When someone new to the world of scuba diving is getting started and purchasing all the necessary equipment, the topic of dive watches inevitably comes up. And along with it come questions such as “are they really required?”
The short answer is no, they are not required. That doesn’t mean they don’t have their uses. Quite the opposite actually. Many dive watches are equipped with full-fledged dive computers, making them extremely convenient with unmatched portability. Plus, many divers wear these watches as part of tradition — they’ve long been associated with scuba diving. A lot of it comes down to personal preference as well. Some divers like to wear a dive watch, some don’t.
The final decision is entirely up to you, though. If you decide that a dive watch is something you want to invest in, we’ve compiled a list of three of the best watches available to buy in 2017 to enable you to pick the right one.
3 Best Dive Watches Available in 2018
The first watch on our list is a perfect entry level offered by Cressi in terms of pricing. It packs a complete RGBM dive computer into a stylish looking piece. It also features air and nitrox modes along with large digital digits for easier reading when you are underwater. This is a great dive watch thanks to its elegant appearance and overall great functionality, perfect for anybody who is just getting started with scuba diving.
● Complete RGBM dive computer (algorithm incorporates both RGBM and Deep Stop)
● Air, nitrox, and gauge modes
● Single button interface makes it incredibly easy to program the above modes
● Complete reset option, making it perfect for rental shops as well
● Display system has been carefully designed to be as user-friendly as possible, making it easy to read
● All of the display information is separated by light lines to make it easier to pick out necessary information
● Extended battery life thanks to power saving processor
● CR2430 battery easily replaceable without requiring any tools
● Software compatible with all versions of PC Windows and Mac
● Light could be a bit brighter
● Doesn’t log time and depth beyond most recent dive without separate PC link
The Leonardo is a great, stylish option for anyone just getting started with scuba diving. It is more affordable when compared to the other options featured on this list and yet provides superb value thanks to the features such as including a complete RGBM computer and the single button interface. Cressi knows the diving game thanks to decades of experience and that expertise shines through this dive watch offering.
The next dive watch on our list is the Oceanic GEO 2.0 PDC. This watch combines style, quality, and functionality in one great package. It features a good interface that is extremely simple to use thanks to a “Step Back” option that lets you navigate forward and backward through the menu options. It also features four different operating modes: WATCH, NORM (Air/Nitrox modes), GAUGE (including a run timer), and FREE (keeps track of calculations to allow convenient switching to NORM mode and then back to FREE).
● Can choose between Oceanic’s exclusive dual algorithm – Pelagic DSAT or Pelagic Z+
● 4 operating modes – WATCH, NORM, GAUGE, FREE
● User-friendly “Step Back” option makes for an easy-to-use interface
● Ability to switch between up to two Nitrox mixes to 100% O2 with zero restrictions
● Stop times under 3 minutes that displays both minutes and seconds
● Upgrades appearance with beautiful stainless steel accent
● Deep Stop option
● Auto updating firmware
● Viable on its own or as a backup to any dive computer
● Lack of color options
● More expensive than the dive watch listed above
● Instructions included are difficult to follow
While it is more expensive than the Cressi option above, the GEO 2.0 is a fantastic offering for scuba diving enthusiasts. The beautiful stainless steel finish combines with all the excellent features you would expect in a dive watch. If you are going to get serious about diving, this is definitely an option you should consider,
The final dive watch that we highly recommend is the Suunto D4i. Like the GEO 2.0, this dive watch features 4 diving modes along with a soft silicone strap designed for maximum comfort. It also features an innovative apnea timer, as well as a timer for both air and nitrox modes.
● Suunto RGBM provides full continuous decompression algorithm
● Includes four modes – Air/Nitrox/Free/Off
● Innovative apnea timer
● Timer for air and nitrox modes
● Firmware can be updated easily
● Wireless air integration current cylinder pressure as an optional feature
● Easy to sync with the Movescount.com sports community and log book
● Several different color options
● Pricier than the others on our list
The Suunto D4i features tons of features, most notably their innovative apnea timer. Another benefit is the four diving modes included, especially since it includes a timer for air and nitrox. While it is definitely the most expensive option on this list, it is definitely well worth the price tag.
As stated at the start of this feature, a dive watch is not an essential piece of diving equipment. However, many divers still swear by their use and they do have a long history of the sport. You can definitely make good use out of the information they provide when you’re out on a dive. Should you choose to use one, the dive watches we listed above are the best of the best and you can’t go wrong with any of these picks!