Found: A Divex Watch On An Indian Ocean Shipwreck

Found: A Divex Watch On An Indian Ocean Shipwreck

The HMS Hermes, here above water during peacetime, was the world’s first reason fabricated airplane carrier.


It’s jumpers’ fantasy to locate some submerged fortune underneath the waves, and for watch aficionados, there’s consistently the expectation that it may come as an old Rolex that was deviantly dropped over the edge. The watch Feli Fernando found wasn’t especially significant, however it was an unbelievable find nonetheless and added further energy to what in particular had been a long-lasting dream of mine – to jump the world’s first reason constructed plane carrying warship. The way that the watch was all the while pursuing precisely lying 175 feet (53 meters) submerged was a demonstration of its toughness. Yet, the watch additionally introduced some captivating inquiries – what kind was it, how since a long time ago had it been down there, and to whom did it belong?

After we motored back to Deep Sea Resort, Fernando’s little jumping station on the edges of the town of Batticaloa, I got an opportunity to analyze the watch all the more intently. Brushing endlessly a touch of the thick outside uncovered a somewhat Seiko-esque jumper, with a 4:00 crown position and unmistakable hands like those found on the omnipresent SKX arrangement Seikos. In any case, the logo read, “DIVEX” with a little animation figure of a commercial hardhat jumper on it. At the lower part of the dial – “Proficient 200m.” A vented elastic plunging tie was as yet fastened to the case on the 12:00 side, the two finishes clasped together, however the 6:00 side of the lash was the undeniable disappointment point, almost certainly a spring bar disappointment as a jumper caught his wrist on his own stuff or on piece of the disaster area as he was exploring.

Diver Felician Fernando tucks the Divex watch into his pocket minutes in the wake of discovering it on the 175-foot-profound (53-meter-remote ocean) floor.

DIVEX is a notable commercial plunging gear firm situated in Aberdeen, Scotland. The company follows its foundations back to the mid 1980s, when it created inventive blended gas frameworks utilized widely by jumpers serving the seaward oil and gas industry in the North Sea and past. In the same way as other jump gear companies, DIVEX likewise sells a line of marked plunge watches and the one found on the HMS Hermes wreck was one of these. It’s not satisfactory who makes these looks for DIVEX yet the “Proficient 200m” watch is indistinguishable from some others sold under other brand names, for example, “Apeks,” “Water Lung,” and “Tauchmeister.” All are fueled by a Seiko VX quartz development which, in the DIVEX, was keeping amazing precision. Finally check, DIVEX sells this watch for all of £83 (roughly $108), a demonstration of the way that, spring bars regardless, you can get a completely functional jump watch for not a great deal of money.

In expansion to the right time, the date was additionally right, which prompted the following secret – how long the watch had been submerged. My keep going jump on the HMS Hermes was August 28. The earlier month was July, a 31-day month, however before that, June closes on the 30, which would have left the date one day away from work if the watch had been down that long. So it would have been lost down there some time in July. Indeed, my beginner sleuthing wasn’t actually essential. Felician Fernando had a smart thought of whose watch it was already.

The Divex Professional 200m watch was lost a month sooner by a Sri Lankan Navy diver.

About a month sooner, on July 25, a gathering of jumpers from the British Royal Navy had been in Sri Lanka, plunging the Hermes with an unforeseen of jumpers from the Sri Lankan Navy. It was a commemorative plunge , during which they joined a British maritime ensign on the disaster area as accolade for the 307 mariners who died 75 years sooner when the immense boat sank. After the jump, one of the Sri Lankan jumpers, an insignificant official, revealed to Fernando that he’d lost his watch some place close to the harsh finish of the disaster area. On our jump, Fernando investigated, as he generally does, with an amazing light against the despair of 30 distances. He found the watch on the ocean bottom at 175 feet down, close to the improved propellers. He got it into his pocket and we completed the dive.

Back in Batticaloa, Fernando connected with his contact at the Sri Lankan Navy Diving Unit up the street in the old port city of Trincomalee, and informed him regarding finding the watch. I was making a beeline for Trincomalee after my plunges and offered to drop it off with Fernando’s child there for care and a handoff back to its legitimate proprietor. He recommended we absorb it freshwater to eliminate the salt development yet I exhorted something else, on the off chance that its proprietor needed to keep it as discovered, somewhat of a four leaf clover or keepsake. That is the thing that I would have done, however then I’m somewhat nostalgic. All things considered, I was wearing my own no-date Submariner, a 40th birthday celebration present from my better half, for my Hermes plunges (got against misfortune, fittingly, by an Admiralty Gray NATO strap).

The creator wearing his Rolex Submariner while plunging the HMS Hermes

One last secret about the DIVEX was its appearance – for what reason was it so encrusted after just a month submerged? Having almost bombed science in school, I counseled some more knowledgable individuals, from a marine excavator to a gem dealer with experience in metallurgy, just as a couple of other watch geeks. Assessments differed, yet dominant part preferred the hypothesis of galvanic corrosion.

According to an article about marine erosion on the Boat Owners Association of the United States site, “Galvanic consumption is an electrochemical response between at least two unique metals. The metals should be diverse on the grounds that one should be all the more synthetically dynamic (or less steady) than the others for a response to take place.”

This appears to agree with the dissemination of the pungent development on the DIVEX watch, which is concentrated around the steel bezel, with its aluminum embed. The consumption article proceeds to say that galvanic erosion happens when the two distinct metals, “are ‘grounded’ (associated by really contacting one another… ) and are drenched in a conductive arrangement (any fluid that can move power)… Saltwater [is] exceptionally conductive, and conductivity goes up with water temperature.”

The starboard propeller of the HMS Hermes, 75 years after her sinking.

Aluminum and steel contacting each other in warm (85° F) saltwater is the correct recipe for galvanic consumption, which is like what you may discover on the posts of a vehicle battery. This pungent development is the thing that will in general gum up the bezel of a jump watch that isn’t washed altogether after drawn out openness to saltwater, and the state of the DIVEX watch is an extraordinary model that gives a wake up call about spring bar disappointment as well as the significance of flushing your plunge watch subsequent to taking it deep.

Galvanic erosion appears to be the reasonable clarification for the broad development on the watch.

An old name for Sri Lanka was Serendib, from which we get, “good fortune,” signifying “an upbeat mishap.” I’ve composed a ton of stories throughout the years about the watches I survey while plunging. However, for my own Hermes experience, I promised I would plunge for my own delight, ticking off a can list thing while at the same time wearing my own watch. So it was an unbelievably fitting instance of good fortune that instead of making a watch story on a plunge, a watch story introduced itself to me. It is additionally verification that submerged fortune doesn’t need to mean a chest of gold doubloons, or a Rolex, however can just be a decent story associated with quite a while, eventually more valuable.

I’ve consistently said that the best estimation of a watch is in the recollections it conveys from experiences had while wearing it. So I trust that some place in a maritime station on the East Coast of Sri Lanka, there’s a jumper who presently peers down at his fairly hard plunge watch and recalls the day he dove the HMS Hermes. I know I do.

Thanks to Felician Fernando, who assisted with subtleties for this story.