If you recall, back in November, we first brought you word of the Torgoen T43. Well as we said in that article, we were working on getting in a loaner, and we did just that. So, here we are today, telling you what it’s like when an aviation-focused brand makes a dive watch.
One of the primary things that a dive watch needs is rather similar to what an aviation watch needs (provided you’re using the watch as the tool it was designed to be) – quick, and easy, legibility. This is accomplished in a rather simple way – white hands and indices over a black dial. That said, we do have some aviation carryover, in the form of the Flieger-style hands, and the stencil font that Torgoen likes to use for their numerals (those give view to a sandwich dial, while the indices are applied).
Next, you need some sort of timing mechanism. This most commonly takes the form of the classic uni-directional divers bezel, and that is indeed what the Torgoen T43 relies on. Here, it’s got a fairly solid click action, with the slightest amount of play once it’s set in place. While it does rely on an aluminum insert (classic, but not as flashy as the ceramic or sapphire inserts you see on some models), it has something I really like – a very old-school lume bead. This is more than a painted dot, it’s an actual raised dot of glow.
As you can see in the lumeshot above, that pip glows nicely, and ostensibly gives you a way to keep track of your timing even in darker conditions. For me, a non-diver? It just gives me an extra bit of glow to admire. With the red bezel on the Torgoen T43, you get a nice dose of color on the watch, which is then picked up by the stripe running around the crown. This crown screws into place, which helps with the overall 200m WR rating the watch carries (ie, way more than you’ll need to take a dip in the local pool or pond).
Of course, to hit that rating, you need to have a solidly-built case. The Torgoen T43 uses stainless steel, and the case itself is 44mm, topped with a sapphire crystal (rather nice at this pricepoint) with a solid steel, screwed-in caseback. All of this serves to keep the quartz movement (from Ronda, in this case) dry and ticking away, no matter the conditions you find yourself in.
So, while I’m not a diver, the Torgoen T43 does present itself (at least to me) as a dive watch quite easily. It hits all the classic design points, while mixing up the design a bit with a dial and handset that seem more suited for an airborne watch. While Torgoen isn’t the brand I’d think of first for an affordable dive watch, that’s precisely what we’ve got here. In fact, while the MSRP is $285 (on a bracelet), the price on their site – as of this writing – is $185, which is a steal for a Swiss quartz diver on a bracelet. For me, I like seeing Torgoen getting into some other styles a bit, and am interested to see how this line might evolve. torgoen.com
- Brand & Model: Torgoen T43 Diver
- Price: $285 MSRP
- Who we think it might be for: You want an affordable quartz diver, but want something with a less-traditional dial and handset
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: In terms of divers (which I feel set on), this isn’t my own personal style, so I’d probably pass
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The date window – glad it’s color-matched, but it’s almost an afterthought. Either enlarge it, or delete it
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I know it sounds silly, but that lume pip on the bezel just sings to me
Tech Specs from Torgoen
- STRAP COLOR: BLACK
- DIAL COLOR: BLACK
- LUGS WIDTH: 24MM
- MOVEMENT: SWISS QUARTZ RONDA 515S.2
- BATTERY: NO. 371
- WATER RESISTANCE: 20ATM/200M/660FT
- CASE MATERIAL: SOLID HIGH GRADE (316L) STAINLESS STEEL
- CRYSTAL: SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL
- BACK: SCREW DOWN STAINLESS STEEL
- STRAP: SILICONE
- OTHER: NON-RADIOACTIVE LONG LASTING LUMINESCENCE DIAL
- CASE DIAMETER: 44MM
- CASE THICKNESS: 14MM
- CRYSTAL DIAMETER: 40MM
- WEIGHT: 7.5 OZ / 0.21 KG (on steel bracelet)