"Not without my Buddy-Watcher"
My husband and I were diving in Egypt this year in August. We typically dive next to each other, but in the past it has happened from time to time that we had a small distance because we were distracted. That's why we bought the Buddy-Watcher as a gadget for more fun under water. Even though I check my finimeter regularly and there was still enough oxygen left, the impressive surroundings at 20 meters of depth had distracted me and I had the feeling that I couldn't get any more air. I hadn't been paying attention for a few seconds, but my husband was already several meters ahead of me. That was the first time I was really scared during a dive. Nevertheless, I was able to use my head more or less clearly and triggered the Buddy-Watcher signal. My husband turned to me and I gave the "I can't breathe" sign. Immediately he began to strike his fins and became so fast that he literally pushed the water aside. When I arrived, he calmed me down and I gave the signal to stop the dive. Now we could show up with a break for the safety stop. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't brought the Buddy-Watcher with me. Sure, I know I'm supposed to dive close to the buddy and I usually do. But eve as an experienced diver it happened to me that I did not pay attention. This dive was a lesson to me to pay more attention in the future. Nevertheless, I will not dive without Buddy-Watcher any more.
"I can give exercises a defined start/end, which is not only based on optical perception. A big plus for your devices!"
Diving club at the Côte d'Azur
An extensive practical test was carried out on six devices from Buddy-Watcher during the Southern France trip of the Youth of the Badischer Tauchsportverband e. V..
A total of 20 children and young adults together with their seven instructors made over 300 dives around the Île d' Or on the Côte d' Azur.
The Buddy-Watcher, an active contribution to security, was always taken along. After a short introduction, the individual groups were equipped with the devices. It didn't take long until the kids were competing for the coveted little helpers. They particularly liked to be able to call each other under water, for example to draw attention to interesting animals and sights. Both under and above water, the call function worked very well at all times, and the distance warning functioned well too. For me this was a very successful performance of the Buddy-Watcher, which also contributed to the success of the ride.
The accompanying instructors used the buddy-watchers to start and end the exercises during dives, i. e. to give exercises a defined start/stop not only based on optical perception. But even in a dangerous situation, communication within the group can be quick and unambiguous. A big plus for your devices and a clear increase in safety.
“I would definitely recommend the Buddy-Watcher, no question.”
As a dive instructor I am always worried about the safety of my students, so the Buddy-Watcher was a great experience. The circumstances were rather extreme as visibility was poor – we could only see 2-3 meters. We had difficulties staying together, so the Buddy-Watcher really came in handy. We tested it as often as possible: my students called me, I called them, both called each other and everything worked perfectly. Once I used a rope and moved away from my students for 8m. Again, I called them and it worked well. Also on the surface of the water, where we tested the Buddy-Watcher on a 30m distance, the calls worked fine. The devices are easy to wear and allow you to feel safer and therefore more comfortable under water. My students confirmed this view and knew they could call me anytime they needed me. I would definitely recommend the Buddy-Watcher, no question. The only thing I could wish for is a GPS function to be able to find my students without seeing them, for example at night.
"Whenever she needed me, she could simply call me. So far, big thumbs-up!”
Diving in Egypt with the Buddy-Watcher
We did two dives: at first it did not work quite so well since one device had probably not been switched off and the battery was almost dead. We charged the devices again and at the second dive in the afternoon it worked perfectly well. Tatjana is very impressed as she is still very insecure and the Buddy-Watcher gives her a feeling of security. Whenever she needed me, she could simply call me. So far big thumbs-up! We did two more dives and everything was okay but at some point one Buddy-Watcher turned off automatically. I could simply switch it on, however, and the devices connected again after a minute. We also did boat dives and the Buddy-Watchers last without any problems for two dives, probably even for 3-4, depending on use. All in all everything worked well. We are very impressed by this system, especially my wife.
“I think a useful device like that is a must-have for each and every diver”
As a trainer for divers and dive instructors with many years of experience I have had the chance to witness many situations concerning security issues. Having used the Buddy-Watcher for almost one and a half years now, I can state that many precarious situations could have been avoided with the use of a Buddy-Watcher. It will contribute to avoiding such in the future, too. I think a useful device like that is a must-have for each and every diver. I believe the Buddy-Watcher will find acceptance in the market – soon many divers won’t want to dive without such a device anymore.
