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What is a Dive Watch?

Get in the know! Never have to wonder, "What is a dive watch?" again.

By: Amy Jackson, Editor, TheWatchIndex.com
What Is a Dive Watch
What Is a Dive Watch
This image courtesy of bigstockphoto.com

What is a dive watch? Do only divers use dive watches? Are they practical for usage above sea-level? These are all confusing questions, but the answers are simpler than you may think.

A dive watch is a watch that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has set apart for its adherence to certain standards, many of them relating to its ability to function underwater. However, the majority of people who wear dive watches (also known as diving watches or divers' watches) never visit the seafloor. They're perfectly practical for those of us who are not aquatically inclined, especially because they are waterproof and specifically designed to be visible in low lighting. Who couldn't make use out of that?

What makes a dive watch?

The ISO-approved requirements that a mechanical dive watch must possess are as follows:

  • A rotating bezel that is built to track the time elapsed underwater since the beginning of a dive.
     
  • Luminescent additions to the dial and hands for maximum readability in low light (such as underwater.)
     
  • A crown that is screwed down to keep water from getting into the watch.
     
  • A water-resistant case that prevents corrosion and rusting.
     
  • A shock-resistant and magnetic-resistant movement.
     
  • Functional underwater at a minimum of 100 meters (330 feet.)

Popular Dive Watch Brands

Whether your budget is limitless or restricted to a couple hundred dollars, there are watch brands that are well-known for making watch brands. You can't answer the question "What is a dive watch?" without recognizing these giants in the field:

  1. Rolex
  2. Victorinox
  3. IWC
  4. Tudor
  5. Aegir Instruments
  6. Aquadive
  7. Germano & Walter
  8. H2O/Helberg
  9. Pita
  10. Suissemecanica
  11. UTS München

Prominent Dive Watches

These are some of the most popular dive watches on our site. There is sure to be something here to suit everyone. Also make sure to check out our collection of 15 of the Best Dive Watches: A Watch for Every Budget.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Master Chronometer GMT 43.5mm

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Master Chronometer GMT 43.5mm makes it easy to differentiate between day and night with the bi-ceramic bezel. 

Blancpain 500 Fathoms GMT

The Blancpain 500 Fathoms GMT watch boasts a 100 bar watch resistance, sturdy titanium case, long-lasting sail canvas strap, and a helium valve.

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner was produced in 2016, and it is one of Rolex's newest Submariners. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph

These Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph watches will make a statement with their unique colors and exciting design.  

Breitling Chronomat 44

The Breitling Chronomat 44 is also water-resistant up to 500 meters, making this watch ideal for divers.

Panerai Luminor Submersible Automatic

The Panerai Luminor Submersible Automatic offers a graduated scale for measuring the duration of immersions.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller features a larger 43 mm case and the new caliber 3235. This watch has a 1,220 meter water resistance.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver

The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver features water resistance of 30 bar, a unidirectional rotating steel bezel with 60-minute scale, and Superluminova-filled numerals and indices. 

Seiko Prospex Sea

The Seiko Prospex Sea features a screw-down crown and caseback, a 20-bar water resistance, and a luminescent coating on the hands and indices. 

Tudor Heritage Black Bay

The Heritage Black Bay has a sturdy stainless steel case and unidirectional bezel. It is water resistant up to 200 meters.  

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