Watch Manufacturer

Diver watches

Case: 42mm diameter 316L stainless steel case, steel screw crown, sapphire front crystal, rotating bezel with insert ceramics bezel

Movement: Japan Seiko NH35 automatic movement with a date

Band/ Bracelet: 20mm width of the solid stainless steel bracelet

Dial: blue sunray background with the 3D applied luminous (Swiss super BGW9) index for hour markers, printed minutes markers

Hands: 3pcs hands with Swiss super BGW9 luminous

Waterproof: 20ATM

Descriptions of Diver watches history

As a professional dive watch manufacturer, we trace the rich history of how dive watches were first developed as essential diving tools but gradually evolved into coveted luxury timepieces. Read on to explore the milestones that shaped dive watch history.

From enabling groundbreaking deep sea diving feats to symbolizing the adventure-seeking spirit, the dive watch has a storied history that spans over 100 years.

Milestone 1 (Early 1900s):

In the early 20th century, watchmakers achieved a breakthrough that would enable the development of the first truly water resistant dive watches. These pioneering timepieces could withstand submersion and suit the demanding needs of recreational and professional divers.

One of the earliest dive watches was the Omega Marine Watch, released in 1932. Omega pioneered the screw-down crown system to improve case sealing and protect the movement. The Omega Marine Watch was robust enough to become standard issue for many military units, including the British Royal Navy.

Around 1940, Zodiac released the Sea Wolf, one of the first commercially available dive watches. Featuring a stainless steel case, bold numerals, and -1ATM rating, the Zodiac Sea Wolf was an affordable, high-performance timepiece for recreational diving. It became an icon and established Zodiac as an innovative brand serving the growing mid-century obsession with exploring the underwater world.

By the early 1900s, major brands established frameworks for the modern dive watch. Advancements in case integrity, crown systems, luminous markings and unidirectional bezels made purpose-built dive watches a reality and a vital instrument for divers venturing below the surface. These features continue to define dive watches to this day, as demonstrated in Parsonver’s contemporary collections that honor this milestone era in timekeeping for the sea.

Milestone 2 (1950s):

In the 1950s, dive watches achieved new milestones in technical sophistication and aesthetics. Advancements in gasket technology and tighter case tolerances increased water resistance to depths never before possible. Unidirectional rotating bezels also debuted, allowing divers to safely track elapsed time underwater.

In 1953, Blancpain released the Fifty Fathoms, their first dive watch. It was water resistant to 50 fathoms (91 meters) thanks to innovative double O-ring seals.

The Fifty Fathoms also featured a unidirectional rotating bezel so divers could monitor dive time to avoid decompression sickness. The iconic Fifty Fathoms established a signature look with its black dial and stainless case that has endured for over 65 years.

Milestone 3 (the 1960s-70s):

The 1960s and 70s saw dive watches reach new depths of style and performance. Models combined trendsetting designs with cutting-edge technology, capturing an era obsessed with exploration and pushing boundaries. These watches set precedents for brands like Parsonver focused on fusing high-performance with luxury appeal.

In 1957, Omega released their first diver-focused Seamaster to commemorate a record dive. The Omega Seamaster 600 followed in 1965 with 600 meters of water resistance – a first for a commercial model. A unidirectional bezel, helium escape valve, and luminous dial made it a competent technical tool, while its gold and steel case reflected 1960s glamour.

Milestone 4 (1980s-2000s):

By the 1980s, dive watches transcended their technical origins to become popular luxury sport accessories and status symbols. While still highly capable, they were coveted for a rugged yet refined style that conveyed an active, adventurous lifestyle. This era established dive watches as a versatile design suited to the demands of high performance and casual wear alike.

IWC released their Aquatimer dive watch collection in 1967 but saw a resurgence in the late 1990s. The redesigned Aquatimer featured a mechanical depth gauge, unidirectional internal bezel, and 200m rating. But its elegant titanium case, black dial, and rubber strap reflected sport-luxury sensibilities. The Aquatimer resonated with consumers wanting high-tech, high-end watches suitable for an adventurous lifestyle on or offshore.

These iconic 1980s through 2000s dive watches highlight a shift in popular appeal and culture. With refined designs as capable as their technical features, dive watches transitioned from purpose-built tools to emblems of an aspirational lifestyle where luxury and adventure were intertwined. Models like the Breitling Superocean, Panerai Submersible and IWC Aquatimer demonstrated that dive watches could achieve new depths of style and performance – allowing their wearers to do the same. Their crossover influence is reflected in Parsonver’s range of dive watches equally poised to make a statement or brave high-pressure demands.

Milestone 5 (Modern):

Modern dive watches leverage cutting-edge materials and technologies while channeling a vintage spirit that honors the category’s roots. Contemporary models like the Oris Aquis, Tudor Pelagos, and Omega Planet Ocean demonstrate how dive watches continue progressing to new depths of performance and style.

Released in 2011, the Oris Aquis features a steel case with scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and crown guards. It has a vintage-inspired dial and domed sapphire crystal but proprietary ‘Wellness’ lume for visibility at depth. With 300m water resistance and in-house automatic movement, the Aquis merges retro appeal and innovative engineering.

These contemporary dive watches utilize high-performance materials and precision technology to provide the ultimate in capability and durability. Yet designs pay homage to an iconic era in dive watch history through retro-inspired aesthetics, demonstrating an understanding that category foundational roots must be honored. Models like the Aquis, Pelagos and Planet Ocean show that dive watches which combine vintage spirit and cutting-edge construction achieve new depths – of both performance and nostalgic style. Their mastery of this fusion places Parsonver in an elite class of brands continuing to redefine and push forward dive watch heritage.


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Partner with the Masters of Today and Tomorrow 

For over 50 years, Leedon has pioneered dive watch innovation through an uncompromising commitment to engineering excellence and design. We study the past to forge the future.

Our collections set new benchmarks by channeling 100 years of heritage through the use of cutting-edge materials and movements. We achieve timepieces able to reach uncharted depths of performance, capability and nostalgic appeal. Leedon solves critical challenges with iconic style.