It’s rare to find a diving worldtimer. The two types of watches have very different personalities, one being for professionals, the other for professional divers. Or at least that’s the general thinking which, as Delma’s Cayman Worldtimer shows, is a bit of a shame.
The first Cayman Automatic was a tried-and-tested diving watch, with an impressive 500m water resistance and an elegant look ripped from the 70s, all for an absurdly accessible price tag. It’s a seriously good entry-level diver with pro-level specs.
Despite being ostensibly a traveller’s watch, the Cayman Worldtimer Automatic retains the same case as the original, and thus the 500m water resistance. That’s unheard of in most worldtimers, which tend to spend their time in the air rather than the water. Except for a crash-landing at sea, in which case you have bigger problems than knowing the time in Bangkok.
It is reassuring, though. A 200m water resistance would do for everyday use, but knowing that you can swim with this thing – or scuba with it – makes for what might be the perfect holiday watch. Not only can you dive tropical waters with it, you can also tell precisely what time to call home and rub it in.
Of course, this isn’t a true worldtimer in the vein of Patek Philippe or Vacheron (or my own little Longines Master Collection number) in that all Delma has done is swap the unidirectional diving bezel for a bi-directional timezone version. It’s then read off the fixed 24-hour inner bezel instead of the other way around.
It’s a small difference visually but makes a huge difference mechanically, swapping out a costly complication for a cheap alternative, and it’s quite as useful. You need to align the bezel every time you want to read the worldtimer, making it more a conversion tool than your standard traveller’s complication.
Still, the 24-hour GMT hand does its job nicely, and the inner bezel is split into night (black) and day (blue) for easy reading. It’s a colour scheme that looks particularly lovely with the silver dial as opposed to the blue and black, which it can get slightly lost in.
On the wrist it looks fantastic and wears well enough and pretty much feels like you’d expect a retro 42mm stainless steel watch to feel. Even if you don’t dive it’s worth going for the mesh bracelet; it’s incredibly comfortable, breathable and generally good-looking. Plus, you can get a spare leather number at the drop of a hat if you wanted to gussy up the Cayman for a dressier occasion.
The ETA 2893 movement is very handsome, with plenty of pearlage on the movement proper and cote de Geneve on the Delma-branded rotor. All of it can be seen through the sapphire caseback, making the 500m water resistance all the more impressive. There is a quartz version – the ‘Professional’ – if you’re on a budget, but it’s worth plumping that little bit more for the mechanical.
The Cayman Worldtimer is as handsome as it is affordable. Sure, it lacks the diving bezel required to really use its depth resistance; at the same time the worldtimer is a little annoying to use thanks to the constant adjusting necessary. But it is a solid jack of all trades and versatile to a fault. If you were to take a trip with this as your one watch of choice, you wouldn’t need another – and that’s coming from someone who travels with at least three options.
Price & Specs:
Model: Delma Cayman Worldtimer
Ref: 41601.710.6.041 (rubber strap); 41801.710.6.041 (mesh bracelet)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 13.6mm height, stainless steel
Water resistance: 500m (50 bar)
Movement: Calibre ETA 2893, automatic, 21 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
Power reserve: 48h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, 24 hour hand, worldtimer, date
Strap: Stainless steel mesh bracelet or rubber
Price/availability: £1,790 (rubber) and £1,890 (mesh bracelet)
More details at Delma.