Diving watches are nothing new. The earliest water-resistant watches were made in the 19th century. Hard hat divers recognized the need to be aware of the time underwater and would often put pocket watches inside their helmets to check how long they’d been down. In the early years of the 20th century, diving watches were created to meet the diverse needs of explorers and professional divers. In 1932, Omega SA released the first diving watch in the world to be commercially distributed.
The Omega Marine featured a removable case and patented double siding. It was capable of withstanding pressures of 13.5 atm or depth of 443 feet. In the following years, more diving watch designs emerged including the famous Fifty Fathoms worn by diver Jacques Cousteau in the 1950s.
The renowned Rolex Submariner entered the market in 1954. Its entry coincided with the arrival of scuba equipment. In the 1960s, it became the iconic watch worn by the James Bond character in the first 10 movies of the franchise. In 1996, ISO standards were introduced to regulate the quality of diving watches internationally. Today, there are many excellent diving watches available.
What Water Resistance Must A Diving Watch Have?
Diving watches may have a water resistance rating of 200 meters or 300 meters depending on the manufacturer. ISO standards stipulate a minimum of 100 meters of water resistance. These are all suited to the needs of non-professional divers who don’t descend lower than 40 meters.
Which Features Must A Diving Watch Have?
There are several key features that diving watches must have if they are to be impermeable for use underwater. Usually, the case will have a screw-in crown and back as well as O-rings to seal the crystal, case back, and crown. The crystal and case must be thicker than those found in regular watches and diving watches. They may also have pressure-defying features like steel rings to reinforce the case or domed crystals.
They usually feature rotating bezels to measure elapsed time, luminous markers, and hands that are easy to read underwater. An indicator must be present which shows divers immediately whether their watch is running. Straps are typically made from rubber, titanium or steel. Some feature extension devices to allow easy fitting over the diving suit sleeve, depth sensors or helium valves.
Do Diving Watches Have A Depth Gauge?
Many diving watches feature a depth gauge that works using a sensor on the case’s side which becomes distorted under the pressure of water. The degree to which the distortion occurs is converted into meters or feet of depth. This is then displayed on the watch face by hands. Alternatively, the depth can be displayed by using a tubule around the crystal’s perimeter with a small opening that allows water to enter. The diver can read how deep underwater they are in meters on the scale beside the tubule.
Which Are The Best Diving Watches?
There are many excellent diving watches on the market today which are perfect for diving or wearing as a stylish accessory. Some of the top models include:
· The Seiko Prospex SRPCo7 – with its bright orange face, features waterproofing down to 200m and boasts an impressive power reserve lasting around 41 hours. Made by one of the biggest and best brands in the industry, this watch won’t disappoint in terms of good looks or performance underwater.
· Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 – from the iconic Tag Heuer brand, this watch is stylish enough to wear anywhere. It offers outstanding performance underwater. With its 43mm face, it’s water-resistant down to 300m – more than enough to accommodate any diver’s requirements. It also boasts luminescent hour markers and hands for ease of viewing.
· Breitling Superocean Heritage II 46 – this watch has been around for over six decades. The most recently redesigned version is especially stylish. It has a scratch and shock-resistant ceramic bezel which gives its face a clean and shiny new look. It boasts a self-winding chronometer as well as water-resistance to 200m.
· Victorinox Swiss Army INOX Professional Diver – water-resistant to 200m. It features an expanding rubber strap that fits comfortably over your wetsuit. The hour markings and hands are luminescent for easy viewing underwater, and with a Swiss-made quartz movement, it’s super accurate.
· Bremont Supermarine S500 – made by the British watchmaker Bremont. This watch boasts a 38-hour power reserve, impressive 500m water-resistance. It has a scratch-resistant, anti-reflective sapphire crystal display. It’s a strong and robust choice for diving or wearing as a fashion statement.
Do I Need A Diving Watch?
In the modern age, diving computers are very popular among both professional and recreational divers. So, does that mean that diving watches are no longer required? While they may not be essential these days, they’re often taken underwater to backup diving computers in case of loss of power while underwater.
However, many people purchase a diving watch without even being a diver themselves. They like the security of high water resistance, which gives them the confidence to wear their watch while snorkeling or swimming. Meanwhile, many people just like diving watches for features such as rotating bezels and luminous markers and hands.
Of course, as diving watches are sporty-looking, it’s no wonder that so many people choose to wear one as a fashion statement. Therefore, whether you’re a diver or not, you might want to consider some of the best diving watches that are on the market today.
Last Updated on February 28, 2022
Mirai Vanessa is a graphic designer and video editor who enjoys traveling and taking photos underwater while freediving. Mirai is responsible for creating all the beautiful images on the blog, and all videos on both the blog and our Youtube Channel. She is very creative and hard working. You can see the results of her work…