This episode of Strap Swap stars the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Titanium Limited Edition Chronograph Automatic Watch. It is an amazing watch that will be detailed in future MEET THE WATCH SERIES. Below is the stock Victorinox image showing the included titanium bracelet. Stop drooling and keep reading….

Special Limited Edition Dive Master Watch for Victorinox's 25th Anniversary of making watches. Photo credit: Victorinox Swiss Army

Special Limited Edition Dive Master Watch for Victorinox’s 25th Anniversary of making watches. Photo credit: Victorinox Swiss Army

The first thing I did when I acquired this watch was to remove the titanium bracelet and put it in a safe place. I will swap it back onto the watch for special occasions, but I wanted to use a daily strap that would show less wear.

Titanium is strong and light but is not necessarily scratch resistant. Victorinox chose to use a bead blasted semi-matte finish for this limited edition model. That gorgeous surface quality is nearly impossible to touch up at home if scuffed. Scratches and scrapes can reduce the value of a used watch so the strap swap is a way of protecting its value.

Black rubber dive strap shown on a limited edition Dive Master 500 Titanium Chronography by Victorinox Swiss Army

The Swiss Army black rubber dive strap was not bad, but I wanted something more…

I wanted to enjoy the watch without worrying about marring the bracelet with “desk diving”, and besides, I wanted to customize it. Since it is a legit dive watch capable of withstanding depths of 500 meters (1640 feet!!), I first tried using a borrowed 22mm Swiss Army rubber strap from another Dive Master 500 that I own. It worked, but it was kind of a snoozer…

I randomly came across an alternate option for a rubber watchband from Tsovet.com, a California-based watch company with cool timepiece designs and lovely straps. This one, in particular, was a marked down $50 olive drab rubber dive band on sale for $10.

Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Fantasy Concept with Tsovet Olive Dive Band with Gun Metal Buckle

Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Fantasy Concept with Tsovet Olive Dive Band with Gun Metal Buckle

The clincher was that Tsovet offered buckles in a gunmetal finish that would closely match the look of the watch’s titanium. Before I bought the 22mm strap for this watch, I made a digital composite from available images and came up with the custom watch below.

Digital Rendering of Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Titanium LE + rubber Tsovet Strap

Digital Rendering of Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Titanium LE + rubber Tsovet Strap

Conceptually it worked and I now had a one-of-a-kind custom watch unlike any of the 332 other owners that were lucky enough to grab one of these limited edition chronographs. However, I thought there may be yet another option that would work better to tie the dominant dial components to the band creating a more cohesive unit.

The dominant design features of the dial are the dots, arcs, and circles of multi-colored Superluminova that makes this dial glow like a deep sea creature in the dark. In lighter conditions, these features appear as a creamy mint.

The lume is different colors and puts on a deep sea light show of luminescence

The lume is different colors and puts on a deep sea light show of luminescence

Where the olive drab Tsovet color was an attempt to capitalize on the subtle green present in the lume, picking a cream colored watch band might match better and emphasize the geometric shapes on the dial more effectively.
Changing a watch band can drastically alter the character of a watch as shown in this comparison

Changing a watch band can drastically alter the character of a watch as shown in this comparison

I digitally worked up several watch+strap concepts from watch bands for sale online and on eBay. Each one gave a different personality, and it was an extremely difficult choice. There were no wrong answers here… only differences of opinion. I can’t tell you how many times I second guessed myself and even now, I think I might have made the wrong choice by picking the second strap from the top.

So many choices... too many choices.

So many choices… too many choices.

Part of this was based on cost and part was based on trying something new in style and texture. I try not to repeat myself with the same watch and band solutions because I want each watch to have a custom look…. Maybe I think of myself as the “watch whisperer” and want each model to silently tell me what it needs to evolve. ha ha. Who am I kidding… I’ll likely change it again next month. Until I get the real band in my possession, you can check out the digital version below.

I chose this one and I hope it was the right one... seen here as a virtual rendering.

I chose this one and I hope it was the right one… seen here as a virtual rendering.

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you would have picked.

UPDATE

Here is the actual Dassari Heritage Beige watchband (update: this company seems to be out of business, but the watch bands can still be found on eBay and Amazon). I think it looks great, but this exercise shows that the color of watch bands that you find for sale online are rarely accurate. Expect a little of the unexpected. Sometimes it works better than anticipated.

The final choice looks different than anticipated, but the transformation makes me want to eat the watch more.

The final choice looks different than anticipated, but the transformation makes me want to eat the watch more.

Andrew Hughes

Author Andrew Hughes

A graphic designer and photographer in Atlanta, Georgia who came down with a serious obsession for things that wind up, tick and tell time.

More posts by Andrew Hughes

Join the discussion One Comment

  • bboybatac says:

    An old post yet new to me. I think the combo you chose looks great and terrific titanium timepiece.

    Your images help me decide on purchasing the Dassari Heritage beige for my charcoal PVD coated Lum-tec.

    I hope you still own the chrono and are wearing in good health.

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