It’s a fact – every diver needs a good dive watch.
Although dive computers have (for the most part) taken over the role a dive watch used to play in each dive, having an accurate, durable dive watch is still a valuable tool underwater, and a watch or backup timing device is essential on tech dives. On the surface, a well-crafted dive watch provides superior durability that will last for years, and also shares your passion as a diver with everybody around you.
One newer watch company, Lapizta, has created some beautiful and equally rugged dive watches that not only turn heads, but provide a quality not often seen in the market.
Having gone without a good watch for almost a year now (my last watch made its farewell dive in Hawaii last October), I found Lapizta watches during a search online. I spent several evenings researching the watches and the Lapizta company, and impressed by the watches and the stories behind them, ordered my own. The quality and craftsmanship of the watches sounded impressive when I read about them, and after seeing them firsthand and using them on two dive trips, the watches significantly exceeded my expectations.
New Company, Generations of Experience
Lapizta (derived from the Spanish for racetrack, la pista) is the creation of third-generation watchmakers and co-founders Naty Mizrachi and Daniel Schachtel, along with Mizrachi’s brother-in-law Mauricio Acevedo, who is the company’s executive vice president. The premium watch company is based in Florida, and the six-employee, family-run business is bringing a line of watches inspired by the extreme sports that drive its owners’ lives – Mizrachi has completed more than 1,600 skydiving jumps, and Schachtel raced cars in Costa Rica and Acevedo is a master diver. Thy currently offer eight lines of watches for both men and women, totaling 47 different pieces, each inspired by skydiving, scuba diving, motorcycling and boating. Appropriately, the lines are named after wild animals or words relating to adrenaline. They are priced between $295 and $695.
What’s evident in the Lapizta watches is a quality that truly comes from a passion for doing exceptional work – something we all can appreciate. And that passion runs deep in the families behind Lapizta, reflecting several generations of watchmakers.
“You see a lot of brands that talk the talk, but you don’t really see the passion in their watches,” Mizrachi said.
Mizrachi’s grandfather had a small shop fixing watches in Panama more than 70 years ago and his father, Benjamin Mizrachi, had a watch business that Naty Mizrachi spent five years working at when he was younger. Watches were always a part of his life, he said.
In 2009, after spending 20 years in the technology industry, Mizrachi decided to go back to his roots, joined with cousin Schachtel and Acevedo to build the first line. His background in the technology industry combined with generations of watchmaking have combined to create beautiful timepieces that are built to withstand the test of time.
Lapizta operates though its website, lapizta.com, and has also expanded to 15 retailers throughout Florida. They have distributors in Venezuela, Brazil, Australia, Mizrachi’s native Panama and Schachtel’s native Costa Rica, and a presence in Europe through a Netherlands-based online seller, and in India as well.
Diving the Izurus
Possibly one of the most attractive dive watches available, the Izurus is a gorgeous watch. The 48mm chronograph is constructed with a screw-down crown and case back, and guarantees accurate timekeeping at depths of 300 meters (990 feet). It has a unidirectional turning bezel, a matte black dial for easy readability, and OS20 Miyota quartz movement. The large hour and minute hands are a plus for those like me who like to be able to tell time at a glance.
There should be no question that the Izurus is a larger watch, but I’m not exactly a larger guy and it both looks and fits great. The comfortable strap is both comfortable and easy to adjust and remove – a weakness on some other watches (remember – you’ll probably be taking the watch off and putting it back on daily for years!). The strap has enough flex and give that it comfortable fits over my wetsuit when going for a dive. The Lapizta Izurus L24 Series dive watch retails for $495.
Style, of course, is subjective. Laptiza builds the Izurus in several different color schemes (including gold and black) to suit different taste. The quality, of course, is consistent across the lines.
Another beautiful watch is the Lapizta’s Audax. The Addax has a lower profile than the Izurus, and features bold and easy-to-read numbers and is available in 43 and 48mm sizes and five colors. The strap is 22mm, and it weighs a solid 149g. The Addax features Seiko quartz movement, sapphire-coated mineral crystal, PVC on stainless steel case, silicone rubber strap with matching PVD buckle.
The Addax is a comfortable watch, in part due to the use of a pre-curved and fitted strap. The silicone is good quality and not sticky. The inside is waffle patterned which helps keep it in place on your wrist, and the buckle is also very secure. The Addax is available in 5 versions and retails for $395.
If you’re looking for a new dive watch or a great gift for a diver, check out Lapizta. The passion they’re putting into their product shows with a quality product that will withstand the tests of time.