Sea Time is nothing like the luxury-oriented picture book I thought it would be. Though large and full of lush photographs, Sea Time’s strong suit is the bevy of long and short essays that co-authors Aaron Sigmond and Mark Bernardo have thoroughly researched and humbly written like pros. I suspect these essays will make Sea Time an essential resource for serious watch nerds.
Sea Time has deepened my own knowledge of water-ready watches in surprising ways. Finally I have a clear picture of which watches Jacques Cousteau wore over the years (Blancpain, Rolex, Doxa, in that order). Finally I get the scoop on why James Bond switched to an Omega Seamaster in the 1990s (a studious wardrobe director’s choice). Finally I grasp that it was decidedly Blancpain (1952), and not Rolex (1953/4), who first issued a SCUBA-specific watch. And I can finally speak with some confidence about the rise, fall, and resurrection of Doxa over the past five decades.
The bulk of the writing in Sea Time is fact-filled and refreshingly bereft opinion and needless curatorial authority. Alas, too many watch writers try to pass off their opinions as insight, though it’s often hard to catch that as a casual reader. This is such an important part of why I recommend Sea Time that I will digress just briefly. Consider these two hypothetical sentences: