A professional diver needs the right equipment and accessories to achieve success on their adventures and expeditions. A dive watch is one accessory that a professional diver cannot miss to include in his/her list of essentials.
The history of the dive watch is quite old, and quite interesting. The watch worn by Mercedes Gleitze when he swam across the English Channel in 1927 is credited to be the first truly water-resistant timepiece in the history of horology. The legacy continued with the numerous models launched by the prestigious watch houses.
Dive watches have been closely associated with the Navy and the Military. In the initial stages of production, they were specifically designed for these services. Times have changed. The dive watches of today are as much about style as they are about function.
What characterizes a typical dive watch? Well, the variations are extensive. However, certain characteristics seem to be present in some of the best models from some of the well-known manufacturers. Let’s take a look at the features that ensure the safety of the divers underwater and make a style statement on land.
Water-resistant – The dive watches are made to tackle extremes! A watch with 100 m water-resistance is suitable for snorkeling, one with 200 m resistance is good for water sports and one with at least 500 m resistance is appropriate for diving.
The International Organization for Standardization sets the water-resistant standard at 200 m for dive watches. Whether you buy a model from Omega, IWC, Luminox or Hublot, make sure you choose the water-resistance suitable for the underwater activities you participate in. Also, keep in mind that regular reproofing is necessary to keep it in good shape.
Unidirectional bezel – What does the large ring (with the indicators) that encircles the crystal face of dive watches do? It has an important function. It helps the diver keep track of how long he/she has been underwater in a failsafe manner.
A unidirectional bezel can be moved in one direction only, and locked into position. Inability to monitor the dive time may result in Decompression Illness, a cause of injury for divers. The Omega Ploprof has varied this a little; the bezel can be rotated in both directions but the bezel-release security pusher and the lock system ensure that it functions accurately.
Materials – Sturdy materials that can withstand the extremes of pressure underwater are used to create the watches. The case must be strong, the crystal must be hard, anti-glare and the strap must be waterproof.radio strap
Titanium, steel, gold and such other metals are durable enough to handle the undersea adventures! These are often used in the case body. Watch houses also use composite materials to make the watch case. Waterproof rubber straps are used in the dive watches. They often have extensions so that the watches can be worn over the wetsuit.
Luminescence – A mechanical watch would be of no help in the depths of the ocean if the diver was unable to see it. Color and luminescence play a significant role in the appearance of these watches.
Red and orange turns to grey at depths of 30 feet, as the light particles disperse first. Yellow is a little better. Blue is the best choice as it remains visible even at depths of 300 feet. The dive watches also feature luminescent hands and markers to ensure that the diver is capable of using the accessory even at great depths.
A Breitling Emergency mechanical watch saved the crew of the Mata-Rangi expedition in 1997 when the transmitter attached sent out distress signals to rescuers after they faced a storm that disrupted radio contact.
A mechanical dive watch is much more than an accessory! It is a necessity for divers.