No, Edox’s new watch isn’t built from Meccano


No, Edox’s new watch isn’t built from Meccano

Although it’d probably make more sense if it was. TG’s guide to watches continues…

Craig JamiesonPublished: 06 Mar 2023  External link to Top Gear Magazine Subscription – 5 issues for £5Skip 6 photos in the image carousel and continue reading1 / 6

Pretty much every watchmaker makes a dive watch these days. It’s a simple premise, sure, but one that seems to work, from the rarefied air of haute horlogerie to the dense fug of the overcrowded cheap seats. 

So what is a company like Edox, which made its name in the Sixties with a range of waterproofing innovations and water-resistant watches, going to do to set itself apart? Um, apparently name its new special-edition Delfin after a kid’s construction set. 

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Welcome, then, to the Edox Delfin Mecano, which blends typically Edox water-proofing with modern PVD-coated black hardware… and a decidedly atypical skeletonised dial. Which, for whatever reason, is a colour scheme we can only really call orange and brown. Well, we actually have a few other descriptions for it, but none would be appropriate for a family website. 

Speaking of appellations, Edox calls the Delfin Mecano the ‘Urban Diver Watch’, which… um. Hm. Urban… Diver. Which part of urban diving is appealing, again? Is it dumpster diving, bars and pubs that are an absolute dive, or something to do with Neg Dupree’s Urban Sports because we’ve all been unwittingly dragged back to 2005? We honestly can’t pick which of the three is the best option, but we’re leaning towards the dumpster. 

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In any case, let’s be as optimistic about Edox’s intent as possible and assume they meant a dive watch for urbanites. So, a dive watch needs to resist water ingress at depths that’d crush a big-block Chevrolet into a snooker ball, to be as easily read as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and, ideally, to have a rotating bezel (in only one direction, of course) with minute markers to count down the dive time and ensure you have enough air to make your safety stop on the way to the surface. So, let’s see how the Mecano does. 

Well, the 200-metre water resistance certainly seems up to par, and it even uses a double-gasket system on the crown so that you can wind the watch underwater, or even adjust the time on the sea floor. In case you’d strayed over a time zone, or something. Edox actually has a fair bit of form here: in 1961, the Delfin was water resistant down to 200m, while the famed (and now phenomenally expensive) 6536 Rolex Submariner was rated for half that, and it took the 6538 (i.e. the one from Dr No) to match it. 

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OK, so far, so good. Now to legibility and, er… hm. OK sure, there’s some up here on the surface for all you land-lubbers and what have you, but do go ahead and try to read a skeletonised dial with orange-painted hands and indices when you’re 20 metres underwater, let alone 200. Little bit of insider diving knowledge – as soon as you pass about 10 metres’ depth, red, orange and everything close by on the colour palette turns to grey or black, because the shorter wavelength of the light is absorbed by the water. So your skeletonised, multi-layered and multicoloured dial – with the aforementioned orange-painted bits – would be as easy to read as an all-star poker player. Edox says the hands and indices are coated with SuperLuminova (a photoluminescent pigment that borders on eye-searing in properly dark conditions) but what good is that for a sunny scuba dive in clear waters, which makes up the bulk of recreational diving? 

As for the dive-timing rotating bezel? Maybe look somewhere else for that one. Like the Edox Hydro Sub from the 1960s, perhaps, or the modern remake if that sort of thing suits. Or a dive watch that costs around the same money as the Delfin ‘I actually preferred Lego as a Kid’ – €1,690, or about £1,495 – or whichever price suits you best, really. After all, pretty much every watchmaker makes a dive watch these days. 

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