MICRO MONDAYS: The Albany Watches AMA Diver – a mother of pearl dial diver, with a $300USD price tagThor Svaboe
Divers, the tough tool watches that become our best buddies on adventures, strapped on with a wetsuit as backup to a dive computer. All this sounds wonderful, though for those of you in lockdown they have an even more important task, which is to remind us of what will come, as well as adventures spent; keeping our spirits up. The Albany Watches AMA Diver is launching this week on Kickstarter, with the Albany name paying tribute to the WA city where the founder’s father grew up. This is a classic ’60s skindiver with an inspiration as beautiful as it is ancient.
For more than 2000 years the Japanese female Ama pearl divers have kept their tradition alive, freediving off the coast.
The numbers may be dwindling, but the oldest freediving Ama women are the toughest septuagenarians in the world, and an intrinsic part of Japanese history.
The case is a simple, perfectly sized 40mm classic skindiver, with the all-important lug to lug being an ergonomic 48mm, depth tested during production and after assembly. The legible dial is classic diver chic, with the tempting choice of mother-of-pearl, blue or black, and the pleasant pop of a teal accent.
This frames the spear minute hand – the most important on a diver — while the black knife-like hour hand and teal, white-tipped harpoon seconds make a sharp trio. Swiss Super-LumiNova makes sure the legibility remains as you explore the blue depths, with a solid unidirectional diver’s bezel to back you up. The indices are a classic combination of triangle at 12, circular hour markers, with 3, 6 and 9 having a different blunt arrow design, with the fresh teal colour framing the application of Super-LumiNova. Encircling the inspiring dial design is a teal minute track with crisp details.
Through the Kickstarter campaign you are faced with a good set of strap choices, through the standard and inspiring Eco-Weave NATO, a hand-stitched Italian leather strap – to the vintage perfection of a beads-of-rice bracelet. To underline the toughness of this intricately styled ’60s diver, the crystal is an AR-coated domed sapphire, while the sapphire is also present in the classic black, teal-accented bezel insert.
What else could power the AMA diver than a solid, reliable Japanese Miyota 9039 movement, a sharp no-date version of the well-known 9015. This is fitted behind an intricately engraved caseback based on Iwase Yoshiyuki’s photography honouring the Ama divers, and yet another subtle sharp detail in a diver that has a depth rating of 300 metres. Details like the Goldilocks-size of the case, fresh colours and detailed work makes this stand out from the crowd as a vintage-styled diver, the category of the year. This includes the pièce de résistance, a large screw-in crown with the engraved Albany cormorant, fully lumed.
There is also a message of sustainability at play here, with each AMA diver coming on an Eco-Weave NATO strap, in a waxed canvas watch roll in a Japanese-inspired bamboo box. Feel inspired, check out the campaign on KS, and make plans for your first post-pandemic adventure with the AMA Diver from Albany, a vintage-inspired and fresh design.
At a price point starting at less than US$300 for the earliest of early birds, I’d be quick, because as a value proposition, the AMA Diver is a brilliant fusion of craftsmanship, toughness and thought-inspiring history.
Albany Watches AMA Diver price and availability:
The Albany Watches AMA Diver has prices starting at under US$300. You can check out the Kickstarter, launching on October 13, right here.