What is the Best Dive Computer Watch or Best Wrist-mounted Dive Computer? This is one of the questions I hear over and over from readers and followers and divers on boats. Determining how to choose the best dive computer watch or wrist mounted dive computer can be challenging given the variety and capabilities available. I have reviewed 17 of the top watch / wrist mounted dive computers and hope it is helpful in picking that new “killer” computer.

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Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Hard Corals, Coral Reefs, Kona Hawaii

This market has changed a good bit since Suunto introduced the first watch-sized computer, the Suunto Spyder in 1997 and the first wireless and hoseless dive computer watch in 204. Since that time there have been a number of full function wireless watches or wrist mounted versions that have come onto the market. I have had several dive computer watches and several wrist mounted dive computers over the years and there are pros and cons to each dive computer. Each has its own benefits and the answer to the question has a lot to do with what you as a diver want in a dive computer.

The key is to first determine what are the primary features that you are looking for in a dive computer watch or wrist mounted dive computer. Do you want the most aggressive dive computer that gives you max dive time? Do you want the watch that gives you max safety? Do you want wireless air integration? Do you want a computer that tracks depth, dive time, nitrogen loading, etc., without wireless integration? Do you want a dive computer watch that can also support free diving? Is it critical to have a watch that you can wear all the time or do you just want the computer function when you are diving? Assuming, you are looking at dive computers with similar features, then the biggest difference in the best computer dive watch and the best wrist mounted dive computer is the amount of data that can be display legibly on the screen.

Not only are there a good number of feature questions to consider, there is also the matter of budget. Watch or wrist mounted dive computers can run from the high $100s to $2,000 and more depending upon the type of watch and bracelet you choose. For most of us this is not a trivial expense but for the serious divers the freedom of a watch dive computer compared to a traditional air integrated dive console can be quite significant. As a professional underwater photographer, I have a good bit of gear on each dive. I prefer having a watch or wrist mounted computer to allow me more freedom with my hands. But again, you need to determine what works best for you.

I have highlighted several excellent dive computer watches / wrist mounts below to help you consider your choices. I have provided a table below that compares key feature differences. These computers typically have many features and I have not compared basic functions such as the ability to provide temperature as even the most basic dive computers will provide this function.

Key Questions to Consider

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Hawksbill Turtle Portrait

The first thing to consider may seem a bit obvious, but perhaps we should start with “what is a dive computer watch” or “wrist mounted dive computer”. The answer is reasonably straight forward. Dive computer watches normally have a little larger face than a typical watch, have standard digital watch capabilities and contain many dive functions of a larger dive computer. The wrist mounted dive computer tends to have an even larger face which typically makes it easier to read.  The wrist-mounted computers are also geared strictly for diving and not wearing as a watch. Some of the key questions to consider with assessing these devices, include:

  • the ability to read the information on the primary and secondary screens in a variety of lighting scenarios, e.g., bright sunlight, night dives, etc.
  • the information on each screen and how easy it is to access each screen
  • hearing and understanding audible warnings
  • does the watch provide wireless integration for tracking air/gas
  • how many gas mixtures can be tracked
  • ability to adjust the relative conservatism; maximize bottom time or maximize safety; what algorithms are used and what choices if any can the diver select
  • digital compass and ease of use
  • ease of use for safety stops
  • support for deco diving
  • accessing information from the watch after the dive

I have separated the reviews of dive computer watches into two categories. Dive Computer watches under $500.00 and those over $500.00. The main differences between these categories of dive computers is whether they have a wireless integration capability to monitor your air supply, the ability to support multiple gasses, whether they provide a compass or not and the ability to store dive profile information and interface with a personal computer.

Dive Computer Watch Comparisons

 

Arranged alphabetically. Click on the “Name” to page down to the review of each Dive Computer Watch. Note prices may vary slightly from what is listed below do to sales or demand.

Name Name Price
MG1
B2
CNS3
TD4
C5
OPD6
UB7
WL8
MEM9
Cressi Leonardo 199.00 S 1 U3 N N 130 Y N M
Cressi Giotto 299.95 N2 3 U3 N N 130 Y N M
Cressi Newton 499.00 N2 4 U3 N N 130 Y N D60
Hollis TX1 699.00 T6 3 UC D Y 300+ Y M6 D24
Liquivision Lynx 1,050.00 N3 T U3 R Y 130 Y M9 H1500
Mares ICON HD 999.95 N3 4 U3 R Y 130 NR Y H100
Mares Smart 399.95 N2 2 U3 N N 130 Y N H50
Mares Matrix 564.99 N3 4 U3 R Y 130 NR N H35
Oceanic OCi 1,199.95 N4 4 OF R Y 130 Y Y D24
Oceanic OCL 599.95 S 4 A2 R Y 130 Y N D24
Oceanic VTX 1,044.50 N4 3 OF R Y 130 Y Y D24
Scubapro Aladin Tec 3G 409.00 N3 2 U5 R N 130 Y N H25
Scubapro Chromis 534.00 S 4 U5 R N 130 N N H50
Scubapro Mantis M1 616.00 N3 4 U5 R N 130 N N H50
Suunto Di6 Novo Stealth 1,018.70 N3 4 U3 R Y 130 NR Y H140
Suunto DX Titanium 2,125.00 T8 4 UD5 D Y 300+ NR Y H140
Suunto EON Steel 2,125.00 T10 3 UD5 D Y 300+ NR Y H200

1 MG – Multiple Gases – S- single gas only; N – supports nitrox and air only; T – supports Air, Nitrox and Trimix gases; (#) represents the number of gases that can be tracked;

2 B – Number of Buttons – # number of buttons on the dive computer watch; T – Tap technology used by Liquivision Lynx instead of buttons

3 CNS – Adjustable Conservatism – U# – Allows increase in conservatism only (#) the number of adjustments; UD# – Allow increase or decrease in conservatism (#) the number of adjustments; UC- Allows increase in conservatism only (C) Can be Customized; OF- Conservative factor is either on or off; in the on position it increases the conservation factor, e.g., safety factor; A#- choice of different algorithms to compute NDL time # number of algorithms that can be selected – N – no adjustment for conservatism

4 TD- Tech Diving – diving other than conventional commercial or recreational diving that takes divers beyond recreational diving limits. It is further defined as an activity that includes one or more of the following: diving beyond 40 meters/130 feet, required stage decompression, diving in an overhead environment beyond 130 linear feet from the surface, accelerated stage decompression and/or the use of multiple gas mixtures in a single dive. (PADI definition); N- does not support or is not recommended for Tec Diving; R – supports Tec diving to max recreational depth (to 40 meters / 130 feet); D- supports technical diving beyond recreational depth.

