Sports watches were one of the dominant themes at Baselworld 2017: the sort of watches that borrow some features of diving watches but are intended more for general use than specifically for diving. They generally have the water resistance of diver’s watches, enabling them to be kept on while swimming, diving, or just hiking in the rain. Click here for a selection of the Top Ten Sports Watches.
A fun watch, not a tool watch
This year, Chopard introduced its Happy Ocean collection, that extends the existing Happy Sport range. It has an impressive 300 metre water resistance (100 metres in the gemset version), but at the same time it has the mobile diamonds that hallmark the brand’s “Happy” watches. Other features from diving watches are the unidirectional rotating bezel, screw-down crown, the hands and hour markers with luminescent paint, and the second hand with a small circular dot of SuperLuminova to show that the watch is running while you are in the dark underwater. The bezel is edged with a wave profile that makes gripping it easier while diving. The only reasons why the timepiece cannot be certified as a diver’s watch are the five mobile diamonds which by nature obscure part of the dial. But it’s a fun watch, not a tool watch.
Happy Ocean has a large 40 mm steel case, 14.21 mm thick, with two-tone unidirectional rotating bezel in anodized aluminium, intense blue dial, and a minute hand edged with the same colour as the first fifteen minutes on the bezel. At night the watch reveals another touch of quirky humour, with SuperLuminova creating jewels of light, green-emitting on the minute hand and bezel reference dot, and blue-emitting for the hour hand and hour markers. Straps are in turquoise or raspberry rubber, designed to stand up to sand and seawater. A navy blue NATO strap is also provided with each watch. This is the first time that Chopard have offered a canvas strap. The caseback is in steel, with a wave motif.
In another touch of inspired humour, Chopard have used the classic two-toned diver’s bezel to underpin the design of the jewellery version, with white gold case, and a bezel in which hour markers are in diamonds, while the rest is set with sapphires, and either rubies or blue topazes for the first 15-minute section. The dial is in navy-blue mother-of-pearl. The jewellery watches have an alligator leather strap, but they can safely be used underwater, with a 100 metre water resistance rating, and an extra navy blue NATO strap supplied.
In-house automatic movement
The Happy Ocean watch is powered by a self-winding Chopard movement (01.01-C) that was designed and made by the company. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and has a power reserve of 60 hours.
Happy Ocean, blue and turquoise, price
This watch with steel case, water resistance 300 metres, is reference 278587-3001, price €7,690, $8,780, 7,800 Swiss francs.
Happy Ocean, blue and raspberry
This watch is reference 278587-3002, price €7,690, $8,780, 7,800 Swiss francs.
Happy Ocean jewellery version, bezel with diamonds, sapphires and rubies
This watch, with case in white gold, slightly slimmer at 13.86 mm, water resistance 100 metres, crown set with a sapphire, is reference 274945-1002, price €53,520, $61,130, 54,330 Swiss francs.
Happy Ocean jewellery version, bezel with diamonds, sapphires and blue topazes
This watch is reference 274945-1001, price €48,270, $49,980, 49,000 Swiss francs.