Switching up gears and dive into the very heart of our Steinhart Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi. A watch that brings you beauty through its wabi-sabi beauty, with its mesmerizing aged look and golden hues. This exquisite timepiece never ceases to impress enthusiasts and collectors with its established design, connecting all the way back to the late 1960s. Anybody with a hint of passing interest in vintage watches will be aware of the allures of "tropical dial" found on those pieces that traverse with time, soak in the bustling world around them, and aging gracefully. And the Gnomon Exclusive Ocean 39 celebrates this naturally inspired art found within the mechanical world.
From a long lineage of iconic timepieces, its "tropical" appeal spreads oh-so evenly, from the dial unto the bezel, and topping things off with the domed acrylic crystal accentuates the vintage effect. Not only that, the Ocean 39 imbues the rich history behind every detail incorporated into this watch that bestows a tribute to its robust predecessors utilized by professional divers in the past, specifically its minimalist aesthetic, before the parturition of complications of date display or GMT function came into existence.
Notably, the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi is the breathtaking result of Gnomon Watches continuous collaboration with Steinhart. Our loyalty and friendship forged through thick and thin with this German watchmaker form the foundation upon which we craft a phenomenal watch fit for a king. As the first and only authorized dealer for Steinhart in Singapore, we have built a strong partnership with this renowned brand for more than two decades. We are incredibly honored to forge a coveted place on the dial of this Steinhart timepiece. PS. This would be our very first exclusive ongoing model that clads the nostalgic acrylic crystal.
Pin-Hole Lugs with Ultra Vintage Domed Plexi Crystal
Who could deny the versatility and robustness of steel when it comes to watchmaking? Made from 316L stainless steel, the case of this timepiece flaunts a satin-brushed finish on the top of its lugs and polished sides, mirroring the finishing of dive watches straight back in the 1960s. Commensurate and period apt, the 39mm wide case has a 47mm lug to lug and a height of 14mm, reflecting the emerging epoch of professional tool watches for divers.
Besides, the Ocean 39 clads a screw-down crown with the Steinhart emblem engraved, allowing excellent water resistance of 100m. Be it above or below the surface, a dive watch must be worthy of its salt and ready for anything. If you're conditioned to wearing modern watches, the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi will not pose any problems as a daily wearer with an entire vintage presence.
The Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi also features a classic diver bezel, with a luminous pip at its 12 o'clock, allowing divers to read off the elapsed time of under one hour from a specific point. This brilliant steel bezel has deep and clean knurling on its side for excellent grip during operation. Polished to perfection, this unidirectional bezel displays all the grandeur of this watch in 120 clicks.
Fitted neatly with the watch case, a satin-brushed oyster bracelet with screw links and a flip-lock. Tapered from 20mm from its flush-fit end links to a slim 16mm at the bi-fold clasp, this stainless steel bracelet blends in with and extends its case and bezel. The metal band is made with the same material to form a single perfect timepiece. It also brings out the splendor of this watch, gracing it with a timeless sophistication that is truly one that can exemplify a good dive watch. This metal bracelet does typically come with the sixties sports watches in the past - providing sturdiness and versatility throughout the years - topping off the sleek look of this watch so well.
Nothing beats the old school warm charm of an acrylic crystal
Revamping a classic is a delicate undertaking process, and to further nail the vintage palette found on the classic is another level. After several trials and errors, both teams from Gnomon and Steinhart came to the perfect blend for this particular. The result of a faded black bezel, and a matte-patinated "chocolate" dial, is a modern watch truly embracing all the correct vintage elements. The Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi is precisely the sort of dive watch we envisioned to collectively create.
Undoubtedly, the combination of an evenly burnt "chocolate" dial is in the grip of nostalgia, evoking those beguiling vintage watches that are highly prized and seek by the watch community. It is as if you'd see only in these old-school pieces - through a length of life where the utilitarian matte black dial has aged meticulously, yet in a natural state, developing a warm patina, towards a dark brown chocolate tone or dark orange hues.
Once we'd nailed the ideal composition of the tropical shade, we instilled the gold accents of the texts, diving handset, and hour markers. The hour and minute hands have gold trims, while the full gold-tone seconds clad an outsized luminous plot near its tip. Steinhart applied its signature "Old Radium" Super-LumiNova painted onto the markers and handset to fully encapsulate the gracefully aged look. While they glow green in the dark, the golden tones befit the theme here, capturing the enduring and dashing character of a vintage dive watch.
