Scuba Diving 101: How To Use A Dive Watch
If you are an avid fan of the underwater world and plan to obtain a diving license, it is ideal to equip yourself with the right gear. While diving skills and techniques are important, they have to be accompanied by proper gear such as dive suits, masks, and a dive watch, which is very useful but looks complicated at first glance. How do you use a dive watch?
This article discusses what a dive watch is, how to use a dive watch, the best brands of dive watch, and more.
How do you use a dive watch?
Knowing how to use a dive watch starts with knowing its characteristics and its differences from other watches.
The dive watch’s characteristics
A dive watch is characterized by its ability to withstand high pressures at depth. Compared to other watches, a dive watch has a water resistance of up to 200 meters.
It has a bezel that measures the length of time (shorter than the real time) a diver has been underwater. The bezel gives time information that is different from or shorter than actual time to prevent any injury or risk to the diver.
Other unique qualities of a dive watch are the following:
- Three hands that provide a flawless read
- A screw-down crown for a more waterproofed seal
- A clear face so that the information can be seen clearly
- Dials that can be seen even in dark or murky water
How to set the dive watch
Now that you know the parts of the dive watch, you should set it before using it. The dive watch package comes with an instruction manual that shows the proper way to set it, install the battery, and the requirements for the dive watch user. It also contains information about understanding the watch’s functions.
How to maintain the dive watch
To keep the dive watch functioning the way it should, proper maintenance should be observed. After every dive, rinse the watch with fresh water to remove any seawater. Before each dive, examine the watch for any damage and inconsistencies.
The seals of the dive watch should be changed and the watch pressure should be examined every three years. This may have to be done by a professional watch repair service. Also, dive watches usually come with a warranty, so you may ask the manufacturer for this service.
Dive watch standards
Dive watches today are designed and manufactured based on the ISO 6425 standard. It generally sets descriptions and qualities such as at least 100-meter diving depth and the ability to withstand diving activities. Other prerequisites of the ISO 6425 are as follows:
- A sturdy strap and band
- Resistance to sea water, thermal shock, and magnetic shock
- A luminescent tip of the hand to ensure visibility in dark conditions
- A rotating bezel or any time preselecting device
There are more technical specifications of a dive watch such as a depth gauge, a bi-directional bezel, a helium relief valve, and others.
Why is a luminescent tip of the hand important?
The sea has varying levels of luminosity. It is clear on the surface, where the depth is shallow. As the depth increases, the luminosity decreases — that is, it becomes darker as it gets deeper. In fact, the 200-meter depth is as dark as twilight. This zone is where hatchet fish, shrimp, and swordfish are found. In this zone, photosynthesis does not happen.
Beyond 200 meters, light is significantly rare. It is as dark as midnight, and the sunlight does not penetrate at all. It is the zone where giant squid, angler fish, and tripod fish live.
The dive watch provides information on how deep you have gone. Especially in the darkest zones, you must still be able to read the dive watch to prevent overtime, regulate pressure, and calculate your time and remaining oxygen.
Dive watches can change color depending on the depth. They become dark when it’s deep and greenish as you continue to descend.
The underwater is an amazing world to explore, but certain skills must be learned and special underwater gear should be used. This is to minimize risks and make it possible to survive underwater, even for just a short period of time.