I found my two Tri-Compaxes on Craigslist nearly two years ago, and after that hot streak, Craigslist went totally dead for a while – the sellers were just plain weird or the watches weren’t worth buying. That finally changed though when I came across this Tudor Submariner 94010. The pictures were awful (yay!) and the vague description was two sentences long, which was basically a bullseye for “Bazamu watches.” I reached out via the email relay on Craigslist and surprisingly received an email back shortly. The owner was an older gentleman who went by “Sully,” and we jumped on the phone so I could learn more about the history of the man and his watch.
Sully had been a diver in the Royal Canadian Navy (“RCN”) for 38 years, first in active duty for 29 years, and then in the naval reserves from 1988 to 1997. His RCN unit was issued Tudor 94010’s sometime in the late 1980’s, and Sully dove with his issued watch through the end of his RCN career. The watch that I bought, however, was not issued to Sully; it was issued to an “entrepreneurial” friend of his, who was a reserve diver from the Naval Reserve Division (HMCS Unicorn) located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
As it turned out, Sully’s friend was in need of a better personal dive watch, and took a few…uh…”liberties” with his issued timepiece on a routine training run in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Esquimalt. While underwater, his friend took off the MilSub and tucked it into his suit. Upon re-surfacing, he reported that the bracelet clasp had broken underwater and the watch had been lost, at which point the Canadian Navy asked zero questions and issued him another one.
After switching from active duty to the reserves, Sully was soon stationed at HCMS Unicorn as well and got to know the owner of this particular Tudor. His unit-mate used the watch for a few years after the “training incident,” but soon ran into a situation that required some extra money and the Tudor had to go. His first call was to Sully, who knew that it was a good deal to make since he had used the same model faithfully for his years as a diver and would be able to help a friend in need. Sully then used the Tudor as his own recreational diver for the next few years before retiring from the navy and moving to a sunnier locale than Saskatchewan. No longer needing the watch for diving, he decided to list it on Craigslist and I happened to be in the right spot at the right time.
Of note – my mother is a dual citizen in the US and Canada and a portion of my family hails from Prince Edward Island (northeastern Canada), so being able to wear an issued piece from the Canadian Navy is special for me. If anybody from the Royal Canadian Navy asks, however, this is a 3-D printed replica of the actual MilSub, which lies “at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.”
The Fine Print
This is a fantastic example of a 94010 Submariner, as the original bevels are still fully intact on all four lugs and the caseback military engraving is sharp. The hour hand has lost a small portion of the lume (a somewhat common occurrence with lollipop Subs), but the rest of the plots are fully intact. The bezel has also faded to a very nice charcoal-hue, which was earned through hours under the sun and under the deep blue sea.