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In order to be able to dive with a watch,  the watch must be able to withstand water pressure equal to 200 meters stagnant water (or 20 atmospheres / ATM / bar). To be able to swim with a watch, a water resistance of 100 meters (10 ATM / Bar) is usually sufficient. For deap sea diving 50 ATM water resistance is advised. More information on the characteristics of diving watches at the bottom of this page.

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Diving watches: history and characteristics

Diving watches are designed to be tool watches, but are probably worn by more non-divers and recreational snorkelers than real scuba divers. We offer a wide range of diving watches with a wide range of functionalities. Dive watches are ideal for people with active lifestyles. They not only look good, but are also practical.

Water resistance of diving watches

Because 1 Bar is approximately equal to the pressure of 10 m stagnant water, is also often referred to as a number of number of meters. 10 bar / ATM stands for 100 meters water pressure. This does not mean that you ) can go swimming with a 1 bar (10 m water pressure) water resistant watch. The watch can withstand the 1 ATM pressure on the cabinet and crystal, but is not fitted with sealing gaskets and / or sealed or screwed down crown. For more information about water resistance, visit our information page.

History of diving watches

The history of diving watches goes back to the 19th century. Water and dust resistant watches were mostly one-off pieces tailored to a particular customer. Helmet divers of that period, often attached pocket watches on the inside of their helmets in order to be able to read the time under water. Since the beginning of the 20th century, dive watches are industrially produced for military and commercial purposes. Like their predecessors of the 19th century, these diving watches meet the needs of different but related groups: explorers, sailors and professional divers.

Divewatch characteristics

Watch case

The casing of a dive watch should be sufficient water (pressure) resistant and be able to withstand the corrosiveness of seawater. Therefore, the case of a diving watch is often made out of stainless steel, titanium, ceramics, carbon or synthetic resins and plastics.

Compared with dress watches made of similar materials, diving watches are relatively heavy and large because underwater the watch becomes virtually weightless.

Some dive watches intended for diving at great depths are equipped with a helium valve in order to prevent the cabinet and the glass dislodging by an internal pressure build-up.

Rotating bezel

Analog dive watches are usually equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel, which is used to calculate the length of a dive. This is an important security feature allowing the diver to determine how long he can remain under water. In addition, the bezel can also be used in other situations where a measurement of the elapsed time of less than one hour is useful.

Digital dive watches usually measure time by using a standard stopwatch function and are often equipped with memory functions and a depth gauge.

Glass

Diving watches feature relatively thick (often domed) crystals in order to increase the pressure-resistance of the watch, and to improve the visibility under water. Typical materials used are acrylic glass / plexiglass, hardened mineral glass and sapphire glass. Often a small magnifying glass is fitted in the crystal above the date window (date bubble).

Crown

Analog dive watches are fitted with a water-resistant crown. On some models the crown is in unusual positions such as 4, 8 or 9 o’clock to prevent the crown pressing into in the back of the hand.

Often, the crown must be unscrewed in order to adjust the time and date. Thereafter, the crown is again tightened in order to restore the water resistance of the watch and to minimize the probability  of inadvertent operation under water. This is called a screwed down crown. There are also diving watches where the crown is protected by a locking lever or lid.

Watchband, strap or bacelet

Watch Bands for diving watches are usually made of materials that can withstand pressure and salt water. This means that most diving watches are fitted with a rubber, silicone rubber or polyurethane strap. A stainless steel or titanium bracelet is also common. It is important that the strap is of sufficient length to be worn over the sleeve of a diving suit. For this, the clasp of diving watches often have a (hidden) slide that can extend the bracelet by approximately 20 mm. Some rubber / silicone wristbands can be extended by an extra piece (strap extender).

Readability

The dial, indexes and bezel must be ledgible under water and in low light conditions. For good readability, most dive watches have high contrasting, non-cluttered dials and markers with a large, easily recognizable minute hand. The indexes for 3, 6, 9 and (especially) 00:00 on the dial and the zero mark on the bezel of the diving watch are usually designed to be instantly recognizable. In digital diving watches, illuminated displays are used for readability in low light.

Maintenance of diving watches

Most dive watch manufacturers recommend dive watches to be tested every two to five years. Seals need to be checked and damaged gaskets replaced to maintain water resistance. Our certified watchmakers possess the specialized knowledge to carry out this work.

In addition, regular maintenance by the owner also important. Most manufacturers recommend rinsing the watch after use with fresh water to keep the crown, bezel, buttons and pressure sensors working and free from salt deposits.

 

Looking to buy a dive watch? We can help you choose!

We offer a very wide range diving watches from famous brands such as Casio, Citizen, Luminox and Orient. Dive watches are ideal for people with active lifestyles. They not only look good, but are also practical with a luxurious image. The dive watches that we have selected for you on this page are 20 ATM or more waterproof. Alternatively, you can use our watch finder to enter your own requirements.

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