HANDS-ON: The Edox SkyDiver Limited EditionsFergus Nash
The world definitely doesn’t need more dive watches, but we certainly want them. No matter how saturated the formula may become, it doesn’t stop the pang of longing that some collectors feel when they see a particular execution that matches their tastes. The Edox SkyDiver taps into that 1960s tribute style while modernising several attributes, available in a wide selection of limited-edition varieties. With great specifications, quality, and an attainable price, the Edox SkyDiver is sure to make it onto some wish-lists.
Perhaps the trickiest part of releasing a vintage-inspired watch is picking the case size. The crowd is well and truly split as to who prefers a smaller case versus a modernised jumbo case, and you’re guaranteed to lose some potential customers no matter which route you go. For the Edox SkyDiver, size is one area where the brand decided to modernise and go for a 42mm diameter. It definitely wears like a large watch, but the 49mm lug-to-lug length helps it stay balanced on an average wrist and the 13.9mm thickness feels deceptively svelte thanks to a generously double-domed sapphire crystal.
Not only does the sapphire offer great scratch resistance, but it also offers some wild edge distortion just like the vintage acrylic crystals would. The other scratch-resistant component is the skin-diver style slender bezel, which has a ceramic insert filled with luminous markings in a traditional elapsed time manner. Although most of the cases are made from stainless steel, there are some exceptions. One reference with blacked-out lume and a grey fumé dial also has a gunmetal finish on the case, not applied with PVD but with a supposedly rare platinum-group metal fused to the surface. This gives it a blue-grey hue that actually has some slight petrol-like iridescence when hit by light. The other non-steel case is made of solid bronze, with a brushed surface on the front view and a lavishly polished side that makes for quite a convincing gold tone when clean. To prevent future patina from spreading onto your wrist, this version uses a stainless steel caseback.
Honing in on a particularly quirky style of 1960s and ‘70s skin divers, the Edox SkyDiver rides a delicate line between classy and sporty surprisingly well. The sportiness comes across partly from the upsized dimensions, but also from the masculine trapezoidal applied hour markers and well-proportioned fencepost hands. The printed logos are bold but not distracting, with differing typefaces between the brand name, automatic text, and the model name. The date display is neatly cut at 3 o’clock with a white border to match the printed minute track, long lines helping to break past the crystal distortion line and be easily legible alongside the minute hand.
Each version of the Edox SkyDiver is quite unique, so your choice may not be as simple as picking your favourite colour. The three most standard versions begin with a simple black and steel affair, with near-orange fauxtina on the hour markers and hands to imbue it with a grand sense of age. Next is a blissfully cool navy blue and steel model with clean lume and a matching blue bezel, which is definitely the most versatile choice with a pop of colour. Stepping further into the classy end of the spectrum is a black and gilt dial with a bronze bezel, subtly adding some bling to the watch without sending it over the edge.
The two non-standard references with alternate case materials use gloriously deep fumè dials, with the bronze watch sporting a navy blue that borders on purple in lower lighting conditions. This definitely carries a sense of old-world opulence that suits the overall look. Proving the versatility of the design however is the greyed-out model, with a darkened gunmetal case and smoky grey dial with blacked-out details. This significantly modernises the appearance of the watch without losing its vintage charm.
Powering the Edox SkyDiver range is the Edox Calibre 80, which is mostly just a renamed Sellita SW200-1. This tried and tested movement is really a no-brainer for a time and date watch like this, with Swiss pedigree, proven reliability, affordable servicing, and good accuracy. The 28,800 vibration per hour beat rate gives a smooth sweep to the seconds hand, although the modest 38 hours of power reserve may be the only potential let down for this movement if you’re the type who expects a watch to be running after a day or two in its box.
The Edox SkyDiver Limited Editions pricing and availability:
Each of the Edox SkyDiver models is limited to just 600 pieces, with the steel models available on solid steel bracelets and all models coming with a leather watch roll and separate strap. To see the whole Edox SkyDiver range, visit their website here. Price: 1,690 EUR
|Stainless Steel / Bronze
|42mm x 49mm x 13.9mm
|Black, blue, gilt, fumè blue, fumè grey
|Steel bracelet, leather strap
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date