What is a Diver Watch and Can it Save Your Life?
What is a Dive Watch?
When thinking about what constitutes a dive watch, the first thing that springs to mind is water-resistance. The first watches with this ability weren’t in production until the 1920s, just after World War I. Since then, technology and style have improved drastically and today’s dive watches are more than just resistant to a splash of water.
Dive Watch Characteristics
Thicker and more durable, modern dive watches can withstand all sorts of demanding conditions, whilst maintaining an elegant and stylish appearance. But what makes a dive watch different from other timepieces on the market (such as a GMT watch) and how does it work?
Dive Watch Straps
Dive watch straps are usually made from rubber, due to its resistance to seawater and water pressure.
Dive Watch Case
The case of a dive watch is usually much sturdier and thicker than you would find on a normal watch, due to its ability to resist harsh external forces. These are usually made from stainless steel, or other tough and durable materials, preventing any damage from factors such as shock or seawater corrosion.
Furthermore, a modern dive watch will have a case that is capable of far more water-resistance than earlier models, which were merely splashproof. Nowadays, dive watches should be capable of reaching depths of up to 200 metres, contending against the increased pressure underwater. Franck Dubarry’s Avant-Garde Dive Watches have been designed to go that extra bit further and can resist water in depths of up to 300 metres.
Dive Watch Crystal
The crystal of a dive watch needs to be both thick and clear, resilient, able to withstand pressure and scratch-proof.
Dive Watch Dial
It’s difficult to see anything whilst in the murky depths of the deep sea, which is why dive watches have to be equipped with luminescent index markers.
The history of the glowing dial is fascinating, yet horrific. Marie Curie discovered radium in 1898 and it was quickly taken up by the medical industry as a miracle treatment for various ailments, including cancer. Additionally, due to its capacity to glow, it was seen as a uniquely glamorous substance.
During the First World War, a number of factories were set up to paint radium on watch dials to make them luminescent. Rows of young women, known as the Radium Girls, would sit and point the radium-covered paintbrushes in their mouths and it wasn’t until much later that they discovered the deadly consequences.
Luckily, today’s dive watches tend to use safer phosphorescent materials, such as tritium, promethium, and LumiNova. Franck Dubarry’s Dive Watches are made using an innovative translucent epoxy resin, which is premiering for the first time in Swiss watch-making.
Dive Watch Movement
The movement describes the internal working mechanisms and is the ticking heart of a watch. There are many different types of movements, such as mechanical, automatic and quartz.
Some dive watches use quartz, which is highly accurate and modern-day quartz has a long battery life. Alternatively, many luxury dive timepieces, such as Franck Dubarry Dive Watches, use automatic movement. This is because it prevents external pollutants from corrupting the inner workings, whilst using the wearer’s movements to power the watch.
Whatever the movement, a true dive watch will be resistant to interference from water, shock, magnetic forces and dirt.
Dive Watch Bezel
Arguably the most important aspect of a dive watch is the ability to time your dive. This equipment is in the form of a rotating bezel, which displays how long you have been underwater and was first used in 1953/54 by Rolex and Blancpain.
In order for it to qualify as a dive watch, the bezel must be unidirectional (i.e. it only turns anti-clockwise) to prevent any accidental manipulation whilst diving, which could have deadly consequences. Functioning as a safety device, you can align the bezel with the minute hand (often more noticeable on a dive watch) before you start your dive. Consequently, it allows you to track the movement of the minute hand, enabling you to time your dive.
The average dive lasts 30-50 minutes, so the first 15-20 minutes on the bezel are usually more prominent to mark the halfway point of a dive.
Can a Dive Watch Save Your Life?
Diving into the depths, far away from the surface and the light of day, can become disorientating and it’s vital that you know how much time you have left for survival underwater. Having a dive watch that is easily visible and has the ability to time your dive can and will save your life.
Ready to embrace the future of technology? Follow this link for our full range of Diver Watches.