Dive watch vs Computer explained in 2 minutes or less – no fluff

Dive watch vs computer – a question as old as both watches have existed (so not that long). If you’re new to diving, the world of dive watches and dive computers can be confusing. Even experienced divers might not know the difference between a dive watch and a dive computer. And is a dive computer really worth the extra expense? Dive watches are designed for divers who want the simplicity of a timepiece with the functionality of a dive computer. They can be worn as everyday watches and are perfect for dives up to 100 meters.

Is a dive watch the same as a dive computer?

Dive watches and dive computers serve the same purpose – they help you keep track of your dive time and depth. But there are some key differences between the two. Dive watches are usually less expensive than dive computers, and they’re often more stylish. You can wear a dive watch as an everyday time-telling device but you would look a little weird wearing a dive computer on your wrist while working in the office.

Dive computers, on the other hand, are designed to be more functional than dive watches. They often have more features, like air integration and wireless connectivity. And since they’re digital, they’re easier to read underwater. But dive computers are also more expensive than dive watches.

Not all dive computers look like watches, some are designed for the task at hand rather than trying to replicate a format that applied to dive watches.

Even though you can pick up a cheap dive computer from an online store overseas, would you risk your life with the information it gives if it’s not from a reputable brand?

I personally use a Garmin but have also borrowed a Suunto in the past and it was way more gear than I needed for skill level.

So, which is better – a dive watch or a dive computer?

It really depends on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for something simple and stylish, a dive watch is a great option. But if you want something packed with features, a dive computer is the way to go. We have listed some of the general features when comparing a dive watch vs computer.

What are the typical features of a dive watch?

A dive watch typically has:

  • a large, easy-to-read dial
  • a unidirectional bezel that can be used to track dive time
  • a luminous coating, so it can be read in low light conditions
  • may require a strap extender to fit over a wetsuit
  • only casual divers are using dive watches for diving these days.
Citizen dive watch with yellow dial
Simple dive watch

What are the typical features of a dive computer?

A dive computer typically has a digital display that shows:

  • dive timers
  • depth gauges
  • backlit displays so they are easier to read in low light
  • many have different modes – Air, Nitrox, Gauge, and Free Dive
  • water temperature gauges
  • some have gas computers for multiple tanks
  • ascent rate monitor to help you control your speed
  • alarms function, so you can be alerted if you’re going too deep or staying underwater for too long
  • straps are designed to be worn over a wetsuit without having to purchase any extenders
  • dive computers are now used by most serious and professional divers.

Is a dive computer worth it?

Dive computers are more expensive than dive watches, but as you have seen above, dive computers offer a lot more features and functions than a simple dive watch.

Many are now small and easy to wear, so you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way. Old models were clunky and heavy with bad displays.

Dive computers also have a lot more sensors than dive watches. This means they can track things like your dive time, depth, and water temperature.

They also have an ascent rate monitor to help you control your speed as you come up to the surface.

And if you’re diving with a buddy, most dive computers can be linked together so you can keep an eye on each other’s safety.

What do we recommend – Dive watch vs computer?

So, dive computers are definitely worth the investment if you’re serious about diving.

They may cost more upfront, but they will save you money in the long run. Plus, they offer a lot more features and functions that can make your dives safer and more enjoyable.

If you’re serious about diving, then a dive computer is definitely worth the investment.

So, there you have it – a quick guide to dive watches and dive computers. We know what we prefer when doing some serious diving and which one we want on our wrist when we are being a bit more casual. Which one is right for you?


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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