Naval diver’s watch

Naval diver’s watch. It is a special model assembled from parts of different suppliers displayed on deck 5 of the museum.

Hardly anyone demands more from watches and is equally dependent on them as combat swimmers. Over the decades, there have been a number of different watches for the special forces of the German Navy, of which we would like to present a lesser-known model today.

Although the watch is based on a Seiko quartz movement and probably the dial is also from the Japanese watchmaker, it is a special model assembled from parts of different suppliers. Which manufacturer was responsible for the compilation of the watch, we can’t trace back exactly today. The insignia of the Naval Special Forces replaces the company logo in a prominent position and refers to the areas of operation on water and in the air by the sawfish and the parachute. It was not until after World War II that combat swimmers were also used as parachutists.

The watch was worn together with a depth gauge and compass in order to be able to dive ships, harbor facilities or other objects with pinpoint accuracy from a distance. Diver’s watches must be able to withstand high stresses. In addition to high water resistance, the time must be easy to read even in dark environments, which is achieved by the plainly designed dial and the easily visible indices with luminous material. The bezel is rotatable and is used for setting the remaining dive time. Since the timepiece may be exposed to shocks in use, the crown is screwed, which separates it from the movement and thus shocks are not transmitted.

Many stylistic elements, such as the „Bull’s eye“ indices and the design of the rotating bezel, hark back to the famous 1953 Rolex Submariner, which had a great influence on pop culture through its most famous wearer, James Bond. In general, the military contributed to wristwatches being worn by men. Tactical battle management in World War I necessitated precise timing, which initially made wristwatches necessary for soldiers before they became established in civilian life shortly thereafter.