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Delma Cayman Worldtimer

The Delma Cayman Worldtimer is the latest creation from the Swiss watch brand with a passion for adventure. Equipped with a sublime blue dial, a 42mm stainless case and an automatic movement, this latest model from Lengnau upholds the firm’s reputation for excellent value.

Delma Cayman Worldtimer

The luxury watch brand, Delma, clearly shares an affinity with intrepid explorers. Allow me to elaborate.

Since first discovering the Swiss firm, I have enjoyed several hands-on experiences with its models. Beyond the impressive quality-price ratio, the company’s watches exhibit a hewn from granite toughness.

For example, the Delma Blue Shark III, a generously proportioned diver’s watch, has a maximum water-resistance of 4000m. Indeed, its ability to explore such depths demonstrates its capacity to withstand colossal pressures that would destroy most everyday watches.

Earlier this year, Delma released the Oceanmaster Antarctica, a model developed for ocean adventurer, Nick Moloney. Nick wore the watch during a recent expedition to Antarctica, a particularly cruel environment for any man or, indeed, his watch. Needless to say, the Oceanmaster Antarctica performed faultlessly.

Delma Cayman Worldtimer

Now, the firm from Lengnau, Switzerland, has just released a new model, once again, made for individuals consumed by wanderlust. As you may have guessed, the Delma Cayman Worldtimer features a rotating bezel marked with 24 reference cities from around the globe, each representing a different time zone. The brand offers a quartz model and an automatic version for those frequent flyers preferring their watches to tick.

A few weeks ago, just before Covid-19 reared its ugly head, I visited Delma’s headquarters and viewed the new automatic version up close. The model I affixed to my wrist was a working prototype but, save for its solid case back, it was virtually retail-ready.

The dial

The Delma Cayman Worldtimer is available in a choice of three dial variants: black, blue or silver. The prototype version I saw in Lengnau was equipped with a blue dial and proved exquisite. The dial resembled a becoming metallic shade of cobalt and brimmed with notable style.

All dials are enriched with a sunray-brushed decoration which wonderfully ensnares natural light. This interaction with light proves fascinating without impairing readability.

Silver-toned, facetted hour and minute hands enunciate the prevailing time. A red-tipped hand interacts with the 24-hour track positioned on the rehaut. It points to the ‘home time’ and serves as a user-friendly day/night indicator. The central sweep seconds hand features a white triangular tip. The indexes are a combination of bold dots and facetted batons. Both the hands and batons feature luminescent treatment, augmenting nocturnal legibility.

A date aperture sits adjacent the crown and features black numerals atop a white disc.

The case

Measuring 42mm in diameter, the Delma Cayman Worldtimer has sufficient room for an expansive dial without feeling overly large.

Delma Cayman Worldtimer

The thickness of the case could not be described as malnourished, measuring 13.6mm, however, neither does it feel unduly cumbersome. Moreover, a slender torso would be incompatible with Delma’s aforementioned combat-fit toughness. The watch is water-resistant to 500m.

Consistent with other Delma models, the case of the Cayman Worldtimer is beautifully executed and exudes a palpable sense of quality. The stainless steel case blends brushed and polished surfaces, with each finish presented side by side with clear delineation manifest. I would expect this quality on much costlier watches, but the Delma retails for the modest sum of CHF 1,990 (RRP as at 27.5.2020).

The bidirectional rotating bezel is made of aluminium and, as previously mentioned, features 24 time zones. There are some parts of the world which are not a whole number of hours ± GMT, but have offsets of 30 or 45 minutes. No worldtimer, even exemplars of haute horlogerie can cope with this. The only solution would be to select a watch containing two independent movements and accept the commensurately higher price.

Various watch brands have moved towards bezels featuring a ceramic inlay. This seems to be primarily based on aesthetics, although the ceramic option is more likely to retain its showroom fresh appearance for longer than an aluminium equivalent. When I inspected the blue bezel of the Cayman Worldtimer, it looked well made and I predict it will provide years of distress free service. The bezel is endowed with a pleasant knurled edge and features sharp, highly legible characters. Quite simply, the bezel would befit a higher-priced watch.

The prototype model I saw was fitted with a solid stainless steel case back, however, all production models fitted with an automatic movement will feature an exhibition caseback.

The movement

Delma clearly has a predilection for ETA movements. This Grenchen-based movement specialist has a wealth of knowledge and offers superb calibres for remarkably keen prices. Most watchmakers are able to service and repair ETA calibres and they are known for their reliability.

The Delma Cayman Worldtimer is equipped with an ETA 2893 calibre which, according to the Swiss brand, has been decorated and fitted with a custom Delma rotor. As previously stated, the prototype I handled a solid case back, hence I am unable to comment further on its execution.

The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement will run autonomously for 50 hours.

Closing remarks

I chanced upon Delma a few years ago at Baselworld and immediately warmed to the company’s watches. The timepieces do not masquerade as haute horlogerie, the accessible and keen pricing precludes such elevated standards. However, having worn several Delma watches, I have been impressed by the quality-price ratio they deliver. 

In terms of the Cayman Worldtimer, the dial fulfils all functional requirements, delivering impressive readability. Furthermore, the tone of the dial, the sunray-brushed decoration and the dial’s reciprocity with light, collectively charm the onlooker.

A sign of a good watch is the quality of its execution and the profusion of smile-inducing details. Again, the touchpoints of the case are smooth, beautifully defined and surpass the perfunctory. In addition, the model’s 500m water resistance will undoubtedly win the approval of adventurous types with a love of aquatic escapades.

Once again, this family firm has delivered a robust watch, blessed with chiselled features at a price that won’t break the bank. In fact, you should have enough money left over to fund your next adventure.

Further reading

https://www.delma.ch/

Technical specifications

  • Model: Delma Cayman Worldtimer
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; height 13.6mm; water resistance 50ATM (500 metres); sapphire crystal to front; solid case back.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; date, nautical bezel, points of sail, tactical planner
  • Movement: ETA 2893, automatic movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); power reserve 50 hours.
  • Strap: Blue leather strap paired with a stainless steel pin buckle
  • Price: CHF 1,990 (RRP as at 27.5.2020)

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