Watches suitable for diving, especially at extreme depths, represent amazing feats of technological innovation.
Whether you dive much or not, owning one of these timepieces can be an excellent experience due to the extremely high level of craftsmanship that goes into each one of these devices. The feeling that comes from wearing such a finely crafted mechanical device on your wrist can be quite pleasing.
Diving watches may appear similar to your standard watch but are also built to:
1. Withstand large amounts of atmospheric pressure
2. Avert the strong corrosive power of sea water
Adding these special and unique abilities to a watch is a challenging process although technology advancements have driven the price of these watches down to around $20 for a very basic watch that is water-resistant to 100M.
Basic scuba diving watches aren’t particularly beautiful pieces but can get the job done if you’re a casual or occasional diver. The real beauty of these fine timepieces is much more noticeable in more expensive models rated for water-resistance at depths of 300M or more.
Watch prices significantly vary depending on how deep the watch is water-resistant to:
While a casual diver can get away with a basic cheap watch, if you are a regular diver or plan on going down around the 100M range, then a more expensive water-resistant to 200M+ dive watch is highly recommended.
Beyond that range, watch depth ratings become less and less practical to the vast majority of people and are really only suited for professional divers unless you are simply a fan of the excellent craftsmanship.
Dive Watch Components
The components that go into making a great dive watch can vary significantly so it’s important to know the different variations available to help determine the best watch for you.
The watch case itself is typically composed of stainless steel or a specialized steel alloy, ceramic, resins, synthetic plastics or titanium. All these materials are resistant to the corrosive effects of sea water.
The case must also pass tests that prove it can protect the sensitive instruments inside the watch from strong external magnetic forces and blunt shocks.
The crystal of the watch (the clear window in front of the watch face) can be composed of one of three materials:
1. Acrylic Glass: This material is very hard to break but easily scratched
2. Synthetic Sapphire: This material is extremely scratch resistant but easier to break
3. Hardened Glass: This material is moderately scratch-resistant and moderately break-resistant
Some watch producers may also mix hardened glass and sapphire to get the benefits of scratch resistance and increased strength. Figure out which material you’d prefer in a dive watch before buying one.
The watch strap is typically made from materials such as rubber, fabic, silicone or polyurethane which are uniquely suited to averting the corrosive effect of sea water and extreme pressure. However, some dive watches are made with mesh or link stainless steel or titanium.
Generally speaking, non-metal straps can be more convenient and easier to manage.
There are also a variety of also smaller factors that go into a great dive watch which include luminescence that is effective in zero-light conditions, a one-way rotating bezel with large display numbers (for visibility) and a helium release valve for extreme saturation diving (typically 300M or greater).
H2: Dive Watches For Men
H2: Dive Watches For Women