Our Team Picked The Best Dive Computers of The Year
If you are a diver, beginner or professional, you need a dive computer watch. That’s why our team reviewed and researched the best dive computer watches of 2017, so you won’t have to!
In this post we covered –
1. Why a dive watch is important ?
2. How To Pick The Right Dive Computer watch?
3. Which are the best computer dive watches of 2017?
Feel free to skip to the subject that interests you the most if you’re in a hurry go back to your diving !
Dive Tables Vs Dive Computer Watches
While there are dive tables to determine how long one can be underwater but there are certain limitations to dive tables. One of the biggest problems with using dive tables for recreational use is that these have not been really designed for recreational divers.
The tables have been designed keeping in mind that a person will remain at a certain depth for a particular time and then surface. However, recreational diving is completely different as one may bounce around different depths for different intervals.
A dive table cannot calculate how much time you have left if you are bouncing around various depths.
This is the reason it is important to have a dive computer watch that tells you how long you have been down and the time you have left.
How Does It Work?
When you are under water, nitrogen gets absorbed into your body but the rate of absorption depends on a variety of factors including body weight.
However, the nitrogen absorption rate increases with depth and with more nitrogen absorption, it takes longer to get to a safe level before you are ready for diving again.
The absorption or release time of nitrogen is usually measured in half life intervals. Half life means when the body releases half of the nitrogen.
These half times are usually expressed in minutes such as 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and so on. When you start your dive, the dive computer will calculate the time and pressure of the dive as well as the nitrogen situation of your body.
The dive computer then uses some complex calculations to tell you everything you need to know in order to safely enjoy your dive.
While dive computers are available in many different forms such as console mounted computers as well as wrist mounted computers, in this article, we are going to help you find the best dive computer watches for YOUR needs, and diving experience.
The biggest advantage of a dive computer in watch form is that it’s intuitive. People are used to looking at their wristwatch and that makes a dive computer watch extremely easy to use.
How to Buy the Right Dive Computer Watch For Your Needs?
There are many different models of dive computer watches available in the market today.
However, there are several important factors that should be carefully considered in order to buy the best dive computer watch for your needs.
So, pay attention to the factors mentioned below in order to choose the best dive computer watch for your needs!
#1 Your Diving Experience
There are many different types of dive computer watches. Some of the models are designed for beginners whereas others have more advanced features that only expert divers need. Therefore, the first thing you need to consider while looking for dive computer watches is your experience. Needless to say, your requirements will be different in case you are a professional diver as compared to a beginner.
Therefore, if you are just a beginner, it is important that you buy something that is easy to read and does not confuse you with too many things on the screen. Your choice will also depend on the kind of diving you are currently interested in as well as your future plans.
#2 Make Sure It’s Easy To Read
It seems so obvious but some models are not that easy to read, especially by beginners. So, you need to make sure that the display of your watch is easy to read. It should have high contrast colors, backlit displays and big numbers. There are some models that come with HD like display and backlit screens which makes them extremely easy to see.
#3 Ease of Use
The dive computer watches are an incredible piece of hardware but most of the function is based on the software in the watch. This is why some of the watches seem to be much more user-friendly than others. Dive watches are like smart phones. Some phones have incredible hardware but a not so good user interface which makes it challenging to use them. Similarly, some dive watches have amazing hardware but the user interface is not beginner friendly.
Therefore, make sure you choose a watch that is easy to use. For instance, if you’re going to dive in cold water, you will have to wear thick gloves which means you would want a dive watch with big buttons that will make it easier for you to use it under water.
#4 Nitrox Compatibility
It is important that you invest in a dive watch that is nitrox compatible. It will help you choose the level of nitrox for your dive. A computer watch with nitrox compatibility will help you regulate the depth limit as well as the time of decompression depending on the nitrox percentage used in the dive.
#5 Consider Your Budget
You can spend anywhere from around USD 100 to more than USD 1000 on a computer dive watch. However, this does not mean that you are going to use all the features that are available on a USD 1000 dive computer watch. Therefore, it is suggested to first fix a budget and then go looking for a computer dive watch and not the other way round. You will always be able to find something that has a lot of great features but you might not need them. So, fix your budget first and then go shopping.
#6 Every Dive Computer Needs a Compass
While most of the models available in the market today come with digital compass but it still important for you to check that the model you’re going to buy has a digital compass. Also, do not forget to adjust the compass every time you change the batteries or when the computer is exposed to any magnet.
#7 Replaceable Batteries
The more features your watch has, the more power it is going to consume which means you need a watch with high battery capacity. Many models available today come with rechargeable batteries that can be recharged with the help of a USB charger.
#8 Data Transfer
Some advanced models these days also come with the ability to transfer the dive data to the cloud or to your computer. You can connect these watches to your computer and transfer all the important data to maintain a record of your dives. This will allow you to keep track of all your dives regarding the depth of the dive as well as the total time. Some of the advanced models can also provide the ascent rate data, amount of air consumed as well as the percentage of nitrogen.
Confused? no worries! Our team did all the work for you and we actually picked the 7 best dive computers based on the features above, all you have left is pick the one you like!
Lets dive in!
We Rated The 7 Best Dive Computer Watches for 2017
This is widely considered the best entry-level model for beginners. One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of this particular dive computer watch is that it is extremely simple and amazing for beginners. It is extremely easy to use as it has just one big button. Also, it allows you to keep a track of your dives as all the data can be easily transferred to your computer with the help of a USB cable and stand.
