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Do Watches Attract Sharks? Myth or Fact?

June 9, 2022

You don’t need to have watched Jaws to be afraid of sharks. They’re formidable predators, and you’re in their territory when you go diving. Unfortunately, several things can attract their attention. It’s been known that watches do this as well. But how true is this myth? We’ve answered this and more.

Do Watches Attract Sharks?

Yes and no – it all depends on the design of the timepiece you’re wearing. Sharks are incredible predators with sharp eyesight. To navigate the murky waters, their vision has evolved and adapted to become super keen.

But they don’t see in colour. They have monochromatic vision, so they’ll see high contrast shades coming from your watch. Because they have to survive low-light environments, they’ll be able to spot this from far away.

It’s not just brightly coloured objects that attract their attention but also metallic ones. Remember that sharks prey on fish and seals. Light reflecting off your timepiece may look like the scales of a fish or the coat of a seal.

Thankfully, not all watches are shiny, unlike jewelry. That’s why you should never wear jewelry underwater.

What Should You Wear to Avoid Shark Attacks?

Considering the above points, you should carefully choose your scuba-suit, as you don’t want anything too colourful.

You could avoid the attacks by carrying repellent as well. Scientists have created a spray made from the poison of the Moses Sole fish. It’s a soap-like substance, which has caused researchers to wonder whether the predators are repelled by soap. There are repellents made from other materials too.

Let’s say you have a diver’s watch that’s reflective and brightly coloured – what do you do? If you’re still adamant about taking it with you underwater, don’t wear it over your scuba-suit. Keeping it underneath would prevent sharks from detecting you.

What Do You Do If A Shark is Nearby?

What should you do if you wore a shiny diver watch over your bright scuba suit and see a shark swimming your way? All is not lost, there are several ways you can stay safe from an attack.

Group Together

Try to go diving with a group. Being with other divers would reduce the chances of the predator attacking you, as you would seem less vulnerable.

Create Bubbles

Another good thing about being in a group is that a lot of bubbles would be produced from your scuba gear. Sharks are known to dislike the sound.


The predators are also not fond of dolphins. If a school of dolphins is near, you don’t have to fear.

Watch Your Movements

Once a shark is nearby, you have to watch every move you make. To sharks, you’re a large animal too. Make smooth, consistent movements so that you don’t seem like prey.

Many people don’t do this. Instead, they panic and move away. This makes the shark think that you’re an injured seal and it will attack.

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Final Thoughts

Does wearing a watch attract sharks? Yes, but this depends on how bright and reflective it is. Even if it is super luminous and shiny, you can avoid predators by wearing the unit underneath your scuba suit.

You can reduce the chances of running into a shark by diving during the day rather than the night, when they’re most active. They’re especially active in areas with bait as well.

Thomas Vanderlaan
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears. As the years passed, his passion grew. Although he worked a hectic career as an automobile engineer, he’d always collect watches during his spare time.
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