Back in 2011, China made waves when they completed their first manned deep-sea Pacific Ocean dive to 5,057 meters (16,591 feet) with the submersible named Jiaolong. Read more about the milestone dive here. In 2015 the Shenzhen based watch brand Golgen teamed up with the Jiaolong divers to create a dive watch with the submersible's namesake. An instant success, the Golgen Jiaolong 6112 won a silver prize at the 2nd China Horologe Design Competition in 2015.
The Jiaolong 6112 is 45mm wide by 13.5mm thick. The 'sandwich' dial is a very handsome blue with cutouts showing the white numerals and hour markers. The bright orange minutes and seconds hands really provide the perfect amount of pop against the metallic blue dial. It's also available in a version with black case, dial and strap (above right).
The rubber strap is quite comfortable and seems to be good quality material, but unfortunately the buckle seems uncharacteristically cheap in comparison to the rest of the watch. The functions of the Swiss made automatic movement are time and date, and there is also a helium escape valve as well as a internally rotating divers bezel. The rotating bezel is adjusted by the extra crown at the 10 o'clock position. More on that below.
One of the most recognizable features of a dive watch is that 'click click click' of the bezel as you turn it into position. And once it's set, you don't typically have to worry about it rotating on its own. On this watch, turning the bezel into position using the crown feels entirely different; the action is very smooth and you don't have that clicking that seemingly 'locks' it into position. So I wonder, with internal bezels that rotate using a crown, how easily would it be to accidentally turn the bezel if the crown happened to brush or bump against something? I would love to hear your feedback about internally rotating bezels vs. the standard sort. Click over to our facebook page and leave your thoughts.
I've typically seen this watch available for around 4000RMB, or 600USD. However...for those of you with Taobao access, I did find a great CNY sale and the price was reduced by almost half. For the sale price, I think this is a pretty darn good deal for a quality Chinese dive watch with a cool story, as well as very handsome features and details.