Technos Sky Diver

Technos Sky Diver is a vintage dive watch that belongs to a family watches produced by multiple manufacturers. The family is flag-shipped by Titus Calypsomatic and Universal Geneve Polerouter Sub, but many other smaller brands have produced a similar watch. The watch has a case size of 38mm and generous lug-to-lug length of 48mm. It’s common for the watches to differentiate with dials, but some variation exits with other parts as well.

The timeline of Technos Sky Divers is roughly the following: the reference started with radium in later 50s or early 60s, switched to tritium by mid-60s. During the switch to tritium Technos started to utilise ETA movements as opposed to AS. Shortly after the switch to ETA, Technos started ’30 jewels’ text was replaced with ‘500m’. In the late 60s and through the 70s Technos used also other cases for the Sky Diver: most notably EPSA cases for the super compressor variants and MRP SA or ‘Monnin’ cases for the 40mm ETA 2639 version and MRP SA / Donane cases for the 42mm ETA 2783 versions.

Basic Information

ManufacturerTechnos
Reference1163
MovementETA 2472 / AS 1701
Diameter38mm
Thickness11mm
Lug to lug48mm
Lug width20mm
MaterialStainless Steel
Water Resistance200m, 500m

Technos Sky Diver Variants

The Technos Skydiver dials come in radium and tritium. Best way to classify the Skydivers is by the luminous material and the the dial text: “500 M”, “30 Jewels” and no text. With the absence of records, it is only possible to guess when each dial variant was produced and for what reason. All we know is T < 25MC appeared on watches sometime in mid-60s during the transition from radium to tritium. Another guess is that ‘No Text’ variants are for North American markets and have less jewels due to US import restrictions.

Dial LumeMovementBezelEra
Dial TextLuminous materialMovementBezelEra
500 MTritium (SWISS T < 25 MC)
Reference 1163
ETA 2472
(25 Jewels)
Orange pipLate 60s
30 jewelsTritium (SWISS T < 25 MC)
Reference 1163
ETA 2472
(30 Jewels)
Yellow and Orange pipMid 60s
30 jewelsTritium (SWISS T < 25 MC)
Reference 1163
AS 1701
(30 Jewels)
Yellow and Orange pipMid 60s
30 jewelsRadium (Swiss)AS 1701
(30 Jewels)
Count Down,
Yellow and Orange pip
Early 60s
No textUS Market 17 jewels,
Reference 7497 in skindiver magazine
ETA 2472
(17 jewels)
Yellow and Orange pipLate 60s
No textUS Market 17 jewels, 7497
Reference 7497 in skindiver magazine
AS 1701
(17 jewels)
Count DownEarly 60s
Technos Skydiver variants

Dial: Swiss on the 38mm Skydiver dial indicates radium dial. Tritium dials have tritium markings.

Later in the 70s use of T SWISS T or SWISS T < 25mc was left out. This can be seen in the 70s Monnin cased Skydivers.

Movement: Some of the early movements have are gold plated. Watches with just plated rotor are common as well. Towards the 70s the movement finishes are gradually dropped and standard raw movements are used.

Crystals: Two crystal types are seen: thick domed crystal in the 500m and later 30 jewels, thinner crystal in the earlier models.

Countdown bezels: Most common in radium dials from the early 60s. The countdown bezels are nearly certainly the very early examples. Count-up bezels are more common.

Gilt vs Non-Gilt: Most common in radium dials from the early 60s. Due to old age, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between gilt and dirt.

Red/Orange bezel dot: these are most commonly found in 500 M dials. It is possible that they are aged orange dot, repainted or came as red. I have come to find a NOS 500m example with orange dot and I have NOS bezels with yellow dot.

Hands: Minute and hour hand should have luminous material. Seconds hand should have luminous material applied to both long and short side of the hand.

Case-back: The case-back comes in two variations and nearly all later examples have the technos anchor and earlier, predominantly radium examples have a crest with 1745 on it. Most of the casebacks have text ETA 2472 on the side facing the rotor. Case-backs can also feature the reference, at least 1163 is seen.

