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Among the vast world of vintage timepieces, there is no doubt that vintage dive watches hold a special place in the hearts of many collectors, ourselves included. With their simple, clean designs and reliable, robust movements, the tool watches of the 1960s and 1970s were built to accompany the adventurer across the globe and to keep time at its great heights as well as its dark depths.
Given the popularity of the style (even to this day), there are hundreds of interesting variants from dozens of companies. Though these companies all, for the most part, ceased production due to the ravages of the Quartz crisis, their watches remain--all with a story to tell and a unique take on a tried and true theme. Among these, vintage dive watches are some of the most attractive; even when relegated to desk duty, there's just something so right about a vintage dive watch on your wrist.
Nivada (or Nivada Grenchen, or Croton in the states) should be a familiar name to vintage watch collectors. Their sporty diver's chronograph, the Chronomaster (or even sometimes Chronoking) Aviator Sea Diver, has been gaining well-deserved traction on the vintage chronograph circuit. But in the 1960s the brand was also a trailblazer in the realm of dive watches, producing handsome examples with a groundbreaking 1000m depth rating.
This particular watch, a Depthmaster 1000, was launched in 1965 on the heels of the Depthomatic, the first watch ever to feature a depth gauge. The Depthmaster was introduced to the world in an ad campaign that triumphantly declared it to be "probably the most waterproof watch." Whatever the veracity of that statement, the 1000m depth rating wouldn't be surpassed until Rolex released the Sea-Dweller in 1967.
The Depthmaster is of a class of dive watches often referred to as a "Baby Panerai" due to the similarity of its case to those used by Panerai. However, at 37.5mm the case--which was also used by Sandoz, Alpha, Le Phare, and Vetta--is more suitable to smaller wrists. Powered by a redoubtable ETA caliber 2472 movement, this diver brings some great touches to the vintage dive watch formula: a beautifully patinated dial, a rotating bezel, and of course that handsome case.
Stainless steel case is approximately 37.5mm (excluding crown). ETA Caliber 2472 Self-Winding movement. Circa mid-1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Rotating bezel is in very good condition with no major signs of use or wear. Dial is in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent materials of the numerals and hands. Unsigned crown. Signed Nivada caseback has minimal signs of wear and is in very good condition.
Includes two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle