The 6 Best Dive Watches

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One of the most essential tools for every diver is having one of the best dive watches.

 

There are many things to keep in mind when purchasing a dive watch. Accuracy is one of the most critical factors to look for, but there is a lot more than that. 

 

You want to make sure to get the best divers watch because it helps you keep track of your oxygen supply when you’re underwater. If your diving watch fails on you when you’re under the water, it could force you to surface early.

The 6 Best Dive Watches: The Reviews

Style, accuracy, and features are the factors we’re looking at in this diving watch review, so let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.

Garmin Descent Mk1 

$799.99 $999.99
19 new from $799.99
1 used from $899.95
Last update was in: December 1, 2019 7:23 pm

 

If having endless features are essential to you, then this is undoubtedly the watch you want to look for. It contains a GPS dive computer with a sleek and simple style that doesn’t look too fancy. It has a bright 1.2-inch color display with topographical mapping. 

 

The watch contains built-in sensors and a 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and a barometric pressure indicator. You can even mark your dive entry and exit points using GLONASS. 

 

Within the watch, there is a dive log that allows you to store and review data from 200 previous dives, and you can share it online using the Garmin connect app. 

 

If all of that isn’t enough, you can also monitor your heart rate and performance metrics, so this watch is useful across a wide variety of sports besides diving. 

 

Overall, the features of the Garmin Descent diving watch are seemingly endless. You can use it across many different sports, and you can sync it with your smartphone to receive notifications at 500 feet below.

PROS

  • Loading with every feature you could want
  • Useful across multiple sports
  • Topographical mapping plus entry and exit points
  • Pair it with your smartphone

CONS

  • The basic design isn’t too flashy
  • Durability concerns

Cressi Leonardo

$199.99 $249.95
2 new from $199.99
Free shipping
Last update was in: December 1, 2019 7:23 pm

 

This diving watch is quite a bit more basic for amateur divers. This one allows you to set everything using one button. You can adjust the air, nitrox, and gauge all using one button.

 

The watch also features easy to hear audible alarms for different things like time and air supply. 

 

The watch comes with an easy to read illuminated LCD screen that provides you with large numerical displays. In terms of the information, you get depth, dive times, decompression status, ascent rate, and surface interval times between dives. 

 

One feature that many people enjoy about this diving watch is that you can record your maximum depth and make a note of different depths throughout your dive.

 

This allows you to note specific points and times during your dive without having to remember them for when you surface. 

 

That this watch does it all using one button makes it incredibly appealing for those who enjoy simplicity. 

PROS

  • Great for beginners
  • Easy to set up and understand
  • Loud audible alarm
  • Durable and well designed

CONS

  • Difficult to see underwater
  • Short on features for more experienced divers

Casio Men’s Sport Analog Dive Watch

$20.77 $24.95
18 new from $18.78
Free shipping
Last update was in: December 1, 2019 7:23 pm

 

Here’s your more traditional dive watch. These don’t have nearly the number of features as the previous two, but they do the job by providing you with the time duration of your dive. 

 

This Casio diving watch is rated for 330 feet and is suitable for recreational snorkeling and swimming. You get a 12/24-hour timekeeping with a 43-millimeter resin case and dial window.

 

The bezel is made of resin as well, and it features a unidirectional rotating function for ease of use. 

 

During our research, we found that one of the best features about this watch is the backlight illumination during periods of complete darkness. You can see each number clearly, and the minute and hour hand are distinguishable. 

 

One of the most critical factors to consider is the visibility of your watch. These simple watches don’t have a lot of features or alarms, so you need to be able to see well. 

PROS

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Plenty of backlight illumination
  • Basic and affordable

CONS

  • Lacking features
  • Only rated for 330 feet

Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Promaster Aqualand Watch

$705.38 $950.00
4 new from $705.38
Last update was in: December 1, 2019 7:23 pm

Here’s another traditional dive watch that closely resembles the previous one. The main difference between these two is the design of this one makes it a little more eye-catching. That said, this watch also is rated for 660 feet, so it serves as a more serious diving watch. 

 

It’s made of stainless steel featuring a unidirectional bezel, reverse crown, date window, bright-colored hands, and luminous indices. You’re getting everything you need to keep track of your dive while underwater with this one. 

 

One of the best features of the Citizen watch is its eco-drive technology. This means that the watch doesn’t require a battery because it runs on light. That said, we’re not sure how it would perform and if it would give out when light is scarce. 

 

During our research, we found many customers expressing how they love the durability and design of this watch. They say they have no reservations about putting it to use and that they expect this one to last them a long time. 

 

The only complaints come when talking about the band. Many people are unhappy with the size and durability of the band. They say that it’s too thin and it looks weird paired up against the bezel of the watch.

 

PROS

  • Durable and Strong
  • No battery needed
  • Plenty of features

CONS

  • Thin strap might not be appealing to everyone

Invicta Men’s 6977 Pro Diver Collection

$74.95 $795.00
13 new from $74.95
Free shipping
Last update was in: December 1, 2019 7:23 pm

Here we have another traditional diving watch made of stainless steel. The watch has a water resistance of approximately 330 feet, and it has a protective mineral crystal dial window which is intended to keep saltwater and other elements from destroying or damaging the watch. 

During our research, we found that a lot of customers are dissatisfied with the design and build of the watch.

They say that it looks great, but it lacks in durability. Many people show that the band on their watch snapped in half within the first month of using it. 

We also realize that this watch is lacking when it comes to features. There isn’t anything entirely astounding about this one when you look at it, and it also doesn’t have any interesting or useful features. 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Chronograph sub-dials

CONS

  • Not intended for diving
  • Weak wristband

Phoibos Men’s PX002C 300M Dive Watch

 

Free shipping
Last update was in: December 1, 2019 7:23 pm

 

Here we have a dive watch that is clearly all about the appearance. When you first take a look at it, you wouldn’t even believe that it’s a diver’s watch.

 

According to the manufacturer, it is good for up to 1000 feet, which would make it the most reliable watch we’ve reviewed yet. 

 

The watch itself is polished stainless steel with a 120-click unidirectional bezel. It has a swiss quartz Ronda 515 movements with analog display and a date window.

 

One primary downside we noticed with this watch is that the inner cover of the bezel gets cloudy after a dive. You wouldn’t expect that out of a diving watch, especially one that claims rated for 1000 feet of depth. 

 

Overall, the design of the watch is high-quality, and most customers are more than pleased with it.

PROS

  • Rated for 1000 feet
  • Sleek and beautiful design
  • Bezel is accurate

CONS

  • A bit heavy
  • Unreliable waterproofing

What is a Diving Watch?

 

The first question you might ask yourself is, what is a diving watch? You’d probably want to know how it is different from a more conventional watch. 

 

If you’ve never seen one before you might also be unsure about what kind of features you should look for and what separates a good one from a bad one.

 

These are some of the best waterproof watches on the market. That is a basic understanding of what a dive watch is. 

 

Years ago, when diving watches first came about, they were primarily there to let you know when you needed to surface. They didn’t have a lot of fancy features and different dials as they do today. 

 

A big misconception is that every waterproof watch can get used as a diving watch, and that is not true. There is the issue of pressure, and there is also the fact that some watches aren’t as waterproof as they claim. 

 

When the watch says it’s waterproof, what they’re really saying is that it’s splashproof. If you get it wet in the rain, it won’t break, but you can’t submerge it 500 feet underwater for a half hour. 

 

Jewelry or a Tool?

There’s a long-standing debate over whether you can wear your diving watch outside of the water or not. It depends on the style and the company that you purchased it from. 

 

If you are interested in pay $7,000 for a Rolex diving watch, then you might want to get your money’s worth and use it outside of the water. 

 

ISO 6425 Standard

When you start researching more information about the best dive watches, you’ll find this ISO number all over the place.

 

There are standards set for diving watches, and they get regulated by the International Organization for Standardization. 

 

All diving watches have water resistance standards of 100 meters that they have to meet.

 

The watches must also reach readability standards, so you don’t get stuck underwater and you’re unable to see the time displayed on your watch. 

