Divers, be they free or with tanks, have been using watches for donkey’s year, letting them keep an eye on their time underwater, perhaps their depth and a few other basic, typical watch features. However that time has passed and with the new developments on the wearable scene, diving watches just got a whole lot smarter.
The Suunto D-Series is comprised of a huge number of watches, ranging from the rebreather compatible, understated DX, right through to the eye catching, freedive focused D4I. They all feature the same basic functions however, being lightweight, the potential to wirelessly connect to your air tank, a built in dive planner and even an apnea timer, making sure you don’t hold that breath too long.
Of course all devices are also made of tough, hard wearing materials, with the high end Titanium versions coming with an optional Titanium bracelet, ensuring it really isn’t getting off your wrist any time soon.
If you dive with a rebreather – if you don’t know what it is, you don’t dive with one, but it’s essentially a way of recirculating the air instead of expelling all of it with each exhale – then there’s also the ability to control and track up to three different diluent gasses, automatic setpoint switching at certain depths and a dive computer with a dedicated CCR (closed circuit rebreather) mode.
Some models also come with a 3D compass, making sure you always keep track of where you are.
The Suunto dive watches can be found at a large number of retailers already, making it stand out from most of the wearables we look at here. It’s also very varied in price, with some costing close to £100, while the most expensive models can be upwards of £500 at some retailers. It really depends on the model you want and the features you need.
Cost is obviously a factor here, as with any other product, but I don’t think Suunto will be held back too much by its price tag, as diving isn’t a cheap hobby. Tanks, wet suits etc, even if you’re renting can get expensive, so spending a couple of hundred pounds on a really good dive watch that may in-fact save your life in some instances, seems like a smart investment for a diver and one that is unlikely to cause too many concerns for your wallet.
If anything, the worst aspect of the watch range is that there are so many, it’s difficult to figure out which would be the best for you.
With a rich feature list on each and every D-Series watch and a large range to cater to as many customers as possible, Suunto has done a good job in covering all its bases. I think it’ll be pretty successful with this range as it’s targeting a market sector that requires strong, rugged technology, something that other companies like Apple and Samsung are unlikely to be able to replicate with its mainstream devices for some time to come.