Step 3: Results in 3D and technical details
CoLAB – Airain Sous-Marine
Help us shape Airain’s next flagship
The first 3D images surface. Discover the smooth new looks and what’s under the bonnet of the reimagined Airain Sous-Marine.
In the previous steps, you helped us decide on things like the type of glass, second hand shape, the diver graphic and placement of the Fab. Suisse tag. We also provided some background information on the parmentier crown, for which we have some exciting news.
This round, we’re adding a few Quick Polls and we’ll be reintroducing an old acquaintance. And there may be a pre-order update, too…
Pre-order Round 1
Pre-order Round 2
Meet the New Sous-Marine
Watch our CEO Tom van Wijlick reveal the first renders of the revived Sous-Marine.
Tallying up the scores
It’s always exciting to see the numbers rise over time. Some features really elicited some strong opinions, which have really helped us shape the new Sous-Marine.
The seconds hand design poll left no doubt about your preferences: a whopping 74% of the votes chose the French lollipop design over the DNA strand seconds hand. Roughly the same number of votes (73%) went to the ‘diver with spear’ graphic on the caseback, even though there were three options to choose from here. The placement of the Fab. Suisse tag was even more unanimous: 77% of the voters did not like the tag centre-stage under Airain’s logo, and wanted it tucked away below the six o’clock mark.
About the Glass
Let’s dive right in. In the first step, we established that 53% of your votes selected acrylic glass. But during the technical development we discovered that if we want to guarantee a water-tightness down to 200 metres with acrylic glass (which was this new watch’s primary aim), we cannot keep the original looks. Using acrylic glass would result in a higher bezel profile and wider diameter of the watch.
Improved Parmentier Crown
As explained in the previous step, the original Sous-Marine was watertight to a depth of 200 meters thanks to the Parmentier crown. The original crown had one major disadvantage, though: it would easily come off and get lost.
To honour the original’s looks and to remain historically accurate, the new Sous-Marine will also feature the Parmentier crown. To make sure it won’t fall off as easily, we’ve improved the attachment system.
Proof of the pudding is in the eating though, and we will not know how effective our design update has been until someone starts wearing our Sous-Marine regularly. We’re currently investigating the possibilities of adding a spare crown cap to every order, or whether you can easily re-order a lost cap if necessary.
Last but not least, we will also add a waterproofing barrier inside the winding crown, providing water resistance of at least 30 meters even without the crown cap!
Reintroducing: The Fixoflex® bracelet
The iconic watchband, that sold over 100 million pieces, is back
Small drumroll please, because we have a soft announcement:
We’re happy to share that we’ve revived Fixoflex, the famous bracelet brand! As part of the ROWI company (Rodi & Wienenberger), their bracelets were top of their class from the 1960s through to the 1980s. But as finding investors proved increasingly difficult for them, ROWI eventually folded in 2019.
To stay true to history (remember the poster in Step 1?), our new Sous-Marine will, once again, have custom Fixoflex bracelets, with a first link specifically designed for the Sous-Marine. Isn’t it wonderful to see two major players reunited? Who knows, maybe we will also re-introduce Fixoflex as a match for other watch models. What do you think?
We absolutely adore the results. And you?
Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition
A skin diver developed to modern standards, yet true to the original in nearly every detail. Available with lollipop or DNA strand seconds hand.
with glossy black dial, 14K gold plated hands and lollipop seconds hand on a Tropical Black FKM Rubber strap and a Fixoflex bracelet
with glossy black dial, 14K gold plated hands and DNA strand seconds hand on a Tropical Black FKM Rubber strap and a Fixoflex bracelet
Airain Sous-Marine Limited Series
An exclusive run of the Airain Sous-Marine. Very similar but still different (look closely if you can find all the differences). For this occasion we exclusively used the Airain crown logo on these models.
