22 min read ·

47 Best Dive Watches - A Complete Guide 2021

Oris Carl Brashear Calibre 401
For everyone from the most passionate watch collector to the total watch novice, dive watches are one of the most popular areas of watch enthusiasm, despite the fact that almost no one goes diving with a watch. So what gives? Why should regular people on the street want a watch originally designed for use as a tool in the ocean’s murky depths? For me, the enduring popularity of dive watches has to do with several factors: Because dive watches obviously need to be water-resistant, they are as a rule over-engineered and solidly built, making them more than stout enough for rough and tumble everyday wear on dry land. Since divers require at-a-glance legibility underwater, dive watches also tend to have some of the cleanest dial designs. And finally, dive watches are culturally associated with a strong sense of cool, from James Bond’s Omega Seamaster associations, to Steve McQueen’s Rolex 5513, all the way to the US Navy SEALs, cool guys (and gals) wear dive watches.So, whether you’re a desk diver or actually want to get your watch wet, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 45 of the best dive watches on the market, all the way from entry-level and well into the world of luxury watches. Of course, the usual suspects are in here, but I’m also aiming to share some new pieces with you. To keep things in order, we’ll start from the bottom in terms of price and work our way up. Before the keyboard aquanauts attack, let me say upfront we’re looking at both dive watches meeting the ISO 6425 specifications as well as dive-style watches here.

Casio G-Shock DW9052

Specifications: Price: $46, Case Size: 48.5mm, Thickness: 14.7mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Quartz Casio, Battery Life: 2 Years, Crystal: Mineral GlassHardy, cheap, and reliable are all words that perfectly describe what is perhaps the best truly inexpensive dive watch in the world, Casio’s G-Shock DW9052. This is a watch which was for years standard issue at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City Beach, FL, given to divers right along with their fins, masks, and knives. Used by everyone from US Navy SEALs to Home Depot dads, the DW9052 does everything it needs to do in terms of underwater time telling, with a simple to use stopwatch feature, while being virtually indestructible, exactly what military and civilian divers need.Shop here.

Vostok Amphibia

Specification: Price: $88, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 15mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Vostok 2416, Power Reserve: 31 Hours, Crystal: AcrylicKnown and loved by legions of value-thirsty diver’s watch enthusiasts, the Vostok Amphibia is a cult classic. For quite a bit less than $100, the Russian-made Vostok, which runs on an in-house movement, comes in hundreds of different case and dial variations, and is the subject of a busy aftermarket modification scene. Famously worn by Bill Murray in the hipster favorite film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the Amphibia is the least expensive legitimate automatic diver’s watch you can get, full stop.

Orient Kano

Specifications: Price: $235, Case Size: 44mm, Thickness: 12.9mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Orient F6922, Power Reserve: 40 Hours, Crystal: MineralThe Kano is one of Orient’s newer dive watches and I view it as a cleaner, less fussy, and slightly larger version of the very popular Kamasu. The bezel is less busy and the dial appears simpler because of the large blocky indices. But like all Orient divers, the value proposition is hard to beat. At well under $300, the Kano is water-resistant to 200 meters and it has an in-house movement that has hacking seconds, hand-winding capability, and a power reserve of 40 hours. It’s an excellent choice for anyone’s first dive watch or even mechanical watch. It’s available on a silicone strap and a stainless steel bracelet, both of which are surprisingly good for the money, just like the rest of the watch.Shop here.

Citizen Promaster Diver

Specifications: Price: $280, Case Size: 44mm, Thickness: 12mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Solar Quartz Citizen E168, Power Reserve: 6 months, Crystal: MineralIn the tightly-packed world of truly affordable dive watches, Seiko rules the roost, with Orient for many stealing the second position. However, the entry-level Citizen Promaster has a lot to offer. The 44mm case is robust and oozes tool watch appeal. The dial is fuss-free and features large hands and markers filled with luminescent material for easy reading regardless of the circumstances. The orange minute hand is playful, but also makes it easier for divers to see when they are underwater. The movement may be quartz, but it’s solar-powered and can last for up to half a year on a full charge. Best of all, you get all of this for well under $300, making this an excellent argument for a diver on a budget.

Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Military

Specifications: Price: $400, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 13mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto SW200, Power reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: SapphireSome readers might have a disdain for homages and that’s understandable, but I think the Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Military gets a pass because it pays homage to the Rolex MilSub, a watch that’s long out of production and was only issued to the British military, meaning you will never get one. Also, it’s not a one-to-one reproduction. Steinhart has given it some modern twists, such as a larger and more contemporary case size of 42mm. It also has a higher water resistance rating of 300 meters. The dial, however, by way of the arrow-shaped hands and painted markers, stays true to the MilSub heritage, but brings the wealthy-collectors-only piece to the masses in terms of price.

Bulova Devil Diver

Specifications: Price: $556, Case Size: 44mm, Thickness: 14.6mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.9mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Miyota 821D, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireIf you like your watches with funky vintage charm, few watches on this list can compete with the Bulova Devil Diver. Based on the original Oceanographer from the 1970s, the Devil Diver gets its nickname from the depth rating of the original watch, a satanic 666 feet. With a stainless steel cushion case (conveying a Doxa-esque feel) very much representing the original design’s era, and some of the more unusual hour indices you’ll see, the Devil Diver gets by on sheer uniqueness as well as its reasonable retail price.Shop here.

Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Professional Diver

Specifications: Price: $595, Case Size: 45mm, Thickness: 14.4mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Swiss Quartz, Crystal: SapphireFamous for its Swiss Army knives, Victorinox recently started a more concerted effort to produce watches. One might dismiss the I.N.O.X. Professional Diver that you see here just because it has a quartz movement, but to do so would be missing the point. Quartz has its advantages. Not only is it more accurate, but it is also more durable in terms of shock and magnetic resistance. To prove its reliability and sturdiness, I.N.O.X. watches are designed to survive a rigorous 130 endurance tests that include drops and subjecting the watch to extreme shock, making them something of an analog G-Shock type concept. The I.N.O.X. Professional Diver features a sandblasted case for greater resistance against knocks and scratches, and is an ISO 6425 certified dive watch.

Seiko SRPE03 King Turtle

Specifications: Price: $625, Case Size: 45mm, Thickness: 13.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.7mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Seiko 4R36, Crystal: SapphireSeiko’s excellent King Turtle builds on the success of the SRP Turtle collection released in 2016, addressing some of the most commonly modified aspects of the original turtle by adding a ceramic bezel insert, an interesting waffle-patterned dial, and a sapphire crystal. Both of these watches are inspired by an important dive watch from Seiko’s older catalog, the cushion-cased 6309 collection, likely one of the most popular dive watches of all time judging by the sheer number of them on offer pretty much everywhere watches are sold. While on the larger side, the combination of the classic Seiko DNA in this dial’s design, some of the best lume in the business, and the upgrades everyone wants in the ceramic bezel insert and sapphire crystal, the King Turtle is “shut up and take my money” material for many dive watches enthusiasts for a reason.

Baltic Aquascaphe

Specifications: Price: $700-$800, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 12mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Miyota 9039, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Baltic Aquascaphe is a watch designed for enthusiasts by enthusiasts, with refreshingly moderate sizing at just 39mm wide and 12mm thick. While likely not often purchased by actual divers, Baltic nailed the dive styling with equal amounts of vintage appeal and contemporary flair, making this one of the better looking microbrand divers on the market. With an interesting, lume-filled, sandwich dial construction and three available color configurations, Baltic’s Aquascaphe is a powerful value proposition that wears well, especially when paired with the brand’s excellent beads-of-rice bracelet. Baltic also recently released an excellent GMT version of this watch in the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT, which is powered by the Swiss Soprod C125 caliber. I am perpetually excited to see what else Baltic comes up with.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80