5 C – Compass – Y- Dive computer watch has a compass; N- Dive computer watch does not have a compass

6 OPD- Max Dive Depth – this is the max relative safe depth based upon using either OC – Open Circuit or CC- Closed Circuit equipment. Note this is not the maximum depth rating of the computer, but rather the suggested maximum depth that the computer can support based upon the type of gas and equipment used. Some computers state they should not to be used for decompression diving while other support decompression diving but do not support depths where Trimix and/or Closed Circuit re-breathers should be used. Note the computers listed here that support Closed Circuit diving would be used only as backup devices to the CCR’s computer. Follow this link to Dan’s article on Technical Diving for more information.

7 UB – User Changeable Battery – Y – Yes the batter can be changed by the user; N- No the battery cannot be changed by the user; NR – rechargeable battery cannot be changed by the user

8 WL – Wireless Air Integration – N – no wireless capability; Y – has wireless integration; M(#) – has wireless integration and allows monitoring multiple tanks (#) represents the number of other tanks that may be tracked; MS(#) has wireless integration and allows monitoring multiple student/buddy tanks (#) represents the number of other tanks that may be tracked

9 MEM – Logbook Memory – H# number of hours stored in the log; D – stores dive details sampled throughout the dive # number of dives stored in the log; M- Minimal information stored, e.g., dive #, max depth, total duration of dives, etc. does not track dive profile throughout each dive; N – no log

Dive Computer Watch – Wrist Mount Reviews – Under $500

 

 

Cressi Leonardo

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Cressi Leonardo

An elegant expression of simple, functional design, the Leonardo is a budget priced Dive Computer Watch targeted at divers who are just entering the sport. This watch is also a potential for those who are budget conscious and who “just want to dive” and don’t care about additional features/functions.

The nearly 2-inch-wide screen has a display that’s easy to read, with large characters. The dive screen displays current depth, NDL, max depth, dive time, battery level and temperature, while the alternate shows gas mix, PO2 setting and conservatism factor.

The Cressi Leonardo has a single button interface makes it easy to program Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes the first time a diver picks the computer up. You can program nitrox up to 50 percent, PO2 from 1.2 to 1.6, altitude, and this dive computer watch has three levels of conservatism.

The clearly visible battery life indicator and distinct audible alarms deliver critical information as well as peace-of-mind during the dive. The Leonardo can also be fully re-set after each use, making it an excellent choice for rental departments.

2014 ScubLab Best Buy award

Key features include:

  • Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes
  • FO2 adjustable between 21% and 50%
  • PO2 adjustable between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar
  • CNS oxygen toxicity graphic indicator
  • Single button interface (short push changes function, longer push selects functions)
  • Three levels of user-adjustable conservatism
  • User-selectable Deep Stop function
  • Modified Haldne and Wienke algorithm
  • Ascent rate alarm (10 m per minute)
  • Log book for 60 dives/75 hours of information with 20-second sampling rate
  • Battery life indicator
  • Distinct, easy-to-hear audible alarms
  • User changeable battery
  • Adjustable unit of measure: English or Metric
  • Backlit display
  • Built-in calendar and clock.
  • The instrument may be fully reset, in case of renting.
  • PC/Mac interface with dive profile (optional)

$199.00 Buy Now
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Cressi Giotto

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Cressi Giotto

Giotto is first the Mixed Gas dive computer designed and built entirely by Cressi.
The 3 button interface makes it very easy to program Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes from the first time a diver picks the computer up. The high-definition screen on this dive computer watch has relatively large numerical displays in a computer that is still compact and travel-friendly. The clearly visible battery life indicator and distinct audible alarms deliver critical information as well as peace-of-mind during the dive.
The Giotto can also be fully re-set after each use, making it an excellent choice for rental departments. It also has a new algorithm created through collaboration between Cressi and Bruce Wienke based on the Haldane model, integrated

with RGBM factors for safe decompression calculations in repetitive multi-day dives and with mixtures. The software handles two different hyper-oxygenated mixtures, which can be selected during the dive.

Voted one of six best dive computers by SportDiver in 2015

Key features include:

  • Tissues: 9 saturation half-times ranging from 2.5 to 480 minutes.
  • ”Dive” Program: Full processing of dive data, including decompression if applicable, for every dive performed with Air or Nitrox.
  • Full setting of FO2 parameters (oxygen percentage) and PO2 (oxygen partial pressure) with the option to set PO2 between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar, and FO2 from 21% and 99%.
  • Option to take a Nitrox dive after one with air (even while desaturating).
  • Gage setting option (depth gauge and timer).
  • Deep stop can be turned on or off.
  • Replaceable protective display screen.
  • User-replaceable batteries.
  • Planning: decompression curve scrolling.
  • User can switch units of measure from Metric (meters and C°) to Imperial (feet and F°).
  • Visual and auditory alarms.
  • Graphic CNS oxygen toxicity indicator.
  • Backlit display
  • Built-in calendar and clock.
  • Log book (70 hr or 60 dives) complete with dive profile.
  • Dive history saved.
  • Option for full reset if needed, helpful when renting the device.
  • PC/Mac interface with dive profile (optional)

$299.95 Buy Now

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Cressi Newton

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Cressi Newton

The Cressi Newton, with a case diameter of just 48 mm, is definitely a compact dive watch computer. It’s also a great watch out of the water as well, thanks to the option to deactivate the Dive program to prevent needless alarms or extra battery consumption while snorkeling, swimming, or just everyday use. The face is mineral glass and the watch has a heavy-duty reinforced case for resistance in the water down to –150 m. Rubber strap with stainless steel buckle.

