Hobbies-R-Us

Stories and tutorials about various home projects and hobbies.

5:23 PM

Review: UTS München 3000M PVD

Posted by Rennaisance Man

UTS München 3000M PVD:
The Ultimate Diver?

Summary:

  • Only 200 made; all by hand
  • Stainless steel Case and band (PVD optional)
  • 43mm diameter
  • 16mm thick
  • Solid link stainless steel band
  • Band attaches to case using unique screw system (no springbars)
  • 220 grams
  • 3,000 meter depth rating
  • ETA chronometer grade 2824-2 (adj. 5 pos.)
  • Solid stainless steel case, crowns and back
  • Sapphire crystal; 5mm thick with AR coating
  • PVD coating on case and band are optional
I’m not that big into divers. I own only one that I would consider a true diver, a Tissot Seastar 1000. It's one my modest budget can afford. This is a review about a diver I've seen and done some research about to find out more about it and the company behind it. It's unique and interesting enough I want to share with you what I discovered.

Divers come in all manner of styles across all price points from nearly every watch maker. Not all are true divers though. They have the appearance of a diver’s tool watch, but are missing the necessary depth rating; they’re “desk divers.” A diving watch today is not as critical anymore for serious deep and commercial divers as it once was because it’s not the primary timing device. Today these divers use small dive computers as they’re more efficient with the dive plan. The modern dive computer strapped to a diver’s body can calculate safe ascent times using more complex algorithms than one can do with simple hand computations or mental calculations that result in estimates padded to keep any error in the direction of diver safety.

However, the dive watch on their wrist is a backup to the dive computer. Since I wanted to know more about true divers' tool watches, ones that could be used by deep or commercial divers as their dive computer backup, I set about looking for the ultimate deep dive tool watch. After several hours doing Google searches using of all manner of search words and phrases, I came across a company that one doesn’t hear of much in the general watch collectors' community. Perhaps it's better known in forums that specialize in dive watches, or in deep and commercial diving itself, but it's not heard of much, if at all on the general watch collector forums I regularly visit.

The company is UTS München. It's a very young and small German firm founded in 1991. They specialize in making very serious dive watches that are assembled by hand, and thoroughly tested and certified before it goes out the door. These are real tool watches rated for very deep diving. Among their collection, one stands out from the rest as their current flagship, the UTS München 3000M Professional Diver. It’s called the 3000M because it’s rated to 3000 meters – yes – that’s right – 3000 meters of static depth pressure, not feet. The 43mm diameter and 16mm thick case is made of surgical stainless steel with 3-1/2 mm thick walls and a 5mm thick sapphire crystal. It’s so sturdy and rugged that it can withstand its incredible depth rating without needing a helium valve. Any watch this beefy will have some mass: 220 grams worth.

The second crown one might assume is the valve when looking at photos of them? That’s a timing bezel lockdown to keep it from accidentally being rotated while in use. Their engineering gave thought to error-proofing a critical feature that could have dire consequences if it's accidentally rotated from its set position. It's a feature not found on most dive watches!

It also comes with a massive, solid stainless steel band with special screw attachments to the case. No way this one's going to come off accidentally due to a worn or weak springbar if it's accidentally bumped or snagged on something during the dive. This particular variant has been PVD coated black, an extremely hardy finish (others come in the natural stainless steel with a brush finish).

There was no skimping on the movement inside either. It’s a chronometer grade ETA 2824-2 adjusted to 5 positions. It's the most expensive grade with greatest attention to detail one can get from ETA to put into a watch. Adjusting a movement is no small matter, and doing so to five positions (orientations of the movement) can be quite time consuming!

Their price new is too salty for me to afford for now; it's over $3,000. Even so, it's less expensive new than a Rolex Sea Dweller, the Rolex flagship of deep divers, which has less than half this one's depth rating. I'll have to settle for just being able to look at them and drool uncontrollably (fortunately they can easily withstand being drooled on). If I ever do have that kind of money for a watch, the trouble may be finding one. All of their watches are made made in very limited numbers; only 200 of each model. I did find a couple used ones that were advertised and sold on watch forums within the past year. They were the PVD coated versions, and both were in excellent condition with asking prices in the upper half of the $2000-$3000 range. Someday, maybe, after I win the Lotto, I'll be able to find and buy one. Until then I'll have to dream of one on my wrist. [sigh]
Summary:
  • Only 200 made; all by hand
  • Stainless steel Case and band (PVD optional)
  • 43mm diameter
  • 16mm thick
  • Solid link stainless steel band
  • Band attaches to case using unique screw system (no springbars)
  • 220 grams
  • 3,000 meter depth rating
  • ETA chronometer grade 2824-2 (adj. 5 pos.)
  • Solid stainless steel case, crowns and back
  • Sapphire crystal; 5mm thick with AR coating
  • PVD coating on case and band are optional
Current MSRP is over $3,000, but they can sometimes be found used in excellent condition for a few hundred dollars less than that. Takes some patience waiting for one; there are only 200 of them and owners don't part with them often.

Note: I do not have any association with UTS München, or their dealers or distributors.

1 comments:

West Coast PVD said...

Such a nice blog post.

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