Happy Friday watch lovers……let’s dive into the weekend!
The term “Super Compressor” is one that is quite often misused as lots of people associate Super Compressor (SC) with any watch that has dual crowns and an internal rotating bezel, however, it is actually a trademarked name for specific cases made by the manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA) who designed and patented a case with a spring-loaded case back, which means that the deeper you go with the watch, the better it seals.
In normal diving watches, the case back sits very tight on the case. As the water pressure increases, the case back is pressed even tighter against the O-ring seal, which means that it wears out more quickly than with watches that are not used for diving. For this reason, modern diving watches should also be regularly checked for leaks. Because the Super Compressor case back is not permanently pressed against the O-ring thanks to the spring, when the water pressure is low, it does not wear out as quickly.
EPSA manufactured these cases from the late 1950’s into the early 1970’s. The most recognisable have the cross-hatched dual crowns, one at 2 o’clock and the other at 4 o’clock. The crown at 4 was used to wind the movement and set the time whilst the crown at two o’clock is connected to a small star wheel, with which the inner diver’s bezel can be moved.
Since EPSA produced cases for a number of different timepiece manufacturers, there various different “Super Compressor” watches that all have a similar overall design and shape. The list of brands that implemented EPSA Super Compressor cases is extensive, and some are no longer still in existence.
Some of the more notable Super Compressor watches of all time were those that used EPSA’s classic, dual-crown, internal-bezel, case design and were produced for Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Hamilton, Bulova, IWC, Girard-Perregaux, and Universal Geneve amongst a fair few others!
Today, many watch manufacturers have models in their range in the Super Compressor style, i.e. with the double crown and inner rotating bezel features – but these usually do not have a spring-loaded watch case in the sense of the original Super Compressor principle.
However, the original, now vintage, Super Compressors, are still out there and are popular with collectors, and it just so happens…
Just before you check out this week's watches - as I previously mentioned, we would be ever so grateful if you could share the love by asking fellow watch lovers to sign up to our weekly newsletter, have them email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell us you referred them, and we will treat both of you to a stylish, and very handy, watch pouch.