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Reviewing The Best Dive Watches of 2020

Best Overall Choice
Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer

Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer

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Best Premium Choice
Luminox Men’s 3059 EVO Navy Seal Colormark Watch

Luminox Men’s 3059 EVO Navy Seal Colormark Watch

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Best Budget Choice
TEKMAGIC Digital Scuba Diving Watch

TEKMAGIC Digital Scuba Diving Watch

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Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on October 26, 2020. In Scuba

You don’t have to be a diver to need a dive watch. Dive watches are fully functional both in and out of the water, whether you are a recreational diver or deep diving professionally. Dive watches are stylish, durable, and versatile, and should be added to any watch collection.

Dive watches don’t have to break the bank. Many affordable dive watches don’t sacrifice quality or function, and we have included them in the product reviews below. We have taken all of the guesswork out of the buying process and replaced it with all you need to know in this buying guide.

1. Victorinox Swiss Army’s Men’s I.N.O.X. Pro Diver Watch

Victorinox Swiss Army’s Men’s I.N.O.X. Pro Diver Watch

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The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Swiss Army Pro Diver watch is Swiss-made with grey rubber, has a 22mm band, and a 45mm face. It is water-resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet).

The watch face is certified for expert diving and is wetsuit compatible. It has a stainless steel unidirectional rotating bezel and a count-up scale that measures your diving time safely and accurately while underwater. The watch face is luminous so that you can view it at night or when deep diving.

Another great feature of the Victorinox pro diver’s watch is that it is antimagnetic. This means that the magnetic fields that are found in various locations will not have an effect on the oscillation speed of the watch, always giving you an accurate reading of the time and temperature of the watch.

The watch is light, weighing only 4.2 ounces, so you don’t have to worry about a big, bulky watchband and face weighing you down as you dive. It is stylish enough to wear for occasions other than diving.

Quick Features:

  •  Grey
  • Rubber
  • 22mm band width
  • 45mm analog watch face
  • Antimagnetic
  • Wetsuit compatible
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel
  • Count-up scale
  • 2 ounces
  • Water-resistant up to 200m (660 feet)
Best Overall Choice

2. Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer

Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer

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Diving professional requires professional equipment, and that is precisely what the Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer offers. It is one of the most professional digital diving watches available today.

The Cressi diving computer tracks air, nitrox, and gauge modes in large, easy-to-read numbers that even beginner divers can understand. It has FO2 adjustability between 21% and 50% and a PO2 adjustability between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar with a CNS oxygen toxicity graphic indicator. This ensures you will always know your accurate oxygen levels according to how deep you dive.

Another great feature of this Cressi underwater dive computer is the deep stop function. You can choose the function in which you want to be alerted for a deep stop: imperial or metric. The watch will alert you (according to the function you set) to make a deep stop.

After each dive has been recorded and transmitted to the diving computer interface, the data can be reset, and the watch can be given to another diver to record his or her dive.

Quick Features:

  • 47mm digital watch face
  • Air, nitrox, and gauge modes; single button to set mode
  • 20-second data acquisition frequency
  • Backlight screen for nighttime/dark dives
  • English or metric units of measurement
  • Very large strap to fit most wrist sizes
Best Premium Choice

3. Luminox Men’s 3059 EVO Navy Seal Colormark Watch

Luminox Men’s 3059 EVO Navy Seal Colormark Watch

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The Luminox men’s 3059 dive watch is an analog dive watch that illuminates 100x brighter than the rest of the competition, making it perfect for low-light or no-light diving conditions.

The watchband and face are both made from polyurethane, which makes it durable for every dive. The watch face has large, orange numerals that feature a 24-hour clock with a built-in analog date calendar.

The total water-resistant depth is 200 meters or 660 feet. The dial window is made from mineral crystal, which makes it virtually resistant to scratches. This makes it perfect for all types of outdoor activities. The case of the watch face is 14mm thick and 44mm in diameter.

It has a unidirectional rotating bezel to give the diver the most accurate and safe calibration during the dive.

