Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher, turned master crystal meth maker in the wildly popular 5 season AMC series Breaking Bad. Played by Bryan Cranston, Walter turns to drug manufacturing once he learns he has cancer and needs the money to pay for treatment and to provide for his struggling family.
Full of resentment for previous failures such as selling his share in a company he helped found for a measly $5,000 and finding it hard to get ahead and live the American dream, Walter’s morality can be questioned when he starts to make decisions based on pure greed long after he’s successfully fulfilled his original, relatively modest financial goals.
The shift towards the darker side throughout the seasons is part of the reason this series has proven to be so gripping, winning critical acclaim and numerous Emmy awards.
The Casio CA53W makes an early appearance, featuring prominently in the second episode of the first season in a car scene with Jesse Pinkman (see image above). This is perhaps the exact type of watch you’d expect from a no-frills chemistry teacher that values practicality above all else.
The Casio CA53W is a bit of a cult classic, but given Walter’s straight-forward approach to life at the beginning of the series, it’s pretty clear he wears this watch mainly as a practical tool.
Walter is given a Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph as a gift for his 51st birthday by Jesse during the 4th episode in season 5. Jesse hands the watch to Walter whilst he is in a car, complete with the gift box. Walter later uses the watch as a symbol of trust during a one-sided conversation with a despondent Skyler:
“I want to show you something. See that watch. It was a birthday present. The person who gave me this present wanted me dead too. Not that long ago, he pointed a gun right between my eyes right here and he threatened to kill me. He changed his mind about me Skyler, and so will you.”
The last scene of the episode features Walter taking off the watch and leaving it on the bedside table as he undresses and goes to bed. The scene exits with an extreme close up of one of the dials showing the seconds ticking with a distinct ticking sound. It’s all rather ominous, with the watch playing a key role the sense that time is running out for something…
The Tag Heuer Monaco is a very iconic watch, with this particular model bearing a close resemblance with the watch worn by actor and racer Steve McQueen in the 1971 film La Mans.
Scuba diving is testament to mankind’s ingenuity in overcoming natural barriers, and dive watches are one of the best examples this. Combining precise engineering and looks into an accessory for an activity that humans shouldn’t really be doing is why dive watches have a soft spot in our hearts here at WKOW.
So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a dive watch for that 2019 holiday, or potentially saving for that special splurge or even ‘holy grail’ timepiece, this guide will definitely point you in the right direction without getting your feet wet.
The main functions of a high-quality dive watch is to allow scuba divers to keep a record on the dive time, under pressure by using a rotating (or analog) bezel that allows the wearer to pre-select a period of time up to 60 minutes. This allows the wearer to understand their dive time, and then calculate maximum dive time before hazardous gases build up in their blood system. Diving is by its a nature a risky sport, so the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your dive watch is going to give way mid-dive, leaving you more vulnerable than is necessary. This is where technical specifications and user reviews come into play.
The robustness will be tested underwater. Yes, you’ve got additional pressure from water above, but watches also get banged around a lot whilst diving. This can be from rocks, coral, your own tank/gear and even fine sea particles such as sand and seaweed can play havoc to the durability of a dive watch.
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s also important to be realistic with exactly how much water resistance you really need. ie If you’ll mostly be using it snorkelling, buying a 500m water resistant watch is most likely overkill.
We all love a sexy design, but don’t just base important gear decision on looks. Instead, make sure it has the features you’re going to use the most. This doesn’t mean you need to go for the highest-price model simply because it has the most features. If you aren’t going to use the feature, you’re basically adding extra expense for no benefit.
I’m a certified diver and personally prefer a simple design when I’m diving because I don’t want to be wasting my dive time playing around with features, dials and buttons. This is time I can spend hanging out with my dorsal appendaged friends. That said, we’ve included a range of watches for different budgets, styles, preferences and dive levels (ie newly certified has different requirements than a pro diver) in the round up of our 7 favorite dive watches below:
Seiko Prospex Padi Solar
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
These Padi licensed Seiko models are water resistant up to 200 meters (656 ft), made of stainless steel and the overall look is quite appealing with a smaller form factor than some of the more bulkier dive watches on the market.
The crystal is made out of a Seiko proprietary hardened mineral crystal called “Hardlex”. This material is more impact resistant, but slightly less scratch resistant than sapphire crystal. The Lumibrite on hands and indexes allows for easy dial reading for at least 4 hours once fully charged by a light source.
