Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

This topic was created by Lewis Page 1 .

  1. Lewis Page 1

    Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

    Realistically, is there any point in a diving watch rated for more than 300m? Even for a saturation diver that ought to be OK, and for any other kind of diver more than OK. Surely if you wear a Rolex Sea-Dweller, Doxa 1200 etc you are almost certainly a poseur. I never dived deeper than 80m in an 8-year spell as a Royal Navy clearance diver. I wear an ordinary Omega Seamaster 300m model - not wind-up, either. Even that's a bit of a pose for me to wear - especially the helium release valve, which I never needed. And most divers have even less need for a smega diving watch than me.

    Sure, sat divers exist but there aren't that many of them: and not that many of them go beyond 200m very often. The existence of production watches rated for more than 300m is just silly, and nearly everyone that wears one has to be, basically, a bullshitter - right?

    1. Vic

      Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

      > is there any point in a diving watch rated for more than 300m?

      It depends on the rating.

      If 300m meant 300m, then no. The decompression penalty[1] for a 300m dive would make it pointless.

      But watch manufacturers don't use metres like you and I do; a watch marked as "20m water resistant" means you can use it in the shower. A watch marked "100m" should be good to 15m.

      I wear an Apeks-branded watch rated to 200m. I've taken it to 50m; I don't think I'd go any further.


      [1] Doing a silly 1-minute bounce to 300m on air on ZHL16B with no GFs or intermediate stops gives a total dive time of 19 hours 26 minutes. If I put some He in the mix (5/84, for an END of 33m), we're up to 35 hours 30 minutes. This isn't viable.

      1. Vic

        Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

        > Doing a silly 1-minute bounce

        I should have mentioned I'm not using deco gases in this computation. With 21/50 and O2, that 35 hours can be reduced to 16 and a bit. I'm still not doing that dive...


      2. Lewis Page 1

        Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

        Well sure - but I'm on about 500 or 1200 or god save us 12000m watches. 200m ones, fine - 300m ones if you're a pro, fine.

        But we seem to be agreeing that anything beyond that is pretty silly.

        I once had a pusser's watch supposedly rated for 200m flood up on me at only 40, so sure there are a lot of duff watches out there which don't live up to their spec. Fortunately in Navy diving it's mostly the supervisor on the surface who needs to know the time rather than the diver in the water.

        1. Vic

          Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

          > Fortunately in Navy diving it's mostly the supervisor on the surface who needs to know the time

          One of the many differences between military and civilian diving; we tend to carry the dive plan with us. Which makes life interesting with a headful of nitrogen :-)

          Here's the last Navy boy I dived with. He did my IANTD quali. I was properly off my tits on the Salsette :-)


      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

        Water resistant ratings like 200m are static pressures. If you move a watch around in water or hit/splash it with water (shower, hand washing, etc.) then you will need a higher water resistance rating than you might expect.

        As a though experiment, if you train a fire hose on a watch, it will need to be pretty damn water resistant even though it's still above ground...

        1. Vic

          Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

          > If you move a watch around in water or hit/splash it with water

          > (shower, hand washing, etc.) then you will need a higher water

          > resistance rating than you might expect.

          The watch manufacturers came out with that argument many years back.

          Do the numbers on the increased pressure on a watch from the force exerted by moving your arm through the water. Yes, it is a positive increase. No, it doesn't make any difference.


      4. Volker Hett

        Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

        That's what I've been told by my local jeweler recently, but I still have my trusty Dugena Nautica T-200 and back in the days we tested it with a 200m line in the northern atlantic. That was used to take water samples from different depths to measure salt to improve our sonar. We recorded 187 meters and the watch came up fine.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

      "Surely if you wear a Rolex Sea-Dweller, Doxa 1200 etc you are almost certainly a poseur."

      Who the hell do you think they make five thousand dollar watches for? Not people who _need_ them.

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    My bottom of the range Tag is "rated" for 200m - the deepest its gone or ever likely to go is around the 30m mark - and frankly that was on a qualification dive. Most of my interest is between the 5-25m mark.

    I would have been quite happy with Tag rated at 50m but they dont exist.

