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When Carl F. Bucherer unveiled the Patravi ScubaTec Black diver back in January 2020, it set itself apart at once as one of the most aggressive and masculine takes on the burgeoning black dive watch trend. With hefty proportions and an over-the-top tactical look, the Patravi ScubaTec Black has cemented itself as one of the brand’s most talked-about new releases in 2020. While its angular design and material firsts for the marque certainly captured attention on debut, where the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black truly shines is in person.
While there’s no getting around the 44.6mm diameter of the Patravi ScubaTec Black’s DLC-coated titanium case, Carl F. Bucherer uses several tricks to help keep this visual mass in proportion. The biggest, but perhaps the least obvious, of these elements is the bold angular form itself. The bezel, for example, features a raised intermittent toothed pattern and a ceramic insert with a bold oversized dive scale, but it’s this chunkiness and width that helps to minimize the dial aperture for a more compact feel on the wrist. Likewise, while the wide-set and dramatically angled lugs might serve to make the design feel more purposeful and rugged, this downward angle also helps the wrap the case around the wrist surprisingly well while making the visual profile from above as square as possible. This keeps the lugs from appearing too long while aiding wearer comfort. Even the black DLC coating of the titanium, like black clothing, is visually slimming. The result is a case that doesn’t want for wrist presence but feels less overwhelming on average wrists than the numbers might imply. With the elements that don’t directly aid in this visual compression, there’s no shortage of attention to detail.
The mix of flat brushed surfaces and a prominent polished bevel along the lugs adds a feeling of quality and a hint of flash, while the prominent angular crown guards include a hex screw for an added sense of durability. The angular form of these guards is echoed at 8 o’clock, where the automatic helium escape valve sits in its own notched guard. Perhaps the most impressive bit of visual detail on the case comes courtesy of the solid caseback. Caseback engravings finished with black DLC are something of a rarity, to begin with, but the level of depth and quality shown in the pair of manta rays and the stylized backdrop sets this one ahead of its competitors. A 500-meter water resistance rating lends credence to the aggressive and capable case design with proven functionality. This is also Carl F. Bucherer’s first regular production model with a full titanium case, offering a potent mix of both durability and light weight.
If the case of the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black is all harsh and aggressive angles, the dial contrasts this with a rounder and more literally aquatic approach. This begins most clearly with the black dial surface, with a raised fish scale pattern that immediately demands attention. The indices are less obviously marine, but the streamlined and rounded applied DLC forms are vaguely reminiscent of pointed shark’s teeth. The handset, shared with the rest of the Patravi ScubaTec line, also follows this aquatic theme, with a vaguely fishlike take on semi-skeletonized Roman sword hands. The overall package feels stylish and cohesive, with the exception of the 3 o’clock date window. While a date complication is a fine and useful addition if done well, the white date wheel breaks up the visual harmony of the dial noticeably. A black date wheel would feel far less disruptive here.
While the ETA 2824-2 based CFB 1950.1 automatic movement inside the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black may not be fully in-house, the brand does make a handful of modifications to the long-running ETA workhorse. Chief among these comes in the form of heavy testing and adjustment, leading to a COSC chronometer certification for accuracy. One aspect that does remain unchanged for the CFB 1950.1, however, is the power reserve, which remains at 38 hours.
Carl F. Bucherer offers the Patravi ScubaTec Black on an all-black version of its standard signed rubber dive strap, but it also provides a more interesting and environmentally conscious alternative. At first glance, it may look like a standard black nylon or canvas strap, but the material used here is made entirely from recycled PET plastic bottles retrieved from the world’s oceans. As both an ecological conversation piece and a companion to a functional dive watch, the PET strap is a clear winner, with a thick and supple black rubber lining for added comfort and durability.
The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black may be far from the first in the current lineup of DLC-coated dive watches across the industry, but its full titanium construction is a first for the brand, and its aggressive design helps to set it well apart from the pack. The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $7,200. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.