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S500 North Sea SE
You may have seen the caseback on the Bremont 'site:
I've just been given a sneak peak at this Limited Edition, and I think it's rather good - lovely caseback image of an old Mk XV-style hard hat diving helmet, with black dial / vintage lume and red lettering. Shame it's too late for me to retrain as a North Sea diver!
I love it - what do you lot think?
"In England in the 1960s there were no commercial diving schools teaching anything relating to oilfield work. So when Divecon won the first diving contract issued by Global Marine, it was a matter of getting offshore and learning as you went.
On December 26th 1964 when the three leaded jack-up rig “Mister Cap” dropped her spud legs in the middle of Dogger Bank, no one could envisage what a pioneering diving event it would turn out to be. There is nothing like the discovery of oil to bring in some cash and advance a new technology. The southern sector of the North Sea is relatively shallow, so those early finds of gas and oil were all dived using air.
As more rich pickings were discovered the further north the companies drilled, diving got deeper and saturation diving became the only way to go. On-the-job training and the “learn as you go” philosophy of the time proved to be the demise of many a North Sea Tiger. Offshore saturation diving is by far the most demanding branch of commercial diving, with divers working in support of the exploration and production of oil and gas buried deep beneath the North Sea.
This small band of hardy souls’ work revolves mainly around the building, performing maintenance and deconstruction of oil & gas platforms. This is not to say they haven’t been involved in more extreme jobs, with the use of explosives, North Sea divers were also crucial in the removal of the wreckage of the Piper Alpha structure in 1988.
North Sea divers have recovered fishing boats, helicopters, and even the K-141, (Russian nuclear submarine, Kursk). This of course goes hand in hand with the gruesome discoveries that are seen as “part of the job” for these men.
Saturation divers live at extraordinary depths for a month at a time and go largely unnoticed by the general public. So which timepiece would your average saturation diver rely on? What special requirements are needed? Won’t just any diving watch do? The short answer is no.
Bremont have combined strength and robustness with the beautiful art of mechanical watch making, the result of which is a highly functional collector’s edition timepiece.
The difficult and dangerous operating conditions make offshore diving the most perilous area of employment for professional divers. Offshore operations typically employ very demanding work schedules. Divers live and work on Dive Support Ships for several weeks at a time working 12-hour shifts without any days off. In the early years divers could spend a gruelling eight hours or more in the water at one time; regulations have now bought this down to six hours. When counting down your final hours and minutes in the water, an accurate and reliable timepiece is a must. So not only has your watch got to withstand 28 days at the crushing depths in excess of 200 metres, freezing sub-sea temperatures and the most hazardous environment on Earth, it also has to withstand
When commercial divers operate at great depths they spend weeks in diving bells and chambers under pressure breathing a mixture of helium and oxygen gas.
Since helium atoms are the smallest natural gas particles found in nature, it is possible for them to work their way inside any watch. They seep round o-rings or other seals the watch may feature. This is not a problem as long as the divers stay under pressure, however, as soon as the decompression starts a pressure difference builds up between the gases inside the watch and its environment. Depending on the construction of the watch case and crystal, this effect can cause the watch to … well … explode!
The Bremont automatic helium escape valve doesn't require manual operation. The small integrated one-way valve in the watch case is activated when the differential between the inner and outer pressure reaches a critical level. The helium release valve releases the helium build-up during the ascent."
Your bleeding-edge Now is always someone else’s past. Someone else’s ’70s bellbottoms. Grasp that and start to attain atemporality.
Last edited by Noodlefish; 02-04-2012 at 16:29.