Bausele is one of those brands that has been around for some time and regularly shows up in social media feeds. But we have never covered any of the Australian brand’s watches here on Fratello. The Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl seems like a good place to start. For this limited-edition timepiece, Bausele founder Christophe Hoppé joined forces with Luke Eldridge from Frogsquad Straps and Eric Ricioppo, founder and host of Rico’s Watches Podcast. The daily work of the military and first responders was the inspiration for this new watch, which combines familiar looks with a new execution.

As a fan of the world of tennis, I know that Bausele pieces grace the wrist of Australian tennis player Max Purcell. Besides rocking a mullet proudly, Purcell was also a Wimbledon doubles champion in 2022. He wore the Bausele Oceanmoon IV during the trophy ceremony on Center Court. That’s not a bad place to be for this small brand from Sydney, Australia. Purcell is currently on his way to becoming a Top 50 player in singles, and it’s interesting to follow his journey as a standout character in the tennis world. But we’re not here to talk tennis this time, so let’s get to the Black Pearl edition of the brand’s popular Sydney Diver.

Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl

The Bausele Black Pearl

The current Bausele collection consists of the popular Sydney Diver and Classic Field series. Both have a design signature predominantly steeped in classic military tradition, showing Hoppé’s keen eye for tradition. Earlier this year, the brand released the Endless Sunrise collection that showed the great versatility of the Sydney Diver. Executed in four bright summer colors, the watch proves to be a lot more than a one-trick pony. With a variety of strap and dial options the Endless Summer collection contains several attractive, summery choices.

Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl

For the new Black Pearl edition, Bausele goes back to the more utilitarian looks of the regular Sydney Diver models. But the watch comes with a story, showing it’s not just the next new release. When developing the Bausele MIL-SPEC collection, Hoppé connected with a lot of military personnel that he has great respect for. Building on this story, he created the new Black Pearl to engage with current or retired first responders or military operators, the people who save lives and often risk theirs to help others every day. It’s a noble cause that became the foundation for this new piece.

Three collaborating parties with a shared interest

To develop the Black Pearl, Bausele teamed up with Luke Eldrige from Frogsquad Straps. Eldrige served for years in the Australian Defence Force, after which he transitioned into emergency health care, serving his community as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP). During this time in the military, Eldrige used to make custom watch straps out of modified military webbing. After his active service, that led to the founding of Frogsquad Straps. The brand makes extremely tough straps inspired by the rough conditions they need to work in. Frogsquad was a perfect partner to come up with a new strap for the Black Pearl Edition of the Sydney Diver.

A third partner in the project is Rico’s Watches Podcast, founded and hosted by Eric Ricioppo. Ricioppo has talked to a wide variety of guests over the past three years but has increasingly focused on military/paramilitary-watch-related content over the last 12 months. This switch was prompted in part by Ricioppo serving his community as a police officer in Alberta, Canada, for the last nine years. So, as you can see, the three collaborative partners have found common ground in this project, resulting in a new version of the Sydney Diver.

Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl

The specs of the Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl

Now, let’s take a closer look. The Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl features a black IP-finished 39.5mm sandblasted stainless steel case that is 11.6mm thick including the domed sapphire crystal. The case has a 47mm lug-to-lug length, a 22mm lug spacing, and a 200m water resistance rating. With its asymmetrical sharp lines and recessed crown, this case immediately reminds me of the famous Benrus Type I. The screw-down crown is filled with sand from Bausele founder Christophe Hoppé’s home beach in Manly, Australia, and this is visible through the crown cap. It’s quite a remarkable detail that adds some visual fun.

Focusing on the dial, we see that Bausele uses a sandwich construction where the indices are cut out. Showing through the apertures is a disc generously treated with Super-LumiNova, just like the sword-style hands and all the markings on the 60-minute dive bezel. The crisp white Super-LumiNova glows green for excellent readability in the dark. On the black dial’s periphery is a minute track executed in white, while the tip of the seconds hand and the text on the lower half of the dial is a nice shade of red.

A special case back to commemorate the collaboration

The watch comes with a sandblasted stainless steel case back with a special engraving emphasizing the collaboration of the three parties involved. It also has an engraving with each watch’s unique limited-edition number of the 100 pieces available. Behind the case back, you will find the trusted Sellita SW200-1 powering the watch. As most of you will know, this 26-jewel automatic movement operates at 28,800vph and has a 38-hour power reserve.

Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl

The Black Pearl also comes with two black straps. The first is a black Parafrog strap courtesy of Frogsquad that comes with hook and loop tabs to strap it on your wrist. The second is a black Tropic-style strap with a black IP stainless steel buckle. Both ensure that the stylish presence of the watch stays intact, and it’s simply a matter of personal preference which of the two to use.

Thoughts on the Bausele Sydney Diver Black Pearl

I love seeing this new edition of the Bausele Sydney Diver. Despite its vintage inspiration, this version comes across as a great contemporary diver. The simple black-and-white color scheme with small hints of red looks fantastic and makes this Black Pearl edition both functional and stylish. Whether you have an office job or a job in the field or the water, this watch suits them all. Furthermore, I love the angular case and the nice balance between it and the dial.

I love how it takes inspiration from the Benrus Type I but essentially becomes its own thing with the dial design, a smaller diameter, and a wider lug spacing. These factors make it a great modern-day diver with a trusted movement resulting from a great collaborative effort. All 100 pieces will be available for US$1,200. However, Bausele is offering a 20% pre-order discount until the 15th of August, bringing the price to US$960. Considering what you get for that money, this is a great option if you are looking for a new dive watch.

For more information, visit the official Bausele website. Let us know your thoughts on Bausele’s Black Pearl edition of the Sydney Diver in the comments section.

Watch specifications

Sydney Diver Black Pearl
Matte black with sandwich construction and Super-LumiNova lower plate
Case Material
Sandblasted 316L stainless steel with black IP finish
Case Dimensions
39.5mm (diameter) × 47.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 11.6mm (thickness including crystal)
Double-domed sapphire with five layers of AR coating
Case Back
Solid sandblasted stainless steel, screw-in
Sellita SW200-1 — automatic winding, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
200m (20 ATM)
Black Parafrog fabric strap (22mm width) with hook-and-loop closure and black rubber Tropic-style strap with pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, central seconds) and 60-minute dive bezel
US$960 (pre-order price until August 15th) / US$1,200 (regular price)
Special Note(s)
Limited to 100 pieces. Delivery expected in November 2023.