    1. Lewis Page 1

      Re: agreed

      It's semi irrelevant, but before I got the Seamaster I used to wear a Tag rated for 200m. The bracelet pins broke during an ordinary 50m nitrox dive though and I lost it, which put me off rather. The one 'diver' feature I found useful on the Seamaster was the extendey bracelet for wearing over your suit, though.

      1. Graham 24

        Re: agreed

        50m on Nitrox - as in more than 21% oxygen? What partial pressure of O2 is that?

        1. Lewis Page 1

          Re: agreed

          We used to dive to 54m on the old DSSCCD using 32.5/67.5 nitrox, so you were talking max ppO2 of 2.08 bar. This dated from the olden days when people were a bit less panicky about O2, of course! Diving the same set rigged for pure O2 (for attack swimming) we had a depth limit of 8, then 7 m in my time, though to be honest the depth gauges we had were so hard to read at night we would violate that fairly often.

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: agreed


      The deepest mine has ever gone is 25m, but

      They also have a very scratch resistant sapphire glass face and after some 15 years in the propulsion department of a nuclear submarine, mine has not a mark on it.

  3. ratfox

    Well, people wear sunglasses after sunset

    It is about as useful. And how many people own a Porsche and never drive it faster than half the speed it can go? Then we can talk about things that are expensive but have no use at all. Diamonds, for instance.

    1. Aaron Em

      There are uses for diamonds

      Industrial abrasive, for one thing. Me, I suppose maybe people like the idea of their timepiece maintaining its function even after their carcass has ceased to do so as a result of excessive undersea pressure? Of course you'd then have a need for a "Mark Time of Death" function which would be automatically supplied by a cheaper chronometer, so...

      1. Mostly_Harmless

        Re: There are uses for diamonds

        I'm sure I've heard a story about a guy who fell under a waterfall and the body got trapped by some rocks. It was ages before anyone found the body, but when they did his Rolex was still working perfectly, and the motion of his arm bobbing around in the water has been enough to keep the self-winding mechanism going.

  4. Aaron Em

    Dunno about all that, but it does seem a shame the robot arm wasn't rated to the same depth the robot watch was.

  5. Colin Millar

    Well - yeah but

    The phrases "recreational diver" and "testosterone soaked poseur" are pretty much interchangeable - in my brief time as a club diver my need for shiny reached quite ridiculous levels.

  6. EWI

    "and vanquish an alliance between the US military and an oil company"

    Lewis hasn't even watched The Abyss. has he?

    1. dogged

      Re: "and vanquish an alliance between the US military and an oil company"

      Neither has anyone else.

    2. Lewis Page 1

      Re: "and vanquish an alliance between the US military and an oil company"

      Of course I have. You remember, alien technology from the Abyss makes a US navy submarine go haywire. The military calls in help from Ed Harris' guys, who - if memory serves - are civvies in a megadeep sat platform operated by the oil biz ('Benthic Petroleum'). Later some Navy SEALs come down to the platform and start throwing their weight about like the evil military sorts they are. The boss goes off his rocker and tries to nuke the aliens using an ROV from the oil platform and a warhead from the sub, though one of the oil guys (Ed Harris) manages to stop this.

      At the end we find that the aliens were fixing to wipe out humanity for being so evil and warlike (that'll teach us, it's the only language we understand). Meanwhile a huge naval fleet has gathered up top. The aliens decide to let most of us off being killed because of Ed's love for his estranged wife. However they still bring their huge ship/city thing up to the surface, knackering the assembled military/oil biz shipping there. Vanquishing them in fact.

      1. tirk

        "Meanwhile a huge naval fleet has gathered up top."

        Only in the director's cut.

        Oh gawd, I'm such a geek :-(

  7. lukewarmdog

    Sunken treasure

    But, just think of all the still working watches our future generations will be able to retrieve from the depths thanks to these advancements. These may well go on to become the future time pieces of choice for a generation of poseur space explorers.

    For the more budget conscious, the same effect can be achieved by filling a submarine full of watches for future generations to find.

    1. Aaron Em


      How much no pressure are divers' watches rated to stand?

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Dunno

        As "no pressure" is one atmosphere different from sea level- I doubt it would be a problem. Omega also supplied the watches to the Apollo crew - so they have done a few hours in a near vacuum, hot, cold, hot cold etc. AFAIK they all still work, 40 odd years on.

