Szanto Watches aimed squarely for a vintage look. When I saw their dive watch at SHOT Show earlier this year, I thought of skin diving. Yeah, it’s an old term for free diving. Fins, mask, maybe a snorkel and spear. I could envision such a watch on my wrist when we used to skin dive for spiny lobster in the Florida Keys in the late 1970’s or spearfish Hawaii in the 1980’s. Ruggedness and simplicity were the rules.
I unboxed a Szanto 5000 series dive watch a few months ago…un-trunked would be more appropriate. It has classic cues that are upsized for today’s market. The 5000 models have a 47mm case diameter. They are definitely large, but that is in keeping with modern styles, and definitely attractive.
The 50001 and 50002 have dark grey titanium colored ion-plating over their 316L stainless steel cases. The two models are differentiated by a grey bezel with black indices and numbers on the -1 and a black bezel with white indicators on the -2. I own the latter. I think the black unidirectional bezel offsets nicely from the grey steel case.
My 50002’s face is light grey and has white hour indices that stand in relief and have a black outline. The hour hand is white and black, while the minute and second hands are outlined in orange for visibility. The date box has a matching orange accent.
Diver-ready, the Szanto 5000’s have locking screw down crowns and are water-resistance rated to 200 meters. The watch’s movement was proposed in initial literature to be a Citizen-made Miyota 2453, 3 hand and date quartz unit. I have no reason to believe this was changed. No, I don’t take the back off a perfectly working timepiece.
A silicone strap with a logo engraved stainless steel buckle and grey rivets rounds out the look of the Szanto diver. Unlike some larger watches, it fit my small wrist with two holes to spare. The grippy silicone rubber helps to hold the weighty watch down.
Szanto spec’d a hardened mineral crystal for their watches. Behind it, the white portions of the dial and hands are luminous. Because the lume sections are generous, the glow is pronounced in the darkness.
My wife and I have a tandem kayak and I have worn the Szanto diver out for many of our paddles. It is a good looking, easy to read sports watch that is at home on the grass flats or in the carpeted office, although the sharks seen on the Intracoastal Waterway are far nicer than the nasty cubical variety. I took the above photo of a 5′ blacktip foraging near our boat.
In keeping with Szanto’s mission to give a vintage look for a workingman’s price, the MSRP of the Szanto 5000 series is just $275.00. My previous article has some links to retailers. More stores, online and brick and mortar, will be carrying the Szanto line soon.