How Do Dive Watches Work? How Do They Save Lives?
Dive watches are not ordinary kinds of watches. They save lives. Yes, they save lives by providing information about depth level and how much time is left for survival in the water. How do dive watches work? How do they save lives?
This article tackles the characteristics of a dive watch, how each feature works, and the factors to consider when buying a dive watch.
How do dive watches work? The characteristics
A dive watch, or diving watch, is designed for diving underwater with a minimum water resistance of 200 meters. It can go much deeper and may come with more technologically advanced features.
Currently, dive watches comply with ISO 6425, which dictates the necessary features and standards for dive watches intended for use while diving with the use of a scuba diving apparatus.
ISO 6425 identifies the characteristics of a dive watch. These are as follows:
- The case
The first thing to consider in a dive watch is the case. It should be resistant enough to withstand the galvanic corrosiveness of seawater. The minimum water resistance acceptable according to the standard is 200 meters.
The case for a dive watch is made of grade 316L or 904L stainless steel or other steel alloys with ceramics, synthetic resins, or plastics.
The dive watch cases are designed similar to those of regular dress watches but with sturdier construction to endure the underwater environment. Therefore, they are heavier and thicker than regular dress watches.
Dive watch crystals are made of acrylic glass, synthetic sapphire, and hardened glass. Each material has advantages and drawbacks. Acrylic glass is a material that is very strong against breakage. However, it can be easily scratched, but any problems with scratches can be resolved with polishing solvents.
Sapphire is scratch-resistant and finished with an anti-reflective coating, but it is less breakage-resistant. Hardened glass is less brittle than the sapphire and more scratch-resistant compared to the acrylic glass.
Dive watches are made of thick crystal that can endure the pressure of deep water to provide clear readings while in the water.
Another main feature of a dive watch is the bezel. The bezel is a rotating hand that provides information about how much time you have been underwater. It works by rotating the bezel and lining it up over the minute hand before going on a dive. While diving, the minute hand will move and indicate the time you have been in the water.
The standard length of a scuba dive is 30 to 50 minutes. The first 15 to 20 minutes are highlighted more because they indicate the point of return to the surface.
The straps or bracelets of dive watches can be made of rubber, silicone rubber, fabric, polyurethane, stainless steel, or titanium metal because they withstand the water pressure and the seawater.
The dial of a dive watch is clear to be easily read even in low-light conditions or murky seawater. The luminous hour markers and hands guarantee the clearness of the dive watch and are an indication that the dive watch is functioning. Some more advanced dive watches have a depth gauge that shows the diver how deep the ocean is.
The movement of a dive watch is tough and forceful, regardless of the design. It is consistent and trustworthy. It is protected from magnetic interference; it is made with silicon to make it shock-resistant, light, and solid.
Factors to consider when buying a dive watch
There are many technical considerations when buying a dive watch. The features of the dive watch you want to purchase should match your diving requirements and activities. Do you dive for fun or to research underwater conditions?
The water resistance of a dive watch should match the depth of the ocean where you will dive. It should endure water pressure and prevent water from coming inside the watch. If your regular dive is 300 meters deep, choose a dive watch with a corresponding water resistance level of 300 meters.
- Bezel movement
Before going to the depths, check if the bezel is working. It should revolve freely to fix the marker without much problem.
The dive watch face should be clear even in murky or low-light conditions. The numbers and the hands should be luminous so that divers can read them even deep in the ocean.