When I started freediving I quite quickly realised that I wanted to be able to track my dive times and my depth. Its actually not the most important thing and these days i would recommend new freediver to trust their own feelings and the sensations of the dive rather than hard numbers. However, the allure of a dive computer will always strike at some point and they do provide very useful info for any level of freediver.
The Oceanic F10 was the first freediving specific computer that i ever used. Before that i used Suunto computers with freedive modes as options, but these never really worked for me, as more often than not i would forget to put it in to freedive mode and i would end up getting beeped at like crazy from an angry dive watch that was convinced i was dying of the bends!
When the f10 came out I got one pretty much immediately and its been my go to watch ever since, through all of its iterations. Its back now as the Oceanic F10 after being Aeris for a while, the F11 etc etc.
So, whats good about this as a dive computer?
Firstly, its pretty simple, and you can make it more simple if you want . The options are there for data logging, downloads, multiple alarms etc etc. As it stands i use only a handful of its features, but thats fine, it does what i want and i reckon it would do what you want too.
For me i use the clock, depth gauge, the stopwatch, the surface time timer and the 3x depth alarms to signal the approach of depths that are important to me. First is the pass mark for AIDA level 2 students… 16m. Then the pass mark for level 3… 24m. Then i do one for myself, which is my mouthfill charging depth at 32m (which also happens to be the level 4 depth).
I’ve never really got in to the whole downloading of info from the watch, ive done it a couple of times and it was interestting but not a major feature for me. However if you are getting in to competition training, seeing the curve of your dive could allow for fine adjustments of speed and times.
It tells the time …..well….. thats good right?
The stopwatch works well (but so does my 1994 £15 casio), ideal for statics.
Ok, so those are just the daily grind features… what makes this a dive computer?
The depth gauge is prominent, starts automatically and is easy to read.
The watch has audible and visual alarms, with the latter being not overly useful as far as i can tell, its a dim led on the side of the watch and there is rarely a moment that it goes off when im actually looking at it. The audible alarm is good enough to reach from my arm by my waist to my hooded ear though, so that’s good.
The surface timer is a great tool, especially for spearfishers as it stops that constant urge to dive down too soon!
The depth alarms are brilliant for notifying you of a certain depth without breaking form or concentration.
However the main reason i got in to using the Oceanic f10 is that it has a user changeable battery. This can be invaluable if you are away freediving for say a long holiday or something and your battery dies on the 2nd day. Im not sure if it invalidates any warranties if you change it yourself but its such and easy procedure ive never had it leak on me after. With each replacement battery you get a new back cover, new o-ring and new battery (of course). It changes with a simple quarter twist using he supplied tool.
If i had to change anything on the f10 i’d get rid of the led alarm (pointless) and id improve the strap. The strap is ok but the screws holding it in place have a tendency of wiggling loose so need a drop of screw lock on them, and the band that stops the excess flapping about (whatever that’s called) always moves aside, leaving it feeling a little insecure.
Ill do a video review of this in the summer, i did one last summer but i did it in a rush and forgot loads of the points i wanted to make!
Do you have the F10? Do you like it? Do you have a different freediving watch? Please leave your comments below and dive safe!