 

Here are the standards that the best dive watches must meet:

 

DIVE WATCH MINIMUM STANDARDS’

  • Must contain a unidirectional bezel with a marking at least every five minutes to signify a change in time. 
  • Must contain clearly distinguishable markings for each minute
  • Must have satisfactory readability from 9.8 inches away even in complete darkness
  • Indication at the tip or tail of the second hand during periods of complete darkness
  • Magnetic resistance gets tested by three different expositions to a direct magnetic field. (meaning the watch must remain accurate even when it’s magnetically pulled)
  • Shock resistance tested by two different electric shocks. 
  • Must contain a strong strap or band that gets tested under 45 pounds of force to each spring bar. The watch must display no damage afterward. 
  • Must contain an end of life indicator on the battery to alert you before your dive.

 

Not every manufacturer contains these certifications, and they are not required to do so. You need to do your own research if you are serious about diving with the best waterproof watches.

 

Make sure to get a watch that will hold up and remain accurate for you when you need it most. 

 

Why Wear a Divers Watch?

In today’s modern world, diving watches are somewhat obsolete by most of the diver’s standards.

 

The reason why most divers still wear them is because of traditional and style. 

 

They like the way they look, and it gives divers an emergency back up in the even that their diving computer goes down during the dive. 

 

Diving watches do not have the same number of features like a diving computer, so it’s essential to have a working computer, but at least the watch would give you a time-lapse so you would know when to resurface. 

 

What is the Purpose of a Rotating Bezel?

The bezel is the section of your watch where you will look to tell what time it is or how much time has elapsed.

 

The reason diving watches have a rotating bezel is so you can set the zero mark at the minute hand when you head underwater, and you can read the duration at any time.

 

You won’t have to continuously calculate how much time has passed because the bezel is rotating with each minute that passes. 

 

Another feature you want to make sure you look for with your diving watch is that the bezel only rotates in one direction.

 

If you bump your watch and turn the bezel, it should only go in one direction. This means that if it gets moved, it will only shorten the duration of your dive rather than lengthen it compromising your safety. 

 

What to Look out for in a Divers Watch

The most important things to look for in a diving watch are the things that will keep water from penetrating the interior of your watch.

 

We might get a little technical here, but it’s critical that you pay attention to the finer details when shopping for the best dive watches. 

 

Gaskets

The primary thing that is keeping water out of your watch is small rubber rings called gaskets. These rings are standard on most mechanical devices, including watches.

 

If the gasket is bent, warped, cracked, or broken, it will not provide a snug fit, and as a result, you’ll find the life of your watch compromised.

 

You want to make sure you regularly check the gaskets on your watch to make sure they are not dried out or cracked. 

 

Crown

The crown of your divers watch is the screw on the side that is threaded correctly to fit inside that hole. When you screw it in and tighten it, you’ll put pressure on the gasket, and that seals the main opening to the watch. 

 

For maintenance purposes, this crown must exist so you can get inside, but you want to make sure never to touch it when you’re underwater.

 

Check before each dive to ensure that the crown gets tightened correctly and that nothing has come loose. 

 

Feel free to check it during your dive as well if you are nervous, but there should be no problem if you check everything ahead of time. 

 

You also want to take your watch for water resistance tests now and then. Most watch owners do this at least once a year, depending on how often they dive. 

 

Water-resistance gets compromised by pressure. While the watch might have no problem sitting in a bowl of water, once you hit 500 feet, the pressure can do a lot to a regularly working watch. 

 

Bezel

We’ve talked about it a little, but we’ll go into more detail this time around. You want to make sure you have a unidirectional rotating bezel on your watch.

 

The watch should feature a timespan ranging from zero to sixty, counting the minutes in an hour. 

 

The main purpose of this is so the diver doesn’t have to track their own time. They’ll only need to compare the minute hand to the markings on the edge of the watch.

 

If the watch didn’t feature this style bezel, you would have to look at the time and remember where the location of the minute hand was the last time you looked.

 

The unidirectional feature is essential as well because it prevents you from knocking the watch out of place and losing track of your time. If you knock it out of place, it can only go one direction which will shorten your dive. 

 

Luminescence 

Once again, it’s always important to put yourself in a situation to understand whether or not something will work correctly for you.

The watch might look great and seemingly function great, but you won’t know that for sure until you get in the water. 

 

One of the most essential features to look for is clear visibility, and that comes from proper lighting on the watch.

 

When you’re dealing with complete darkness, you need a watch that lights up well enough for you to see it from at least eight inches away.

