The most popular of watches, the dive watch has a universal appeal and holds a reputation of adventure and masculinity.
However, in recent years it feels as if the notion of a dive watch has been misunderstood, a lot of this misconception comes from watch marketing and the silver screen. What a dive watch actually offers is considerately different from our beliefs and the dive watches is used less and less for diving purposes. Here are the top 7 dive watch myths:
1. The bezel is for measuring oxygen use
The soul purpose of the timing bezel is to track the passing of an hour. The main way to check your oxygen levels is by using your submersible pressure gauge. The bezel can also be used to measure your total dive time, swim distances, surface intervals and decompression stops. But until dive watches come with a pressure gauge complication, this watch is never going to tell you how much air you have left.
NB.: Most divers breathe compressed air that contains only 21percent oxygen and 79percent nitrogen.
2. Bright dials help with visibility
As a diver descends, the water absorbs the light spectrum from any dial. The colour red absorbs first at just 15 feet, followed by orange and other primary colours. Fluorescent colours are the only way to keep your watch glowing to great depths. The legibility of dive watches under water really comes down to the contrast between the dial and the hands. A fail-safe is a black dial with pronounced white hands.
3. Vented straps let your wrists breathe
The common rippled rubber straps found on many dive watches only have a use underwater, on dry land it is essentially useless and the best way to offer wrist-breathability is to get a strap with holes.
The straps were designed to keep watches tight and counteract the effects of water pressure. As a wetsuit compresses the circumference of your wrist shrinks and the strap ripples take up any slack to keep the watch tight on the wrist.
4. Helium release valves offer more depth
Helium release valves do not allow a diver to venture deeper into the sea; they simply relieve an overpressure of helium inside a watch case. Lovers of dive watches appreciate this particular innovation but in theory it won’t help you dive any deeper.
5. You need more than 100 meters to dive
The PADI dive organisation state that approximately 20 meters is the depth to which Open Water certification holders should dive, with advance dive masters going to 40 meters. With this logic in mind, a 100 meter watch is more than double the depth required for diving. A 100 meter watch will be much slimmer and lighter than a timepiece with a larger and absurd depth.
6. Swinging your arms increases the water pressure on your watch
Plenty of wearers are under the impression that swimming or swinging your arms adds additional pressure to your watch but this is simply untrue. Any seasoned diver knows swinging your arms actually decreases hydrodynamics which will go on to deplete a tank’s air more quickly.
7. All divers wear dive watches
Watch-marketing teams lead consumers to believe that a dive watch is an essential piece of gear for any scuba diver. But, in reality most divers opt for a digital dive computer. A dive computer tracks depth, calculates nitrogen, decompression stops and much more.
With that in mind, there are still plenty of reasons to choose a traditional dive watch; you can calculate swim distances, safety stops, intervals and it can be used as a backup if anything happens to your dive computer.
Most importantly, a dive watch represents a history of adventuring and exploration. It carries memories and encourages the spirit of adventure.
Explore our top 3 dive watches of the moment:
(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)