IN-DEPTH: The Titoni Seascoper 600 is a dive watch from a brand you should know more aboutFergus Nash
With the advent of Kickstarter it seems that anyone can start a watch brand these days, but there will always be a certain level of cachet required to be truly respected as a Swiss luxury brand, no matter the price point. So, with over 100 years of honest family-owned operation and consistent high-end products, why is it that you may have never heard of Titoni? To say that the Swiss dive watch market is saturated would be a grand understatement, however the new generation of the Titoni Seascoper 600 aims to break away from the classy and heritage-focused models of their past catalogue, pushing forward a modern flagship diving range.
Titoni began its life in 1919 as the workshop of Fritz Schluep, first producing watches under the brand name Felco before that morphed into Felca throughout the 1930s and ‘40s, when Fritz’s son Bruno joined the company and the pair provided 30,000 watches to the US Army during WWII. Their watches for those first five decades were sophisticated and traditional, featuring complications such as chronographs, moonphases and day-dates. The Titoni name came about as a range of watches in 1952, before it became the brand’s main identity throughout the 1960s alongside its iconic “meihua” flower emblem, also known as the plum blossom.
The year 1969 brought with it the original craze for steel sports watches, with Titoni’s Airmaster model becoming one of their most popular offerings that’s still found in their catalogues today. The first watch to be labelled the Titoni Seascoper was a cushion-cased beast in 1979, full of ‘70s quirk and yet still appropriately refined. The company survived the quartz crisis and continued developing their ranges along with the times, introducing COSC-certified options and opening new galleries across the globe. Today, Titoni is still owned by the Schluep family and is run by the youngest generation Marc and Olivier, with their father Daniel still present as chairman of the board.
In order to launch the watch that would be truly functional as a deep-sea diver, Titoni enlisted the help of famed marine biologist, photographer and author Uli Kunz to speak about the importance of ocean conservation as well as the general art of diving itself. You can explore the depths of their captivating interview together here.
It must be understood that there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about the new Titoni Seascoper 600, but the execution justifies this relatively safe approach to design with a holistic attitude and enough novelty to be intriguing. From the front view, the lugs are stoic guards of the watch with broad brushed surfaces and a high-polish strip that runs along the inner sides, complimenting the polished steel bezel with a hint of luxury glamour. The crown guards poke out of the case modestly, leaning into the modern aggressive appeal without totally abandoning Titoni’s usual restraint.
The attitude that this watch carries is helped along by its reasonably chunky dimensions, with a 42mm diameter, 14.5mm thickness, and a 51mm lug-to-lug length. The profile of the case lends itself to being quite slab-sided, and as such wears quite flat on the wrist. If your wrists are larger than average then this will be perfect for you, otherwise it may be a struggle to find a comfortable fit. The side of the case also features a flush-fit helium escape valve, as necessitated by its mammoth 600m depth rating.
The dial of the Titoni Seascoper 600 holds a great balance between legibility and character, ensuring its validity as a diving tool while retaining a cohesive aesthetic charm. The hour markers are large and clear dots filled with luminous paint, with Arabic numerals at 12, 6, and 9 that reinforce its clean-cut modern look. The application of those markers creates a great sense of depth within the watch, and the date display at 3 o’clock is neatly integrated with a white wheel that acts as another marker. The hands impart the most character onto the dial, with bold angular designs held on skeletonised stalks and thick counterbalances.
There are three colour variants, all with their own distinct personalities. The classic option is pure monochrome black and white, which will surely please a lot of people and blend in best with any clothing option. The sportier choice is a deep navy blue dial and matching ceramic bezel with red highlights. The bezel is a ceramic insert with Arabic numerals at the 5-minute intervals, and a segmented section for the first 15 minutes as official dive watch ISO standards dictate. The final reference is full of two-tone resplendency with yellow gold PVD coating the bezel, crown and bracelet centre links. This carries the most outwardly luxurious qualities, but retains the sporty capability that genuine gold may be too delicate for.
The Titoni Seascoper 600 follows a fairly standard Oyster-style bracelet archetype, but it’s finished extremely well. The harsh edges are carefully rounded, and the on-the-fly clasp adjustment system makes finding a perfect fit effortless. Should you wish to change things up however, the 20mm lug width gives you infinite possibilities for aftermarket straps of any kind.
As a totally independent and family owned company, the fact that Titoni manufactures their own in-house movement just completes the picture for the Titoni Seascoper 600. The T10 within the Seascoper is COSC-certified for an accuracy of +/-4 seconds per day, and has a beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour over a healthy power reserve of 72 hours. The skeletonised winding rotor in gold can be seen through the thick sapphire caseback, surrounded by studs as though it were a submarine’s porthole. The decoration is modest yet tasteful, with some gently flowing brushing throughout the plates.
The Titoni Seascoper 600 pricing and availability:
The Titoni Seascoper 600 can be purchased from a variety of jewellers and authorised dealers worldwide, and you can search for your closest store on the Titoni website here. Price: $1,870 USD
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Case Dimensions||42mm x 51mm x 14.5mm|
|Dial||Black, blue, gilt|
|Power Reserve||72 hours|
|Complications||Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
|Price||$2,950 AUD / $1,870 USD|