Review – Tauchmeister 1937 Diver

tauchoranges.jpg

Ah, Aeromatic 1912. You enthrall us all with your magical timepieces. Many an eBay newbie has been drawn to your bold lines and unusual styling, as well they should. You’re taking chances, I suppose, and the only thing folks can say bad about you is that you’re not really a German watch.

That said, please welcome the Tauchmeister 1937 – Diver Craft 1000M Helium-Safe GMT Retrograde. Wow, that was a mouthful.

A diver, to be sure. A big diver—46mm with a 270 mm strap. It has a Citizen GP01 quartz movement and a unique, if unfortunately designed, retrograde GMT hand.

But what lies behind that handsome diver logo and bold orange? Nothing we haven’t seen before and won’t see again.

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Let’s begin by stating the obvious. If you take this thing down to 1000M, you’d better have a back-up. While the back may say 1000M and the eBay page may say 1000M, this ain’t a 1000M watch. It’s a big, fat watch, and it survived a snorkeling trip to the Florida keys, but I wouldn’t stake your life on its water-fastness.

tachside.jpg

That said, what is good about this watch? Well, it looks cool. The bold hands and lume are quite striking and it’s got a very nice rubber band that fits a big wrist. In fact, the band was almost too long, and it tended to hang over the watch when it was fastened.

It has a second time zone—more about that later—and a trusted movement calibre. It has a nice fat bezel that is fun to turn, has an interestingly styled case, and screw down crown and “helium valve” for that extra touch of class.

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The hands are quite big and luckily I was able to read this thing under water with no trouble. Granted, we weren’t hitting Cousteau depths, but it was the open ocean. The bezel turns with a heavy click and there aren’t many positions. The helium valve is at 9 o’clock and the crown is at 4. This is a hacking movement, meaning the seconds hand will stop when you pull out the crown, and you set the date and GMT at the same position and the time at the final position.

Now for the bad news. The retrograde GMT is all but useless on this watch. It depends on a fat arrow to point to the time in the second time zone. The numbers are so small as to be unreadable and the arrow kind of points to a number that could be anywhere in a three or four hour range. Then, for about half of the day, the hands cover the GMT portion, ruining the view. Oh, what frustration! I tried to wear this on a cross country flight and it was useless. I eventually just switched back the the D.Freemont diver.

Another pet peeve? The date window. The text in the window was huge but the font was almost unreadable. It was delicate and fey, not at all befitting a diver of this monstrosity.

tauchback.jpg

The lume is laughable and the crown and “helium valve” are extremely difficult to grasp. While this is a big watch, these parts are not for big fingers. Because they are no knurled, the slip and slide and wiggle out of your grasp. Not a good choice for a watch to be used in wet situations.

tauchgmt.jpg

These things go for about $150 to $200 on eBay. I suppose that is a fair price. But, as I consistently reiterate, you’re much better off getting an Orange Monster or the like rather than a hunk of strangely knurled steel. Aeromatic doesn’t produce a horrible product and it’s eminently affordable, but it just seems like there are so many better folks with better watches out there and there’s no reason to stop at this beast. Still interested? Pick it up on eBay,
but caveat emptor.

Quality: 3/5
Style: 1/5
Overall: 2.5/5

-John Biggs

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  • Jim Mack

    To bad you only snorkled before you decided it is not 1000 meter watch. Who dives to a 1000 meters any way unless you are in a dsrv. I dived the Spiegle Grove to about 120 FT about as far as most sport divers go and the big old Tauchmeister is still ticking no sweet on the crystal nothing…….It’s a dive watch and nicely priced. Leaves more doe for air fills and car gas….JIm

  • Karl

    Bought this watch! Think I paid $100 for it. Suggest you buy one of the better quality $100 dive watches from Timex or others.

    First dive. Sweet on the inside of the chrystal! Tried to contact them to get it repaied. Also less than a year old and battery is dead.

