Now, another subject if I may: those of elephantine memory might recall my initial mockery of the Cartier Tank Solo XL, before later deciding that it is lovely. And it is. I think I have some more humble pie coming, on the perhaps more divisive matter of what I would call "luxury dive watches". Royal Oaks and Nautiluses (Nautili?) aside for a moment, I refer to the kind that have dive-y bezels and luminous markers, and even a proud dive-y history and a practical woven strap. They really have all the elements of a "proper" dive watch, except they're expensive and you'd cry if you scratched one. I know they make no sense. I have sneered at them. But they are somehow getting to me. I give you:
The JLC Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet
the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe
The Bathyscaphe has a much more rugged and utilitarian look about it, but it is nevertheless in Daytona price range with sub-Sub capability. It's definitely for posing not diving. And as for the Deep Sea (and yes, it's the smooth lounge lizard Ti-ceramic one that tickles my fancy), it's even more money and as lickable as a matte black Lamborghini. And equally suited for rough terrain.
The Blancpain in particular has proud history behind it, but at the end of the day, they're both pretentious desk-diving indulgences, aren't they? So is it OK to love them? Well, I think I might love them. Both of them. So there. Cast away.
I don't mind expensive dive watches, but beyond a certain price range I'm not sure they do the trick for me. I have tried on the JLC Deep Sea Chrono and its nice. I thought I would like it more in person than I did. For me, in person it just fell a bit flat and I wasn't that impressed. Also, while it may have a diving history, unless you can activate the pushers without harming the watch (most watches you can't do that), I'd be concerned about accidentally bumping one of the pushers against something under water and introducing water to the movement...not a good idea. So I don't see it as a real diving watch...but most people (myself included) that own dive watches rarely or never dive with them. Beyond that, most actual divers rely on dive computers not watches. So on some level a dive watch is more a styling exercise as its probably a watch that might at best see use in a swimming pool. It's not that different than having real button holes on the sleeve of a suit jacket. I've never seen someone wearing a suit jacket, open the buttons to roll up the sleeves or for an actual purpose. Still its a nice touch.
The Bathyscaphe is just a watch I find bland and unattractive. I'd rather have one of their other Fifty Fathom models. BP makes nice watches, and I tried on a Fifty-Fathoms in titanium about 2 years ago and it was a beautiful watch. However, in its price range there are almost always other watches I'd rather own. Two former AD's for BP that were near me couldn't give them away. Maybe they are more popular in other parts of the US or the world.