Dietrich is a brand that thrives outside of the usual comfort zone of the easily recognizable, and the well trodden path. Watches like the Time Companion and in particular the OT-1 offer novel concepts that are all built around shapes that subvert the expected. The SD-2 seen here picks up that theme in a more subtle way, offering the brand’s first take on a utilitarian tool watch that’s being framed as an amphibious field watch. It’s called the Missions Maritimes (French for, well, Maritime Missions), and however you care to classify this one, it’s the most cohesive execution of the Dietrich design language to date. For better or worse.
The name Skin Diver will likely prime you to look at this watch through the lens of a typical dive watch, and while it will satisfy some of the expectations that come along with that, there’s another side to this watch that’s less straightforward. The shape of the case and lug, the rotating bezel, and circular(ish) hour markers are all a familiar sight, but on closer inspection there’s intricate details to enjoy that lift the watch into that ‘amphibious field watch’ territory, whatever that might mean to you.
First off, this watch, like many we come across, will suffice just fine as a diver. The 38.5mm steel case gets a unidirectional bezel, a screw down crown, and 150m depth rating. It’s a little old school with a solid (bare) caseback and aluminum bezel insert, and with a total thickness of just over 12mm, it wears a bit old school as well. A polished chamfer runs the length of the case body, from lug to lug tip, and it highlights the seam between case and bezel assembly in the process. There are no crown guards, and the defining feature is a fixed end-link that creates a box shape between the lugs, creating a flush meeting point with the strap. The total length is 46mm.
The edging of the bezel gets a coin-edge texture like we’re used to seeing, but this one is broken into 6 sections with polished points between them. The resulting hexagon is subtle, but it’s there, and it’s a nod to the brand’s previous designs that embrace this shape in far more overt ways. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand this may feel a bit random, but it’s a really cool easter egg that won’t go unnoticed by those familiar.
The dial and bezel, which are offered in either Azure Blue or Abyss Black, are a unique pairing, and represent a more restrained version of the design first seen on the SD-1. Where that watch boasted a sapphire bezel insert, a layered fume dial, and a framed date window at 6 o’clock, the SD-2 pulls much of this back, opting for a more matte experience all around.
The flat blue dial of our sample retains the cross hair design, but ditches the date altogether (from the dial, at least, the SW-200 inside is another story). The dial is a sandwich construction, with the hour markers rendered as recesses to the bottom layer of lume. The markers themselves are quite small, and a closer look reveals their squarish shape. This shape is repeated in the bezel markings as well. The 12 o’clock marker is a rounded triangle design that is again repeated on the bezel to kick off the 15 minute markings. There are no numerals in sight here, and the minutes are relegated to the steeply angled rehaut.
The feature that will likely make or break the design for you, is the hand set. The hour and minute hand each receive a kinda round, kinda pointed bulbous tip that gently flow into a thin stem to the hand stack. They are organic and truth be told, a bit unexpected in the context of a watch like this. The lend a formal ornateness to the design that lifts it from the confines of a simple skin diver, and into the far more regal realm of the amphibious field watch.
In total, the SD-2 is a maturation of what we saw in the SD-1. It’s reserved, but it’s still got a bit of flair that builds on the Dietrich design language they’ve been working to establish since 2013 and the development of Organic Time. The SD-2 is the most approachable design from the brand to date, and they’ve gone about creating in a watch that doesn’t cast aside the considerable personality they’ve built up over the years.
The SD-2 is available today directly from Dietrich from the price of $1,150. The watch will be produced in limited quantities, with deliveries expected to commence in Q4 of 2022. Dietrich.
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