In addition to the usual suspects from the juggernauts of the Swiss watch industry, the vintage dive watch landscape is littered with fascinating nameplates from more obscure or defunct brands. One of the most sought-after of these diver lineages is the SkyDiver series, used at various points by both Edox and long-dormant Swiss marque Technos since the ‘60s. Classic SkyDiver references can command handsome prices on the vintage market, and for its latest release Edox turns to the most desirable SkyDiver design of all as a basis for a pair of stylish retro-inspired limited edition models. The new Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition watches combine impressively nuanced vintage design cues with thoroughly modern construction and capability, delivering a real contender in the competitive vintage diver reissue space.
Although sized at a more modern 42mm, the brushed stainless steel case of the Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition series keeps its classic ‘60s diver styling intact. Long tapering lugs and tightly packaged vertical case sides keep the overall look simple and athletic, with vintage touches like the oversized unguarded pillbox crown and relatively narrow unidirectional dive bezel that give the watch a charismatic retro cast in images. This layer of ‘60s charm belies some impressively modern capability, however. The Bakelite-esque glossy black bezel insert, for example, is rendered in modern ceramic, with an engraved white scale that gives the design a sense of refined depth in images. Water resistance is also solidly modern, with Edox rating both versions of the model at 300 meters. To complete the look, Edox tops the solid caseback with a detailed stamped paratrooper design.
The two versions of the Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition begin to differentiate themselves with dial finishing. The base design is a faithful recreation of the classic ‘60s SkyDiver, with broad tapering ladder hands, long printed lines for the minutes scale, and unique “blunted arrowhead” applied indices with a distinctive pronounced flange. The black dial variant is by far the more traditional of the pair, with a deep glossy dial surface accented by warm sandy fauxtina lume. Interestingly, the hour indices use a split two-tone lume fill, divided between tan and a clean bright white tone. It’s a small touch, but one that gives the design a vibrant pop of character in images. For those looking for something bolder and more modern, Edox also offers a variant in olive green. Rather than the gloss finish of the black version, this dial uses a matte dégradé effect, going from a rich army green in the center to nearly black at the edge. While this dial color is eye-catching on its own, Edox’s lume fill is the real attention-grabber in images, with a strikingly funky sage green tone accented with bright white elements. Both dial variants lose a notable amount of symmetry thanks to somewhat disruptive white cutout date windows at 3 o’clock, while the softly rounded typeface used for the “SkyDiver” signature at 6 o’clock may prove divisive among enthusiasts.
Both versions of the Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition are powered by the Sellita SW200-based Caliber 80 automatic movement. While still reliable and easy to maintain, the Caliber 80’s base movement is beginning to get somewhat long in the tooth, particularly with its below-average 38 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Both versions of the SkyDiver Limited Edition are paired with classic black leather straps, along with a second leather strap for each colorway. The black dial model keeps things vintage-inspired in images with a matte leather strap in distressed saddle brown, and the green dial variant instead uses a deep sage green leather strap to complement the dial tone.
With an impressive level of stylistic nuance and capable modern case construction, the Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition series offers a compelling alternative to the more ubiquitous names in the current vintage-inspired diver space. Only 600 examples of each Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition variant will be made, for a total production run of 1,200 watches. Both versions of the Edox SkyDiver Limited Edition are available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of €1,690. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.