It’s perfectly understandable to see the name “dive watch” and assume that these timepieces are designed exclusively for those who are interested in the underwater world. And while that may have been true at one point in history, the best dive watch has evolved into something more than its original creators had in mind. Most dive watches now combine a range of impressive features (for scuba diving and more), but also ooze style, to the point they’ve become a worthy addition to any watch collection.
What is a Dive Watch?
By all accounts, dive watches are not standard time-telling devices. As the name suggests, compared to the average timepiece, these watches were created to go under the water. And we’re not talking about a quick dip, either. We mean hundreds of meters down. That’s why you’ll find that most dive watches are accompanied by a depth rating. Most dive watches are able to function at depths of 100 meters with some pushing to 200 meters and, in some cases, even 300 meters and beyond.
But that’s not all. To legitimately call your watch a dive watch, it actually needs to tick certain boxes. According to the International Organization for Standardization, which updated its dive watch standards in 2018, to call your watch a “dive watch,” it must:
- Be capable of resisting water to depths of at least 100 meters (330 feet)
- Feature a secure function for measuring dive time (usually found in the form of a 60-minute rotating bezel)
- Include time monitoring functions which are legible in the dark to a distance of 25 centimeters
- Be antimagnetic
- Be resistant to impacts and shocks
- Be resistant to saltwater
However, it’s important to note that not all watches on the list below may fall into these specific criteria. That’s because in some cases, while still sporting some of the key features, the name “dive watch” has become more about the style than just function.
If you are a recreational diver, it’s most likely that you’re never going to go beyond the usual limits of 40 meters (130 feet), meaning pretty much every dive watch available would suffice for your underwater needs. However, if you do dive deeper than the average diver, and we’re talking in the hundreds of meters, make sure the watch you choose is capable of withstanding those murky depths and won’t let you down when you need it most.
After making sure it’s got enough water resistance for the depth to which you’ll be diving, choosing a watch really comes down to personal preference, style and how much you’re willing to spend. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 19 of the best dive watches for all budgets and preferences to take your time-telling to new depths.
Best Dive Watches Under $500
Yes, you can find attractive looking dive watches that will let you go down to 200 meters and they don’t or won’t suck. There’s a watch myth that states the higher the price tag, the better the watch. If you want a handsome watch that does a great job, is durable and smart looking too, you don’t have to blow a month’s (or more) salary to own one. The below dive watches have fantastic attributes that may surprise you.
1. Nixon Base Tide Pro Watch
Nixon’s based in California, and the company is deeply rooted in surf and skate culture. We’ve covered their dress watches, automatic watches and their Olympics watch. Their Base Tide Pro Watch is a freaking steal. This watch has all the bangs and whistles of a watch with a waay higher price tag has. This dive watch is like having a computer strapped to your wrist because it’s pre-programmed with tide info on 550 beaches. Made with recycled ocean plastic, the fiber-reinforced polycarbonate case is water-resistant to 100 meters. The digital watch has programming options that include dual time zones, chronograph, date, backlight, and three alarms.
Nixon Base Tide Pro Watch
2. Fossil Blue Diver Stainless Steel Diver Watch
Fossil dress and casual watches can be found on guys’ wrists the world over; they’re popular, have a great price point and look good for years. Their men’s dive watch has quartz movement, a tachymeter bezel, 42mm case, stainless steel body and is water-resistant to 100 meters. Best of all, it’s got a two year limited warranty.
Fossil Blue Diver Stainless Steel Diver Watch
3. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Men’s Watch
When you buy a Citizen watch, you’ll own a timepiece that utilizes any type of light to power its lithium ion battery. If there’s light, this watch will never stop running. This three-hand watch with a date complication, mineral crystal and has luminous hands and markers and a rotating bezel. Housed in stainless steel, one can go down 200 meters/20 bars and explore.
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch
4. Bulova Devil Diver
Bulova’s handsome orange and blue divers watch is an homage to the original Devil Diver that was born back in 1970. It’s a self-winding mechanical watch that has a 42 hour reserve. The blue dial has a date complication, luminescent markers and is covered by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, making it easy to read wherever you may be. The stainless steel body is attached to a stainless steel case with a screw down back and crown. Looking for a sturdy watch for the deep, this baby is it. And you can play with the fishes down to 200 meters/20 bars/ 666 feet. And yes, it’s ISO certified.
