Dive watch shows user depth through colorful bands
Swiss watchmaker ArtyA's has grabbed a nomination for Best Dive Watch in the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2022 competition, with a depth gauge that tells a diver how deep they are by using colored bands instead of moving parts.
A diver's wrist watch incorporating a depth gauge isn't a new idea. They've been around in one form or another since about 1960. However, until now, they've relied on mechanical devices to measure water depth, such as curved tubes that want to straighten under pressure, tiny aneroid capsules or a membrane that is compressed.
In each case, the idea is that the water pressure actuates the mechanism that turns a hand on the dial to display the depth and, often, the maximum depth reached. The ArtyA Depth Gauge differs in that it works on a completely different principle and does away with any sort of mechanical parts.
If you've ever gone on a deep scuba dive outing like a cliff dive, you've probably noticed that as you descend, light starts to play tricks. Colors start to darken and vanish. First red fades into black, then orange, then yellow. The whole landscape – or seascape – gradually becomes bluer. If blue itself turns to black, then you're probably in real trouble because that's a depth of over 300 m (1,000 ft), where only the most advanced of mixed-gas professional divers venture.
It's a well-known phenomenon and one of the reasons why underwater photographers carry lights if they're going beyond snorkeling depth, otherwise the colors go rather askew.
On the ArtyA Depth Gauge, the upper half of the analog dial is painted with colored bands marked with different depths. As the bands fade, the next visible band represents the depth. It's a very simple system that the maker claims is the first worldwide depth measuring dial, though factors like water clarity, weather, and time of day might affect the results.
At any rate, like the dive watch itself, the dial is less of a primary instrument than a back up to the dive computer or dedicated depth gauge that the diver should be carrying as a matter of routine.
Available with a blue or black unidirectional rotating bezel crafted to resemble ocean waves, the Depth Gauge is certified by the Contrôle Officiel des Chronomètres (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute). It's powered by an exclusive Aion Cosc Swiss automatic movement with a power reserve of 42 hours.
The works are sealed in a 316-L stainless steel case with a screwed crown that is rated to 300 m (1,000 ft) and the dial displaying hours, minutes, and seconds is illuminated by Swiss BGW9 Super LumiNova. It's secured by a rubber strap with pin buckles in the shape of a drop of water.
If you're in the market, you'd better hurry because only nine units are available at a cost of 7,900 CHF (US$8,180) each.
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