Over the years, diver watches changed as much as they’ve stayed the same. Less divers are seeing the water and others are “diver-styled”, which make them suitable for nothing other than “desk diving” (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Our divers are not “diver-styled”, though—all of them are built to tackle some type of diving, whether it be SCUBA or even skin diving. Although originally published in 2015 and 2017, we’ve updated our guide on what to look for in diver watch.
Water Resistance is the key factor that determines what you can and should not do with your watch. For diver watches, 100m and 200m is standard and refers to water resistance at static pressure in a laboratory setting. In practical terms this means that no, the watch may not be water resistant when dropped 100m or 200m into the ocean, since there are so many other factors that come into play. Additionally, it’s a general rule for diving agencies for divers not to go beyond 130 feet. In terms of Orient watches, models like the new Kamasu and Kano are rated for skin diving, snorkeling and swimming. The Neptune however is JIS-compliant for SCUBA diving so that you can go deeper and explore the depths below.
The kryptonite of any mechanical watch is outside moisture, which can cause the movement to erode. In order to prevent this, many diver watches like the AA02 USA II employ a screwed-down crown, which requires that you screw the crown in and out for access and security. Screwed-down crowns and case backs aren’t entirely necessary, but are nice to have since they reduce the likelihood of water intrusion. A corrosion resistant stainless steel case is equally as important as it acts as an additional shield against the elements. All Orient watches use a durable, corrosion-resistant grade of stainless steel.
A defining feature of a diver watch is the rotating bezel, most commonly unidirectional ones. Back in the day divers would use the rotating bezel to track elapsed time as it pertained to remaining gas levels in their tanks. Unidirectional bezels were nifty in the case the watch was bumped, and the amount of clicks on the bezel was a mark of accuracy—all Orient diver models feature 120-clicks. The rotating bezel is now obsolete thanks to the modern dive computer, but the rotating bezel still has practical uses—like tracking how long those cookies have been in the oven.
A Suitable Watch Strap
Straps and bracelets can be swapped very easily, but it’s best if your watch is equipped with the correct type based on what you plan to do. If you plan to take your watch in and around water, a rubber or stainless steel bracelet is the way to go. Why? Because they’re pretty easy to clean. You can get away with equipping a nylon strap, however they have a higher tendency to retain odor. On the flip side, leather straps are perfect for casual wear.