Diving watches have come a long way since their initial patent in the early 20th century.
Nowadays, a diving watch is a stylish and versatile addition to any man’s wardrobe. A good diving watch offers a robust and reliable timepiece alongside specific characteristics that give the item an added edge.
Discover what to look for when buying a diving watch and discover our pick of the best diving watches, whatever your requirements.
What is a divers watch?
Luxury watch manufacturer Omega released the first commercial divers watch in the 1930s in response to a growing demand for water-resistant timepieces. The Omega Marine featured a seal to prevent water from getting in and managed to survive being plunged 73m underwater at Lake Geneva.
Since then, several watchmakers have thrown their hats into the diving watch ring, producing dozens of models with various styles and features.
However, timepieces must meet specific requirements to be classed as diving watches.
Diving watch characteristics
- Minimum water resistance of 100m
- Must function underwater
- Must be resistant to magnetization (antimagnetic)
- Saltwater resistant
- Main watch components must be visible in the dark from 25m away
- Feature a way to track a dive or time spent underwater
Why are diving watches useful?
A dive watch is convenient if you spend time underwater, such as diving or swimming.
While many divers use specialised divers computers, a dive watch is far more practical — swimmers can clearly see their live dive time due to the high-contrast face and luminous hands and characters.
A diving watch can make the difference between life and death if you embark on a longer or more dangerous dive. Your timepiece helps track how long you’ve spent underwater, monitor how much air is in your tank and helps avoid the bends by calculating decompression.
Thanks to new sleek designs and compact interfaces, many divers also wear modern diving watches casually, which means you can easily slip between everyday use and diving activities. Diving watches look good and identify you as a keen scuba diver — a fantastic talking point during many social situations.
What to look for when choosing a diving watch
Diving watches come in several different styles. What to look for when considering your purchase largely depends on personal needs and preferences.
Diving watches are generally bulkier than regular timepieces because of the thick, watertight seal and extra gadgets. Before buying, ensure your watch is comfortable and, if you plan to wear the timepiece on land too, fits nicely under a suit or jacket sleeve.
Most diving watches feature a silicone or stainless steel strap to ensure the watch doesn’t rust or break underwater. Silicone straps tend to be lighter and more flexible than stainless steel timepieces — something to consider if you’re after a more casual look.
You’ll also have choices between interfaces. Classic diving watches feature large faces with big hands that are great for reading underwater. Chronograph diving watches also have smaller sub-dials to measure elapsed time and speed. This style is excellent if you require more detailed information from your dive.
Your diving watch will last longer if made from the most durable materials. Sapphire crystal is one of the sturdiest elements in the world, which is why many good-quality diving watches utilise it. Unlike regular glass, the material is scratch-resistant and doesn’t crack under pressure. A diving watch made from sapphire crystal is suitable for both recreational and professional scuba diving.
The best diving watches
Are you searching for the best diving watches? Look no further than Robert Gatward Jewellers.
From traditional interfaces to modern designs, we’ve got a wide range of ladies and men’s diving watches.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest manufacturers in watchmaking are also some of the best diving watch brands.
A TAG Heuer diving watch promises optimum performance and complete reliability. Get ready to dive and surf worldwide with extreme technical construction and quality materials. Pick from fresh and sporty styles or a more classical feel.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer collection is designed for professional use and everyday wear, featuring sleek stainless steel elements that look as good on land as they do in the water.
Breitling has been developing its exceptional timepieces since the 1960s, manufacturing clearcut diving watches that support underwater lifesaving needs. The result is an extraordinary-looking watch featuring clean lines, chunky luminescent indexes, squared-off hands, and high-contrast dial rings for maximum practicality.
Many Breitling watches come in several strap options, meaning you can mix up your look depending on the occasion. Breitling timepieces come with a patented lock and scratch-proof bezels that never wear or fade. Ideal for those seeking a multifunctional divers watch that delivers quality and appearance.
One of the biggest manufacturers of diving watches, OMEGA’s Seamaster diver watch collection boasts resilient casing and state-of-the-art sealing.
The timepieces also feature a chronometer or chronograph for precision tracking your swim, surf, or dive. These elements are often combined with premium materials, including rose gold, titanium, and ceramic, for a unique-looking device that delivers on style and functionality. An OMEGA divers watch is the ideal gift for the keen diver in your life or as an update to your own diving timepiece.
Ladies diving watch
A ladies’ diving watch usually features a smaller face and thinner strap for more slender wrists, but without compromising on the specifications required for an exceptional diving timepiece. Perfect for tracking your dives or monitoring your swims.