    Don’t waste your money. Buy a Seiko or something else!

    karl

  • CS Zeng

    Anybody with sense would know that a watch at that price probably won’t survive the extremes and if it does, great. Interesting watches for a low price and good enough for beginners.

  • CS Zeng

    Anybody with sense would know that a watch at that price probably won’t survive the extremes and if it does, great. Interesting watches for a low price and good enough for beginners.

  • Sebhelyesfarku

    I wouldn’t waste any money to this Chinese junk.

  • Quark

    It’s not Chinese…

    It IS German assembled with a Japanese movement used in Citizens etc.

  • Mik

    It is not even a German assembling. Like Sebhelyesfarku mentioned here it is an Asian-made watch. Go to this site, read about it … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauchmeister

  • Gregor

    Well, I have read that article in Wikipedia, and still don’t know where is mentioned about this “Asian-made” production…

  • http://www.wernersflyingwatches.com Werners UK

    Our brief on this range of watches is that the movements are from the far east (Citizen),and the cases are German.We have sold them for quite a few years now,and have had almost zero problem with this range.The few problems we have had was with people not fully screwing the crown in to it’s seat,thus enabling the watch to leak (we replaced them anyway out of goodwill).After some amendments to our manual text,this problem has been solved.

    Other problems came from the early Chinese mechanical movements,but once they went to the Citizen 8215 all was well.

    We think the range is nicely made,very individual (every man and his dog have a Seiko)and quite incredible value for money (especially the ETA movement chronograph versions).Some of our customers have done/do some quite extreme things with them including oil rig work,submarine escape tank instructing,regular spear fishing instructors etc,all with no problem.

    When we first stocked this range we feared most of them would implode in the shower!,and expected A:to have huge warranty problems,and B:to drop the range quickly because of such problems.But this simply and honestly has not been the case.We have no hesitation in garanteeing and recommending them for anything you want to do.

    Best Regard’s,

    Nick at Werners UK

  • Tony James

    I’ll have to agree with Mr. Biggs on a few things.
    The band is indeed a bit on the long side and does present a problem with over-hang. Also, the GMT is hard to decipher.
    Other than that…it’s a one-hundred dollar watch…what the heck do you want? I bought mine as a beach and boating-beater. I’ll gladly bang the hell out of it to save one of my Rolex watches that cost 50x more.
    It’s solid, good looking, accurate, water resistant…and it’s not a Seiko. (Seikos are great work-horses, but jeeze…everyone has them.)
    As far as the battery life…the jury is still out on that.

  • Arthur

    …i got my tauchmeister about a two month ago…so there is no problem with that watch at all.More over i agree it is not Seiko:)…

  • alex

    I’ve been wearing a ‘T80′ automatic of this brand and its ok for swimming and washing dishes. I dont dive.
    It runs fast (10 secs a day) but like all but one aeromatic/Tauchmeister watches that i own it varies its rate VERY LITTLE- the most was 3 secs on a cold day. As a rule it runs bang on 10 to 11 sec fast per day.
    What more can i ask of a something i got off E-bay for less then a hundred bucks?!?

  • Vladik

    I have bought a T13 about a 2 mounth ago.
    and it works great and very accurate. no probs at all.
    a great watch for this price.

  • Arthur

    Hello…i would like to know…Where i can find Tauchmeister T0046 watch manual, set-up,because i need to disassemble the watch bezel…but i dont know how it works:(

  • Novice

    I have the yellow faced version without the GMT flyback hand. I bought it ‘on line’ on a whim, new, for GBP £59.95 because I thought it looked good and was a little unusual. I swim in it regularly and have dived it down to 12 Metres with no problems, the battery is still ‘going strong’ coming up to the twelve month mark. The long strap is useful if you are wearing wet suit gloves – which I usually do because I dive in Northern Europe. Diving watches do sometimes leak, my Rolex did once, just swimming, when I hadn’t had it serviced for a while and I forgot to screw down the winder crown. However when you send it back to Rolex it does come back well and truly repaired…at a price! I am not sure what after sales service will be like with Tauchmesiter if ever it’s needed, however I have had a dreadful experience with Aeromatic and one of their on-line resellers over one of their watches, again bought on a whim. The former didn’t respond and the latter wasn’t interested So I guess you pay your money and take a risk!….but there’s the rub, statistically you will always have some failures, but there’s no excuse for bad service!

