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The Best Dive Watches of 2021 for Every Budget

Last updated: November 4, 2021
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vector graphic showing 5 of the best dive watches on the market - illustration

Buying a Lamborghini for its speed and your pleasure is not meaningless.

So is buying a dive watch.

The dive watch is a device that illuminates accurate time and measures depth using a rotating bezel.

These devices can handle the tremendous pressure of diving at great depths.

Whether you’re a scuba diving novice or professional diver, dive watches can help elevate your underwater adventure to the next level.

We’ve been busy working and compiling a thorough list of the best dive watches for 2021 on the market.

Our Favorite Picks

  • Budget Inexpensive: Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80
  • Best Under $2,000: Longines HydroConquest
  • Best Luxury: Rolex Submariner

Before we get started on our list of the best scuba diving accessory…

What Makes a Dive Watch a “Dive Watch”?

We get a glimpse of James Bond, Sean Connery, wearing a Rolex Submariner in 1962’s “Dr. No.”

While there’s no mention of a diving watch in Fleming’s books, the Submariner was the perfect choice for 007’s first screen appearance.

Since 1996, dive watches such as the Omega Seamaster have appeared several times on 007’s wrist—making these watch types even more popular.

It’s easy to identify the watch thanks to a tough stainless steel case, bracelet, and rotating bezels with diving markers.

However, a dive watch is not a timepiece unless it includes these features:

1. Water Resistance

It must be at least 100 meters water-resistant.

But advanced models have a water resistance of at least 200 meters.

2. Glows in the Dark

A glow-in-the-dark lume on most of the markings for telling time and other information in total seabed darkness.

3. Withstands Pressure

A helium escape valve that lets helium atoms escape through the watch waterproof seals under the pressure of a deep-sea dive to prevent damage to the delicate movement inside.

4. Forgiving Strap

Another key feature is the extending stainless steel or rubber strap that allows wearing the watch over your wetsuit so you can monitor your oxygen supply.

5. Rotating Bezel

A rotating bezel shows your time underwater, while some models show the depth.

Your dive watch is just a waterproof watch capable of withstanding diving depth pressure, so don’t mistake it with a dive computer.

What We Looked For

This comprehensive list would never be complete if we hadn’t looked at a few basic factors for each model.

These include:

  • Water resistance
  • Durability
  • Materials
  • Price

Best Dive Watch Brands

For someone not interested in dive watches, they all look the same.

But an avid collector is always on the lookout for another purchase.

If you’re in the latter category, you have the option of going vintage or sticking with the classics from established brands.

In this section, we explore the biggest dive watch brands on the market.

vector graphic showing 5 of the best dive watches on the market - illustration

1. Deep Blue

The company offers us an extensive array of colorful and capable dive watches.

Deep Blue infuses the latest technologies into their pieces, including Super-LumiNova lume, depth meters, and Helium Release Valves (HRVs).

2. Rolex

Rolex has lived up to the highest of expectations of the dive watch’s sphere and has been mapping the depths of the deepest seas since the original 1926 Oyster watch.

We love the brand because of the innovative technology they imbibe in some of their best models.

Each Rolex model may look similar at a glance, but they come with distinct innovations and aesthetics that distinguish their technology and functionality from each other.

3. Omega

Omega is a long-established and well-respected Swiss watchmaker whose name is synonymous with dependability.

We love the brand’s luminescent numerals on dive watches that allow you to read with accuracy.

Omega dive watches have a water resistance of up to 120 bar and you can dive to 4,000 feet (about 1,220 meters) for an unforgettable underwater adventure.

4. Longines

Longines is the world’s oldest registered watch brand (1893) with close to two centuries of building high-quality watches.

The dive watch range of Longines features an iconic and timeless design that’s functional both on land and underwater.

Longines dive watches fit every wrist for every occasion, especially when you prefer elegance over functionality.

vector graphic showing 5 of the best dive watches on the market - illustration

So what are the best dive watches?

Here’s a list of the best dive watches that take you from the office to the ocean.

Best Inexpensive Dive Watch

The best affordable dive watch will not stretch your budget, are easy to use, and are water-resistant.

Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80

This Certina model takes the cake as one of the best value diving watches on the market.

The Double Security (DS) Action Diver satisfies the ISO 6425 standard requirements with a water resistance of up to 300 meters and a potential to preserve power for up to 80 hours.

You’ll find the Certina available in a traditional blue and black version while other models come with a striking green dial and bezel.

A robust 43mm brushed stainless steel case features an aluminum unidirectional bezel with a masculine feel.

