Dive Watch Feedback Wanted
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  1. #1
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    Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Hello, as the post title suggests I’m looking for feedback on my dive watch design concept.

    This particular design is inspired by the heyday of dive watches both for their craft and the adventure that surrounded them. Each design element was studied for its origins then developed based on my aesthetic preferences and then balanced with the other elements.
    Starting with the dial, first and foremost a dive watch should be clear and legible. Distilling the dial to its essence; it should present the information with clarity both in daylight and darkness and there should be a legible contrast between hands and lume plots.

    • A 27mm dial provides maximum area within a 40mm case design while allowing room for a bi-directional rotating bezel
    • The lume plots are reduced to a singular, circular element – scaled dependent on the hour represented
    • A long-lasting, black-black background is used to maximize contrast
    • Negative relief gilt and domed indexes provide depth, texture, contrast, and craft
    • Sword hands are used for their legibility and contrast to the circular lume plots

    The bezel is developed as sapphire with luminous indexes. Again, the design decision is multifold.

    • Luminous indexes provides legibility both in daylight and darkness
    • Black background provides contrast to the indexes
    • Sapphire construction is scratch resistant and less prone to fading/clouding
    • The intent is to have a bi-directional, click-bezel.

    The case will be a 39mm 316 stainless steel case, measuring 52mm lug to lug. The bezel will be 40mm.
    A few of the vintage inspired details include the crystal, crown, bracelet, and lug bevels.
    The crystal will harken back to the mid-century design aesthetic of tall, domed crystals. As an acrylic crystal it will provide a beloved, vintage aesthetic to the watch design.
    The crown will be a 8mm screw down crown.
    The bracelet is being conceived of as an intricate rivet bracelet (think jubilee proportions) with deployant clasp.
    The lugs will be provided deep bevels and dripped through for spring bar access.
    I am currently considering 200m vs 300m water resistance. I want the watch to be capable of ocean swimming, snorkeling, and recreational diving. This isn’t meant to be a professional dive watch but a recreational one. In particular I’m interested in your thoughts on this one.
    Finally the movement. I have been in conversations with both Sellita and Besancon Observatory. I will be sourcing SW300-1 movements from Sellita, built to COSC standards but uncertified. As I am not a Swiss brand I must obtain the Chronometer certification elsewhere. This is where Besancon Observatory comes in to the picture. The completed watches will be sent there for testing and certification.
    I want to develop a precise watch with classic aesthetics – built for hard work and recreation.

    Presently I am soliciting feedback on the design, negotiating with watch factories, developing a web presence, and edging towards a prototype.

    I look forward to your feedback and thoughts.
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  2. #2
    Member ZIPPER79's Avatar
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Too small (personally like 44mm), typical look of the ubiquitous dive watches.
    Lee Rappeport



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  3. #3
    Member Foch's Avatar
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Prefer 4 O'clock or 9 O'clock crown

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  5. #4
    Member Karriope's Avatar
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    I think there's nothing wrong with the apparent top profile you have there, it looks pretty decent, but the lug-to-lug is spectacularly long for a watch of its size. Have you looked at the design without the bracelet on?
    (quick and dirty removal)

    While I would assume the lugs are intentionally long and narrow to produce that vintage vibe (something I've done myself), I personally think they might be too long.
    I kind of like the all-circles layout - it's conventional yet unusual, but it has absolutely no orienteering cues whatsoever and I find that contrarian to your claimed emphasis on legibility.

    For a recreational diver, I'd say 200m is just about fine, but recreational diving can include SCUBA and deep diving technically speaking. You might want more feedback from others based on what design changes will be needed to reach the higher water resistance like, say, being thicker.

    I also find it really weird you have a sapphire bezel with an acrylic crystal. Why not make both acrylic, if you want to push the retro thing?

    The crown is also absolutely enormous looking, which detracts from the retro vibe, if you ask me, but some people should like it.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    12 / 6 / 9 indices should be something other than circular.
    Preferred crown position is a 4 marker
    crown too large
    blue dial option
    200m is sufficient
    may want to consider a Seiko movement vs Sellita,
    black date window preferred
    offer other strap options

  7. #6
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Karriope View Post
    I think there's nothing wrong with the apparent top profile you have there, it looks pretty decent, but the lug-to-lug is spectacularly long for a watch of its size. Have you looked at the design without the bracelet on?

    While I would assume the lugs are intentionally long and narrow to produce that vintage vibe (something I've done myself), I personally think they might be too long.
    I kind of like the all-circles layout - it's conventional yet unusual, but it has absolutely no orienteering cues whatsoever and I find that contrarian to your claimed emphasis on legibility.

    For a recreational diver, I'd say 200m is just about fine, but recreational diving can include SCUBA and deep diving technically speaking. You might want more feedback from others based on what design changes will be needed to reach the higher water resistance like, say, being thicker.

    I also find it really weird you have a sapphire bezel with an acrylic crystal. Why not make both acrylic, if you want to push the retro thing?

    The crown is also absolutely enormous looking, which detracts from the retro vibe, if you ask me, but some people should like it.
    Thank you! That's some very insightful and helpful feedback. I have received another message about the lug-to-lug length. I totally agree. I'm shortening it to 47mm - 48mm.

    For design consistency, I'm inclined to match the crystal with bezel insert. In doing so, I waver between acrylic and sapphire. I really like acrylic for it's retro-vibe and high domes - but I don't like it's scratch-ability. Sapphire is elegant and perceived as more luxurious. If it were capable of high domes I would be more inclined to consider it.

