This is the first time I have an Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze in my hands and I have to say it is a big watch. Even so big, that when I took off my Omega Speedmaster Mark III to strap this on I was taken aback by its size.
In pictures it looked much smaller, but the size is not an issue at all. After a few minutes I realized that regardless of its measurements, the watch is extremely comfortable. It came on an olive green NATO (which works well with the bronze case) and the watch is super balanced on it. It did not feel top-heavy at all. I also noticed how sharp the look of the watch is. It really feels like a true diving instrument. The weight, the quality, the looks all correspond to the fact that it is a nicely made rugged tool watch.
As I said it above; the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze case feels and looks rugged. This is due to the fact that it is cut by CNC from a piece of bronze alloy block that is salt-water resistant. The screw-down case back is engraved and also made of bronze. It is 43mm wide excluding the crown and 49mm from lug tip to lug tip. The thickness of the watch is also quite outstanding at 15mm. Of course, this robust case allows the watch to have a water resistance of 1000m not that you likely ever go deeper than 20-30m with it, just in case. The whole case is brushed except for the two edges, which are polished. Bronze works well on the wrist it stands out a bit but not too much. The bezel is uni-directional and it’s quite easy to turn. It is coated with Super-LumiNova, like the dial.
The case back of the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze centers the logo with all information around it. You can find the year of the original design of the watch (1970), also the material it is made of (bronze alloy) and the water resistance in meters and feet of course. In the second row they list the name and reference of the watch as well as the limited edition numbers. The Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze is limited to 500 pieces, my review watch being number 9. There is a bit of discrepancy here since the case back states Made in Germany, while the watch dial says Swiss Made. Obviously the former refers to the watch case and case back while the latter to the watch as a whole.
The heart of the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze is ETA powered. The calibre 2836 movement to be precise. Watch brands consider it a trusted and reliable work-horse movement, which it clearly is. An automatic movement with 25 Jewels, 28.800 vph and stop-second regulator system – commonly known as hacking movement. This allows you to set the time down to the exact second. The watch is of course time only with a date indicator at 3 o’clock. Nothing fancy here, but this watch, like most if not all dive watches, are not fancy time pieces. They are tools that your life can depend on.
The clean design of the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze reflects in the watch-face as well. Simple black galvanized dial, only minimal text and Super-LumiNova indexes. I even found the logo with the brand name a bit too small for the dial size. Well, let’s just say that it is definitely not overwhelmingly present. The Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze’s dial has no numbers, only indexes covered with 8 layers of Luminova. Below 12 o’clock you see the logo and Aquadive and just above 6 o’clock you find the model name (Bathyscaphe 100) with the water resistance and the type of movement it has. Nothing else needs to be on the dial. Even the date window is somewhat hidden at the 3 o’clock. The hands are polished steel with Super-Luminova, the second hand has the same square towards the tip you get on vintage models.
According to the company the strap the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze usually comes on is a 22mm Isofrane. These are nicely made super sturdy but not stiff Italian diving straps. Isofrane, along with tropic straps, equipped some legendary diver watches in the past. They are among the straps you need for a diver. The long black rubber strap is perfect if you want to strap the watch over your wetsuit though it might get in the way if you have a skinnier wrist and want to wear it normally. In the package I also had a 22mm nylon olive green nato. I have to say the green works really well with the bronze color. They have a great contrast and look amazing on the wrist. I also received a fine soft brown leather strap. A great combo as well for sure when you want to dress the watch down a bit.
Not too long ago Mike wrote about the Facebook Diver’s Watch Group limited edition watches. The first of such collaboration was a blue bezel steel diver between the group and Aquadive. Needless to say the time piece was a huge success and sold out pretty soon. Our Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 Bronze bears the exact same aesthetics and measures as that watch. The vintage feel is visible in both pieces this one with its bronze case being the more rustic one in my opinion.
The price of the watch is a very friendly $1790 (about €1660). At this price range you would have a hard time to find another bronze watch with such quality and character. We loved the Oris Carl Brashear and the Tudor Black Bay Bronze but those models play in a different price range. Though I loved the watch while I was wearing it I will be sad to see it go. I’m also curios to see how the case develops its patina over time. As soon as we have an update on that we will let you know.
Visit the Aquadive website for information on this and many other models.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more