Voted one of six best dive computers by SportDiver in 2015

Key features include:

  • 12/24 clock with minutes and seconds.
  • Calendar
  • Precision stopwatch
  • Second time setting
  • Alarm clock
  • Main computer function characteristics.
  • Dual-mixture CRESSI RGBM algorithm. New algorithm created through collaboration between Cressi and Bruce Wienke based on the Haldane model, integrated with RGBM factors for safe decompression calculations in repetitive multi-day dives and with mixtures.
  • Software handles two different gas mixtures, which can be selected during the dive.
  • “Dive” Program: Full processing of dive data, including decompression if applicable, for every dive performed with Air or Nitrox.
  • Full setting of FO2 parameters (oxygen percentage) and PO2 (oxygen partial pressure) with the option to set PO2 between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar, and FO2 from 21% and 99%.
  • Option to take a Nitrox dive after one with air (even while desaturating).
  • Option to set Deco (decompression calculation) or Gage (depth gauge and timer).
  • Deep stop can be turned on or off.
  • Display with oversize digits.
  • Planning: decompression curve scrolling.
  • Metric or Imperial unit
  • Visual and auditory alarms.
  • Graphic CNS oxygen toxicity indicator.
  • Backlit display
  • Log book (70 hr or 60 dives) complete with dive profile.
  • Dive history saved.
  • Option for full reset if needed, helpful when renting the device.
  • PC/Mac interface with dive profile (optional).

$499.00 Buy Now

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Mares Smart

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Mares Smart

The Mares Smart is a good example of a quality and class coming together in a dive computer watch. This dive computer provides superior sharpness of segmented characters, clear display, and ergonomic advantages of only two buttons to select modes and functions. Smart replicates the display of the Puck Pro, adding an additional button. All buttons have been re-positioned to the side and packaged into a slimmer profile. On the surface, adjust your nitrox settings or view your logbook with ease. Underwater, you can manage alternate depth information (top row), completely independent from the ancillary information displayed in the bottom row.

It is important to think about the features a dive computer has, but it is also important to experience how well those features are executed. While the Smart dive computer watch doesn’t have the longest list of goodies, there’s no air integration or compass, what it does, it does well. The dive-mode display is well thought out and easy to see and understand, with data for depth, NDL, dive time and temperature, along with a tissue-loading bar graph and ascent-rate indicator. The alternate-dive-screen data include maximum and average depth, gas mix, oxygen-toxicity level and current time. The smart’s two-button system is easy to navigate and logical in dive mode, in which the upper button modifies the top row of the display while the lower button toggles through alternate displays on the lower right.

The backlight is good, as are the visual and audible alarms. A large “slow” warns of too-rapid ascent, and there are warnings for MOD and oxygen toxicity. There’s also a tissue-loading bar graph on the right, although it can be a bit hard to see. The smart is among the easiest wrist- watches to read in bright sun and includes a surface-interval countdown timer. Despite its relatively modest price, the smart also has a refined look, with its stainless bezel ring and buttons.

2014 ScubaLab Best Buy in its category.

Key Features include:

  • EAN (NITROX) from 21% to 99%
  • Super sharp and clear display
  • Max Displayed Depth: 150 m (492ft)
  • Memory capacity: 36 hr
  • Profile Sampling Rates: 5 s
  • Watch
  • Calendar
  • Dual time
  • Stopwatch
  • Daily alarm
  • Battery Power Indicator
  • Lithium Battery
  • Plan Mode
  • Choice of Metrical/Imperial Units
  • Fresh and Seawater Settings
  • Residual Nitrogen Reset
  • Option to exclude audible alarms
  • Exclusion of “Uncontrolled Ascent”
  • Freediving
  • Ascent Rate Indicator
  • Ascent Rate Digital Indicator (m/min – ft/min)
  • Altitude Adjustment
  • Stopwatch in Bottom timer mode

$399.95 Buy Now

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Scubapro Aladin Tec 3G

The Scubapro Aladin Tec 3G dive computer watch features a metallic silver faceplate and a relatively easy-to-read LCD display. This dive computer is targeted primarily to technical divers who want multi-gas and CCR support functions. It is also an interesting choice for more advanced recreational divers who appreciate a dive computer with the kind of features and functions that can enable them to evolve in their sport.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Scubapro Aladin Tec 3G

The Aladin Tec 3G is equipped with SCUBAPRO’s time-proven Uwatec ZHL8 ADT MB algorithm and Predictive Multi-Gas. You can program three gas mixes from 21 to 100 percent 02. The PDIS (Profile Dependent Intermediate Stops) system calculates safe ascents, and the three-color nitrogen loading bar graph makes it easy to track tissue loading. Microbubble technology lets a diver adjust the level of conservatism to suit personal diving styles.

Depth-rated to 394ft/120m, you also get audible and visual alarms, a planner and a logbook that can be uploaded to a PC or Mac via an optional infrared interface. The battery is good for 200 to 300 dives and is user replaceable.

The Aladin Tec 3G offers seasoned recreational divers as well as technical divers an affordable, full-featured, advanced-level dive computer. This dive computer watch is also available in a two- or three-gauge console.

2016 SportDiver Best Dive Computers

Key Features include:

  • Predictive Multi-Gas ZHL8 ADT MB algorithm accommodates three gases (21-100% O2).
  • PDIS (Profile Dependent Intermediate Stops) calculates an intermediate stop based on N2 loading, current and previous dives and breathing mixes for safer diving.
  • Microbubble levels let you adjust the level of conservatism in the algorithm to match your experience level, age and physical conditioning.
  • Three Dive modes: Scuba, Freediving and Gauge.
  • Supports CCR systems (closed circuit rebreather).
  • Maximum operating depth: 394ft/120m.
  • Altimeter.
  • Two black plastic buttons provide easy access to modes and the set-up of basic parameters.
  • Three-color nitrogen tissue loading bar graph makes it easy to monitor N2 status.
  • Active back light.
  • Bookmark function.
  • Lens protection cap.
  • CR2450 user replaceable battery rated for two years/300 dives.
  • 25 hours of Dive/Freediving logs can be stored and analyzed with a PC/Mac via Infrared technology.

