Well guys, here is my final review before my summer vacation away from home :)
This is a review on the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 DLC.
Here is the video review, please scroll down for full written review
Aquadive was a popular dive watch company in the 60´s and 70´s and was one of the many companies that went under in the quartz crises in the 70´s and early 80´s.
The brand has now been revived and the company seems to be honoring the tradition associated with the Aquadive name by producing watches that have that classic vintage dive watch look, with a modern touch and a dash of modern technology as well.
The Aquadive is a dive watch with 1000 meter water resistance according to Aquadive. It has a 120 click unidirectional bezel, sapphire crystal, DLC coating an isofrane strap.
The watch comes with a 2 year limited warrenty.
Aquadive prides themselves of using traditional methods for watch manufacturing and production.
The movement in the watch is the ETA 2836-2 Elabore movement adjusted in 5 positions with an individual certificate included with the watch.
The ETA 2836-2 is originally a day/date movement. The 100 DLC has a modified ,date wheel only, version that was chosen since it is the highest 3 hand movement, and therefore minimizes the space between the dial and crystal.
The movement is protected by an additional patented suspension system, and no parts of the movement comes in contact with the watch case.
This unit has been keeping excellent time the few days that I have had it, and has been well within the accepted rate.
The case of the 100 DLC is German made entirely CNC machined stainless steel (nothing stamped) with a stainless steel screw down case back. The case is cut from one block and nothing welded or added to it, and then hand brushed and polished.
The case measures 43 mm in diameter excluding the crown with a lug width of 22 mm and a lug to lug distance of 49 mm.
The height of the 100 DLC is 15 mm, and has a water resistance of 1000 meters.
DLC, stands for diamond like carbon, and is basically the black color of the watch.
There are basically two types of black coatings used on watches today, PVD and DLC. The difference between the two is that DLC should be considerably more scratch resistant than the PVD coating, and increased hardness, and less resistance - therefore often causing impacting objects to slide off rather than dig in and scratch the coating.
When using a rather large watch such as this one I often avoid PVD finishes, since I find that they sometimes scratch rather easily, having a large dive watch with DLC coating like the 100 DLC from Aquadive makes more sense.
The watch is rather hefty and weighs 160 grams on the included Isofrane strap, its not too heavy at all, but enough to feel that you are holding a very solid object in your hands.
The weight of the watch it self excluding the strap is about 130 grams.
I really like the design of the case, the vintage dive watch look but with a DLC coating, really nice.
There is an automatic Helium escape valve between the lugs on the case, I like having the HEV there, but it is often situated on the side of dive watches, and kind of hurts the aesthetics of the watches in my opinion.
This placement of the HEV is perfect in my opinion, its out of the way but still there for those who would need it. The reason for this placement by Aquadive was that the original Aquadive depth gauge model had an opening at that exact place.
The bezel on the 100 DLC is an 120 click elapsed time unidirectional bezel with laser cut ratcheting spring.
There are no tight spot on the bezel turning, and the turning action is smooth and easy.
The clicks in the bezel are not very loud, and somehow feels a bit different from most dive watches I have tried. The closest way to describe it that I can think of is like turning a large combination lock on a safe, except that a combination safe is usually bi-directional.
The turning action is on the lighter side, but I still had not accidental movements of the bezel.
The bezel insert is ceramic, so that should be virtually scratch proof
The bezel site well above the case so its easy use even wearing gloves.
The 100 DLC has a black dial with raised and lumed hour markers. According to AD the hour markers are hand soldered on the dial after drilling the dial 23 times to place the markers
It has white minute markers around the dials edge.
The second hand on the 100 DLC is black with an orange tip, and a lumed rectangle. The hour hand is silver colored with a lume stripe running through the middle of half of the hand. The minute hand also has a lume stripe running through more than half the hand, and is partly orange colored in addition to the silver color.
There is a date window at the 3 o'clock position, and the date wheel has a black background and white numbering that fits the dial very well.
Aquadive even managed to squeeze half an hour marker next to the date window without making it look awkward.
Writing on the dial includes the Aquadive logo, Bathyscaphe 100, 1000 meters/330 ft. Automatic and Swiss Made.
The crystal on the 100 DLC is a flat sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating, the crystal sits flush with the bezel, and is very clear from all directions.
The 100 DLC has a screw down case back with the Aquadive logo an individual serial number, swiss made, and more.
The case back is not very convex and therefore helps the watch wear close to your wrist despite the height.
(Serial covered with red rectangle)
The crown of the 100 DLCs a about 6 mm in diameter and is a signed screw down crown. It grabs the threads instantly, and
The ridges on the crown are shallow but due to their design the crown is easy to get a grip of and use.
The super lumina luminova on the 100 DLC is pretty good, all three hands on the watch have lume as well as the hour markers as well as hand applied super luminova on the bezel pip (triangle)
There is even lume on the small 3 o'clock marker next to the date window.
The lume is most likely C3 lume, and lasts for a few hours after exposure to a bright light source.
The strap included with the 100 DLC is an Isofrane strap. Isofrane was a diving strap brand in the 60's and 70's like Aquadive, and the brand has also recently been revived.
Usually preferring bracelets and avoiding rubber straps, I was very surprised that I actually liked the Isofrane strap a lot.
It is very different than the lookalike straps that I have tried before, but this strap is thick and solid, but is still very flexible and bendable. The strap fits the shape of your wrist well right away, and has very many adjustment positions so it was easy to find the perfect fit.
The material also does not attract lint and has a nice faint vanilla smell to it.
The buckle on the strap has the Aquadive logo, and is DLC coated like the watch, this is probably one of the few buckles that have not got scratched almost instantly when I wear a watch.
From the look of the spring bars on the 100 DLC Aquadive is definitely using some thick and solid spring bars on this watch.
On the wrist
The 100 DLC wears a bit larger than 42 mm in my opinion, and that is probably due to the cushion style vintage looking case, and the height of the watch.
The watch looked very good with all casual clothing.
This may not be the first watch you would expect on a wrist of someone wearing white shirt and black jacket, but if you have confidence you can wear any watch with your suit, and it can also be fun to contrast your formal suit with a sporty pure diving watch.
The 100 DLC seems to be a very high quality watch, with a nice vintage design with a swiss movement adjusted in 5 positions, great water resistance, a helium escape valve, a great rubber strap and in a very solid construction.
The watch is very comfortable to wear on the included Isofrane strap, and the movement is performing very well.
Price for this watch is US $ 1990.00 from the Aquadive.com website.
Please visit wristwatches360.com for even more reviews.