Specs

  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Bezel type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap type: Rubber
  • Movement type: Quartz

What We Like

  • A clean and concise dial layout.
  • The sword-shaped minute hand and arrow-shaped hour hand allow legible timekeeping, and a white date aperture at the three o’clock provides additional functionality.
  • The timepiece is waterproof to 300 meters.

What We Don’t Like

  • The watch might be too heavy for some.
  • Requires wriggling if the watch has not been in use for over 80 hours.
  • A little on the large side for some users.

Seiko SKX173 Dive Watch

This Seiko model features a JS26 movement with an accuracy of about 15 seconds a day and a 40-hour power reserve.

The SKX173 provides a day and date calendar function that will help you stay on top of a busy schedule.

Markings and luminous hands on the diver watch are white with a green hue, so they stand out against the blackness of the background and allow easy viewing of the time.

The excellent construction of the SKX173 dive watch guarantees its long life and durability.

Specs

  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Bezel Type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 200m
  • Strap type: Rubber strap with pressure vents
  • Movement type: Automatic

What We Like

  • The 200m water resistance is suitable for recreational diving.
  • The rubber strap feels comfortable on the wrist when wearing the timepiece for long periods.
  • An automatic watch that does not require winding.

What We Don’t Like

  • The watch runs a few seconds fast and may require repair or replacement if this becomes minutes.
  • The calendar feature is on the 3 o’clock mark, which can be a pain to some users.
  • Hardlex crystal on the watch is Seiko’s version of a mineral window, which will do well for only a few drops.

Casio Men’s Dive Watch

If you’re just getting into the world of underwater timekeeping, you will love this Casio watch.

The MDV106-1A model brings you an easy-to-read interface devoid of complicated functionality.

Arabic numeral, dot indexes, and one-way rotation allow accurate timing of your dives, while the cog-like edge brings an industrial feel to the watch.

This Casio Men’s dive watch transitions easily from the boardroom to a long-awaited beach break or explore the ocean surface.

Specs

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Bezel type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 200m
  • Strap type: Black resin
  • Movement type: Quartz

What We Like

  • A classic diving watch look that works for everyday use and diving.
  • Water resistance up to 200 meters.
  • An easy to manipulate screw-down crown that will also not catch on a loose thread.

What We Don’t Like

  • The lume is not as bright as one would expect of a diver watch you’d depend on underwater.
  • A 44m case and the 22mm lugs may be a little big for some wrists.
  • The mineral crystal may require replacement soon, depending on how you take care of the watch.

Alpina Men’s AL-282LNN4V6 Horological Smart Watch

The boldface, large illuminated hands and hour markers, and anti-reflective sapphire crystal in this 44mm diving watch make it legible.

This Alpina model comes in a variety of colors to match your diving suit and everyday outfit.

A case back and screw-down crown ensures the dive watch has a 300-meter water resistance rating, and the leather strap is treated to be waterproof.

The glass rear allows admiring the automatic movement once you’re back on dry land.

Smartwatch functions include notifications from your smartphone, activity tracking, sleep monitoring, and get-active alerts.

Specs

  • Diameter: 45.5mm
  • Bezel Type: N/A
  • Water-resistance: 100m
  • Strap type: Stainless-steel with Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating or rubber
  • Movement type: MMT-281-1 or MMT-282-1 connected

What We Like

  • It’s a premium smartwatch that offers high accuracy.
  • A light and comfortable construction.
  • Features plenty of useful fitness features.

What We Don’t Like

  • There are no on-screen smart features.
  • The watch does not come with high jewelry alternatives.
  • The large dial might be uncomfortable for some wearers.

BOSS Black Men’s Stainless Steel Quartz Watch with Silicone Strap

This Hugo Boss model features a stainless steel case that’s anti-allergic, meaning it will not react to fluids and never release metal components on the skin.

The movement on the dive watch is electronic quartz, which is accurate to within a few seconds a month and requires little maintenance.

The silicone strap is highly flexible for comfortable wear.

A water resistance rating of up to 100 meters means you can use the timepiece for freediving, without a breathing apparatus.

Specs

  • Diameter: 45.5m
  • Bezel Type: Non-rotating
  • Water-resistance: 100m
  • Strap type: Silicone
  • Movement type: Quartz

What We Like

  • A blue theme ensures an eye-catching design.
  • Electronic quartz movement requires little maintenance apart from battery replacement every couple of years.
  • Two easy-to-read sub-dials for minute and second stopwatch functions

What We Don’t Like

  • The bright-blue color may not be suitable for office wear
  • Limited water resistance compared to other models in the same category.
  • A rugged silicone strap build makes the timepiece more sporty and casual.

Best Dive Watches Under $2,000

Are you looking to spend up to $2k on a dive watch? Here are some watches that will serve you well for years.

