Looking at what it’s done with the new BR 03-92 Diver models, Bell & Ross definitely knows the way to a diver’s heart. Just one year after it premiered the watch, this dynamic watch brand is back with two exciting new variations that’ll thrill both professional and leisure divers equally. Landlubbers too have been worked into a frenzy, and it’s easy to see why.
Firstly, the BR 03-92 Diver was and remains the world’s first and only square cased dive watch. With a solid construction that comes with an extra-heavyweight case back plus a thicker-than-average sapphire crystal, the watch is also fitted with a uni-directional rotating bezel makes it heftier than the standard BR 03 models. Not visible from the outside, however, is a soft-iron core inside the case which protects the movement from external magnetic fields.
The ISO 6425 standard for dive watches requires the timepiece to be water resistant to at least 100 metres. BR 03-92 Diver triples that rating, as it is capable of depths up to 300 metres. To protect the movement further from potential water damage, crown guards are there to shield the crown from accidental mishandling—a feature that would not go unappreciated by professional divers.
Blending in perfectly with the range of equipment a diver typically needs, the BR 03-92 Diver just became more stylish as two new models have entered the fray. BR 03-92 Diver Blue comes complete with a blue dial, blue bezel, and blue rubber strap while BR 03-92 Diver Bronze is a 999-piece limited edition cased in bronze with a matte black dial and an aged brown calfskin strap that’s lined with rubber.
While both look spiffy and cool, we’re totally won over by the bronze and its ability to age naturally over time. And did you know that the inspiration for this model came from vintage Siebe diving helmets? Colour us impressed!
Take these sporty chic watches with you on your next underwater adventure, so you’re not stuck wearing your dive computer everywhere. Need ideas on where to go? Hit up these eight hidden dive spots located conveniently near Singapore.
Lembeh Island, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Known as the muck diving capital of the world, Lembeh Island has so much to offer that it’s going to ruin everywhere else for you. This is not the place to go for azure blue waters and miles of visibility though. Its dark volcanic sand bottoms may not be covered with coral gardens but the sheer concentration and diversity of rare critters more than makes up for it. Go in search of the elusive Lembeh Sea Dragon or look for clutches of baby flamboyant cuttlefish. Don’t forget your underwater camera!
How to get there: Catch a four-hour flight from Singapore to Manado, followed by 1.5-hour land transfer, and a 15-minute speedboat ride
Bawah Island, Anambas, Indonesia
This beautiful island is situated within a larger cluster of islands forming the Anambas archipelago and has yet to be over-explored, which is fantastic news for the avid diver. Its turquoise waters are teeming with life. Expected to see everything from the usual schools of colourful coral fish to large pelagics like whale sharks and their accompanying remoras. Great visibility practically all year round, it’s no wonder some people call it the Maldives of the Anambas.
How to get there: Take a 50-minute ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Batam, followed by a 70-minute seaplane ride
Weh Island, Aceh, Indonesia
Practically unheard of even among seasoned divers, Pulau Weh is a tiny island off the coast of Sumatra. Pulau where? Oh you better remember its name, because this is an underwater paradise that has even reported sightings of orcas! But most unique to this glorious destination is its underwater volcano where volcanic hot water streams out of the ocean floor. Of course it gets cooled right away by water around so it’s not dangerous at all. Diving is good all year round but when the temperature dips, large pelagics such as manta and mobula rays are known to visit.
How to get there: Catch a 3.5-hour flight to Banda Aceh, followed by 20-minute land transfer, and a 45-minute ferry ride
Malapascua Island, Cebu, The Philippines
Everybody wants to go to Malapascua because it’s the only place in the world where thresher sharks with their long whiplash tails can be spotted every day. But there are other great things about this destination too because there’s a huge variety of sites running the gamut from reefs and wrecks, coral dives, sandy bottom dives, and wall dives. The waters are crystal clear with visibility that stretches miles. Creatures large and small would make every dive even more memorable than the last.
How to get there: Catch a 3.5-hour flight to Cebu, followed by a 3-hour land transfer, and a 30-minute ferry ride
Anilao, Batangas, The Philippines
Underwater photographers love Anilao for one good reason: top notch macro marine life. A nudibranch heaven for those who love these colourful shell-less mollusks, this laid-back township is a muck-diving paradise and thanks to mild water conditions, is great for beginners. You could literally dive off the beach and see everything from beautiful corals to passing turtles and baby sharks. Popular among locals because of its relative proximity to Manila, avoid the rainy season between July and September.
How to get there: Catch a 3.5-hour flight to Manila, followed by a 3-hour land transfer
Donsol, Sorsogon, The Philippines
If you like sharks, Donsol is the place to go. Common sightings include whale sharks, oceanic white tips, thresher sharks and the occasional hammerhead. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to look forward to. This region also draws manta rays in numbers, along with the usual coral life and schools of reef fish. And of course the pristine white sand beaches and tepid blue waters make every surface interval less of a wait and more of a treat. Currents can get rough.
How to get there: Catch a 3.5-hour flight to Manila, followed by a 1-plus hour connecting flight to Legazpi, and a 2-hour land transfer
Tenggol Island, Trengganu, Malaysia
We can’t say it emphatically enough but Singaporeans don’t give Malaysia enough credit as a dive destination. There are so many world class sites! But if you’ve already done the Perhentians and loved it, give Tenggol Island a go. The waters are amazing with miles of visibility, loads of turtles, wrecks to explore, and also macro life. Basically it’s everything minus the crowds because Tenggol is practically unknown even among locals. The scene is laid back with glorious beaches where baby sharks swim close to the shore.
How to get there: Catch a 1-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, followed by a 1-hour flight to Kuala Trengganu (or drive five hours from Kuala Lumpur), then take a 1.5-hour land transfer, plus a 1-hour speed boat ride
Mataking Island, Sabah, Malaysia
This ultra-secluded island is the very definition of ulu. But if you find its name oddly familiar, it’s probably because this small island off the Borneo mainland is where the first season of Survivor was filmed. Here, there’s literally everything from large pelagics such as grey reef sharks, hammerheads, manta rays and eagle rays, to macro life and oddball animals such as frogfishes, mantis shrimp and shape-shifting cephalopods. Strong “washing machine” currents are par for the course.
How to get there: Catch a 2.5-hour flight to Kota Kinabalu, followed by a 1-hour flight to Semporna, then take a 40-minute speed boat ride