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  1. #1
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    Bezel markings

    Why is it that on a big proportion of dive watches the bezel minute marks stop at 15?

    I would always prefer them to mark all 60 minutes and can't for the life of me see why they stop at 15.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl.1 View Post
    Why is it that on a big proportion of dive watches the bezel minute marks stop at 15?

    I would always prefer them to mark all 60 minutes and can't for the life of me see why they stop at 15.

    Cheers.
    I'll let you know, but I want to see if anyone else can answer it first. I answered this question a couple of months ago, and I want to see if anyone was paying attention.


    Have a nice day.

    Looking for stolen DOXA Sub 300T reissue #444

  3. #3
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Alright, I'll go ahead and answer since I probably won't have anytime until later tonight. Hate to make you wait.

    Most dive watches today, with 15 minute bezels, are the result of the watch manufacturer having no idea as to how you use a dive watch underwater. Rolex started it in the 50's and it's been blindly copied ever since. The 15 minute bezel is a "count-down" bezel, and for today's style of diving, is quite antiquated.

    The 15 minute bezel was derived, when divers dove a flat profile based on the USN Dive Tables. Back then you planned a dive to a certain max. depth, and then dove your profile accordingly. Remember the old dive saying "plan the dive, dive the plan"?

    For example...if the dive was planned for 80ft, then you had a bottom time of roughly 40 minutes. The diver, upon entering the water, would set the arrow on the bezel, 40 minutes ahead of the minute hand. Once the minute hand reached the arrow on the bezel(provided he had enough air) the diver would begin his ascent to the surface. The 15 minute scale helped with timing the ascent and timing whatever safety stop the diver deemed necessary.

    If you'll notice, not all early dive watches had the 15 minute bezel. Some like the BP Fifty Fathoms and the Breitling Super Ocean, basically only had a single marker on the dial. They were used it the same fashion as the 15 min. bezel, but didn't have the handy 15 minute scale.

    I'm with you, I'd like to see more dive watches with a full 60-minute bezel. For classically styled divers like the Fifty Fathoms, Planet Ocean, Breitling SOH, and of course the Submariner/SD, I don't mind it so much. They've been around long enough that they've earned it...it's part of their heritage.

    For newer brands with contemporary styling, it's a deal killer for me. I look at a UTS or an Enzo, and I cringe. They keep churning out the same old design, and they have no idea why. Shameful................


    Have a nice day.

    Looking for stolen DOXA Sub 300T reissue #444

  4. #4
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Thank you, been diving about 20 years now and never heard of pre-setting a bezel, especially as you would still want the minute marks to do this pre-setting. Seems like a good way to introduce a mistake into the mix for me.

    Once more thanks. A long held ponder now answered.

  5. #5
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl.1 View Post
    Thank you, been diving about 20 years now and never heard of pre-setting a bezel, especially as you would still want the minute marks to do this pre-setting. Seems like a good way to introduce a mistake into the mix for me.

    Once more thanks. A long held ponder now answered.
    No problem Carl, glad I could help. It can be confusing at first, but once you're used to doing it, pre-setting becomes second nature. In diving that way, the hardest part for me is trusting the bezel. Uni-directionals will only shorten your time, but at first....it feels like a "leap of faith".

    The easiest way to set the bezel, is to figure your bottom time, and subtract that number from "60". The number you get, is the number on the bezel that you align with the minute hand, right before descending.

    For example...you've determined you're going to have a bottom time of 20 minutes. Using the afore mentioned equation...60-20=40...you then align the "40" on the bezel with the minute hand. This gives you a count-down time of 20 minutes, until the minute hand reaches the arrow/lume pip(zero mark) on the bezel. Easy right?

    I don't use my 15 minute bezel watches, unless I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. Sometimes it's cool to put yourself in the mind-set of those divers from long ago....when life was simple and so was the diving.
    Last edited by subkrawler; May 4th, 2008 at 05:20. Reason: typo


    Have a nice day.

    Looking for stolen DOXA Sub 300T reissue #444

  6. #6
    Member moishlashen's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Cool info subkrawler. Thanks.
    ___________
    Chris

  7. #7
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    It is interesting to note that the last US Navy purpose designed elapsed time bezel had minute marks for the first twenty minutes, as opposed to the usual fifteen.


  8. #8
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Quote Originally Posted by lysanderxiii View Post
    It is interesting to note that the last US Navy purpose designed elapsed time bezel had minute marks for the first twenty minutes, as opposed to the usual fifteen.

    Whether it's a 15, 20 or even 30 minute bezel, it's still a count-down bezel. It just allows for a longer ascent profile. What I can't understand, is why they used 1-11 instead of 10 -50.


    Have a nice day.

    Looking for stolen DOXA Sub 300T reissue #444

  9. #9
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Still pondering .....

    It strikes me that the bezels couldn't have been designed to be used in such a way but the method you describe developed due to the poor markings.

    After all i have never seen any literature from watch maufacturers stating that method but do see literature stating the standard method and if Rolex originally intended their bezel to be used as a count down bezel instead of a timer bezel surely the markings would reflect this. I do not see a company as theirs expecting divers to jump in the water and do any form of calculation when by marking the bezel accordingly they would not have to?

    Kobold sell watches aimed at Police and Military purchasers and these have count down bezels, although i do accept that when zero is reached the bezel markings do not work for diving where by the method you describe it is only at zero being reached that the bezel markings work.

    However why would a company like Rolex (for example) sell a watch with a bezel marked in such a manner when all they had to do was minute mark all the minutes as Omega did.

    Could it just be that the markings up to 15 (or 20 on some) were a design mistake? Or a fashion thing?

    Subkrawler i do appreciate your reply but the more i think of it i see no reason or evidence for the bezel design to be intended to be used as you say, albeit you and others have used it this way.

    Though i will eat my words if any-one can find any watch company literature suggesting it was so.

  10. #10
    Member sukispop's Avatar
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    Re: Bezel markings

    Quote Originally Posted by moishlashen View Post
    Cool info subkrawler. Thanks.
    I agree, Moish.

    Thanks, Subkrawler, for the explanation. For those of us who do not dive, it's always great to be able to learn these things about dive watches from those who do. :thanks
    Take care,
    Geoff

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