How To Read a Dive Watch? Rotating Bezel Uses

Last Updated: December 14, 2021

Diving has been around for decades now, and it is no cakewalk. It requires technique, precision, and utter bravery. Imagine going deep into the waters without the smart-advanced dive watch bezels that we have today.

If you are planning your next dive anytime soon, consider reading this guide about how to use a dive watch. It will make your diving experience much more convenient than it otherwise would be.

Why Do You Need a Dive Watch?

Dive watches make underwater exploration easy and hassle-free. Also, it ensures that the diver’s experience underwater is safe.

Most dive watches work well up to 328 feet (100 m) deep. That is again an added advantage, as the diver becomes aware of the depth covered.

And lastly, a normal water-resistant watch might not provide you a readable range of beyond 10 inches (25 cm), but dive watches are tried and tested in salty water and provide you with a decent readability range. Let’s find out all the dive watch bezel uses.

Dive Watch Parts

Starting from basics results in a better understanding of the product. A dive watch has various parts, but the significant ones that must be known are:

  • Case – The case protects the internal mechanisms of the dive watch. The dive watch case has to be robust, given it has to withstand some really harsh conditions deep into the salty sea waters.
  • Bezel – The top-most, rotating component of the dive watch. It is the main part of a dive watch.
  • Strap – This is simple. Obviously, you do not want your watch floating away the second you jump into the water, right? It helps keep the watch fastened securely to your wrist.

How to Use a Dive Watch

With so many parts, sometimes it gets confusing to understand how to use it and for what purpose to use that specific part.

The Rotating Bezel

The bezel is the most significant part, so it is important to understand the dive watch bezel uses. 

To begin with, make sure the 12 o’clock bezel marker aligns with the minute hand of the dive watch. Bezel allows you to read the time-lapse of about 60 minutes. Also, the ratchet ensures that more time is spent underwater than in real-time, adding a safety layer.

But what if it takes more than 60 minutes? Well, in that case, track the rest of the time with the help of reversing math. A dive usually lasts to about 50 minutes or 60 max. That is why the initial 20 minutes on the bezel inlay are highlighted.

How Do You Use the Rotating Bezel on a Dive Watch?

If we talk about functionality, there are numerous different kinds of bezels. Also, the functionality, quality, and price majorly depend on the brand. Thus, the price can range from high to low respectively.

Read: What is the Difference Between a Dive Watch and Dive Computer?

However, there are two main types of rotating bezels.

Internal Bezel

As the name suggests, the internal bezel lies inside the watch. Since it is inside the glass, it is much more protected than an external one.

You can operate it with a push-button. However, being inside makes it pretty difficult to use.

An essential attribute of a dive watch is that it must be as leak-proof as possible. Since the internal bezel adds an extra opening to the watch case, it may allow the water to enter.

External Bezel

External bezels are considered user-friendly. It is on the outer side of the dive watch but is prone to damage from the salt content in seawater and sand. The external bezel is much more practical and easy to operate, though; accessible with one hand.

You can reach the bezel easily and turn the edge. Furthermore, the external bezel can be dismantled in no time if it ever requires replacement or repairing.

Most external bezels are unidirectional. Since the external bezels are prone to hits and bumps, the bezel could move, and it is safer if such accidental bumps shorten the time than increasing it, which could endanger your life.

Unidirectional Bezel

It has recently gained popularity and is probably the most useful and convenient option. It is a combination of both internal and external bezel. Meaning, you can rotate the internal bezel with the help of a ratcheting external bezel. Additionally, if the diver bumps or suffers an unforeseen hit while underwater, the bezel ensures they surface sooner than planned.

Using the Unidirectional Bezel

  1. Rotate the bezel until it aligns with the minute hand.
  2. Calculate remaining air time. For this, subtract the left air time from 60. Air time is the number of minutes before you are required to start surfacing. In other words, for a 30 minutes dive, the calculation would be 60 – 30 = 30
  3. Coordinate remaining air time with the minute hand – considering the above calculation, since the remaining time is 30. Align the bezel and minute hand at 30.
  4. All the settings are done, and you can enjoy your dive. As the minute hand strikes the dive marker, the dive time is up, and you should resurface.

What Does the Dial Do on a Dive Watch?

The dial, of course. How would it be a watch if there is no time display element? The dials of a dive watch are luminous and readable at least from a 10-inch (25 cm) distance. Dive watches have three hands, like the usual watch.

The luminous hour markers and hands make it stand out. The second hand on the dial has a luminescent dot at the tip; this tip serves as an indicator that the watch is working.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous uses of dive watch bezels. Eventhough dive watches are a bit old school, they’re still a piece of essential equipment for your next dive underwater. People think it is dead and not as essential as most divers use dive computers now.

However, a dive watch is equally important. Whether you are a beginner or a professionally trained diver, and addition is always better.

A dive watch with a unidirectional bezel would be the ideal and the safest option. So, next time you go diving and feel skeptical about the use of the dive watch, just look at this guide, and you will be good to go.

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