Last Updated on June 23, 2023 by Snorkel Ken
Of all the gear to consider when planning a snorkeling trip, a snorkeling watch is probably the very last thing you will think about. If you are just having a nice little trip with a guide, you probably won’t need one at all. However, if you are serious about taking up snorkeling as a hobby, then having a reliable watch becomes a must. Not only will it be able to help you keep track of your time spent in the water as well as help you plan around the tides, but it saves you time from having to swim back to shore or your boat to check the time on your phone. Needless to say, it also will prevent you from any accidental water damage to your phone as well.
However, how do you pick out a good snorkeling watch? Well, the truth is, as long as it has the right amount of waterproofing, you can choose any watch you want. A specifically branded “snorkeling” watch is just a label that might mean it has some other features that would come in handy. However, if you have a waterproof smart watch, that will be just fine, but always keep in mind that a lot of things can happen to a watch in the ocean, so you might want to re-consider spending a tiny fortune on one.
If you don’t like our recommendations below, then please check out these other water proof watches on Amazon:
[easyazon_table attributes=”Brand,ListPrice” identifiers=”B005VTPYOC,B0068NYHFM,B016R90VBK” locale=”US” orientation=”at” tag=”snorkelstore03-20″ text=”Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer Watch -Wrist |Pyle Waterproof Underwater Snorkeling & Diving Watch|Citizen Men’s BN0150-28E Promaster Diver Watch”]
Features of a Good Snorkeling Watch
When looking for a good watch to use for snorkeling, waterproofing is obviously key, but there are some other features that will come in handy. It is also worth knowing just how much waterproofing you will want. So when shopping around, you might want to keep your eyes out for watches with the following features:
Waterproofing – For a snorkel watch, you will want water resistance of at least 100 meters. More is fine, less is probably less fine. You can easily find this on dive watches, even if they are not actually dive quality watches, something that is often hidden in the fine print since dive watches need to account for both water resistance and pressure. Snorkeling watches don’t need to account for pressure unless you are quite the skilled freediver.
Band – On any watch you choose, skip anything that has a leather band and use fabric bands at your own discretion. Leather is terrible because it is not compatible with water at all, and fabric will take much longer to dry. The ideal band is something polymer – rubber, plastic, or any one of those new mixes of the two – or even stainless steel if you want to spend the extra money for it.
Face – This choice is usually for aesthetics rather than quality, but you will need to decide whether you want an analog face or a digital one. Naturally, digital tends to be a little quicker when it comes to telling time and they usually come with more features like lights and alarms. However, analog has that timeless classic look going for it. As analog watches also have less buttons and other doohickeys, they are less prone to leaks as well.
No matter what features you choose to put priority in, it is important to remember one key piece of snorkel watch maintenance advice. If you use it in the ocean, you will need to give your watch another soak in freshwater in the near future to prevent the build up of salt crystals. If you have had trouble with snorkel watches in the past, then this is likely the reason why. If you let those salt crystals build up, it can both wear the watch itself down and will eventually compromise the waterproofing.
Snorkel Watch Recommendations
Now that you know what you should look for, it is time to put it into practice. If you are having trouble finding something that is worth your money, here are our top picks for the best snorkel watches.
When you glance at the price of this, one of our very favorites, it is understandable that you would mistake it for one of those cheap models that die the first time in the water. However, this watch is indeed waterproof up to 100m, features both digital and analog formats, allows for multiple alarms, and even has a world time zone display if you happen to be a globe-trotting snorkeler. On top of that, it features a one year warranty from Casio to assure that it is not going to break right away on purpose. While it does look like an awesome international super spy watch, as a fashion choice, it could be a bit sleeker for some.
If you are looking for something that is a little more stylish and not so much packed with features that you might not even use. Seiko is a brand that can not only be trusted to make waterproof watches, their models (including this one) being rated waterproof to up to 100m at least, but Seiko is also known for making timelessly beautiful time pieces that don’t cost a couple thousand of dollars like a high-end Rolex. Aside from waterproofing, you don’t get the features of the Casio above, but you get just what you need. It tells the time, it is waterproof, the hands and numbers light up in the dark, and it displays the day of the week and day of the month. With a stainless steel band and frame, it does what you need it to do, and looks good while doing it.
If you are the type who decides if they are going to go all in on a snorkeling watch, but expects a lot of features from the investment, then you might want to skip on out of the realm of underwater watches and just go into fitness trackers instead. While there are some water resistant fitness trackers out there, even big name models like FitBit still struggle with it. However, the Garmin Swim Watch has been the most successful. Not only can you use this watch to tell time in the water, but if you are also an avid swimmer, this is the best tracker in the market for doing so. It tracks distance, pace, and even stroke count. However, the major downside is that this watch is only water resistant to 50 meters. This is fine if you never dive too deep, but just be sure it never slides off your wrist and goes deep into the great blue.