've always been a HUGE fan of the O&W Early Bird - that watch is just such a military classic and so rare. A sweet vintage piece.

Thanks for the responses guys!

V/R

Mike
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Joined: May 28th, 2011, 4:29 am

August 27th, 2012, 1:51 am #9

Gents:

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Just wondering about people's thoughts on non-Rolex vintage dive watches, and I thought VRF would be an interesting place to hear some thoughts, given the extensive knowledge of watch history and respect for dive watches that is here on this great and discerning forum.

I'm a HUGE vintage Rolex dive watch fan. My only two watches - a 1665 Great White and 16600 SD - are the absolute best in my eyes. I was just telling AG that I stare at them so much all the time that I am afraid one day I will have a car accident! HA! But, I know there are other great and legendary pieces out there. I see the Omega PloProf 600m pop its head up here occasionally. Same with the BP 50 fathoms.

I guess I'm just curious to hear people's thoughts on a few things. First, which other vintage dive watches do people here like and respect (or even own?) Secondly, for those established collectors, has anyone ever gone down the non-Rolex collecting road? How was it - did you turn back and return to Rolex?

And lastly, do other brands offer the seemingly endless variety of Rolex divers? What I mean is, Rolex just seem to have so much variation (red writing, bezel changes, case shapes, dial aging differences) and so much history and class that it just seems unavoidable. Does this exist elsewhere in the vintage diver world?

Anyway, as someone who was THIS close to getting a PloProf 600m over my 1665 (man, a 600m would still be nice one day!), I would love to hear others' experiences. Hope all is well gents!

V/R

Mike
I love dive watches. Have an extensive collection of Rolex dive watches (5508,
chapter ring PCG 5512, Steve McQueen 5512, 5513 PCG underline, 5513 Bart Simpson and
a 1665 white). So if I don't love Rolex dive watches, who does? Am not a watch dealer.

I have seriously been diving recreationally 31 years. I live on the water, 15 minutes from the ocean with a boat in the back yard.
Just last week I did 9 dives (averaging 80 to 122feet in depth).

Am also a spearfisherman.

I NEVER, NEVER NEVER have used a Rolex to dive. Never will.
Have always used a cheap plastic dive watch.

Currently use a dive computer on my left wrist and a Luminox on my right wrist.
Dive computer gives all vital info, Luminox is backup for time down only.

Never have seen a real Submariner in the Ocean.

Why?
Why chance it coming off?
Why have something shiny on your body that large predators will think is a
shiny little fish?
Why worry?
Why incur expenses when bezels pop off. etc?

Fish are not impressed with a Mint DRSD.

Maybe commercial divers use Sea Dwellers but someone else bought them and is maintaining them.
Bet they still use a dive computer.

Makes me wonder why I love my old relics so much. But I do and will never part with them.
Don't know what it is about them.

Maybe they remind me I am a diver!
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Joined: January 8th, 2005, 4:10 pm

August 27th, 2012, 2:34 am #10

Gents:

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Just wondering about people's thoughts on non-Rolex vintage dive watches, and I thought VRF would be an interesting place to hear some thoughts, given the extensive knowledge of watch history and respect for dive watches that is here on this great and discerning forum.

I'm a HUGE vintage Rolex dive watch fan. My only two watches - a 1665 Great White and 16600 SD - are the absolute best in my eyes. I was just telling AG that I stare at them so much all the time that I am afraid one day I will have a car accident! HA! But, I know there are other great and legendary pieces out there. I see the Omega PloProf 600m pop its head up here occasionally. Same with the BP 50 fathoms.

I guess I'm just curious to hear people's thoughts on a few things. First, which other vintage dive watches do people here like and respect (or even own?) Secondly, for those established collectors, has anyone ever gone down the non-Rolex collecting road? How was it - did you turn back and return to Rolex?

And lastly, do other brands offer the seemingly endless variety of Rolex divers? What I mean is, Rolex just seem to have so much variation (red writing, bezel changes, case shapes, dial aging differences) and so much history and class that it just seems unavoidable. Does this exist elsewhere in the vintage diver world?

Anyway, as someone who was THIS close to getting a PloProf 600m over my 1665 (man, a 600m would still be nice one day!), I would love to hear others' experiences. Hope all is well gents!

V/R

Mike


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