Nivada Grenchen have been killing it recently with their retro-slanted tool watches like the Super Antarctic 3/6/9 and now they’ve delved into their heritage backlog for another stylish timepiece. The new watch is the Nivada Grenchen Antarctic-Diver, a modern re-issue of the brand’s first dive watch from the late 1950s. To celebrate the launch, they’re also releasing a book documenting the history of the Antarctic range.
First, the watch. It’s a 38mm diver with 200m water resistance made from stainless steel and featuring a unidirectional rotating bezel. 38mm is an interesting size for a dive watch as it puts it firmly on the smaller side of the archetype which typically favours 40mm and above. However, it’s a nod to the origins of the design in the mid-20th century, when watches were much smaller in general. In fact, even at 38mm the modern Antarctic-Diver has had a substantial increase in size from the 36.5mm original.
Another modern upgrade is the inclusion of a ceramic insert for the bezel. Ceramic is an incredibly scratch resistant material, protecting the watch from potential damage underwater. Plus, ceramic doesn’t fade, meaning that it will remain a rich black colour permanently. It’s the presence of the diving bezel that really makes the Antarctic-Diver stand out from any other kind of tool watch, as it allows the wearer to calculate depressurisation stops or total dive time.
The dial is nice and legible too with really clear markings and lumed bar indexes. Aesthetically, it maintains Nivada Grenchen’s retro style with beige, ‘cream latte’ lume on its hands and hour markers as well as the heritage inspired red crosshair design. That crosshair stops the dial from being an uninteresting void without compromising on the legibility of the piece. Historically the Antarctic-Diver was available with either a red crosshair or a white one, but for the re-interpretation they’ve doubled down on the more popular red version.
Beneath the surface is the Soprod P024 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve and featuring hour, minute, seconds and date functions. The date window is located at 3 o’clock beneath the double-domed sapphire crystal’s cyclops lens. The movement is protected by a steel caseback that bears the engraving of a penguin, which is simultaneously immensely cute and a reference to model’s name. Afterall, penguins are the OG Antarctic-Divers.
Accompanying the launch of the Antarctic-Diver is the release of “Nivada Grenchen Antarctic – The History of a Legend”, a 100+ page book detailing the history of the brand and the collection. It also explores how the model has adapted over the years, finishing with an interview with presiding CEO Guillaume Laidet.
The Nivada Grenchen Antarctic-Diver is priced at €815 (approx. £710) and is available on a choice of 10 bracelet and strap options including leather, rubber and multiple styles of steel bracelet. The leather gives it a classic look although is less suitable for the water than the rubber or steel options, of which the beads of rice is my favourite. The book is then priced at €60 (approx. £50) and is ideal for the coffee table of your favourite collector. Especially if that collector is you.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Diver
- Ref: 32038A15 (black leather with white stitching), 32038A11 (Forstner Klip bracelet), 32038A04 (beads of rice bracelet), 32038A08 (oyster bracelet), 32038A01 (black rubber strap), 32038A12 (Forstner beads of rice bracelet), 32038A13 (Forstner rivet bracelet), 32038A17 (black leather), 32038A16 (brown leather)
- Case/dial: 38mm diameter x 12.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial
- Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
- Movement: SOPROD calibre P024, automatic, 25 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Black leather with white stitching, Forstner Klip bracelet, beads of rice bracelet, oyster bracelet, black rubber strap, Forstner beads of rice bracelet, Forstner rivet bracelet, black or brown leather strap
- Price/availability: €815 (approx. £710)
More details at Nivada Grenchen.
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