How to Use a Dive Watch
Are you considering getting a dive watch? Maybe you have one already, but now need to know how to use a dive watch properly. If so, we can help! We’ll explain the different features of a dive watch and how to use them.
How to Use a Dive Watch:
First, what exactly defines a ‘dive watch‘? Well, it’s a precision instrument crucial to the safety of divers. It needs to be rugged, functional, reliable, and easy to use underwater. It also needs to have a waterproof case and a clear, uncluttered dial. A dial that’s highly visible in low-light conditions and luminescent hands are also important features.
The history of dive watches involves four great watchmaking companies and the milestones they each surpassed. Rolex created the first water-resistant case with its patented Oyster case in 1926. Omega followed with its ‘case within a case’ design in the early 1930s. The Omega Marine was capable of surviving at depth for a substantial period of time.
In 1935, Italian watchmaker Panerai teamed up with Rolex to create the first combat diver’s watch at the behest of the Italian navy. Thus, the Rolex Panerai was born and hailed as the first military dive watch. Blancpain followed with a French military dive watch in 1953. The Fifty Fathoms was the first dive watch to feature a rotating bezel.
Important features of a dive watch
Without an accurate method of keeping track of their time underwater, divers can accidentally exceed their no-decompression limit (NDL), putting their health and safety at risk. A precisely accurate watch lets them keep track of their available oxygen, NDL, and decompression stops on the way to the surface – all potentially lifesaving functions!
Some dive watches also include depth gauges to help divers keep track of their depth, since that affects the decompression stops they’ll need to make while ascending. The most versatile dive watches include a strap that’s not only corrosion resistant but can be quickly and easily adjusted to fit your wrist with and without the bulk of a wetsuit.
How to read a dive watch bezel
Other than a robust movement and waterproof case, a rotating bezel is arguably the most important component of your dive watch. The most common type found on a dive watch is a ‘count-up’ bezel. There is marker (usually a triangle or diamond) on the bezel.
Before plunging into the water, simply rotate the bezel until the marker lines up with the minute hand. As long as you know how many minutes’ worth of oxygen you started out with, the distance between that mark (say 30 minutes) on the bezel and the minute hand will tell you how many minutes of oxygen you have left.
Dive watch bezels usually rotate counterclockwise. This ensures that any accidental nudge will shorten your dive time and prevent you from running out of oxygen earlier than expected.
Dive watches at Watchshopping.com
Now that you know how to use a dive watch, you can start shopping for one! If you’re considering a dive watch, be sure to check out our selection. We carry all of the leading brands and guarantee their authenticity and their performance. Whether you’re a ‘desk diver’ who values the sleek, uncomplicated look of a dive watch or a diver whose life may depend on one, we have you covered!