What Is A Dive Watch | Top 6 Dive Watch FAQ

A dive watch is a type of watch that is specifically designed to be worn on the wrist of scuba divers.

In this blog post we’ll answer the top 6 most frequently asked questions surrounding dive watches.

We’re going to start with the two main questions of…

What is a dive watch?

How does a dive watch work?

Then we’ll also explain how does the bezel work on a dive watch, and how you can use it to measure time spent underwater. Plus we’ll even give you a brief history lesson on what was the first dive watch, along with how to wear a dive watch too.

Top 6 Dive Watch FAQ

  1. What is a dive watch?
  2. How does a dive watch work?
  3. How does the bezel work on a dive watch?
  4. What was the first dive watch?
  5. When to wear a dive watch?
  6. Are dive watches fashionable?

What is a dive watch?

A dive watch is a type of watch that’s built for divers to wear underwater. Dive watches come with high level of water resistance, so they can withstand the water pressure when deep underwater.

A dive watch usually has a water resistance of up to 200m (660ft), but other dive watches can handle much higher levels of water pressure.

Seiko Samurai dive watch

How does a dive watch work?

The main function of a dive watch is to withstand water pressure and keep the watch’s case free from water while on the wrist of a diver.

The dive watch has many features that help keep water out, here are the 2 main features:

  • Screw-down Crown: A dive watch will allow you to screw-down your crown tightly. This helps keep the case airtight and keeps water out.
  • Screw-in Caseback: A dive watch is fitted with a screw-in caseback that’s sealed to ensure that water cannot get in through the back of the watch.

Then the second function of a dive watch helps a diver track the time spent underwater. How a dive watch does this is with its rotating bezel.

A dive watch’s rotating bezel can either be a:

  • Uni-directional rotating bezel: It can only rotate in one direction
  • Bi-directional rotating bezel: It can rotate in both directions

A uni-directional rotating bezel is only used on modern dive watches today. As this is to prevent any mistakes from turning the bezel the wrong way underwater.

Uni-directional bezels can only turn anti-clockwise.

How does the bezel work on a dive watch?

Every dive watch has a rotating bezel. This bezel is used by the diver to keep track of the time spent underwater.

There are two ways that a dive watch can track the time spent underwater using the dive watch’s bezel.

Count Up

This is the easiest way. You just need to rotate the bezel to match up with the minute hand at the beginning of your dive. Then you can see how much time has elapsed since then within the hour.

Count Down

This method needs a bit of math before hand. However, this is the traditional and safest way to use a bezel as a timer on a dive.

You will need to first decide how long you want to dive for. Then take that time and subtract it from 60 minutes.

E.g. : 60 mins – 20 mins = 40 mins

Then take that time (e.g. 40 mins), and line that time up with the minute hand. So for example line up the 40 marker on the bezel.

Then the time will count down to the marker, for 20 minutes in this case.

Check out the great video from The Crew, showing us exactly how to use a bezel to measure time elapsed underwater.

What was the first dive watch?

Before diving was considered a sport. Rolex released the world’s first water resistance watch. This watch was called the Rolex Oyster.

The Rolex Oyster shot to fame when it was worn on the wrist of the first woman to swim the English channel in 1927.

This Rolex invention was the basis for the first dive watch. As the Rolex Oyster featured a screw-down crown, and screw-in caseback. It was the first watch that could really keep water and dust out of the watch’s movement and case.

First Rolex Submariner

Then Rolex released another ground breaking watch called the Rolex Submariner in 1953. Though this wasn’t the first dive watch. As Blancpain released the Fifty Fathom just a few months before.

However, the Rolex Submariner holds the title for the world’s first dive watch that was made commercially. To this day the Rolex Submariner remains the most famous, long standing and popular dive watch collections to date.

Learn more about the history of the Rolex Submariner.

When to wear a dive watch?

Dive watches were first made to be worn underwater by divers. However, they instead are more often worn on land.

You’ll often see dive watches worn with almost any outfit imaginable. From casual attire to the most formal suits and even tuxes. Dive watches are one of the best everyday watches and in modern times you can wear a dive watch with anything.

In the James Bond movies we’ve always seen the 007 wearing his dive watch with any outfit, including a tux.

Daniel Craig wearing a dive watch with a tux in the Bond movie Casino Royale.

Are dive watches fashionable?

Dive watches are one of the most popular watch styles out today. Most watch collectors own dive watches.

Why not discover some of the best affordable mechanical dive watches around in our review to the best dive watches from Seiko.