$409.00 Buy Now

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Dive Computer Watch – Wrist Mount Reviews – Over $500

 

Hollis TX1

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Hollis TX1

AUP has been making dive computers for 30+ years. Building on this legacy is the TX1 is the first Trimix dive computer ever produced by AUP. The TX1 He was designed to create a user friendly dive computer that allows the use of Air, Nitrox, and Trimix. It is a powerful instrument indeed – with a digital compass, gauge mode, use of up to six transmitters, Gradient Factors and Hollis Dive Planning Software. With up to 6 gases and 6 independent transmitters, there are a number of options for the use of this computer for both recreational and technical diving.

The TX1 dive computer watch is simple yet extremely capable, supporting air, nitrox and helium gas mixes with the option for wireless HP. This product is targeted for both recreational and technical diving.

The TX1 utilizes the Bühlmann ZHL-16C algorithm with user adjustable gradient factors, gases and dive profile, allowing the diver to uniquely control their decompression calculations. Also included with the TX1 is the powerful and easy to use HTCI (Hollis Trimix Computer Interface) software. HTCI allows users to view, edit and manage their dive data and computer settings from their PC computer. The software and required connection cable are free with purchase. Note the screen on this dive computer has been reported to be a little more difficult to read especially in bright light.

Key features include:

  • Up to 6 gases
  • Helium, oxygen, nitrox, air
  • Wireless air integration up to 6 transmitters
  • Audible alarms
  • Advanced 3 axis digital compass
  • PO2 settings from 1.0 to 1.6
  • Max operational depth 400ft
  • FO2 7% 100%
  • Set Helium from 0% to 93%
  • Powered by the tried and true Buhlmann ZHL 16C algorithm with adjustable gradient factors
  • User upgradeable firmware
  • Dive log up to 24 dives
  • Track E.N.D. and W.O.B. during dive
  • Change gas option during dive
  • Customizable dive screens
  • Wireless Transmitter optional

$699.00 Buy Now

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Liquivision Lynx

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Liquivision Lynx

The Liquivision Lynx dive computer watch combines the exceptional readability of an OLED screen with wireless air integration and intuitive patented menu-based tap navigation. The Lynx computer is compatible with the U-2 tank transmitter, which allows you to monitor not only your air supply, but your buddy’s air supply and directional location! The Lynx computer can monitor up to 10 transmitters at once allowing Dive Masters to monitor an entire class right from their wrist or divers can monitor their families or friends.

This three-gas data-cruncher combines the high readability of a full-color, customizable OLED screen with wireless air integration, an intuitive navigation system that use a menu-based finger “tap” system instead of buttons. The transmitter’s range in this dive computer watch is 330 feet, meaning you can monitor your buddy or students. This computer also allows you to track “location transmitters” meaning you can leave a transmitter at the boat and use the locator “beacon” to find your way back.

The Lynx screen is also notable due to its size. It’s not big, just a little more than 1.5 inches across, but the vibrant colors of the display really stand out. Scuba “technical nerds” can spend hours scrolling through the detailed menus and playing with the killer dive simulator.

Voted one of six best dive computers by SportDiver in 2015

2013 SportDiver Editors pick

Key features include:

  • Allows up to 3 gases (air and nitrox 21-100%)
  • Sidemount software included
  • Monitoring of air supply and location of up to 10 divers
    within a range of up to 330ft/100m
  • Digital compass
  • Dive planner and dive simulator
  • Dive logging
  • Visual indicators of air-time remaining
  • Find your way back to the boat
  • Bungee & stretchy strap included
  • Computer connectivity (PC/Mac)
  • 2 year warranty

$1,050.00 Buy Now

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Mares ICON HD

Once again, we fell hard for the big LCD screen, the effortless four-button navigation and the digital compass of our dreams. We all get a little worried when the things we love change, but in this case, we see that it was for the best. the Icon’s new dive display is even better than before, with streamlined data presentation and improved use of the Icon’s colors.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Mares ICON HD

This dive computer watch / wrist mount has one-touch access to a dive-profile graphic, but now it intrudes less on other dive data. A new underwater menu lets you change settings — night mode, for example — and access a tissue-saturation bar graph. You can also scroll through scads of data, including gas-consumption rate, maximum depth for gas selected, CNS, PO2 and battery levels — for the Icon’s batteries as well as those in the tank transmitters.While the battery is rechargeable, Mares suggests you will only get 6 or 7 hours of diving per charge. You will need to monitor this closely so the computer does not die in the middle of the dive. Mares states you should not start a dive on the computer if it is less than 30% charged.

Mares also added a color-coded tank-pressure display that lets you program the pressure thresholds that trigger yellow and red. Outwardly, the Icon was left unchanged except for the new Gunmetal black edition.

This dive computer watch / wrist mount was redesigned for 2014, including:

  • Complete re-design of the screen layout
  • New features: underwater menu to change certain settings even during the dive, night mode, tissue saturation graph and runaway deco alarm.
  • Improved color rendition in profile view and logbook profile.
  • Addition of tank pressure profile in logbook profile view.
  • Dive planner now allows input of surface interval and calculation of decompression dives.

2014 Scubalab Testers’ Choice Award

Key features include:

  • Max Displayed Depth: 150 m (492ft)
  • Memory capacity: > 100hr
  • Profile Sampling Rates: 5
  • Calendar
  • Stopwatch
  • Daily alarm
  • Battery Power Indicator
  • Lithium Battery
  • Plan Mode
  • Choice of Metrical/Imperial Units
  • Fresh and Seawater Settings
  • Option to exclude audible alarms
  • Ascent Rate Indicator
  • Altitude Adjustment
  • Optional Transmitter

$999.95 Buy Now

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Mares Matrix

This dive computer watch has a full-dot matrix high-resolution display, tilt-compensated digital compass with bearing function, graphic profile during the dive and multigas algorithm. The Matrix dive computer watch arguably is the most impressive Mares watch-style dive computer. The Mares Matrix includes a choice of digital or analog time of day display, second time zone and a much more, all in a sleek metal housing.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Mares Matrix

The Mares Matrix also has a 35-hour logbook including dive profile graphs. The rechargeable battery means years and years of maintenance free use. The charging cradle doubles up as PC (or Mac) interface for downloading dives and for firmware upgrades.

