Richard S. Cunanan

Rigging For Deep

Grand Seiko’s deep diver goes pro.

Grand Seiko has released a dive watch specifically designed for professionals. The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s is a watch that can take the pressure of even deep dives and great pressure, without sacrificing any of the precision and reliability that, frankly, you are going to need if you go down to those depths that only trained and experienced divers should attempt to reach.

Interestingly, the history of Grand Seiko dive watches stretches back further than the brand itself. The brand (as a separate entity) only came into being last year. Before that, Grand Seiko was a part of Seiko, with all the skill and expertise that implies. And even then they were making dive watches. But now, they have set their sights higher, so to speak, and come out with a dive watch for professionals.

So, what does it mean, the move towards a professional dive watch? How is the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36ooo Professional Diver’s more attuned to a pro’s needs?

Well, the things that already made for a great diver’s watch are still there. Grand Seiko has excellent reliability, with a daily variation of -3 to +5 seconds a day. Their watches are extremely readable, even underwater (naturally) but they are highly durable as well. They do this by using titanium cases and bracelets, with Zaratsu polishing.

“The whole watch was built for the long term”

But they’ve added some improvements, things that a snorkeler or a casual diver wouldn’t necessarily need but a professional might, especially one who spent long periods of time at greater depths. The case of the Hi-Beat 36000 Professional Diver’s is designed for saturation diving, using Seiko’s innovative valve-free helium resistance. This is aided by the L-shaped gasket and the heavy construction. The rotating bezel has grooves on it, making it easier to manipulate even if you are wearing wetsuit gloves. The bracelet has a sliding extension setting. Even the dial was built specially for the purpose: it is made of iron, to protect the movement from magnetism. The Hi-Beat 36000 has a magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m. And of course, the watch has a rate of 36,000 vibrations per hour, or 10 beats a second. Precision is a quality that Grand Seiko would never sacrifice, even as it accompanies you beneath the waves.

“…the history of Grand Seiko dive watches stretches back further than the brand itself.”

The whole watch was built for the long term, even taking into account the needs for servicing. Servicing your watch is important, all the more so with a dive watch. The case, stem, and winding crown were made so as to facilitate secure servicing. Even the bezel has a four-part construction, allowing for easy assembly and disassembly.

Grand Seiko is leading off with a limited release; the first model of the watch that will be sold is the blue-dial version. This is a limited edition release of 500 pieces, with a blue dial. But the black-dial model is a part of the Grand Seiko permanent collection, and will be available for divers of all kinds, amateur or pro.