We recently did an article on moonphase watches, so if you’re curious about that particular watch style, you might want to check it out as well. The real watch connoisseurs in the crowd will also appreciate this topic on dive watches.
The dive watch is one of the most popular traditional models of watches on the market. They vary in price from just over $100 to many thousands of dollars for the most expensive options. All watch aficionados have one of these watches in their collection, guaranteed. Because you just never know when you’re ready to take that plunge, right?
- So What Exactly is a Dive Watch?
- A Bit of History
- What is ISO?
- 40. Hugo Boss Deep Ocean
- 39. Casio MDV106-1A
- 38. Alpina Seastrong Diver 300
- 37. Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80
- 36. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin
- 35. Mido Ocean Star Diver 600
- 34. Tag Heuer Night Diver
- 33. Muhle Glashutte ProMare Go
- 32. Monta Oceanking
- 31. Sinn U50
- 30. Tag Heuer Aquaracer
- 29. Nomos Ahoi
- 28. Muhle Glashutte S.A.R. Rescue Timer
- 27. Seiko Prospex Marine Master 300
- 26. Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer
- 25. Ball Hydrocarbon DeepQuest II
- 24. Bremont Supermarine Type 300
- 23. Favre-Leuba Raider Harpoon 42
- 22. Oris Aquis Date Caliber 400
- 21. Tudor Pelagos
- 20. Glashutte Original SeaQ
- 19. Breitling Superocean Heritage B20
- 18. Aquadive Bathysphere 100GMT Turquoise
- 17. MB&F Horological Machine NO.7 Aquapod
- 16. Bell & Ross BR03-92
- 15. Glycine Combat Sub-Aquarius
- 14. Rado Captain Cook MKII
- 13. Doxa Sub 1500T Professional
- 12. Seiko SKX173
- 11. Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition
- 10. Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80
- 9. Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm
- 8. Panerai Luminor Submersible 42mm
- 7. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique
- 6. Longines Sport Hydroconquest
- 5. Tudor Black Bay Heritage
- 4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph
- 3. Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea
- 2. Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial
- 1. Rolex Submariner
So What Exactly is a Dive Watch?
The dive watch tells time accurately, is solidly built with some amazing engineering, while providing you with quite a few cool features. It measures depths thanks to a rotating bezel and illuminates the dial in darkness. And last but not least, as the name implies it, it can handle being submerged in water.
Some models are capable of taking a plunge even up to 1,000 meters, but we’re pretty sure you won’t go there. Many of those watches also come with extra wide straps made from flexible materials, so you can easily wear them outside your wetsuit.
A Bit of History
The first submersible watches came about in the 1930s and their purpose was to be able to withstand up to 100 meters under water. The unidirectional marked bezels have been around for that long, along with the large luminous indices. Those are still relevant today, although watchmakers have made quite a lot of improvements in the last few decades.
Other upgrades in the dive watch features are greater water resistance which is set to a minimum of 200 meters under water, and the screw-down crown. Those features are considered the bare bones of a dive watch today, but there are many more amazing features that the divers expect from their watches.
In order for watches to be considered true dive watches, there is an international technical standard those watches have to follow.
What is ISO?
To explain it properly we need to get a bit technical. What is ISO and what makes the watches who follow those ratings so special? It is a Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization, or ISO 6425.
To put it simply, it is a standard determined by an independent organization that brings experts together who develop certain standards in different fields of the market. In this case, what qualifies as a true dive watch.
One of the first requirements is water resistance to a minimum of 100 meters. It has to have the ability to be read in the darkness from a distance of 25 meters, so visibility is key. Having a unidirectional bezel that records dive times and an indication that the watch can run in complete darkness is also required. It has to be magnetic and have chemical and shock resistance.
It also needs to have a helium escape valve that helps prevent too much expansion during a dive. So it basically protects your watch from damage. Accuracy is a must, and it has to pass a salt test. The watch has to remain rust free after being immersed in a solution resembling saltwater for a whole day.
Other requirements are a stainless steel case, glow-in-the-dark lume on most markings, as well as the previously mentioned expandable bracelet. And an indication for when the battery needs to be recharged.
Massively over-engineered, the dive watches need saturation dives in order to allow the helium valve to operate properly. That being said, most people that own dive watches don’t even dive! Nonetheless, they are super cool and extremely popular.
If you’re interested, we gathered a list of the 40 best dive watches you can buy right now.
