As usual, drinking my morning coffee and playing with a watch and a camera is leaving me with plenty of time to think idle thoughts and this morning my half asleep brain decided that Mercedes hands on a watch don't make a lot of sense.
The other half of my brain went "huh?" and the following internal dialog resulted in the conclusion that they do in some cases and they don't in other cases.
For example, they do make sense on field watches, and we came to associate 369 dials with them. Taking the San Martin "absolutely not an Explorer" SN-021G as an example, it's one that is able to prove two things: (a) that you can scratch sapphire if you are persistent or careless enough and (b) that they are able to turn almost any watch into an Explorer look alike.
They are also very legible and a quick glance is enough to convince me that it's about to get something like 7'ish and it's time for me to haul ass and step into the shower.
However Mercedes hands don't make a lick of a sense on dive watches.
The most important hand to track during a SCUBA dive is the minute's hand because this is the one pointing straight at the timing bezel, and you'd better watch it if you don't want to end in a decompression chamber or worse. I know that with the dive's computers in use today it became less important to wear a watch, but this was the original purpose of the dive bezel and it was very much an actual purpose when the Submariner was launched.
So why use the least important hand for a dive watch to be the one with the most lume? It simply makes zero sense and I know that I'm not the only one thinking the same. Just look at the Yema Superman, or even better - the Seiko SKX and see for yourself which hand was given the most legible shape, and the most lume.
Why Rolex decided to stick with a less than optimal design for a dive watch is a mystery to me. Maybe there were some good reasons, maybe it was just a question of style. I really don't know and since my diving days are long behind me - I also don't care.
But it looks quite good on the San Martin, even if some alcohol may need to be involved before it can be mistaken for an Explorer.