Offering well-marked buttons and an intuitive menu, the Mares Matrix is ranked as one of the easiest dive computers to program in the medium priced category. The model provides excellent screen readability with its reverse color band highlighting no deco data, and it has a very usable tissue loading bar graph and a cool graphic dive profile alternate screen. It comes with a very good compass that is easy to use and it offers a bearing function and simultaneously displays critical data so you can monitor your stats while navigating. Another unique feature is the ICE (in case of emergency) function, which shows personal info, from contact numbers to insurance policies to allergies. The Mares Matrix is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, so you have to remember to plug it in once in a while. However, it does offer an “Off” mode to conserve battery power.

2012 Scubalab Testers’ Choice award.

Key Features include:

  • Memory capacity: 36 hr
  • Profile Sampling Rates: 5 s
  • Watch
  • Calendar
  • Dual time
  • Stopwatch
  • Daily alarm
  • Battery Power Indicator
  • Plan Mode
  • Choice of Metrical/Imperial Units
  • Fresh and Seawater Settings
  • Residual Nitrogen Reset
  • Option to exclude audible alarms
  • Exclusion of “Uncontrolled Ascent”
  • Ascent Rate Indicator
  • Ascent Rate Digital Indicator (m/min – ft/min)
  • Altitude Adjustment

$564.99 Buy Now

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Oceanic OCi

The OCi represents the next step forward in recreational wireless air-integrated dive computers from Oceanic. Oceanic combined the technology their advanced OC1and the styling of the OCS and added a few new features to create a very nice and capable dive computer watch. The OCi is powered by Oceanic’s Dual Algorithm technology and can handle up to 4 gases. It can calculate nitrogen during a free dive (in the new tech free mode), enable the diver to select between salt or fresh water and automatically adjust to altitude. The fact that the alarms and digital compass can be customized is just icing on the cake.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Oceanic OCi

2014 Scubalab Testers’ Choice award

Key features include:

  • Powered by Oceanic’s Exclusive Dual Algorithm™ – Your choice between Pelagic DSAT (Spencer/Powell data basis) or Pelagic Z+ (Buhlmann ZHL-16C data basis)
  • Wireless Air Integrated Technology
  • Advanced Digital Compass with North, Reference, Auto Home, and Declination Adjustment (see NOAA’s NGDC geomagnetic chart)
  • Free and Tech Free dive modes
  • Multiple Transmitter Capability & switch between 4 independent transmitters, with up to 4 nitrox mixes to 21-100% O2
  • Advanced watch functions including alternate time zone, stopwatch, lap timer, daily alarm, and countdown timer
  • Deep Stop with Countdown Timer
  • Gauge Mode with Run-Timer
  • User Upgradeable Firmware
  • 5+ Color Combinations
  • Data Retention
  • Firmware Update Ready

$1,199.95 Buy Now

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Oceanic OCL

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Oceanic OCL

This dive computer watch has a uniquely small form factor making it a nice watch in addition to being a good dive computer. The OCL features Oceanic’s exclusive Dual Algorithm, custom alarms, Nitrox compatibility and replaceable batteries. It’s as at home in the office as it is 100 feet down.

This is a new dive computer watch and limited information is available. The small size and form factor looks interesting, but I would wait to purchase until I could see one in a shop or read tests results from ScubaLab or other reputable reviewer.

2016 SportDiver Best Dive Computers

Key features include:

  • Powered by Oceanic’s Exclusive Dual Algorithm™ – Your choice between Pelagic DSAT (Spencer/Powell data basis) or Pelagic Z+ (Buhlmann ZHL-16C data basis)
  • Computer Type Stainless Steel Wristwatch
  • Modes Norm (Air/Nitrox), Gauge, Free, Watch
  • Nitrox Mixes 2 (21–100%)
  • Custom Alarms
  • Algorithm Dual Algorithm™
  • Auto Altitude Adjustment
  • Ascent Rate Monitor
  • Safety Stop Adjustable
  • Deep Stop
  • On-Unit Log Capacity 24 Dives
  • PC Interface MAC (mobile, cloud & comp) (with optional USB cable) PC (comp only)
  • Firmware Update (with optional USB cable)
  • Memory
  • Backlight
  • Diver Replaceable Batteries (Factory Recommended)
  • Warranty 2 years

$599.95 Buy Now

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Oceanic VTX

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Oceanic VTX

This dive computer watch has an ultra-bright high contrast full color OLED Display providing you dive data which is always clearly displayed – no matter what kind of conditions you’re diving in. Adjust the intensity on-the-fly for perfect clarity and battery savings when a very bright screen is not needed.

Note while the screen is beautiful underwater above water it can be difficult to see in any direct sun light. If you are in direct sunlight on the surface and even sometimes underwater, you will probably need to “shade” the screen if making any adjustments or trying to view your data.

The VTX is the first dive computer engineered to take full advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Together with the DiverLog for iOS App, wirelessly interacting with your dive computer immediately before and after your dive with a smart phone or tablet is now possible. Remotely control all your dive computer settings, view Log and Profile data, add location, notes and other details – from anywhere. No need to physically connect your dive computer to a computer device ever again.

The new, intuitive menu structure of the VTX dive computer watch makes managing your settings on the fly and interfacing with the unit during a dive a thing of beauty. The displays and interface are designed to be unobtrusive. The clutter has been removed to allow for you to focus on what matters most… the dive. It’s about showing you what you need to see when you want to see it. That’s it.

Pelagic Z+ offers a conservative approach to recreational diving or maximized bottom time for deep and decompression dives, maximizing dive times at depth without excessive penalties. Pelagic DSAT safely maximizes dive times for repetitive, multi-level recreational diving.