40. Hugo Boss Deep Ocean
A very affordable option from fashion brand Hugo Boss, this dive watch is not too shabby for all the features it offers. Water resistant to 100 meters, it comes with a rotating dial and illuminated hands and hour markers.
A big watch, it is one of the largest showcased on this list at 46mm. The simple design features a date complication at the six o’clock dial, and the stainless steel case is very trendy.
39. Casio MDV106-1A
A great everyday watch that has all the classic looks, it may not be appropriate for formal events. Water resistant to 200 meters, this 40mm entry level budget watch is great for those who want to give dive watches a try.
Featuring an illuminated second hand and a rotating numbered bezel, it is a great option if you can’t afford the likes of Omega or Rolex. The durable leather strap makes it perfect if you really do want to use the watch for diving.
This functional dive watch is one of the most affordable options. It is easy to read while diving with the big and bold illuminated hands and hour markers. The anti-reflective sapphire crystal and 60mm unidirectional bezel makes it very legible while under water.
The case back is glass covered so you can admire the automatic movement of the watch. The screw-down crown ensures the watch is water resistant to 300 meters, and the leather strap is treated so it is water resistant. It is available in a few different colors.
Another powerhouse brand that offers great engineering, this dive watch has some pretty impressive specs for the price. Water resistant to around 600 meters, it has a chronometer-certified movement that has a 80 hour power reserve.
The ceramic bezel and the helium escape valve make this a ISO 6425 certified dive watch. The case back is also an attractive feature that makes this Swiss engineered watch one of the best contenders on the list.
36. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin
The original Sea Wolf watch first released in 1953, making it one of the longest dive watches around. The new version is equipped with the in-house STP 1-11 automatic movement, a ceramic bezel insert, and is constructed from DLC-plated stainless steel.
With water resistance of 200 meters, a case of 39mm in size and a unique bracelet, this modern take on a vintage watch is a very attractive option.
Part of the Swatch group, Mido is surprisingly their less celebrated member. But this excellent option should be a contender, because their specs definitely are. The automatic COSC certified movement allows for an 80 hour power reserve.
There is a silicon balance spring along the luxe curved-end rubber strap and a helium valve. Not to mention the 600 meters water resistance is also worth mentioning. The ceramic bezel has an insert that is filled with Super LumiNova illuminating details.
34. Tag Heuer Night Diver
Perhaps one the less popular of the James Bond movies, 1987’s The Living Daylights featured the Night Diver. That is not to take anything away from an equally impressive watch.
With an automatic movement and a blacked-out 43mm case, the watch has some impressive features. The 300 meters water resistant watch is equipped with a fully-lumed dial, a simply designed black ceramic bezel and sports a rugged look.
33. Muhle Glashutte ProMare Go
One of the cleaner dials you will find in dive watches, the color combination is tastefully chosen. The different shades of blue add a touch of refined aquatic effect. But the aesthetics are not the only impressive qualities of this watch.
The German brand offers great SW200 automatic movement, water resistance of 300 meters, and with a 42mm case it is a good size that does not overwhelm.
32. Monta Oceanking
Coming from a watchmaker that only offers a small collection of bespoke watches, this model is a beautiful timekeeper that is also a diver. With water resistance capabilities of 300 meters, the watch features Sellita SW300 automatic movement that offers a 42 hour power reserve.
The ceramic bezel insert and SuperLuminova details it comes with make this watch an impressive luxurious watch for a fraction of the price of similar caliber watches.
31. Sinn U50
Another German watch brand that is worth noting is Sinn. Straight from Frankfurt comes this downsized model of a much larger previous model. With impressive 500 meters water resistance, the watch fits smaller framed wrists.
The technology is excellent, and the minimalist design does not lack cool features. Powered by the excellent Sellita SW300 automatic movement and adorned with a crystal sapphire face, it is a reliable model.
30. Tag Heuer Aquaracer
A popular luxury Swiss watch that ticks lots of boxes, the Aquaracer is a solid choice. The 43mm case comes with water resistance capabilities of 300 meters. The blue resin bezel gives the impression of a tortoiseshell, and it is a colorful model that many love.
The ETA 2824 automatic movement is exceptional, but it is to be expected from reliable brand Tag Heuer. Unique and stylish, it makes an interesting option.
29. Nomos Ahoi
Bauhaus style watch brand Nomos brings us this stylish and functional dive watch, Ahoi. Svelte and sleek, the case is 40mm wide and 10.6mm thick, so it suits the thinner-boned wrists.