Bulova Devil Diver
5. Timex Navi XL Automatic 41mm Stainless Steel Mesh Band Watch
A billion years ago, Timex used the tagline, “takes a beating and keeps on ticking” in all their adverts. While the tag line has become dated, their performance is still outstanding. Their dive watch, the Navi XL is a sweet automatic machinal wind watch with a 40 hour power reserve. They’ve updated their classic design for a new era, and it looks very handsome. It has a stainless steel case and bracelet, rotating bezel, and the dial has both hour and military time markers. The luminescent markers make it easy to read in murky waters. Speaking of murky waters, this water-resistant dive watch is for light snorkeling or diving as it’s best up to 100 meters /10 bars/ 328 feet.
Timex Navi XL Stainless Steel Watch
Best Dive Watches Under $1000
In this category, we’ve got the best men’s dive watches that range in price from $550 to $930. We’ve selected great watches from heritage brands, and they’re handsome enough to go to the office. Here you’ll find a few watches that go below 200 meters.
6. Seiko Automatic Prospex Diver Stainless Steel Watch
Seiko is the official partners of PADI, that’s the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, and they have a collection of 11 dive watches that are worn by divers and dive instructors the world over. Their Prospex diver watch is decorated in the organization’s red and blue colors. It’s an automatic with date and day complications, a one-way rotating bezel that helps you keep track, LumiBrite hands and markers with a screw down back and crown. This watch follows ISO standards, and lets you go deep to 200 meters because you can SCUBA wearing this watch. Made of stainless steel, it’s impervious to salt damage.
Seiko Automatic Prospex Diver Watch
7. Mido Ocean Star Diver Watch
The design of Mido’s Ocean Star Watch was inspired by romantic view of the Europa Point Lighthouse in Gibraltar. This is designed to be a sleek, thin diver’s watch that lies neatly on the wrist. The stainless steel automatic watch has a 42mm case and markers that are filled with Super-Luminova. The case back has the Ocean Star logo engraved on it, and the case itself is designed to protect the screw down crown. It’s water-resistant to 20 ATM/660 feet/200 meters.
Mido Ocean Star Diver Watch
8. Luminox Pacific Diver Watch
Luminox is like the Earnest Hemingway of watches; they’re up for crazy adventures, and in fact were built to specifically handle everything from deep ocean activity to climbing mountains. Bear Grylls has a line of Luminox watches, and they’re the SEALS official watch. If you’re the type who’s always competing against yourself, this watch will keep up with you. The Pacific Diver watch is Swiss made and is 44mm in size. Not only are the markers filled with Super-Luminova, but the watch face also provides a constant glow for up to 25 years. Each watch is individually tested, and they are water-resistant to 200 meters/20 ATM/660 feet/. The bezel is uni-directional, rotates and made of Carbonox.
Luminox Pacific Diver Watch
9. Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80
To some guys, Tissot makes a good dress watch, but they forget that they also make dive watches. The Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 is a Swiss-made dive watch that lets you go deep, and by deep we’re talking 30 bar/300 meters/1,000 feet. It’s an automatic watch with an 80-hour power reserve, and the case is a nice size at 43mm. It has a date complication, and the hour markers are painted white, the hands are luminous, which works perfectly against a black watch face. Yes, it’s a gorgeous, handsome, and sexy dive watch, that looks equally at snazzy in the office.
Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80
10. Hamilton Khaki Navy Watch
The Hamilton watch company has a long and illustrious history. An American-born company, they supplied most watches to the railroad company, and during WWII they manufactured marine chronometers and deck watches for the Navy, allied navies and pocket and wrist watches for the US Army. So, when you hold a Hamilton watch, you know that precision is in its DNA. Their dive watch is water-resistant to 10 ATM/100 meters/330 feet. It’s an automatic with an 80-hour power reserve. The Khaki Navy watch also has a date complication, rotating bezel, and the case is 40mm. The watch’s face has military time indices, and the markers are luminous.
