What makes a diving watch a diving watch, do you know?

Just about the most popular type of tool watch there’s, no true enthusiast’s collection is complete without a minumum of one dive watch.
Dive or divers’ watches are a few of the most frequent in the industry. Often regarded as the archetypal sports watch, dive watches are all useful tools which have a rich aesthetic background. The combination of those elements, which appeal to both the scientific and artistic mindsets, has resulted in a diverse corner of watchmaking, replete with business classics. You need only imagine horological stalwarts such as the Rolex Submariner, the Omega Seamaster, or even the IWC Aquatimer to find a strong idea of the genre’s ubiquity throughout the world of watchmaking.
But while we could all pretty much say we all know one when we see one, what must a genuine dive watch need to set it apart from the rest of the genres?


The Backstory
Though they’ve been around since the fifties, getting evermore widespread as recreational Scuba diving captured the public imagination (helped along with a specific fictional secret agent), official standards for what really constituted a dip watch weren’t laid down till 1996.
It was then that the International Organization for Standardization drew up a pair of foundation guidelines for what these timepieces were and were not needed to perform, which were given the catchy title of ISO 6425.


For an eye to”officially” be regarded as a dive watch, it must pass a series of evaluations based on these criteria. Only those models that successfully fulfilled those demands were then permitted to incorporate the word’Diver’ in their dials. ISO doesn’t perform this evaluation itself (any brand that states its watch has been analyzed by ISO is attempting to pull one on you).
Instead, this duty falls at the feet of the brand. A new can perform this evaluation in-house or cover an external individual to test it for them. While the latter route may have more credibility for its guaranteed lack of prejudice, many major Maisons choose to carry out the test themselves, and the kind of reputations we-re discussing here — brands like Rolex and Omega watches — are far outside repute in this regard.
图 There’s not any requirement for them to achieve that. Some might see it as braggadocios, others may see it as stating the obvious, while it is possible some (those companies that have been producing well-regarded diving gear for decades before the establishment of the ISO 6425) don’t believe that they must dance to the song of some johnny-come-lately.
However, as several watches had been used for diving for around 40 decades beforehand with no issues, there are plenty of pieces out there which satisfy all the standards which do not have the term visible anywhere–the Rolex Submariner being the most obvious and famous case.
Likewise, there are also models that look, smell and sound like a dive watch which, officially at any rate, are not.


So, what would be the principal criteria of the ISO 6425 and why should you care? Is it all unnecessary marketing garbage into the guy on the street, or is there some concrete benefit to owning a wristwatch that was designed to endure at least 100 meters beneath the sea once you (presumably) live on dry land?
The ISO’s tests cover an entire raft of aspects which are very important to the safe time of a dive; from being robust enough to withstand the increase in pressure to actually being readable at the reduced light underwater.
Again, it’s important to not forget that ISO simply lays down the principles, they don’t physically examine themselves–that is down to the individual manufacturers.
Thus, what does the procedure entail?


Firstly, the watch has to be water resistant to a depth of at least 100m, or 330ft. While that’s far beyond the bounds of what anyone but the most specialized technical diver will achieve, the excess requirement is to await the extra pressure caused by the diver’s motion. As all watches are analyzed in an artificial, stationary environment, in addition to with brand-new gaskets and completely pristine cases, the additional rating is used to compensate for the postings in states.
The case must be made from a material able to withstand the galvanic corrosive effects of seawater, and when metal, have a bracelet constructed of a metal with similar properties. For the most part, that implies either 316L or, in Rolex’s instance, 904L stainless steel.
Chemical immunity sounds cool, but for a watch used and retained in regular atmospheric conditions, it should be largely unnecessary. This test, which simulates the saltwater you’d find in the sea, is designed to assess the watch’s immunity to rust. In other words, a contemporary watch on dry land shouldn’t rust. A bronze watch may patina (which is not a world away from fancy rust), but you knew that already. A contemporary 316L or 904L stainless steel timepiece just does not have to be worried about sudden and undesirable oxidization.


