Factors to Consider in Buying a Dive Watch
You do not have to be a professional scuba diver to desire a high-end and beautifully designed dive watch. Even if you are an open water diver or someone who dives into your daily workload, a dive watch is an important item to include on your wrist.
Dive watches were popularized in the 1970s when the father of modern scuba diving, Jacques Cousteau, descended into the depths to search for shipwrecks. Over the years, different watch makers or companies have explored innovative features to engineer the right dive watch to bring into the depths.
Although the main purpose of a dive watch is to help divers monitor their time underwater, it is functional and fashionable to use on the surface, too. Before buying a dive watch, however, it is important to consider the following factors below:
While there are many watches that are water resistant, not all of them have the level of water resistance you need. A suitable dive watch must be water resistant to a minimum of 200 meters. This is the standard level of dive watches, which can withstand water and pressure up to 660 feet.
Construction and materials
Since a dive watch is a life support tool, you must make sure it is durable and reliable. It is important to check the construction as well as the materials used for the case. There are dive watches made of titanium and other minerals that are known to last long, even when submerged in the ocean many times.
Aside from the case, you should also look for a solid strap or bracelet. It is also important to always clean the watch and take it for proper servicing.
You must decide if you want something battery-powered or mechanical. Both of these types of dive watches have advantages and disadvantages, so the choice is down to your preference. Mechanical dive watches save you from constantly replacing batteries. This also means that you rarely have to open your watch except if you have to repair a gear.
On the other hand, when it comes to durability, you can rely on a battery-powered dive watch because it has fewer moving pieces inside. The prices of both can be expensive, depending on the materials and construction.
It is important to know what kind of engine makes the watch move. In the dive watch category, the two common mechanisms you will find are quartz and automatic. People prefer quartz dive watches because they are more accurate, which are found inside battery-powered dive watches.
On the other hand, the automatic mechanism moves based on the wrist of the wearer. Automatic watches are often more expensive than quartz.
When you dive deep into the sea, the environment gets darker, making it harder for you to see where you are. Lighting technology is, therefore, an important feature of every diving watch. This allows you to prevent reading errors and efficiently monitor your time and how much air you have.
Affordable Dive Watches Under $200
For the beginner or advanced scuba divers, the inexpensive Casio MDV106-1A is a perfect option. It may be the cheapest in the list of dive watches, but it is not made of low-quality materials.
Like more expensive brands on the market, this watch also has 200m water resistance and a Japanese quartz mechanism. This is the best example of a dive watch that combines functionality and affordability.
If you are looking for a mechanical and automatic dive watch that is affordable, consider the Seiko SKX007/009. It is made of Hardlex crystal, which is harder than mineral and softer than sapphire. Meanwhile, the bracelet of the dive watch is made of stainless steel.
Another option to consider is the Seiko SNE107, which is also made of Hardlex crystal. This dive watch relies on the solar power of the sun to be recharged. Not only is it inexpensive, it also has the high quality that Seiko watches are known for.