Are mechanical dive watches still relevant today given the prevalence of dive computers used by both professional and recreational divers?
Perhaps so, when it comes to instruments that are made for actual diving. After all, dive computers are more useful, offering more functions than what an analog mechanical watch can provide.
The relevance of mechanical dive watches was one of the questions we posed to Scott Cassell during an interview at the Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa in Thailand in November 2017.
The interview was conducted a day before the Luminox Essential Mission, a dive expediton to recover ghost nets in the Gulf of Thailand, alongside Thai dive volunteers from Save our Seas (SOS).
Scott Cassell is the founder of non-profit organisations SeaWolves Unlimited and Undersea Voyager Project. Luminox is a partner, helping to fund his activities through the sale of the watches named after him.
Cassell is also a counter-terrorism combat dive instructor to the Special Ops community, an anti-piracy consultant, former sniper, special ops combat medic and MedEvac flight instructor in the Army National Guard.
With regards to diving instruments, Cassell should know better as he is an underwater sea explorer and has undertaken dangerous dives, coming up close and personal with sharks and has even been attacked by the Humboldt squid.
Mechanical dive watches continue to be popular among watch collectors as they are sporty and generally made to be robust. For watch collectors, American journalist Jason Heaton figures that dive watches are “talismans of derring-do”. There are also many desk-diver watch fans out there who just want a sporty watch.
For us, it makes practical sense to own and wear a mechanical dive watch, especially when travelling due to its robustness and water-resistance. The dive watch is also a good companion to have daily especially in regions where rainy weather and the occasional flash floods occur.
For Cassell, the answer is a practical one – he will wear the computer dive watch as well as the mechanical dive watch – the mechanical dive watch with an automatic movement including a mechanical depth gauge are essential tools for dive missions as they are back-up instruments in the event the dive computer fails or when its batteries runs out while one is submerged.