Another day, and here’s another brand I’m surprised we’ve not had grace our pages before – MK II Watches.  (UPDATE:  Looks like I already wrote about this back in February).  They started back in 2002 by offering components for other companies watches, as well as customizing watches for owners.  Since then, they’ve grown into the creation of their own Swiss-made timepieces.  Why the name MK II?

You can read more about their history here; when you’re done with that, we’ll move on to taking a look at their Paradive watch.  At first glance, this looks like a diver, albeit one with an oddly shaped case.  However, there is some history to this particular design.  This piece is is their “interpretation of the watch issued to US Special Forces and CIA maritime units from the 1960s up to the early 1980s.”

So, why is this of significance here?  Given the agencies that were issued this watch, it’s no surprise that they were never offered to the public.  So, here is your chance to get a watch inspired by some American military history.  And while they started with the official government specifications, MK II have done some updates to both the specs and the design.  By doing this (along with the use of modern materials), they’ve made the watch more durable, and easier to service.

What improvements have they made?  Quite a few, it turns out:

  • Changed from a bi-directional to a uni-directional bezel, all while adding a hardened and lumed aluminum insert
  • Added a helium release valve
  • Movement upgraded to ETA 2836-2.  With this, you can have it with non-date, date only, or day/date display
  • Acrylic crystal out, double-domed and AR-coated sapphire crystal in

There is one last, more esoteric, military tie as well.  The aluminum insert on the bezel is actually coated with the same coating they use to protect the aluminum parts on the M16 rifle.  Kind of an interesting bit of trivia, that.

Rounding out the remainder of the “hard” specs we have:

  • 41.25mm diameter case; 15.5mm thick
  • Case made of bead-blasted 316L stainless steel
  • 300m water resistance rating
  • Screw-down crown
  • The ETA 2836-2 movement is Elabore grade
  • Lume is SuperLuminova BGW9 (glows, on full charge, for at least 7 hours)


So, how much will it cost for you to pick up your own Paradive?  They start at $1,495 (on a rubber strap), though you can opt for a steel bracelet for another $100.  Those prices hold steady regardless of the date display option you choose.  Or, if your the patient sort, you can get your name on the mailing list for one of their sapphire bezel upgrade.  No word on what that adds to the price, but it does seem like another great upgrade.

And if you’ve already got one of these in your collection, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

*All images courtesy of MK II

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Last Update: October 25, 2012