Felca Seascoper Super-Compressor
Felca Seascoper Super-Compressor, AS 1896 25J Day/Date, 200m. c1970
Possibly South African Police Diving Unit Issued Equipment (SAP)
An initial Internet search showed little information on Felca, although it’s a familiar name I’ve seen on various watch fora. Digging a little deeper the history of the watch company was found on classicwatch.com…
Felca began as Felco Watch Co. (notice the ‘o’), founded in 1919. In 1943 it was renamed Felca and in 1981 finally changed to Titoni. They made some truly beautiful looking watches under the Felca brand between the 1940s and 1960s.
Nailing down specifics to the Seascoper was more difficult. There seems to be three iterations, simply named Seascoper, then Seascoper II & III. This example I got from a fellow diver watch nut in Sweden.. It’s a Mk I – we know this as it simply says ‘Seascoper’ on the dial, the subsequent models were marked with II and III on the dial. Interestingly, the Mk III is housed in the same case that Heuer used for it’s oversized 42mm 98x and 844 series of divers – there is also the Piquerez connection, they developed the Super-Compressor cases, and also supplied Heuer with many of their 70’s cases.
It’s highlight is the bright orange dial, that really pops.. it not orange.. it’s ORANGE and has a fluorescent quality too. Another great feature is the submarine emblem on the hex type caseback.. these old diver watches are just great for this kind of detail.. something that can be lacking these days. It’s a large 42mm cushion case (+ crowns) houses a 25 jewel day/date automatic AS 1896 movement, featuring uber-cool dual crosshatched crowns, inner rotating dive bezel, signed calendar automatic movement and an impressive massive stunning acrylic high dome – you’ve gotta love these vintage super compressors.
South African Police Diving Unit Issued?
The dial features a circle with SAP inside – I asked the question on TZ-UK and a few suggestions pointed to the South African Police, and in particular, they had a diving unit in the 60’s and 70’s. The SAP’s lettering, with the serif font is very similar to that on the dial, so is the most promising lead so far.
But if anyone can shed any more light on this emblem, please leave a comment.
“Revolutionary diving technology developed during WWII gave birth to Scuba diver in the 1950s, as diving enthusiasts were able to access equipment designed for the depth, including true diver’s watch. In the same year that the first Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms were introduced, a renowned watch case manufacturer in the Bernese Jura, Switzerland, by the name of Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA), patented a case sealing method that utilized the water pressure that a diver’s watch is exposed to at depth. By taking advantage of pressure to compress the case back against the O-ring seal, the Piquerez design provided superior sealing of the case, the deeper the dive. They were known as the Super-Compressors.”