What is A Dive Watch? Features and Unique Characteristics
One of the best island experiences is going through the depths of the ocean. Isn’t it amazing to dive down and see those colorful corals and fun schools of fish? If you look carefully, professional divers wear a watch. This is not an ordinary kind of watch – it’s a dive watch.
What is a dive watch? Certified divers use different underwater gear to support themselves while underwater. With proper gear, they are able to survive underwater for an hour or so. One of the most important pieces of gear is the dive watch.
What is a dive watch?
A dive watch is a special kind of watch designed to be used in underwater diving. A unique feature of a dive watch is its water resistance at depths of at least 200 meters to 300 meters. Some more technologically advanced dive watches can go much deeper.
There are many brands and designs of dive watches, but how can you spot the real kind? Some products look like dive watches, but they are not really intended for immersion underwater or even showering.
A true dive watch complies with ISO 6425, the standard for watches suitable for diving. The characteristics of a dive watch as defined by the standard are as follows:
- Water resistance
Dive watches should have water resistance at least 100 meters deep. A dive watch can be water resistant at 200 meters or more depending on how advanced the dive watch is.
This water resistance is important to ensure that water won’t leak inside the watch. To test this standard, the dive watch is submerged in a sodium chloride solution for 24 hours and examined for functionality.
- Easy to read
A dive watch should be easy to read because of the different underwater conditions such as murkiness and low light or no light. Dive watches generally only have three hands to provide easy-to-read time and other information. The hour markers and hands are luminous because of non-radioactive luminescent pigment.
- Robust movement
The dive watch is made with silicon to make it light, shock-resistant, and sturdy. It also contributes to the reliability and consistency of its movement. The design is not an important factor, but simplicity and robustness are.
- Rotating bezel
The bezel provides information on how long you have been under the water and, in some dive watch models, the depth. The bezel works by rotating it before entering the water and lining the pointer over the minute hand. During the dive, the latter will move and provide the length of time you have been in the water.
- Durable strap
Dive watches generally have stainless steel or rubber straps because they are the best adapted to the seawater and can withstand pressure, direct sunlight, and humidity. Leather straps may be more stylish, but certainly won’t hold up under those conditions.
- The case
The case of the dive watch should be sturdy enough to endure salt water for long periods of time. The case protects the watch and prevents water from getting inside.
Other diving gear
Aside from the watch, other kinds of dive gear are as follows:
Wetsuits protect the body from cold water, which can remove body heat 25 times more quickly than air. It is thick and usually made of spandex-like materials or foam neoprene rubber. They also protect the diver against stings and scrapes.
Fins provide speed by transforming large leg muscle energy into effective water movement. Choose comfortable fins that won’t hurt your toes or the arches of your feet. You should be able to wiggle your toes, or else the fins are too small.
Among diving gear, the buoyancy compensator, or BC, is the most complicated. It helps you hold the tank with less effort and helps you have the buoyancy you need at any depth. It should fit your body type and not limit your breathing.
The regulator transforms high-pressure air in the tank into breathable air. It also transports air to other parts such as the alternate second stage and BC inflator.
- Dive computer
A dive computer measures the bottom time and depth. It recalculates no-decompression status to provide you a longer dive time safely. It observes the tank pressure, ascent rate, log dives, and more.