In the midst of the Vietnam War, to go along with President Kennedy’s first official recognition of select branches of the U.S. Special Forces with a $100 million spending increase, these military units, along with CIA maritime units, were issued special military-grade timepieces by American watchmaker Benrus. One of the more notable pieces was the US MIL-W-50717, which was commissioned from 1972 to 1980. However, these exclusive tool watches were never made available to the public despite their legendary status.
Prometheus Design Werx’s Special Projects Division has partnered with favorite watch microbrand MkII for the Paradive, a dive watch inspired by and homologous to the US MIL-W-50717. Sporting a Seiko Caliber NE15 automatic movement inside the 316L stainless steel case, the watch is water-resistant to 200m, has a unidirectional dive time bezel, and boasts a double domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
Straightforward, clean, and classic, the dial itself is colored black with silver indices and hands, which are lumed for visibility. The sweeping seconds hand is also given an orange tip, further aiding in at-a-glance readings. Special Projects Division’s Kraken trident logo is featured underneath the 12 o’clock marker, while Prometheus Design Werx’s logo graces the caseback. Along with the Paradive, this set from SPD and MkII includes an Expedition Watch Band Compass Kit that can fit on either of the watch’s black or OD green Ti-NATO straps.
The first 50 pieces will be available starting July 4 for $955 on Prometheus Design Werx’s website, while 5 limited-edition sets, priced at $1,575, will come with a custom loveless-style Chute knife by Wesley Liversage.