Sometimes, deciding whether to buy a new watertight dive watch or one of the traditional dive computers can be a tough decision to make.
This guide will help beginners find a good dive watch for scuba diving and understand how divers use dive watches for tracking bottom time underwater.
There were various attempts to mass produce a water resistant watch in the 19th century - known as 'Explorer's Watches'.
Then, Rolex bought the patent for the 'Oyster' watch case featuring a hermetic (airtight) seal in 1926.
In 1996, the ISO 6425 Divers' watches international standard started regulating the integrity and features of diving watches.
Following that, many divers started wearing a sporty dive watch as a way to track their bottom time when scuba diving.
Nowadays, diving computers are the norm. Even though most divers use an electronic computer, usually worn on the wrist, some actually wear a watch as a symbol of being a 'scuba diver'.
Pro Tip: The very first mechanical analogue dive computer ever invented was the SOS Automatic Decompression Meter in 1959. It could actually provide a decompression profile to a scuba diver during the submersion.
There is no noticeable difference in the style and appearance of most dive watches to a normal wristwatch. Except, it needs to be water resistant and have a depth rating of one hundred (100) metres (330 feet) as a minimum.
The depth rating means it can withstand the pressure that water will exert on the device at depth. Hence, using an underwater computer will sometimes be a better option.
For the most part, wearing a diver's watch is a stylish thing. It's something that a diver will wear because they like wearing it on their wrist - instead of stowing it away inside a scuba kit bag.
Pro Tip: There is no law that says you can't dive with both - a smart sporty watch and a modern scuba computer. In fact, you can actually buy a single unit that offers the functionality of a computer with the stylishness of a nice watch.
Some of the characteristics and features that change a normal watch into a fashionable, water resistant scuba diving watch, include:
In most cases, scuba diving watch selection comes down to personal preference. But, you should choose one that suits your needs and your budget.
For example, the classic look of quartz or mechanical analog models will rate among the most expensive designer fashion watches on the market.
Whereas, the wide selection of affordable digital watches means they will be suitable as freediving gear accessories and for almost all scuba divers.
Panerai Submersible watches are strong and solid, with a uniquely distinctive appearance and an unrivalled visibility at great depths.
Pro Tip: The short video [7:45 seconds] presented by Wearable Zone contains footage about 7 luxury and budget priced dive watches in 2024.