Junk season is underway and right about now you're probably relishing the thought of sunny days cruising the high seas, beer in hand, with a stop-off for a swim in some remote and picturesque spot. Alas, the crushing reality is you're going to be stuck on a boat for at least seven hours with people you can't stand, run out of beer a few hours in and forget your sunblock.
Still, junk trips are the perfect excuse to get yourself a new dive watch that will look just as good on deck as in the water; and this week we'll look at dive watches priced at less than HK$30,000. First up is the wonderfully named Oris Aquis Regulateur "Der Meistertaucher", which is German for "the master diver". The Aquis is a popular dive watch among pros and amateurs alike for its Regulateur movement, which displays hours, minutes and seconds on individual dials and sub dials. The emphasis is on the display of the minute hand, which is crucial in diving. New for the 2013 model (below left) are a sleeker design, fewer colours, a smaller case and an updated Sellita movement. Other key diving features include a helium valve at the nine o'clock position, the unidirectional bezel, superluminova indices and 300 metres of water resistance. The 43mm case is made of grade 2 titanium, making this watch very light. The Oris Aquis Regulateur "Der Meistertaucher", which comes with a black rubber strap, is priced at HK$24,500.
Next we have the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver (below right), a brute of a watch both in looks and mechanics. Coming in a 43mm steel case, it features a black sun-brushed dial that appears sparse in detail. Build quality on this watch is first class and it has water resistance of up to 600 metres. Features are kept to a bare minimum, with only a date window at the six o'clock position and standard dive features such as luminescent hands and indices and a helium valve at the nine o'clock position. The timepiece comes with a stainless-steel strap; but, in a nice touch, there is an extra, Nato strap included to mix things up. Inside the case is an inhouse ML 115 automatic movement that can pump out 38 hours of power - pretty modest given the lack of features. The Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver is priced at HK$27,000.
Finally, we have the 2013 version of the Aquascope by JeanRichard (above). We'll admit to having had a bit of a soft spot for the Aquascope, with its distinctive colour scheme and design, ever since it first came out a few years ago. The latest update builds on the pluses and adds a few more things to love. The central feature of the watch is its robust steel-case design, which looks reassuringly chunky and works well with the deep blue of the dial and the strap. The steel case is a hefty 46mm and the numerals and indices on the unidirectional bezel are coated in blue PVD. The dial is blue and satin finished and, once again, features are kept simple, with only a date window between the four and five o'clock positions. Lacking is a helium valve but this shouldn't be an issue with water resistance a healthy 300 metres. The strap is another highlight - deep blue rubber with distinctive JR branding. The 2013 JeanRichard Aquascope is priced at HK$26,800 for the steel-bracelet version and HK$22,800 for the rubber-strap iteration.