        Lewis has already picked up on the single most useful feature of the Seamaster (not the Helium release valve, I have no idea who uses that) but the strap expansion.

        1. Ramiro

          Re: Dunno

          I have a Seiko Orange Monster that also has a strap extension. What it doesn't have, though, compared to the expensive dive watches, is sapphire (or any other really hard crystal) "glass".

          Mine is not too bad, the stainless steel strap is a lot more scratched than the glass, but the glass is beginning to show its age. If you have the money lying around, a tougher glass is probably worth it.

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

            Re: Dunno

            2nd and 3rd this. My tag is 10 yrs old this year - strap has a few scratches - glass is still pristine even after constant wearing including for diving, DIY and using heavy machinery. Best watch I've owned bar none. And cheap over ten years.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dunno

            The problem with sapphire is that it's extremely hard (you basically can't scratch it, unless you're using a diamond) but it's also more brittle than other common watch crystal materials.

            So your more serious sports/extreme conditions watches will actually have mineral glass crystals or, more likely, plastic crystals. Easy to scratch but unlikely to shatter and let the elements into the delicate innards.

            FYI, the Speedmaster used in the moon landing had a plastic crystal, although if you buy a new one these days it will have a sapphire crystal since not many people will put up with a $3000+ watch having an easily-scratched plastic crystal worth less than $1.

        2. Lewis Page 1

          Re: Dunno

          Helium release valves are for saturation divers. You spend weeks on end 'in the bin' under a mega pressure heliox atmosphere, the teeny helium molecules leak slowly in even to your super diver watch's case. After a while the inside of the watch ist at quite a high pressure, full of helium.

          When you finally start decompressing, the helium can't get out quickly enough and your super watch blows open (it being designed to resist pressure from outside not inside). Hence you have a valve to let out the helium while the sat pot is decompressing.

          I'm told it's a good plan to make sure all your fillings are in good nick when sat diving, as sometimes the space under a filling can act in the same way as the watch case, causing massive pain as you decompress or even causing the tooth to explode.

      2. Dave Walker

        Re: Dunno...Zero to One?

        Fry: "Hey perfesser, how now that we're submerged, how many atmospheres of pressure is this thing designed for?"

        Prof. Farnsworth: "Welllllll, since it a spaceship, I suppose zero to one.......(trailing off in contemplation)"

  8. James Micallef Silver badge

    Pristine bottom

    Except for the graffiti scrawl saying "Piccard was here"

    1. Graham Bartlett

      Re: Pristine bottom

      Make it so!

  9. pele

    My GMT master stays at home when I go to the beach anyway, even though it's rated to what? 200m?. And in the 25 years I've been wearing it I've never even dived deeper than 10m. White wrist marks are annoying to say the least.

    But I have travelled all timezones with it mind...

    1. SiempreTuna

      My Tag never went below 10cm.

      I don't dive. Just had it coz I though it looked cool - you live and learn. I used to like flares ..

      1. Asiren

        So, poseur then...

  10. Haku

    I'd prefer something to be a little over-engineered than under-engineered.

    Even if it's just a wrist watch.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    I though it was a flashing David

    That would be scary!!!!

  12. Ian Ferguson

    Same as pilot's watches

    I have a pilot friend who wears a £1k Breitling watch. He would argue that he needs the accuracy. I would argue that a free crystal LCD watch from a packet of 80s cereal would provide as much accuracy as a precision-engineered mechanical watch.

    It's purely a fashion thing, no more than your Abercrombie & Fitch shirt or Alienware PC.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Same as pilot's watches

      I'd argue that "in a modern airliner what the fuck does he need any precision watch for?"

      1. Volker Hett

        Re: Same as pilot's watches

        Or a watch and a pocket calculator in an Apollo Spacecapsule :)

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Same as pilot's watches

      Don't mechanical watches inevitably get affected by gravity anyway, thus ensuring that attempting to use one for precision timekeeping on a plane is doomed to utter and complete failure? (Even more so than the fact that, as you point out, mechanical watches are all crap at accuracy anyway?)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was hoping for a revelation about SamCam helping to raise party funds.

    1. Graham Bartlett

      Re: Disappointed

      It'd raise a lot more than just funds!

  14. EddieD

    Well, you know, my speedo goes to 150mph, the car can only go about 115mph, and the limit is 70mph.