 

You should also be able to clearly and quickly tell the minute hand from the hour hand. 

 

All watches that meet the ISO requirements will have all of these features, so that is a good way to ensure you get the best dive watches available.

 

Look for the certifications on the watches you are considering buying and go from there. 

 

Durability and Wear Resistance

While all the functional features are essential, you also want to think about the long-term effects of diving on a watch.

 

It might work correctly for your first five dives, but how will it function after your one-hundredth dive? 

 

You’re going to bang it around quite a bit, hit it off things, and expose it to all kinds of electrical equipment and natural elements.

 

Your divers watch needs to hold up well against everything. 

 

Resistance to salt is one of the most important things you want to keep in mind unless you’re diving in a lake.

 

Salt will eat away at your expensive watch in no time if you don’t have the right protection. 

 

In the end, everything goes back to ISO certification. For a diving watch to receive the certification, it must survive a 24-hour soak in a sodium chloride solution.

 

You want to pay close attention to the watch’s certifications and if possible, only purchase one that has passed the proper ISO tests. 

 

Straps

You’re exposing the watch to all kinds of natural elements, and you’re worried about it breaking down. Beyond the bezel and mechanical components of the watch, you also need to pay close attention to the strap. 

 

Humidity, moisture, and light will all force a strap to break down over time. Of course, we want our diving watch to look good, and we want to show everyone how much money we spent, but you also need to make sure you get the most functional watch for the job.

 

What About Diving Computers?

During your search for diving watches, you might stumble upon something called a diving computer. This is essentially the same thing, but they boast quite a few more features than a traditional diving watch.

 

If you scroll up to our review section, you’ll see the difference. 

 

Here are some essential features to look for in your diving computer:

 

Simple Interface

If you don’t have extensive experience working with these devices, you’ll want to make sure it has an easy to understand interface.

 

It doesn’t have to be too basic and lacking features, but you should be able to learn how to use it within minutes. 

 

Everything on the interface should have a clear description, and the computer should come with an extensive manual that explains everything in detail. 

 

Alarms

Having an audible alarm is one of the most important features of a diving computer. It’s one of the main things that separates a diving watch from a diving computer.

 

It should alert you of things like ascent rate, no-stop limit, and air supply. Think of these alarms like your lifeline; they are extremely important. 

 

Nitrox Compatibility

You should be able to set your diving computer with enriched air Nitrox. This feature consists of a nitrogen/oxygen mixture that has a concentration higher than the normal 21% you find in regular air.

 

Some diving watches and computers are not compatible with this, but the best ones help you extend the life of your air supply. 

 

Compatible Algorithms

Every diving computer contains a different algorithm to help you determine ideal diving times as well as decompression.

 

The algorithm gathers data like depth, pressure, rate of ascent, and exposure. All of this data is essential to the success of your dive and your safety. 

 

If you have knowledge of diving equipment, you’ll understand how to make the algorithm work for you.

 

Check up on the brand you’re purchasing to see if they have information about the algorithm they use and what the accuracy is. 

 

Strong Battery

Similar to the diving watches, you want to make sure your diving computer has a long battery life and an alarm that warns you when the battery is getting low.

 

Some diving computers require an expert technician to change the battery so you want to ensure that you can do it yourself or get it serviced before your next dive. 

 

Special Features

Some diving computers display things like your current depth, air flow, heart rate, dive entry and exit, and much more.

 

These are intended for serious divers, and they come at an increased cost as well. 

 

Overall, the type of diving watch you get depends entirely on your needs. If you are an expert and you want to know more information and data from your dives, then you might want to choose a portable diving computer.

 

You can also keep a dive log on those that allow you to make notes of specific points throughout the dives. 

 

Conclusion

It’s tough to decide on the best dive watches because there are so many different features. The type of watch you choose also needs to contain the right features for your level of experience. 

 

If you are new to the game, we recommend checking out the Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Promaster Aqualand Watch because it provides the most reliability and features for the best price.

 

If you have a bit more experience and you’re looking to get a serious divers watch that gives you all the information you need, check out the Garmin Descent Mk1.

 

With topographical mapping, oxygen information, heart rate, and much more, this is the best dive watch for experts.

 

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