Like the very wrist watch itself, the development of specialist diving watches was driven by the needs of military personnel. Many companies began to create and perfect timepieces for divers’ use just after WWI, including Rolex and Omega. Working to three criteria- readability under water, shock-resistance and the need to be completely sealed against water- these watches were to be used by military divers on underwater missions. The need for more complicated watches with better capabilities at even greater depths drove further developments in the production of these watches. It was during the 1970s Omega produced the watch that is now referred to as The Big Blue.
Considered to be one of the greatest diver’s watches created, this watch has since become a true collector’s piece. McTear’s Watches Auction on 10 April features one of these iconic instruments, estimated at £800–1200.
McTear’s sells more watches than any other traditional auction house in Scotland in the dedicated watches auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.