Diver watches like the Orient CFD0C001B are often used for everyday wear. A simple change in the band can turn them into a dress watch, while their water resistance makes them a great choice to wear for a day at the pool or in rainy weather.
But what if you really are going diving? Saturation diving can be both exhilarating and dangerous. It exposes your body to extreme conditions, and you wouldn’t jump in the ocean without knowing exactly what to do to keep yourself safe.
Likewise, saturation diving has the potential to seriously damage a watch if it’s not properly equipped with the features it needs to accompany you on your deep sea diving. So you need to do your homework before selecting a diver watch.
If homework really isn’t your thing, keep reading.
There are certain features that your timepiece needs to have for saturation diving, so you’ll want to make sure that the watch you select has them all. Read on for an explanation of the following features:
- Sapphire crystal
- Helium release valve
- Uni-directional bezel
- Water resistance
A watch’s crystal is the protective covering over the face. Often, it’s the most easily damaged. Crystals commonly come in 3 different materials: acrylic, mineral, and sapphire.
For saturation diving, you’ll need a watch with a sapphire crystal. It’s the most durable material, so there’s little chance of it cracking under the pressure of diving. Another thing you’ll want to look for is an anti-reflective coating, which prevents a glare and makes the watch easier to read.
Helium release valve
With saturation diving, divers need to expose themselves to helium prior to a dive in order to prevent nitrogen narcosis. Helium has the ability to penetrate the surface of a regular watch. This raises the internal pressure, and makes it likely that a watch will crack upon resurfacing.
For this reason, it’s important that your diver watch has a helium release valve to prevent this.
A few watches, like the Orient CFD0C001B Professional Saturation Diver, have a specially designed case that prevents helium from penetrating the surface. There’s no need for an escape valve in this case. Click here for an extensive review of this watch and all of its other features.
If you’re doing saturation diving, your watch’s bezel needs to be uni-directional. A uni-directional bezel only rotates counter-clockwise and is used to measure elapsed time.
If you have 40 minutes left in your air tank, for example, you’ll want to set your bezel to that time, so a quick glance at your watch will tell you exactly how much time you have left before you run out of air.
A uni-directional bezel is an essential safety feature because it prevents the diver from accidentally bumping it forward and creating a false reading.
This seems obvious. You’re going to be in water, so you need a water resistant watch. But all diver watches are water resistant, and yet not all of them are equipped for deep saturation diving. You’ll need a watch that is, at minimum, water resistant up to 300 meters.
A watch loses all of its importance if you can’t see it in the dim light underwater. Before you take the plunge with your new watch, you’ll want to make sure it has a good lume that will last.
The Orient CFD0C001B is known for its visibility in dark lighting because it has lumed hands and hour markers.
Saturation diving puts you under a lot of pressure (literally). Finding the best diver watch shouldn’t do the same thing.
What’s your favorite diver watch?