The ‘20,000 FEET’ is a follow up to CX’s 2005 world record breaking offering of the ‘12,000 FEET’. What possible reason would CX have for besting a piece of their own design? You guessed it — in 2008, a competitor’s watch beat the depth record that was originally held by the ‘12,000 FEET’. Though to create a piece that was a “record breaker” was only part of their plan; they wanted to the watch to be functional, legible and once again contain a mechanical chronograph movement (COSC certified Valjoux 7750). The technical team had to develop a tank that was capable of simulating the conditions that would equal the pressure of an 800 bar (8,000 meter) dive. One particular area that caused a problem was finding a proper way to affix the 10mm thick (that is not a typo) sapphire crystal to the titanium case. Prototypes for the ‘20,000 FEET’ started to appear in late 2008, and the rigorous testing soon followed.
When viewing the watch head on, it honestly doesn’t look too remarkable. It kind of comes across as just another sports diver with a chronograph movement, lume in the right places and legibility literally written all over its dial. It’s when the watch is viewed from the side that it really makes its statement. Clocking in at a whopping 28.5mm thick this beast will most certainly have a presence on the wrist. Don’t let the fact that its 46mm monster case is made from titanium fool you — the watch weighs in at a hefty 265 grams (for a point of reference a Breitling Super Avenger chronograph weighs just under 154 grams…and that’s a pretty substantial watch). I, for one, cannot wait to see a variety of photos of this thing on a wearer’s wrist.
I know what you’re thinking — it’s a gimmick, something designed to garner CX some attention and though part of me agrees with that presumption it’s obvious that CX wants this to be a functional diver. The overall design of the watch says take me under water, deeeeeep under water. Features include a helium valve, extra large crown, screw down pushers and large tactile bezel so all operations can be done with diver’s gloves on, and even with the pushers in the unscrewed position the watch is still rated at 300 meters.
So, did it break the record it was designed to? Absolutely it did; on January 5th 2009 Guinness World Records certified that the ‘20,000 FEET’ was in fact the deepest diving watch that still functioned at 6,000 meters. Apparently not content with holding the dive record they started to perform other tests, just to see how tough the watch actually is. Rather than describe what exactly was done, I think its probably better that you view it yourself:
Kinda gives the term “beater” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
CX Swiss Military Watch has dedicated a website strictly for the ‘20,000 FEET’ and its simple enough to remember; www.20000feet.com. There you can find more video of the watch being put through it paces , along with more information on its development, and other technical spec goodies. If you would like to be 1 of 1000 lucky owners of the ‘20,000 FEET’, be prepared to shell out about $4,500 USD (2,998 EUR) plus VAT.
The above article was originally written by Craig M. for: