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Strangest dive watch I remember...

March 26 2012 at 8:43 PM
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Well, probably everyone has heard on the news about that dive that the movie director, Cameron, made to the bottom of the Mariana Trench over there in the Pacific Ocean. It's seven MILES straight down and it took him about 2.5 hours to make the descent in a special pressure proof submarine. Supposedly, he found some new species of fish down there and even made a 3D movie of his dive for a future film about it. I would have been a bit nervous about such a dive. Not because of the pressures, but because of all the sci-fi movies I've seen and the possibility there could be some sort of giant squid or something down there that might mistake my mini-sub for its dinner!

Anyway, this recent story reminded me of a really bizarre dive watch I saw advertised on a cable tv watch show (might have been the predecessor to ShopNBC) about a decade or two ago.

The watch was called the "Marianna Trench Watch" and I don't rememeber the manufacturer's name. It was a quartz watch that was housed in a heavy steel case with a thick crystal and was water PROOF to AT LEAST a depth of something like TEN MILES!

How is that possible? Simple, the interior of the watch was filled with an electrically non-conductive silicone oil and the battery powered movement was actually immersed in and ran in this oil. The watch was a quartz analog and its hands, including the second hand, actually moved through the oil and the watch ran!

Since fluids, like the silicone oil inside of the watch case, are virtually incompressible even under extreme pressures such as those at the bottom of the Marianna Trench, this dive watch could, in theory, actually be used at that depth by a diver who wore it externally. Of course, that would probably be impossible to do unless the diver was wearing some sort of super high tech dive suit. In the case of Cameron, his "dive suit" was actually his submarine!


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