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Face Time: Jacques Cousteau’s Watch Collection

Doxa SUB 300 Dive Watch

In diving circles, Jacques Cousteau is spoken about with the sort of reverence normally reserved for saints and deities, and for good reason. No other man has contributed quite as much to our exploration of the underwater world. Scientist and photographer, naval officer and conservationist, whatever Cousteau did, his life revolved around the ocean.

The same holds true for his watch collection. As synonymous as Cousteau was with diving, it makes sense that he would need a decent diving watch; more importantly to the watchmakers, he was one of the few guys capable of testing these watches to the extreme in their infancy in the 1950s.

Jacques Cousteau Rolex Submariner 6205

Rolex Submariner 6205

In fact, in 1956’s The Silent World, one of the first underwater films ever produced, the man himself can be seen wearing a Rolex Submariner 6205. Unlike many a diver though, Cousteau didn’t stick to Rolex alone, especially as Blancpain and its Fifty Fathoms was also jumping headfirst into his territory.

Jacques Cousteau Doxa SUB 300

Doxa Sub 300

He also added Doxa to his list of go-to divers, particularly the Doxa Sub 300. Not only was it on the wrists of his team filming The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, but Cousteau himself distributed the watch via his US Divers company and was influential in it – as well as the later helium escape valve-equipped Conquistador – becoming vintage classics. That takes some faith.

Jacques Cousteau Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

While it were a little late to the party, Omega also got in on the action and built a relationship with Cousteau during the 1963 Conshelf II experiments to try and develop a seafloor habitat for divers. It was a relationship that led directly to the Seamaster 1000m and Ploprof 600 – and to Omega’s impressive diving pedigree.

Jacques Cousteau Omega Seamaster

Omega Seamaster

Between the Fifty Fathoms, Rolex Submariner, Doxa Sub 300 and the deepest diving offerings from OMEGA – not to mention the myriad watches they have inspired – we have a lot of serious diving timepieces to thank Cousteau for. Things could have been a lot different (and a lot less water resistant) without him.


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  • French Navy officer & Explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau tested many diving watches, take a look at the movie “The Silent World” and see him wearing toolwatches from Blancpain, Doxa to Omega and Rolex ! Although the 2016 movie “The Odyssey” was sponsored by Omega aka product placement !

  • Can I mstill get a Jacques Cousteau’s Watch. My watch was stolen from my home and I would like to replace it. I got my watch back in the 80S.

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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