Whats the hype with Oceanic dive computers?!
On several of our last scuba diving trips we noticed quite a few of our fellow divers were sporting Oceanic dive computers. They tend to be eye catching but pricey and this sparked a bit of a debate among the team if the recent boom in popularity was warranted. Given the fact most of our crew sports whatever personal dive computer they own and we have no particular brand sponsorship, we figured you might be interested in sharing in the debate. Everyone we encountered swore by theirs and said they were very happy with the brand. Having had a chance to get hands on with some oceanic dive computers ourselves, we gathered the opinions on the most popular oceanic dive computers from some of our team members, who range from casual scuba divers to professional Dive-Masters. Let’s crack into it!
1. The Elite level: Oceanic OC1 Dive Computer – MSRP: $1700
The Oceanic OC1 dive computer looks slick. There is no denying that. And for such a hefty price tag it damn well better look good as a daily watch! Luckily it comes with many more functions than just your average wristwatch. Packed with all the expected bells and whistles this is definitely a top of the line piece of scuba gear. Wireless air integration? Check up to 3 different transmitters, so you can monitor your buddies air with the press of a button. Digital compass? Of course, another handy feature , especially for anyone doing search and rescue or leading groups as a Dive-Master. This is the top tier of all the current Oceanic dive computers, and we asked our team if they would drop the cash on one vs their current setup or compared to the other oceanic dive computers on offer.
Jess: For me it’s hard to justify such and expensive dive computer, it would be the price of most of my other scuba gear combined. I would much rather spend half the money on a great mid range computer and also get a new mask, fins and probably even a new GoPro for that price. It looks very cool and I would happily wear it if I was get one as a gift…but for me it’s a no go. I am really happy with my current Oceanic Geo 2 though so I would consider myself a brand fan-girl.
Dan: This is the computer I use almost daily, so yes I would recommend it :). Working as a Dive-Master, I make my living from diving, so I decided to splurge a bit to celebrate when I finished my DM certification. Been using the OC1 for a couple years now and love it. Still have my old Cressi Leonardo, I rarely use it anymore except for a secondary/backup or to lend to other divers, my OC1 never leaves my wrist though. I haven’t used any other oceanic dive computers though, so I’m not too sure how it compares. As a side note, shop around online, you can find it way cheaper on places like Amazon, I got mine for around 900 bucks.
Tim: I actually got to borrow my instructors Oceanic OC1 back when I was doing my Advanced open water certification. Under the pain of death (well $1500) should I lose it of course. It was only the second time I had ever used a dive computer, and I didn’t swap over the transmitter to my tank, so I was only able to see the instructors PSI levels, but that alone was pretty cool. I can see it being nice just looking at your computer and seeing all your info, I hate fumbling for my pressure gauge mid dive whenever the DM asks for an update. Reminded me of something James Bond would use when I realized all the stuff it could do, not that it really matters at my level. If I had the cash, yea I would probably spring for it and treat it like my baby, but I am too broke right now. Might do like Dan and pick one up if I go for my Divemaster certification. Or maybe one of the other mid range Oceanic dive computers, or a Suunto(heard good things).
Keith: Heard good things about it, and it looks flash. If I was diving more often I might consider picking one up, the air integration would be nice. Can’t justify upgrading from my Mares matrix at the moment though. In general I like the look of oceanic dive computers, and they seem pretty solid.
A very cool, top end dive computer. One of those things that’s nice to have if you have the budget for top shelf gear. And yes, it does look/function amazing.
2. Best Value: Oceanic OCS Dive Computer – MSRP $700
When it comes to Oceanic dive computers, this is like the teenage brother to the OC1. It packs almost all the same features minus the wireless air features. You still get a great digital compass and Air/Nitrox modes, with 3 programmable gas mixes you can switch between underwater. A bit more of a sporty design, bu still small enough to look great as a wrist watch. The OCS falls directly in the mid range of the oceanic dive computers and unless you absolutely need wireless air integration this is the way to go. What’s our opinions on this model?
Jess: This is more my price range if I am looking to upgrade from my current computer. Like I said about the OC1, They look and perform awesome but this one is half the price! I’m not too picky about wireless air integration when I can just check my pressure gauge. I do go diving a few times a month so it’s easier to budget for a mid-high end computer like this than a $1500 computer. I would much rather have this and splurge on a new underwater camera/GoPro and still come in under $1000. I really like the look of Oceanic dive computers so for me this is something I would consider when I am going to upgrade.