"I would not have been able to swim the channel if it wasn’t with your buddy watchers so you have all my thanks for allowing me to use these devices."
Andrew Rees (deaf swimmer)
Andrew Rees - a deaf swimmer crossed on 17 July in 15 hours and 14 minutes the English Channel.
I would not have been able to swim the channel if I wasn’t with my buddy watchers, and I appreciate getting the opportunity to use these devices. I had it strapped around my ankle and the other part was tied to a stick on the boat. Should the boat need my attention, they would press the device and place the stick underwater. From the day I received the two buddy watchers till now, they have been working perfectly well with no failure under any circumstances. These devices are a must for hearing impaired swimmers attempting a long swim with a kayak or support boat. Although my swim didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped (wind/weather forecasts on the night before my swim showed favourable weather all the way across to France with an average wind speed of 5 knots ), your buddy watchers clearly can withstand any changes as proven. Halfway across the channel, I had a south western wind of 23 knots facing me for 5 hours and waves of 2.5 to 5 metres pushing me around….. The buddy watcher stayed on my ankle all the way through and didn’t cause any discomfort or chafing for 15 hours 14 mins. Although the boat didn’t have to use the buddy watcher during my swim because I was never in “ danger “, the boat crew were happy about the idea that if they need my attention they have the buddy watcher for a safety back up. Once again, thanks for enabling me to use your devices and I have nothing but praise for this marvellous device.
Tested in seawater between 8 C and 17 C and in rough sea conditions with 2.5 to 5 metres waves for 5 hours non-stop. The strap never caused any discomfort or chafing during the entire swim ( 15 hours 14 mins).
"Although there was no visual contact at the beginning, the teams got together within 20 seconds after signaling each other with the Buddy-Watcher and the problem was solved."
The lifeguards from Floridsdorf-Donaustadt place great importance on safety while diving. We always set high standards for our operations as well as for our devices. When I first heard about the Buddy-Watcher, I was curious and skeptical at the same time.
After talking to Free Linked GmbH, I decided to buy test devices. The Buddy-Watchers were tested in three different procedures.
The first testing took place in an indoor swimming pool at a depth of 3-4 m. For this purpose, we set different distances - five and ten meters in a triangular formation as well as 20 meters at three different depths. There, even with obstacles like a barrier and the slope of the pool bottom, the Buddy-Watcher’s performance was convincing.
In the second stage, the signaling system was tested in the New Danube. With a poor visibility and natural vegetation, the Buddy-Watchers still worked reliably. The only bothersome thing was the waiting time of 30 seconds when the distance was quite long.
The third and the determining stage was the usage of the device at a depth of 15 m in the Neufelder Lake. We simulated a diving group with problems calling a second diving team over a distance of 8 meters. Although there was no visual contact at the beginning, the teams got together within 20 seconds after signaling each other with the Buddy-Watcher and the problem was solved.
Personally, I am satisfied with the Buddy-Watcher. However, I still hope for rather other possible efficient communication ways besides vibration. Furthermore, it would be better if the colors of the Master device and the buddy device are distinguished. Since we also operate from the boat, communication with the boat is a nice further development because currently, the coxswain has to constantly hold his hand underwater.
"The Buddywatchers have been with us since last year and they were a great help to us."
"In our opinion, the Buddy Watcher is essential to the equipment for underwater shooting and it is just as important as the camera."
For an underwater camera man and his model, it is of essential importance that communication under water works without problems. Of course, the most important scenes are watered, but first things are different ...
We had the Buddy-Watcher the first time in Greece for a photoshoot, and I can only say that this device made our work much easier, so I could work without any problems and give my model the instructions to dive behind the cave entrance, while I waited with the camera in the cave. The function was flawless even behind rocks or on the wreck.
Also in Egypt in the Red Sea we were able to rely completely on the Buddy Watcher. In our opinion, the Buddy Watcher is essential to the equipment for underwater shooting and it is just as important as the camera...
"Simple communication that makes the diving much safer!"
At first I was somewhat skeptical, but after a phone call with the managing director my doubts were eliminated. The equipment works very very well, I have tested it in my Egypt holiday for the first time.
To the service: the team is world class!
People try to do everything humanly they spend so much money and effort to satisfy their customers. Even a private delivery from Stuttgart to Wiesbaden and the 10 hours before I fly to my holiday destination! This is what I call a hammer service, I have never experienced such a thing in my 34 years experience! The devices work without problems and are easy to handle, whether in the sea or in the lake, my girlfriend and I use the equipment constantly, and are totally satisfied.
