Witnessing what’s been perhaps one of the most esoteric dive watch epics of the past two years, I’d say tracking the re-emergence of the Synchron brand—and the controversy surrounding its debut—has been nothing short of exhilarating. And if you ever want to sound like the least-cool-guy-ever, just repeat that last intro sentence out loud, at a party, in a room full of emotionally healthy people. But since you’re here, I can get geeky about a watch. The new Synchron watches have been on my mind since we covered the release of their 2021 Military. If that watch left you weak at the knees, you were probably also curious when Doxa’s standard-production Army was released last year. I personally purchased one of those two watches … sold it, and purchased the watch we’re talking about today—the Synchron Poseidon Ice Diver limited edition. I can’t explain why each of these three watches took up so much of my headspace over the past couple years without sounding the alarm on my mental health. But if you consider the greater lineage and context these watches occupy, it’s hard not to be a little obsessive. And I think what we’re looking at here is the most intriguing chapter in the story.
When Synchron announced the Poseidon Ice Diver, ($990 pre-order price, or $1,290 after pre-order) it felt like folks initially couldn’t follow the logic or the actual “why” behind its release. Was it another homage to a legendary 70s dive watch again? Were more of the old ones being put into production? “Oh wait! Different hands! Yellow and cream?” The chatter was all over the place but after digging into the Poseidon Ice Diver’s story, modern military connection, and the enthusiasm from brand loyalists, I just really wanted to experience it first-hand. Taking this particular press sample for an early test drive was something that may have pushed me over the edge a little. I have thoughts. And together, we can take a look at this very special, sold-out dive watch.
While I never handled the original Military, it looks like the case on the Poseidon is exactly the same. Fans that are deep into the Doxa Sub models will find it very familiar, and the cushion design sits proud on the wrist. The thickness of 14mm is what seems to throw a lot of people off. We should be clear, that’s with the caseback that bulges out slightly below the 12.5mm thickness of the case itself. I didn’t find it unwieldy and the entire experience felt like wearing a Seiko SRP-series diver on the wrist. That might be different if you opted for a nylon strap. But on this white ISOfrane rubber strap, *chef’s kiss*, c’est magnifique. And at 42mm in diameter with a 45mm lug-to-lug distance, I think this’ll still feel like a sweet spot for many.
The bezel is an absolute beauty, with a thick sapphire layer, huge markings for hours and minutes, and a good tactile response. In what I think is a more practical update for some, Synchron also went with an elapsed time scale—perhaps at the request of the Swedish Armed Forces. You also get some sick lume on the bezel. Water resistance is 300m and the screw-down crown protrudes outward from the case, which some have criticized. To me, I think it adds Synchron-specific character while serving as a reminder that this simply isn’t that other watch. It’s its own thing and I feel like I’ve grown to appreciate the look ever since the original Military launched.
By now so much has been written about Poseidon Dive Systems and how they tie into the world of Synchron watches. Here’s the short of it. They’re a long standing dive equipment company founded in 1958, in Gothenburg, Sweden. They also supply diving equipment to the Swedish military and in essence that’s why we’re getting the co-branding on this dial, since Synchron and Poseidon stepped up to the task of fulfilling their request. Aside from the Poseidon dial icon at 4:30, the branding touches are subtle with yellow coloring on the seconds and minutes hand. The whole dial has kind of a chess board vibe to it, too. In the case of this Poseidon Ice Diver, the center of the dial is a very light white-ish grey, unlike the heavy tan/beige found on my old Doxa Army.
Some call it cluttered but to me it looks highly-legible. I think a big part of this is because of the plongeur or Ploprof-style hands. You just get such a quick reading on the minutes at a glance and this specific version with the black outline on the hour hand brings even more contrast. The hands and markers feature Super-LumiNova but something about the application felt a little faint in low light. Maybe that’s just the Puget Sound overcast leading to a weak charge all the time but worth noting. I’ve also noticed that my Sub 300 Aqualung reissue isn’t always a big lume monster either. And while we’re talking about that watch I just have to admit that there’s something special about these limited runs with dial icons. In his book DOXA SUB – A 50 Year Journey, Dr. Peter McClean Millar dedicates an entire chapter to these desirable icons in the world of Doxa/Synchron. In some ways they can even bring balance to the dial and I’m personally glad the Poseidon icon has completely replaced the “Military” logo on Synchron’s last model.
If you purchase the Synchron Poseidon Ice Diver, you get what I think is the absolute king of rubber dive watch straps. It’s the ISOfrane, another brand nurtured and re-launched by Rick Marei in 2010. It’s thick with a ton of adjustability and a design that allows for air to circulate on the wrist. I found it to be such a fitting companion for the watch with how robust it felt and yes, it’s also vanilla scented. The light grey was also a nice pairing. However, I’ve read that you can request a different color ISOfrane while ordering the watch from Synchron. Really though, with 20mm lugs it wouldn’t be hard to swap in another favorite strap. Dr. Peter McClean Millar even gave us a look at what the watch looks like on a Suppaparts bracelet here. I’ll be keeping mine on the light grey with the plan of eventually purchasing a black ISOfrane strap.
Another unexpected surprise during this release was the announcement of the movement Synchron selected for the Poseidon Ice Diver. Apparently, the specs presented by the Swedish military required a power-reserve greater than what the usual ETA-2824 gets you. That’s where the La Joux-Perret G100 movement steps in. With 68 hours of power reserve, this movement presents itself as one of the biggest upgrades over the original Synchron Military. Then there’s the Tungsten winding rotor, which I’d never heard of in a movement until now. I didn’t have the watch long enough to really test accuracy but something tells me it’ll serve as a low-maintenance serviceable movement like the ETA. The winding and crown action was smooth and I look forward to getting mine on a timegrapher when it comes in during the March shipment batch.
So after whining about limited edition Army models, missing the first Synchron Military, barking at Doxa for a non-limited version, buying that version and selling it, and complaining some more—I ended up here. It’s almost as if watch collecting can sometimes make less and less sense the more you dig yourself into it. But I’m glad this is how it all shook out for me. I think the Synchron Poseidon Ice Diver is most interesting one out of the bunch. If you think about it, this watch is the true “next-gen” to the Doxa Army (not the 2021 Synchron Military, or Doxa’s new Army). The contemporary military connection is there, plus the required specs for the end user. That along with the color choices, new hands, and the movement just seals the deal. It’ll be nice seeing this watch sit next to my Marei-era Sub 300 Aqualung limited edition for many years to come.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.
2 thoughts on “Testing The New And Sold Out Synchron Poseidon Ice Diver”
Great review and super cool looking watch IMO. The white/yellow combo is something that just feels fresh and different. Too bad it’s sold out 🙁
Agreed! That crazy color combo just makes it for me. Hoping people don’t price-gouge as they show up used.