‘Dives are run until the last minute’
As a commercial diver operating at great depths on oil rigs, Roman Frischknecht relies on rather more than a wristwatch to keep charge of dive times. “It is the supervisor’s job to monitor times,” he explains. “I like to wear an Oris dive watch when working on deck and monitoring other divers. Although we use digital depth gauges in commercial and recreational diving, mechanical watches can be more reliable in my eyes.”
Such is Frischknecht’s experience as a deep-sea diver in extreme conditions The 51mm size could make this an unlikely everyday piece, but a lightweight titanium case offers more versatility than one might expect. The bezel is secured by the Rotational Safety System Frischknecht helped develop: a hallmark of the ProDiver range.
RSS bezellocking system
Helium escape valve
1,000m depth rating that Oris, a watchmaker specialising in hardcore diving watches, tapped into his knowledge to create some special features for its ProDiver range. He was involved in devising the Rotational Safety System, Oris’s revolutionary design for ensuring the watch’s uni-directional bezel is locked securely in place. “The RSS bezel is easy to handle even when wearing thick Neoprene gloves,” he says. “Great if you’re going diving in cold waters. It locks The X Fathoms is the all-singing, all-dancing flagship of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms collection, which is descended from the timepiece that announced the birth of the modern dive watch in 1954.
With a dial that is a mystifying array of colourful indications, it’s more machine than watch, though one steeped in dive- watch lore.
Mechanical depth gauge, with depth indication in metres and feet
Maximum depth memory system
Retrograde fiveminute counter and can’t be moved accidently.”
Frischknecht was instrumental, too, in the development of the tidal range indicator on the ProDiver Pointer Moon, which informs divers about the phases of the moon and whether to expect stronger or weaker currents – particularly useful when diving in tidal waters, notes Frischknecht.
Timing is critical during saturation dives on submerged structures such as wellheads and platform bases, for