Review: the Circula DiveSport Titanium

Roughly 20 years ago, I was tasked by my editor and Baume & Mercier to review the latter’s latest, toughest tool watch. I know what you are thinking. Baume & Mercier and the words “tool watch” do not go together. Well, for a brief period, the appropriately named Capeland XXL was just that. This was a large titanium dive watch, with a striking yellow patterned dial, with oversized hands and a helium escape valve. It was such a departure from their norm and boy, was it a super cool watch. 

Fast forward to today and I have another super cool titanium, yellow dialed diver to review, the Circula DiveSport. Circula has been around since 1955, founded by the current owner’s grandfather Heinz Huber. Based in Pforzheim, Circula shares a hometown with Aristo, Laco and Stowa, as well as renowned case maker Fricker GmbH. Circula has been rejuvenated as of late, with Cornelius Huber now at the helm. Their previous models leaned heavily on classical designs from yesteryear and just like the Capeland XXL, the new DiveSport is a departure from the norm. From the design to the materials, this one is fully modern and has its sights on the future. 


The DiveSport’s multi-faceted grade 2 titanium case measures 42mm in diameter, with a lug-to-lug length of only 48.5mm and it is 13.4mm slim (+0.5mm with the crystal). Why did he say slim, you may be asking, as 13.4mm does not sound that thin. It is if you consider the 500m depth rating! Also, when you combine the 133g weight (with 2 links removed) with the short lugs, this is an effortless watch to wear that should fit almost every wrist. So do not let the diameter intimidate you, and for comparison’s sake, I have a 7.5” wrist. Or should I say, “Hi my name is Marc, thanks for logging on and my wrist is 19cm in circumference.” 

You may be thinking you have seen this design before and you might be right, but you are not entirely right. Yes, RZE, BOLDR Supply Co. and even Zelos have some very, very similar looking watches, but if you examine the angles, the little details and specs, you will find they are all quite different, one from the other. The closest resemblance is with the RZE Endeavour, which also seems to use coated titanium with a hardness of 1200Hv, but if you look closer, the proportions are different, and the RZE is only water resistant to 200m. 


Review: the Circula DiveSport Titanium

Sellita SW200-1
Yes, hands and markers
Titanium bracelet, rubber strap
Water Resistance
500 meters
42 x 48.5mm
Lug Width
Screw down

I have found the DiverSport to have an above average bead-blasted finish, with no hotspots around the case, lugs or crown guards. The screw-down crow itself is large at 7mm in diameter and 5mm long. I was worried the length and position at 3 o’clock would mean it would dig into the back of my hand. My fears were for naught, as it wore like a dream. The solid case back is engraved with, from what I have been told, titanium in its natural form, along with “Ti”, which is Titanium’s symbol on the periodic table. Everyone sing along: “There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium…”

The bezel with titanium coated insert is extremely solid, with 120 clicks, perfectly aligned and with little to no back play. The coin edge is perfect, not too sharp and still very grippy. It is a real joy to operate, though it is a bit loud. For those of you who like playing with your bezels while on TEAMS/ZOOM calls, make sure your mic is off or some may accidentally think you have expelled some vapor from your posterior. The bezel is also fully lumed, which is, in my book, awesome. More on this later.

The crystal is ever so slightly domed. I had to tilt it at a crazy angle to get the slightest visual distortion. It is also coated underneath with a generous portion of anti-reflective material. This leads to near perfect visibility at almost every angle. The dial is made of some kind of yellow material, which has a scratch pattern and an inner circular cut-out. The minute track is on a sloped black rehaut that has cut-outs for the applied baton markers at the cardinal positions. The other 5-minute increments are applied dots. The contrast and readability are exceptional.

All of the dial options (black, petrol, silver and yellow) have color-matched date windows, though the one on this test model is nearly impossible to read. I have been told that this has been improved on the retail models moving forward and their website seems to display this improvement right now. So much better! I am 50 years old, but I am nearsighted. I should not have had this hard a time reading the date. For a moment, I thought I was the problem. 

The hands are modified PloProf style plongeur hands. By that I mean the hour hand is identical to the original plongeur style, the minute hand is not. Instead of tapering as it gets closer to the center pinion, the width remains the same. Make no mistake, this is a purpose-built DIVE watch, there are no two ways about it. The minute hand, the second hand and all the bezel markings glow green (Super-Luminova C3 X1) and bright. Everything else glows blue and slightly less bright (Super-Luminova BGW9). When diving, knowing how much bottom time you have left is priority number one.

