I have liked watches for as long as I can remember. Ever since my first job out of high school I’ve been sort of shopping for a watch, but haven’t gotten around to buying one until now. I finally made the plunge and bought one this week because of my scuba class. It’s not a requirement for the basic open water class I took this weekend, but it’s a requirement to have a watch for the advanced certifications that I’m planning on taking in the future.
Since it would be used for diving, I decided to get a somewhat decent watch– something that would be reliable and sturdy. In my mind the quintessential diving watch is the Omega Seamaster, the so called James Bond watch, of which I really like the Planet Ocean series, particularly the Planet Ocean Chrono. But I couldn’t justify spending the two thousand bucks for a Seamaster, let alone the four or five thousand plus for a new Planet Ocean Chrono. So I ended up buying a Swiss Army Dive Master watch for around a tenth of the cost.
As a side note, I believe in gender equality. Nowadays women make pretty much the same amount of money as men do. So I think it’s only fair that if a man has to buy an engagement ring that’s worth several months of his salary, he should at least get a watch that’s at least worth one months of his fiance’s salary in return. It’s only fair. (If I could get a hypothetical future fiance to agree with this, this would probably be the only way I can get my hands on a Seamaster.)
When I started shopping for my watch, I learned a lot about why watches are designed the way they are. A lot of the features on a watch are related to diving. I noticed my watch had an extension built into the clasp mechanism– I learned that this is so the watch can fit over a wetsuit. The rotating bezel that a lot of nicer watches have is for setting a time limit on a dive. They only rotate in one direction, so that if it happens to get knocked against something during a dive, it will only shorten the dive time. When planning your dive you look up your no decompression limit on the table, then rotate the bezel for the number of minutes on your dive. When the glowing minute hand starts to approach the glowing triangle, you know that it’s time to start surfacing. Pretty cool. But in truth it’s somewhat archaic. Nowadays any diver would use a diving computer which would do a much better time of tracking your depth and time remaining before you hit your no decompression limit. So in the end I was basically just using the class as an excuse to buy a watch.
The diving class was fun. I was hooked from the first breath I took underwater. This weekend’s “dives” were all in swimming pools– it was cool learning all the skills in a warm water environment. But I’m looking forward to my first ocean dive in Monterey at the end of the month. I’ll be taking the plunge, wearing my watch.
Things I’m thankful for:
- Swiss time pieces
- PADI certified dive instructors