Finding the Best Freediving Watch: 2023 Comprehensive Guide

#1 Pick

Mares Smart Apnea


Garmin Descent MK1

Best Budget

Suunto Zoop Novo

Dive watches are more than just a fancy accessory. They’re crucial gear that can make a difference during a freediving session. We’re talking about devices bristling with some serious tech like the Garmin Descent MK1 and the Mares Smart Apnea, ready to be your underwater sidekick. We’re setting out to find the best freedive watches today; it’s time to gear up.

There’s a lot that can go into a top-notch diver’s watch. Between gizmos like the Omer SP1 or the Oceanic F10, the selection process requires a certain know-how. Getting down to the nitty-gritty, some devices like the Suunto D4F and the Aqualung I300 are built to operate in depths unfathomable, metaphorically speaking. So, getting hands-on with the right one entwines both style and functionality.

That being said, top brands like Garmin, Mares, and Omer have consistently been ranking high amongst freediving enthusiasts. We think it has something to do with their tech-savvy creativity, taking the phrase ‘world at your wrist’ to a whole new level. It’s no child’s play figuring out the best fit, but every potential freediver deserves the right kind of information to make a sane judgment. So here’s an all-encompassing guide to keep you in the loop.

Overview of Top Choices for Freediving Watches

Free-diving demands a unique set of features in a watch, different from your ordinary scuba diving computers. Watches like the Garmin Descent MK1 and the Oceanic F10 have handy enriched features, including freedive mode, designed with the freediver in mind. Tailored functionality for freediving, ease of use, durability, and sure let’s not forget, a bit of presentability – these make the backbone of a good freediving watch. Whether you’re thinking about keeping check on depth and dive time or considering the weight of the watch to adjust your weight belt accordingly, there’s a lot to consider. Size matters; nobody wants extra weight dragging them down.

1. Mares Smart Apnea: A User-Friendly Choice

Score 9OUT OF 10
Mares Smart Apnea

The Mares Smart Apnea has earned its reputation with a user-friendly interface that’s pared down to two control buttons for hassle-free navigation. It’s something to be admired and appreciated, especially when you’re submerged deep and you want a clean, uncluttered display to glance at your dive data. Dependability and simplicity – that’s what Mares aims for with this device, and boy, do they deliver.

You can download data directly from your device to keep tabs on your diving performance. In a world where data is king, having easy access to your stats like ascent speed and tracking every descent and ascent can be a game-changer. It’s all about knowing where you stand and moving forward, making the Mares Smart Apnea an excellent tool for enhancement.


  • Easy to use with only two control buttons
  • Discreet but comprehensive surface time interval display
  • Sleek, stylish design that turns heads
  • Key functions within easy reach
  • Lightweight and comfortable on the wrist


  • Limited options for data download
  • Inconsistent readings of ascent speed
  • Lack of detailed dive data for post-dive analysis

2. Garmin Descent MK1: A Feature-Packed Dive Watch

Score 9OUT OF 10
Garmin Descent MK1

When the name Garmin springs up, the expectations are set high. Fortunately, the Garmin Descent MK1 doesn’t disappoint. The catch is, the feature-packed Garmin doesn’t come cheap. It demands some deep pockets. But looking at the brighter side, you’re getting your money’s worth with a watch that’s practically dripping in high-end tech.

It’s more than your run-of-the-mill dive watch or smart watch. We’re talking about an all-encompassing gadget that integrates multi-sport functionalities — a sort of jack of all trades in a sleek yet solid package. Even the Garmin Descent MK2 amps up the stakes further if you’re ready to shell out a few more bucks. Is it worth the extra dough? That’s up to you, but make no mistake about it — the Garmin Descent MK1 is a solid, reliable, and inherently versatile piece of kit.


  • Garmin’s trademark heart rate monitor keeps you aware of your ticker’s health while diving.
  • The sturdy build makes it durable and able to withstand high pressure environments.
  • The sapphire crystal display keeps it looking new – no scratches to worry about here.
  • Lots of features make it not just a dive watch, but a smart watch that keeps you connected.