I have no idea how many layers there are of these coatings, but the result is nothing short of BONKERS! I wore the watch to bed one night and my wife asked me to take it off and place it face down on the nightstand as it was keeping her up. I am not kidding! If you are a lume junkie, you’ll be more than satisfied – just thinking about it makes me smile. The only nit I can pick is with the hour hand in the dark. It suffers from Doxa-itis. It is too small and gets washed out, compared to everything else.

The movement used in the DiveSport is the venerable Sellita SW200-1 in Elabore grade. This is one notch from the top, which is the Chronometer grade. Everyone knows about this movement, which is based on the ETA 2824, featuring 38-41 hours of power reserve, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour in 26 jewels. It also features a quick set date, manual and bidirectional automatic winding, and has incabloc shock protection. To say this is a workhorse movement would be an understatement. 

How does the test model perform? On the wrist, I was getting +3 sec/day. Circula regulates them in Pforzheim to -5/+7 per day. This level of performance and the fact that they are regulated is a step above many brands at this price point. Most would get the standard ebauche or perhaps a Japanese not-so-equivalent and would not regulate them at all. Kudos, Circula.

The fully bead-blasted and hardened titanium bracelet is 20mm at the lugs, tapers down to 18mm at the clasp and is 4mm thick, with a very nice bevel on the edges. The clasp itself jumps back up to 20mm and features a twin button release, three micro-adjust holes and no diver’s extension. I have personally never liked flip-out diver’s extensions, as they usually rattle and sound cheap, and though I love on-the-fly micro-adjustment systems, I personally do not find them all that useful. Though the shell of the clasp itself seems rudimentary, it is perfectly serviceable and does its job very well. The clasp shuts solidly and stays tight to the links. There are no large gaps on either side, which is a big pet-peeve of mine. 


The links are sized via screws, whose heads are so tiny, I assumed they were split pins and was wondering why a screwdriver was provided in the box. Thank goodness that screwdriver was there, as the one I have that fits this size would have provided enough torque to back out these screws. I highly recommend changing those screws to ones with larger heads. I have been sizing watches for 30+ years and managed to size this bracelet without so much a scratch or damaged screw. Someone with less experience and/or dexterity may not be so lucky. 

The watch also came with a high quality rubber strap, which is supple and has a branded tang buckle, as well as branded keepers. A very nice touch. Equally nice are the quick-change spring bars on this strap. Very easy to swap out and put back on. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the quick-change bars on the bracelet. On the rubber strap, there is only one side that you need to pull on to dislodge the strap. On the bracelet, you have to squeeze both sides in. The problem is the end-links sit so far into the lugs that I cannot get purchase on both sides at the same time in order to remove the bracelet. 

Thankfully I am a bracelet guy and the minute I saw the bracelet in the box, I immediately installed it and never looked back. While it does look really, really cool on the rubber strap, as the curved end pieces mimic the bevel on the lugs perfectly, to me this bad boy lives and breathes on the titanium bracelet. It completes the package perfectly and because it is all titanium, as I said previously, it wears like a dream.

I wore this watch for a solid 4 days straight and in this time, I have gotten more compliments on it than I have on my Grand Seiko, which I have been wearing consistently since April. No, no, no, I am not comparing this watch to a Grand Seiko. It is likely the striking yellow dial that catches people’s attention, and rightfully so. It is an amazing looking piece, which is finished exceptionally well, that keeps fantastic time and is super fun to wear. 

Unlike the Baume & Mercier Capeland XXL, which came on a wild rubber strap I never figured out how to wear, this one is reasonably priced at 1129 Euro and should fare much better than the latter. What more can I say, I am truly smitten with this piece. It is going to hurt really bad when this one has to return home… Circula

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Based in Montreal, Quebec, Marc has been an enthusiastic watch collector for well over three decades. Having witnessed and participated in the birth of the internet watch community, he has played a role on multiple watch forums and his articles have appeared on-line and in print since the late 1990s. Today his passion for all things horological is as pronounced as it has ever been, while he continues his never-ending search for watch next.