h2o_kalmar_ii_oceanictime_se_6000m_05Overbuilt dive watches are pretty easy to find, with depth ratings going into the 1,000s of feet territory, well beyond what all but the tiniest percentage of technical divers could ever hope to come close to needing.  But watches that get into the 10s of 1,000s, that is getting in the rare air (or deep water to be more apt) of specifications.  Two new models of the H2O Kalmar 2 watch do just that, with ratings of 6,000 meters (~20,000 feet) and 8,000 meters (~26,000 feet) respectively.

h2o_kalmar_2_oceanictime_special_edition_8000m_006_1000The first thing to get out there is that these are not going to be watches you just slip on your wrist unnoticed.  The 6,000 meter version is 16.5 mm tall and the 8,000 meter is 21.6 mm tall, both coming in 42.5mm diameter titanium cases.  The watches were designed in conjunction with Ocean Time, a watch blog focusing on diver watches (and commemorated via logo on the crown, dial, and caseback).

They are not inexpensive timepieces, with pre-sale prices starting at just under $1,000 for the 6,000 meter version (without VAT) and going up to $1,250 for the 8,000 meter watch; but considering the extreme depth rating, the titanium construction and the inclusion of an ETA 2824-2 (or an ETA 2892 in the 6,000 meter watch), it represents a good value.  Just to put the depth ratings into perspective, a Rolex was strapped to the exterior of a deep water submersible to make it to Challenger Deep, the deepest reaches of the ocean at 10,908 meters.

h2o_kalmar_ii_oceanictime_se_6000m_02Last year I looked at the base H2O Kalmar 2 watches, which H2O was letting buyers customize in a variety of ways.  Though I thought they were overkill with a 3,000 meter depth rating, I liked the design a lot.  With these two watches, the customization is limited to having the minute hand in orange or chrome (orange is my choice), but the bold, legible, and attractive design of the dial and bezel are unchanged.

The watch comes on a leather strap, but a titanium bracelet (in the matching corrosion resistant Grade 5 material) is an option for $262.  The pre-sale closes at the end of April, around when these German-assembled watches are expected to be ready to ship.  The prices listed here are for the pre-sale, and jump about $260 to $290 starting in May.  h2o-watch.com

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: H2O Kalmar 2
  • Price: Pre-sale price of $996 for the 6,000 meter and $1,250 for the 8,000 meter (excluding VAT)
  • Who we think it might be for: You like big watches.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I like the line, but I have no need for these depth ratings.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I have nothing.  It isn’t for me, but for what it is, they did a great job.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: It is a great value in an attractive, bold diver.

Tech Specs from H20

  • Movement: ETA 2824-2 (6,000 meter) or ETA 2892  (optional in 6,000 meter, standard in 8,000 meter)
  • Functions: Uni-directional bezel, helium escape valve, ceramic bezel insert
  • Case: Grade 5 titanium
  • Glass: Sapphire
  • Water resistance: 6,000 or 8,000 meters
  • Lug width: 24mm
  • Straps: 5mm thick black calfskin strap with white contrast stitching, optional 5mm thick Grade 5 Titanium bracelet with hex screws and micro-adjustment clasp.
  • Diameter: 42mm/44mm for bezel
  • Case Height: 16.5 or 21.6 mm

Last Update: April 27, 2015

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