Cressi Leonardo vs. Giotto
Comparing the Cressi Leonardo and the Giotto
Cressi designed two dive computers themselves. The Leonardo and the Giotto. While the Leonardo squarely targets the entry-level market, the Giotto targets pretty much any experience level in the recreational diving market.
After giving them a first glance, you will see that they do have quite a few differences. And no, that’s not only the price point. The Leonardo is cheaper by around $100 and is one of the most affordable scuba computers you can find. The Giotto is priced higher but also offers more functionality.
The immediate difference you will see is that the Giotto has three navigation buttons vs. one on the Leonardo. This has advantages and disadvantages. It does make for a quicker and easier navigation through the menus as you can go back and forth with two of the buttons. The single-button navigation on the Leonardo forces you to step through each menu choice to get to the one you want to go.
However, having a single button also has a nice advantage. You won’t press the wrong button by accident. That is specifically true if you’re diving with thicker gloves. Having three buttons can make it a little hard to press the right one in that case. Assuming though that the Giotto is used by a more experienced diver also means that one would expect that the diver is calm enough to take the time to press the correct one.
Both dive computers are very similar in size. They both provide a large display with a sharp display. The data displayed on the screen is very clearly displayed. The Giotto in addition to showing the standard data like depth, dive time, etc. also has a graphic CNS oxygen toxicity indicator. This measures and displays the oxygen toxicity level for the Central Nervous System (CNS).
The Leonardo as well as the Giotto have user exchangeable batteries. They cannot be hot-switched, meaning the current data stays while you switch, but you don’t have to bring or send the dive watch to a service center or dive shop. This does make it easier to have a spare battery with you so you change it yourself if needed. The current battery level is displayed on the display of both models.
Nitrox Handling and Sophisticated Functions
The Leonardo provides the basic functionality that you’d expect from an entry-level scuba computer. It allows to use one gas mix up to a 50% oxygen level. Being designed for a beginner, it does not provide the capability to switch from air to Nitrox during a dive.
The Giotto can handle two Nitrox mixes up to 99% oxygen. To support more experienced and technical divers, you can switch between gases during a dive. It is also equipped with handling a Nitrox dive after a dive with air even if you’re desaturating.
A feature that makes both models attractive for rental shops is that they can be completely reset after a dive. Many other dive computers don’t have this capability and at that moment they take data from previous dives into consideration when they calculate dive limits for the current dive. Both the Cressi Leonardo and the Cressi Giotto can be completely reset so they calculate the current dive without considering a previous dive.
Both the Giotto and the Leonardo do not offer functionality that you can find in higher end computers. Specifically you won’t find any sort of air integration on these scuba computers. For most recreational divers this does not pose a problem.
The same is true for both device not having an integrated compass. Both dive computers do come in a console variant though instead of a wrist computer. The console is equipped with a second instrument which can either be a compass or a pressure gauge.
Both the Giotto and the Leonardo come as consoles. They combine the computer with either a compass or a pressure gauge. While this is a tempting proposition, it also has its disadvantages. You will have to grab for the console if you want to see the data which can be tricky if you have your hands full, e.g. in an emergency when you help your buddy. It’s easier to look at your wrist in those cases.
Giotto Console with Pressure Gauge
Giotto Console with Compass
Leonardo Console with Pressure Gauge
Leonardo Console with Compass
If you’re a beginner and you know you will stick with the sport then you might be better off investing the additional money into the Giotto. The additional functions allow it to grow with your experience.
The Leonardo is a fantastic beginner and budget dive computer but it has its limitations when it comes to functionality offered. Does it have enough capability to get you through your first 100 or even 200 dives? Yes, it does. Will you hit the ceiling with what it offers afterward? Very likely you might.
Paying more for the Giotto now will push that ceiling farther out. You most likely will actually never run out of functionality on it if you’re recreational diving.
Before you buy any of the two models you might want to really think about how long you might need to reach 100 or 150 dives. If that’ll take you a few years then go with the Leonardo. By the time you will require more functionality, there’s a good chance that the technology has evolved and you get a newer model than what is available today.
If you think that you’ll be able to reach that number in a year or two then opt for the Giotto. It offers what you need for the next years to come. There’s a good chance that there won’t be any significant technology changes by the time you reach the need to take advantage of the more sophisticated functions.