Almost three years ago, I had an informal gathering with friends who dive and their dive buddies. Since I am not a diver (maybe someday), I wanted to learn what they liked and disliked in regards to dive watches and what they found useful and useless. Needless to say, some things I knew and a lot I did not.
First and foremost was that nothing trumps training and experience. That was unanimous. Also, all the divers interviewed used dive computers so dive watches were either nostalgic throwbacks or back-ups to back-ups. I also discovered that things like diver's extension clasps are really unnecessary (they all used rubber or nylon straps as they expand and contract with the wrist) and that bezels were sometimes difficult to grip and that white on black dials are the most legible underwater...the list went on and on. I took all this in but I was most intrigued by how they would use a mechanical dive watch as a back-up tool (in case of dive computer failure). So we talked about that at length and about the hazards of diving and especially the dreaded decompression sickness. There and then, I decided I wanted to try to develop a bezel insert to aid with dive ascents to help divers avoid the bends.
There was not an overall consensus among this particular group of divers regarding dive depths and ascent rates. But they all agreed that I should look into the standards that the U.S. Navy and other scuba organizations recommend. That is exactly what I did and after months of research, calculations and designs, I created an entirely new and original dive watch bezel to help divers keep track of dive ascent rates** - the Ascent Bezel.*
Then I designed the rest of the watch around the Ascent Bezel* to make the most rugged, classically elegant tool watch to bear the MWW label. But I didn't stop there - I added the highest grade and most robust materials and found a Swiss partner to ensure the build quality was exceedingly reliable...
...and the BELUGA ASCENT was born as the first model of my new BELUGA Professional Line of watches.
* Patent Pending. ** Disclaimer: As with all diving equipment, the patent pending bezel indicator on the Beluga Ascent dive watch is a tool. To be useful, it must be used by properly trained and experienced divers in conjunction with other diving tools. This is NOT intended for use as a traditional dive timer.