Following several years of development, new watch brand MOLA have taken the wraps off their debut timepiece, the MOLA 923M.
Berlin-based MOLA have drawn their inspiration from the exploits of pioneering deep sea explorers William Beebe and Otis Barton who, in 1934, took their bathyscape submersible to a depth of 923m (or 3028 feet), establishing a world record which set the benchmark for future deep sea research and exploration.
The MOLA brand name itself is derived from the magnificent sunfish (latin Mola Mola
) which can measure up to 3 metres across and weighs up to one tonne. Aware of the competitive market for well built divers watches, MOLA turned to the skills and expertise of designers from Glashütte SUG and have had the case and elements of the automatic movement ETA 2895-2 developed to exacting high standards.
With a pressure resistance requirement to at least 923 metres, MOLA first had the watch bench tested at 93 bar where it endured one hour subjected to the test. Following on from this, the watch was given it’s true baptism in waters off Portugal where the latitude and longitude of it’s 923m dive were recorded and can be found engraved on the rotor for posterity.
The MOLA 923M is a good looking diver’s watch, nicely laid out with excellent legibility beneath it’s 4mm thick sapphire crystal, and well thought out details such as minutes being marked as opposed to hours, with an exception for the ‘923m’ marked beneath the date window at the 20-minute position. It has a bold unidirectional rotating bezel whose flange is intermittently ridged and offers optimum grip through neoprene gloves. The bezel also features another detail I haven’t noticed before; apart from the superluminova filled ‘arrow’ at ‘north’ the other three indicators are sculpted out of the steel and only become illuminated when they rest over the luminous indices which are screwed into the actual housing. Very useful if the diver has become disoriented. Like I say, there are lots of little details and these help to distinguish the 923M from other fashionable divers hommages.
The natural rubber strap is screw mounted through the lugs and has a folding deployant clasp. I’m not aware of an additional extended strap, but the screws make me think that straps are quite easily interchanged for wear over a diving suit. They seem to have covered most other things!
MOLA 923M with crown exposed
The MOLA 923M is an impressive and distinctive piece with it’s oversize left-positioned crown which is kept secured by a crown cap on swivel arm, and at 42mm across (48 including crown) it also has a fair amount of presence.
Like most divers watches, it will probably never have to face it’s prescribed limitations. Most likely a watch to be worn when the diving is over and the only threat of getting wet is from the slip of a gin in the bar on the beach, or in the city!
The MOLA 923M is manufactured in a choice of bead-blasted, satin or polished high grade stainless steel (316L) and overall, I think this is a more than respectable entry into the market by MOLA