While the modern dive computer has reduced the need for dive watches, many experienced adventurers still like keeping their timepiece with them during dives, using it as a secondary measurement in case the computer fails. You might be asking yourself ‘what qualifies a watch as a diving watch?’ For example, going back to where it all started in 1926, the Rolex Oyster became the very first water tight watch crossing the English Channel on Mercedes Gleitze’s neck. Amongst others, watches need to show a variety of attributes in order to be superior in underwater activities.
First, we need to reconsider watch qualities that will allow it to withstand the conditions underwater. As a priority, a watch must be water resistant. It might sound logical yet not every user is aware if their timepiece is waterproof and to what depth. Recreational diving will never surpass the 40m, so anything over 100m should do just fine. Secondly, the movement of the watch can either be mechanical or quartz. For diving, the mechanical movement is slightly more favoured by watch enthusiasts as it is the heritage of watchmaking, placing peculiar attention to every detail of the calibre.
Alternatively, you can choose to go for a quartz powered watch, relying on a battery automation. Both movements have got their qualities, however, what really matters are the bezel in the watches.
The bezel should be rotated in one single direction, allowing the diver to accurately calculate the time spent underwater by placing the top of the bezel on the minute hand. It is preferable for the bezel to be coloured in a certain fill, such as the bright orange Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M. Furthermore, the bracelet of the watch is also important. Even though a rubber strap might be more comfortable, stainless steel will also work fine whilst exploring the deep. For this reason, watch modifications have taken place, such as Rolex introducing the adjustable clasp, in order to allow the size of the bracelet to be adapted to the user’s environment.
The luminescence of the timepiece has further importance underwater, where colours and light are gradually absorbed. Some materials glow brighter than other colorations, and in the special case of the Deepsea Sea-Dweller Blue Dial edition, the luminous markers glow radiant blue, improving legibility in the dark.
Colour absorption playa an important role in diving, however many watches such as the Rolex Sea-Dweller collection, have a helium release valve incorporated on the side to allow for tiny air molecules to safely move in and out of the watch. It is a modification that definitely marks luxury and professional performance to the user, even though they will unlikely have to use that feature very often.
Over the years, horology has advanced fast with watch design and technology, reaching the deepest a watch has ever been tested at; the Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenge, at 12000m.
As pinnacles of the underwater exploration, one must add that each user must find a watch that will match their lifestyle and preferences. In this case, if you have ever been gifted a watch that does not meet your interests or you think someone else would benefit more from it, Watchmaster offers luxury watch appraisals, helping you sell your timepiece and find a watch model more appropriate to your interests and lifestyle. Watchmaster offers a professional service with direct pay-out, taking care of transport and insurance from the beginning to the end, guaranteeing quality in every transaction.
„They say a watch is an investment, and the last thing you want to invest in is something from which you cannot benefit from.“