With smartphones at our fingertips the need for a watch has greatly diminished. However, what happens when you go underwater? In a place where your smartphone can’t come with you it is more important than ever to use a watch. Being able to tell time when under water can be very important. When adding other modern conveniences to the watch, it can quickly become your favorite accessory.
Watch reviews are raving over the best diver watches that will seamlessly transfer between an underwater accessory to a style accessory for the office. These everyday watches are able to handle impressive depths in the ocean to allow you to dive freely.
To find the best diving watch we did our research. After scouring the web in search of the best scuba diving watch we were pleasantly surprised by what we found. Below we have listed the top 10 best scuba diving watches out today.
How To Choose A Dive Watch – Buying Guide
Your diver watch is a personal piece of jewelry. Dive computer watches typically have a clock on them however you will not get the style and personalization that you will get with a separate watch. There are many things you should look for in a watch for diving.
Watches for diving have become cheaper over the years. You can now get the most quality watches under $1000, some a mere $20. The price of these watches is a direct reflection of the style and technology used to make the watch. There has never been a better time to buy a stylish watch that is water-resistant enough to explore the depths of the ocean.
Depending on your type and level of diving experience you will be diving at different depths. It is important to get a watch that can dive as far as you do. At a minimum, your watch should be rated for at least 100 meters. This is to ensure that the watch has been thoroughly tested and can withstand increased depth pressure. Watches with lower depth ratings work better for surface sports such as surfing, swimming, or snorkeling. Opting for a watch that is certified to depths of 200-300 meters will provide peace of mind that you can dive as you please without fear of ruining your scuba watch.
Related Review: Surf Watches
The bezel is a part of the scuba watch that encases the moving parts of the face. It seals the watch from the elements and helps to create the depth rating the entire diver watch is capable of.
This is also a very important area of the watch that is used to calculate your elapsed time. Most watches come with an elapsed time feature. It works like a stopwatch and can be used underwater to time your decompression stops. It should be unidirectional, meaning only turning anti-clockwise, and should be easily readable at a glance.
Type of Movement
This is the heart of the scuba diving watch and keeps the watch telling the right time. There are two types of movements: Quartz and Mechanical. This will determine the charge of your watch and it’s overall lifespan. Choosing one over the other should depend on your lifestyle.
This is a battery-operated system that requires hardly any maintenance other than the occasional changing of the battery. This type of scuba divers watch is typically very affordable and actually, use quartz to keep time. These diver watches have second hands that make individual ticks.
This is seen in luxury diver watches as an alternative to the traditional battery operated. These types of diver watches use alternative energy to power watches. This includes being powered with solar energy you get from light, specifically the UV in the sun. Other alternative energies are kinetic energy where the battery is simply charged with a motion so every time you walk or even simply move your wrist.
This type of scuba watch requires a lifestyle in which you wear the watch often. As the watch only charges from the solar or kinetic movement it is required that you wear the watch in order to keep it charged. This can be inconvenient for people who want to wear this watch only for diving.
It is important to note that while this type of watch is more expensive you will not have to ever open the watch. Typically with a battery-operated watch, you have to break the factory seal in order to open the watch up and work on the battery. Breaking this seal can diminish the integrity of the watch and if not re-sealed properly can even make it so the watch loses its water resistance. Mechanical watches avoid this by never needing to be taken apart in the first place thereby continuing to hold the seal strong.
As soon as you go below the ocean surface you begin losing light. The deeper you go, the more light you lose. Not to mention evening dives or going under the shaded areas. It truly shows a watch’s quality by how much it will glow in the dark. After all, it is important to be able to see your scuba diving watch no matter where you are in the water. Most use Luminescence paint in order to glow. This is a type of paint that needs to be in the light first to charge in order for it to glow in the dark. Alternatively, there is Tritium. This glows in the dark without a charge. This glows brighter than its paint counterpart however it does fade over time. Check out our article for underwater dive lights as well.
Even though you are more than likely going to be wearing a wetsuit you are able to define your look. Some look like specially designed watches while others look similar to those that you’d wear in a business setting. Bands can vary from gold to flexible plastic.
There are many different styles of straps you can choose from. Just because a scuba diving watch comes with a certain strap does not mean it can’t be replaced with something more “you”. They can vary in price from a mere $10 to upwards of a hundred.
- Rubber is a material that stands up to the harsh salt conditions of the sea and can be one of the most comfortable available. It is flexible enough to bend around your wrist with or without a wetsuit and can take on many different looks. Designs range from a stitched look to a flat material to a textured finish.
- Material straps are also a good option for scuba diving. They are lightweight and waterproof and can be more comfortable than a rubber option. These will need to be washed thoroughly after each dive to maintain their integrity and feel.
- Metal is another widely used material. It can withstand the harsh salt found in the sea while providing a comfortable fit. These will be one of the most stylish looks making them able to be worn outside the scuba environment.
There are a few ways of securing your divers watch to your wrist. The most common way is a classic strap system that utilizes a lug and a latch system. There are also foldover clasps that ensure the scuba watch stays on your wrist. Metal bands will more than likely utilize this latching system.
