Value Prop: Caravelle ‘Devil Diver’ 666 Sea Hunter
If you’re anything like me, this isn’t really a vintage diver; it’s more akin to Colombian white powder. When a non-name brand 70s diver presents a certain level of design sense, history, and value I find it almost sinful to ignore. Japanese-based WMT are currently producing late 60s Rolex (heavily) derivative designs with Miyota movements, one of which is an Explorer dial sub. It don’t understand why a collector would opt for that homage when a dial like this was genuinely produced in period with a reliable marque name behind it, and for not a significantly higher outlay.
Caravelle were Bulova’s entry-level name, introduced in 1962. Yet, not much about their build was economic compared to the period Bulovas. Caravelle was more successful in cracking the American market and became quite widely distributed by the early 70s. Bulova cased basic Swiss movements in slightly diminutive cases and sold them domestically to great success. However, some are more handsome than others. This 36.5mm case is married to a highly legible tritium dial, with an Explorer-ish layout (minus the 12). Its proportions, fonts, lollipop seconds, and rivet bracelet all feel very Cousteau-cool.
The bezel is sun-blasted to a grey ghost finish and its tritium an even cream. While I don’t know this case well enough to comment on its polishing condition, that doesn’t really matter to me. This is a lighthearted diver with no collector’s aspiration. Just a damn good watch with a handsome dial, certainly reserved for the enthusiasts among our market. It comes with an additional period correct tropic strap, 12-month warranty out of the water, and no papers from a well regarded UK retailer.
Find this 666 Sea Hunter here from Kibble Watches for 1250 GBP.