All you need to know about Dive Watch
All you need to know about Dive Watch. In case you are a watch enthusiastic and haven’t heard about dive watch then you need to questions your limited knowledge about watches. As no watch collection is complete without a dive watch in it even if you don’t intend to ever experience diving.
What is a Dive Watch?
Diving watch is also referred to as dive or diver’s watch. These watches have been designed to be worn while your underwater especially while diving. They are a great watch and can be worn regularly even if you wouldn’t wear them while diving.
There are specific characteristics associated with diving watches. We have listed these features below so read up.
While you may be able to identify one if you saw one, do you know what features are necessary to qualify a timepiece as a dive watch?
A Dive watch should be ISO compliant
International Organization for standardization published ISO 6425 in 1980s. This highlighted the standards that a diver’s watch would have to comply with to be qualified as a dive watch. The ISO 6452 was updated in 2018 and its requirements are:
- Must have water resistance rating up to 100 meters or 330 feet
- Should have a secured measuring system that would indicate the time spend under water (for example a digital display or 60 min unidirectional rotating bezel which five minutes makers)
- A bezel to indicate that the watch is running. Plus, they should be at a reasonable distance of 25 cm so that they can be seen in the dark
- Should be antimagnetic
- Shock resistant
- Resistant to salt water
- Should be reliable companion under water
While purchasing a dive watch you will notice that some companies mention and publicize that there watches as dive watches and that they comply with the standards set in IS0 5425. On the other hand, other companies do have watched which consist of features indicated in ISO but they don’t label these watches as diver watch.
Even thou ISO mentions that dive watch should have water resistance of depth up to 100 meters, but many high-quality dive watches are able to resist water more than this range. Its quite common for dive watches to be able to plunge as deep as 300 meters to 1000 meters and even more.
Some watches even have value for helium escape which assists in saturation dives. What these values do is that they release built-up gasses in order to prevent crystals form coming out during the process off decompression.
All modern diving watches manufactured from the best bands are equipped with a way for one to keep a track on your immersion time. This is usually done using a unidirectional rotating bezel located on the watch’s top. This feature is marked with 60 minutes.
In case during diving the bezel gets knocked it will not under or over estimate the diving time, as that can be fatal. Usually, dive watches have digital displays and inner bezels instead of exterior bezels.
Another major requirement associated with dive watches are there excellent readability especially in low-light. As you plunge deeper into the water, the amount of light decreases so you require a clear and luminescence dial so that it is easier for you read it underwater. Usually the bezels, hour markers and hands will be coated in lume so that the person wearing it can read the watch even in deep murky
Furthermore, divers watch should be constructed using anti-corrosive materials so that they are able to withstand saltwater. Other good options include gold and steel.
Lastly, the watches should be equipped with waterproof bracelet. Popular choices for bracelet material are rubber, nylon and metal.
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It all started in 1926 when Rolex launched the amazing Oyster watch which was waterproof. Soon after in 1932 Omega introduced the Marine watch which was officially test and was able to work 135 meters below the water level.
Soon after the World War II started Officine Panerai introduced prototype divers watch which were presented to the Royal Italian Navy. Today these watches serve as a blueprint for the latest Panerai Radiomir watches. Thou these watches had a lot of features that present diver watches have they did not have a timing bezel to record the time spend under water.
As commercial diving took off in 1950’s Blancpain introduced the Fifty Fathoms which are now considered as the first ever dive watch. The name Fifty Fathoms was given because this was the water depth rating of the watch that is 91.45 meters.
In the next couple of year Rolex manufactured its first purpose built dive watch, Omega released Seamaster 300 dive watch and later Breitling came up with there Superocean collection.
The 1950s set the dive watch genre well on its way and watchmakers have continued to develop models with deeper water-resistance ratings, more robust designs, and a slew of material improvements. Although supercomputers have essentially replaced the need for mechanical watches, the dive watch style remains as popular as ever.