Having been scuba diving a handful of times, I can assure you that nothing is scarier than the prospect of having something go wrong underwater. All of your equipment must be in tip-top shape and functioning properly to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe dive. A great dive watch on your wrist guarantees that you will be able to keep accurate measurements while on your dive.
Alpina, a Swiss manufacturer, is the sportier sister to the Frederique Constant company. Their Extreme Diver 1000 is a big and bold dive watch, designed for venturing further than simple recreational dives. This is an outstanding watch with some excellent features that we will ahem, “dive” into below (sorry).
Whereas I only ventured down to around 15 meters on my cautious recreational dives, this watch is rated as water resistant to 1000 meters. So yeah, this is a very serious dive watch with some serious dive features.
For instance, the pusher at the 10 o’clock position is actually a helium release valve, intended for those extreme divers who stay at great depths for extended periods of time. Helium bubbles can enter the watch and cause the crystal to crack as the pressure decreases on your return to the surface, so pushing the release valve will allow the helium to escape and prevent any damage to the watch.
Extreme 1000 Dial
The Extreme Diver’s dial is characterized by huge white markers: Arabic numerals for the 12, 6, and 9, with baton markers for the rest. The numerals, hands, and indexes all use SuperLuminova pigment to glow brightly in the dark for extended periods of time, a useful feature on night dives.
The date is housed in a large crescent-shaped window that displays 7 dates at once; the red arrow to the right indicates the current date. This is a fairly unique date display, and I imagine it could be useful if one of the large hands is blocking the date; you can still see the dates above and below in order to figure out the current date. The sapphire crystal has been treated with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.
Case and band
With a diameter of 48 mm and at 16 mm thick, this is a very large watch that is certain to be noticed when worn. Even those unfamiliar with dive watches will be able to tell that this is a seriously capable timepiece. Triangle-shaped screws on the front and back of the case both continue the triangle logo theme from other areas on the watch and reinforce the hard-as-nails construction of this watch. The huge screw-down crown also has a triangle logo and sports a rubber grip to ensure ease of use with gloves or in tricky dive situations.
The large round black bezel is made out of PVD steel and sits on an even larger square stainless steel case. The bezel features bright white numerals, designed to be legible through your dive mask in murky waters. To use the bezel for timing your dive, simply rotate the unidirectional bezel so that the large arrow matches the minute hand’s location at the start of your dive. The numerals on the bezel then mark the amount of time you have spent underwater so you can keep tabs on your oxygen supply. Of course, this feature could also be used for timing anything else you might need to keep track of. The 16-mm wide band is constructed with a very sporty-looking textured rubber, matching the athletic intentions of the watch.
The Extreme Diver uses a Swiss automatic movement, labeled AL-525. Based on Sellita’s SW200 movement, which is also used in many Frederique Constant watches, it incorporating 26 jewels and a power reserve of 38 hours. This is a solid watch engine, to be sure, however, many watches at this price point utilize superior movements. Because this is a dive watch first and foremost, it is forgivable that it does not use the absolute best movement.
With rugged good looks, the Alpina Extreme Diver is above all else a very capable dive watch. As someone who believes in being over-prepared for any situation, I feel that it is worth adding a watch like the Extreme Diver to your collection, even if you never step foot in the water, so don’t be put off if you feel that some of these specifications are overkill. It is great to have that peace of mind that your watch will hold up to whatever you throw at it, and with the 1000 meter rating, you can be as sure as humanly possible that this watch will handle anything and everything. As you would expect, a technological juggernaut like this doesn’t come cheap, with an MSRP of $3050. The good news is that you shouldn’t have difficulty finding retailers that offer a significant discount off of that price.