Water resistant at 200 meters and powered by the auto Nomos DUW 5101, it has a power reserve of 42 hours. It is available in a few different colors with top of the line mechanics. The crown guards offer extra protection for those underwater dives.
28. Muhle Glashutte S.A.R. Rescue Timer
More than capable of undertaking underwater activities, the S.A.R Rescue Timer is not a dive watch per se. It is designed with the collaboration from the German Rescue Service and Maritime Search, and it comes with some impressive specs. The recessed screw down crown is quite an uncommon feature with its four o’clock position.
The thick sapphire crystal has a date magnifier, and the watch has a rubber bezel and plenty of lume details. But the fact that it is 1,000 meters water resistant makes it an acceptable dive watch nonetheless.
A modern icon in the dive watches world, this model from reliable watchmaker Seiko offers a high quality watch for the price. The watch has 300 meter water resistance, and with a new blue dial adorned with gold accents, it is more striking than the previous version.
The automatic in house caliber 8L35 movement offers an impressive 70 hour power reserve. Seiko is always a great option to go with when you want a reliable watch.
This is a very modern and attainable take on a stainless steel sport watch that doesn’t cost your whole life savings. A great option, this watch offers you water resistance of 300 meters, but is pretty thin for a diver at 11.6mm.
The conventional dial has large hour makers and thick hands, and is powered by a SW200 movement that gives a 38 hours of power reserve. The angled integrated lugs and the swappable straps make it an attractive and convenient model.
25. Ball Hydrocarbon DeepQuest II
This watch offers impressive underwater capabilities thanks to the solid titanium case. The watch can go to 1,000 meters deep, and it has a power reserve of 42 hours due to the automatic ETA 2892 movement.
The Ball RR1101-C is their new caliber that is chronometer certified by the COSC. Other features such as the tritium tubes are what the brand uses for their hands and markers. They are so powerful that they provide a super powerful glow, even in the darkest environment.
With an overall simple but effective design, the Supermarine Type 300 is a decent dive watch that is 300 meters water resistant. The large hands and prominent markers make the watch easy to read, even underwater.
Powered by an ETA 2836 automatic movement, it has a power reserve of 38 hours. One of their most compact models, it has a 40mm case and it is adorned by a large crown that makes it easy to operate.
23. Favre-Leuba Raider Harpoon 42
A pretty unusual watch, the case design is uncommon to say the least, and it even tells time differently. It is something to get used to, that’s for sure. The module features a large hand that is paired with a small triangle. The large hand is for the minutes, while the triangle for the seconds, and the hour is read from the top of the minute hand.
The brand goes back as far as 1737, but it is not as well known as others on our list. The cushion shaped 42mm case features a helium escape valve and it is water resistant to 300 meters.
From one of the most acclaimed luxury watch brands comes this diver that is worth considering. The new upgrade of this model comes with a new in-house Caliber 400 movement that is located inside the integrated bracelet. The engineering is super impressive with the elevated magnetic resistance the watch boasts.
Other cool features are the ten-year warranty and the excellent five day power reserve the automatic movement allows. The watch comes in two sizes, either 41.5mm or 43.5mm cases, and water resistance of 300 meters.
21. Tudor Pelagos
This is the more accessible Tudor diver, compared to the Black Bay that we mention later on in this article. Featuring many impressive features, the 500 meter water resistance is just an example of what the watch has to offer.
The titanium 42mm case and bracelet the watch comes with, as well as the automatic movement make the watch an attractive option. Along with a fully-lumed blue ceramic bezel and the bracelet extension system, you can go diving in style.
The brand’s iconic design is reiterated in the Original SeaQ. With a smaller case than other watches in this category, the 39.5mm size is still large enough to suit a manly wrist, but the lug-to-lug measures up to 47mm.
The stainless steel case features a counterclockwise rotating bezel, and the reed green ceramic offers amazing scratch resistance. Powered by the in-house calibered Auto Glashutte 39-11 movement, the watch has a domed sapphire crystal and modern lume.
The brand is famous for their aviation watches, but their dive watches are also very popular on this platform. The Superocean diver dates back to 1957, but the more recent model has a few upgrades. It still has some of the mid-century retro-cool style, but the modern details give it a more contemporary feel.
With automatic movement that gives a power reserve of 70 hours, it is water resistant to 200 meters. It has a simple numeral free ceramic bezel on a black face. It comes with a stainless steel case that is 42mm in diameter, and the bracelet is also metal for a complete cool look.