  • On the downside, Garmin might have overdone it with the features – it can get a bit complicated for a beginner.
  • And while the sturdy build is a plus, it does make the watch a tad heavy.

3. Suunto Zoop Novo: An Affordable and Reliable Pick

Score 9OUT OF 10
Suunto Zoop Novo

When it comes to freediving watches, not all dive gear requires you to break the bank. The Suunto Zoop Novo is a solid choice for those on a budget. But don’t be fooled by the price tag, cheap doesn’t equate to low quality. The Zoop Novo packs a punch when it comes to necessary features for scuba divers. Although it doesn’t have the grandeur of its flashy cousins, this watch is as reliable as they come.

Besides keeping track of time, it comes equipped with a 3D compass and a depth gauge. These features make navigation underwater as smooth as a hot knife through butter. And don’t forget the watch’s history mode, giving divers insights into their past dives. So if you’re looking for something straightforward and dependable, the Suunto Zoop Novo might just be your new diving buddy.


  • The digital compass helps in underwater navigation, so you don’t lose your way.
  • Durable and lightweight build makes it easy on the wrist.
  • History mode allows you to track your diving experiences and progress over time.
  • The watch is beginner-friendly, with easy-to-understand features and controls.


  • The first setback would be the lack of a 3D compass.
  • The D4F, which is Suunto’s depth gauge, ain’t as up to snuff as its rivals. Some folks might find it less reliable.
  • Finally, you gotta replace the battery on the Suunto Zoop Novo after some use. That ain’t always convenient, especially if you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no spare batteries.

4. Garmin Descent MK2: A High-End Option With Advanced Features

Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
Garmin Descent MK2

Take a moment to feast your eyes on the king of the jungle when it comes to freediving watches, the Garmin Descent MK2. Now, this one’s no penny pincher. It’s got a hefty price tag, but the features it offers are worth every penny. Ah, the Garmin Descent MK2, ain’t it a beauty? Even its name sounds like some super-space-age tech gadget. Looks aren’t everything though, so let’s delve into what’s under the hood.

First up, it’s more than just a watch. It’s a smart watch, brimming with an array of features that would even make James Bond raise his eyebrow. From an advanced compass to integrated health monitoring fixtures, the Garmin Descent MK2 is more than just a dive watch or even just a smartwatch. It’s a piece of equipment that opens up new possibilities for even the most seasoned divers. So, if you’ve got the coins to spare, this watch could be your ultimate diving companion.


  • You got the name, Garmin Descent MK2, which is pretty cool.
  • It’s packed to the gills with features fit for diving and then some.
  • It doubles as a snazzy smart watch.
  • It’s perfect for technical diving, with advanced options that other watches can only dream of.


  • First off, the price tag’s a humdinger. Not exactly a pocket-friendly purchase.
  • It’s as much a sports watch as it is a dive watch. That might put off some purists.

5. Aqua Lung i300: A Superior Entry Level Watch

Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
Aqua Lung i300

The Aqua Lung i300 is a champ. It’s an entry-level watch that’s as sturdy as an old oak tree. Rookie or not, it’s essential to have a reliable watch that keeps you informed while you’re taking on the deep blue sea.

The Aqua Lung i300 doesn’t just measure up to its competition, it raises the bar. It’s accessible, straightforward, and sure knows how to get the job done. It’s a watch that grows with you as you develop your diving skills. So, if you’re a fledgling diver looking for a watch that will stand by you, the Aqua Lung i300 pretty much hits the bullseye.


  • The Aqua Lung i300 features delightfully user-friendly Bluetooth Smart tech, making it compatible with both iOS and Android gadgets. Ain’t that something?
  • It offers a versatile diving experience with four operating modes (Air, Nitrox, Gauge, and Free dive). Handy, don’t you think?
  • You can switch up to three gases underwater with its three gas computers. It’s like having a mini science lab on your wrist!
  • This little gem is suitable for underwater use, thanks to its nifty backlighting feature. It’s just like switching on the nightlight when you’re underwater.
  • Affordable, durable, and versatile – it’s a winner!


