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How To Use A Dive Watch

The diving watch has been around since the early 21st century and are elegant, sleek, and efficient. Whether you have recently purchased a diving watch already or are considering purchasing one, it’s important you know how to use it.

If you want to get the most out of your diving watch you will need to understand the different functions and mechanics that make it work. Keep reading for more information.

Dive Watch Functions

There are various contemporary dive watches on the market, each with its logging features and depth gauge. However, they are rarely used to replace a dedicated dive computer.

Because it has to work in an underwater environment, diving watches must satisfy a specific set of criteria. Here are a few of them:

  • Must be water-resistant till at least 100 meters.
  • Must be waterproof and able to survive high water pressure and deep waters.
  • Must have an anti-magnetic property.
  • A diving watch’s primary watch pieces must be visible in the dark from a distance of at least 25cm.
  • Must be saltwater and shock-resistant.
  • Must have a measurement scale to track time while diving.
  • Must have a helium release valve for saturation diving at high depths.

Parts of a Dive Watch

Knowing the fundamental parts of a diving watch will help you in understanding how to operate it and how to take care of it.

dive watch

The Case

The case of the watch refers to the watch’s outer casing. It’s responsible for keeping the internal systems safe and secure.

The watch’s casing is made of a rigid material that can survive the pressure and impact of diving. A case should provide water-resistance of a minimum of 100 meters.

The Bezel

The revolving dive watch bezel is what distinguishes a diving watch from other types of watches. The diving bezel is typically a unidirectional rotating bezel that keeps the watch crystal in place while tracking the time.

The spinning bezel is the part that spins from 0 to 60 minutes and keeps track of how long you’ve been underwater. The bezel will include increment indicators, generally in 5 or 10-minute intervals, with one-minute increments for the first 15 minutes.

This lets you know exactly when to pause decompression and how much time you have spent underwater. There are two types of dive bezels:

  • External bezels are straightforward to use, and despite the risks of sand and salt damage, they are practical and easy to use with one hand.
  • Internal bezels are shielded by the glass and controlled by a power button through an additional crown. They may be difficult to use.


The watchband, also known as the strap, is attached to the case and fits snugly on your wrist. A diver’s watch strap is made of water-resistant materials, and it may be made of rubber, plastic, or any other material that’s comfortable to wear and keeps the watch in place.


The dial is a safety feature in most dive watches. Since lighting is in short supply underwater, digital dive watches include lit dials to help keep track of the time.

Most diving watches include lit numerals so that you won’t have any problem tracking time in low light.


Dive watches have precise movements that allow for accurate timekeeping underwater. Quartz (battery) or automatic movements are the two movements to power a dive watch.

How To Use a Dive Watch

Having learned about its many components and functions, you might also want to learn about dive watch battery replacement. No this is not about dive watch batteries, now it’s time to put your diving watch to work.

First, you’ll need to understand how to set the bezel. The bezel will keep track of how much time you’ve spent underwater, so make sure it’s in place before you go diving.


You may use a conventional unidirectional diving bezel in two ways to track your dive time, namely:

Track the Elapsed Time

This is the most straightforward method of using a diving bezel. Use the conventional stopwatch feature to trigger elapsed time function. Set the “zero” marker on the bezel (which might be a triangle or a hash) to the minute hand.

Keep track of elapsed time as the minute hand moves across the watch display. For example, to time thirty-five minutes, spin the bezel until the Zero marker is on the minute hand.

When the minute hand reaches the “35” on the bezel ring, thirty-five minutes have elapsed. The ratchet makes sure that the time spent underwater is longer than the actual duration, offering a safety reserve.

Track the Remaining Time

This needs a bit more expertise. Let’s imagine you wish to track thirty-five minutes again. The first step is to subtract 35 from 60, which equals 25. Make sure the minute hand is aligned with the 25 markers on your bezel ring.


As the minute hand moves closer to the Zero Marker, it’ll count down thirty-five minutes. The time is up when the minute hand hits zero. It’s also worth noting that just a handful of diving organizations currently teach divers how to use dive tables.

This is because modern dive computers come equipped with safety features. Using dive tables, you’d figure out that you could stay at a given depth for a maximum of 35 minutes before resurfacing.

Final Thoughts

A diving watch not only looks fantastic on your wrist but is also essential safety equipment. Understanding the different sections of a dive watch and its maintenance requirements will help you learn how to use a dive watch correctly and increase the lifespan of the dive watch you pick, and we hope the points mentioned above have done just that!