Since its inception back in 2010, Dietrich has been singularly design-forward, with unusual case shapes, organic dials and hands, geometric bracelets, and an inimitable style. Despite the broad range of timepieces the brand has produced, they’re all unified by an unmistakable design language. So, what happens when a brand like Dietrich, known for its avant-garde style, takes on one of the most archetypal designs in watchmaking, the skin diver? First, you get the Dietrich SD-1. Now, a year later, you get the SD-2 Mission Maritimes — a true tool watch designed with Dietrich’s signature aesthetic.
Dietrich is the brainchild of Emmanuel Dietrich. Hailing from Besançon, France, the historic center of French watchmaking, Dietrich was quite literally born into watchmaking. The intertwined French and Swiss branches of Dietrich’s family tree are comprised of artists, watchmakers, and chocolatiers — a fertile ground for creativity that would eventually give rise to Dietrich watches.
No surprise, then, that it was an early birthday gift that would inspire a lifelong passion in watches and, ultimately, provide the inspiration for the SD-2. As Dietrich explains, “With the SD-2, I sought the exact same (and unforgettable) emotion that I felt with my first watch. A little skin diver from Cupillard Rième that I received on my 7th birthday, and which accompanied me for years. A simple, utilitarian, waterproof and reliable watch. A satisfying object to wear as well as to look at. A watch that does little, but does so perfectly.”
In updating the brand’s first skin diver, the SD-1, Dietrich looked to those attributes he admired so much in his first watch: simplicity and utilitarianism. While the SD-2 shares the same 38.5mm stainless-steel case as the SD-1, there are plenty of changes — some minor, some major — that give the SD-2 an entirely new personality. For instance, the unidirectional rotating bezel now features a tapered profile and anodized aluminum insert — easily the most practical choice for a watch built on the principles of simplicity and reliability. The aluminum bezel insert also slims down the perceived case height and, when coupled with the new domed sapphire crystal, adds a vintage aesthetic.
The SD-2’s silhouette is clearly that of a skin diver, complete with short lugs and screw-down crown without crown guards. But, as always, Dietrich nails the little details, with sharp, polished chamfers, elegant brushing, and lug holes for quick, painless strap changes. Speaking of straps, the SD-2 comes mounted on a color-matched NBR rubber strap with a hexagonal motif (a recurring theme throughout Dietrich’s line and one echoed on the bezel itself) and signed tang buckle. Each watch also ships with a black NATO textile strap.
As with every Dietrich watch, the true differentiator is the dial, available in either Abyss Black or Azure Blue. To make the SD-2 even more legible than its predecessor, Dietrich opted for a sandwich dial, with recessed hour markers amply filled with C1 Super-LumiNova. Each recessed hour marker is then outlined in white for extra legibility and, for the SD-2, Dietrich has eschewed the date function, keeping the dial as clean and functional as possibly for the task at hand — simply telling the time. Dietrich also equips the SD-2 with its organically shaped hands. Finally, in a nod to Dietrich’s French heritage, “Missions Maritimes” is now proudly emblazoned above the 6 o’clock marker.
Continuing the theme of practicality and reliability, the SD-2 sports 150m of water resistance and is powered by the Swiss Sellita SW-200 automatic movement that features 38 hours of power reserve is a time-tested, durable, and reliable movement. The SD-2 is a reimagining of the classic skin diver that marries vintage elements from the heyday of skin diving with a modern execution and Dietrich’s singular sense of style.
Both colorways of the SD-2, Azure Blue and Abyss Black, will be available in limited quantities, with pre-orders available now for $1,150 USD and delivery scheduled for late 2022. To learn more about the Dietrich SD-2 Missions Maritimes, please be sure to visit the brand’s website.
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