How Competitive Diving Helps Judge Watches

The calibre GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM inside the Grandmaster Chime has 20 complications

The calibre GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM inside the Grandmaster Chime has 20 complications

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

That is a famous proverb that seems to be the foundation of the marketing used by watch brands today. In other words, for better or worse, despite the absolute fact that watches are machines, tools, instruments of time, etc., watch brands want us to view and judge watches subjectively like jewelry. This is how you end up with gold dive watches, for example, and people foolish enough to buy them.

As a watch writer/blogger, I tackle the fairly difficult task try to sift through the crap, lay out some objective criteria and provide the correct perspective in which to judge watches. To help with this, I wanted to find the perfect analogy, and I honestly think I've found it: competitive diving!

The reason is because of competitive diving’s “Degree of Difficulty (DD)” component.

After a dive get’s its averaged score, it is multiplied by a Degree of Difficulty. The DD is pre-determined and is as objective as can be, but the beauty is it rewards the diver who opts for a technically more challenging dive.

The watch world has similar differences when it comes to various types of watches and their respective technical challenges, and not all companies are willing to risk their bottom line to live on the cutting-edge.

For example, when have you ever heard of a Grand Complication Rolex? Never, yet a company like Patek Philippe practically invented the category. As a result, the DD of your typical Patek will be far higher than your typical Rolex, as such, and despite the fact that watches from Rolex or Patek are arguably made equally well, they do not/can not represent the same level of watchmaking.

Another view of the calibre GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM

Another view of the calibre GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM

This is not unlike comparing a flawlessly executed front-entry straight dive (low DD), to a flawlessly executed inward 3.5 somersault pike (high DD). Both dives could receive equally high scores for their execution, however, once factoring for DD, they'd be considered at very different levels.

Understanding this translates into extremely powerful data, and this is how one can/should *objectively* judge a watch and if the price associated is worth it or not. Subjectivity will eventually play a role in the decision process to be sure, but not before you've given each watch an accurate score based on the respective DD. At that point, if you still want to overpay, at least you'd have no one else to blame but yourself.