Quick Features:

  • Black and orange analog watch
  • Polyurethane band and face
  • Illuminates 100x bright
  • 220m/660 feet depth water-resistant
  • 14mm thick watch face
  • 44mm diameter watch face
  • 23mm band width
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel

4. Invicta Men’s 15145 Pro Diver Watch

Invicta Men’s 15145 Pro Diver Watch

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The Invicta 15145 pro diver watch is an analog dive watch with a tachymeter, chronograph, and large display numbers. The 48mm watch face is stainless steel with a synthetic sapphire crystal dial window, which is the most durable and scratch-resistant watch face material.

Within the watch is a unidirectional rotating bezel, which gives an accurate and safe reading on the watch during your dive. The push-pull crown is what gives the dive watch a water-resistance of just 100 meters or 330 feet.

Three subdials on the watch face indicate 60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 24-hour. The watch face has luminous hands and hour markers that allow you to see the watch during nighttime or dark dives.

The watch has a plastic band that is 24mm wide with a tang buckle to keep the watch securely in place.

Quick Features:

  • Analog watch
  • Tachymeter and chronograph
  • 48mm watch face
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel
  • Water-resistant 100m/330 feet
  • Three subdials: 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24-hour
  • Luminous hands and hour markers
  • 24mm wide plastic watch band
Best Budget Choice

5. TEKMAGIC Digital Scuba Diving Watch

TEKMAGIC Digital Scuba Diving Watch

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Another digital dive watch on our list is this model by TEKMAGIC; however, it also has an analog feature as well. This is the most affordable dive watch on our list, and quite possibly the most affordable dive watch on the market today.

It has a round, 45mm watch face that displays the time, a timer, a stopwatch, and a calendar. The calendar display includes the day, date, and month of the year.

The watch face is backlit for you to see the watch while you dive in dark conditions. The watch has a chronograph, dual-time display, and is shock resistant. The shock resistance allows the watch to withstand minor impacts on surfaces. This makes it ideal for swimming, diving, and other outdoor activities.

The band and watch case is plastic, and the thickness of the watch case is 17mm. The watchband is 22mm wide with a tang buckle to keep it securely in place while diving.

Quick Features:

  • Analog or digital display
  • Backlit
  • 17mm thick watch case
  • Timer, stopwatch, calendar display, and chronograph
  • Shock-resistant
  • Black band and face
  • 45mm case diameter
  • 22mm wide watchband

What is a Dive Watch?

A dive watch is more than just a water-resistant watch that can withstand submersions of 100 meters or more. A dive watch will monitor how long you have been underwater, light up underwater in dark conditions, and a rotating bezel.

These terms may be difficult to understand to those who are just learning the terminology of diving, so we will explain what each of these terms means below.

  • Watch Case – this is the watch face enclosure that keeps the internal parts of the watch protected. This is where the battery, gears, and other parts of the watch are located.
  • Water Resistance – the total distance the watch can be submerged while continuing to function correctly.
  • Rotating Bezel – a hand on the watch that rotates to let the diver know how long they have been underwater.
  • Backlight/Lumination – a light on the watch face that allows the numbers on the watch to be seen at night or in dark conditions.
  • Tachymeter – a device used to measure distance according to speed.
  • Chronograph – a device used to record time; a stopwatch

A dive watch should have all of these components to be certified for diving. If a watch is labeled as a dive watch but does not have all of these features, we do not recommend wearing it for diving. While it may be water-resistant and suitable for recreational swimming, we do not recommend wearing a watch that does not record time or alert you while diving, as this is what will keep you safe while you dive.

Other Dive Watch Features to Consider

There are additional features you may want your dive watch to have. These features are not required criteria to be classified as a dive watch; however, they can help improve the quality and safety of your dive if they are available.

Deep Stop (“Pyle Stop”) Alerts

A deep stop, also known as a Pyle stop, is a stop that a diver makes during the ascension to the surface. This type of stop was named after Dr. Richard Pyle, an ichthyologist from Hawaii. During his dives in Hawaii, he noticed that making periodic stops on his way to the surface significantly decreased his post-dive fatigue. Thus, he developed what is known as a deep stop or “Pyle stop.”

When ascending to the surface, the dive watch will alert you to notify you to make a stop. This is known as a deep stop. You should stop your ascent for 30 to 60 seconds before resuming the ascent. This stop will prevent microbubbles from developing in the diver’s bloodstream.

Microbubbles will slow down your ascent, which can be dangerous and make you fatigued. Making a deep stop at the right time will prevent this from happening; thus, allowing you to have a quicker and more successful ascent.