This is the part of the strap that allows you to adjust the fit. Little holes give the latch somewhere to secure while around your wrist. There can be many different patterns for this. Some utilize a single row while others can have up to three or four. The more lugs the more adjustable the strap will be. This is excellent for use with or without a wetsuit. A more versatile strap will include a long length of adjustment holes to accommodate this.
Scuba Diving Watch Buying Guide
There are many reasons a dive computer watch should be your first purchase of scuba diving gear.
Technical Details of A Dive Watch
You can also personalize it for your body type. Some of the more advanced dive computer watches allow you to input your height, weight, athletic ability, and even your average heartbeat. With all of this information, it can calculate your oxygen consumption, your dive stops, and even how many dives you can do in a day.
All of this information can play a huge role in your dive. If you are descending or ascending, too quickly it can alert you to hold your position. It can even recalculate your remaining dive time based on your rate of breathing and depth.
Watches for diving also monitor you once you get out of the water. Instead of using an old school dive table to figure out when you can get back in the water for a second dive, your watch will beep to let you know it’s safe to reenter the water.
Why Use A Dive Computer Watch
If you have a few dives under your belt you are familiar with the manual dive gauges attached to your tank. These are great for generally monitoring your amount of oxygen left but are not able to give you any further information when you need it. Instead of spending time focused on your gauges and less time focused on your environment.
A dive computer watch is able to track everything about your dives. But not just one dive, it can keep a log for nearly every dive you’ll ever do. Having a record of your dives will allow you to look back and see your depth across the entirety of your dive, how your oxygen level was at any point, and even a GPS location.
Related Review: Freediving Watches
Waterproof VS Water Resistant Dive Watches
Waterproof and water-resistant are not the same thing. Waterproof means that your watch uses gaskets and seals to keep the internals dry. Water-resistant doesn’t mean the company hasn’t used these same gaskets, they just have a significantly different rating.
Water-resistant watches will allow you to go snorkeling and jump off your boat with the watch on. You shouldn’t spend extended periods of time in the water as they are just meant to be able to get wet without wreaking havoc on the internals.
If you plan on doing any scuba diving you will need a waterproof watch. These scuba diving watches will usually have at least a 30 meter (98 feet) rating. If you are a scuba diver you will want to get a watch with a little higher of a depth rating. Even though a watch may be rated for 30 meters (98 feet) it may not be able to stay at that depth for any prolonged periods of time.
This is what makes watches for diving so great. Their build quality is no other level which allows them to spend extended time at depth. The gaskets and waterproofing measures allow them to stand up to the increasing pressure the deeper they are. We recommend watches with at least a 75-meter rating (246 feet). This will allow you to get your Advanced Open Water certificate and still be able to dive with your current watch.
Related Review: Waterproof Watches
Always Remember To Rinse Your Watch After Each Dive
As with all your dive gear, it is important to watch your watch after each dive you do. This is specifically important if you are between dives and are going into different bodies of water. Lakes harbor many microbes that can turn to mildew if not rinsed off. Lakes are made of unique and fragile ecosystems that cannot handle the cross-contamination by introducing foreign microbes.
If you are using your watch in saltwater, the need to rinse your watch remains incredibly important. Most watches are made using stainless steel, titanium, or rubber materials which are designed to be corrosion resistant. This technology breaks down after prolonged exposure. This can lead to tarnishing your pressure-tight seals and exposing water to your watch. A simple rinse of your gear can reduce the chances of this occurring.
Many divers wear their watches even when they are on dry land. This makes it incredibly easy to forget to rinse your watch. As you are taking the time to wash and dry all your other scuba gear it is important to take the time to clean your watch as well. This will work to preserve the lifespan of your divers watch and allow you to enjoy it for many years to come.
Properly caring for your watch is incredibly easy. As they contain lots of expensive technology, you will not want to use any chemical cleaners to wash them. Instead, rinsing in freshwater should do the trick. Be sure to always allow your watch to fully air dry before putting back on your wrist or storing it. This should be done out of direct sunlight. As with all other electronics, it is important that your watch does not overheat. This can wreak havoc on the battery of your watch as well as melt any plastic or rubber on the watch.
How to Choose the Right Men’s Diver Watch
There are many things that you’ll have to consider when picking the right watch for you. The first thing you should look for is depth capabilities. PADI’s base certification allows divers to descend to a depth of around 18 meters (60 feet) and require special training to go to depths closer to 30 meters (100 feet). Depending on your commitment level, you will want to get a watch that will allow you to max these depths out. You won’t want to get a watch that you need to replace once you upgrade your certificate.
The size of your watch will also increase as the depth rating increases. Watches need to accommodate the increase in pressure that deeper water puts on them. The only way we know how to do this is by making them thicker and larger. If you are looking for a watch that you can wear as an everyday watch you may have to sacrifice the depth it is able to reach.