Deep blue dial with BGW9 lume and white painted hands on a Tropical Blue FKM Rubber strap and a Fixoflex bracelet
Faded black dial with C3 lume and silver polished hands on a Tropical Black FKM Rubber strap and a Fixoflex bracelet
Ocean green dial with light old radium lume and silver polished hands on a Tropical Green FKM Rubber strap and a Fixoflex bracelet
Tropical dial with light old radium lume and bronze colored hands on a Tropical Black FKM Rubber strap and a Fixoflex bracelet
Displayed prices include DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) for all countries in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the USA meaning that shipping as well as customs duties and VAT for these countries are included. For all other countries, prices include DAP (Delivered at Place) meaning that only shipping is included and customs duties and VAT are not included.
Behind the Caseback
Flagships need strong engines
A sophisticated movement is what turns a watch into a legend. That’s why we cooperate with Manufacture La Joux-Perret from La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. They will create the new Sous-Marine’s movement dubbed ‘AM5’, based on their G100.
The Swiss-Made AM5 self-winding mechanical movement boasts an impressive 68 hours of power reserve. Its solid tungsten rotor ensures a smooth rotation and weight distribution while its accuracy is regulated to no less than 4 positions. It is finished in ‘Soigné’ with blue screws.
As a well-established Swiss movement manufacturer, La Joux-Perret is our supplier of choice. Their AM1 and LC-450 movements were the driving force for our Airain Type 20 and Lebois & Co Heritage Chronograph.
Move the slider to reveal what’s behind the Sous-Marine’s case back.
* = The final finishing of the movement may differ slightly from the picture shown.
Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition
Swiss Made modern reissue of Airain’s 1960s dive watch which includes a unique and historically accurate ‘Parmentier crown’ providing water-resistance of 200 meters, a unidirectional rotating diver’s bezel with 120 clicks and 60 minute scale.
316L stainless steel case
Diameter: 37.5 mm (case) / 38.2 mm (bezel)
Height: 10.45 mm
Crystal: 2.92mm domed sapphire with anti-reflective coating inside
Stainless steel case back, screwed down, engraved
Bezel: unidirectional (counterclockwise) rotating with white engraving and Super Luminova dot at 12 o’clock, full black PVD coated
Water resistance: 200m (20ATM)
Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Lug width: 20mm
Strap: quick-release Tropic-style FKM rubber strap
Buckle type: pin buckle
Fixoflex® expandable watch band
Finishing: Matt brushed
Easily removable links
AM5 automatic calibre
Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vibrations/hour
Twenty-four (24) jewels
68 hours power reserve
Finishing: Geneva stripes (Côtes de Genève), blue polished screws and gold coloured engravings
Datewheel: roulette (alternating red and black numerals)
Adjusted to 4 positions (CH, FH, 3H, 6H, 9H)
2 years international warranty
Pre-order Round 1: Early-Bird Benefits
We reward your early commitment!
Because the technical development has already taken place, we will move into the prototype phase as soon as we have processed your feedback. On 16 December we will also start the first of two pre-order rounds. The second pre-order round will follow after the prototypes are finished. In return for your trust and early commitment, the first pre-order round offers the biggest advantage compared to the final retail price.
Oh, and remember the vintage poster that inspired us to revive the Sous-Marine? We decided to start reproducing it and add it as an extra to all orders in the first pre-order round!
BONUS: Collect CDMLEC Rewards with your purchase
Pre-ordering your Sous-Marine comes with another added benefit. Very soon, we’ll be rolling out a new loyalty programme to reward future AND past buyers of Airain products (+ CDMLEC’s other brand, Lebois & Co).
Through this programme, you automatically build up points for every purchase at one of CDMLEC’s brands. You can check out the first details on our dedicated Rewards page, which we’ll expand soon. For now, the most important thing to note is that loyal fans will enjoy more benefits in the future!
Pre-order Round 1 is closed
Register below to be notified when Pre-order Round 2 opens.
Next Step: Prototyping
We cannot wait to get our hands on this thing! When we do, we will be back in the next CoLAB step, with undoubtedly amazing video and picture footage of our joint creation.
You talk, we listen
|29 March, 2022||Step 1: Design foundations|
|13 May 2022||Step 2: Revealing the design|
|10 December 2022||Step 3: Presenting the results in 3D and technical details|
|16 December 2022||Pre-order Round 1 (pre-prototype)|
|March 2023||Step 4: Prototype evaluation|
|April 2023||Launch of Pre-order Round 2|
|May 2023||Start of final production|
|October 2023||Start delivery|
The above timeline is an estimate and can be adjusted if necessary.
