Nivada Grenchen has been on a roll since its return in 2020. We’ve seen quite a few releases during this time, and many have sold out their initial runs. Today, Nivada brings us a color addition to its production lineup with the new Depthmaster Orange. However, there’s something fun that’s along for the ride, and it’s the announcement of an orange 10-piece limited edition using NOS components.

In just four short years, Nivada Grenchen and its CEO Guillaume Laidet have released a flurry of models under the resurrected brand. Indeed, Nivada now boasts five model lines with a host of models in each. It’s great to see such commitment, and the fact that the watches are reasonably priced makes it all the better. With some of the chronograph models, Nivada has used NOS movements for highly limited pieces. Today, the new Depthmaster Orange gets the same treatment along with a regular edition that uses a modern movement.

The “Baby Panerai”

Before we hit our main topic, it’s worth spending a few words on the history of these interesting dive watches. I wrote an article in 2017 about a Sandoz model that used the same case style as the Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Orange releases we’ll discuss today. Internet lore (which hasn’t seen an update for years) tells us that Sandoz first employed this style of case in 1963. It was notable for being made in Switzerland but of Swedish steel. Importantly, it was rated water resistant to 1,000 meters, which is still impressive.

Other brands, including Nivada, began to use this case, and as I noted in the original article, even Orient of Japan brought it to market. These 38 × 46mm divers featured an attractive case that gained the nickname “Baby Panerai” at some point due to its familiar shape. Today, any of these watches are collectible. Therefore, it’s nice that Nivada has given us new versions.

Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Orange LE NOS parts

The Depthmaster Orange Limited Edition with NOS parts

We’ll start with the limited-edition version of the Depthmaster Orange because I think it’s a fantastic piece. Per the information we received, Guillaume found 10 vintage Depthmaster dials in NOS condition. Some articles date this series of dials to roughly 1970. He was then able to find similarly unused ETA 2472 automatic movements. These were used in the original Depthmaster models. The team then fabricated new hands, cases, bezels, and screw-down crowns to create a special run of watches. The result is a modern diver with a vintage heart and face.

Compared to the serial-production model that we’ll soon see, the vintage model has tritium luminous indices that have aged nicely. The date wheel also shows appropriate aging, and the glossy orange dial takes on a softer hue. While the hands are, unfortunately, not tritium, the Super-LumiNova matches well and will provide a level of practicality in darkness. Nivada uses a new 39 × 47mm stainless steel case with a helium valve and sapphire crystal. Sadly, the vintage screw-in strap bars are not on this reissue, and I think they would’ve been a nice addition. Finally, the text on the case back is relatively sparse, just like it was on the original models.

The automatic ETA 2472

The ETA 2472 within the Depthmaster Orange Limited Edition is a workhorse automatic movement from the 1960s. It had a 25.6mm diameter, which made it quite popular in watches of all sizes. The movement runs at 18,000vph and has a power reserve of roughly 42 hours. The date is what is known as “semi-quickset,” so moving the hands back to 8:30 PM and forward to midnight will help speed things along. While this movement certainly doesn’t have the cache of the vintage Valoux column-wheel chronograph movements that Nivada has found for some of its reissues, it should prove to be reliable on a modern level. The price of entry for one of the 10 pieces is unsurprisingly high at US$2,890, but there’s no shortage of exclusivity. Plus, Nivada’s two-year warranty on a semi-vintage 1,000m-rated diver sounds intriguing.

Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Orange

The non-limited Depthmaster Orange

For those who either miss out on the Depthmaster Orange LE or find it too pricey, there’s hope. Nivada Grenchen is making a serial-production version of the watch, and while it’s very similar, there are some notable differences. First, the watch eschews the date function, and that should please the horde of symmetry zealots out there. Aged Super-LumiNova keeps the vintage looks, and the “L Swiss Made L” script at the bottom of the dial is a thoughtful nod to the original.

The watch uses a modern Soprod P024 movement. Essentially, this is an ETA 2824 clone, and as such, it has a 38-hour power reserve and runs at 28,800vph. The rest of the footprint on the regular Depthmaster Orange is identical to the NOS version. Here again, a sapphire crystal sits atop the stainless steel case and is surrounded by a 316L dive bezel. A helium valve is fitted within the 9 o’clock side of the case. Note the more modern embossed screw-in case back. This new release is priced at US$995 on a black Tropic-style strap. A wide variety of straps and bracelets are available for ordering to fit either watch.

Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster Orange LE NOS parts

The Depthmaster Orange is available now

I like what Nivada Grenchen is doing with its overall strategy of infusing modern reissues with vintage parts. A real positive is that the all-modern Depthmaster Orange bears only slight differences with the limited-edition version, which shouldn’t make it feel like missing out if the latter watches sell out or are too expensive. Plus, the regular version is truly affordable considering the specs, and despite a slight difference in case size with my vintage model, these wear very well. All in all, these should prove successful for Nivada Grenchen. Both the limited and serial-production models are on sale now.

For more information on the Depthmaster Orange, visit the official Nivada Grenchen website.