Introducing an almost forgotten name from the history books of horology...

Over the years the watch world has seen many brands come and go. The most noticeable event that contributed to this was during the quartz crisis. This was where the birth of battery-powered watches from the Far East resulted in a shift in the previously mechanical dominated industry with many Swiss brands having to close their doors as everyone favoured more accurate, reliable and more modern technology.

Delma Watches - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

But some watch brands managed to weather the battery-powered storm of the 70s and 80s, continuing to make watches throughout this period and remain on the scene today. One of those brands is Delma Watches.

Who is Delma Watches?

Delma watches are a swiss watch brand who have been making mechanical timepieces since 1946. Like many watches from this time period, the aesthetic was clean, relatively generic styles for both chronographs and time only pieces. The 50s and 60s, however, was the first time we saw some real personality being injected into their creations with design language for chronographs and divers being extremely indicative of the era. We’re talking cushion cases, bold uses of colour, funky subdials, and an overall increased unique flair.

After regular releases of dressier looking watches in the years to come, Delma then hit a slight change of pace around 2011. As watch collectors around the world moved towards wearing sportier watches more regularly, Delma evolved with the sports side of the brand continuing to become more prominent. This is where Delma has remained since 2011. The brand still has more dressy options in their range, but the tone of the brand's selection is that of a sports-focused one. This leads us nicely onto the following four watches. These watches offer something for everyone with different price points and styles at each level.

The Delma Cayman

To kick things off, we start with a watch that perfectly encapsulates Delma’s range of watches, sports focus with hints of sleek, stylish design touches. The Cayman is a quartz-powered sports watch that could easily be mistaken for a watch that just pays homage to the sporty side of the brand through its design, but the Cayman is no joke. With 200m of water resistance, large lume filled hands plus a seconds hand that you cannot miss as well as a rotating bezel, the Cayman should be taken seriously.

The watch complements these practical features with stylish additions. Yes, the hands are filled with lume and yet they are classic, almost Datejust like in their appearance. Here we have the blue version of the watch with the dial having a rich sunburst finish adding a suitable level of pop. The watch is finished to an incredible level, with brushing taking most of the case and polished facets playing off it.

And finally, we have the Milanese mesh we see fitted to this Cayman. Sure, this could have been an oyster bracelet or a solid link bracelet, but the mesh sets off the watch and further translates the purpose of the watch much more effectively.

Watch stats:

Case width: 42mm
Thickness: 11mm
Lug width: 22mm
Weight: 170g
Movement: ETA F06.111
Case material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 200m
Bezel: Blue anodized aluminum, unidirectional diver bezel
Bracelet: Stainless steel mesh bracelet
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, unidirectional diver bezel

Price: £625

This model is also available with the ETA 2824-2 for £1,025. The ETA version does increase the thickness to 13.3mm. For the Quartz model, you can find more information here.

Be sure to click here to see all Delma watches on the WatchGecko website.

The Delma Shell Star Bronze

Here we have a model that is perfect at reflecting the history behind Delma. The Shell Star is a name that first came on the scene in 1975 when Delma released their first professional diver. Back in the 70s, the watch harnessed the addition of strong colours such as orange, bold case designs all with a focus on legibility. And today? Well, those points all remain as important as ever.

The watch is now 44mm which is large but thanks to its tonneau style case shape and bezel the watches chunk isn’t as noticeable on the wrist. The use of colour hasn’t gone anywhere, orange still remains the prominent colour featured on the Shell Star, and it’s the considered application of this colour around the hour markers, seconds hand and outer track that really help emphasise the quality of this watch.

The Shell Star is where we first start to see some amazing little details that really hit home that this isn’t just any diving watch. This exact bronze model is a limited edition of 500, that has some more unique features when compared to the standard Shell Star.

Firstly the dial is a deep green grained texture with the only other colours adding to the watch being white and orange. Framing the dial effectively is a subtle seconds track and an orange outer track. The orange continues to the applied hour markers, one of the main aspects of the piece that really assist with the wearability. My personal favourite aspect of the watch is the hands. These predominantly crisp white hands are filled with lume and have an incredible level of pop. They are extremely reminiscent of the handsets found on vintage watches from the brand. All of these features are seen through the domed crystal.

