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Interesting article I came across on WatchTime.com. Nice to see certain brands have always been very reliable.

In 1966, the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) set up an investigation committee for diving equipment, including dive watches, which back then were deemed not only “a vital part” of the diver’s equipment, but apparently also the most troublesome. In 1968, BSAC member Geoff Harwood concluded that “the majority of the complaints and allegations of faulty equipment and unsatisfactory dealings with manufacturers and distributors have been concerned with diving watches” — which led to the decision “to carry out a survey in order to determine the extent of the problem.”

Thanks to former professional diver, dive historian, author, and the U.K.’s historical diving society editor Peter Dick, whom I had the fortune of meeting at the last annual meeting of the German Historical Diving Society (see report here), we at DiveIntoWatches.com can now, nearly 50 years after its first publication, reveal the results of this amazing survey — so far the only such review I have ever come across and also a most unique opportunity to get a glimpse of one of the most important eras in underwater timekeeping.

Of course, we have to emphasize, as does the original report, “that since so few of each make are represented we cannot draw a conclusion as to ‘best buy’ or to definitely not recommend a certain watch.” However, upon looking at how those 93 watches from 17 manufacturers performed during an astonishing 7,260 dives, it is safe to say that you can definitely find much more reliable diving equipment for your wrist these days. At the time the survey was released, one of its conclusions was thus: “[E]ven if you buy an internationally famous watch costing over £50 you still stand a fair chance of finding it full of water when you come to start your decompression schedule after a deep dive.”

Without further ado: the results of the BSAC’s 1968 survey, as published in the BSAC diving officer’s conference paper:









via: http://www.watchtime.com/featured/dive-watch-wednesday-how-did-your-favorite-watch-brand-do-in-this-test-from-1968/#comment-1540496
 

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I want one of those $100 Rolex or Omegas!
D.

Wouldn't that be nice.

Also, the Seiko Diver in 1968 would likely be the predecessor of the MM300 the 6159-7001, which goes for a pretty penny these days as well:

 

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Amazing, I found the same article through electronic magazine Zite. Rolex: leaked but now O.K. 1 out of 9 Rolexes and between them, the owners made 980 dives with them. It's not that I want to defend Rolex untill my last breath but when I read this I thought "the crown was not screwed all the way in". I always regarded Rolex as one of THE most reliable watches when it comes to water resistance. And one out of nine watches is statistically a very high number. But now I'm defending Rolex too much :D And then Seiko! Unbelievable reliability and proof it is a giant of a brand. They really have their act together and they always had.
 
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you still stand a fair chance of finding it full of water when you come to start your decompression schedule after a deep dive
= not good at all

i am not understanding those numbers. Seiko had no failures but 90% reliability. also the number of watches varies too much. Having said that with so few watches tested for some of those listed and the failure rates we see is astounding. Id dive with 3 watches. 2 as back-up all of them Seiko
 

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= not good at all

i am not understanding those numbers. Seiko had no failures but 90% reliability. also the number of watches varies too much. Having said that with so few watches tested for some of those listed and the failure rates we see is astounding. Id dive with 3 watches. 2 as back-up all of them Seiko
I wondered the same thing you did with the Seiko stuff. I wondered if one stopped running properly, or stopped completely without ever actually leaking?
 

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= not good at all

i am not understanding those numbers. Seiko had no failures but 90% reliability. also the number of watches varies too much. Having said that with so few watches tested for some of those listed and the failure rates we see is astounding. Id dive with 3 watches. 2 as back-up all of them Seiko
Reliability can also translate into a running or non running watch. What the chart doesn't tell is how the failures came about. Crown not screwed in, knocked against a rock, etc. It is the result of a survey, not of scientific research.
 

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Reliability can also translate into a running or non running watch. What the chart doesn't tell is how the failures came about. Crown not screwed in, knocked against a rock, etc. It is the result of a survey, not of scientific research.
Yep! agreed.

Love the Zodiac data ... look at all those dives! Explains some of the performance numbers
I agree. Never even heard of Zodiac before joining this forum.
 

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Reliability can also translate into a running or non running watch. What the chart doesn't tell is how the failures came about. Crown not screwed in, knocked against a rock, etc. It is the result of a survey, not of scientific research.

Or something like the bezel locking up (or falling off!), or the straps breaking.
 

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Cool thread that makes you think about things for sure. Thanks.
I 100% agree. And that brings me back to ca. 1970, when an aunt of mine (but only 4 years older) proudly showed me the dive watch she bought.

It looked somewhat like this one:



On the back was the figure of a diver, leaving a trail of bubbles. Dive watches were somewhat of a craze back then I guess. But that watch, in all its chrome plated glory only looked like a dive watch. After just one shower the crystal fogged up and it became a major disappointment.

How we are pampered now, with water resistance figures running into multiple Ks. Do we need a watch that is water-resistant to 6000 meters? No, but it's cool to know that 600 BAR is technologically feasible :D
 
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Amazing, I found the same article through electronic magazine Zite. Rolex: leaked but now O.K. 1 out of 9 Rolexes and between them, the owners made 980 dives with them. It's not that I want to defend Rolex untill my last breath but when I read this I thought "the crown was not screwed all the way in". I always regarded Rolex as one of THE most reliable watches when it comes to water resistance. And one out of nine watches is statistically a very high number. But now I'm defending Rolex too much :D And then Seiko! Unbelievable reliability and proof it is a giant of a brand. They really have their act together and they always had.
Checkout the "Completely Satisfied" numbers on the chart, Seiko is 80% and Rolex 78%.

I was never really a big Seiko fan, but my recent purchase of three of their mid level offerings, I am rapidly becoming one.

I also noted that the brand with the most examples was the Zodiac, I bought a Zodiac Sea Wolf on a Navy ship in 1967 for $120. they were also selling Rolex Subs on the ship at the same time for $180.

 
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Oh what I would do with a time machine and some 1950's & 60's dated currency :) What would a mint in box Submariner from 1968 fetch right now?
 

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