I am a sucker for high-end fashion dive watches from brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Chaumet. Some of these are very rare, but they are usually all well-done for what they are. A high-end fashion dive watch is more or less a designer style diver from one of the big fashion brands. I am not sure who first made this concept appealing the modern sense, but credit may go to Chanel for essentially taking the theme of the Rolex Submariner and making an all ceramic watch that looks sexy and sporty at the same time.
Chaumet’s offering in this arena is the Class One range. Compared to some of the other high-end fashion houses the Chaumet Class One has a wide assortment of options and styles. In addition to three-hand, GMT, and chronograph models, the Class One has been offered in a large range of looks and sizes (for men and women). For me the best model is the Class One XXL that is 45mm wide and offered in steel and titanium, titanium, or in rose gold. This size has the GMT and Chronograph version, and I think they are fun looking, sporty divers that will appeal to those who want something a bit different – at least in the US. Chaumet is a brand not sold in the US – so as far as I know having a Chaumet might be a lot more common in other parts of the world such as France or Japan. I think the first time I saw Chaumet watches in person was in London at their store within a store in Harrods.
Being able to get one of these overseas and wear them in the US has its advantages. Especially when people ask you about the watch and you comment on how “oh, these aren’t available in the States.” The dial is very easy to read, especially with the thick lume-coated hands. The dial is black with a bit of a wave pattern and metallic blue rings around the chronograph subdials. The friendly looking bubbly “12” is a nice touch.
The large rotating bezel is done with a PVD black coating while the case on this version is a mix of steel and titanium. The watch is water resistant to 100 meters and has a sapphire crystal display back. Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph movement with a custom rotor and decoration. While it is available with a metal bracelet, this XXL model has a rubber strap with folding steel deployment clasp. The wide size of the strap helps give the watch an even more impressive look on one’s wrist, but actually works to reduce the visual size of the case.
Price for this watch is about $5,500 – making it around the same price as many other high-end high-fashion dive watches. These watches aren’t cheap but can be argued to have a higher perceived value due to the names on the dial. They are also pretty well designed and have an almost charming look to them. One of these Chaumet Class One XXL Chronographs is available on James List right here.