When comes to vintage elements, we hobbyist knew it's all about the tiny little details. And as the watch reflects an era where less-is-more, we'd knew we need to get the details right. Therefore, we opted for the old-school "two-liner" texts at the bottom of the dial, balancing off with a matching yellow gold "Steinhart" logo at the top. We even went further to tweak things perfectly by having the "meters first" approach, whereby the bottom first line states "100m" first before it's "330 ft". Also, the "L Swiss L" insignia right below those texts denotes the use of SuperLuminova and being made in Switzerland - a subtle nod to the past.
Not slowing down here, the Ocean 39, for the first time, blips a distinctive light grey bezel. The bezel insert draws inspiration from a faded one, from its original black shade that has faded out to be what collectors refer to and coin to be a "ghost bezel." It further befits the whole tropical package here with its dial, but getting all suitable blends was not an easy feat. For instance, here, the grey tone of the bezel insert took us a significant amount of time to get the shade correctly, which reflects how a true vintage one would have turned out perfectly. We also made sure that the markings on the insert are still readable when it's put in use if we ever needed it to be - and we'd accomplished just that.
To top this poetic re-interpretation of those sixties classics, we adhered to the period-correct plexiglass crystal. Fabricated into the old-school domed shape, the use of acrylic enhanced the depth of the dial, alongside the mesmerizing slight distortion when viewed from its curved sides. There are no other materials that could replicate the vintage warmth of plexiglass while being reliable and easy to maintain. It's a cinch to remove off those swirls and light scratches by polishing it with the Polywatch - although I'd prefer to leave some on just to ameliorate the nostalgic charm. While usually, we kept the acrylic crystal options only to our limited editions, we'd felt that we need to do this right for the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi, as a modern sapphire crystal would not do justice here.
With all of these aspects coming together, the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi comprises so much character and offers a combination of classic and vintage elements that culminate in a cool, valued packed watch. And while the patina and aging aesthetics may seem undesirable from a watchmaker's perspective, the wabi-sabi effect on timeworn pieces have on the emotional psyche is undeniably desirable.
Domed acrylic crystal
Reflecting the No-date Era
In striving to create this new watch with classic traits, we stick fast to a minimalist philosophy. And that's removing all other excessive elements and adhering to the no-date format, like just how it is supposed to be. Firstly, it gives the dial the perfect balance and symmetry that is endearingly appreciated by many of us. Also, a no-date execution elevates the most accurate form of a dive watch functionality, where time is the very essence (you don't really ought to know what date it is underwater). Like our other Ocean Vintage exclusives, we often left the date out as they managed to capture the charm inherent to the best vintage dive watches.
Intriguingly, a dive watch like the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi that sans a date display, we'd tend to believe it exemplifies to answer the complex question of, "What would be the one watch you would keep if you could own only one?" Yes, this would be our personal pick if we ever needed one throughout our lives, even if we're not a watch aficionado. So let us forget the date, and enjoy our unruffled time.
Engraved gnomon exclusive on caseback
The Swiss Workhorse
Lies within the Ocean 39 are reliable automatic ETA 2824-2 / SW 200 élaboré movement that powers this Swiss-made timepiece. Operating at 28,800 bph (4 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities, this caliber is built with 25 jewels and a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. All that sealed within an engraved, screw-in case-back. Steinhart produces exclusively Swiss mechanical watches that are impressively dependable and enduring. Among the collection, no model better captured this ethos than their Ocean dive watch line.
The prime Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi is available exclusively from Gnomon Watches, produced by Steinhart in limited quantities yearly to keep its desirability. It exudes the uber appeal of the sixties era when the world starts to pay more attention to professional gears for diving. Each Tropic Plexi instills the full-fletched tropical patina traits - from its bezel to its dial and crystal - lending the quintessential that fervid collectors seek for, in vintage for its transiences and imperfections pulchritude. This Ocean 39 is just that with the assurance and robustness of a proper modernly built dive watch. Altogether, the exclusive Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi is an essential chapter in our story, offering the ultimate pleasure of the beauty of a watch that balances both the past and the present harmoniously.
Steinhart Germany - Swiss Made
Chocolate with hour markers
"Old-radium" SuperLuminova. Markers, hour, minute, second hands
Satin brushed top and polished sides Stainless steel
120 clicks. Polished. Stainless steel
Screwdown Steinhart signed crown
Satin brushed stainless steel oyster bracelet OR jubilee bracelet with screw links and fliplock. 20x16mm