    Aye, it probably is a pose, do any of us need more than a Casio rated to about 20m - okay, Lewis is a special case, but, sometimes, if you've got it, flaunt it.

    Just don't say you need it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something that I didn't know about waterproof watches until recently is that a lot of them are assembled under pressure...then when normal atmospheric pressure is resumed, the internal pressure inside the watch pushes everything outwards; thus keeping the seal sealed.

    Took me years to find out why my 200M G-shock crapped out in the shower after getting the battery changed; and that's why. Just thought you might find that of interest.

    1. zebthecat

      You're dead right there...

      Did a temp job years ago changing Dunhill batteries.

      Once we'd got the back off (special tool), changed that battery and put the back on again we'd then plug a compressed air cylinder into a valve on the watch case and give it a blast of air while dunking the watch in a bath of fluid.

      If there were no bubbles it was good to go.

  16. Davey1000

    Waterproof watches

    I've not done much sub-aqua at all as after seeing what's down there its pretty boring and its a tremendous anticlimax compared to what one sees on television. As to the watches that have depth ratings, take it all with a large grain of salt. Hydrodynamic forces can come into play if one goes water-skiing.

    1. A_Flat_Minor

      Re: Waterproof watches

      The hydrostatic pressure quoted is useful if you put a watch through the weekly wash.

      Especially if it is rated to 50m.

      Ask me why...

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: @davey

      You haven't dived mate - 10-20% of my dives have been better than any TV.

      From finding a ghost pipe fish after 15 mins of staring to getting a perfect photo of a mantis shrimp. Unbelievable.

  17. Sonny Winston

    £8.49 Casio

    I have the cheapest Casio money can buy, and it is rated to 50m, and going to be as accurate as any watch possibly could be..... mainly because anything that is timed using a watch needs a person to press the start/stop, thus making the accuracy dubious at best.

  18. FunkyEric

    Flash watches are just a load of old cock

    I mean what's the point of a watch? To tell the fecking time. Well you don't need one anymore in *most* scenarios, we now carry these small computerised devices called phones which do that. And why you'd want to strap a huge chunk of metal onto your wrist is just wayyyyyyy beyond me. It's just blokes showing off about how flash they are, and then you get the total eeejits who spend over a hundred quid buying "replica" watches to look flash for less money. Puhlease!

    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Flash watches are just a load of old cock

      yep, that phone works at 20m on Barrier Reef or when I need a time check in a cramped sailplane cockpit another piece of electronic crap lying around is all I need NOT.

      The citizen mechanical self winder I have has lasted decades, still going well, minor glass scratches only. Withstood Wet seasons and south Oz drizzle on a motorcycle at high speed, not to mention the old fire pump incident. I like my large chunk of metal because it is functional and robust, something not found much these days.

      Have to agree with the ex-pros about depth ratings on watches. As a rec diver,I am not going beyond 30 meters and only ever been to about 40 m once. Pros need better, but how many deep deep sea divers are there ? Still, a ponce wearing an overly flashy watch beats twerps in blinged up ute with liquorish tyres and a loud exhaust. Not as noisy and easier to shut up.

  19. Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware

    Pose, of course. I have an Omega Speedmaster but I have bugger all chance of using it anywhere near the Moon.

    As Dan Dare* once said: "A spacer's not a spacer until he's trod vacuum!"

    *2000AD Annual 1978, if you want to check

    I also rarely wear the Speedmaster on account of my unendearing habit of sooner or later breaking watches I wear - a Junghans Max Bill automatic at the moment, since you ask. Not suitable for deep water or hard vacuum.

  20. Sir Sham Cad

    Which, by the way, is a posh watch manufacturers website not pr0n, flog a watch that I saw advertised in The Posh Murdoch Paper called the engineer hydrocarbon. The ad was basically a picture of the watch and lots of large numbers. Lewis may have some idea of why this matters with his background but I don't understand the requirement for:

    1) Working at -40 degrees C

    2) Shock resistant enough to survive a fall from space (my beermat calculations, admittedly)

    3) Something I'd never heard of before (and still think they're just making up) called "Antimagnetic" to 4,800A/m

    4) WR to 3000m

    Unless the "requirement" is to have bigger numbers than The Bloke In Sales.

