With such a large variety of watches available in today’s market one of the most popular and sought after types are automatic dive watches for men. A dive watch is the ultimate combination of impeccable design, style, and functionality. I personally own a Vostok Amphibia automatic dive watch that has come to be one of my favorite timepieces. With a dive watch, you don’t have to worry about what activities you will be partaking in because these heavy-duty watches are designed to take a beating.
Whether rain or shine, dry or wet, your automatic dive watch will keep ticking away in almost any situation you get yourself into. Because this timepiece is so useful there are 100s of styles and choices to choose from when selecting one for yourself. A dive watch is a must have in any watch collectors arsenal and I am going to provide you with some insight on what to look for when choosing your next underwater timekeeper.
The Purpose of Automatic Dive Watches for Men
Why are people so intrigued by dive watches and what purpose do they serve? Well a dive watch is exactly what it sounds like. A watch designed for diving. Originally when dive watches were created they were designed for the purpose of being able to withstand pressures of 100s-1000s of feet. Not only this, but a proper dive watch must have a rotating bezel so that you can discern how long you have been underwater for. Most oxygen tanks last about an hour before you need to resurface. A rotating bezel allows you see how long you have been diving for usually up to 60 minutes so that you can start making your way up once you get closer to that 60 minute marker. Essentially it is the ultimate tool watch. That being said, you don’t have to give up on style and aesthetics. From chunky, to sleek, modern to vintage, there is a dive watch for everyone’s taste.
What is the Appeal of Automatic Dive Watches for Men?
Though originally automatic dive watches for men were designed specifically for function and durability. In today’s day and age more and more people choose them for the purpose of style and fashion. Most professional divers today
will rely on dive computers rather than dive watches, but if you are someone that enjoys a swim or dancing in the rain, then a dive watch might be better suited for you than your average sports watch or dress watch. The added safety of knowing that your watch can withstand 100s-1000s of feet underwater means that you don’t have to worry about taking your watch off before you jump into your swimming pool, lake, or any other body of water for that matter.
In the case of my Vostok Amphibia automatic dive watch, I tend to use it as my daily go to watch because of its durability and stylish work. These watches allow for customization and come in a variety of cases, dials, and bezel styles to fit everyone’s and anyone’s needs. Not all dive watches are created equal so what are some characteristics that you should definitely look for when purchasing a new dive watch for yourself?
What are the Key Features When Choosing Automatic Dive Watches for Men?
Okay, so we understand the appeal of a dive watch and their purpose. Now we need to know what are some key features that you should look for when purchasing an automatic dive watch.
The Waterproof Rating
OK, so this is pretty obvious, but when choosing a dive watch you need to ensure that this watch is actually waterproof. Now this can be tricky because a lot of watch brands will claim that their watches are “water resistant”. Water resistance means that your watch essentially might be splash proof. This means you can have it out in the rain, wash dishes with it, and take a shower without to much concern. There are different levels of water resistance and this is measured by a watches ATM rating. 1ATM for example means that a watch can withstand atmospheric pressures at sea level. 1ATM is the equivalent of 10 meters. 10ATM would mean that a watch can withstand 10 times the amount of pressure at sea level. So 10 x 10m = 100meters of water resistance.
In the case of my Vostok Amphibia (which is designed differently than most dive watches) it has a rating of about 20ATM meaning I can go to about 200 meters deep. This is by no means a good rating for deep sea diving, but I can rest assured when I go swimming that it will not fail me.
A true dive watch will be ISO certified. There is a whole list of requirements to be ISO certified and I am not about to go through them all. However, with ISO certified watches you can rest easy knowing that your watch (depending on the build) can handle 300m-1000m of depth. These are a much better choice for anyone going deep sea diving.
The Rotating Bezel
Another important piece to a dive watch is its rotating bezel. As mentioned earlier, when someone is diving, there is a limited amount of oxygen in their tank and the rotating bezel on an automatic dive watch helps to discern how long a diver has been underwater for. Typically, these bezels have 5 minute increments up to 60 minutes. By rotating the starting point or 0 minute market to where the minute hand is at the beginning of your dive, you can then see how long you have been in the water by looking at where the minute hand is in conjunction with your bezel markers.
An important factor in a rotating bezel is to ensure that the bezel stays in place and does not move while diving as this can lead to some big problems in terms of how much time you have left underwater. There are unidirectional bezels and bidirectional bezels. The preferred bezel for a dive watch is unidirectional to ensure a divers safety in case it is accidentally manipulated under water.
When you are diving at extreme depths it is usually quite dark down there. A good dive watch should support good lume. Lume is especially important on the minute hand as this helps indicate how much time you have left on your rotating bezel before you need to resurface. Luminous hands and hour markers make for an ideal dive watch.
Okay, so we understand some key features to a good dive watch, but what dive watch will best fit your style and needs?
Different Styles of Automatic Dive Watches for Men
There are so many styles of dive watches to choose but there are a few categories where most dive watches in the market fall under. This is my own list and categories I have created based on the many variations and brands of dive watches I have seen.
- Vintage Men Diver: As is the case with my Vostok, vintage divers tend to look more retro, have more color in the dial, and are usually bulkier in design.
- The Tank: These dive watches are built like tanks. They are usually bulky, highly durable, made of very strong materials, and usually not for the small wrist. The majority of dive watches tend to fall in this category. Examples include Seiko Prospex or the IWC Aquatimer automatic dive watch.
- Sports Diver: Sporty dive watches usually have more bright colors to them and are usually more sleek and modern in design. Not as bulky as the tank or vintage diver, and usually have very detailed dials. You will often find these styles of watches with rubber straps. A good example would be the Zodiac Seawolf or a Seiko SKX.
- The Classy Men Diver:Usually a more simplistic dial. The case and band are usually highly polished. These watches are again, not as bulky as the tank of vintage diver and are usually more slender and sleek. Think Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster or even an Invicta Pro Diver for a more budget friendly approach.
Key Takeaways for Your Next Dive Watch
When choosing automatic dive watches for yourself make sure you consider your lifestyle. If you are an avid pro diver, you might want to consider a quality dive watch that is ISO certified. The right watch for you will more then likely be at a higher price point because you will be using this watch for functionality and due to your activities will want to invest in a watch that is highly durable and will last you a lifetime.
If your like me and just like the aesthetics of a dive watch and the peace of mind knowing you can go swimming without having to take your watch off. Then there are even more options to choose from and you will want at least 10ATM to ensure the safety of your watch in the various wet conditions it might be placed under.
The real key takeaways are:
- Good Water Resistance
- Rotating Bezel (uni or bi-directional)
- Lume (preferably Triton or Superluminova)
- Style (make sure you love it, and it fits your lifestyle and preference)
At the end of the day, choose a watch that fits your style, needs, and a watch that makes you happy. As always though, hopefully your next watch will be a watch to remember…
***leave your comments below and let me and the community know what dive watches you have in your collection***