  • IAN LASHFORD

    I bought a tauchmiester TO99 it gained 5 mins every I contacted the garantee people who exchanged it for me ! But the second 1 leaked in the bath and lost 20 mins a day so I returned it to germany as I did the first to be told I had dropped it ! and it was not under the terms of international garantee. DO NOT BUY ANY OF THESE WATCHES THEY ARE NOT REALIABLE OR TRUST WORTHY.

  • Frank Duffy

    Bought a T0006 a few years ago. While still in the warrenty period, the second hand began to ‘skip’.
    I emailed the distributor in Germany about it. He never even returned my email. I wouldn’t buy any of these watches from his watch store anymore.

  • Rick Goble

    I bought one of these off ebay as a roughing around watch and sport diver. The long band (for you non divers) is to fit around your wetsuit. After reading the reviews we decided to drop this of the boat with a depth meter. We used all the line we had and got a depth reading of 312 FSW and the watch didn’t even sweat. I must have got a good one!

  • http://www.articlesaboutauctions.info Auction Trusted

    Hi nice blog Review – Tauchmeister 1937 Diver with Auction Trusted

  • http://yahoo.com/zhibot Anonymous

    I have the T0073 and so far I like it. the bubble face makes a good magnifying glass to see the numbers better and the screw on cap with chain is anice touch while being functional to prevent water from entering the case. I relly love the huge face and probably is my favorite watch even though I own pretty expensive watches ie (rolex, breitling), I find myself wearing this more, maybe for looks and that its cheap and if it breaks I wont feel that bad about it. Quality is good and I dont mind that is has a japanese movement.
    mine is fast but every week i just change the time

  • David Simpson

    I bought this watch over two years ago and it is still working fine. A very good, sturdy and reliable time piece.

  • mark

    i have a tauchmeister 600mtrs helium safe watch i bought 2 years ago, i am still on the same battery and would certainly buy another one. I dive to depths of 96 meters on mix gases, So i certainly recommend it and lots of my friends have them.

  • http://wristwatchreview.com Joe

    I have a question regarding the Tauchmeister 1937 watch. I saw one on E-Bay (forgot the model number) but, it advertised a Swiss movement and not the Asian movement (Citizen) that everyone has been talking about. Has anyone else seen these comments?

  • http://www.abp.com.ar juan

    I have the automatic 600 meter limited edition, since 2007 bought at ebay, the submariner alike model
    The watch is very acurated, well made and finished, the band is very solid, i work as commercial diver
    And use it since i got it, took it to 45 meter many times for commercial diver periods (not 7 minutes).
    Only problem is that for rought work i use my gshock, if not the bezzel get scratched. And has not a
    Helium valve release, i could take to chamber. Another thing, steel is antimagnetic, no problem to the compass etc…
    One thing I dont get is: quartz + helium valve, what for, electronic is prohibited at decompresion chamber,
    Thats why they are mechanical, automatic.

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  • inotamouse

    @IAN LASHFORD
    OK, Im sure this is so true… I have 2 of these watches (one of 500m u-boat immitation divers and another of the He safe T1094, and both work great! Also, sorry, but I find it a little difficult to believe someone that cannot take the time to edit his post and make sure that it even reads well, let alone makes sense to himself!!

  • Alex

    Still running min- swimming pool, ocean, bashed it about and its still keeping constant time and not letting the water in- for less then a hundred bucks and nearly four years of abuse who can fairly say Tauchmesiter /aeromatic is a bad brand?
    Ask yourself how much a small machine like a watch should REALLY cost in the days of CNC milling and I think most people will find the Tauchmeister brand a fair price.
    I got an Aeromatic 2 button mechanical chronograph for 200 bucks and it also works just fine and looks nice too…. I’ve got a few more and never had a bad one.
    For the price some of the nicest watches on the market!

