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.
1. Citizen Promaster Professional Dive Watch
Citizen is known for their smart, solar-powered Eco-Drive technology that makes it so their watches function without a battery. That technology makes this Promaster watch great because it ensures you won’t need to open the back of the watch to ever replace a battery. With a water resistance of up to 200 meters, it’ll be suitable for the majority of your dives. Additionally, the lightweight polyurethane strap won’t weigh your wrist down too much and the whole package comes in an ocean-approved navy that’ll look just as striking underwater as it will alongside any outfit you pair it with on land.
2. Casio Sport Analog Dive Watch
A fantastic value purchase, this Casio dive watch is both stylish (the black and white combination makes for a visually striking watch) and useful for entry-level divers (it has a water resistance of up to 100 meters). Of course, there’s an ability to light up the face that will prove useful while both on land and under the sea. While more hardcore divers will want something with a deeper level of resistance and more features, this one is perfect to test the waters in the interim.
3. Tomoro Digital Dive Watch
If you like the idea of a digital diving watch, but don’t need to have all the bells and whistles seen in some of the other smart diving watches, this watch from Tomoro will have you covered. Water-resistant up to 100 meters, a rounded clear display shows the time in an easy-to-read, clear font. The subtle backlight is great to have while underwater and the rubber watch band gives the whole timepiece a sleek and sporty vibe while providing plenty of all-day comfort in case you want to just keep swimming.
4. Stuhrling Original Watch
With its large, clear face, the Stuhrling Original Watch is an attractive yet easy-to-read watch option. It uses a Japanese Miyota movement to deliver ultra-accurate time readings through the luminescent hands and indices. It can withstand depths of up to 100 meters, making it great for snorkeling, swimming and diving. Plus, the watch sports a high-grade rubber strap for a comfortable on-wrist feel, and you can choose between three different colors, namely blue, red and black.
5. Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Automatic Watch
The Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Automatic Watch is a truly eye-catching wrist piece. The USA-made watch is constructed from steel and gold-tone stainless steel, finished with a vivid blue, unidirectional bezel and face. Its luminous hour markers and hands allow for easy time readings, while the watch’s 152-gram weight makes it feel weighty in hand. The classy band can also be adjusted by adding or removing links for a more comfortable fit. Plus, it’s water-resistant to 200 meters and comes with a three-year limited manufacturer warranty.
6. Orient Men’s ‘Ray II Rubber’ Japanese Diving Watch
With its clean appearance, soft rubber strap and easy-to-read watch face, the Orient Men’s ‘Ray II Rubber’ Japanese Diving Watch is a solid option for anyone in search of a quality dive watch. It’s capable of submerging to 200 meters underwater and includes a 12-click, unidirectional bezel for easier time readings. To further add to the watch’s attractive look, the watch face sports Orient’s classy logo and a two-dolphin decal on the lower strap.
7. Sicura Dive Watch
Water-resistant up to 300 meters, this Sicura dive watch immediately makes a bold statement with its watch face, a vibrant yellow that contrasts quite nicely with the silver bracelet. It also contains many of the features we’ve seen from other dive watches, including the automatic movement and a strongly illuminated dial.
8. Nautica Men’s Tarpoon Dive Silicone Strap Watch
The Nautica Men’s Tarpoon Dive Silicone Strap Watch sports a thick silicone strap for a more comfortable feel on your wrist. The adjustable strap can accommodate wrist sizes up to eight inches in circumference and also sports a table of N.D. limits for quick and easy access. For aesthetic appeal, there’s a Nautica-style flag on the face near six o’clock, while the watch’s blue and silver/white color scheme further adds to the diver-orientated design. Functionally, the watch is suitable for snorkeling, swimming and diving, as it can be submerged to 200 meters.
9. Momentum’s Unisex M1 Splash Watch
The great thing about the Momentum’s Unisex M1 Splash Watch is that it’s probably available in your favorite color. The watch sports a comfortable, natural rubber strap and can withstand depths of up to 200 meters, making it a good choice for adventure sports athletes, swimmers and divers. You’ll also find a rotating bezel for easier reading of elapsed time and a face with luminous raised numbers for viewing clarity. In addition, it’s supplied in a stylish, black box, saving you time and effort when gifting this watch to partners and friends.
10. Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X. Watch
BEST STRAP RANGE
With durable, leather, stainless steel, tough-textile paracord and rubber options available, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the strap on the Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X. Watch. Each option is beautifully crafted to deliver a stylish and versatile timepiece. The case is crafted from high-grade, hypoallergenic steel which is impressively durable. It can withstand high drops and underwater conditions up to 200 meters deep. Furthermore, it delivers precision time readings and comes with a three-year limited warranty.
11. Invicta Dive Watch
Invicta has always crafted their watches to be not only stylish but also sit at a price point that never feels like you’re having to spend a lot to get a lot. Similar in style to that of a Rolex, it’s an inherently gorgeous-looking timepiece that will look just a good with a suit as it would a wet suit — and with water resistance up to 200 meters, you can seamlessly transition between the two with ease.
12. Hawaiian Lifeguard Official Association Dive Watch
Both the bright red and bright yellow strap options for the Hawaiian Lifeguard Men’s Official Association Dive Watch look like they were born for life in the water. No matter whether you’re heading to the beach, pool or just getting caught out in the rain, this high-quality piece can handle it. The watch’s physical limits are actually set to 200 meters under the water. For added protection, the watch uses scratch-resistant K1 hardened mineral crystal, while the fat hands ensure reading the time is quick and easy.
13. Rotary Super 7 Scuba Men’s Dive Watch
The Rotary Super 7 Scuba Men’s Dive Watch is a unique-looking timepiece. The watch’s face pays homage to 1970s dive watches with a memorable orange color and large, clear hour markers. Functionally, the watch can dive to 300 meters, while the face-mounted calendar tells the date in the form of the day and the number for added clarity. Additionally, the strap is made from a perforated silicone which is breathable and water-resistant to ensure you’re comfortable throughout long days of wearing the watch.
14. Seiko Automatic Analogue Dive Watch
BEST MOVEMENT POWERED
If you’d rather power a watch yourself, the Sieko Diver’s Automatic Direct Drive watch gains its power from the movement (i.e., swinging) of your watch arm. Additional features like the brand’s auto relay and perpetual calendar automatically reset to the correct date and time, without you having to make those adjustments yourself. With water resistance up to 200 meters, it’s a more than a suitable companion to take alongside you on any recreational scuba dive.
15. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch
Some people prefer thinner bezels and some prefer thick, chunky bezels. If you fall into the latter category, the Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch could be the choice for you. In addition to its large bezel, this impressively reviewed watch includes an easy-to-read dial as well as luminous hands and hour markers. It also powers itself using a light-powered Eco Drive. Plus, it can dive to 300 meters deep and sports a rubber band with a buckle closure for a secure fit above and below the water.
16. Casio G-Shock Digital Dive Watch
BEST MULTI PURPOSE
Casio’s fantastic and sturdy G-Shock technology has been ported over to this dive watch, incorporating many of the same features we loved in their survival watches, but re-calibrating and remixing them — from one environmental extreme to another. The great Casio afterglow will light up the back display, even while underwater, to make it so you can read the face with no issues. Additional dive-specific features are built-in, including a dive-time tracker that includes surface measurements and even a countdown timer. Water-resistant up to 200 meters, it’s great for divers that want a bunch of key information — all available at a quick glance.
17. Alpina Seastrong Diver Swiss Quartz Diving Watch
For a watch that beautifully balances both a stylish and a sporty appearance, look no further than the Alpina Seastrong Diver Swiss Quartz Diving Watch. The design includes a bright orange, blue-numbered bezel around a sleek, black face with striking white indices. The watch’s black rubber strap feels comfortable against your skin, while the high-quality construction makes this gift-worthy watch capable of going down to 300 meters below the surface.
18. Suunto D5 Dive Watch
BEST DIVE WATCH
If you’re willing to give up a bit of water resistance in exchange for a really extensive amount of information, the Suunto D5 Dive “computer” excels — and then some. An easy to navigate interface makes it easy to swap between different nodes while keeping track of important metrics like location, air levels, and depth. The LED backlight can be scaled brighter or darker depending on your personal needs. And if you want a deeper dive (pun intended) on your scuba stats, you can connect the watch with the Suunto app for a more detailed report.
19. Garmin Descent Dive Watch
Garmin’s dive watch is the most comprehensive digital dive watch on this list, offering a bevy of features that are perfect for more hardcore divers. What’s most impressive about this watch is the surface GPS navigation that includes location mapping to make it even easier to mark your entry and exit points for the dive. Furthermore, the vibrant display makes it easy to read, while the three-axis compass makes it so you can navigate up to 100 meters underwater without issues.