[2018]Cressi Giotto vs Leonardo Dive Computers In Depth Comparison & Reviews

The Giotto and Leonardo are two popular dive computers designed by Cressi. At a first glance, one may not necessarily identify the differences between the two, except for a few design alterations and the price. However, functionality-wise, they are quite distinct.

While one targets an entry level divers market, the other one is meant for experienced recreational divers. In this post, we are pitting the Cressi Giotto vs Leonardo. Besides helping you better understand them, it might assist you to decide on which one is best for your needs.

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For entry level divers or those who looking to “just dive”, the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer is a great option for a wrist computer. It features a simple, yet functional design for beginner divers. It includes features meant to effortlessly guide you under water.

A wide, modular, and rugged user-friendly display system (UFDS) provides an intuitive display of a menu for the watch menus.  As for functionalities, there is a Nitrox management and depth gauge modes in addition to a reset option.

The high definition display screen contains all the information a beginner may require when diving. Its large numerical displays are readable under water. All these are separated by bright lines to ease reading even in stressful conditions. When in dimly lit conditions, a backlight is provided.

With its single button interface, programming this watch for the first time becomes much easier. The Air, Nitrox or Gauge modes are easily set up for the first time. An algorithm based on the Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM) is great for all divers as it alerts you when to change gases during water descent.

Pros

  • Still works at altitudes of up to 3,700 meters
  • Single button interface is non-confusing
  • 120-meter dive depth
  • Low price great for first-time buyers
  • Audible alarms for alerts
  • Visible battery life indicator
  • Calibration is done in salt water for typical use
  • Windows and Mac compatible systems
  • Battery saver mode available
  • Can be reset after each use
  • Usable as a normal watch out of water

Cons

  • Some products susceptible to water clogging
  • Nightglow not sufficient
  • There’s no safety stop timer

2. Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer

The Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer is a great option for experienced/technical divers with a need for a more complex instrument. It is designed such that information regarding depth, need for decompression, dive times, as well as ascent rates are availed in real time.

Just as in the Leonardo, the RGBM algorithm processes nitrogen release and absorption rates. The calculation is based on how much usable inert gas is present in the air mixture. Once all this information is processed, a Priority Compartment Digital Display avails them to you.

On this wrist computer are three buttons for navigating the user interface. Each of these is used to effortlessly program and gauge the nitrox and air mix modes on the watch. Available information is displayed in form of a large numerical number on a HD screen.

With this computer, you get capabilities of a clock, a calendar, a chronograph, and a dive memory logbook. It is also capable of performing desaturation and saturation mathematical calculations for divers with both air and Nitrox. Measurements can as well be set to either metric or feet systems for your convenience.

Pros

  • Easy to navigate 3 button interface
  • High definition screen for clarity.If you have vision problems. The prescription dive mask are indispensable
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Up to 120 meters diving depth
  • High battery efficiency
  • Automatic safety stops signals
  • Online instructions easy to load
  • Durable, compact construction
  • Snug fit on wrist
  • Measurements can be set in either metric or feet systems

Cons

  • Finding a spare battery is a little hard
  • Figuring out a dive plan takes a while for beginners
  • Some of the instructions are hard to follow

Comparison

Functionality Differences

A Cressi Giotto vs Leonardo comparison becomes more apparent when their functionalities are outlined. And it is of utmost importance to watch out (pun intended) to mind these differences when deciding on buying either.

These dive computers look similar size-wise, with both having a high definition large display. Data display in large numericals too is great on both dive computers. The similarities go as far as the exchangeable batteries used among an array of other features.

Functionality differences start with the number of buttons on each watch. There is one navigation button on the Leonardo, while the Giotto has three. More buttons mean more capabilities and functions, albeit with an added amount of complexity.

Three buttons make navigation from menu to menu a lot easier. Each of the buttons also has its specific functions, unlike the case of a single button which you use to go through all the menus. There is a silver lining with a single button, accidental pressing of a wrong button is impossible.

For nitrox handling, the Leonardo provides basic capabilities as expected of a beginner dive computer. With it, it is only possible to mix a single gas of 50% oxygen. PO2 (Partial pressure of oxygen) can be programmed from 1.2 bars to 1.6, with three levels of conservatism. Another drawback is that you aren’t able to change from air to Nitrox when diving.

On the other hand, the Giotto handles two Nitrox mixes of up to 99% oxygen levels. These values are often between 21% to 99% of oxygen. Since it is made for more experienced divers, the watch permits the switch of gases when diving. Despite still desaturating, a Giotto wrist computer can still handle a Nitrox dive, just after an air dive.

