“Who wants to live forever? Dive!!!”


Sorry, couldn’t resist a bit of ‘Flash’, which is a slight contradiction as the watch I want to talk about today is arguably the least flashy of my little bunch.

To recap, in my past posts I’ve talked about the beginnings of my fascination with the Rolex Submariner. One of the new pieces of information for me here was that there is a thing called a ‘diver’s watch’ (old hands at you are now sighing “really? You didn’t know that?”). ‘Old hands’ is a great name for a blog too, I must write that down. Anyway, diver’s watches.

So, it appears that – typically, though not exclusively – these are the ones with a rotating ‘bezel’, dark faces and clear, luminous hands & markers. And there are many! Most big (and many small) manufacturers have at least one take on the diver’s watch, you may be familiar with names like Omega Seamaster, Tag Heuer Nightdive (both Bond watches!) and Tissot Seastar to name just a few.

So, being new to this I fancied getting in on the action but didn’t want to spend a fortune. What happens if I search eBay for Diver’s Watch and set the filter to no more than say £70? Well there’s a few cheap copies but actually there was a fairly strong collection of semi-vintage watches, many in need of a little TLC. I spotted this beauty, apparently not running.

It’s a Kelton 50m diver (any offers of a more specific model name gratefully received). Now, as diving watches go 50m is barely paddling but this is common of older and less expensive models. Two pieces of information are important here:

1. The unwritten rule is that you never take a watch to the limit prescribed by your watch dial. Some even say that your dial should state a minimum of 30m (3atm) before you even wear it to wash the dishes.

2. And this one is important – should you actually be in a position where you’re 30m+ below the water without professional gear, you will most likely be dead. Therefore, as tough as all those zeros on the dial make us feel, mostly they’re not really necessary. But they do look cool and I’m as much a sucker for it as the next person.

You can test your own watches but you’ll either need a special bit of kit or the patience to make your own (YouTube is great for this). There’s a pic of my water pressure tester at the foot of this post, it’s like a 70s futuristic robot.

I can’t find much out about Kelton, other than they appear to be (or have been) a French offshoot of the Timex corporation. In any case, this little piece looks the part as a proper adventurer’s workhorse and has become my go-to guy for outdoor pursuits. Oh, and I fixed it too, it runs like an absolute beauty! That interesting second hand resembles Popeye’s arm as it sweeps round the clock, it’s a right little character.