The word Prospex implies professional specifications and these watches don’t disappoint the budget conscious diver that also needs precise engineering. With a lower price point, you’d be forgiven for splurging a little more on that new Go Pro you’ve been eyeing…
This is the best dive watch in our list for the budget conscious or recently certified divers that don’t want to fork out loads on their first dive watch.
Where this model really departs from its predecessors is the technology and associated attention to detail. They’ve removed the satin aluminium inserts from the unidirectional rotating bezel and replaced with scratch resistant ceramic inserts. And, perhaps the biggest improvement to design is the use of liquid metal, rather than traditional casting and subsequent machining. This produces a very precise, strong and corrosion resistant timepiece.
This level of engineering finds its way throughout the entire watch, including the movement system. Powered by the Omega 8500 caliber Co-Axial based automatic movement which has been widely regarded as a robust and precise movement system. This is a true competitor and alternative to the Rolex Submariner.
One of the main drawbacks of the new Planet Ocean’s technology is that they are a few millimeters thicker. This has left some enthusiasts shaking their head as one of the Seamaster’s long running standout traits has been its slim, elegant design. This Omega has been known to actually feel thicker than it is.
The bold design with broad arrow hands and gloss dials, works effortlessly with the well proportioned, precise engineering contained within this iconic and practical Omega that James Bond still wears to this day. This is definitely one to consider if you have the budget and want a stylish, practical and superbly engineered dive watch.
Swiss made with automatic hand movement, this Tudor has been gaining in popularity with divers since the Pelagos’ rebirth in 2012. Because it is made of titanium, it is lighter than its stainless steel counterparts, which is a great feature if you plan on this watch being your everyday “desk diver” too. The titanium case and bracelet have a brushed finished, which makes it stand out from a traditionally high-polished finish of a stainless steel and tends to hide scratches very well.
Not sure what titanium in watches is all about? Read our article on Stainless Steel vs Titanium as a primer.
In 2015, Tudor introduced its own revamped movement system, the MT56 12 with a 70 hour power reserve. The saphire crystal is completely flat, eliminating any distortion that a raised crystal provides, which is a handy underwater feature. The build quality can be felt and heard in the click of the bezel as you move it.
The Tudor Pelagos is much more than a “cheaper” version of its big brother, Rolex. The titanium build provides a sophisticated , lightweight alternative to a Submariner or Planet Ocean and is very worthy of at least adding to your diver shortlist. At least try and check out the brilliant deep blue version as we’ve found it to be very striking, whilst remaining elegant for those dinner occasions.
There are two main versions of the Submariner; with and without a date plus magnifier. The non-date version costs about $1,000 less and is arguably the more popular of the two. It was also the original as the date version only came in later.
Featuring a 40mm wide case crafted from a single block of a corrosive-resistant 904L steel, and a turning bezel made from Cerachom (a type of ceramic) which makes it extremely resistant to scratching, fading and corrosion. The movement is controlled by the in-house Rolex Calibre 3130. An important visual and functional feature is the winding crown, which closes much like a submarine latch.
This video shows the beauty of the Submariner close up in all its beauty:
The Submariner isn’t just renowned by divers (incl Navy Seals), or for precise engineering. It redefined what it meant to own a prestige timepiece. You certainly do pay a premium for the Rolex brand, but in return, you know you’re getting an incredibly engineered watch that will last for many years and is universally loved and admired. Indeed, a significant factor for many in purchasing this watch is for the status, announcing to the world that you’ve made it. Don’t let this fool you though, the Submariner is a serious dive watch and definitely worth considering.
The 41 mm case features alternating polished and brushed stainless steel, bringing a casual elegance to this watch. The biggest change in recent years has been the addition of the ceramic bezel. Similar to Rolex’s Submariner and Omega’s Planet Ocean, the ceramic rotating bezel allows this TAG to take an absolute beating without scratching, fading or corroding. This is a massive feature for a dive watch given that it’s very common to bang your hands on all sorts of rocks, corals, sand and other general underwater hazards whilst diving.
But, the Aquaracer is considerably more affordable than a Submariner or Planet Ocean, making it a great entry-level dive watch for collectors and wearers.
The Aquaracer uses a rubber strap and comes in both chronograph (three-counter calibre 16) and automatic (Calibre 5) models. The chronograph models are generally around $1,000 more than the automatic models. Both models are quality, durable diving watches.
Check out this detailed review on the Aquaracer below – FWIW, I don’t think this diver deserves any hate!
