IWC have always had a 2,000 metre diving watch in their collection (Aquatimer Automatic 2000, water resistance 200 bar equivalent to 2,000 metres), and Rolex developed the Deepsea Special experimental watch built to resist the high pressure of deepwater diving at sea. CX Swiss Military Watch have now launched a 20,000 feet watch, so about 6,000 metres, just over halfway down to the deepest point of the world’s oceans, the Marianas Trench at almost 11,000 metres. The brand say that the 20,000 Feet holds a Guinness World Record for being the first timepiece that is water-resistant to 20,000 feet, though in reality the depth that could be attained is 7,500 metres, in order to provide the required 25% safety margin.
The previous world record for a production watch was held by Rolex with the Deepsea Seadweller at 3,900 metres. The Rolex that accompanied the bathyscaphe Trieste on one of its memorable dives to the bottom of the Marianas trench was the Deepsea Special, with a gigantic semi-spherical watchglass. The technology developed for this watch was later used for the Submariner and Seadweller ranges.
The 20,000 Feet watch is large and solid, but comfortable to wear, made in lightweight titanium, with screw-down crown and pushers. While even a professional diver will never get that far down, its performance means that it is almost indestructible. It was tested not only for water resistance, but also for exposure to explosions and gunshot.
The watch is made in a range of colour variants, silver, black carbon, blue and yellow. Retail price is about €5,150. Watches by CX Swiss Military Watch are designed and manufactured in Switzerland by parent company Montres Charmex SA.