  • Despite all its techy goodness, the Aqua Lung i300 doesn’t sport a color screen. It’s like going back to the days of those old black and white TV sets.
  • It also lacks a built-in digital compass. You’ll have to rely on the old school way of finding your way underwater.

What Makes a Good Freediving Watch?

Now, let’s chew on this for a bit. What makes a good freediving watch? There are a couple of pivotal elements to consider. It ought to have features such as countdown timers, multiple alarms, and space for download and analysis. It needs to boast a user interface that’s as intuitive as a kid with a new toy. It should be able to double as an everyday watch without appearing like you have a chunk of tech strapped to your wrist. 

Understanding the Key Features of an Ideal Freedive Watch

Freediving isn’t just about diving deep and returning to the surface. It’s about the experience, the adventure, the thrill. Having the right watch can significantly enhance that feeling. If you peel back the layers of a prime freedive watch, you’ll find more than a timekeeper.

Some essential features distinguish a noble dive watch from the rest. These include a substantial internal memory to track your dives, a countdown timer to manage your dive time, and a USB cable to download and analyze the data post-dive. It’s also crucial that the watch delivers a clear, intuitive user interface for easy navigation. When it comes to finding the perfect tool, understanding these key features can cut the chase and bring you one step closer to your ideal freedive watch.

Importance of Durability and Material

Now let’s get something straight about freediving watches, they’re not crafted equally. That’s right. Even under the same brand, variances in quality can shake things up big time. When you see model numbers inching upwards, like with Suunto, you can bet your top dollar that durability is tagging along for the ride. Let’s be honest, we’re not interested in a GPS watch that throws in the towel after a single knock, are we?

Considering a Watch’s Ease of Use

You know we’re all different, right? The ways our brains pick up and process info differs from person to person. So, when choosing a freediving watch, don’t just zoom in on all the bells and whistles. Make sure you can actually handle its interface and screen display. The buttons, functions, they ought to make sense to you so that you can easily learn the ropes and maximize your watch.

Battery Life: Can the Watch Last through Your Dive?

Then there’s the million-dollar question, “can the watch last through your dive?” You want to make sure the battery life isn’t going to let you down mid-dive. On average, a freediving watch requires a battery replacement every couple of years if we’re talking semi-constant use. But as with everything, there are differences across the various brands when it comes to replacing the battery..

How Alarms and Alerts Enhance the Freediving Experience

Moving on to dive alarms and alerts. Let’s spill the beans on this. These are like the cherries on a cake in a freediving watch. You see, descending in the blue is one thing, but ensuring you’re alerted at the right time, now that’s a whole other ball game. That’s where alarms and alerts come in handy.

With a reliable dive alarm system, you can set an alarm for certain intervals. Say, every 10 meters or so. This way, you can stop finning, relax during the dive, and even monitor your time underwater. It’s like having a personal assistant while you’re freediving. Pretty smart, isn’t it?

Importance of Alarm Features in a Freediving Watch

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of these alarm features. They’re like the secret sauce that makes freediving watches unique. These tools track the action while you’re engrossed in the beauty of the deep blue. From monitoring the dive depth to tracking the enriched air supply, they’re essential for technical diving.

For freedivers who like to keep tabs on their progress, these alarm features are a real boon. They provide data to track improvements over time. Quite useful, eh? All in all, these alarms are not just features, but crucial elements that ensure safety while enhancing the overall diving experience.

Exploring Different Alert Types

Now, let’s get into the different types of dive alarms. There’s quite a variety out there. From basic depth alarms to advanced heart rate alerts, these nifty devices can get pretty versatile. Think of them as your underwater guardians, ready to step in when you need a heads-up.

How about setting an alarm for equalization at depth? Or one to warn you when you’re nearing your max depth? These little alerts are designed to keep you informed throughout your dive. So whether it’s about ensuring sufficient recovery time between dives or monitoring your time underwater, the alarm system of your freediving watch is there to give you a hand. It’s like safety always comes first!

