Cousteau and the Timepieces of the Calypso team – Part 3

Yesterday we introduced you to the historical backdrop of diver watches and the significant job that Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team played in the improvement of diver watches ( see here ). The second installment focussed on the diver watches that were really utilized by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and is team in the 1960’s ( click here ), and now we’re going to show you the watches that they utilized in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We’re actually discussing ...

Cousteau and the Timepieces of the Calypso team – Part 3

Yesterday we introduced you to the historical backdrop of diver watches and the significant job that Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team played in the improvement of diver watches ( see here ). The second installment focussed on the diver watches that were really utilized by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and is team in the 1960’s ( click here ), and now we’re going to show you the watches that they utilized in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We’re actually discussing appropriate device watches, albeit the first ‘luxury’ watches are showing up as well. 

During the 1970’s the watches that Cousteau and his divers wore, and which can be distinguished from the narratives, were principally from the brands Omega, Doxa and Rolex. The ultra professional Seamaster 600 and 1000 or more the Marine Chronometer, which can ben seen on the wrist of the commander himself, the Doxa 300 Sub and the Doxa T-diagram and to wrap things up, different Submarines (ref.5512/5513) and a couple of Sea-Dwellers.

Let’s Talk about Watches…. Cousteau’s Watches from the 1970’s

Omega built up a cozy relationship with Cousteau during the Conshelf II analyses. In any case, during the 1970’s the company created, with the assistance of Cousteau and COMEX, the Ploprof 600. This famous watch can be seen mostly on the wrist of Albert Falco and you can peruse our past introduction here at Monochrome .

Along with the Ploprof 600, in 1971 Omega presented the Seamaster 1000m or as the gatherers call it ‘The Grand”. The “older sibling” of the 600, the Seamaster 1000m that was made and tried close by the Ploprof 600, and was likewise tried and utilized by similar divers. The feature of the 1000m’s early investigation vocation was without a doubt its dive on IUC’s (International Underwater Contractors) submarine “Beaver Mark IV” where the watch was joined to the submarine’s mechanical arm to test the impacts on the gem at a profundity of 1000 meters.

Beaver IV with Seamaster 1000m Omega Seamaster 1000m on the wrist of Albert Falco

This massive watch had a similar dial format as the 600 with a solitary square treated steel case, a thick mineral precious stone (4,5mm) and the twisting crown at 9 o’clock to limit the danger of harming it while lowered. Jacques Cousteau and his child Philippe, Albert Falco, and Bernard Delmotte wore this with a lattice arm band usually.

The Omega Marine Chronometer (references 1511 & 1516) with its coordinated arm band and its quartz type was a cherished piece of Commander Cousteau. It was the primary wristwatch at any point to be granted ensured status as a Marine Chronometer. Created by John Othenin-Girard it is perhaps the most exact non thermo-compensated creation observes ever made.

This wristwatch with ref.1511 was guaranteed at the Besançon Institute. Each of the 1000 models that were at any point created, were sent for testing of their chronometer status and following 63 days of tireless testing the mean variety was under 0,002 seconds of the day!! The Marine Chronometers gave testaments showing their individual presentation over the 63 days time frame and when presented in 1974, the model had a rundown cost of £761 GBP. By contrast the Speedmaster Professional was available at £124.50 GBP. In 1976 the ref.1516 was acquainted with the market (7000 pieces) with a couple of little changes.

In the last part of the 1960’s Mr. Urs Eschle was item director on Doxa watches. He and his team chose to make a moderate yet tough games diver watch for relaxation and professional divers, which had to be comfortable, dependable and readable. The Doxa Sub 300 was brought into the world in 1967; a diver’s watch being planned without any preparation fusing amazing specialized and plan components. The watch had a pivoting unidirectional bezel with US Navy Non-Decompression dive limits. This compared to the time on the inward bezel ring. Therefore a diver could set the bezel’s zero imprint to agree with the moment hand after dropping, and then allude to the no-deco limits markings, alongside his profundity measure, to decide when the time had come to securely rise. The profoundly decipherable orange dial, the considerable moment hand with that nearly predominates the hour hand, the massive tonneau-shape case that gave comfort and security of the crown, and the ‘expando’ dot of rise wristband made the Doxa Sub a top pick among Calypso divers.

Doxa consolidated in 1969 the HRV (Helium Release Valve) and the Doxa Sub 300T Conquistador was the primary diver with a HRV (Helium Release Valve) accessible to the overall population ( something that we previously distributed back in 2009 ). Doxa and Rolex co-built up this specialized arrangement (Rolex presented the patent in 1967 and prepared model Submariners ref.5513/5514 and patent forthcoming Sea Dweller ref.1665) yet delivered its Sea-Dweller model with a HRV valve just in 1971. The Doxa Sub is an unbelievable Diver and its one of those watches that addresses the deep rooted saying, structure follows work at the most elevated level.

