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DPW Z1000
The 1980’s were a tough time for the Swiss watch manufacturers with cheap and reliable quartz watches being available from the far east it became hard to justify the complex and expensive automatics, especially for government issue.
With this in mind it is all the stranger that at this time came the birth of a new automatic 1000m dive watch.
Created by DPW as their Z1000 model and sold under various brand names, with only a few differences in detail between them. The watch is an impressive size and weight and wears well. The exact first year of production is not known. A well built quality product, with a streamlined shape, it seems logical that the French Military would adopt these
for their Divers (possibly to replace their ageing Tudor Submariners).
    •    Stainless Steel case with uni-directional rotating Stainless Steel bezel
    •    Luminescent hands and hour markers - bright orange seconds hand
    •    6mm thick mineral crystal
    •    Unsigned screw down crown, recessed at 4 o’clock
    •    60 click bezel with the bezel teeth polished and ‘sawtooth’ angled to help grip
    •    Black on white date display at 3 o'clock
    •    Matt graphite and tritium dial marked “T-SWISS MADE-T” (excl. Ushuaia which is blue and Luminova)
    •    Automatic ETA 2424 movement with 25 jewels
    •    Water resistant to 1000 meters (3300 ft.)
    •    Width: 42mm
    •    Width (including crown): 42mm
    •    Length: 47mm
    •    Thickness: 15mm
    •    Crystal/Dial width: 28mm
    •    Bezel width: 41mm
    •    Lug width: 20mm
These are reasonably rare watches but do come up for sale from time to time. In 2005 a few NOS examples of Candino and Eagle Star branded versions were offered by internet sellers, but the NOS examples now seem to be all sold and only occasionally do these watches appear on the sales forums.
It is understood that these watches originally came with a black Kevlar type strap but these days most have ended up on a bracelet, usually the Watchadoo Lumpy as this heavy bracelet balances the watch head perfectly.
These watches are an excellent dive watch and provide all the mass required of a tool watch without being over-sized or bulky. This is what makes them wear nicely on the wrist.
The crown is well-hidden by the case recess it fits in, but large enough to be an easy turn and set with one hand.
Acknowledgements - DeskDivers are indebted to the following people who’s photographs were invaluable in the creation of this article:
Matt Van Dorn, Khurram Khan, Alessandro, Shinichi-san
Only the case backs with the diver logo have serial numbers, all commencing with The DPW eagle logo backs have the embossed text ‘DPW INTERNATIONAL’ beneath the eagle and are engraved ‘1000 MT AUTOMATIC - SWISS MADE’ around the medallion ring.
The French government prefer to support local business, so the Beuchat branded version was a logical choice. The well known French dive equipment manufacturer produced 3 model variations using this case.
The civilian ABYSS version and that issued to the the French Marine Corps (Marine Nationale abbreviated as MN) are differentiated by the ‘MN’ and year markings engraved into the back of those issued and the addition of the model name ‘ABYSS’ on the dial of the civvy. Both having the same dial markers, hands and bezel insert as the other branded versions, except one.
The Beuchat Ushuaia is that exception, with its angular indices and its yellow index ring and bezel insert details.
It appears that the non-military issued Ushuaia’s were a limited edition of 200 and have their edition number in approximately the same place as the MN date and number on the issued versions.
The watch pictured was given away as a prize in 1992 by French Playboy magazine.
DPW, based in Genoa, was one of the more famous Italian watch companies in the 1980/90's and sold their products to Italian and other countries armed forces.
A number of watches were manufactured for Italian military units, these included the COMSUBIN special forces and FOLGORE paratrooper editions, both of which are rare. DPW seem to have specialised in commemorative military watches and still do under their new company name, Memphis Belle. There is some debate about the issued status of these watches and it is thought unlikely that these units would wear their branded watches on missions, and more probable that the unit members would buy and wear these watches to celebrate their unit.
The Italian Navy's COM.SUB.IN is an elite, all-volunteer force of approximately 700 men, operating under the direct command of the Navy Chief of Staff. The unit is composed of of volunteers, who are primarily drawn from the Navy's ‘San Marco’ Marine Regiment.
More information on the COMSUBIN unit can be found
This watch was created for the elite Italian Folgore group of special forces paratroopers. There is an interesting story that in 1990, to assess the depth rating of the watch, the Italian marine military naval ship 'Anteo' dropped this model of watch on a rope beyond 900 metres and retrieved it perfectly intact and working.
More information on the Folgore brigade can be found on the Official FOLGORE site
Of the commercially available models of this watch, perhaps the most commonly seen is the Candino.
Lesser know versions include the Adina (not pictured), EagleStar.......
......and finally the Luxor ‘Neptune’.
As well as the production models, it seems that DPW may have offered samples to other manufacturers in order to make ‘branded prototypes’.
One such example, thought to be just a rumour until one appeared for sale, was that of a Sinn.
Having the same base dial markings as the standard Z1000 based versions, the Sinn prototype is unique in that it has a quartz movement, is Day/Date, has an arrow shaped seconds hand and a fully lumed bezel insert.
Sadly this example must have been flooded at some time, leaving the dial in a parlous state.
Perhaps the watch was subjected to various endurance tests which might explain the matching, badly worn, condition of the bezel insert.
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The differences between models are tabulated below:

Movement Specifications:
    •    ETA 2424
    •    Debut 1971
    •    ø 25.6mm (11.5 ligne)
    •    Height 4.8mm
    •    25 Jewels
    •    28800 A/h
    •    Power reserve 40 hours
    •    Quickset date
    •    Hacking
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