2K1 Blog Post One - The History

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Coming in September are our 2K1 Subs, the Swiftsure, and the Thresher.

 

In keeping with the NTH “nod to history” theme, the 2K1 subs are vintage-inspired, specifically by the first dive watches fitted with helium escape valves and used for extreme-depth saturation diving in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s - the COMEX Submariners and the Rolex Sea-Dweller.

Rolex and Tudor began supplying the UK, USA and French navies with dive watches beginning in the 1950s.  These Military Submariners (aka “Milsubs”) have since become iconic, and are prized collectibles among watch enthusiasts. 

In addition to the highly sought-after Rolex and Tudor MilSubs, there are also the likewise rare and highly coveted COMEX Submariners and early Sea-Dwellers, with their own story...

Throughout the ‘50s there was an accomplished French military scuba diver and colleague of world-renowned oceanographer, and former French Naval intelligence officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, by the name of Henri Germain Delauze. With a deep understanding of both diving and the industry surrounding it, Delauze formed the Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (in English, the “Expert Maritime Company”), better known as COMEX, to support underwater research, exploration and commercial operations.

COMEX divers had been setting various diving records and using Rolex watches already when, in 1972, the organization began receiving reference 5513 Rolex Submariners specially fitted with an integrated helium escape valve, for use in saturation diving. The HEV was patented by Rolex in the early 60’s, leading to the development of the 1967 Sea-Dweller, which first became available to the public in 1971. 

The HEV’s in the 5513’s provided to COMEX were based on the original Sea-Dweller. In 1974, Rolex created the 5514 reference exclusively for Submariners provided to COMEX, many of which were co-signed with the COMEX logo on the dial.

The first Sea-Dwellers and those HEV-fitted COMEX Subs are visually similar designs, both with deep-dive capabilities. And like the MilSubs issued by the US, UK, and French navies, the COMEX Subs were never made available to the public.

These are the watches which inspired the design of the 2K1 Subs, so named for their water resistance of 2001 feet (610 meters), the same WR spec for the original Sea-Dweller

The case design of the NTH 2K1 Subs are based on both the lines and specs of the Sea-Dweller.  Determined to continually push the limits of our designs to the Nth degree, the 44mm wide case is the largest we have created, yet still remarkably thin, at just 13mm, given its pressure rating of 61ATM (610 meters/2001 feet.)


Next post:  Deep dive (pun intended) into the specs and design of the 2K1.


“Rolex”, “Submariner”, and “Sea-Dweller” are registered trademarks of Rolex SA. “COMEX” is a trademark of Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises, SA. Janis Trading Company and NTH are in no way affiliated or connected to Rolex SA or COMEX.

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