Just a 10-minute boat ride from Port Kembla Harbour in New South Wales, hundreds of Australian fur seals call Martin Island home.
While many lounge around on the rocks soaking up the sun, even more are diving and darting below the surface – just waiting to play with the small groups of snorkellers and divers that visit regularly.
It’s a wildlife experience you wouldn’t expect to find less than two hours south of Sydney’s bustling CBD.
As well as a wetsuit, heated vest and flippers, today we’re also sporting wrist candy – the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver watch.
Perfectly suited for underwater exploration, the ISO 6425-certified timepiece features a unidirectional rotating steel bezel with a 60-minute scale and a 42mm stainless steel case.
Bell & Ross dials have always prioritised function and legibility, and the 03-92 Diver is no exception. Competitively priced, it reflects the brand’s military history and is sleek enough to be worn in a professional setting as well as on weekends.
Water-resistant up to 300 metres, the watch features an extra-thick (2.85mm) sapphire crystal face with Super-LumiNova-filled numerals and indices to help divers keep track of time while they’re underwater.
The wide rubber strap is comfortable yet secure – so there’s little chance you’ll lose it below the surface – while the hour hand is distinguished in orange and the date is displayed at four o’clock.
The BR 03-92 Diver is also available in Blue, Black Matte and the particularly eye-catching Green Bronze. In the azure waters off Martin Island, it’s easy to see why this model has become a favourite.
Through a combination of yelling and banging on the side of the boat, we capture the attention of the seals, drawing them down off their sunny perches and into the water.
With masks, snorkels, flippers and watch fastened tight, we jump off the back of the boat and into the thrilling underwater world.
While they might be lazy and cumbersome on land, in the ocean the seals move with grace and speed, swimming up and circling each swimmer playfully before darting away.
The clarity of the water means we can see about 50 metres below the surface. On the ocean floor, two enormous stingrays weave through the seaweed, apparently oblivious to the pod of seals frolicking above them.
A quick glance at my 03-92 Diver shows that time has flown by – we’ve been in the water for more than an hour. We return to the boat, still in awe of what we just experienced.
It’s safe to say both the seals and Bell & Ross have exceeded expectations today.
Read next: This new eco-luxe retreat lets you sleep inside Sydney’s Taronga Zoo