A Magnificent Timing Bezel
Like Tree60Likes

Thread: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37
  1. #1
    Member Gary123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    5,082

    A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    I’m pretty practical when it comes to my watches, the vast majority of them are divers. I like my watches legible, rugged, with lots of water resistance, a timing bezel and a chronograph. I use all features a watch offers, and expect them to perform to “field” expectations. That includes timing bezels and chronographs, which I use regularly. I struggle with dress watches.
    I’ve owned, used and handled many very good timing bezels. No doubt there are some superb ones out there, but very few. From a purely tool standpoint, here are my criteria for a great timing bezel.

    ESSENTIAL QUALITIES

    1) The bezel gives you confidence that it will stay put where you set it.
    2) Rotational resistance is appropriate – not too easy, not too difficult.
    3) Grip on the bezel is secure when rotating: dry, wet or oily.
    4) Legibility: In low light without the benefit of lume
    .….… a. the PIP must jump out,
    .……. b. the hour hash markers must be easily located,
    ….…. c. the pip must be conspicuous compared to the hash markers

    NICE QUALITIES
    5) the bezel protects itself with architectural features, or the use of a ceramic or sapphire insert
    ----- Not critical, more for long term readability of the register, and to preserve looks.
    6) the intangible “feel” while turning the bezel
    7) the aesthetic “look” of the bezel

    A BRIEF DISCUSSION OF SPECIFIC TIMING BEZELS

    Confidence: Price has no bearing. My JLC Navy Seals Diver chrono has far too little resistance. I set the bezel and took a shower and put my clothes on and the bezel moved 20”. I will have that fixed or may get rid of it. My Carl Bucherer ScubaTec bezel had a very light touch, like the JLC. When I received it I called the company and complained. They paid for round trip shipping and tightened up the bezel.

    Rotational Resistance: I had a Bali Hai diver once that was so difficult to turn I called the company and complained. They said “sorry about that” but offered no assistance.

    Secure Grip: My VDB is pitiful. Resistance is appropriate but there is no grip. The bezel is slippery even when dry. My Omega SMP 300m Regata is barely any better. I’ve long loved the Parmigiani Fleurier Pershing, but from pictures I have no confidence in the grip on that bezel.

    VDB


    Omega SMP 300m Regatta


    Parmigiani Fleurier Pershing


    Legibility: Many bezels struggle with low light legibility, including my vaunted Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and JLC Navy Seals Chrono. The Blancpain from pictures and reputation looks otherwise, but in low light its bezel is not pleasant to use, but is passable.

    My JLC Navy Seals Diver Chrono falls short due to its hour markers.


    My Sinn 900 Diapal has a very legible pip but the hour indicators have so little white I struggle to find them in low light.




    My pretty Helson Shark Diver is fine by day but nearly impossible to use in low light. The tone of the turquoise and the steel are very nearly the same in low light.


    The bezel protects itself
    By this, I mean that the numbers on the bezel (what I call the register) are recessed or somehow architecturally or otherwise protected from getting scratched off.

    Poor example


    Good Example


    Vostoc – and others have employed an effective and inexpensive method, a downward sloped bezel that is protected by its own outer edge.


    Of all the dive watches I’ve owned, the best bezel I’ve had the pleasure of using has been the external bezel on my IWC Aquatimer.





    They got so many things right on this bezel. As a user, it is one of the best ever. The first 15” of highlighting really makes the pip jump out. The white hour markers against the dark blue background are easy to find in low light. The grip is wonderful: The cutouts have slightly sharp edges that provide some bite and minimize any problem with slippery fingers. The cutouts are also spaced every 5 minutes and the cutout is between the hours which can help to assess elapsed time. The clicks of the bezel are like fine jewelry and the sapphire bezel cover is a nice touch. I've never owned a better timing bezel and for this reason alone may never part with this watch.

    How about you? Any bezels you think are pitiful or really outstanding?
    Last edited by Gary123; February 13th, 2016 at 21:17.
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

  2. #2
    Member Gary123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    5,082

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    No one has experienced any bad or great timing bezels?
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    8,516

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    For me the best timing bezel is the Omega Ploprof 1200. It has probably the best locking feature though it can be fiddly to set one handed until you develop a technique that works for you.