The company U.S. Divers was so satisfied with the Sub 300 that it purchased the rights to be sole merchant of the watch in the United States and put its recognizable “Water Lung” logo directly on the dial. It can been seen on the wrist of pretty much every Calypso diver in that time, alongside the incomparable Sub 200 T-Graph the chronograph adaptation of the 300. Created in three shading varieties (Orange, Black, Silver, like the Sub 300), this chronograph had a thicker case and a bigger caliber. The cal.287 by Doxa depended on the high evaluation Eberhard cal.310-82 and utilized a segment wheel mechanism.

Last however not least Rolex Submariners and Sea-Dwellers can be seen on board the Calypso during that period. The most well known may be Philippe Cousteau’s Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665 with Double Red Mark I dial, which was sold for $183,750 at a sale a year ago. Towards the finish of 1967 Rolex created an underlying group of 114 watches (the majority of them gave to the ocean travelers), anyway it was in 1971 that the watch made it to Rolex retail locations. The new Sea-Dweller highlighted a bigger case, another domed plexi gem, HRV and new dial with two lines of red composition on the dial: SUBMARINER -SEADWELLER 2000. This was to show that the new watch depended on the current submariner yet rather than 660ft profundity rating, the new watch was appraised to 2000 feet. The date cyclops that was utilized on Submariners, was not used on the domed precious stone, and case back etching was likewise new to this model. There were four distinctive dial varieties made in the normal creation model with three diverse case back setups. The early form and the most uncommon is the imprint I dial on a patent forthcoming caseback.

The Submariners with reference 5513 and 5512 were most likely additionally seen locally available the Calypso, since they were the fundamental divers from Rolex in that period. The 5513 was created from 1962 up until 1990 (!!) and the 5512 from 1959 until 1978. The Submariner is a bonafide diving symbol and it is without an uncertainty the most renowned Rolex sports watch. The 5513 is one of the longest persistently delivered references in the company’s set of experiences. It utilized types 1520 and 1530 and was waterproof to a profundity of 200m. Reference 5512 was produced during its lifetime with four distinct types (1520,1530,1560 and 1570). The early models didn’t bear the chronometer composing on the dial (Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified), anyway later on they were furnished with a chronometer ensured type (1560 and 1570 development), which was additionally clarified on the dial (the supposed 4-line composing or 4-liners). Both of these models had acrylic precious stones and the acclaimed shellfish wristband. This helped Rolex, and the Submariner in particular, to become unbelievable since it was utilized and manhandled by many (professional) divers worldwide.

Probables and the 1980’s

Commander Cousteau has been seen wearing likewise a Seiko 6309. For an outline of the Seiko SKX arrangement kindly check this article . Almost certainly, he and the Calypso divers wore, what they considered being the awesome (the coolest) diver available at that point, or what a few companies would issue to them. Allows not to fail to remember that in those days a legitimate diver watch was a superficial point of interest among divers. There have been reports that during the 1980’s the calypso divers wore the notorious Citizen Aqualand, which was presented in 1985 and was the main quartz diver watch with an electronic depthmeter. Remaining on the Japanese front, the Tuna , a profoundly revolutionary in fact diver watch that may likewise have been utilized. The famous Mr. Claude Wesly, a diver with in excess of 10,000 dives, and who likewise participated in Conshelf I & II, wore  a Seiko Tuna 7549-7009 quartz diver at the end of the 1970’s.

The Omega SHOM a diver watch that was less than the large Ploprofs, yet imparted to them the profoundly neat dial format, may have been utilized also. The SHOM was an Omega Seamaster (ref.1660177) with an octagonal case that was presented in 1974. The abbreviation SHOM stands for Service Hydrographique et Oceanographique de la Marine. My supposition is that most likely the French military association and the Omega association with the Calypso team and Cousteau himself, made it possible for certain divers to embrace that model in the last part of the 1970’s/mid 1980’s.


This article couldn’t have been conceivable without crafted by individuals that recognized the watches Cousteau and his team utilized from stills in their narratives and films. We say thanks to them for that and we utilize basically their pictures.

  • (Please check the incredible Montres de Plongee French forum).
  • (likewise superb work at the militarywatch blog).
  • anything about Rolex)
  • (For anything about Doxa).
  • . (Extraordinary Review about the Omega Marine).
  • (Check likewise Jake’s Blogspot about Cousteau and Rolex).
  • Information about Commander Cousteau and the SCUBA contraption taken from Wikipedia.
  • Richard A. Clinchy, Glen H. Egstrom. Jeppesen’s Advanced Sport Diver Manual. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2 Edition. 1993
  • Marco Richon. Omega-A Journey Through Time. Omega S.A. 2007