Virtual Coffee Catch-up
Talking watches and project progress: register for our virtual coffee meetings
Don't forget to brew your own cup of coffee beforehand 😉
Share your passion and ideas. Subscribe below and let us know what you think. No account required.
I really like everything about this except the lug to lug of 48.2mm; with a case of 37.5mm, I feel that something around 46-47mm would have suited the sizing better. I’ll have to wait until I see how the final product fits before I can commit to anything. The renewed Vulcain Skindiver has better proportions, but this Airain has a much better design.
Thank you for your kind words and your feedback! I think you will indeed have to see the final product to make an informed decision. We kept the dimensions very close to the original (including the lug-to-lug size) and this really looked great in terms of proportions so that’s why we didn’t change it in the new piece.
How limited will the limited editions be? Have you decided on a unit cap for each variation?
There is no specific number as we want everyone that wants one, to be able to order one. However, the limited series will only be produced in this production batch which will be used only for the two intended pre-order rounds and a very limited stock for our retailers.
Oh my question was based on liking (but not buying) the GO Sea Q, which this is very similar to, both are very striking. Do we know which came first, can we be wear the Airain with historical pride over GO?
As far as we have heard from French diver watch experts, the GO Spezimatic (where the SeaQ is based on) launched in 1969 while the Airain Sous-Marine already existed in 1961-62…
Great to know that. Yes I have a GUB Spezimatic from 1970, you can get these with or without date for around 300 (GO too much for me) from the guy in Germany (GUB later became GO). Great historical piece to have, hence why I have many modern reissue pieces.
Looks great so will have to buy due to – sapphire, 200m, radium, LJP, in green and the cost being total for UK at last. Also keeping the historical element with modern specs is crucial, I think everything above is actually spot on.
I’ve been following for years but this will be my first Airain even with the very long wait.
Thank you very much!! 🙂 That is so great to hear!
I was looking forward to your latest Sous Marine update and I wasn’t disappointed. Some great choices and changes. I think the sapphire crystal is the way to go. The sizing is perfect and I am very happy about the movement choice. All considered the price point is very fair and competitive.
One thought/suggestion on the purchasing/delivery aspect. The length between the 1st pre-order and delivery is approximately 10 months. That is a long time to wait and I think a lot of people will be concerned about laying down the full-payment upfront.
Rick Marai at Aquastar approached this in a different way. I actually bought their DeepStar 2 watch, and the pre-order took a deposit of $500 with the balance due just prior to shipping. The wait was about 6 months, but that also seemed long to me, but it was easier knowing the deposit was at risk versus the full amount.
Having said that, I have full confidence in your ability to deliver, based on your past Type 20 offerings. But a Deposit approach might reduce the barrier to purchase for a lot of people.
Thanks Michael! I know you have been following our project for a long time and I am very happy to read you like the outcome of this step and the choices we made!
I agree with you the time to wait is long. I think this is mostly because we already go into a pre-order round (1 of 2) before our prototypes are finished. This is different from other brands who often already have done their prototypes which at that point will be closer to production and delivery of components. In our case, that moment is reached during pre-order round 2 after which the wait will be less and similar to the 6 months that you described which might still feel long but unfortunately the fastest we can go currently.
To keep the price (very) fair and competitive we indeed ask for a full-payment of the pre-order. In return we offer an advantage to the final retail price. For this moment, this is the model that we feel comfortable with and the funds collected actually help us to not having to make shortcuts on quality or choice upfront resulting in that high quality and very competitive offer.
That said, I do take your comments to heart for future projects 🙂
Agree with Michael…I’d put down $500 right now. Don’t really like shelling out thus far in advance either.
Thanks Michael for your feedback!
What’s the bezel made of? Is it aluminum, ceramic, stainless steel,etc. Does the movement have anti-shock and anti-magnetic attributes…per Sous-Marine Ref. 524-481
The bezel is made of stainless steel and is black PVD coated (so there is no aluminium insert).