Hamilton Khaki Navy Watch
Best Dive Watches Under $2000
As you go up in price, you’ll find more complications in a watch. Dive watches can also be chronometers or chronographs, and they can be made with titanium, bronze, or other precious metals.
11. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Automatic Blue Rubber Watch
Swiss-based Zodiac Watches started as an independent company in 1908 and are now under the Fossil Group umbrella. Their dive watch, the Super Sea Wolf has a stainless steel case and rubber strap. This automatic watch has a white face with a contrasting orange ring that makes the hands and markers really pop. It has a date complication and is water resistant to 20 ATM. This watch has style on land and in sea.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Automatic Watch
12. Orris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic 42mm Stainless Steel & Canvas Watch
Orris is a luxury watch company, and like all luxury watch companies, is based in Switzerland. This Diver Sixty-Five model is a rhapsody of blue, silver, and black. The blue and black canvas strap echoes the blue dial and black bezel. Water-resistant to 100 meters, the domed sapphire glass has anti-reflective coating. The dial has Super-Luminova hands and markers, a date complication and the case is 42mm. It’s an automatic with a 38-hour power reserve.
Orris Divers Sixty-Five Watch
13. Alpina Seastrong Stainless Steel Automatic-self-Wind Watch with Rubber Strap, Black, 21 (Model: AL-525S4H6)
Alpina makes sports watches for the great outdoors, and yep, that includes the water…on or under. Inspired by the diver watches of the ‘60s, this monochromatic watch is all cream and black. The date complication is set at an angle between the three and the four. This diver watch is powered by Alpina’s calibre AL-525 automatic movement and has a 38-hour power reserve. It’s water resistant to 300 meters/1,000 feet. The stainless steel watch case measures 42mm and has a scratch-resistant crystal. Instead of leather or steal, the straps are made of textured rubber.
Alpina Seastrong Dive Watch
14. Gucci Swiss Diver Watch Rubber Strap, 40mm
Gucci’s is both a fashion and a good watch; crafted in Switzerland in their own workshops, Gucci can offer on-trend style and precision in one timepiece. This dive watch has a durable rubber strap, gold tone stainless steel 40mm case that has PVD coating to prevent discoloration and protect it from dings. The hands and indices are luminous, there’s a date window and you can go splash down to 200 meters wearing it.
Gucci Swiss Diver Watch Rubber Strap, 40mm
15. Hamilton Swiss Automatic Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO Black Rubber Strap Watch
This Hamilton dive watch is a beast. Hamilton’s BeLOWZERO dive watch is water-resistant to 1,000 meters/100 bars, that’s some deep diving, which makes sense as submarines were the inspiration for this dive watch. The 46mm case is made from titanium and has a helium escape valve. It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a rubber strap.
Hamilton Swiss Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO
Best Dive Watches Under $5000
As you go higher in price, you’ll start to notice dive watches created by luxury brands. And while these dive watches could easily pass for a dress watch, they’ve got what it takes to get wet.
16. Tudor Pelagos Blue Dial Automatic Men’s Watch 25600TB-BLRS
Rolex created the Tudor line of watches specifically to appeal to a younger demographic. You could call Tudor watches, “Rolex Lite,” but these babies are just as iconic as their papa and come with a somewhat hefty price tag. This dive watch is also a certified chronometer. Water-resistant to 500 meters/1,650 feet, the titanium watch has a 42mm case. The dial features luminous hands and markers, a unidirectional bezel, and a date complication.
Tudor Pelagos Blue Dial Automatic Watch
17. Longines Skin Diver Stainless Steel, PVD and Rubber Strap
Once upon a time, Longines was a super popular luxury watch, now it seems to only be appreciated by watch afficionados. That means more watches for the rest of us. Their Skin Diver watch takes its design from the house’s Skin Divers of the ‘60s. Retro cool with a black dial and gold-toned indices, numbers and hands, this dive watch is water-resistant to 300 meters. The stainless steel case has black PVD coating, and it has a matching black rubber strap.
