When planning to go for a freediving adventure, there are different essentials that you need to take with you to enhance your diving experience. For instance, a breathing apparatus can greatly improve your diving experience because it allows you to stay underwater for a longer time as compared to when you rely on holding your breath when diving.
To most diving enthusiasts, a diving watch is the external brain that comes in handy while underwater. The best diving watch will help you know how deep you have gone underwater as well as allow you to automatically track your way in the water while you are snorkeling . Furthermore, some have advanced technologies that allow them to track the oxygen level and notify you whenever the levels fall so that you have time to return to the surface.
In this best freediving watches review, we set out to guide you on how to settle for a diving watch that will suit your diving needs perfectly. We also review five of the top-rated free dive computer watches from which you can choose the right one for you.
The Best Freediving Computer Watches are
- Cressi Leonardo
- Garmin Descent MK1
- Oceanic Geo 2.0
- Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
- Digital Multifunction Sports Wrist Watch
Top 5 Best Freediving Watch Reviews
The top user reviewed free dive watches are as follows.
1. Cressi Leonardo (Best Recreational Free dive Watch)
Cressi Leonardo comes with an elegant expression of a simple yet functional design that makes it a must-have for any enthusiast freediver. It features a single-button interface that generally simplifies its operation.
It is important to note that this watch can display the deepest depth, battery level, current depth, temperature, and dive time on the screen. Even with all these features displayed on the screen, the watch is still easy to use. In fact, it is ideal even for free diving and scuba diving beginners. According to many users, its wider display screen is easy to read while underwater water.
It comes with a larger high-definition screen that displays clear and large numericals. Even with the large screen, it is still compressed enough to be travel-friendly. This will enable you to carry it to wherever your diving adventures take you.
It features a CR2430 battery model that is easily replaceable in case it loses the capacity to hold more charge. Most importantly, it comes with an easy to see battery life icon indicator that allows you to see when your battery is running low when underwater.
Most customers feel that the watchband is a bit long when its grabber is released. So this can be an issue, especially when underwater with a loose watchband. Nonetheless, if you are working on a tight budget, this might be the ideal freediving watch to buy.
- It is very easy to use with only a single button
- It comes with great depth tracking feature, both maximum and current
- It retains its nitrox settings
- It starts a new dive whenever you descend
- It is reasonably priced
- It has a poorly made backlight that results in poor visibility in dark settings
- It comes with no air integration
2. Garmin Descent MK1 (Best High Quality Divewatch)
Garmin Descent MK1 is another versatile freediving watch that comes with premium features that will elevate your diving experience to another level. Whether you are diving in salty water or in fresh water, this watch got you covered.
This watch-sized computer stands out among many brand models because it is the first to provide GPS navigation with a full-color onscreen mapping as well as location mapping. In fact, most customers appreciate this feature because it helps them track their way back when they get lost. Apart from being a diving computer, it adds up as a great smartwatch.
It comes with built-in sensors such as 3-axis compass, a barometric altimeter, a GPS, and a gyroscope. It also has a GLONASS capability that allows you to mark your dive entry as well as your exit point of surface interval navigation. The compass display is easy to read even underwater. In order to access the compass display, you simply tap the compass feature instead of pushing the function buttons.
It features audible tone and alarms that are great at reminding you of the critical points in your dive in dive mode. The model also provides key real-time data that you need to make a confident dive. It automatically activates whenever you hit the water surface to show you the dive time, current depth, water temperature, the ascent or descent rate, your battery life among other features all in a 1.2-inch color display screen.
This freediving watch from Garmin comes with an excellent heart rate technology that optically scans your pulse when it comes in contact with your skin. It can then upload your heart rate data automatically to your Garmin Connect online account for review and analysis. This enables you to keep track of your heart rate performance for evaluation and guidance on improving your freediving experience.
It features a great battery life that can last up to 40 hours in diving mode, run up to 19 days when in watch mode, and 10 days when switched to smartwatch mode. Its quick fit band is tailored to perfectly fit any wrist size for both diving and any daily activity you may engage in. Moreover, it comes with longer QuickFit straps for use over the thick wetsuit.
- It is made from premium grade materials for durability
- It features smart connectivity for easy compatibility with smartphone
- It comes with full range dive computer functions
- It doubles up as a great smartwatch
- It is expensive
3. Oceanic Geo 2.0 Wrist Computer
With a reasonable price tag, you can easily get this excellent freediving watch from Oceanic. One of the standout features of this model is the display interface that is large enough to display multiple functions at once. Moreover, this interface is capable of navigating both backward and forward through settings and menus.
