Mercedes hands don't makes a lot of sense really.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It is so interesting that today out of all days I decided to think about Mercedes hands and here I find this post!

I鈥檝e never really liked them until today, when I let myself be immature while watching some watch related videos 馃槀馃槀馃槀

Edit: Cathedral hands is what made me rethink how I see these types of hands

Any design especially one as obvious as the Mercedes badge made differentiating between the hands easier. Getting the hands mixed up especially on a diver could be problematic.

I guess the designs were based on then current tool watches as it was the very early days of dive watches (not including the first, the Omega Marine as it was very different)

. The shape of the Mercedes bit was to get maximum lume in without it falling out as it wasn't very sticky and prone to breakup.

Guess they've kept it that way (hours highlighted rather than the more useful to a diver minute hand ) because of tradition and they're known to move "Glacially slow" ...

I don't like the look myself.

CliveBarker1967

Any design especially one as obvious as the Mercedes badge made differentiating between the hands easier. Getting the hands mixed up especially on a diver could be problematic.

Nothing prevented them from using a different design for their dive watches.

Catskinner

Nothing prevented them from using a different design for their dive watches.

True and they could use a different symbol other than the crown on the face. But why would they?

Can anyone tell us why Mercedes doesn鈥檛 sue Rolex ? 馃槀

They鈥檙e just a modernist take on the cathedral hands that preceded them. That鈥檚 it. Simple geometric shape, as was coming in at the tail end of the fifties and sixties in general (the decade that, for another famous example, gave us Aarnio鈥檚 ball chair) but applied to the slightly gothic, architectural look of the cathedral hands of the forties. Which had strong military association 鈥 though it鈥檚 only really the Longines entry into the 鈥榙irty dozen鈥 that has them.

The first Sub鈥檚 had pencil hands essentially, the most basic form, and on most of those other military watches of the time.

The fact it gets 鈥榤ore lume鈥 or 鈥榤ore surface area鈥 seems an aside to be honest 鈥 fundamentally hour and minute hands are always differentiated by the age old tradition of length, that also often carries into width 鈥 hence the 鈥榗athedral鈥 hand itself, and then it鈥檚 modernist, pure geometric descendant, the 鈥楳ercedes鈥 hand.

Tinfoiled14

Can anyone tell us why Mercedes doesn鈥檛 sue Rolex ? 馃槀

Free advertising to their desired customer base?

I agree (this comment was sponsored by the Cathedral Hands Supremacy Society)

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The hour hand has to be wider so that you can still see where it is when the minute hand is right on top of it.

To keep the hour hand slender and consistent with the overall design, a shape that pokes out from under the minute hand will show the hour hand. It can be cathedral, snowflake, Mercedes, round, whatever.

The other option is to have big, fat hour hands鈥 like Seiko fat hour hands so they are seen under the minute hand.

I鈥檓 a fan. They offer another design aesthetic and now have brand and longevity status. Sometimes a design choice must percolate before one appreciates it. Case in point; GS on-dial power meter. Really disliked their dial interruption but now see value on certain configurations.

CliveBarker1967

True and they could use a different symbol other than the crown on the face. But why would they?

Would that help make a better diver's watch?