The next aspect to consider is comfort. There are many features that can affect this as well. Your watches strap should be made of a comfortable material while being adjustable. During a dive day, you will be wearing the watch for the entire day so it will need to be comfortable. People find rubber and steel links to be some of the more comfortable options. Both of these watches will bend around your wrist and be able to stay in one place without moving around.
Some straps are also able to be removed and swapped depending on your circumstance. This is an excellent feature that makes your watch that much more versatile. For example, you can use a rubber strap while you’re diving and switch it for a steal, or even gold, band for a fancy dinner date.
An adjustable band will also be necessary. If you are a serious scuba diver you know that water conditions can vary greatly depending on your location. A dive in Koh Tao, Thailand won’t require a wetsuit, or even a bodysuit, while a dive off the coast of San Diego may require one of the thicker wetsuits. A band that is able to be extended will allow you to slip it over your suit.
Another aspect to consider is the build materials of the watch. If you are going to be wearing the watch in tropical, salty conditions you will want the highest quality you can get. This can range from stainless steel to titanium and crystals and even fluorescent dials. These materials will be able to stand up to the pressure and abuse of tropical conditions. Stainless steel and titanium are some of the most durable materials on the market. Fluorescent dials will also allow you to see the dials on night dives or where visibility is limited.
Related Review: Dive Watches Under $100
How To Choose The Right Women’s Diver Watch
As more and more women take to the ocean to explore life under the sea, dive gear manufacturers are beginning to tailor their products in a unisex way. While some women like the look and technology found in a unisex watch others long for a sleeker watch with a more low profile design. Now more than ever there are many watches to fit this design style.
Typically the size of these watches caters to only a 100 meter (328 feet) depth rating. This rating is perfectly suitable for those diving at PADI’s recommended depths of 30 meters (100 feet). For those wanting to explore deeper waters and take on more adventurous dives, you will want a watch rated to 200 meters (656 feet). While these come with a chunkier design, the added technology will be needed for such dives.
Related Review: Women’s Dive Watches
Q: How do dive watches work?
There are many reasons avid divers wear a personal watch with them while they take to the depths of the ocean. Dive watches are especially important for those who plan to take to the ocean for multiple dives. The length of time that is safe to be underwater decreases as you do multiple dives in a close time range. That is why it is incredibly important for each diver to have their own watch rather than sharing with their buddy.
Dive watches are able to read the depth of the water around you. As you descend deeper the pressure around you increases significantly. These watches have sensors built in that will be able to detect the pressure change and read them out on their display. It is crucial for divers to monitor their depth with a dive computer watch throughout their dive as it is easy to move to different levels without realizing it.
When you first get your watch you will want to program it. This includes entering all of your personal information, including weight, height, age, and sex. It uses this information to calculate everything from dive stops, your altitude, and even your breathing.Related Post: Dive Watch Maintenance
Q: How water resistant should a dive watch be?
The water-resistance of a watch refers to the depth at which the integrity of the watch will hold up. Dive watches are made to withstand the extreme pressure that occurs when exploring the depths of the ocean. Usually rated in terms of meters below the water surface, you will likely want a watch with a 200 meter (656 feet) water resistant rating.
Every single watch has a certain rating. To achieve that rating the watch had to be tested at 25% more depth than it’s the final rating. So for example, a divers watch that has a 100 meter (328 feet) rating had to endure depths of 125 meters (410 feet).
It is important to pay attention to the rating as going any deeper creates a risk of the watch cracking, leaking, or shattering altogether. When considering which watch is right for you, be sure to pay close attention to the watch description. Not all dive watches have been appropriately tested for diving conditions. Even if it is referred to as a diving watch be sure to read that it has a physical depth rating.
Q: How deep can a watch for diving go?
A resistance level of 200 meters is far more than most divers will need and is a great size to opt for. These watches typically have a large timepiece which allows them to have greater strength. These are ideal for recreational divers.
For those looking for a more low profile scuba diving watch, one with a 100 meter (328 feet) water resistant rating will likely be a good option. These watches offer enough resistance for water sports, snorkeling as well as casual dives. If you see yourself going on a more adventurous dive it is wise to opt for a divers watch with a greater rating than this.
Globo Surf Overview
When exploring the depths of the ocean many divers enjoy wearing a watch to track their time underwater. In a place where time doesn’t exist, being aware of the time while underwater can be important. The key feature to look for in the best watch for diving is that the integrity of the watch will stay strong in order to keep its water resistance. With high-end features such as running off solar or kinetic energy, watches do just that.
While some watches are geared towards surface water having smaller water-resistant depths, these watches can handle exploring beneath the surface. Getting a watch that can easily transfer between the water at depths of 50 feet underwater while also being stylish enough for everyday use is incredibly desirable. Any of the watches on our list will do just that.
More Scuba Reviews:
- Dive Camera
- Dive Light
- Full Face Scuba Mask
- Gifts For Scuba Divers
- Air Integrated Dive Computer
- Underwater Scooter
- Scuba Regulator
- Dive Boots
- Cold Water Regulator