The model comes with four operating modes that include a watch, norm, gauge, as well as free. The Watch Mode comes with its distinct functions like Alternate time, Alarm, Countdown timer, and Chrono while the Norm Mode includes nitrox and air. On the other hand, Free Mode entails tracks calculations that allow you to switch between Norm mode and Free mode. The Gauge Mode basically comes with run time.
This diving watch allows you to dive up to 330 inches in depth where it can operate without malfunctioning. At this depth, you are likely to experience low light conditions and that is why it comes equipped with a backlight that has an adjustable duration function among other features. As a result, you don’t have to worry when diving in low light areas.
The Geo 2.0 comes with exclusive dual algorithms and settings that allow you to tweak them for more conservative or less conservative with no decompression times depending on the water conditions of the day or your level of tiredness. It also comes with a strap extender to use on the wetsuit. Moreover, it features a wristband that allows it to sit comfortably on the wrist without getting loose or hurting you.
Most customers seem to like its clear contrast, larger black lettering against a crystal clear background because it allows a clear distinction between the various functions displayed on the larger multipurpose screen. This is one of the main reasons why these dive computers are so popular among many freediving as well as scuba diving enthusiasts.
With its quick start guide, you can quickly get familiar with how to use this computer. You can also customize the various features easily, which make it not too complicated. Overall, it is a great dive watch for both beginners as well as advanced divers.
- It is a great dive computer constructed from high-quality materials
- It is easy to use with a start guide
- It comes with four operating modes for greater performance
- It has a backlight for easy reading in dark underwater areas
- It is reasonably priced
- It is easy to navigate through various features
- The alarms are not loud enough to be heard underwater
4. Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
Cressi Giotto is a wrist computer that comes with basic features that provide you with the necessary information you need with regard to freediving. It provides you with the current depth, maximum depth, dive times, the possible need to compression, ascent rate as well as the surface intervals between the dives in dive mode. You can easily switch through these features without any issues.
It features a Priority Compartment Digital Display where all the information is displayed. This display system allows direct and easy interaction between the diver and the computer. Moreover, it ensures a clear understanding of all the information required at any time of need.
It features a high-definition screen that offers clear readability at any given setting. The screen is round-shaped and large enough to display equally larger numerical. The screen is equitably partitioned in order to display as many functions as possible. As a result, the current depth, maximum depth, temperature, and dive times can all be displayed on the screen at the same time. This means that you don’t need to switch from one function to another in order to get the information you want.
As the first mixed gas dive computer that is designed and built by Cressi, this Giotto Wrist Computer comes with a three-button interface that enables you to effortlessly program air, nitrox, and gauge modes. Moreover, it is designed and built to be compact, thus allowing you to travel with it to wherever the diving adventures take you. The device also gives you the option to connect it to a personal home-based computer, which allows you to transfer crucial diving session information for analysis and future reference.
Since it is easy to operate these dive computers, a majority of the people who buy it are beginners. What’s more, it is visible underwater and accurate with both air and Nitrox. As such, it is highly recommended for first-time divers.
- Has a high-definition screen for clear visibility
- Easy to use and operate
- Comes with basic functions great for beginners
- Easily fits any size wrist
- Poor backlight design
5. Digital Multifunction Sports Wrist Watch
This Digital Multifunction Sports Wrist Watch from Pyle is said to be a perfect accessory for underwater actions such as freediving, swimming, and snorkeling among other water activities. This is because it allows access to great and excellent features and functions all within your arm’s reach.
It is constructed to be long lasting with durable marine grade waterproof material. This smart wrist watch’s waterproof design provides resistance of up to 330 feet under water. Furthermore, it works great in both salty water and fresh water without any deviation of accuracy on its readings. It comes with a dive site selectable feature that allows you to select either fresh water or salty water dives.
The watch also comes with a smart diving alarm that automatically activates whenever you submerge or emerge faster than six meters per minute. A faster descent or ascent in water can be dangerous to both your health and diving equipment. As such, the alarm helps you to maintain your ascension and descending below the dangerous acceleration.
This versatile and multifunctional dive watch comes fully equipped with five operating functions that make your freediving a memorable experience. The functions include dual time, chronograph, current time, countdown timer, as well as diving modes. Besides being your typical time-displaying wristwatch, it is evident that this model also offers excellent features underwater.
For instance, it features an electroluminescent backlight display that allows the diver to conveniently use the watch in poorly illuminated settings such as while underwater at night. As a result, you can dive and enjoy excellent outdoor waters at any time of the day.