Simple communication that makes the diving much safer! I personally thinke the devices bring more freedom and security with my buddy.
Many thanks again to the Buddy Watcher team for everything!
Keep up the good work, you have a really great product.
"The vibration signals work perfectly, and if you agree that you do not push the button all the time, you will have relaxed dives."
For our last diving holiday in the Red Sea in August 2015 we used 2 Buddy-Watchers. My wife always says I do not hear so well, and also the two holes in my head hood were not a perfect solution. So we decided to try the new technique.
We have had 20 dives, and it worked perfectly. The pairing of the equipment we did during the slow dipping, as you have peace and under water the connection is better. After a short exercise, this usually worked quickly and perfectly. The vibration signals work perfectly, and if you agree that you do not push the button all the time, you will have relaxed dives. You can call the Buddy's attention very reliably. Also with the two night dives we were glad about the equipment. Only the capacity of the batteries could be better, and a high-frequency beeps was disturbing when one came too close to the device.
These two deficiencies should be however softwareseitig meanwhile, so we can only recommend the device.
"We are very satisfied with the Buddy-Watchers and they already belong to every dive as well as dive computers and fins."
"A fast press of the call-button and my Buddy knows what I want from him. Great."
Gerhard R.; PRO TEC Dive Instructor 3.500 Dives
I was lucky to test the Buddy-Watcher in Croatia. And to put it through its paces..
"I had enough time to press the “button” before I started to feel the pressure compensation, then my Buddy recieved my signal and knew what was about to happen to me - and that made me feel way more comfortable underwater."
Anika Z.; SSI OWD; 112 dives
I was lucky to win a "Buddy-Watcher" set to test it in July.
Currently, I know that the reason of my pressure compensation problems is the protracted cold. Even if I would not need the Buddy-Watcher any time soon, I kept the set. Meanwhile, it got to be the “third Buddy”, who joins every dive, Buddy-Watcher can be used for all kinds of underwater communication – even when someone finds a rare fish the other one does not. And until now it has not disturbed the sea creatures at all. One can see the colour perfectly, as well as the red LEDs while diving at night – so it even serves for better visibility.
Useful invention :-) Thanks a lot, Buddy-Watcher-Team!!!
"The function: faultless. No eager waiting, if the Buddy wants to show something, no rattle or shaking – just a push of the call button and the partner knows"
We took the Buddy-Watcher with us to Indonesia for an intensive test (50 dives). First of all, the handling turned out to be very simple. Pairing shortly before the OK-sign while diving down or while checking in a depth of 5 meters and the devices already worked. We wore the Watcher on the upper arm and in the beginning we heard an unpleasant, high frequency whistling (just like a dentist’s drill, only quieter). After we turned the Watcher away from our ears – to the outside of our upper arms – it was pleasantly silent again
The function: faultless. No eager waiting, if the Buddy wants to show something, no rattle or shaking – just a push of the call button and the partner knows, he should look up. Only in very few situations the call did not reach, for example when the receiver was extremely turned away or if there was a rock ledge in between.
In the open water, the reach is totally sufficient
Reactions of fish to our devices were not noticeable.
Many were interested in contacting the partner without noise under water. Still, there is some criticism. Firstly, the vibration of the device is very heavy while diving in a tropical diving suit. When you are in the water, drifting relaxed in the warm water and suddenly the device begins to rattle – you become truly startled. It would be nice, if one could set the intensity of the vibration by oneself.
The battery runtime could be longer, so it is sufficient for a whole day of diving. Three dives were just alright, before beginning the night dive we had to recharge them though. I admit – more than three dives a day are rarely a problem for vacationers – but it is right there you need the Watcher.
Concerning the charge of the battery: the charging clips turned out to be a tricky affair. To place the contacts correctly way not always easy...when the process of charging got on, you had to be extremely careful not to disturb the process while laying down the device…Altogether we are perfectly content and will not do without the Watcher anymore. It makes diving more comfortable, to know for sure, that one is capable of reaching the Buddy all the time – and the other way around.
Because of that – thumps up from us.
Addition: prompt reaction of the Buddy-Watcher-Team: our devices are recently getting a software update to enlarge the life of the battery. Also, the sound you described will be minimized. That’s what we call service!