Source: Caso Watches via Bloomberg
Vintage Watches

Monday Morning Find: Quirky 1960s Eberhard Scafograf 300 Diver

A real tool that's as good above water as it was below

The 1960s were the heyday for awesome dive watches. The Submariner was just coming into its own, and there was tons of creativity in the pre-digital dive instrument days. This Eberhard & Co. Scafograf 300 is a lesser-known '60s diver that's easy to appreciate but gets serious collectors excited, too.

At first glance, all the basic dive watch traits are here. There's the black bezel graduated to show elapsed dive time, a high-contrast dial with luminous hand and markers at the hours, and a sturdy case that can take a beating under the waves. The date at 3 o'clock is unusual, especially in red font, and it's not particularly useful when you're diving. But it's nice to have if you're making this a daily-wearer.

Not everyone will recognize the Scafograf 300, but it's got all the traits of a purpose-built diver.
Not everyone will recognize the Scafograf 300, but it's got all the traits of a purpose-built diver.
Source: Caso Watches via Bloomberg

The 300 in this watch's name indicates that it is water-resistant to 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet) and is meant to be used by serious divers. Most tourists don't even clear 100 feet. The beefy 42 millimeter case is big so it can stand up to the pressure and keep water from flooding in. The bezel on this example is a little beat-up, but you want it that way. Too clean, and it's likely been replaced (unless the watch is new old stock). The original screw-down crown and caseback are both intact, and the engravings are still deep and legible. This watch is crisp and clean without looking over-polished or restored.

The case is crisp and the bracelet in good condition.
The case is crisp and the bracelet in good condition.
Source: Caso Watches via Bloomberg

At first glance, people might mistake this for a close cousin, the Omega Seamaster 300, which used a similar case, if not the same one. Brands at the time were buying most components in from suppliers, so it's not uncommon for disparate brands to share exact parts in similar watches. The curved lugs are a dead giveaway here. 

Real collectors love these off-brand vintage watches.
Real collectors love these off-brand vintage watches.
Source: Caso Watches via Bloomberg

Even if they're not from the big brands, watches such as this are extremely charming, and collectors love them. Everything from the funky Eberhard & Co. logo to the original elasticized bracelet screams mid-century design, but the case and style look fresh and wearable. These are watches you can love on your wrist, not just in a safe.

This Eberhard & Co. Scafograf 300 is available from Caso Watches for €4,500 (approximately $4,850).

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