There are no specific anti-magnetic properties built in the watch so we have to rely on the anti-magnetic properties of the movement itself.
The movement has KIF anti-shock system made by KIF PARECHOC. We’ll make sure to add that to the specs.
This again looks great. The poll regarding the date hits a nerve though.
Basically I’m not a fan of a date on watches. It takes the balance off a bit. I understand that this is historically correct in this case, but would very welcome a variant without it.
When do you know if this will be available or not? I would like to participate in the first round, but would be very disappointed if the version without date becomes available after that.
I understand your comment on the date/no-date. For now we stick to the date version as the watch is presented currently. The availability of a no-date version will depend on the overall demand since we simply would have to make more references available and increase production at some level. If we decide to make a no-date version available it will be made available to all who ordered in our pre-order rounds so including the first one. I hope this helps.
Hi Tom, I love the look of this watch and will most probably register. However, I have a few questions about the lume used and its application before I do. Was providing bright, long-lasting lume a design priority during the design phase of the Sous-Marine models? I ask because the model that most interests me is the Sous-Marine Deep Blue Ref 524.422, which is listed as having grade A C1 white lume. I understand and like the design choice of using white lume for this model, but I wonder why C1 (with only 31% of the brightness of C3) was chosen over BGW9 (also white, with 95% of the brightness of C3)? Also, how generously is the lume on Sous-Marine models applied? Are there multiple layers? If so, how many? In my opinion, a diver’s watch needs to have bright, long-lasting lume for excellent readability in the dark. I wear my watches when I go to bed and need to read the time in the dark easily during the night. Will all the Sous-Marine models have the same (hopefully excellent) nighttime readability? If not, which model will have the best lume performance? The Sous-Marine is such a lovely-looking watch that speaks to my heart, and if I buy one, I wouldn’t want to be disappointed with less-than-excellent nighttime readability.
Thank you very much carsonjam!
We are currently checking your much appreciated feedback regarding the lume. I’ll keep you posted!
I too would like to know more about the lume before committing in round one. Also, the black dials will have gold plated hands, where others will have either silver hands or “bronze colored” hands?
There is an update regarding the lume 🙂
Yes, the black dials for the Re-Edition models have 14K gold plated hands. The other once indeed have normal colored hands as indicated.
Thank you for the update Tom!
thanks again for your feedback and questions.
I agree with you a diver’s watch needs to be bright and have long-lasting lume. I can confirm that we briefed our suppliers to apply lume generously on all models. I cannot yet confirm how many layers that will be. That part is worked out by our supplier. Prototypes will point out how good the lume performance will be.
As you stated there is a difference between the brightness of the different lume pigments out there. If you like, we can experiment with the different models once the protos are finished to see which one of them is brightest.
I can also confirm that we have requested BGW9 lume to use instead of C1 lume for ref 524.422. This was an excellent suggestion of you! Apart from the fact that both are white during the day and BGW9 is brighter in the night, BGW9 glows blue/white instead of green which much better fits this ref because of the blue dial color. So thanks again for the suggestion!
Excellent point Tom,
I can think of an instance where I had this same thought on a watch with a blue dial variation. Personally I am leaning towards reference 524.457, the “light old radium” lume, what exactly will that be, and will the performance be similar to BGW9?
The ‘light old radium’ lume color is a kind of beige to resemble the radium/tritium lumes that have been used on older (now vintage) watches. It looks a lot like the beige lume that we used on our Type 20 Re-Edition. Super-Luminova ‘light old radium’ belongs to the Green Line (GL) which means it will glow green-yellowish at night. It will not be as bright as C3or BGW9. I don’t have official numbers for this color but when looking at our samples I would say it lumes 35% less than C3.
Is it the Grade A ‘light old radium’?
One question about the bezel, what materials is it made of ( aluminium?)and possible to have not a pure white but something more in harmony with the vintage lume type off-white .
Thanks and congrats for the project!👍🥂
Thanks for the wishes!
