top of page

Veriwatch Octopus 1973

A Recreation Done Well

Dive watches…the 1970s…a Golden Ear for carefree underwater adventurers.  Fast forward 50 years, we find ourselves in what Watchfinder’s Andrew Morgan described as being “ an incredible time to be a watch fan.” Indeed, more can be done for less, and as far as I see it, the resurgence of vintage-inspired divers and the rebirth of brands that played a key role in the development of the genre of dive watches make for a special period in the history of horology. We are so lucky to be alive right now. And it is surprising to see how many brands existed and vanished, and how many models that once were iconic have become iconic again. Or, to be more accurate, can still occupy an important spot on the contemporary watch market, insofar they do it well and with authenticity. 

This is the case of Veriwatch and the Octopus 1973. Veriwatch is an Italian  brand founded in 1961 by Giulio Capezzuto and which was active and well for a period of about 35 years until the Quartz Revolution. The brand made its name by making the Octopus, also known as the “medic’s diver,” a dive watch paired with a pulsometer function. In 2021, Alessandro Leali, a vintage dive watch collector, took over the management of Veriwatch directly from Capezzuto’s family. His goal was to preserve the brand’s heritage and to bring it into the 21st century. Thus far, Alessandro released two versions of the Octopus, and in this article we’re looking at the Classic version that comes with a date complication. (The other version has a different handset and no date.)


In my eyes, what makes a brand like Veriwatch stand apart from many other brands that make vintage-inspired divers is the fact that it respects the vintage dimensions of the original. I don’t get why brands like Tissot and Longines insist on recreating old models in bigger sizes, as if they hadn’t noticed that this is not what we—genuine watch enthusiasts—are looking for. The Octopus 1973 has, in my humble and biased opinion, the right proportions. The case measures 38mm in diameter, 47mm lug-to-lug, 12mm thick (excluding the crystal), and comes with 20mm lug width. I would say that the slightly curved sapphire crystal adds 1mm of thickness at most. (I don’t put calipers on loaners for fear of scratching them.) Coupled with a simple case profile, the Veriwatch Octopus 1973 is a joy to wear on my 6.25”/16cm wrist. 

Since Alessandro’s intention was to recreate a watch that would be a proper diver—and not a watch that only looks like one—, he didn’t skimp on getting the right stuff inside. He opted for the Swiss made Sellita SW200-1 caliber which beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and comes with 38 hours of power reserve. It is the kind of movement that can be easily serviced anywhere in the world, always making it a good choice. While speaking of the good stuff, and although I rarely write about straps, I need to mention that the Octopus 1973 is delivered with an Italian-made Tropic-style rubber strap that is soft, supple, and which probably feels like the Original Tropic strap that equipped divers in the 1970s. (It really is nice!) This style of strap perfectly matches the vintage vibe the Octopus is endowed with.

Being a dive watch, this model comes with 200 meters of water resistance, a large screw-down crown and an embossed case-back (more on that later.) The crown is grippy and feels solid, and the feeling of winding a Sellita always makes me smile because I know that I’m experiencing the good stuff. The bezel, for its part, has 120 clicks and a springy action, no back play, and comes with polished notches. (I would have preferred for them to be brushed to make the bezel easier to turn.) The bezel insert seems to be made of either brushed steel or aluminum. Whichever it is, it’s legible and solid. The toolish aspect of the Octopus 1973 is reinforced by a mainly brushed case. (Parts of the case-back are polished.)


Given its name, one could expect to see the image of the tentacled animal somewhere on the watch. And one would be right. A polished and embossed octopus occupies a large space on the case-back, referring to the model name. (The name, by the way, was chosen by Giulio Capezzuto’ son way back in the 1970s.) The edges around the octopus—the part that looks like a chapter ring—come with six raised dots which, alongside the creature, reminds me of a Jules Vern novel. It feels as if I’m looking at the octopus through a porthole or the front window of an old diving helmet. The reference, whether or not intentional, is neat. This little detail endows the Veriwatch with a unique personality. The model name, by the way, is also present on the dial below the pinion. 

The main star of the show is the dial. It is clean and legible and comes across as one of a true purpose-driven tool watch. The long fencepost hour and minute hands have a shape that works well with that of the painted hour markers, and the seconds hand, decorated with a red tip, is easy to see. This is due to the fact that there is a pulsometer scale printed in black on the rehaut against a teal background. What I don’t know, but which I assume, is that one could check the heart rate of a diver while being engaged in a diving expedition, should there have been a medical emergency. Therefore, having a seconds hand that is easy to see was a must.

Overall, the dial of the Octopus 1973 is legible and pleasing to look at.

I’m the kind of diver who likes to have a date complication on a dive watch, so I’m happy to see one at 3 o’clock on the Octopus. It is framed by a white line so that it blends in with the rest of the dial, and it is legible given that the days are printed in black and the date disc in white. Speaking of legibility, I particularly like the design of the bezel insert. It is large enough to be legible and small enough to keep the overall design of the watch balanced. Veriwatch opted to highlight 15, 25, 30, 45 and 55 with Arabic numerals and to put a lumed dot at the 0/60. The rest of the markers are hash marks. This makes it easy to time a dive or other important things such as: how long you’ve been scrolling on Instagram.

At Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Veriwatch is back and that Alessandro went about recreating the brand in thoughtful and respectful ways. Veriwatch is not the type of brand whose name was purchased by an investment firm or a watch conglomerate. Instead, it was respectfully passed down to a person who is equally passionate about making great divers as was the founder. And although it shouldn’t matter, I think it’s pretty neat that it is an Italian watch enthusiast who gave the Italian brand another chance. This fact gives Veriwatch an extra degree of authenticity, and seeing how close to the original the new Octopus 1973 is, it makes sense to me. (I for one believe that the culture we grow up in deeply influences how we perceive horology and, therefore, design watches.) 

My point here is this: should Veriwatch had been taken over by, say, a Frenchman like yours truly, the Octopus 1973 wouldn’t have come out the way it did.

Of course, the challenge that comes with bringing an old brand back to life is figuring out what to do after recreating its most iconic model. I could be wrong here but I think that Alessandro will continue to revisit Veriwatch’s old catalogs and offer modernized versions of vintage references. A quick search online shows that the Italian brand made many more models that each came with their own personality. It should be noted too that Veriwatch, at the beginning of its development, collaborated with Squale and that some of vintage models show the name of both companies printed side-by-side on the dials. Who knows, perhaps Alessandro will reach out to Squale to do another collaboration, which would be—as far as I know—a unique thing.


How much should the recreation of an iconic and unique diver cost you? I don’t know why I’m asking this rhetorical question because it is impossible to objectively answer it. What we do know is this: the Octopus 1973 is well-made, comes with a Swiss caliber, 200 meters of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, a soft and supple rubber strap, and a sapphire crystal. Ah, I forgot to mention the reasonable application of BGW9 lume which is enough for most of us who like to retreat from the dusty world by exploring what’s below the surface. 

One can acquire the Octopus 1973 for the sum of roughly $1,126 directly from the brand’s website. Whatever your opinion is, I believe it’s a good price for what you get. Putting a price tag on legacy is not an easy task, and Veriwatch could have easily charged much more for this model. Just my two cents. 

Thanks for reading.


bottom of page