One of the essential items on a diving guru’s list is a reliable dive watch. It will help you monitor your dive time to ensure you don’t overstay your welcome and end up with severe decompression sickness or running out of oxygen. Most divers nowadays use diving computers, but a swimmer watch is a reliable back up plan in case the computer malfunctions. Many dive watch brands are claiming to be the perfect marine watch while in the real sense, they shouldn’t be in any depth of water, let alone 200m. What should you look for while seeking to pick a proper dive watch?
The most reliable watch has six essential features that set it apart from the knock-offs:
It should be waterproof
It goes without saying that your chosen time machine should not get soaked while you are 200m deep in the ocean. The crown and back case is the most vulnerable to water penetration, so the watch should use a screw-down mechanism to give a sure-fire seal. Other watch smiths may incorporate double gaskets and cam locks, but screw-down is the more reliable and thus common mechanism. Before taking your underwater tour, ensure that every pusher and crown is adequately screwed down for a 100% tight seal. Moreover, your watch should be structured to be water resistant at a pressure below 200m for scuba-diving and 300m for professional deep-sea diving; and up to 25% more of its specified depth of water. Features you can check for include thicker crystals and heavier casing.
Unidirectional rotating bezel
All underwater masterpieces have a unidirectional rotating bezel with a bright pointer at the 12 o’clock mark. This feature helps you check the time spent at a glance. It’s unidirectional ensures that even if it is nudged, it does not turn anti-clockwise and give you a wrong reading and endanger your safety. Instead, it lurches forward slightly and gets you out of the water earlier, which is a better option.
The ocean depths are dark, and it can get close to pitch-black with increasing depth. Your watch should still be legible at a glance despite the darkness. Check for large and luminous hands and hour markers and a broad uncluttered face.
The watch you choose should be resistant to the action of salty seawater on its body. Look for cases made of excellent grade titanium or stainless steel. Avoid plastic as with time it will become frail and chapped.
A high-quality strap is one that feels comfortable both on land and in the deep seas. The finest watch has a hidden extendable strap that allows it to fit over your wet suit. In case you do not fancy metallic straps, nylon and rubber will work just fine. Avoid leather, as it weakens with time.
When selecting a watch, generally find one that conforms to the ISO-6425 International standards for dive watches. Also, consider your budget and unique sense of style.