  • ANWAR

    I bought this watch T0098 automatic watch from e-bay about 1.5 years ago.Its my daily wearing watch.I realy thought its gonna break or something but this watch prove me wrong.The watch is very ruggedly build ,keeps good time + -15 seconds,looks good.i do collect watch and have lot of mechnical watches and this one is my favarite.I do sometime surf and i had no rust or water going inside problem.its little bit on the heavy side compare to other brand names avaible on market but overall its a good ,reiable watch.

  • http://www.tauchmeisterwatches.com/ POUPXS

    I bought 2 Tauchmeister watches directly from their shop at http://www.tauchmeisterwatches.com and are very happy with the watches. I have the T0046 and T0006 models. I had a small issue with the seconds hand of the T0006 but they repaired this within the warranty.

    So overall very happy with the watches.

  • juan

    if that coment was for me, I apologize, english is not my home language, spanish, soy de argentina, sud america, sigo teniendo mi reloj y funciona correctamente. I still have my watch and works correctly, I have to mention I forgot to take on a underwater arcair cutting operation 4 hours 25 minutes, malfunction and deterioration because of electric field on water (40v apx) were NOT a issue. commercials divers know what I talk, sunday & desk divers dont. great watch, great price, brand watches are overvalued, bubble prices, royalty etc.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angelo-Vecchio/100001725530541 Angelo Vecchio

    I own the Tauchmeister model T0066 and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a lot of watch for the money, a terriffic value. Build quality and materials, at this price point, are superior to some of the better known competitors. I’ve had mine for about a year and it keeps perfect time—on its original battery. The lume is strong too. Mine has a thick leather band. As for the “too long” rubber band referenced in the review—-if you’re a diver, you’d know that the extra length is to fit over a wet suit.

  • Alex

    I am still running my Tauchmesiter automatic, more trips to florida, more time in the pool, more being bumped and scratches by daily wear….there is no way that a fancy expensive watch is any better then this for daily use except as jewlery. If thatsis the reason the author is so snide about the brand then i guess you cant argue. Its not as fancy as some brands, butbit does work just as well and its way cheeper.
    If you want jewlery then go ahead and waste your cash on an expensive watch that doesnt function any better then a nice Tauchmeister.

    • http://www.sportsmansdaily.com/ Ang V.

      The tone of the review outed the author as a bit of a troll—not sure what he has against the brand, but since I first commented a couple years ago, I’ve bought quite a few more Tauchmeister and Aeromatic watches. They are about the best values (at their price point) out there.

  • Jirka

    Jsem z České rebubliky tyto hodinky jsou hodně kvalitní za tu cenu bomba,je to Německo-Holandská firma. Je tam použit Japonský strojek…firma v začátcích vyráběla hodinky pro námořníky pro dlouhé přežití v hloubkách na ponorkách.proto ten helium ventil!!.k vyrovnání tlaku.!!..Můj osobní názor za málo pěněz hodně muziky.Viděl jsem stejně vybavené hodinky za cenu 1034 euro,což je mazec..:-D

  • Anonymous

    Hi i bought the Tauchmeister T0046 1000metre auotomatic divers watch on august 2012. I had to send it back due to the second hand falling off, but all credit to tauchmeister they replaced the watch and paid me for the postage, they also supplied a water test certificate, i work as a sat diver and have used this watch at 675 foot and the watch did not loose time or condensate and the helium escape valve did work when my ascent was made in the chamber. JEFF

  • RichardK

    The question is, did the John Biggs I see above work in the Green Goddess sheds of units 33-36? Richard K
    If so, then work out the W.co.uk address and mail me before I buy a diver watch as a wedding present!!