Selecting a Freediving Watch for Beginners

Now, let’s chew the fat about some of the best freediving watches for those fresh to the game. For beginners, your gear can be your best buddy. It’s essential to have a watch that can act as your everyday watch and also transition smoothly to your freediving adventures. Some key features to note are an intuitive user interface, a reliable depth rating, and the option for multiple alarms. So, let’s take a gander at a couple of options made special for the novices.

Remember though, when choosing your watch, it’s not solely about the coolness factor. Oh no, it’s all about the functionality. You need something that can take on the rigors of freediving and spearfishing. Of course, it’s got to look good, but it also needs to include features like an intuitive user interface, internal memory to record your dives, and one that comes with a USB cable to download and analyze your data. Your best freediving fins are your legs, but the best freediving watches? That’s a whole different league!

  • OMR-1 Freediving Watch by Omer: A Wise Choice for Novices

Let me introduce you  to the OMR-1 Freediving Watch by Omer. Now, this wrist companion is no slouch. It’s got an intuitive user interface that’s as easy to navigate as a straight road. No tricks or complicated steps. It’s all about that straightforward usage. Plus, it’s got a respectable depth rating, and let me tell ya, it’s harder to find a watch with a solid depth rating that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It also packs multiple alarms to keep your dives on track.

Designed in collaboration with Umberto Pelizzari, a name that’s kinda a big deal in the diving world, this watch is considered one of the best freediving watches for beginners. Keep in mind though, it’s not just about the bells and whistles. Quality and reliability are key when you’re looking for your dive mate. And this watch offers both, making it an ace choice for beginners to the world of freediving.

  • AQUALUNG I300: A Great Start for New Divers

Next up is the AQUALUNG I300. It’s a sturdy piece of gear designed to help you track your progress and stay within your dive limits. It’s a robust and reliable dive mate for those who are just dipping their toes into the vast world of freediving.

It’s got a feature set that provides beginners with everything they need to dive with confidence. The high visibility display ensures clear readability, and the simplicity of use means less fiddling and more diving. Plus, it’s designed to withstand harsh marine conditions, so you don’t have to stress about it crapping out when you need it most.

Guide to the Best Mid-Level Freediving Watches

Moving on to the mid-range options, these are the timepieces that offer a bit more bang for your buck. Designed for divers who’ve got a few dives under their belt, they aren’t the beginner’s life-ring, but aren’t quite the professional’s tool either. They sit right in the middle, perfect for those looking for a balance between quality, features, and cost.

Mid-level freediving watches, like the OCEANIC F10 or the SUUNTO D6I, pack a bit more punch with features like nitrox and gauge modes, and offer a better view with their high-definition screens. And let’s not forget the good ol’ boys like the Omer and Oceanic that have solidified their reputation over the years as reliable and efficient dive mates.

  • OCEANIC F10: A Solid Mid-Range Option

The Oceanic F10 is another beauty, known for its reliability and versatility among divers and freed divers alike. The Oceanic folks knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s one of the best mid-range options out there and is perfect for both recreational and professional use.

The oceanic F-10 stole the limelight with its ease of use and affordable price tag. It’s armed with a range of useful features such as a dive function and more, all presented on a legible screen that’s easy on the eyes. Durability is another strong suit of this watch. It’s built like a tank and can handle a fair share of rough and tumble. In a nutshell, it’s a sturdy, reliable gear-tech that won’t disappoint.

  • SUUNTO D6I: A Well-Balanced Choice for Experienced Divers

Diving is one thrilling experience, no doubt about that. But to make the most out of it, good gear is crucial. For divers who have kissed the beginner’s phase goodbye, the SUUNTO D6I is the go-to watch. This bad boy has been designed with the experienced diver in mind. What makes it a favorite? It’s got a bunch of features that simplify diving and enhance safety.

Now, you might be thinking this watch is packed with complex functionalities considering it’s designed for seasoned divers. Well, you’d be mistaken. It’s user-friendly – easy to operate even with your clunky diving gloves on. In the world of diving watches, the SUUNTO D6I stands its ground as a well-balanced option for experienced divers, offering a mix of useful features without overwhelming complexity.