Although this is a great watch for freediving, the fact that it quickly resets as soon as you emerge is annoying. This means that you won’t have time to even plan for the second dive. However, with an adequate log to your dive, it can be a great watch to have.
- It is excellent with five operating modes
- It is waterproof
- It is reasonably priced
- It is built to last with stainless steel casing
- It is easy to use
- It quickly resets once you emerge
- It is not moisture proof on land
Factors to Look Out for When Buying a Freediving/ Spearfishing Watches – Buyer’s Guide
When going for a freediving session, it would be wise to have a dive watch with you. However, with the many brands and types of watches available in the market, getting the right one can be a challenge. Once you know the right things to look out for, you can be sure to get the right watch for your diving adventure. Let’s see what you need to consider in order to narrow down to the right diving watch for your next diving session.
Design of the Watch
Most freediving watch brands come in either round or square shape, which means that your personal preference will dictate the kind of watch you choose. However, it is advisable to select the design that displays information in decent and organized manner. Watches with square designed screens tend to be decent when it comes to displaying information as compared to other screen types.
A watch with a very stiff band that may potentially hurt your wrist is definitely not the right pick. Most freediving watch bands are manufactured from a polymer although there are those that feature metal-based bands that need to be sized when you buy to perfectly fit your wrist. If you intend to wear your watch over a wetsuit, however, chances are that a metal-based band won’t fit well. As a result, a non-metallic band watch is considered better.
In most cases, the size of the watch refers to the size of its screen. Usually, bigger screen watches display a variety of information at a go. This means that you don’t have to frequently press the button to see your current depth or temperature. You will only hear about such requirements from those with small screened watches. Greater visibility is another vital aspect of the bigger screened diving watches.
However, a bigger screen requires more power to run, which means that it will drain the battery faster as compared to the smaller screens. It is recommended, therefore, that you pick a size that will provide you with a clear display of information without consuming too much of your charge.
Sizing also refers to wrist strip size, this is especially crucial for women divers who may have smaller wrists, make sure you know your wrist size and insure that the manufacturer provides those sizes.
The internal memory available for saving all your diving information will also determine the dive watch you buy. Some watches come with an expandable memory such as microSD cards. If you intend to keep track of all your diving sessions, it is advisable that you get a watch with bigger storage capacity. Additionally, it is great to back up your data on your home computer so that they are accessible in case you lose or damage your watch.
Caring for your Freediving Watch
To have a well-functioning freediving watch, you need to take good care of it. In this section, we look at the best ways you can care for your diving watch.
How to care for the battery
The battery should always be fully charged before going for a freediving expedition. Just like rechargeable cell phone batteries, diving watches also reduce the ability to hold the charge as time goes by. This is the reason why most diving watches come with replaceable batteries for easy changing once it loses that ability to hold the charge. You will need to replace the battery, therefore, immediately its start experiencing a quicker draining of power.
Charging the Battery
When charging your watch, it is advisable to fully charge it. Once it is full, make sure you disconnect it from the charge to prevent it from overcharging. Average charging should last between 2 to 5 hours although bigger batteries may take longer to fully charge.
Updates are vital for any electronic device. This is because it improves the performance of the device. Freediving watches also require regular updates whenever a new feature pops up in the market. Every new update you make gives you a chance to enjoy more features as well as excellent performance.
It is important to care for your diving watch just like you do with other diving equipment. If you won’t take good care of it, it will start to malfunction sooner than expected. Ensure you always rinse it with clean water at the end of each of your diving session. By rinsing it, you will get rid of salt deposits that damage the casing, band, and backing. Allow it dry to be ready for the next freediving adventure.
Freediving is mostly associated with people who might not have the money required to purchase scuba diving equipment. Nonetheless, it is important to get yourself the best freediving watches to enhance your diving experience. The best watch allows you to see vital information with regard to your diving right from your wrist. Moreover, there is nothing scarier than diving into the underwater blind.
Even though all the reviewed watches offer excellent features and experience in diving, Cressi Leonardo stands out among them as the winner for those on a bit of a budget. The Leonardo this model comes with easy to use features and clearly displayed large numerical on the large high-definition screen. The high-definition screen also provides clear readability.
It also comes with a user changeable battery that you can replace whenever it shows signs of longer power holding incapacity. Its ergonomic design not only makes it stand out from the rest but also allows it to fit on any wrist comfortably.
The Best High Quality Diving Watch is the Garmin Descent MK1. It is more expensive because of it’s GPS and maping capabilities included within the watch.
With this review, we are confident that you are now in a better position to find the best diving watch on your own!