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Designed in France and meticulously crafted in Switzerland, Bohen watches are built on a unique vision of what can happen when you design a timepiece built for extreme environments with a distinctly French design language but crafted with the precision, engineering, and craft for which the best maisons in the Swiss watch industry are known. Building on the success of its first release, the Mille Mer, Bohen is introducing a new diver to the lineup — the StarDiver. Echoing the design cues and immaculate finishing that defined the Mille Mer, the StarDiver provides the same 1000m of water resistance but in a smaller case — and featuring plenty of small details that reveal its professional intentions.

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Bohen is a small, family-run business that was started by Blaise-Dominique Giuliani. After spending decades working on design within the luxury industry, Blaise-Dominique decided to branch out on his own, starting a watch brand that was unconstrained by marketing, production costs, or trends. No longer beholden to shareholders or investors, and free from corporate shackles, he was able to focus solely on bringing his watchmaking vision to life.

When you’ve worked in the watch industry as long as Blaise-Dominique, you see where corners can be cut, where brands sacrifice quality for the sake of a higher markup. That approach is antithetical to what Blaise-Dominique is trying to do with Bohen. Instead, he is harnessing his deep knowledge of the Swiss watch industry to tap the best producers and best artisans to bring his vision to life, regardless of the cost. Of course, quality doesn’t come cheap, but Bohen puts passion before profit, wanting to ensure the watches make it into the hands of customers at a reasonable price. While it’s not uncommon to see margins eight to ten times above cost from many brands, the StarDiver’s markup is less than twice the manufacturing cost. In other words, this is far from a profit-driven venture.

Blaise-Dominique describes his approach to design and pricing,: “As I like to say, our designs don’t take trends into account. My designs are assertive, and even if our margin is less than most, some people will say that we are expensive. Quality has a weight, an aspect, and it also has a price. There is no miracle.” He gives two examples: One gram of rhodium currently costs 360 Euros, and Bohen’s Swiss-Made movement — 100% made in Jura, regulated at 4s/day — is entirely rhodium-plated, with Côtes de Genève and pearled bridges. Another striking example is that Bohen’s watchband costs the same manufacturing price for some entire Swiss-Made watches.

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Bohen’s initial release, the Mille Mer, is nothing if not bold. Housed in an angular 43mm case and featuring a bullhead crown, helium escape valve, patented date magnifier design, and a semi-integrated ladder bracelet, the Mille Mer is unapologetically aggressive and singular in its design. With the StarDiver, you’ll find plenty of familiar design cues, from the lug design to the prominent Arabic numerals at 6 and 9 o’clock, but with a design that’s clearly meant for professional applications. If the Mille Mer was Bohen’s take on deep divers like the Rolex Deep Sea or Omega Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, the Star Diver is more akin to professional dive watches done their own way, like the Omega Ploprof.

The Bohen StarDiver was created with the help of professional advisors — those who work in perilous conditions across the world and deep under the sea. Even if you’re not exploring the inky black depths of our underwater realm, the StarDiver was designed to look and feel just as capable top side, with the same impeccable artisanship Bohen’s customers have come to expect. As Blaise-Dominique puts it, “The StarDiver has been designed to withstand the tough treatment that some of our ambassadors, offshore divers, and combat swimmers will inflict on the watch. But we also address our customers who are looking for exceptional watches. We share the same passion for beautiful pieces with spectacular finishes.”

The case of the new StarDiver measures in at 41mm in diameter, 48mm lug-to-lug, and 14.8mm in height (including the sapphire crystal). When combined with the destro crown, located between 40 and 45 minutes, and the lightweight and hypoallergenic Grade 5 titanium caseback, the watch is sure to sit comfortably on a wide range of wrist sizes, while still ensuring plenty of wrist presence. Balancing the crown is an automatic helium escape valve located at 50 minutes. Matching the accents on the dial, the helium escape valve is topped with bright orange. Having the crown and helium escape valve positioned on the left side of the case prevents the crown from digging into the wrist, while also allowing divers to wear a dive computer in the first position, with the StarDiver as a safety counter.

1000m of water resistance is certainly overkill, considering that’s over three times the depth of the deepest scuba dive on record, but Bohen is committed to ensuring robustness, along with a high safety margin. That said, standing up to extreme pressure is only part of the equation — legibility at depth is just as important. To that end, the StarDiver is equipped with a deeply recessed dial that, when coupled with the 4mm sapphire crystal, produces a magnifying effect once submerged. The handset is also oversized, with a bright orange minutes hand and tip of the seconds hand, all painted by hand, another detail that adds up to make the StarDiver greater than the sum of its parts.

The handset and the markers along the sloping chapter ring are all coated in Bohen’s proprietary Hyper-Lume — an extremely luminous material developed with Super-LumiNova that easily outperforms its rivals. Opposite the oversized 9 o’clock numeral is a three-date aperture at 3 o’clock. As always, there’s a method to Bohen’s madness. If you’ve ever had trouble reading the date on your watch, you’re not alone. It takes time for your brain to process small writing, but when a number is placed in the middle of the sequence, your brain perceives an image rather than writing, allowing you to process the information more quickly. It’s a clever and effective trick.

With the bracelet on the StarDiver, Bohen went above and beyond, creating an innovative adjustable and micro-adjustable watch bracelet that’s entirely tool-free. Each link features its own quick release mechanism, allowing you to quickly size the band from 15.1 to 22.3cm in circumference. Thanks to the tool-free micro-adjust on the clasp, you can hone in the fit down to the millimeter. In another unique touch, the bracelet features an extreme taper from 24mm down to 16mm, with the first central links executed in a V shape, something you’re not likely to find elsewhere given the challenges in machining and assembly. As you can imagine, the cost to produce this bracelet was significant. If you’re heading out on the water and would prefer a rubber strap, Bohen has also produced two custom silicone straps, in both black and orange.

Powering the StarDiver is a Soprod automatic movement. With 100% of the components manufactured in Jura, Switerzland, the movement is as Swiss as it gets. In addition to beating at 28.8kbph and hosting a power reserve of 42 hours, Bohen finishes the movement with rhodium coating, pearled bridges, and Côtes de Genève on the rotor. In addition, the movement is antimagnetic thanks to an inner antimagnetic cage and features Incabloc shock protection and a Glucydur balance. The movement is also adjusted to +/- 4 seconds/day in five positions.

Bohen goes beyond just testing and adjusting its movement in ensuring that their watches are ready for your wrist. Rather than random quality testing of watches, Bohen examines each and every watch that goes out the door, testing it for shocks, vibration, temperature, humidity, traction, torsion, acceleration, precision, and water resistance up to 1000m.

The Bohen StarDiver is available now for purchase at an initial launch price of €2,990 (excluding taxes), with delivery slated for September 2023. In addition, buyers purchasing at this initial launch will receive a special box with both the black and orange silicone straps. Only 300 pieces will be produced in 2023, meaning quantities are extremely limited. To purchase a StarDiver and learn more about Bohen Watches, please visit the brand’s website.

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