18. Aquadive Bathysphere 100GMT Turquoise
With some punchy turquoise details, this watch boasts some massive waterproof ratings with capabilities of 1,000 meters underwater. The 43mm diameter is a tad large for some and the bold colors will stand out. The turquoise hand and dial are not only stylish, but they also give a 24-hour reading of the time.
With a surgical stainless steel case and a power reserve of 42 hours, this watch also has a helium release valve. The unidirectional bezel has 120-click rotating ratcheting and it is adorned with a ceramic timing ring. Illuminated with the Superluminova tech, it ticks all the ISO requirements boxes.
17. MB&F Horological Machine NO.7 Aquapod
A unique model that will definitely stand out, the feature that is most disappointing is its 50 meters water resistance. Why did we include it on the list? Because this watch is utterly gorgeous, and very different from the other dive watches on this list. This enormous model is 53.8mm across and 21.3mm tall. A horological beauty in itself, it will attract glances from strangers, guaranteed.
Should you go diving with it? Probably not the best idea, but who really does anyway? The design is inspired by jellyfish, and it loops around instead of the customary unidirectional bezel dive watches sport. The Aquapod is very rare, with only 99 pieces available globally. 33 of them are grade five titanium and the other 66 models rose gold, both options very expensive.
16. Bell & Ross BR03-92
This non traditional model from Bell & Ross has an alternative round dial on a square case shape. It is a diver with all the requirements to be considered a true dive watch. Although with 300 meters water resistance, it is not as strong as we would expect given the look. Despite a chunky design, the watch is fairly compact at 42mm., and has a strap that is made from an ultra-resilient synthetic fiber.
The rotating diver bezel located at the top and the illuminated hands and watch face elements give it the necessary tools for underwater activities. The automatic movement is magnetism resistant, and has a power reserve of 38 hours.
This watch comes in a variety of attractive color combinations that will suit any taste. The 46mm stealthy black bezel adds a touch of masculinity to the already bold look of the watch. Featuring an automatic movement that gives a 38 hour power reserve, the watch is water resistant to 500 meters.
The strap can easily fit over your wetsuit thanks to the integrated diving extension that it is equipped with. The watch also boasts a helium escape valve that is placed at the the eight o’clock dial. Whether it is necessary or not, it adds an extra touch to an already solid model.
This watch from Rado distinguishes itself with a retro design. Although the smaller size is appreciated by some, others are put off by it. The tonneau shaped case will attract attention for sure, but the 37mm is perfect for those who have a knack for more vintage proportions. The inner rotating bezels are very functional, and the colorful details are a nice touch.
The dial is black, and the window is made from sapphire crystal with a stainless steel band. Water resistant up to 220 meters, it has an automatic movement.
13. Doxa Sub 1500T Professional
Built to withstand the toughest challenges, this watch was introduced following its predecessor, the SUB 300T Conquistador. The 45mm cushioned-shaped case has ratings of 150 ATM that divers can venture up to 1500 meters deep. Pretty impressive, this is what you call a ‘proper dive watch’.
The legible dial and colorful face make this a different watch that is not your typical everyday watch. The domed sapphire crystal and unique unidirectional bezel features a dual scale for both dive time and depth.
12. Seiko SKX173
This is another pretty reasonable dive watch from a brand that is very reliable. What sets this watch apart from others is the unusual crown position. Other attractive features include the day and date complication, as well as a great automatic movement. Designed with a classic look, the chunky rubber strap might not be to everyone’s taste.
The 41mm stainless steel case is water resistant to 200 meters. Other features include a unidirectional rotating bezel, illuminated hands and hour markers, which make this an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on features.
Although with only 100 meters of water resistance capabilities, this Limited Edition watch is a really beautiful dive watch. One of the newest iterations on the market, this edition only has 2000 pieces available. What’s so special about it is the bronze case and the midnight blue dial that has a subsidiary seconds dial at the six o’clock location.
With the Auto Oris Caliber 401 movement, the power reserve is impressive at 120 hours. And it also commemorates the first Black US Navy master diver Carl Brashear.
10. Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80
A more casual dive watch, this model offers a lot of nice features for the price. Fulfilling all the ISO 6425 requirements, this watch is waterproof to 300 meters. The power reserve is also impressive at 80 hours, thanks to the state of the art Powermatic movement.
