Divers who are just starting can get confused between dive watches as well as dive computers. What does each one help to accomplish? When is it appropriate to use a diving watch or a dive computer, and how to choose between the two great options?

Well, in this article, I’ll help you understand the difference between the two. I’ll also be discussing the qualities each of them has so it will be easier for you to decide which one to buy.

Difference between A Dive Computer And A Dive Watch

Nowadays, dive computers are almost commonly seen being used by divers. This is true whether it is worn on the wrist or fastened to the regulator. Dive computers are either wrist-worn or hose-connected with the first stage of the regulator.

They keep track of a variety of information, including the air pressure in your tank plus multiple tanks when technical diving, depths, no-decompression restrictions, dive times, and much more.

They run on batteries and also have a screen that shows the data. It will feature a digital display, and it will, at the very least, inform you of the following underwater:

•   The date

•   The exact time

•   The temperature of the water

•   The exact depth

•   The deepest point you were able to reach on the dive

•   The amount of time you have spent together on the dive

•   Your No Decompression Limit (NDL) is the amount of time that you have at that depth before absorbing too much nitrogen and developing Decompression Sickness (DCS)

•   Most dive computers are set at Air 21% by default. However, you can change this setting if you’d like.

Now moving on to the dive watches, at the beginning of diving, analog watches were employed as dive watches. These were used with charts, gauges for pressure, as well as gauges for depth. Using a dive watch today is extremely uncommon.

Instead, dive watches are more frequently used as high-end fashion accessories. While it still happens occasionally, senior divers who choose to use dive watches are becoming less common. Due to their increased accuracy, some diving schools even make computer use mandatory for divers.

Back then, diving watches were extremely popular. For the wearer, it stood for riches, class, as well as adventure. The diving watches were made by reputable jewelry brands to high standards.

When diving appeared to be an exclusive activity, scuba divers utilized dive timepieces in addition to a depth gauge. Divers could calculate their No Decompression Limits to dive securely using the Dive Tables and a timer plus a depth gauge.

Why should a newbie get a dive computer?

Every dive requires the use of a dive computer, which is part of the diver’s personal equipment set.

There are several reasons why owning a dive computer is strongly advised and better to be purchased than rent: 

•       Costly to rent

•       Includes a logbook

•       Each diver must use one.

•       They function as wristwatches.

•       Only one dive computer needs to be mastered.

What qualities should a dive watch and a dive computer have?

Now that you know the difference between the two as well as how helpful they both can be in your dive, it is good to determine their features as well.

They both are valuable equipment during diving, but with proper scuba diving lessons, you will make the experience more enjoyable as well as safe. But having the greatest tools can help you with all of this.

Look for the following features when purchasing dive computer watches:

•   Integration of the Air System

•   Consistent algorithms (for beginner divers)

•   Backlighting

•   The water-activated computer

•   Alarms

•  Fundamental display features

Importance of both

It is clear that compared to diving watches, dive computers offer greater functions. But in terms of practicality, there are several circumstances in which dive computers are required and in which dive watches are sufficient.

Both dive watches, as well as dive computers have an obvious use. By keeping time and enduring the stresses of the dive, they aid in guiding underwater excursions. If you simply dive for fun, particularly in shallow waters, one may be more advantageous than the other, and you might not necessarily need a dive computer. Similarly to this, dive watches are insufficient for deep as well as challenging dives.

Advantages of both dive watches and dive computers

The following are a dive watch’s standout benefits:

•       300 to 200 meters of water resistance.

•       Lume that is visible through its hands, markings, as well as occasionally bezel.

•       A spinning bezel is frequently used to keep track of the diver’s time spent underwater.

•       Magnetic resistance to magnetic fields to maintain extremely precise time.

•       Shock resistance to protect against unintentional bumps from objects as well as animals

•       Resistance to rust and perhaps other chemical substance found underwater.

•       Some watches contain helium-release valves to reduce internal pressure.

There are many solutions available for dive computers. A diver needs to have some of the best as well as the most trustworthy equipment to guarantee a successful dive.

It has several benefits, including:

•       You can view the dive’s full information in the dive profile.

•       Dive planner that assists with planning a forthcoming dive.

•       Growth rate.

•       Maximum dive depth.

•       The temperature is according to the depth at that very moment.

•       Current dive depth attained.

•       Time as well as decompression stop.

•       Depth remains before decompression stops.

•       Duration of the dive

How can a dive watch possibly compete with the sophisticated functionality that a dive computer offers?

Well, are you ready to completely entrust a computer with control over your life? Please be honest in your response. For sure not. Imagine if all of the world’s cars at once had self-driving capabilities. If the car could drive itself, would you put your trust in it, or would you always put your hands on the wheel just in case?

Similarly to this, many divers will take their depth gauge, dive watch, as well as SPG to compare the information provided by the dive computer. Additionally, they’ll make their dive tables as well as prepare a dive plan.

In the unlikely event that a dive computer provides you with inaccurate data, you are essentially already doing everything you must do to dive without it. It is exceedingly risky and has happened previously. You won’t even recognize odd numbers from a dive computer if you can’t perform these calculations manually.

As a result of their durability, dive watches and other analog equipment are still used by divers today. They are trustworthy and a must-have for backup equipment.


I hope you can now distinguish the differences between a dive watch and a dive computer easily. Though the dive watch is not so popular anymore as dive computers are commonly used by divers, it is important to note that they both have different functions and can make diving a lot safer and more fun if used together.