Key Functions of a Dive Watch

Understanding what constitutes a great diver’s watch is important, as most high-precision diver’s watches offer a series of functions that prove useful. When trips planning for the future, one may want to consider a new purchase to accompany that deep dive.

What Constitutes a Dive Watch?

To be a true dive watch, a timepiece needs to adhere to certain ISO standards. These standards vary depending on whether one is snorkeling, scuba diving or deep sea diving. In order for a watch to be considered a dive watch, it must be water resistant to at least 100 meters. However, more advanced watches will have a water resistance of at least 200 meters. Depending on the anticipated depth, having a watch that is equipped with a helium escape valve can also be useful.

The ISO 6425 is a standard created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which sets internationally recognized guidelines for many things. The purpose of this particular standard is to define what makes a "true" dive watch and only the models that have passed the tests under the ISO 6425 can be stamped with the word ‘diver’ on the dial. 

What are the Characteristics of a Dive Watch?

A high-quality diver's watch should incorporate several essential features. One crucial element is a ratcheted, one-way rotating bezel, which enables divers to measure elapsed dive times accurately and indicates when it's time to resurface. By using a one-way rotating bezel instead of a bi-directional bezel, the risk of accidentally pushing it in the wrong direction is minimized, preventing divers from mistakenly believing they have more time underwater than they actually do.

Underwater legibility is also of utmost importance. Therefore, most dive watches are equipped with anti-glare crystals and Super-LumiNova hands and markers. These enhancements ensure that even in low-light conditions, the time indications remain clearly visible.

Although there have been significant advancements in the materials used for dive watch cases, titanium remains the preferred choice. This metal offers a combination of lightweight construction, exceptional scratch resistance, and impressive corrosion resistance. Alternatively, dive watches crafted in steel or carbon are also excellent options. While metal bracelets or rubber straps are commonly used, it is advisable to find a strap with an expansion bracelet that can comfortably fit over wetsuits. Double-locking bracelet clasps are also highly recommended for underwater adventures.

In addition to these fundamental features, some dive watch brands offer additional functionalities. These may include double- or triple-locked winding crowns and extra gaskets to enhance water resistance. Only a select few brands incorporate alarm functions into their dive watches, allowing the alarm to be sounded underwater.

Additional Dive Watch Certifications 

Most dive watches are also COSC-certified chronometers. Chronometers are watches that have undergone rigorous testing by the Controle Official Suisse des Chronometres (COSC) observatory—or by a similar observatory in France, Germany or Japan—over a period of time. The COSC acts as a third party to determine the accuracy and precision of luxury watches using several parameters.  The watches are monitored in various positions and under different conditions of pressure, temperature, depth and gravity.

If diving is on your bucket list and you are planning a spring or summer excursion, we invite you to swim on in to our store anytime to check out our seaworthy timepieces.