Splurging on High-End Freediving Watches

Now, let’s talk about high-end freediving watches. These aren’t your everyday watches, and they don’t come cheap. But if you’re looking to splurge and get the best out there, high-end watches are your best bet. They bundle all the necessary features, offer remarkable durability, and make a stylish statement too. These are watches that are crafted with a keen eye on detail and advanced technology.

High-end freediving watches are not just about the price you pay; they are an investment in a superior diving experience. They incorporate numerous built-in functionalities designed to cater to the needs of recreational and professional freed divers alike. Whether you’re an avid diver or an underwater exploration enthusiast, these watches offer the perks you need to enjoy a safe and hassle-free dive.

  • SUUNTO D4F: Top-of-the-Line Quality

When you’re talking top-notch quality in the world of freediving watches, the SUUNTO D4F tops the list. This device is Suunto’s answer to a freedive specific device that offers just what a freediver would be looking for. Despite not having all the fancy features of its advanced siblings, the D4F is a minimalistic, accurate device for folks who stick to one-breath diving.

This watch, comfortable and stylish to wear, hits the mark for its user-friendly nature, easy timer customizations, and compact size. While it may lack a compass and the display numbers might be on the smaller side, its user-friendly features combined with its elegant look make it a compelling choice. This is no ordinary dive watch; it’s a testament to Suunto’s dedication to offering a top-of-the-line quality experience for freed divers.

  • Tusa IQ 1204 Dive Computer: A Luxurious Alternative

The Tusa IQ 1204 Dive Computer is a luxurious alternative for those who like to swim in style. It’s not just a fancy watch; it’s a dive computer with rich features. Tusa has put some serious effort into this one, and it shows. Let’s dive into what this dive watch brings to the table.

First off, it works fine as a sports watch or a normal watch. It’s the same size as a wristwatch, so it won’t feel out of place if you decide to wear it on a casual day out. The numbers are easy to read, and it has a pretty slick look. And if you’re fussed about the make of your watches, you’ll appreciate the added sapphire crystal for durability. All in all, the Tusa IQ 1204 Dive Computer is a luxurious alternative for folks who want a high-quality dive watch that doubles as a stylish accessory.

Looking at the Bigger Picture: How to Choose the Ideal Freedive Watch

When it comes to choosing the cream of the crop in free dive computers, price and features reign as king. After all, money grows in wallets not trees, right? The holy grail is always a balance between cost and utilities. Want GPS and a heart-rate monitor? Expect to shell out some serious dough. It’s like shooting for Ferrari features on a Ford budget.

Contrary to popular belief though, not all diving watches are created equal. Scuba diving watches, for instance, are a world of difference. They’re the Einstein of dive watches, seriously bright with functions that calculate decompression time, monitor tank levels and pressure, and continuously determine dive limits depending on the type of gas you’re puffing on. For the folks who like to wear both their scuba and freediving hats, these watches spell convenience.

But if you’re a dedicated freediving watch groupie, it’s a different story. No need to splurge on extras that won’t serve you below the waves. Think minimalism, like a bare-bones apartment with only the essentials. Scrapping those expensive frills can save a good chunk of change. And that maximum depth feature sure comes in handy when you’re out challenging the deep.

Take it from me, investing in a watch built for the sole purpose of freediving can be a game-changer. What you want is a sturdy, reliable piece with a crystal clear mineral crystal display that reads the depth. If you’re looking to economize, this is where you play it smart.

Bottom Line: Making A Smart Investment in Your Freediving Watch

Gadgets and gear make the freediving world go ’round. Nothing like a good freediving watch or computer to make you a safer driver. Trust this old dog, investing in the right freediving equipment can pay off in spades. The key is understanding what you need, and weighing it against what you can comfortably spend. No need to break the bank on a diamond encrusted Rolex when a cheap freediving watch will do the trick.

So here’s the scoop: for the recreational divers, beginners, and those strapped for cash, go for a watch that’s straightforward and budget-friendly. But for the more advanced freedivers and spearos, don’t shy away from investing in a solid piece of gear that’ll withstand pressure and the test of time. After all, freediving isn’t a stroll in the park. It’s serious business, and nitrogen narcosis is no laughing matter.

Leave a Comment