Stowa’s hardcore dive watch, the Prodiver, has been around for a little over a decade now, and in its 10th year Stowa released a new blue dial version limited to 200 pieces. Being a fan of both Stowa and blue-dial divers, I couldn’t help but check it out and take the opportunity to look back at some of the lineage of the model.
Stowa may be more readily associated with their Flieger and Antea lines, but the German brand first introduced their Seatime dive watch in the 1960s, and the following decade saw a variety of different dial designs and case shapes bear the name. Somewhere along the way, these variations hit upon both a case shape and a dial/hand design that would later become recognizable traits of the Stowa Prodiver available today.
Under the stewardship of Jorg Schauer, a modern interpretation of the Seatime was introduced in limited numbers in 2004 with a simple dial and stick indices. This was updated a year later to a full production model with a more recognizable Seatime dial featuring even-number Arabic numerals around a circular track.
Another year on and Stowa teamed up with designer Greg Bottle of Studio808 to create the Seatime Prodiver. Essentially a beefed-up Seatime, the Prodiver took the Seatime case and added a slightly domed sapphire crystal, solid case back, and a helium escape valve to create a diver with 1000 meters of water resistance.
The dial design was reworked to replace the Arabic numerals with large blocky indices, and to change the bezel insert to a silver and black segmented one. Although the Prodiver line has seen a variety of colorful dials and different bezels available over the years very little else changed, until 2014 when Stowa moved to using a titanium case instead of stainless steel, but even then the case shape and dimensions remain unchanged.