Over at Instagram the_watch_father asks a question often posed by ‘gramers posting pictures of two watches: which one? In this case, we have two near-as-dammit identical light-powered dive watches from Seiko and Citizen. Ignoring Blue Watch Monday flexing, the only rational answer: who cares? The display raises a more important question . . .
What’s up with divewatchmania? How many watch buyers do anything more with their dive watch than take a dip in a pool or splash around in the sea or a lake? Precious few.
Not that it matters, sales-wise. Setting aside wearables — a genre that’s growing by over 20 percent per year expected to hit $54b by 2023 — dive watches are accounting for a huge chunk of the market, from the low-end to the highest of high horology.
I blame the Rolex Submariner. It’s the Mack Daddy of all dive watches. Introduced in 1954, popularized in 007, the handsome, perfectly balanced Sub set the bar for every dive watch you can buy. All of them.
The appeal is understandable. A field watch and pilot’s watch is a watch. A Sub-style timepiece projects an outdoorsy image that tells the world that its owner isn’t chained to their desk. As do survival watches, but they’re about as cubicle-compatible as a mask and snorkel.
We won’t see the end of this trend for some time. Dive watch buyers will continue to have an enormous selection from which to choose. My recommendation? Buy one without a date window. Real adventurers don’t care about the date, even as the rest of us work hard to get one.