The super-LumiNova coated hour marks and hands provide you with glow in the dark qualities, a must in divers’ watches. Another nice feature is the clasp that features two push buttons and a divers extension for added security.
9. Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm
The prestigious brand introduced this new entry level model for the watch aficionados. It is more compact than their predecessor, but at 42mm, some might still find it a little on the large size. The three-hand watch has a concave bezel and domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal window.
They complement each other beautifully, and the uncluttered dial has some touches of retro beige with the central second in gold. Swiss automatic movement and 300 meters of water resistance add to the appeal of an already solid choice.
A subsidiary of Rolex, Panerai’s Luminor collection has been around since WWII. The new model comes with the P900 in-house caliber movement that offers an extraordinary three day power reserve. The iconic design features a square 42mm stainless steel case that has a round bezel.
Water resistant to 300 meters, it has a rotating bezel that will calculate the dives’ duration. A solid, strong dive watch from a reliable brand, you cannot go wrong with any of their iterations of the Submersibles.
7. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique
This is one of the most prestigious dive watches on the market, even though they are not as popular as the likes of Rolex and Omega. Adorned with a beautiful retro face, the rich heritage of the brand has something to do with its attractiveness. The brand originally released the first version of this watch in 1953.
The 200 meters water resistance of the watch back in those days made the watch famous. The current version has their in-house 1315 Caliber automatic movement with three barrels and an impressive 120 hour power reserve. The finishing touches are also impressive, such as the sapphire bezel and the titanium case.
Historic brand Longines has quite a few offerings, but this one is one of their most popular dive watches. Although it may be confused with a Rolex or Omega, the features are pretty similar but for a fraction of the price. It is an attractive looking watch with its classic looks and compact design.
The case is a bit smaller than others on this list, and at 39mm is not quite as intimidating as the bulkier models. It is water resistant to 300 meters, has a self winding mechanism, and it has a 64 hour power reserve battery. The simple and unassuming face is colorful, and it features a date complication at the three o’ clock dial.
If this is your first time investing in a proper watch, the Tudor Black Bay Heritage is a great starting point. It has all the features you need, plus it is more affordable than other similar watches. The retro style of the watch and the technology it shares with parent company Rolex make this watch very attractive indeed.
The rich heritage of this watch comes with an in house movement, and it makes for a great everyday wearable option. The steel case has a black dial and a black bezel as well, but you can opt for a different color combination.
4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph
A pricey offering from Audemars Piguet, this dive watch sports a tough, chunky design. Although lacking the customary unidirectional rotating bezel like most of the other dive watches, it is still worth considering. The inner rotating bezel and the lengthy power reserved make this a very attractive option.
It has a case that is 42mm wide, is water resistant to 300 meters, and is available in a range of colors and finishes. The automatic movement is also impressive with its 60 hours power reserve.
This watch offers one of the most immense deep sea diving abilities. It is waterproof to 3,900 meters, or 12,800 feet. That feature alone is super impressive, but it offers a lot more. With a power reserve of about 44 hours, it also has a 44mm width and a chunky appearance. The helium escape valve allows the gas to escape when the diver decompresses after a deep saturation dive.
The most impressive feature is probably its D-Blue Dial. It gradually shifts from blue to black when under water, just like when James Cameroon performed the famous dive in the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth.
A classic and exceptional dive watch, the Omega Seamaster Coaxial is one of the best timekeepers to ever exist. Another Bond favorite, this watch comes with impressive high-tech movement and 60 hour power reserve. You can go about your busy underwater life with this reliable, sturdy watch. The Co-axial feature offers escapement in the automatic movement, which improves longevity by reducing friction.
Other amazing specs are the screw-in crown, resistance to magnetic fields, a 300 meter water resistance, illumination of all the elements, and a lightweight but tough titanium case that comes with a matching strap.
This is by far the most popular dive watch to ever exist. And we have Sean Connery and the James Bond franchise to thank for that. He is the one who wore the very first version of this watch in the early 1960s. The iconic Rolex Submariner is a reliable watch that not only made history, but the brand is very trustworthy. You get style and amazing performance with this watch.
The bezels are made from cerachrom and the markings can be chosen from either platinum or PVD gold. Powered by the 3235 caliber Rolex automatic mechanical movement, it comes with a 70 hour power reserve. Water resistance of 300 meters and a proprietary Chronergy escapement are among the features that make this one of the most sought after watches in the world.
Our list of the 40 best dive watches you can buy right now is pretty impressive, don’t you agree? Which one is your favorite?