Longines HydroConquest Blue Dial Stainless Steel Dive Watch

The HydroConquest from Longines is the ideal diver watch for you for premium looks without a premium price tag.

This timepiece features a marine-blue dial framed by a blue ceramic bezel with a 60-minute scale, all of which scream diver from the outset.

A screw-in crown and screw-down case back provide impressive water-resistance of 300 meters, making this Longines HydroConquest a suitable option for serious divers.

Specs

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Bezel Type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 300m
  • Strap type: Stainless steel
  • Movement type: Quartz

What We Like

  • The HydroConquest is one of the best-looking dive watches on this list.
  • Provides solid functionality at a much lesser cost than some well-known dive quartz watches.
  • A brushed diagonal crown-guard helps protect the crown.

What We Don’t Like

  • The crown guard can be annoying because you need to bend the wrist a lot to access the crown.
  • The second hand is not lumed.
  • The watch lacks fine movement features.

Rado Tradition Cook MKII

The limited-edition Rado Captain Cook MKII is a fantastic retro dive watch to add to your collection and stand out from the crowd.

As functional as it’s handsome, the classic tonneau (barrel) shaped case and inner rotating bezel are instant conversation starters when diving or attending a cocktail.

One of our favorite little details on this timepiece is the decorative swinging anchor logo.

Captain Cook MKII boasts two screw-down crowns; one for winding the watch and another for operating the internal diving bezel.

Specs

  • Diameter: 37mm
  • Bezel Type: Internal rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 220m
  • Strap type: Stainless steel
  • Movement type: Automatic

What We Like

  • The distinctive retro design.
  • A 37mm diameter small size.
  • The internal unidirectional rotating bezel.

What We Don’t Like

  • The shrouded case design makes the watch appear larger to the eye.
  • The stainless steel case and strap are prone to scratches.
  • The deployment clasp is vulnerable to bending when you apply pressure to it.

Alpina Men’s Seastrong Diver Diving Watch

This Alpina dive watch model comes in two distinct case finishes with beige, blue, and gray, bezel and dial combinations, so there’s something for you.

Large sword hands, a crosshair dial, and a generous lume ensure that readability will never be a problem with the Alpina Men’s Seastrong watch.

The dive watch provides an elegant style, quality finishing, and a sturdy case while running on a reliable engine – all at the indisputable charm of a brand that’s over 130 years old.

Specs

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Bezel Type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 300m
  • Strap type: Rubber
  • Movement type: Swiss Quartz

What We Like

  • Lugs are slightly curved to let the strap wrap around your wrist easily for added comfort.
  • The flat scratch-resistant sapphire crystal looks almost invisible from straight.
  • Thin minuted markers introduce a sporty look to the watch and fill the gaps between the prairies and oval hour markers.

What We Don’t Like

  • The bezel and crown don’t seem to provide a good grip.
  • Might not be as water-resistant as other diver watches in its class.
  • The size is suitable for people with large wrists or who prefer a big watch.

Best Luxury Dive Watches

High-end dive watches provide unparalleled engineering skill, style, and high-quality materials.

Here’s our selection of the best luxury diving watches on the market.

Rolex Submariner

The Submariner is an iconic dive watch with polished center links in 18K yellow gold and a bright blue cerachrom bezel boasting a sunburst dial.

This self-winding dive watch fits with the Rolex magnetic resistant Parachrom hairspring, so the magnetic fields, shocks, and temperature fluctuations don’t affect the timepiece.

The Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert resists color fading associated with long exposure to UV rays while a Rolex Glidelock Extension system on the clasp allows fast 2mm changes to the bracelet size.

Specs

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Bezel Type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 300m
  • Strap type: Stainless steel and 18K yellow gol
  • Movement type: Automatic

What We Like

  • The bright blue dial, gold-rimmed luminous hour markers, and luminescent hands and dial ensure great visibility.
  • A 300-meter water resistance rating makes this Submariner suitable for board diving or scuba diving.
  • A solid clasp with Glidelock

What We Don’t Like

  • The polished center links get scratched easily.
  • It offers a Power Reserve (PR) of only 48 hours.
  • Only a partial minute and second track on the bezel.

Tudor Black Bay Heritage

The Tudor Black Bay Heritage collection features a slim thickness, which makes them easier to wear with your long sleeve shirts.

A 120-click unidirectional mechanism on the bezels is far above the competition in terms of general quality and crispness for perfect alignment with the chapter ring.

The Black Bay is available in an assortment of colors and bracelet styles, so users can have their choice.

A Tudor in-house automatic caliber powers the Black Bay, offering you up to 70 hours of PR and an ability to hand-wind.

