With summer coming to an end, there’s still enough time to reach for that scuba gear. Diving is a science in which depth and time spent in the water must be known by the diver in order to safely complete the dive. And just like any science, there are certain tools that help achieve optimal results. Dive watches are great devices that aid in the science of diving, as they serve the primary purpose of keeping record of the time a diver spends under water.

So, what makes a dive watch a dive watch?

All dive watches are timepieces, but not all timepieces are dive watches. A timepiece qualifies as a dive watch if it meets the requirements set forth by the ISO 6425 Diver’s watch standards.  These standards require dive watches to pass specified tests and possess certain functions suitable for reaching underwater depths of at least 330 feet.

What characteristics distinguish dive watches from regular timepieces?

There are a number of key features a true dive watch possesses:

1. A rotating bezel that specifically allows divers to track the total time elapsed under water from the beginning of their dive.

2. An uncomplicated, luminescent dial that allows for easy readability under water as well as in darker lighting.

3. A screw-down crown that keeps water from entering the watch.

4. Made of water-resistant materials that protect the watch from corrosion and rusting.

5. A strong crystal that is able to resist extremely high amounts of pressure.

What kind of dive watch is right for you?

There are a few factors to take in to consideration, including your diving experience and the type of dives you will be partaking in. If you are a more experienced diver, or plan on descending to great depths, a watch with a higher water resistance is important. The best tools for those challenging deep dives are watches with a water resistance rating of 200m or greater. If you are saturation diving, a watch with an even deeper water resistance of at least 300m is imperative.

Dive watches in action.

Image via OceanicTime.

On the other hand, if you are a less experienced diver or are sticking to shallow waters, you might only need a watch that meets the minimum ISO 6245 standard of 100m.

Dive watches in action.

Image via Hedonisti.

Dive watches have gained popularity throughout the years for their good looks and great functionality. There are many brands that sell dive watches at many different price points. The high end brands include Rolex, Omega, TAG Heuer, IWC, Breitling, Maurice Lacroix, and Ulysse Nardin, among many others. The lower caliber brands include Hamilton, Tissot, Oris, and Swiss Army, to name a few. No matter your style or budget, you are sure to find a dive watch that is perfect for you.On the other hand, if you are a less experienced diver or are sticking to shallow waters, you might only need a watch that meets the minimum ISO 6245 standard of 100m.

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