Shopping for dive watches can be deeply disturbing if you are not sure what you need. I’ve only just learned to dive, so I don’t want to buy more watch than I really need. It’s fun to have a gadget that can, say, transform into a fishing rod then fold itself back up. But how often would I use that feature. I don’t even like to fish.
I thought it might be therapeutic and generous of me to share what I’ve discovered while shopping for dive watches. Are you in the market for one too? How about that! My work has not been for naught.
How low will you go? The basic dive watch has a standard depth assurance of water resistance up to 100 meters, or 330 feet. I don’t know about you, but I’m a novice diver and I certainly don’t plan on going down that far anytime soon. But it’s good to know you can and that the watch is going to hold up under a ton of pressure and work when you need it most. So, I’m good with the lowest water resistance level.
The construction of the watch’s case is the next important factor to consider before you dive. Dive watches must be able to withstand pressure and stand up to the effects of salt water. Stainless steel is the most common material used to make dive watches. They are also made of other steel alloys, titanium and synthetic resin, whatever that is. Ok, I’m going with steel.
That little knob that winds analog watches is called a crown. It has other functions on a dive watch. There are a lot of opinions about whether dive watches should have screw-down or non-screw-down crowns. For the sake of ensuring that the watch’s water resistance isn’t compromised, I’ve decided to go with a screw down. However, there are now watches with locks on the crown, so that might work, too.
I just like saying this word: bezel. That is the circular piece around the crystal with numbers in increments of 15, although some dive watches have other numbers instead. This is a crucial dive watch mechanism. It helps you keep up with your elapsed dive time. Make sure to set it before you go down.
It’s obviously pretty dark when you dive down deep. That’s why I’m paying special attention to the glow of dive watches. Generally, the light is generated two ways: luminescent paint or tritium. I’ve ready reviews that say the paint last a long time but the glow doesn’t unless you let the sun “charge” it back up. Tritium makes for a brighter light and doesn’t need the sun, but it fades over time. It’s a toss-up.
Now about that strap. I’ve learned that you have to allow for the extra girth that a wetsuit adds to your arm. I try them on over a thick shirt or light jacket to make sure they fit.
There are other considerations when buying a dive watch for sure. But since I’m a beginner, I’m sticking to the best dive watches of all time, the Citizen Promaster. Yes, it’s rather expensive, but if you are serious about your new hobby, this is one of the investment that you need to consider. Another alternative will be the good-looking frogman, but so far Promaster has more great reviews, so I’ll stick to that one.
Photo courtesy of Cajetan Barretto