Mike: I like the OCS, someone had one on one of my last trip to Curacao and they seemed to be super happy with it. I am super cheap when it comes to getting new gear though, so I would probably go for the Geo 2 or find a used Mares Matrix instead to save some cash. Oceanic dive computers always seem a little overpriced to me, but I have heard they last pretty much forever and can take a beating, so maybe it could be looked at as more of a long term investment. Then again I am still using an old Mares Puck as my dive computer.
Dan: I nearly went for the OCS when I was researching computers to buy after I became a Dive-Master. In the end I liked the idea of the air integration on the OC1, but I very nearly went for this one to save a bit of cash. The reviews from people on Amazon seemed good and all the research on the web I did about it had me convinced. I got my tax return at the same time and splurged on the OC1 instead. Seems like a great little computer though for the mid-high end class of dive computers.
A nice balance of price and functionality.For more serious divers looking for a mid-high end computer, and those who dive often. At half the price of the OC1 this was the majority of our teams preferred choice.
3. The Workhorse: Oceanic Geo 2 Dive Computer – MSRP $400
This seems to be the most common of all the Oceanic dive computers we have come across during our various scuba diving excursions around the globe. A very competent, full featured dive computer, much like the OCS but minus the compass. It is also one of the more affordable oceanic dive computers for the average scuba diver. Being able to have the option to dive with Air/Nitrox is great, as well as the Free Diving mode , watch and gauge mode. We would classify this as a high end beginner dive computer or great mid range diver computer for scuba enthusiasts. You can see what we thought of it in our full review HERE. This is one of the best selling oceanic dive computers on the market. Is it worth it?
Keith: Compared to other computers in its class, this one looks a lot slicker. I am not a fan of the large hockey puck style designs and this one is compact but useable. I got a chance to try it out during our review and I dig it. Well worth the price for what it offers.
Jess: This is my current computer I use when I dive and I love it. It wasn’t too expensive when I bought it and all the user reviews I read said it was awesome. It is roughly the same price as other brands in its class and really easy to use. I don’t use a compass so I chose this one to save a bit of cash. I have had it about 1.5 years and probably won’t be looking to upgrade any time soon, so it has already paid for itself in terms of usage. I wear it as my daily watch as well and get compliments/other divers notice. Two thumbs up from me 🙂
Tim: I am looking to get new dive computer in the near future and am strongly considering this one. While it would be awesome to go full baller and get the OC1, this or the OCS is a bit more down to earth and within a feasible budget for new dive gear. Oceanic dive computers tend to look the most professional in comparison to other brands, which can look a bit more toy like so in terms of looks and function I am on board with the brand after hearing so much praise. Some Suunto’s look hot as well, but they usually tend to be the larger hockey puck style design. I want something streamlined. After trying Jess’s out I am pretty sure this is what I will be going for. Nice balance of functionality and design for the price and should fit my needs until I becoming a divemaster/instructor.
Mike: For me this falls in between the price range of an entry level computer like the one I have, and the higher end market. I feel I would get this and then want something more advanced a couple years down the road. Out of all the Oceanic dive computers on this list I would probably go for the OCS, its high end and not too much more in terms of price if you find it cheap online. A no go from me on this one but I can see the appeal for casual divers who want all the major feature set of a mid range computer.
Like we said in our hands on review, this is a fantastic compact little dive computer. Fully featured with rock solid performance. Extremely popular among dive enthusiasts at a price point that is pretty agreeable to most. Great for anyone looking for a mid range dive computer or beginners looking to invest in their gear long term. we also recently added a review of the new Oceanic Atom 3.1 dive computer.
So, do Oceanic dive computers live up to the hype? In our general opinion, yes. They are some of the best looking and performing dive computers on the market, but with a bit of a premium price tag. This can be off putting to casual divers, but anyone investing in their gear knows it is better to buy once for the long term, than having to replace sub par gear. When you are relying on your dive computer to avoid any chances of DCS (decompression sickness) it’s important to dive with equipment you can rely on. Be sure to shop around online or your local dive shops, you can often find them discounted well below the MSRP and get a great deal. To see our thoughts on various other brands of dive computers check out our in depth dive computer reviews section