Dual Algorithm allows you to choose the algorithm and its conservatism. This means the VTX can closely match your dive buddy’s algorithm, eliminating the need for either of you to cut your dive short, even if you’re diving different computers.

2016 SportDiver Best Dive Computers

Key features include:

  • Modes – Norm (Air & Nitrox), Gauge, Free Dive & Compass
  • Display – High-contrast, active matrix OLED color screen
  • Transmitter – Syncs with up to 4 transmitters simultaneously
  • Compass – 3-Axis Digital Compass with full tilt compensation
  • Gases – Up to 4 Nitrox mixes–each with individual PO2 set points (1.0 – 1.6 in .5 Increments) Gas 1 (Air & Nitrox, 21-100%), Gases 2, 3, and 4 (Off, 21-100%)
  • Algorithm – Powered by Dual Algorithm¨ allowing you to choose the decompression algorithm that best suits your diving needs without compromising safety. Choice between Pelagic DSAT* (Spencer/Powell data basis) or Pelagic Z+ (Buhlman ZHL-16C data basis)
  • Altitude compensation – All Oceanic computers automatically compensate for altitudes from 2000 ft up to 14,000 ft, giving adjusted no-decompression times and depths. They even automatically recalibrate the depth display for freshwater instead of seawater.
  • Log book capacity is 24 Dives
  • Oceanlog for PC users (comes on the cd in the box), Diverlog for MAC and iOS (download from the Apple App store)
  • Native Bluetooth 4.0 LE capabilities. Wirelessly transfer dive profiles and dive computer settings via eDiverlog
  • Batter is user replaceable (1) 3v CR2 with approx 30-40 hour dive time. Data retention maintains settings and calculations between battery changes.
  • Includes access to status screens to check VTX and each transmitter
  • Optional deep stop with countdown timer
  • High density impact resistant composite housing, scratch-resistent, stainless steel protective bezel, natural rubber strap and super strong mineral glass OLED screen.
  • 3-Button (back, advance, select) intuitive push button menu interface with “step back” allows for easy settings preview and edits while viewing the menus
  • 2 Year Warranty

$1.044.50 Buy Now

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Scubapro Chromis

The Scubapro Chromis dive computer watch is designed for use in and out of the water. This This dive computer watch offers all of SCUBAPRO’s core dive computer features except Predictive Multi-gas (PMG). The Chromis has a large display and sharp alphanumeric characters inspired by Samurai katanas. These were developed exclusively for the Chromis and are exceptionally readable under water. The four control buttons are also well-marked to guide you through an interface that includes an intuitive mode indicator that always lets you know where you are in the system.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Scubapro Chromis

On the surface the Chromis offers full timekeeping functions, plus dual time, an alarm clock and a stopwatch. In Swim mode you have the use of a patented stroke counter for surface swimming. And under water you have a full-featured deco computer with three modes — Scuba, Gauge and Freediving — to suit virtually any at-depth activity.

Targeted to certified air and nitrox divers, the Chromis wristwatch-style dive computer is about as versatile as it gets. Prepare yourself for your next adventure, in or out of the water, with a dive watch that delivers.

Voted one of six best dive computers by SportDiver in 2015

Key Features include:

  • ZHL8 ADT MB algorithm accommodates one nitrox mix from 21% to 100% O2.
  • PDIS (Profile Dependent Intermediate Stops) calculates an intermediate stop based on N2 loading, current and previous dives and breathing mixes for safer diving.
  • Microbubble levels let you adjust the level of conservatism in the algorithm to match your experience level, age and physical conditioning.
  • Casing features an engraved 316L stainless steel front ring and back plate.
  • Four buttons allow for easy menu navigation.
  • Extra-sharp alphanumeric characters are inspired by Samurai katanas.
  • Continuously updated average depth display in Gauge mode can be reset at any time.
  • Zigzag strap design compensates for dive suit compression to maintain a secure fit at depth.
  • Three Dive modes: Scuba, Gauge and Freediving.
  • Swim mode includes surface stroke counter.
  • Intuitive menu system.
  • Large, easy-to-read display.
  • Maximum operating depth: 394ft/120m.
  • Full topside time-keeping functions.
  • Stopwatch in Scuba and Gauge modes.
  • Optional USB connection with cradle is both PC and Mac compatible using LogTRAK software.
  • Logbook hold 50 hours of dive / free dive information
  • Large capacity CR2430 battery is rated for two years or 300 dives.
  • Strap extension is included.
  • Offered in 7 color choices.

$534.00 Buy Now

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Scubapro Mantis M1

The Mantis 1 (M1) is very similar to SCUBAPRO’s new M2 in form and function. The M1 dive computer watch is targeted at divers who want the Smart technology offered by SCUBAPRO’s ground-breaking Human Factor Diving™ but who don’t need air integration or an on-board digital compass.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Scubapro Mantis (M1)

Human Factor Diving™ is an exclusive SCUBAPRO approach to equipment design that combines Human Factors & Ergonomics (an engineering doctrine that focuses on the interaction between products and the people who use them), Biometrics (the science of measuring and analyzing a person’s biological data), and Wearable Technology (gear designed to be worn on the body). This capability, when using an optional “belt” enables you track body function including breath rate, temperature and heart rate, throughout a dive. Though you should realize when temperature is measured by the optional “chest strap” it will be measuring temperature only in one place on the body. Yet this is an interesting step forward in monitoring the “whole” body function and level of stress while diving that could provide large dividends as this technology evolves.

The M1 has an interesting visually pleasing display screen. It is the same as the one on the Scubapro Chromis and the LCD segmented display has extra-sharp large alphanumeric characters that are quite readable underwater. This dive computer watch also has an intuitive menu and a simple circular navigation system.

The M1 offers full timekeeping functions, and the altimeter and thermometer let you track hiking excursions into the upper elevations. The chronograph with lap memory is great for running, or you can switch to Swim Mode and record your swimming time, number of swim strokes and swimming distance.

