Best dive watch: how to choose?

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A good dive watch should prioritize safety with a loud timer and easy unfastening. Practice unfastening with one hand and wear gloves. A large, bright display and a secure wristband are also important. Ensure the watch is waterproof and suitable for ocean diving.

The main thing you should look for in a dive watch, as with all other diving equipment, is safety. Look for a dive watch with a very loud timer or alarm and make sure you can quickly and easily unfasten the watch if needed. Other features, such as a large, bright display and a larger than normal band, will prove useful in a good dive watch.

With bulky dive equipment and a large number of straps you run the risk of becoming entangled in underwater obstacles such as shipwrecks or even trees. A good dive watch should be easy to unfasten in case it gets stuck on underwater debris, yet secure enough that you won’t fall off unless you want to. Before diving, practice unfastening your dive watch and any other diving accessory that could get caught on underwater objects with one hand. Remember to wear your dive gloves while training, so you’re sure you can free yourself from your watch and the rest of your gear with the gloves you’d wear on a real dive.

Another important safety feature of a dive watch is a loud timer or alarm sound. In general, it’s not a good idea to rely solely on the watch’s timer to signal the end of a dive, but some divers do it anyway. If you’re going to use it, make sure the timer is very loud and reliable so you don’t miss the end of your dive and stay down too long.

An ideal dive watch should have a large, bright display. Underwater, light can be limited even on the sunniest days. Watches with smaller faces or dimmer backlights will likely be difficult or impossible to read in the middle of a dive. A large enough wristband that fits over thick, heavily insulated wetsuits or drysuits is also very important if you plan to dive in colder waters.

The most obvious requirement for a dive watch is that it is waterproof. Keep in mind, however, that a watch that will continue to run when you wear it in the shower may not be able to withstand the intense pressure it would be subjected to during a deep water dive. Also, make sure your dive watch is intended for ocean diving, as the salt content in ocean water can damage watches not built for ocean diving.

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