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Discussion Starter #1
I always wondered which company started moving the crown for dive watches from 3 o'clock to 4 (or 5) depending on the watch.

Does anyone know?
 

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To my knowledge, they started in ~1968 with the super compressor cases (from the Swiss side) and the 6159 from Japan.
 

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To my knowledge, they started in ~1968 with the super compressor cases (from the Swiss side) and the 6159 from Japan.
Since I am not a diver another good question is why move the date down to the 4 o'clock position? I have to wonder was it to make it easier to include the locking crowns and springs to make more room for them in the case? I always love knowing fact like these that are not really necessary but make for good trivia.

Someone here posted a good link to a story about the first watch designed to be worn in the water. It was made by Rolex and it was worn by a swimmer who was swimming the English Channel if I remember correctly. If I remember correctly the watch did stay water tight but did eventually leak after some usage..
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Omega made the first water resistant watch, Rolex made the first diver that could go to 100m, Breitlimg beat them to 200m but Rolex perfected the automatic winding mechanism and also made deep dive watches later on. Rolex wasn't even considered luxury until James Bond made it popular. It was like Cabot watch company is today, but they made their own movements.

Omega used to be the top luxury brand at one time, they're trying to regain that crown by making innovations to their automatic movements.

Honestly the 4 o'clock crown makes adjusting the time a lot faster and easier.
 

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Omega made the first water resistant watch, Rolex made the first diver that could go to 100m, Breitlimg beat them to 200m but Rolex perfected the automatic winding mechanism and also made deep dive watches later on. Rolex wasn't even considered luxury until James Bond made it popular. It was like Cabot watch company is today, but they made their own movements.

Omega used tone the top luxury brand at one time, they're trying to regain that crown by making innovations to their automatic movements.

Honestly the 4 o'clock crown makes adjusting the time a lot faster and easier.
I can see moving the crown down lower gives you better access to the crown while the watch is still on your wrist but why have so many also moved the date display to the 4 position also?

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is to make the date uniform with the crown, 3 o'clock has the date parallel to it. Some companies leave it at 3 o'clock.
 

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I think that the crown was moved to 4 o'clock to stop it digging into your wrist when working. Some diver watches have the crown at 9 o'clock for this reason and many divers will wear their watch on their right hand to avoid this discomfort when flexing your wrist. I think you will see this on a number of watches from the early 1960's both the compressor and super compressor type and the Seiko Silver Wave?
 

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Did not know about the silverware going back that far. Now I have another watch to find :). It's interesting that it looks a lot like a 36mm super compressor case. Really elegant design.
 

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I always understood that Seiko started crown at 4 o'clock and recessed into the case to underscore to the observer that the watch was an automatic.

I find 3 o'clock a lot more convenient.
 

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I always thought the crown was moved to four to help prevent it being caught on anything when diving, it's a lot less prominent at four than it is at three. It wouldn't take much for a commercial diver to rip a crown at three off (I'm thinking 62mas here) by catching it on some underwater equipment or steel plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did not know about the silverware going back that far. Now I have another watch to find :). It's interesting that it looks a lot like a 36mm super compressor case. Really elegant design.

Did the swiss start it or the Japanese?
 

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^No idea really. The key here appears to be when the first 2 crown super compressor was first released. The earliest I've seen was from 1966.
 

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Well it seems that the super compressor case was patented in 1956 and the first internal bezel watches appeared around 1960, so they would have had a crown at 4 and at 2 o'clock. Here are a couple of links that might be of interest:

http://gearpatrol.com/2011/12/27/timekeeping-icon-volume-1-super-compressor-dive-watch/

http://scubawatch.org/EPSA_SC_FAQ.html

The super compressor case was used by a number of manufacturers and a quick search through vintage divers on Ebay will reveal quite a few.
 

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^No idea really. The key here appears to be when the first 2 crown super compressor was first released. The earliest I've seen was from 1966.

The earliest Super Compressor that I'm aware of is the 1961 Bulova 41mm size. Here's my example:



 
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