    1. Mark 'Brain Fart' Berry


      Working at -40 is useful, depending on where you live. I have a place in the north of Sweden, even in April it gets to -20 at night, and colder during the earlier months of winter.

      1. AdamWill


        Quite a few towns in Canada get down in those ranges in winter, too.

    2. IvyKing


      4,800A/m is the the magnetomotive force ("H") that the watch will withstand before malfunctioning. In free space, that will induce a flux density ("B") of 0.06T or 600 gauss. That's well below what a typical MRI magnet will produce, but high enough that you won't have to worry about letting your watch get close to conductors carrying high currents.

  21. Derek Currie

    Non-Warring, Friendly, Kind, Caring, Loving, Insightful Entities = 'Hippies'

    I don't think so. Oops, wrong metaphor.

    Perhaps it's just the case that you prefer war mongering, hostile, cruel, careless, hateful, deadly stupid entities.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Non-Warring, Friendly, Kind, Caring, Loving, Insightful Entities = 'Hippies'

      I believe he was partally responcible for "Aliens" as well...

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Non-Warring, Friendly, Kind, Caring, Loving, Insightful Entities = 'Hippies'

        Ohshit, now you've gone and done it!

        Aliens vs. Abyss dwellers. Coming soon to a cinema near you.....

    2. Lewis Page 1

      Re: Non-Warring, Friendly, Kind, Caring, Loving, Insightful Entities = 'Hippies'

      I was thinking: people/beings who really dislike the military and resource exploitation companies (mining and oil), who consider that organised state violence (warmongering) is bad but that Che Guevara was cool, who possibly worship or grok some sort of planetary mother goddess, have a misty-eyed view of how much fun primitive lifestyles really are ... you know. Hippies. But this is really supposed to be a thread about gadgety watches, so why not go and start another thread about what hippies are?

  22. jake Silver badge

    I haven't worn a watch since I took off my HP-01 in late 1977 or early 1978.

    No need. There has been a clock nearly everywhere I've been in the ensuing third of a century. Granted, the deepest diving I've done in that timeframe has been scraping boat hulls, changing zincs, and clearing the odd prop ...

    Another "no jewelry here" point for the "hands on" techies in the audience:

  23. jake Silver badge

    As for Cameron ...

    I view his stunt as trying to become the ultimate twatdangler.

    What a fucking useless waste of money.

    Kinda like his movies, though, when you think about it.

  24. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Can anyone tell me....

    ...why the news items on Cameron's dive all say that this has only been done once before, but in that instance they 'stirred up the bottom sediment, and found it impossible to see'?

    Because I can remember the Nat. Geog. report of Picards's dive. As I recall, they obtained pictures of a flat muddy bottom, and a flatfish of some description, before dumping their ballast (which disturbed the sediment) and heading for the surface. So they could actually see quite well...

    Is this an attempt to belittle the engineers from 50 years ago to make Cameron sound a little better?

  25. Great Bu

    The power of the sun

    Why pay so much for a specialist watch when a perfectly ordinary stone sundial (available from all good garden stores) will work perfectly well under almost all conditions - temperatures from absolute zero to around 1000K, hard vacuum to pressures far higher than any found in our oceans.

    As long as, you know, it's sunny......

    And you don't mind carrying a 30 lb. rock ornament.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big watch bitches

    Real men shun those sparkly metallic jobs - strap a dive computer to your wrist, especially a knarly old one like an Aladin Pro. It's bigger than a house brick, you have to lick your fingers to use it and you'll have to keep one shirt sleeve rolled up. But you can always claim you're wearing it to check your surface interval before the next big dive.

    1. Vic

      Re: Big watch bitches

      > Real men shun those sparkly metallic jobs - strap a dive computer to your wrist

      Real men cut custom tables :-)

      DDPlan is your friend. And the author frequents these pages...


  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. mimilovell

    wea re obviously paying this idiot too much

  29. sam smith

    The way I see it i think you can buy a submariner.It shows 300m martk on it and whose gona dive more than that.I have a sub mariner once and i used to dive wearing it.Never showed a problem and still working fine,i think.I have to sell my rolex uk due to some reasons but i am sure i'll buy another as soon i have money.So try not to mess your head with the ideas and listen to advices in the thread.

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