Longines Skin Diver Stainless Steel
18. Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 43mm
Tag Heuer’s known for their nifty sport watches, and their Aquaracer is just that. The dial is blue on blue stripes, with blue and green luminescent indices. This automatic watch is water-resistant 300 meters and has a 38-hour power reserve.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 43mm
19. Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Chronometer 42MM
We very recently covered Omega’s Olympic watch collection: The Omega Seamaster Diver and the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. Aside from gracing the wrists of generations of men and women, Omega is also the Olympics official time keeper. This chronometer dive watch has a black face, black ceramic bezel, and black rubber strap. The 42mm case has Super-Luminova coated hands and indices, with a date complication. It’s water-resistant to 300 meters.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
20. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Red Limited Edition Automatic 42mm Bronze and Leather Watch, Ref. No. BR0392-D-R-BR/SCA
Take a step away from the expected style of dive watch and go for the glorious gusto with this deep red and bronze dive automatic watch from Bell & Ross. The face is encircled by a bronze square, and the uni-directional bezel is anodized aluminum in red and bronze. The gold-plated hands and indices are also filled with Super-LumiNova, and the case back is stainless steel. It’s water-resistant to 300 meters/1,000 feet.
Longines Skin Diver Stainless Steel
Best Dive Watches Under $15000
It’s at this price range we start to see the fabled and lusted after Rolex, Ulysse Nardin and Cartier watches. Rolex has three different lines of dive watches: The Sea-Dweller, Submariner and Deepsea Sea Dweller. While you can buy a new, never worn (and fantastic)luxury dive watch from Nardin or Cartier, at this price point, the only Rolexes you can purchase are pre-owned. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with buying a pre-owned luxury watch, and sites like Mr Porter and 1st Dibs are rigorous in vetting their dealers and authenticating items.
21. Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch, 42MM
Cartier is one of the few jewelry houses that also designs luxury or “good” watches as opposed to fashion watches. And as such, their watches never lose value, Their Calibre de Cartier dive watch is water-resistant to 300 meters. It’s an automatic watch that uses caliber 1904-PS MC mechanical movement, hence the “calibre” in its name. The stainless steel case has a ceramic bezel, the indices are coated in Super-LumiNova, it has a date complication and a seconds subdial.
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch, 42MM
22. Rolex Sea-Dweller Steel Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch 16600
This pre-owned Rolex dive watch was created sometime between 2000 to 2009, according to the dealer. This stainless steel watch has a 40mm case, luminous hands, and is water-resistant to 1,220 meters/4,000 feet. It comes with its original paperwork and box.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
23. Rolex Pre-Owned 2008 Submariner Automatic Oystersteel Watch
The Rolex Submariner was the brand’s first foray into dive watches, and they’ve been worn by professional divers since the ‘50s. This certified chronometer dive watch is water resistant to 300 meters/1,000 feet. The bracelet is made from stainless steel, and the case is crafted from oystersteel. The 40mm case has a rotating ceramic bezel, luminous hands and indices are made from 18k white gold.
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch, 42MM
24. Ulysse Nardin Diver X Nemo Point Limited Edition Automatic 44mm Titanium and Webbing Watch
This Ulysse Nardin Diver X Nemo watch has a jaunty nautical design of blue and white with touches of red. It’s also a limited edition dive watch and could quickly become a collectible item. Their mechanicals are superb, and this dive watch has 50 jewels, is an automatic with a 60-hour power reserve. The 44mm titanium case has a rubberized titanium bezel, Super-LumiNova hands and indices, a seconds subdial and an engraved case back. It’s water resistant to 30 bars/30 ATM/1,000 feet.
Ulysse Nardin Diver X Nemo Diver Watch
25. Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660 Stainless Steel Black Ceramic Dial Watch
This Rolex dive watch, the Deepsea Sea-Dweller can go down to 3,900 meters. Looking at the dial, you’ll see the phrase, “Original Gas Escape Valve,” that means that Rolex has engineered an automatic escape valve so when the watch reaches a specific pressure level, the gases that have been trapped from being so deeply under water are released. The Deepsea Sea-Dweller is also a certified chronometer, which means no matter where it is, or what happens to it, it will always be an extremely accurate time-keeper. Created in 2018, this pre-owned Rolex dive watch is in excellent condition and comes with its original papers and box. The 44mm case and bracelet are made from steel and has luminous hands and indices. It also has a date complication.