For diving, the M1 dive computer watch can accommodate three gas mixes, from 21 percent nitrox to 100 percent O2, plus it offers a fixed PPO2 CCR algorithm for closed circuit rebreather diving. It offers four underwater modes: Scuba, Gauge, Freediving and CCR. With the optional HRM belt you can monitor your heart rate at depth. The HRM belt also measures your skin temperature which can be factored into your decompression algorithm for safer, more efficient diving. And for post-dive data tracking the M1 comes with LogTRAK software for both PC and Mac as well as an Android LogTRAK app.

Voted one of six best dive computers by SportDiver in 2015

Key features include:

  • Predictive Multi-Gas ZHL8 ADT MB algorithm accommodates three gases (21-100% O2).
  • PDIS (Profile Dependent Intermediate Stops) calculates an intermediate stop based on N2 loading, current and previous dives and breathing mixes for safer diving.
  • Microbubble levels let you adjust the level of conservatism in the algorithm to match your experience level, age and physical conditioning.
  • Optional heart rate monitor records heartbeat and skin temperature (with SCUBAPRO HRM Belt only) that can be factored into the decompression calculation along with workload.
  • Casing is built from the highest marine grade 316L stainless steel with a two-toned brushed finish that both protects and looks great.
  • Magnetic control buttons eliminate the need for holes, maintaining the casing’s watertight integrity and maximizing mechanical reliability.
  • Four Dive modes: Scuba, Gauge, Freediving and CCR.
  • Swim mode.
  • Full topside time-keeping functions.
  • Chronograph with lap memory for running.
  • Fixed PPO2 CCR algorithm.
  • Maximum operating depth: 394ft/120m.
  • Segmented LCD display.
  • Protective mineral glass.
  • Easy-to-read characters and graphics.
  • Enhanced logbook for freediving, holds 50 hours of scuba/free dive information.
  • CR2032 dealer replaceable battery rated for two years/300 dives.
  • PC and Mac compatible using LogTRAK with optional cradle.
  • Android LogTRAK app is also available.
  • Available with a choice of optional colored wrist bands.

$616.00 Buy Now

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Suunto D6i Novo Stealth

The new refined Suunto D6i Novo is a watch-sized dive computer that packs a wide range of features. With tilt-compensated 3D digital compass, wireless air integration and five dive modes (air, nitrox, gauge, free and off) this dive computer watch gives you big performance in a compact package.

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Suunto D6i Novo Stealth

The Suunto D6i dive computer watch is designed to simply your diving experience because all the information you need relating to depth, time, decompression status, optional tank pressure, and direction is available on one easy-to-read screen. Suunto’s Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM), utilized in the Suunto D6i, predicts both dissolved and free gas in the blood and tissues of divers. It is a significant advance on the classic Haldane models, which do not predict free gas.

The advantage of Suunto Technical RGBM is additional safety through its ability to adapt to a variety of situations and dive profiles.

The Suunto’s RGBM lets you make continuous decompression ascents safely, and the built in gas-switching supports up to five different gases so you can focus on your dive. The optional wireless integration lets you monitor air time and cylinder pressure remotely. You can access data on your dives by connecting with Suunto DM5 software on your PC or Mac, and make sure your gear stays current with updateable firmware.

The updated Suunto D6i Novo is available in four robust designs to guide divers on their underwater adventures: Stone, White, Stealth and Black. They all feature tough steel case and sapphire crystal glass. The Suunto D6i Novo dive computer watch also features a new protective coating against dirt and grease along with an updated strap design for improved durability.

“We wanted to refresh the D6i with a more utilitarian look-and-feel. The new Novo designs come in monochromic black-and-white variants and we also created a Stealth variant with striking lime ascent colors,” comments Timo Halko, the Industrial Designer behind the D6i Novo.

2016 SportDiver Best Dive Computers

Key features include:

  • Steel case with sapphire crystal for increased durability
  • 5 modes: air, nitrox, gauge, freediving and off
  • Gas-switching between up to 3 gases
  • Steel case and sapphire crystal glass with antireflective coating
  • Full continuous decompression algorithm – Suunto RGBM for CCR, technical and recreational diving
  • Innovative apnea timer, and a timer in air/nitrox modes
  • Integrated tilt-compensated 3D digital compass
  • Optional wireless air integration – current cylinder pressure, remaining air time
  • Built-in dive planner
  • View graphic logs and detailed dive data on your home computer with Suunto DM5 software (PC/Mac)
  • Updateable firmware so you’re always working with up-to-date information
  • Includes silicone strap with extension, D-series USB cable, Dive Manuals DVD, quick guide, and dive legal leaflet with warranty information
  • 2 year battery life in time mode
  • 5 year battery life for 100 dives/year
  • ~140 hour logbook memory
  • Covered by a two year Suunto Limited Warranty

$1,174.95 Buy Now

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Suunto DX Titanium

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Suunto DX Black Titanium

The Suunto DX is built on the award-winning Suunto D9tx and is a wonderful tool for both open circuit and rebreather divers. This computer dive watch which supports recreational to technical diving, is the
very first of its kind to feature closed circut (CCR) rebreather compatibility. This computer dive watch supports air, nitrox, trimix, closed circuit gauge mode and free-diving. The DX also contains all the advanced dive functions for open-circuit divers such as trimix support including helium, oxygen, and gas switching between up to 8 gases. The decompression algorithm is new, an advanced Suunto Fused RGBM algorithm, developed by Dr Dr Bruce Wienke. This computer is the only computer to offer both an increase and decrease in the level of conservation or personal adjustment factor related to no-decompression diving. All in all, this is a very interesting computer.

This dive computer watch allows the user to set 3 closed circuit (CC) gases and 8 open circuit gases (OC). This is completed through the Closed Circuit Rebreather mode in the Menu and choosing the appropriate sub menu. High and low set points can also be adjusted. The Suunto DX is not physically attached to the rebreather so it must be synchronized prior to diving. While most rebreather units come with their own integrated control units, the DX can easily be used as a primary CCR computer. However, it is more likely to be used as a backup for the rebreathers own dedicated units.

