A high quality dive watch can last for many, many years provided that it is cared for properly. Unlike ordinary watches, dive watches are designed to be used in underwater environments, and because of that they will require special care and maintenance to ensure that they don’t fail. If you are wondering how to best take care of your dive watch (or even your freediving watch), below are some basic dive watch care and maintenance tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Tip #1: Clean Your Dive Watch Properly
There are plenty of things which can get stuck outside and inside your dive watch like sand, slime, sweat and others. That said, proper cleaning should be a part of your regular dive watch maintenance practices. When it comes to cleaning the exterior of your dive watch, you can use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe any dirt and smudges away. For more stubborn dirt, use a soft-bristled brush to remove them. Be careful about doing so in order to prevent scratching or damaging the paint job of your dive watch.
As for internal cleaning, you’ll want to let a professional handle the job. It is never advised to clean and meddle with the internal components of your dive watch, let alone open it on your own.
Tip #2: Have Your Dive Watch Serviced Regularly
Dive watches need to be serviced by a professional at least once or twice a year. This ensures that the watch is in good working condition, as well as allow you to see whether some of its components needs fixing to prevent future problems. There are many things to check for when having your dive watched service. For one, you’ll want to have the water-resistant seals and gaskets checked to ensure that your dive watch remains water-tight. You’ll also want to have the battery checked so that it doesn’t suddenly die while you’re on a dive holiday.
Tip #3: Rinse Your Watch after every Dive
You should make it a point to give your dive watch a good rinse after every dive. In fact, you should do this with all your scuba diving gear and equipment like scuba mask, scuba fins, scuba regulators and others. Both freshwater and saltwater contains minerals, slime, and other things that can be detrimental to your watch and negatively impact its longevity and function. Find the nearest faucet or use tap water you brought with you in the boat to rinse your watch, don’t just soak and shake it in the same water you just went diving into.
Tip #4: Always Check the Crown
The crown is one of the most important parts of your dive watch (or any other watch for that matter) since you need it to adjust the time or date or other settings on your watch. Just imagine what a disaster it would be when you couldn’t make the necessary adjustments to your watch prior to a dive. This is why you’ll want to make sure that you check the crown from time to time and ensure that it’s in good working condition. Never let the crown stay loose as this may provide an entry point for the water to enter the watch and affect the internal components, especially when you’re on a deep dive where water pressure gets stronger as you descend deeper.
Tip #5: Clean the Bezel
Bezels aren’t just decorative features of a dive watch since they’re used to track the diver’s elapsed time underwater. While diving, there are several things that may get stuck in the bezel and prevent it from rotating smoothly like sand, dirt and others. To keep this from happening, make sure that you rinse your dive watch after every dive and clean it regularly. You’ll want to make sure that you take care of your dive watch’s bezel since finding a replacement for specific timepieces can be rather difficult.
Tip #6: Don’t Violently Shake the Watch
Some divers form a habit of shaking their dive watches for different reasons (some do so when their watch feels rather tight). Although high quality dive watches can take a bit of abuse every now and then, you’ll want to avoid shaking it as this can scramble the internal components of the watch, which in turn creates complications that can lead to some features not working properly. At worst, the watch may stop working completely. This is especially true for automatic watches that have more complex internal movements and mechanisms.
Tip #7: Don’t Go Beyond the Water Resistance Limit
One of the first things that many divers check when purchasing a dive watch is the water resistance limit. Simply put, this is the recommended water depth where the watch can function properly and not be affected by water pressure. Water resistance levels vary from one watch to another, but what is important to note is that you should not go above the recommended limit. Also, the actual water resistance limit may be lower than the recommended limit, although again this will be influenced by the quality of the dive watch.
Tip #8: Use Your Dive Watch for Diving Only
Dive watches are designed to be used for underwater activities. However, you won’t want to unnecessarily expose your dive watch to various wet environments like chlorinated pools or even hot showers. Doing so can have negative effects on the watch like the gasket becoming dry and brittle and others. Use your dive watch only for the purpose for which you bought it. Limiting its exposure to the recommended use and purpose will help to reduce the chances of it getting damaged.
Tip #9: Keep Your Watch Away from Magnets
Watches, whether that be a dive watch or any other type of watch, are made up of metal internal gear and pieces. Needless to say, exposing the watch to strong magnetism will cause these metal pieces to malfunction, and this in turn can affect the accuracy and other features of the dive watch. It may even cause the watch to stop working altogether.
Tip #10: Avoid Banging Your Dive Watch against Hard Surfaces
It may be difficult to avoid completely, but you’ll want to at least minimize any collision between your dive watch and other hard surfaces. Such instances can happen while you’re setting up your scuba tank, when you’re getting back up on the boat or even while walking in a narrow walkway. Not only will this damage the glass, bezel, and other exterior parts of the watch, but it may also cause undue shock to its internal components.
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Many divers consider their dive watches an essential piece of their scuba diving gear, and if you’re investing in one then you should do the same. If you want to ensure that you get the most out of timepiece, then it is necessary to practice the dive watch care and dive watch maintenance tips mentioned above. This is one way of ensuring that your dive watch will remain reliable and accurate as you go on many more dives in the future.
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