The Spinnaker Piccard celebrates the Bathyscaphe Trieste’s dive to the deepest depths

A piece celebrating the first men to reach Challenger Deep

60 years ago, the Bathyscaphe Trieste became the first manned craft to reach the deepest known point in the earth’s seabed – Challenger Deep. And in this submersible, was the Swiss Oceanographer Jacques Piccard (who co-designed the vessel with his father) and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh. Together they brought the Trieste to a depth of 10,911m below sea level becoming the first men to ever do so. This year marks the 60th anniversary of their achievements and to celebrate this occasion, Spinnaker has announced the Piccard SP-5082.

The Bathyscaphe Trieste. (image source:


Don Walsh (left) and Jacques Piccard (centre), in the Bathyscaphe Trieste. (image source: Wikipedia)

If you are wondering about the peculiar shape of the Spinnaker Piccard, it is a homage to the watch made by Rolex that was strapped to the outside of the Trieste sub. At the time, one of Rolex’s marketing strategies was to prove just how robust their watches were. So just as Sir Edmund Hillary had a Rolex on him when he reached the summit of Everest, the Trieste had one when it broke the record in the opposite direction. At the time, for a watch to withstand the pressures at a depth of more than 10,900m it had to have a bit of an unorthodox design:

The Rolex watch attached to the outer shell of the Trieste. (Image Source:

Thankfully, the new Piccard, while still keeping the spirit of the Rolex Trieste, offers a much more wearable watch. The watch is still on the large side with a diameter of 47mm and a height of 25mm but if you’re wearing a piece that alludes to a very specific point in dive watch history, our guess is you probably want people to notice and ask anyways. The iconic domed crystal of the watch is crafted from sapphire and even has an anti-reflective coating applied to it.

Being a watch that celebrates the achievements of a Swiss man, of course, the words ‘Swiss Movt’ had to be printed on the dial, reflecting the Selitta SW-200 automatic movement used to power the Piccard. The case is crafted from titanium and while the watch does have the helium release valve, the max depth for being waterproof is rated at 1,000m.

For the price of USD 950, the Spinnaker Piccard SP-5082 is definitely a steal to the right buyer. For those who love dive watch history, and the prospect of obtaining a Rolex Trieste is out of the question, this will be quite a nice addition to the collection. But be quick because the watch is said to be a limited edition, although there is no mention to the exact number of pieces that Spinnaker has made.

For more information please visit the Spinnaker Watches website by following this link.

Case: Titanium, treated for scratch resistance
Case size: 47mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Thickness: 25mm
Lug width: 26mm
Movement: Selitta SW-200, automatic
Water Resistance: 1,000m
Price: USD 950

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