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 required?”
The short answer is no; they are not. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have uses — quite the opposite. 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 ’are made for 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 2020
Dive Watch #1 – Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer
For those who are entering the sport and for those who just want to dive, Leonardo is a must-have. Some of you heard about Cressi. They are one of the leaders on the professional scuba diving gear. Cressi was founded in Italy in 1946 as a diving company with a rich vision in innovation. After 70 years, they keep the same vision on improving themselves and they ready to begin a new adventure and, combined with the advanced technology, their products are the best and most reliable from the market.
This computer is really easy to use and with a single-button interface. You could set it up very fast, and you have the option to choose between meters or feet, Celsius or Fahrenheit, air or nitrox, safety factors, and other parameters. Since it has 1 single button, the way to use it is short press and long press, where the short press is to change the menu and the long press is to edit something.
Once you go into the water, it is pretty easy to read, with long-press you can turn the light on for a couple of seconds. Also, the best features IMHO, are the heads up when you go up faster than you should do… it beeps and complains, in the safety stop it indicates easily the number of remaining minutes.
- 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 methods
- Complete reset option, making it perfect for rental shops as well
- The 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 the necessary information
- Extended battery life thanks to a power-saving processor
- CR2430 battery easily replaceable without requiring any tools
- Software compatible with all versions of PC Windows and Mac
- The light could be a bit brighter
- Doesn’t log time and depth beyond most recent dive without separate PC link
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 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. With 871 ratings and 4.5/5 stars, it makes it a great buy. Click here for current pricing on Amazon.
Dive Watch #2 – Oceanic GEO 2.0 Air/Nitrox Computer Watch
For a dive computer, Oceanic GEO it does all that it needs to do and is packed with additional features that you may not need. The free dive mode and nitrox settings are as yet untested and likely to remain so in both cases.
Geo 2 looks very much like a large digital sports watch and is certainly wearable daily unlike most PDC that is like a shopping cartwheel. One driving instructor I know uses an earlier model of the Geo 2 which had a chunkier and longer strap.
The one downside, that is reprieved by the provision of online training classes, is the manual, both the brief printed version and the pdf supplied on the bundled cd. Instructions are a generic term only, these are endless pages of directions, not instructions. The manual tells you how to enter each mode, but not what it does or why.
- Can choose between Oceanic’s exclusive dual algorithm – Pelagic DSAT or Pelagic Z+
- Four 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 watchlisted above
- Instructions included are difficult to follow
While it is slightly more expensive than the Cressi option above, 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 an option you should consider. Click here for current pricing on Amazon.
Dive Watch #3 – Suunto D4i Novo Watch
The last choice we’ve made is the Suunto D4i Novo watch. This new-looking Suunto is available in two options: black, white, blue, and lime. The strap is made of silicone, ensuring great comfort and a nice fit. The case and strap are color-matched for a consistent look, bezel and mask prints are new and the buttons are made of metal. The Suunto D4i also offers versatile functionality. With four dive modes including freediving Suunto RGBM algorithm, and the option of wireless integration, its the dive computer of choice for all divers looking for a colorful and lightweight dive computer.
- 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 logbook
- 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, mainly since it consists of a timer for air and Nitrox. While it is the most expensive option on this list, it is well worth the price tag. Click here for current pricing on Amazon.
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 make good use out of the information they provide when you’re out on a dive. Should you choose to anyone, the dive watches we listed above are the top 3 you can buy, without doing too much research. And you can’t go wrong with any of these picks, depending on your budget and style.