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Audemars Piguet Offshore Diver vs. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am in the midst of a collection consolidation where I am pairing down my collection and in the process; I have been revisiting my dive watch, an IWC Aquatimer 2000 (IW356809) which I find to wear a bit large (larger than the 44 mm indicates). I actually am a recreational diver and do use my watch as a backup timer to my dive computer; so this is not meant to just be a desk diver. These days, it will only see about 12-15 dives per year. I am considering these two diver choices:



I have some questions for you folks who are familiar with both:

  1. While the BP is spec’d at 45 mm and the AP is spec’d at 42 mm it appears as if the BP’s lugs are actually narrower and better shaped to the wrist. What is your experience with either of these in terms of wrist comfort/presence/mass between them?
  2. The AP’s strap is rubber (likely a thermoplastic elastomer) and the BP’s strap is sail cloth over some substrate. How water resistant is the BP’s strap for saltwater immersion? I always rinse my watches post-dive in fresh water.
  3. The two watches are very different designs. What are your thoughts on each? I have used both internal and external bezels before. Since my diving is tropical, I am not wearing gloves so adjustment before submerging is not an issue.

I obviously need to go try them on before deciding, but I am curious to hear your impressions regarding each.

Thanks,

Bob
 

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Having both, I'd say:
1. The Blancpain is one of the most comfortable of all my watches, the AP is one of the less comfortable
2. AP strap stinks, but it's not an issue underwater where it would be more resistant to salt water than Blancpain's sail cloth.
3. I have doubts about using AP internal bezel on a dive boat just before jumping even with no gloves. FF bezel is great.
4. and most important: that's probably my only 2 watches I'll never dive with..
 

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Those aren't the watches MOST of us here are working with. Lol.

Personally, I like the AP. GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks...Have you tried an IWC IW356809? I am curious about how the BP feels in comparison to my IWC? In general, I prefer 40-42mm sports watches and would not consider a 45 mm piece. But as you know, comfort is very case, lug, strap/bracelet dependent.

:)

Having both, I'd say:
1. The Blancpain is one of the most comfortable of all my watches, the AP is one of the less comfortable
2. AP strap stinks, but it's not an issue underwater where it would be more resistant to salt water than Blancpain's sail cloth.
3. I have doubts about using AP internal bezel on a dive boat just before jumping even with no gloves. FF bezel is great.
4. and most important: that's probably my only 2 watches I'll never dive with..
 

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I voted with my wallet... Twice.

AP all the way, no comparison:



The Fifty-Fathoms may be a more practical diver, but when it comes to fit, finish and overall wrist presence, the AP Diver takes the cake.

Regards,
Adam

PS - Oh, and the OEM rubber strap on the Diver is perhaps the best in existence, and yes, I've had 'em all.
 

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Re: I voted with my wallet... Twice.

I would buy a Bremont S500 or S2000, Omega PO 8500 or Tudor Pelagos (or maybe 2). I would then take my family to Aruba for a week and wear said watches.
 

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Thanks...Have you tried an IWC IW356809? I am curious about how the BP feels in comparison to my IWC? In general, I prefer 40-42mm sports watches and would not consider a 45 mm piece. But as you know, comfort is very case, lug, strap/bracelet dependent.
I tried that IWC once when I visited the factory in Schaffhausen.
It's the one I'd take diving definitively not the AP or FF
The IWC wears bigger than the FF, probably because the case is thicker on the IWC.
I can't help you more, you really need to try it
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am curious...why wouldn't you take either of these diving?

I have to admit, I would be a bit careful (as I am now with the IWC) reaching behind some tanks stored on a bench rack on a boat when placing my BC on the tank or coming up a bouncing ladder at the end of a dive.

I tried that IWC once when I visited the factory in Schaffhausen.
It's the one I'd take diving definitively not the AP or FF
The IWC wears bigger than the FF, probably because the case is thicker on the IWC.
I can't help you more, you really need to try it
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: I voted with my wallet... Twice.

Adam,

Thanks as always for chiming in. I am curious not so much about level of finish but wrist comfort. The FF while being 45 mm (and tall 15.5 mm) has very compact and crowned lugs. The AP is smaller (42 mm) and thinner (13.8 mm) but the lugs seem to hang out there a bit. I know that you know my IWC, can you provide some size/wear comfort impressions? I will of course go try each on.

Appreciated,

Bob
 

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Re: I voted with my wallet... Twice.

While both of my Divers fit perfectly, there's no denying that the forged carbon variant is more comfortable on the wrist owing to its light weight. As for how they would fit on your wrist, that I can't rightly say; in this instance, there's no substitute for trying it on and seeing for yourself. I can say that I know of at least one person who sold his Diver owing to the fact that he could never get it to sit right, so there's that. And it definitely wears larger than its 42mm diameter would imply, though this is more a product of its distinctive case design than anything else. In practice, what I've found is that it's not necessarily the size of one's wrist, but the shape that dictates how comfortably a watch will wear -- flatter, as opposed to round will win the day here. Does the Diver wear differently than your IWC? Yes, however on my wrist, it doesn't wear appreciably more comfortably (I own a Galapagos). Oh, and FWIW, my wrist clocks in at approximately 7.3".

If your main concern is one of practicality, then there's no question that the Fifty-Fathoms wins hands down, and since you do plan on using this watch for diving, this has to be factored into your purchase plan. However, if practicality were your sole concern, then we wouldn't be having this conversation, now would we? You'd just get a Seiko and call it day. As such, I can't help but feel that the AP's superior case finishing and dial work have to be taken into account. The more you look with this watch, the more you discover, whether it's the tactile brushing on the bezel, the mirror-polish on the bevels, or the intricate patterns within patterns on the pantograph-turned tapissiere dial. This isn't to say that the Fifty-Fathoms doesn't display excellent qualities in this department -- it does -- but it pales in comparison next to the Diver.

Either way you can't lose. Good luck.

Regards,
Adam
 

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I can only speak of the FF. mine has seen 20 dives and probably 3-4 weeks of swimming in saltwater every year, for half a decade now. It is so comfortable that it's pretty much replaced my Sea-Dweller as daily beater. Another plus on holiday day is that it's a fairly inconspicuous watch.
 

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I prefer the FF in every other way, but sadly, it's not a watch that ages well unlike it's vintage counterpart.

If you don't like to take care of your watches, The AP is a better choice.
 

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This is a tough one. I would prefer a rubber strap if you are actually going to bring it underwater, although you can always order the blancpain rubber strap.

The blancpains polished areas makes it too dressy for real diving so I'd go with the ap.
 

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I think I'd opt for the simplicity of the Blancpain, but it's hard to make a bad choice here...
 
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