Specs

  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Bezel Type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 200m
  • Strap type: Hybrid leather and rubber, stainless steel, aged leather, and fabric
  • Movement type: Automatic

What We Like

  • A gracefully thin bracelet for a comfortable wear experience.
  • Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and dial
  • The 70-hour power reserve.

What We Don’t Like

  • Only the hands and indices have Super-LumiNova paint, which makes it difficult to read in water.
  • Lacks a crown guard, which may lead to expensive damage if you hit the crown with enough force.
  • Water resistance up to 200 meters only.

Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial

The Seamaster range from Omega traces its roots back to 1957, and it’s especially for a pro diver working underwater.

Omega’s LiquidMetal bezel on this dive watch is an amorphous metal alloy that offers extreme wear and corrosion resistance.

The dial markers, small triangles, are in between a layer to add depth and highlight the dial texture of this Omega Seamaster diver.

A clear case back shows off a beautiful and radically decorated movement that’s full anti-magnetic up to 15,000 Gauss using a silicon hairspring.

Specs

  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Bezel Type: Rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 300m
  • Strap type: Steel
  • Movement type: Automatic

What We Like

  • A classic design from a thoroughbred watchmaker.
  • It’s easy to advance the hour hand separately without hacking the watch or moving the minute hand.
  • The clear watch back shows off the beautiful in-house Caliber 8400, which is also Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (COSC)-certified.

What We Don’t Like

  • The missing date window and helium-release valve.
  • The 41mm diameter seems too small for larger wrists, probably because of the understated bezel.
  • The bracelet is solid but not as sturdy as the Rolex Glidelock clasp system.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

This Royal Oak Offshore Diver boasts a rugged, massive, and sturdy block of stainless steel that ensures solid construction.

The crown is well protected on the case’s side and coated with rubber, so using it with wet gloves is easy.

An internal rotating chapter ring on the periphery of the dial helps calculate elapsed times instead of an external rotating bezel that would otherwise ruin the aesthetics.

Specs

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Bezel Type: Internal rotatable
  • Water-resistance: 300m
  • Strap type: Rubber with stainless steel pin buckle
  • Movement type: Automatic

What We Like

  • The inclusion of ceramic ensures the timepiece is resistant to scratches.
  • A sapphire case back allows a peek into the inner workings of the Offshore Diver.
  • A modern, stately dial and details help improve readability.

What We Don’t Like

  • Many users complain that the watch is much heavier and bigger than they expected.
  • The internal bezel might be less practical than an external one—but it still does the job.
  • A small diameter means you cannot admire the movement of the nicely engraved rotor.

Buying a Dive Watch

Are you a scuba diver looking for a dive watch? These questions will help you find the perfect time and dive piece.

What types of stores sell dive watches?

You can purchase a new dive watch from jewelry shops and dive accessories outlets.

Another option is to buy a dive watch at online stores such as Amazon and Scuba.com.

A few brands will also sell directly to the customers.

You can save money by visiting Craigslist or eBay for used dive watches.

However, make sure you examine the watch and ensure that all its features are working.

How much should you spend on a dive watch?

The amount of money you spend on a dive watch depends on various factors, these include:

  • Your budget
  • The brands you’re looking at
  • Purpose of the watch
  • And whether the watch is an investment

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are diver watches so popular?

The flexibility to fit most dressing styles and durability of dive watches is the primary fuel behind their popularity.

Everyone from CEOs and other C-titles to construction workers and carpenters wears dive watches in the workplace and underwater.

Plus, dive watches have an active appeal.

Big budget movies, including the James Bond franchise, are also fueling the popularity of these watches.

Other reasons for this popularity include:

  • Marketing
  • Celebrity icons
  • The rotating unidirectional bezel
  • Heritage

Does anyone actually dive with a Rolex?

Yes. There are divers with Submariners, and other similar watches on their wrists while diving.

These luxe dive watches are functional tools, so nothing is stopping you from using them, apart from technology.

Many divers will use a dive watch as a secondary timer in case they lose their dive computers.

Can you wear a dive watch with a suit?

Dive watches are very versatile to wear.

There’s the option to wear them with your T-shirt and shorts or pair them with an Oxford shirt.

But it’s best to avoid wearing a dive watch with a suit unless you are attending a relaxed dress code event.

However, the best luxury dive watches spot designs that are visually striking with a suit while remaining functional.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, a list of the best inexpensive, under $2,000, and luxury dive watches on the market.

We’ve highlighted the best and worst features of each dive watch so you know which is ideal for you and your situation.

Accessorize your everyday outfits and dive gear with the best dive watch today!

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