The bezel is made of stainless steel and is black PVD coated (so there is no aluminium insert). We did choose white for the font on the bezel because it feels more original. Also, it adds contrast to the lume which was also chosen to resemble the original color (radium/tritium lume at this time was typically tinted and never white to begin with).
But of course we will have to see it in real life to make an informed decision towards production!
Great work and an excellent surprise in the form of the bracelet.
It is very inspiring to see that your team is constantly innovating.
Could you please consider making the 3D file available so that we may print it for ourselves and try it on?
It would allow us the freedom to make a more informed choice on the sizing and proportions by not forcing us to use the very archaic ‘image scaled on a photo of wrist’ or having to go through the rigmarole of ‘finding and travelling to a dealer with stock’.
As far as I am aware this would be this first instance of a company offering this and it would certainly suit your companies leading style.
Thank you very much for your kind comments. We are happy to see our efforts are appreciated!
I must say I very much like the idea of providing a 3D file to print locally. It sure helped us a lot in getting an idea of how the watch would be in real life. Let me explore the possibilities and get back on this!
I shall be looking forward to any updates on this!
Hi Ste! We have a 3D file available if you are interested to print locally. Just send us an email and we will provide it.
I just Registered for The Sous-Marine Re-Edition Ref. 524.437A. A Leather Strap option would be nice for some people who prefer Leather Straps. I am looking forward to receiving my two Chronograph Watches I have already ordered.
I hope you are doing well!
Thank you Don! I hope you are well too!
We actually have strap options available which you could add to your order once we our pre-orders round goes live. They are here: https://airain.com/product-category/straps-accessories/
any chance we can get the dna strand second hand on another colored dial. i understand black was the only dial color back in the day. i have a voit, orator, and tradition (skin divers) all with a black dial. i want my sous to be different than the rest. i want it to get noticed. i will most likely order a green dial at pre order. aged white hands and an aged white dna strand would be my preference. secondly, how about a corfam type band option?
ps are there any of the type 20 chronos available? i was on the list for a brown and had to cancel, i am now in the position to purchase one. i like to have 2 or more of a brand. as in having 3 skin diver watches
For now we will have to keep the dna strand second hand exclusively for the glossy black dial reference. We will have to see how popular it will turn out in our pre-orders to see if we can offer it on other refs in the future. A corfam band would indeed look great but at this point it makes sense to keep it with the strap offerings we have now to keep it clear to our customers.
I are making plans to start a new Type 20 production soon so best to keep an eye on your website early next year! 😉
Could there be a second bracelet option of am oyster style with an adjustable clasp? Great choice on the movement!
Regarind a bracelet option it would be an option to check out Forstner bands. I think they might offer something that you are looking for.
These look stunning. Love the black re-edition and ocean green. Love the inclusion of both the rubber strap and firoflex with a watch. Movement seems very good for price. I hope that 37.5mm is not too small. Tudor nailed it at 39mm. I wonder about 37.5mm???
Hi Benoit, thank you!! Really happy you like them. Good job already finding this new step one day before the project goes live! 🙂
Yes, I agree; the movement for this watch has great specs and I believe this makes this watch stand out from the crowd even more. We made a 3D print of the whole watch and seeing this in real life make me believe the watch will not feel too small. I think this is primarily because of the bezel diameter of 38.2mm and the lug-to-lug size of 48.2mm.
Hi fellow watch enthusiasts, team Airain is here to answer your questions and comments. You are welcome to join the discussion!
I’m interested in Sous-Marine Ocean Green Ref 524.481with AM5 movement. I’m not finding anything in full specs. that mentions anti-magnetic or anti-shock features. Will these attributes be in the production watch? I’ve ordered the LeBois Heritage Chronograph and it does have anti-magnetic qualities.
great to hear you like the Ocean Green one! I still can’t decide… 😉
There are no specific anti-magnetic properties built in the watch so we have to rely on the anti-magnetic properties of the movement itself. For the Lebois & Co Heritage Chronograph we indeed tested anti-magnetic properties at TIMELAB in Geneva since we wanted to be sure that the anti-magnetic statement on the dial was true 🙂
The movement has KIF anti-shock system made by KIF PARECHOC. We’ll make sure to add that to the specs.