What I like a lot about the Aquaracer is that it doesn’t try and be a Submariner clone. It is bold and unique in its own right. Go elsewhere for a Submariner clone. Choose a Tag Heuer Aquaracer if you want an extremely durable Swiss-engineered dive watch that has many of the features that rival its more expensive counterparts.
The 49mm case is the largest in our roundup of favorite watches for 2019, so it’s mainly worn by men and you’d definitely want to put it on your wrist before buying. Other notable features are the ceramic unidirectional bezel which is great for resisting scratches and bumps, anti-reflective sapphire window and a date window at 6 O’clock. Aesthetically, the subtle waves behind the dial give it a smooth look against black face and the luminous indicators work well at night.
This watch definitely makes a statement, and whilst it may not have the same branding appeal as a Rolex or Omega, it is definitely a great piece of diving gear if you prefer slightly larger timepieces that won’t weigh you down. We’ve seen some good deals on these men’s models too, so don’t be afraid to shop around.
The simple, practical design with a stainless steel case and silicone strap performs very well under low light conditions, with bold, luminous hands, hour markers and graduations on the unidirectional stainless steel bezel. Bezel rotation is met with solid, deep clicks – something that is often missing in less expensive dive watches. The date function features a magnified display for easy reading.
This should be on your radar if you want a practical dive watch rated to 500m, but aren’t prepared to fork out thousands more for brand or prestige appeal. It is a very good piece for the price and worthy of consideration.
What’s your favorite dive watch to consider for 2019? Feel like we’ve left out some worthy tool watches? Let us know in the comments below. Happy diving!
TAG Heuer Link Chronograph in The Bourne Quadrilogy.Jason Bourne (Played by Matt Damon) wears a
Jason Bourne is the main protagonist in a series of novels written originally by Robert Ludlum, and then continued on Eric Van Lustbader on the event of Mr. Ludlum’s death.
In 2002 the first of the Jason Bourne novels – The Bourne Identity – was adapted to a featured film bearing the same name and staring Matt Damon as the titular anti-hero Jason Bourne. Bourne is the pseudonym of secret Treadstone agent David Webb, who suffers from a bout of amnesia and must work quickly to piece his life together.
After falling off the grid and losing his memory, Agent Webb loses contact with the CIA and his handler in the Treadstone program. They – incorrectly – assume that he has betrayed his country and send men after him. Webb himself thinks he is his cover identity – Jason Bourne – and doesn’t understand why people are after him.
Once he learns of his real identity and the massive overreach of the Treadstone program and the CIA, Bourne spends the rest of the series attempting to dismantle the agency, who in turn tries to destroy him.
Starting in that film and moving through the original trilogy (The Bourne Identity, Supremacy, & Ultimatum) and the latest fifth installment (Jason Bourne), Damon is seen wearing the same TAG Heuer Link Chronograph. Whilst Tag have never publicly endorsed or acknowledged the model used, it is believed the exact model worn by Bourne is the Tag Heuer Link CT1111.BA0550, which was only in production for a couple of years (circa 2001) and is regularly hunted down by watch collectors and Bourne fans alike, making this model of the Link difficult to find.
The TAG Heuer Link Chronograph is a clean, professional watch put out by the TAG Heuer company that looks to stack up against watches like the Omega Seamaster. The Link Chronograph features a 42mm stainless steel case and stainless band with a uniquely molded link, giving the watch a signature look.
The entire watch is stainless steel silver with a black face and silver lettering. The TAG Heuer logo is located at the twelve o’clock position. As the name states, it is a chronograph watch with chronograph functions. The chronographic complications include a twelve hour, sixty second, and 1/10th of a second hands located at the 10 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 2 o’clock positions, respectively.
The watch also features an easy to read date complication between the 4 and 5 positions. All of the hour markers are silver ticks with luminescent dots above them, and smaller luminescent ticks that serve as minute markers. The bezel is unidirectional with a luminescent dot at the top position.
The Link Chronograph has a sapphire crystal that is glare and scratch resistant for easy reading and runs on a swiss quartz engine – so it will require a battery, but won’t lose time like an automatic watch.
The TAG Heuer Link Chronograph that Jason Bourne wears is rated water resistance at a depth of 20 BAR/200Meters – or 660 feet. It is rated for recreational scuba use and should be just fine to take swimming.
All in all, the TAG Heuer Link Chronograph is an impressive watch fit for use by impressive individuals such as Jason Bourne – and you! And coming in at $2,485.00 it is about a third of the price you’d pay for a Bond watch!
The below scene of Jason escaping the embassy in the Bourne Identity is one of the best scenes to checkout the Tag Link in action!