Watch stats:

Case width: 44mm
Thickness: 13.8mm
Lug width: 24mm
Weight: 147g
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Case Material: Bronze
Water resistance: 500m
Bezel: bronze unidirectional diver bezel
Bracelet: green leather strap
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, unidirectional diver bezel, helium valve
Limited Edition of 500

Price: £1,350

Be sure to click here to see all Delma watches on the WatchGecko website.

With 500m of water resistance, this model isn’t just a good looking watch. And with the ETA 2824-2 powering the watch, it’s a serious tool as well. Speaking of serious tool watches….

The Delma Blue Shark III

The Delma Blue Shark III - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Sometimes you want a watch that can go anywhere, do anything and still be ticking away at the end of the day. With this in mind, say hello to the Blue Shark III from Delma. This 4000m diver (and no, that is not a typo, four thousand meters!) is the ultimate watch for diving enthusiasts. Capable of reaching the abyssal zone of the ocean, the Blue Shark III is the answer for a no-frills, incredibly well equipped and serious watch.

Many watches that cost around the same price as the Blue Shark III that also can brag about being able to go multiple thousands of metres below tend to have some questionable design looks as they really double down on the concept of increased depth must mean bigger, bolder, chunkier designs. The Blue Shark III, however, comes in with a case width of 47mm and a thickness of 18.5mm. Now I’m not going to sit here and say this is a watch to slip under your sleeve, or that it’s unnoticeable dimensions make it perfect for daily wearing, but those dimensions aren’t too bad considering it beats the Rolex Deepsea, the Sinn U2, the Doxa 1500T and the Omega Ploprof in the water resistance rating game of top trumps.

The watch has very Delma-like aesthetics as well. It uses colour well with the bezel, hands, 60-minute scale and 12,6 and 9 all adopting an orange colouring. A date is also present at 3 o'clock, not really interfering with the legibility of the watch.

Watch stats:

Case width: 47mm
Thickness: 18.5mm
Lug width: 22mm
Weight: 295g
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Case Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 4,000m
Bezel: Black DLC unidirectional diver bezel
Bracelet: Stainless steel
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, unidirectional diver bezel, helium valve
Limited Edition of 500 per case type

Price: £1,900

This is a watch to be taken seriously. The stats make this watch a bit of a beast but because of the strength in the design, the application of the key Delma branding throughout and of course how well built this watch is, the end result is a winner.

Be sure to click here to see all Delma watches on the WatchGecko website.

Delma Oceanmaster Antarctica Limited Edition

Last month we saw a new watch from Delma in the form of a limited edition of 200 pieces. This was the Oceanmaster Antarctica Limited Edition and its purpose was to take sailing watches as inspiration and align them with the present and future of nature. Antarctica was discovered 200 years ago in February of this year, so Delma brand ambassador Nick Moloney needed a watch to wear with him as he looked to mark this birthday with a special visit. the result is a watch with a cooling appearance thanks to the steel bezel and gradient blue dial. This dial isn't just blue as a unique ice texture pattern adds another dimension to the watch.

The case on the Oceanmaster is the same as the one found with the Shell Star so surprisingly wearable stats apply here. The use of brighter features throughout the watch ensures people won't miss this attractive tool watch on the wrist.

Watch Stats:

Case width: 44mm
Thickness: 13.8mm
Lug width: 24mm
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Water resistance: 500m
Bezel: Unidirectional nautical diver bezel
Bracelet: brushed and polished metal bracelet
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, unidirectional diver bezel, helium valve
Limited Edition of 200

Price: 1,290 CHF

Find out more here.

Be sure to click here to see all Delma watches on the WatchGecko website.

Delma Watch and WatchGecko

Delma Watches - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

We’re incredibly pleased and excited to announce that WatchGecko now officially stock Delma Watches on the site! Here we’ve talked about a few key models covering different price points, however the brand has much more to offer. Delma are a watch brand with real pedigree and respectable history. Aspects of their vintage models from the past can be seen sprinkled across their modern watches which massively appeals to us as watch enthusiasts with an appreciation of history.

Be sure to click here to see all Delma watches now available on the WatchGecko website.

Delma are survivors. They survived the quartz crisis and now they make watches designed to survive just about anything. They’ve managed to create a modern-day range of watches that has very subtle callbacks to their long history without needing to shout about it or make it obvious.

To learn more about Delma click here.