The Argonautic collection has been an essential part of DAVOSA’s divers’ watch range for many years. Just like the trusty Argonauts that accompanied Jason on his arduous journeys, the Argonautic is the perfect partner on all dives down to 30 ATM – and back to the surface again.
Our brand ambassador and world record holder in freediving, Nik Linder, has long appreciated the particular features of the Argonautic, and he was thrilled to have the opportunity to test them in one of his favourite specialist disciplines: ice diving.
“One of the most intense experiences for a diver is diving with an ‘overhead environment’. This is the term we use when there is no possibility of a direct ascent. This can be the case in caves, in wrecks and of course under ice.”
Among the many lakes in Austria, the Weissensee, which lies at 930 metres, is one of the most attractive ones for this extreme sport. Here, visibility under the ice can extend to over 50
metres: A bizarre underwater world of fallen trees is revealed under the ice, while the landscape surrounding the lake creates a mystical atmosphere. In preparation for the dive, Nik Linder and his support team first have to saw through the centimetre-thick ice to make an entry hole. This becomes the only entry and exit point into and from the water. During the dive, Nik will only be connected to his support person on the surface via a thin rope.
Water temperatures in the lake lie at just above freezing point, making hypothermia a real danger. Nik Linder is able to properly assess this risk, as he has set a total of five world records in distance diving under ice. This exceptional athlete prepares for his dive with the help of special breathing exercises and his Argonautic watch. He collects his mental focus, and shuts down physically and mentally, before sliding through the hole into another world – without any diving equipment, without an oxygen tank, just with a single breath.
“Once your eyes become accustomed to the darkness and your skin to the 2-degree cold water, you begin to enjoy the calm and the incomparable light that breaks through the ice,”
Nik tells us afterwards. “You experience complete stillness. The lake rests in peace, there are no bathers, no boats disturb the calm. All you can hear is the quiet rumble, thunder and
boom of the ice above you, which seems alive and always on the move. There is total silence in your mind; the world stops.”
Here are the specs from Nik’s own DAVOSA Argonautic BG Automatic, which he knows he can trust 100%:
- 316L stainless steel
- 30 ATM water resistance
- Uni-rotatable, high-tech ceramic bezel with luminous digits
- Screw-down crown and base
- Helium safety valve
- Dial and hands with applied BGW9 SuperLumiNova
- Integrated rubber strap with folding buckle
Film by Janez Kranjc & Ivana OK
Model: Nik Linder, SSI Freediving Instructor
Drone operator and camera: Vladimir Subotic
Underwater Camera: Janez Kranjc
Music: Bane Gluvakov Tubacin
Edit: Bloop VFX
Support: Tauchbasis Yachtdiver Weissensee