December 30, 2022
Founded in 2006, Dievas is a German brand that specializes in highly capable, professional-grade timekeeping tools. The latest addition to Dievas’ lineup is the Maya MK III: the third generation of the brand’s no-compromises, hardened stainless steel dive watch. With that in mind, the Dievas Maya MK III is a notable departure from its two predecessors. Its case profile has been significantly reduced in order to create a much more versatile everyday wearing experience, while still offering users all of the obligatory professional dive watch features such as a helium escape valve and a downright excessive depth rating.
Crafted from 316L stainless steel, the case of the Maya MK III is CNC machined in Germany before being hand-finished to remove tool marks, and then bead-blasted to give it a smooth matte appearance. The case then receives a dark-gray DLC finish that brings its surface hardness up to three to four times that of normal stainless steel, while also further adding to its corrosion resistance. With regard to its reduced dimensions, the case itself measures 41mm in diameter by 13.8mm-thick, with 20mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 49mm. In addition to being several millimeters smaller than its predecessors, the case of the Dievas Maya MK III has also been redesigned to sit noticeably flatter against the wrist. This creates 36% more contact and achieves a slimmer profile that allows the short curved lugs to further help mitigate what is still ultimately a rather chunky case.
In order to offer protection for the screw-down winding crown located at 4 o’clock, the lower right lug flares up to a slightly wider profile, while the adjacent area on the side of the case gently protrudes and extends to cover about half the total length of the crown. The construction of the crown and tube has been redesigned to offer smoother action, and the crown itself is signed with the Dievas “D” logo and offers deep grooves for an easy grip. A thick flat sapphire crystal protects the dial, while the reverse side of the case receives a solid screw-down caseback. This all works together to provide the watch with a thoroughly excessive 1,000 meters of water resistance, despite having what is ultimately a rather moderately sized overall profile. Additionally, just as you would expect from a dive watch with this amount of water resistance, the Dievas Maya MK III features a helium escape valve, which appears as a small circle sitting flush against the case at the 2 o’clock position.
Surrounding the crystal is a 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel, fitted with a matte ceramic insert featuring an engraved and luminous 60-minute elapsed time scale. The bezel action is quite good, with virtually no perceivable back play, although the wide smooth grooves on the outer ring don’t offer quite as much grip as other designs like a saw-tooth or coin-edge style. That said, the bezel is interchangeable (although all options have the same outer ring). Surrounding the perimeter are four hex screws that can be loosened, allowing users to remove the bezel and swap it out for one of the other colors that can be purchased separately. While this review sample is the blue version, Dievas also makes a black model, along with a yellow and green “Sealab” edition, and all three of the different bezels can be purchased independently from their corresponding watches. On the blue example, the engraved scale is completely luminous and filled with two different colors of Super-LumiNova, which enables the section for the first fifteen minutes to glow orange for added contrast in low light settings.
The dial fitted to this version of the Dievas Maya MK III features a deep matte blue surface with a gradient effect that fades to black as it moves toward the outer perimeter. While the dial features a sandwich style and has most of its hour markers recessed into its surface, the large Arabic numerals at the cardinal points and the triangle for the 12 o’clock marker are raised to create added depth and dimension. At the 4 o’clock location there’s a circular date window with a color-matched calendar disc, which has been printed to properly show the numbers in a vertical orientation. While I’m personally not the biggest fan of this date window placement on watches, this particular implementation is about as unobjectionable as you can get, and it kind of works in this particular instance due to the already asymmetric nature of the case shape in that same area on the watch. The minute track appears in the Maya collection’s signature “ghost” style, which sacrifices contrast in order to increase the perceived amount of open space on the dial, and this same color of dark blue/gray print is used for the “Made in Germany” signature at the 6 o’clock location. Meanwhile, the rest of the dial text appears in the same sand color as the luminous material with the Dievas logo and the “Maya” name offering small bright orange accents to compliment the hands and bezel insert.
A trio of centrally mounted hands is tasked with displaying the time, and it consists of sword-shaped hour and minute hands paired with a long and thin seconds hand with a small square tip. All three of the hands receive black centers to help draw attention to their color-coordinated sections, and while the hour hand is finished the same sand color as its lume, the minute hand and the tip of the seconds hand are outlined in orange for added contrast and at-a-glance legibility. Despite the fact that the hands and hour markers are finished with a sand-colored “old radium” type of Super-LumiNova, I’d struggle to actually call this “fauxtina” given how modern the rest of the watch feels. While this type of lume can certainly be used to emulate patina and give a watch a vintage vibe, it can also be used simply as a warmer and less austere color. In this particular instance, it seems like this color was chosen by Dievas in order to provide the blue version of the Maya MK III with a slightly more subdued overall appearance, versus having large bright white markings.
An appropriate choice for a function-forward, no-frills tool watch, the Dievas Maya MK III is powered by the Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. As the single most common Swiss-made, self-winding caliber, the SW200-1 offers entirely unremarkable performance metrics, and it runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) while offering users a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. That said, it is also easily one of the most proven movement designs of all time, and it offers reliable performance and virtually unparalleled ease of serviceability. Although it is not chronometer certified, the SW200-1 movement inside the Maya MK III has been custom finished to Dievas’ specifications, and then adjusted by the brand in order to optimize its timekeeping accuracy. Unless you specifically require functionality outside what is offered by third-party designs, an in-house movement doesn’t really offer any practical benefits for a rugged three-handed tool watch like the Maya MK III, and having a proprietary caliber ultimately just means more limited options and higher costs when the time comes for routine service and repairs.
Completing the Dievas Maya MK III is a gently rounded H-link bracelet that is given the same bead-blasted finish and DLC coating as the rest of the case. The links are all completely solid, and since the bracelet hinges at the first springbar, the overall lug-to-lug profile remains fairly true to its on-paper specs. The removable links are all secured by single-sided screws rather than friction-fit rods or a pin and collar setup, which makes the sizing process quick and easy. Fitted to the bracelet is a well-made folding clasp with machined components and a double push-button release. Additionally, the built-in extension system features a total of six positions of incremental micro-adjustment and it can be both expanded and contracted without having to unlatch the clasp or remove the watch from your wrist. Releasing the extension is done by pulling down on the two tabs below the push button release, and contacting it can be done by simply squeezing the two ends of the clasp together. While the clasp itself is somewhat large in order to house this functionality, it isn’t entirely disproportional to the size of the case, and it ultimately offers a far more well-conceived design compared to many of the other extension systems currently available on the market.
The price range for watches powered by this ubiquitous movement (or one of its equivalents from a different manufacturer) is incredibly vast and can range from as little as $500 to over $5,000 depending on the brand name attached to it and the construction of its case, bracelet, and other accompanying components. Despite the rather lengthy list of premium specs such as its 1,000-meter depth rating and its hardened steel case that is hand-finished and produced in Germany, the Dievas Maya MK III is accompanied by a fairly reasonable official retail price of $1,240 USD, and each of the additional bezels can be purchased separately for $150. While you can certainly find dive watches powered by the same movement for less money, few will be able to match the Maya III when it comes to a pure head-to-head of specs, and this more compact take on the brand’s popular diver could almost be seen as an alternative to something like the Sinn U50, except for roughly half the price and with twice the amount of water resistance. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.