Although there is an almost revolting lack of diversity across all axes in watchmaking, there is a surprisingly broad diversity of watches. One of the great joys of collecting is learning more about all the deep niches peppered throughout the vintage market. One of my fascinations is mechanical alarms. I promise I won’t bore you too much. Jaeger Lecoultre were the first to take on this unique approach to dive watches. Instead of rotating bezel to track trime elapsed underwater, the storied Swiss house went Rube-Goldberg on the problem and created a mechanical alarm function. Few manufactures were bold enough to follow this engineering-intesive tributary. Jenny, flush with cash from their Monobloc patent case design, also went the hard way.
The problem is, nobody actually bought mechanical alarm divers. So very few vintage finds like this are around at all. Let alone ones this unique. The brand has a quite unique backstory and it’s worth reading more on. They are the little guy punching way above their weight. Moreover, almost all their design are unique with a hint of 60s/70s about them. The chronographs have bright red and deep blue accents. This cream and grey dial sealab has teal and orange accents. We obsess over a .3mm change in the submariner. Live a little, people.
The Sealab is one of the rarer models. It features a 39mm cushion case with a bulbous locking alarm crown protuding like one of Omega’s helium jobs at 2. The example provided here is better than any I’ve seen. The dial is almost untouched by aged. The colors have changed, but crucially nothing has degraded. The yellow and black indices are still strong, nothing has flaked, and all lettering is still visible. The colors remain bright. The back has some corrosion, likely from saltwater, but that’s fine by me. It indicates a lack of polish. With care, this could be removed without polishing. Quite simply, like the last Jenny I featured, it’s a fun and unique take on a practical complication. The Sealab won’t get you any credit with the #Rolexero, and that’s exactly why you should buy one.
Find this Sealab Alarm here from Analog Shift for 3450 USD.