    Name:  22430552101001.jpg
Views: 781
Size:  98.3 KB
    ALS Blancpain Breguet Chopard GO Hamilton Hexa Hublot IWC JLC Omega Panerai Patek Rolex Tag Tudor Seiko Sinn UN Vacheron

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Gary123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    5,082

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    Mechanically, the Ploprof bezel works great. I have one (the white version). The probem here is with the pip. It should be solid white and not a "hollow" triangle. The area of the pip must be completely filled in with white to optimize legibility. In low light this pip does not jump out at you. Numerous times in low light I had to spend a moment and carefully look over the bezel to locate the pip, though sometimes the orange dot did help.
    Last edited by Gary123; February 7th, 2016 at 22:29.
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

  6. #5
    Member cedargrove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,123

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    Great post Gary - very informative. I can see why you speak so highly of the IWC.

    I'd say my Marathon offers me the best functionality. It's certainly not the nicest in terms of quality (I think the insert is actually a hard plastic) but it is definitely easy to grip, offers the right amount of resistance, and is very legible.
    Attached Images Attached Images



    Last edited by cedargrove; February 7th, 2016 at 22:02.
    Gary123 and maxpowerman like this.

  7. #6
    Member pley3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    250

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    I think a Damasko bezel fits your criteria :)
    1. No worries about it moving, even with it being bi-directional. When you click it into place that's where it stays.
    2. Check. Single minutes are easy to find, or spin it around 15 minutes at a time. Piece of cake.
    3. Grippy but not too sharp. No issues turning while in water.
    4. I personally find legibility a non issue, used it in the cinemas more than once. pip is not hard to find.
    5. Protection. Damest coating, enough said :)
    6. Its precise, very quiet compared to every other bezel I have seen or used and every minute notch is obvious when it clicks in.
    I love how every minute is market out and every five minutes is big and obvious.
    It's on ceramic ball bearings so should last forever to :)
    Last edited by pley3r; February 8th, 2016 at 00:43.

  8. #7
    Member tobitas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    620

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    Bad bezel:



    Good bezel:


  9. #8
    Member kit7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    1,274

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    +1 for Damasko bezels, you'll struggle to find a better one in ANY price range. They are bi-directional though, and 60 clicks.
    Gary123 and That_Turtle like this.

  10. #9
    Member MediumRB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    RoK
    Posts
    3,830

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    I'm not real big on divers yet (just a Seiko Turtle so far), but I appreciate your analysis.
    The one I've had my eye on is the Muhle Glashutte Kampfschwimmer, but the Seabattalian and Rasmus 2000 also get my interest:
    Name:  muhle-glashutte-kampfschwimmer-dial.jpg
Views: 713
Size:  411.6 KB
    Definitely not going to lose grip on that bezel. Could probably saw a tangle of kelp off with it. And the three minute hashes (so you can estimate your swimming distance according to your 3-minute pace distance training) is sweet.

    I like your Omega SMP quite a bit. And the IWC is spot on.
    Gary123 and Robmks like this.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
    --
    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGT035, Credor Node GCAT996, Grand Seiko 5641-7000 (1972), "Ashtray Tuna" 7C46-6009 (1987), 6139-7069 "Blue Eye" chrono (1974), 5740-8000 Lord Marvel 36'000 (1974), Bell-Matic 4006-7012 (1971), King Quartz 9223-5000 (1981), Seikomatic J13044 (1963), 6119-6400 UFO (1974), King Quartz 5855-5000 (1977), Silverwave 8221-5020 (1980), Majesta 9063-5020 (1984), SKX399K "Philippines"

  11. #10
    Member Gary123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    5,082

    Re: A Magnificent Timing Bezel

    The shortcoming I see in the Damasco bezel is the lack of dominance of the pip compared to the hour indicators. To really stand out, a pip should have 3x the white area of the hour indicators. The pip on the Damasco is about the same size as the double digit numbers and probably has less total white. Look at this picture of a similar and better done bezel on the Sinn EZM 10.


    However, there is actually another factor that stands on its own in locating the pip, and the Damasco appears to have it. Locating the pip by touch. The red dot appears to be raised, so running your finger over the bezel should work to locate the pip. This method works OK for bezels that have such a feature. Its not the best method, but is workable.
    Last edited by Gary123; February 10th, 2016 at 00:34.
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Replies: 27
      Last Post: August 23rd, 2015, 01:04
    2. Digital Diver with timing Bezel
      By captain_hx in forum Dive watches
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: December 12th, 2014, 01:22
    3. No-timing-bezel divers
      By Francois Boucher in forum Reference Material
      Replies: 13
      Last Post: January 26th, 2012, 21:48
    4. No-timing-bezel divers
      By Francois Boucher in forum Dive watches
      Replies: 9
      Last Post: September 14th, 2006, 22:16

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •