Steve Huyton, founder of Total Design Reviews blog, finds great value for money with the latest PROAQUANAUT 300 dive watch by Romago Swiss.
Recently I saw a segment of an unreleased episode of the Antique Roadshow (US version) which is making the rounds. It features a United States Air Force veteran from North Dakota who purchased a Rolex Oyster Paul Newman ref. 6263 (manufactured 1971) in 1974 for only $345.97 (including a military discount of 10%).
He was inspired to purchase this watch model whilst travelling America Airlines and Continental Airlines. Essentially, he forked out approximately a whole month’s salary after seeing them sporting this particular model.
Originally, he splurged out on this timepiece to wear whilst Scuba diving. However, this watch never saw the light of day and remained in pristine condition in a safe for several decades. Not surprising the US Air Force veteran was floored (literally) when he received a valuation of between $500-700,000.
Clearly, this is a heart-warming story that also illustrates how coveted Rolex watches really are. Even to purchase a standard Submariner in steel will cost more than $7,500. That is why many smaller micro brands are producing more affordable versions.
Some are trying to replicate Rolex’s winning formula, without much success. However, with a little research, you can find some pretty interesting diver watches at competitive prices. A great example can be found in the PROAQUANAUT 300 by Romago Swiss.
Until recently I wasn’t that familiar with Romago Swiss despite the fact they have been operational for 14-years.
The company is managed by Jean-Claude Racine who has got extensive experience in the watch industry. Presently, the business has headquarters in Bienne, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
After speaking with the company’s marketing manager, he assured me all of their timepieces (including the PROAQUANAUT 300) are manufactured in Switzerland. However, they have made a large impact on the Asian market.
Visually the PROAQUANAUT 300 has a bold contemporary appearance that might not appeal to the traditionalist.
For example, Romago has opted to use a 46mm x 46mm x 16m steel case, rather than a conventional round one. This gives the watch an industrial aesthetic that will surely attract attention.
I personally love larger size watches and would be content to wear this timepiece daily. It also is water-resistant to a depth of 300-metres and is suitable for rigorous water sports including professional diving.
With a weight of 180 grams, it’s certainly heavier than many other diver models on the market. However, due to the ergonomic design, I believe it would sit comfortably on the wrist.
If you are an admirer of contemporary design the PROAQUANAUT 300 will definitely appeal to you.
For $1,110 I personally believe you are getting a lot of bang for your buck. Features like the uni-directional blue bezel with raised numerals, anti-reflective sapphire crystal lens and screw-down crown add a touch of class.
The blue dial with bold luminous markers, sword shape hour/minute hands and date indication are also very effective. As a perfect finishing touch the PROAQUANAUT 300 has an engraved anchor on the case back.
This detail signifies the watch is designed to be a professional diving instrument. At the heart of the watch is Swiss-made mechanical self-winding movement, which is manufactured to Romago’s specifications.
The PROAQUANAUT 300 is presented on a high-quality blue rubber strap with matching stainless steel buckle.