    I will continue to study the circles and their legibility. I'm currently looking at ways to differentiate the 12 index while maintaining the circle consistency.

    Anyways, I appreciate your feedback!

  8. #7
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Foch View Post
    Prefer 4 O'clock or 9 O'clock crown
    Thanks! I've always been a fan of the 3 position but now that I've gotten two comments about it, I'll take a look at 4.

  9. #8
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyHippo View Post
    12 / 6 / 9 indices should be something other than circular.
    Preferred crown position is a 4 marker
    crown too large
    blue dial option
    200m is sufficient
    may want to consider a Seiko movement vs Sellita,
    black date window preferred
    offer other strap options
    Thank you!

    Your thoughts on the 12/9/6 indexes - is that a legibility issue when diving?

    I have been looking at blue dials too! I'll post something once I find one I like.

    I'm inclined to develop this with a Sellita movement - I personally find the movement quality to be very important. I would like to pursue this project as a Chronometer.

    I agree with you about straps. If I can swing it, it'll come with a SS bracelet and a MN-type strap.

    And with two comments about the crown, I'll look at some smaller options too. I have a personal preference towards the old 8mm big crowns.

    Thanks again!

  10. #9
    Member Karriope's Avatar
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by mzinski View Post
    Thank you! That's some very insightful and helpful feedback. I have received another message about the lug-to-lug length. I totally agree. I'm shortening it to 47mm - 48mm.

    For design consistency, I'm inclined to match the crystal with bezel insert. In doing so, I waver between acrylic and sapphire. I really like acrylic for it's retro-vibe and high domes - but I don't like it's scratch-ability. Sapphire is elegant and perceived as more luxurious. If it were capable of high domes I would be more inclined to consider it.

    I will continue to study the circles and their legibility. I'm currently looking at ways to differentiate the 12 index while maintaining the circle consistency.

    Anyways, I appreciate your feedback!
    My suggestion for the 12 index if you want to maintain the circle look is to do a ringed circle - a circle in a circle, or at the very least make it a different size, or make 3-6-9 oblong/oval. Or, you can do double-circles at 3-6-9 and a giant one at 12.
    Ultradome sapphire exists, I believe, but if you really want to push the vintage vibe I'd go with acrylic. However people may find the use of acrylic doesn't match with the idea of the watch being a everyday tough and high quality chronometer. Perhaps you can negotiate with your factory to offer both. I believe also that acrylic, while noted for its look - since it abrades easily, when it gets scratched it clouds, like if you rubbed it with sandpaper. At the same time, some people like that you can just polywatch the stuff, so well...

    My other personal gripe with your design is the dreadful typography. The typeface is much too generic in my opinion and really cheapens the look of the watch if you ask me, but I'm a real sticker for typography so I might be be an outlier in this regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by mzinski View Post
    Your thoughts on the 12/9/6 indexes - is that a legibility issue when diving?

    I have been looking at blue dials too! I'll post something once I find one I like.

    I'm inclined to develop this with a Sellita movement - I personally find the movement quality to be very important. I would like to pursue this project as a Chronometer.

    I agree with you about straps. If I can swing it, it'll come with a SS bracelet and a MN-type strap.

    And with two comments about the crown, I'll look at some smaller options too. I have a personal preference towards the old 8mm big crowns.

    Thanks again!
    Another point to consider regarding the 12-6-9 regarding diving legibility is the fact that official dive watch standards require the design to have at least some sort of demarcation or design element that is specifically intended to allow easy orienteering of the watch in the dark. Something yours at current does not do. If you blacken your image entirely, you'll notice the only way to tell which way is up is by your missing 3'o'clock marker. It's worse if you remove the bezel.


    If you got with a blue dial, you might want to offer the Rolex-y blue-gold two-tone option, which is pretty popular. Or you could go left field and make it purplish instead so it resembles a tropical-aged blue dial instead.
    Personally speaking I like having a certified chronometer since it does at least suggest to me it'll run within +/- 4 in most circumstances rather than how SEIKO Time Modules can vary as much as 35 seconds, but in my experience my two NH35as have spectacular chronometer-level daily deviations after taking them for some adjustment by a watchmaker. However, since you're planning on the SW300, you can definitely make the watch much thinner, which should also factor into your consideration, compared to, say, a top grade SW200 or a STP1-11. I'm a bit confused here though, I recall that "officially certified chronometer" requires COSC approval, at least by Swiss legal terms. Are you trying to have the watch Swiss Made, or just Swiss Mvmt?

    Going back to the crown, I think the other reason why the crown looks un-vintage to me despite the big-crown vintage trend, is the shape of it... somehow. Maybe because it's deeper than average - it looks like it's at least 5 mm thick, which should help its ease of use, but I'd also note that if you leave it at 3' you might have wrist digging issues.
    That said I just went to check the big crown Sub and I note you have the same general shape, just that yours has a deeper grooved portion. I don't know why it somehow looks non-retro to me. Strange...
    Last edited by Karriope; May 9th, 2019 at 20:31.

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  11. #10
    Member Karriope's Avatar
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    Re: Dive Watch Feedback Wanted

    doublepost: WUSforum is really buggy at times

    DEVELOPED IN DARKNESS

    MWW P. Marcidus | SNGLRTY OHI-4 | GallioTempo Trident | COA Studios Eclipse
    Steinhart Ocean Titanium 500 (A10) | Spinnaker Bradner
    Ball Engineer Master II Diver TMT (P1J) | Tudor Pelagos LHD | Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight

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