Next, all dive watches, whether mechanical or digital, have to have some kind of apparatus to allow the wearer to measure elapsed timeup to a hour. Typically, for mechanical watches, this can be taken care of by a rotating bezel.
Perhaps the most immediately identifiable physical trait of a dive watch is its rotating timing bezel. This is an extremely critical part of the dive watch DNA since it enables a diver to watch for how long they’ve been submerged. Without this, the tragedy could occur. Should a diver misjudge how long they’ve been underwater, they might underestimate their immersion time, leading to decompression sickness — better known as”the bends” among those from the diving area.
The timing bezel can be used in normal life, but it isn’t as precise as a chronograph (nor as intuitive) and the lack of an alarm feature takes you to keep your eyes to make the best use of its capabilities.
deepsea dive watch rolex sea-dweller james cameron A basic safety feature, it means if it has pumped for any reason, it is only going to read the immersion time has been more than in reality instead of shorter.
Diving watches are required to be highly legible. This is a good thing for humans wearing those watches over water as being able to read an eye is of prime concern. The minute markings on the dial, also, must be readily readable and they, in addition to the hands, should have a visibility from 25cm in complete darkness. An indication that the watch is running, for example luminous material about the flip side, is a further prerequisite.
Dive watches normally have distinguishable indicators at the four cardinal points, and especially the 12 o’clock position, to help prevent disorientation in poor lighting.
Underwater Reliability
To recreate the effects of typical recreational Scuba lifetime, dive watches undergo a range of carefully controlled tests to mimic the conditions in which they’re expected to operate.
In addition to the situation’s resistance to rust, the model’s reliability under water can also be analyzed. This entails a whole series of checks.
It is then analyzed for shock-resistance, getting a blow with a force of around 5,000gs, after to the face of the watch and again to the left side.


To check the crown especially, the weakest point of any mechanical watch design, the item is compacted to 125% of its depth rating (so, a 200m dive watch is going to be subjected to a force equal to 250m) and a weight of five Newtons will be applied to the peak of the crown for 10 minutes.
The thermal shock test involves submerging the watch in 30cm of water, until heating it up to 40°C, down to 5°C, back up to 40°C for five minutes each, together with the transition between temperatures taking no longer than 1 minute apiece.
Eventually, the over-pressurization test takes the watch down to its 125% thickness rating within one minute, leaves it there for 2 hours, then reduces the strain to 0.3 bar, again in only a minute, and maintains that density for a further hour.
Before and after these different evaluations, the watch is analyzed for any moisture having penetrated inside the case. Putting the version on a plate, it is then warmed up to between 40 and 45°C, along with a single drop of water between 17 and 25°C is dropped onto the crystal. After a minute, the water has been removed and any watch which has shaped condensation on the interior of the crystal will have been known to have a leak and, therefore, failed.


Rolex Submariner Dive Watch Underwater
Into The Extremes
For those versions that go beyond the recreational diving world, like the Rolex Deepsea, the tests are ramped up in severity.
As they’re designed for professional saturation divers who commonly use mixed breathing gases in unbelievable depths, the watches themselves are exposed to trials that recreate those conditions and then some. In the case of this Deepsea, the 125% of its pressure rating means down it to the equal of some 16,000feet, which puts approximately 4.5 tons of weight on the watch.
It is left in that helium-rich gas mixture for 15 days, and it is brought back to normal stress in only three minutes. The tiny helium molecules will have seeped to the case during that time, so the repressurization is the greatest test for your Rolex-developed Helium Escape Valve, the 1 way regulator at the side of the watch which allows the gas to escape without damaging the crystal.
Today dive watches are equally as much fashion items since they’re highly functional tool watches.
Desk Diving
The standards drawn up in ISO 6425 are intended to guarantee those models designated dive watches can withstand the underwater environment. On the other hand, the majority of the high-end versions in flow are likely to get no nearer to diving for underwater wrecks compared to office water cooler.
The dive computer has since replaced them essential equipment for both hobbyists and professionals alike. Yet, with the inherent extra toughness required to pass and exceed the ISO’s requirements built in, they remain some of the very robust and durable of any watch kind, able to sweep off the worst that everyday life can throw at them. In this era, there are myriad magnetic forces at play around us.


In fact, the requirement that divers’ watches are able to withstand immense bodily shocks is also pretty helpful for those people that need to assimilate our bodies into little spaces on underground train systems which take us to work. If your watch can take a shock of up to 5,000 Gs, you can be confident that swinging your way openly through rush hour without a lasting damage to your daily beater. Additionally, it helps that strap affixation is analyzed also. This is done by employing a force of 200 N to each stage of affixation in opposite directions. To be able to pass, rather simply, the watch must stay undamaged.
Coupled with the fact that more than half a century of refinement has produced some of the finest looking versions of any sort, and the dive watch will continue to function as first choice for lots of people from any walk of life.