It also has various other features such as nitrox, gauge and air modes. It also comes with a CNS oxygen toxicity indicator. The single button makes it extremely easy to use and many users have found it extremely easy to set up. It allows you to choose between Celsius or Fahrenheit, metres or feet as well as air or nitrox and various other parameters.
It’s also extremely easy to read and you can turn the light on for a few seconds with a long press. It makes a beeping sound when you go up faster than you should which means it makes it safe for you to dive.
Also, it’s available in a number of different colours. So, if you are a beginner who wants to buy a dive computer watch, this is the model you should choose as it offers some amazing features, is easy to use and you won’t have to break the bank to buy it.
One of the best things about this dive computer is that it comes from Suunto. They are well known in this industry for coming up with some revolutionary technology. The brand is known for its RGBM algorithm that accurately calculates the dissolved and free gas in the tissues and blood. In simple terms, this algorithm gives drivers a much better idea of what is going on with their body while they dive. The inclusion of this algorithm in this particular model makes it one of our top choices.
This is an entry level dive computer that’s great for beginners. One of the great things about this particular model is that it comes with a very big display that is extremely easy to read and you will also find it extremely easy to use. It also has nitrox compatibility and like our number one choice, it also comes with audible alarms.
It also comes with an altitude setting and you can customize it for your own use. It can also record the dive data which can be then manually transferred to your computer. Also, it comes with a user replaceable battery which means you can easily replace the battery on your own. You can use it as a snorkeling depth gauge as well as a scuba computer.
Also, you can change units from metric to imperial and vice versa. However, it does not come with a free dive mode.
This is another dive computer for beginners. Similar to the top two choices, it comes with a big screen that allows you to get all the required information at one glance. Also, it is extremely easy to use as you can easily access the buttons while wearing sporting gloves underwater. This particular dive computer also uses the RGBM algorithm for its calculations. It comes with bottom time, nitrox as well as gauge mode that makes it great for beginner divers.
You can use it in the sea water as well as in freshwater. You also have the choice to display the metric or imperial units. It also comes with some precautionary program settings allowing you to set more conservative dive profiles. It comes with a memory capacity of 38 hours.
If you are a beginner, you cannot go wrong with this particular model.
This is another gem from Cressi. It is a mixed gas dive computer that has been completely designed by the company. It comes with three different modes including air, nitrox and gauge. It is an excellent entry-level dive computer but it’s really great at what it is meant to do.
It comes with three separate buttons that provide all the required information such as dive times, depth as well as other such important data. It also comes with FDive program that allows you to process all the dive data including the depth and decompression data.
You can also easily set FO2 parameters as well as the oxygen partial pressure parameters. It can store data for up to 70 hours or for up to 60 dives and you can easily download the dive data on your computer. It comes with visual as well as auditory alarms that make it incredibly safe to use. Also, it has a large display that is backlit and it comes with a built-in calendar as well as clock.
You only need a single glance on the computer to get all the required information. So, if you want a dive computer that has a bit more features than a dive computer that is only for beginners, this is the right choice for you.
This one is again an entry-level model that is meant for beginners who want to buy a dive computer. This particular model is powered by a dual algorithm and it comes with three operating modes including free, gauge as well as air/nitrox. It has just three operating buttons and a very intuitive use and interface. You can easily switch between up to 3 nitrox mixes on this device.
You certainly won’t be buying this type of dive computer for its looks but appearances can be deceiving. This dive computer has everything you want and then some. One of the best things about this dive computer is that all the data is clearly displayed that makes it extremely easy to read for a beginner diver.
One of the best things about this particular dive computer is that it comes from a brand that has existed since the 1940s. They have a long list of dive computers and this particular model is one of the best. If there is one thing that separates this particular company from other companies in this industry is that they do less but do it well.
The display of this dive watch is extremely good and provides you all the desired information at a glance such as dive time, temperature, depth, no decompression limit as well as ascent rate. You just need to push a button to see other information such as average depth, time, gas mixture, max depth as well as oxygen toxicity level. It has two buttons that are extremely easy to use.
This particular model also comes with an audible alarm that will warn you in case you are going up too quickly. There is also a visual alarm and the screen is extremely crisp which is easily readable in full sunlight. It has a maximum operational depth of 150 m and it comes with four dive modes including free dive, gauge, nitrox and air. It uses the RGBM algorithm and has a scratch resistant display. It is a two gas mixture dive computer.
It is a mid-range dive computer that comes equipped with dual algorithms of Pelagic Z+ or Pelagic DSAT. While this is an excellent choice for divers who want to upgrade their equipment but it’s also great for beginners who want to get a bit more features and can afford to spend a bit extra. It comes with extremely easy-to-use intuitive menu and settings that make forward and backward navigation underwater extremely easy.
The big display shows you all the required information at a glance and the backlit screen shows you everything you want to see, even in poor visibility. It also comes with an audible alarm. It’s compatible with nitrox and air, and you can switch between them without any restrictions. You can easily transfer all the diving data to your computer and it can store up to 24 dive logs. However, you will need to buy the USB transfer kit as an extra.
It comes with a countdown timer and it retains the data even when batteries are replaced. Overall, it’s a high-end dive watch that has all the features you need in an advanced dive watch computer.
Let’s Wrap It Up And Go Diving!
If you still haven’t made up your mind, get the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer, its my absolute favorite dive computer!
We hope this article helped you pick the best dive computer watch and wish you happy diving! Stay safe!
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