Cressi Giotto comes with a graphic Central Nervous System (CNS). It is a distinct feature not present in the Leonardo. This toxicity level indicator for oxygen shows the breathability of the oxygen in your system. As a result, you should be able to gauge when to either proceed or stop the dive.

Price

Because of the different target markets and the inherent differences in functionalities, the Cressi Giotto and Leonardo are priced differently. Of the two, the Leonardo is the cheapest

The superior Giotto, with its improved performances, will cost you about $100 more than Cressi Leonardo. It is costlier, but definitely a better investment than its counterpart.

Batteries

One of the areas where the Cressi Giotto vs Leonardo battle is even is when it comes to how they are powered. They are both powered by a 3 volts CR2430 battery. If you happen to have either, you can easily interchange the two and it would work just fine.

You just need to remember that the two models do not allow for hot-switching. However, the data you had already set remains intact as you make the battery switch. On both models, a battery power level indicator is present.

There is no need to take either of them to a watch shop to get the batteries replaced. You can do it yourself without using any tools. To improve on the battery life, ensure you engage the battery saver mode when there are certain functions you do not need. Battery life lasts for about 3 years of approximately 50 dives a year.

Color

For some divers, color may not be a concerning feature, but not all. It may not have an impact on the performance, but it’s a great deal for style (or matching your diving suit) if you are into that kind of thing.

Cressi Giotto and Leonardo have various color combinations that you may choose from. First, the Cressi Leonardo is available in these combos: Black/Camo, Black/Blue, Black/Black, Black/Gray, Black/Red, Black/Orange, Black/Yellow, All Blue, Black/High Visibility Green, White/Lilac, and White/Pink.

The Cressi Giotto on its part is available in Black/Black, Black/White, Black/Blue, Black/Grey, Black/Pink, Black/Red, Black/Yellow, White/Lilac, and Black/High Visibility Green.

Size

Both of these dive computers are almost similar in size. The Leonardo measures about 2.63 across and 1.06 inches thick. Giotto measures almost the same. It results in a user-friendly display, with readable displays even when underwater.

For normal use, preference is a little conflicted, with some users being comfortable with the sizes. Others find them too large for comfort when worn with a conventional wristwatch.

Weight

A computer watch for scuba diving needs to be as lightweight as possible. Too much weight on your wrist is a recipe for too much discomfort. Fortunately, the Cressi Giotto and Leonardo does not weigh much.

At only 8 ounces, the Leonardo is the heaviest of the two diver computers. The Cressi Giotto on its part weighs a mere 0.16 ounces. Not so much to discomfort you in any way, right?

How to Set Up

Before you set out on a dive with your brand new Cressi Giotto or a Cressi Leonardo, you have to set them up first. Unfortunately, you can’t use them straight out of the box. It’s one of the tasks that are most frustrating for beginners, especially when planning to dive.

For this, you need the manual or the online instructions that can be loaded from a PC. Alternatively, here on simple illustration on how to get the Cressi Giotto up and running.

Cressi Leonardo can be set up with the help of this video.


Have Easy to Use and Setup?

Beginner divers initially find using these two diving computers hard for the first time. After a while, with the help of the manual and the videos we have provided you with, you would find how easy it is to use them.

It is the three buttoned Giotto that confuses more with its myriad of functions than the simpler Leonardo. However, for experienced divers, this should not be a problem especially when it comes to pressing the three buttons under water. The only problem with the Leonardo is navigating through the menus with the single button.

Lifeline

The Cressi Giotto vs Leonardo lifeline is one that does not have a distinct answer since it depends on how much care you give either of them. The batteries themselves can last for three years, after which you can still replace them and continue using your wrist computers.

Additionally, you can improve the lifeline by adding a protective color to the screen. It helps minimize the impacts from external forces. Overall, with the high prices, these models should last you a long time if you give them appropriate care.

Verdict

In as much as the Leonardo is fantastic for beginners, its limitations in terms of functionality when compared to the Giotto make it somehow inferior. However, if you are looking for a dive computer to get you through your first couple of dives, then the Leonardo is your best bet.

But then again, if you are intending to keep diving for longer (its kind of hard to give up), then we would suggest you settle on the Giotto. With its additional features, you can be sure to grow with it as you grow more accustomed to diving.

In comparison with newer, high-end models, these two (even the Giotto) still lag behind. There are lots of other features missing in them but are provided in others. All in all, if you are a beginner to the intermediate diver, then these two are great options.

Another issue is the constant change in technology. Before you buy any of the two models, think about how long it would take you to reach, let’s say 150 dives. If you think it would take longer, then the Leonardo would be best for you. Once you get to 150, there are some good chances that better alternatives would be available than the Giotto.

  • Updated 10/03/2018
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