Helium Release Valve

Some dive watches are equipped with a helium release valve. Helium release valves are a useful feature to have in your dive watch only if you will be diving in deep, saturated conditions for long periods of time.

When saturation diving, helium particles that are found within the atmospheric pressure conditions can seep into the watch. This is not an issue for the watch until you ascent to the surface, and the watch becomes decompressed.

During decompression, the pressure becomes trapped between the helium atoms with no way to escape. Over time, the pressure can damage the watch in different ways, such as causing the watch case to break or malfunction.

A helium release valve will allow any helium that has built up in the watch to be released automatically. There is no manual button or dial that you will have to activate for this to work. However, there may be a manual screw-down crown on the side of the watch that you can unscrew at the beginning of the decompression so that any helium and pockets of pressure within the watch can be release.

Helium released valves are typically only found on dive watches that have a water-resistance of 1,000 feet or more. Helium release valves are not required for recreational diving as the conditions and the duration of the dive will not have helium present, meaning that pressure will not build up inside the watch.

Automatic Movement

Dive watches can be powered by a battery or automatic movement. The battery is what makes the watch function. When the battery electrifies the quartz within the watch, the quartz sends a vibration that causes the second hand of the watch to tick. When the battery dies, the ticking stops and the battery will need to be replaced for the watch to work again.

Automatic movement watches rely solely on the movement of the watch to make the second hand tick. The spring of the watch will store energy and send it through the gears of the watch to make the second hand tick.

Dive watches that are powered by automatic movement are considered more reliable than battery-powered watches as you don’t have to worry about the battery dying when in use. What’s more, you don’t have to replace the battery in the watch when it dies. Your watch will always be wound and ready to go with an automatic watch.

Both automatic movement and quartz watches are fine for diving. There is no right or wrong choice. Automatic movement watches are considered more luxurious and more reliable, but both automatic movement and quartz watches are perfectly fine for diving.

How to Choose the Best Dive Watch

As you can see, dive watches range in style, price, and features. Dive watches can be simple, analog watches with a rotating bezel for measuring time underwater, or they can be a digital computer with various modes with FO2 and PO2 adjustability and a helium release valve.

To choose the best dive watch, you should first consider the conditions in which you will be using it.

If you will be diving for fun, you will need a dive watch that can withstand depths of 100 meters while measuring your time underwater. The most basic and affordable dive watches are ideal for general swimming, snorkeling, and diving, as they will provide water resistance up to 100 meters while measuring the time you spend underwater.

Training to dive professionally, or if you are already a professional diver, will require a dive watch that is equipped with more features for a safe dive. This may include various diving modes, a tachymeter, a deep stop alarm, and/or a helium release valve. For advanced or saturated dives, you should consider a diving computer with many included features so that your dive is safe and efficient.

Consider the type of diving you will be doing before you buy the first dive watch you come across. A basic dive watch should be water-resistant up to 100 meters, have a unidirectional rotating bezel, and a bright backlight. These dive watches come in a variety of styles, colors, and are reasonably priced.

As we mentioned earlier, automatic movement and quartz watches are both used to power dive watches, so you may want to choose your watch according to the method in which it is powered. If you don’t want to rely on a battery to power your watch, or if you don’t want to have to worry about replacing the battery when it dies, you should consider an automatic movement watch.

How to Care for Your Dive Watch

Each time your dive watch comes in contact with sand and saltwater, it deteriorates. To slow this deterioration, you will need to make sure you properly care for your dive watch.

Once you have completed your dive and you are out of the sand and sea elements, you should immediately clean your dive watch. Take some clean running water and place the watch under the water while gently rubbing the watch with a soft cloth. Do not scrub the watch, as scrubbing can cause even the most scratch-resistant watch faces to scratch with vigorous scrubbing.

You should also plan to have your dive watch serviced periodically by a local horologist. A horologist will inspect the watch to ensure all the gears, seals, and mechanisms within the watch are working properly. This should be done on a yearly basis.

In Short

A great dive watch can be as simple or as extravagant of a timepiece as you want it to be. It is important to remember that the most basic dive watches are perfect for any dive. Just make sure the water resistant depth is at least 100 meters so that your watch can withstand the depths and pressure of each dive.

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