5 of the best wave dials 5 of the best wave dials

5 of the best wave dials

Fergus Nash

Sometimes owning a dive watch just isn’t enough proof that you love the ocean. Water resistance is great, but if you don’t hear the waves crashing and the gulls squawking whenever you check the time, then maybe you’re missing out on the evocative powers of wave dials. No matter how realistic or abstract they may be, representing the sea on a watch dial can deepen your bond with it or just provide a pleasing texture. In no particular order, here are five of the best.

Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean SRPE39

Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean SRPE39K1

Seiko have a long history with creating professional diving watches, and they’ve got no shortage of playful, ocean-going limited editions. Their Save the Ocean series within the Prospex range supports the PADI Marine Debris Program, the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research, and several more global efforts to clean up the seas and increase conservation. The SRPE39 is also known as the “Manta Ray” diver (for obvious reasons), showcasing a squadron of manta rays soaring below a choppy wave texture. In conjunction with the blue gradient colouring, it makes for a captivating watch with great specs to boot. The Australian RRP is A$995, although authorised dealers have almost always got good sales on.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Summer Blue

Omega Seamaster 300m Summer Blue

For a time the wave dial of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m, as seen on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan’s 007, would have been one of the most recognisable watches in the world. When the range was revamped with a laser-engraved ceramic dial and a simplified wave pattern, the watch took a definitive leap into the contemporary. Now, it’s evolved even further with a PVD dial coating, sunburst brushing, and a delightful blue gradient. Even the luminous markers have been given a baby blue colouring which almost makes it look customised, but ensures pretty much every shade of blue is represented. At A$9,850 on a rubber strap, it’s not too much more expensive than the base model for an electrifying new look.

Christopher Ward C60 #tide

Christopher Ward C60 tide

As a brand who specialise in maximising value for money with no compromises, the Christopher Ward C60 #tide gives you no reason not to want it. The slim, ceramic bezel frames a psychedelic wave dial made from translucent sapphire that’s also luminous after dark. Beneath its trippy lines, you can glimpse at the blue-tinted components of the COSC-certified Sellita SW200-1 within, or just cover it with your hand to be entertained by the glow. It’s a collaborative model with #tide, who collect and recycle ocean plastics into various new products, such as watch straps. In addition to all that, the 42mm case is also water-resistant to 600m. It’s currently available for A$1,675, which is incredibly competitive for a Swiss-made chronometer of these specifications.

Baume & Mercier Riviera 10746

baume mercier riviera 39mm

Pairing a wave dial with an integrated bracelet case is a perfect combination, as the Baume & Mercier Riviera aims to embody the laid-back style of the Côte d’Azur. Released earlier this year, the 39mm version of the Riviera has been given a translucent sapphire dial in a deep blue ultramarine etched with an alternating wave pattern. The flipping boomerang style is definitely more stylistic than organic, but it works in conjunction with the dodecagonal case to reinforce a sense of sharp dressiness. Beneath the dial, you can see the workings of the in-house Baumatic calibre with a 4Hz beat rate and 120-hour power supply. With a swappable bracelet and leather strap, the price is A$6,100.

Breguet Marine Équation Merchante 5887

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887

Taking the concept of a wave dial to the extremes of luxury, the Breguet Marine Équation Merchante 5887 would be impressive even without the hypnotic criss-crossing of wave peaks and troughs, hand-engraved on a rose engine. The grey-brown and rose gold colour scheme is also a refreshing change up from the association between waves and the colour blue, here evoking a turbulent sea after dusk. Additionally, you’re getting a tourbillon from the brand who invented them, and a perpetual calendar. The anchor on the hands of the pointer-date complication is another nice touch, as well as the golden sun on the hand which displays solar minutes. If your love of the ocean and fine watchmaking compels you, it could be yours for A$356,000.