The Big Blue: A Closer Look At The Delma Blue Shark III
One of the reasons dive watches are so popular is that they are not as bonded to branding. Professionals know that they are tool watches, and they are meant to get the job done. If they look good while doing it, well, that’s just gravy.
It’s especially great when you can find hard-working, good looking dive watches that are also amazing value propositions. And today we take a look at the three models of Delma’s Blue Shark III collection – three timepieces that provide an eye-catching, well-executed diver priced under $2,300.
To protect a diver’s life, a dive watch requires a lot of engineering. It needs to maintain accurate timekeeping underwater, plus have a well-considered dial design, a case that’s not too clunky, and a bracelet that is secure on land and in the water. The Delma Blue Shark III meets all these considerations, and more!
Founded in 1924, Delma is a family-owned Swiss watch brand beloved for its dive watches. The company is also committed to exploring the limits of what a dive watch can do.
The first generation of the Blue Shark, or the Delma Blue Shark I, debuted in 2011 as a “progressive performance diver’s watch with water resistance to 3,000 m/9,900 ft that encompassed the latest advancements in functionality and strength.” Five years later, the Blue Shark II updated the bezel to make it easier to adjust while wearing gloved hands.
Now in 2020, the Delma Blue Shark III has an extra 1,000 meters’ worth of water resistance. But you don’t need to take our word that it’s rugged – all you need to do is check out these images of the Delma team ice diving at Lake Baikal in Siberia, a body of water that is considered to be the oldest lake in the world. It’s certainly one of the most remote and coldest, and a place you don’t want your watch to fail.
We’re not going to lie: The Blue Shark III is a lot of watch. Measuring a whopping 47mm in diameter and 18.5mm in height. Those with smaller wrists may prefer something with a little less substance. But while it is chunky, it is definitely not clunky.
The finish of the case looks sharp. The silhouette is a classic diver shape, and there are no awkward edges that could impede underwater operations or get caught up in your clothing on land. The domed crystal also contributes to the fluidity of the design.
Additionally, the unidirectional DLC-coated steel bezel is an example of the attention to detail that Delma puts into its timepieces. Many customers have noted that the bezel makes a satisfying click sound when you turn it counterclockwise, which is very true! But that sound also denotes the easy action between spring and teeth (a good thing because friction causes unnecessary wear and tear).
Vive Le Resistance
As mentioned before, the Delma Blue Shark III is water-resistant to an exceptional 4000 m/13,120 ft. Fittingly, it also features a helium valve and updated crown protection to meet the needs of the most intrepid explorers.
All of this ingenuity goes towards protecting the workhorse ETA 2824-2 caliber. With a power reserve of 38 hours for reliability and an operating frequency of 28,800vph for accuracy, the ETA 2824-2 caliber is an industry-standard for a reason. And while it’s not an in-house movement, it has been upgraded with a gold-plated rotor engraved with the Delma logo.
Dial It Up
Legibility is also paramount when it comes to a good dive watch. As noted, there are three versions of the Blue Shark III. There are black, blue, and orange dialed versions with the option of a plain or black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) treated bezel.
The orange and blue neon glow-in-the-dark details on the bezel and dial are easy-to-read in the murky depths, and they (and the substantial hands) give the Blue Shark III a unique and kind of quirky look. It’s not cluttered, which is appealing to professional divers, and the overall appearance should be a siren song for regular enthusiasts who seek a dive watch that will stand out in their collection.
The robustness and styling of the Blue Shark III already elevate this timepiece above other watches in the sub-$2,500 price category. But another feature that collectors will love is its exchangeable strap options. All three versions come with both stainless steel and a rubber strap along with bespoke strap changing tools, making the watch easily modifiable for any adventure life takes you on.
The stainless steel bracelet is especially notable for its links, which are held together by specially designed screw heads. And the deployant safety buckle, while oversized, is nicely decorated and super secure.
The new Blue Shark III is Delma’s supreme diver's watch. All three versions are presented in a premium wooden box containing the rubber strap and changing tools. Priced at $2,190 for the plain stainless steel and $2,290 for the stainless steel with DLC coated bezel versions, the Blue Shark III is limited to 500 pieces of the DLC coated version and 500 pieces of the stainless steel version.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)