Additionally later casebacks on the 30 Jewels watches can display 50 atmos. These watches are most likely transitional right before the 500m variant when old parts where used up.

Dial-feet: The dial feet are in different positions for the two different movements, so the ETA 2472 and AS 1701 dials are not interchangeable.

Date disk: Both red and black date disk are seen.

Crown: The crown threads are short and the crown is put back with only small twist. The crown has ‘T’ symbol.

No-text along with 500m

Case Variants

The cases for the Skydiver are produced by Dodane. The case has long lugs and the case surface between the lugs is angled. The case finish is all brushed on the top and polished on the sides. There are differences in the cases during various production periods, especially with the angle of the outer side of lugs and the chamfer inside the lugs. In addition, the early cases have been cut differently and are more square. Interesting detail with the lugholes is that on each end, one lug hole has slightly wider opening than the other.

Bracelets & Straps

It can be observed from catalogues that the watch has been advertised with BoR and Oyster bracelets. In addition a JLC Powermatic Nautilus bracelet has been spotted with Technos emblems. Many watches also come with bracelets from other Technos watches such as the ‘The King’ or ‘Star Chief’, which can be seen from the gaps around the end-links.

Some of these bracelets have been stripped from their original ‘lesser’ watches by collectors. There is also a good chance that if you wanted a bracelet, you got the bracelet the shop and walked out instead of placing an order and waiting for weeks.

Another common sight is the tropic strap. It is likely that these came with Technos buckle. Today, when nobody really uses dive watches for diving, you can wear the watch on whatever you please. My personal preference is a cognac leather strap.

Ref 10744: Monnin/Dodane Case

There is a rare variant with the 42mm Monnin/Dodane case. This reference came with both blue and black dials. Unfortunately, the blue dials suffer from a paint issue and it is very rare to find a dial without damaged paint.

The 10744 came with at least ETA 2783, placing it to mid 70s. They may have come with other movements as well. It is unknown for how long these watches were in production, but the Heuer 844 style dials eventually replaced the bold Technos dials and ended the production of Sky Divers as the Technos brand faded away.

Service & Parts Availability

The AS1701 and the ETA 2472 are serviceable enough, although parts production has long since ceased. If parts become unavailable, there are plenty of ETA 2472 movements and watches that can be cannibalised for spare parts. Service cost of the movement is around 100-300€ depending on the country and cost of living.

Original cases, bezels, crystals, dials and hands are scarce, but not impossible to find. The hardest parts to source are dial, crown and hands. Easiest part to find is the case. However, it is a good idea to keep eyes open for full cases, as they may come with nice extras such as crystal, bezel or crown and can be much cheaper than sourcing everything individually.

Lobtime produces crowns and hands, which are great as the crown has very short threads and will wear out over time when used. The Lobtime parts aren’t particularly cheap, but it is great to have them around. In case of crown failure, another option is to preserve the original crown and remove the threads.

Conlusion

This blog post contains a lot of speculation based on viewing a few phyiscal examples and looking through countless of watches on-line. I'm willing to correct any wrong information, so please message me here, on IG or OF if you find something incorrect.

Collectors looking to add this watch to their collection need to make the decision on patina, availability, originality and external and mechanical condition. It is unlikely, that the 500 M watches have anything in their quality that gives them more water resistance than the no text or ’30 jewels counterpart’, so the choice over the text boils down to preference.

The Technos Sky Diver is a very attractive watch to wear and to hoard. There is good collectibility in them and the size is nearly perfect for a vintage diver. These are now being amassed into collectors dragon’s hoardes and it is about the final time to get in on them.

The wearability of the watch is near perfect. The bold face and the long lug to lug pair it well with any style strap. In addition, there are a variety of bracelets available for patient collectors or you can simply order a modern beads of rice replacement from Lobtime. Enjoy the chase!

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