The Suunto Fused reduced gradient bubble model (RGBM) is the new decompression algorithm created by Dr. Bruce Wienke for the Suunto DX. Dr. Wienke has been working with Suunto for over a decade perfecting a RGBM to maximize bottom times and minimize ascent times. The new Suunto Fused™ RGBM combines the benefits of Suunto’s Technical RGBM (as used in the Suunto HelO2 and the D9tx) and the ‘full’ RGBM, bringing the benefits of both to recreational divers and technical divers. In shallow water the Suunto DX uses the Technical RGBM. Once the diver descends below 30 meters a linear transition will take place and the computer will switch from the Technical RGBM to the Full RGBM. The depth of the switch is not immediate but gradual and the switch is determined by what gas mixes are being used and whether there is helium in the mix. The transition will happen between 30 and 45 meters. This optimizes the algorithm to best suit the dive type.

As with its predecessors anybody who has used a Suunto dive computer will find the controls very familiar. The sleek new DX is all black and secret ops like in look and feel. You will definitely be channeling your inner James bond with the Suunto DX on your wrist.

Key features include:

  • Choice of an elastomer strap set or with a full titanium bracelet
  • New, advanced Suunto Fused™ RGBM for CCR, technical and recreational diving
  • Trimix support including helium and oxygen
  • Gas switching between up to eight gases
  • 3D tilt-compensated digital compass
  • Five modes: CCR, air, mixed gas, gauge, and off
  • Optional wireless air integration
  • Built-in dive planner
  • Detailed graphical logs and dive data on your computer using Suunto DM5 software (PC or Mac)
  • A setpoint, non-monitoring dive computer with dedicated CCR mode
  • Configure up to 3 different diluents
  • Adjustable high and low setpoints, as well as custom setpoint during dive
  • Automatic setpoints switching at specified depths
  • Possibility to switch to open circuit mode in case of bailout
  • Optional titanium bracelet
  • Time, date
  • Alarm clock
  • Dual time
  • Stopwatch timer

$2,125.00 Buy Now

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Suunto EON Steel

Dive Computer Watch (Steven W Smeltzer)

Suunto EON Steel

The EON Steel is a beautiful computer. The polished steel surround wonderfully sets off and compliments the 2.4-inch full-color screen (which uses technology called ‘Brightsee’ and isn’t OLED). This dive computer’s three navigation buttons are large and easy to use, even with 5mm neoprene gloves on in cold waters, and are linked to a simple navigation menu. I have been diving with this computer for about a year, through many, many dives and I thoroughly love it.

This dive computer watch / wrist mount was launched after thousands of hour of field-testing and five years of development, on October 4th, 2014. The display uses Thin Film Technology (TFT) that is far less power-hungry than OLED and a single charge can provide 30 to 40 hours of diving. The screen is optically bonded so that there is no air space to cause problems under pressure. It uses Xensation glass, the German equivalent of Gorilla glass, and the case is a combination of stainless steel and glass-fiber composite. It’s tough, beautifully tough.

The screen is very visible, especially underwater, but in direct bright sunlight you will find yourself shading the display to easily see the screen. Firmware is updatable by the user by either PC or Mac and the display is fully customizable with up to four alternative screens per dive mode. Modes can be preloaded from the Internet via a home computer. You can move elements of the display around to have them exactly how you prefer.

If you are concerned the lovely metal face will get scratched and dinged, don’t worry, the EON Steel comes with a rubber cover that fits securely over the computer and provides full protection to the unit. A plastic stick-on cover similarly protects the large screen from damage, and is easily replaceable once it becomes too worn. Interestingly, the screen is bonded to the glass, with no air pocket, so it can be clearly read from quite an acute angle.

The EON Steel is equipped with a rechargeable battery – you just plug in a cable to the side, and then attach the other end, via USB, to your laptop, or into an adaptor that allows mains charging. It only takes four hours to be fully charged and will support multiple days of diving. It also gives an alarm as the battery moves into the low range of its charge, so a dead battery should never surprise you as you enter the water. The EON Steel is equipped with a 3D compass, which is clear and easy to use, and it will hold data for 200 logged hours.

The target audience for this dive computer watch / wrist mount is active divers and technical divers, so think minimum Advanced Open Water Diver, Technical Divers and those that want their equipment to stay up with them as their experience and training grows and expands….and as always….The pool is open.

2016 SportDiver Best Dive Computers Award

Key features include:

  • Customize to match your evolving needs
  • Visually intuitive, consistent presentation
  • Simple, easy interaction with menus and buttons
  • Bright, high contrast display for easy reading in any dive conditions
  • No-decompression dive planner
  • Flip display allows wearing on either wrist and have buttons on the right or left
  • Highly durable and resistant Xensation™ glass
  • Customizable deep stops and safety stops
  • Extensively tested and built to last
  • Guaranteed to 150 m depth
  • Rechargeable battery: 20-40 hours of dive time with one charge
  • Wireless air integration with up to 10 PODs (with optional Suunto tank POD)
  • Gauge/Air/Nitrox/Trimix/CCR modes
  • Suunto Fused™ RGBM for maximizing dive time
  • Logbook stores approximately 200 hours of diving information

$1,439.95 Buy Now

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Steven W Smeltzer

I am a professional underwater photographer and have spent over 25 years traveling our marvelous planet taking photos of our wonderful oceans.Images that inspire are my aspiration and my passion, combined with a love of scuba diving, nature and travel provide a wide variety of opportunities for me as a photographer. My goal is to provide photographs that allow the viewer to “get into the image” to live and experience the moment vicariously through images which highlight the beauty and fragility of our environment.I have been taking photos of our “Underwater world” in Europe, Africa, South America, North America and Asia and I want to share those images and experiences with others. Please visit my website where you can view a wide variety of underwater photography and landscape photography. I also provide educational information on various marine species and provide dive site reviews from many of dives from around the world.I take my photography and equipment seriously and try to provide insights into both taking photos as well as the gear needed to get the right shot. Stop by my website or my blog for more inspiration from around the world and let me know if you have any comments.The Pool is Open….