Specifications: Price: $725, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 12.7mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.3mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto ETA C07, Power Reserve: 80 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 is available in various colorways but my favorite is the one you see above with a gradient blue dial, which reminds me of the ocean depths the watch was intended to operate in. The ingredients of the Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 are as no-nonsense as they come, with a muscular 43mm stainless steel case, large unidirectional bezel, and huge hands and hour indices. Interestingly, it also has a see-through caseback which is an uncommon feature in dive watches. The movement within is the Powermatic 80 — so-called because it has an 80 hour long power reserve. For well under $1,000, it’s hard to find another Swiss-made diver that’s as robust.Shop here.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba

Specifications: Price: $745, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 13mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Auto ETA C07, Power Reserve: 80 Hours, Crystal: SapphireIf you are looking for a Swiss-made dive-style watch from a big brand that’s under $1,000, the list isn’t long. One solid option is the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba which, while not an ISO-certified diver, should be more than sufficient for the deep end of the swimming pool action most dive watches are confronted with. The Khaki Navy Scuba comes in a moderately-sized 40mm case and is water resistant to 100 meters, the minimum for a diver’s watch according to ISO. It’s available in a variety of colours including black, blue and white, and blue and orange. Inside, it’s powered by the Hamilton Caliber H-10, which is based on the ETA C07 — one of ETA’s newer movements — and features an impressive power reserve of 80 hours.Shop here.

Halios Fairwind

Specifications: Price: $775, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 12.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto SW200, Power Reserve: 40 Hours, Crystal: SapphireHalios is a microbrand that specializes in dive watches, and it enjoys a reputation among enthusiasts for making some of the most thoughtful watches. The Fairwind is one of their newest watches, and it follows the trend of smaller, more svelte watches more in keeping with vintage sizing. The Fairwind’s case is 39mm wide and only 12.4mm thick, which is reasonable for a 200-meter diver. It comes in blue and grey and can be ordered with a sapphire or steel bezel. I much prefer the look of the sapphire bezel as it has a liquid quality to it and really jazzes up the watch. The only problem is that Halios’ watches are fairly priced, typically produced in small quantities, and sell out quickly, so make moves if you have interest.

Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF-A1000

Specifications: Price: $800, Case Size: 56.7mm, Thickness: 19.7mm, Lug-to-Lug: 53.3mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Solar Quartz Casio 5623, Power Reserve: 5 months on a full charge, Crystal: SapphireCasio released an all-new ana-digi G-Shock Frogman in 2020, and it’s a great departure from earlier totally-digital models. It’s still a super chunky ISO-certified 200 meter diver, but now features a new case design with G-Shock’s Carbon Core Guard technology as well as the first analog display on a Frogman. At a glance, owners will be able to tell the time in two time zones and also refer to the tide graph showing tidal information at some of the world’s most famous diving spots. Longtime G-Shock tech including Tough Solar and Multi Band 6 are also present here. And, adding a heaping helping of convenience, owners can manage and adjust their Frogman via Bluetooth using the G-Shock Connected app.Shop here.

Doxa Sub 200

Specifications: Price: $950, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 14mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45mm, Movement: Auto ETA 2824, Water Resistance: 200m, Crystal: SapphireAs a brand more closely associated with the $1,500-3,000 price range, Doxa took a lot of enthusiasts by surprise when they unveiled the Sub 200 at the end of 2020, way back when the world still made sense. By any metric, the near $1,000 package offered by the Doxa sub is a good deal, and allows for more enthusiasts to get in on Doxa’s colorful designs, diving heritage, and excellent beads-of-rice bracelet. With dial colors and matching bezel inserts to satisfy nearly any color preference, the Doxa Sub 200 has very wearable dimensions, is simply a lot of fun, and is easily one of the better recent affordable diver’s watches to grace the scene.

Certina DS Super PH500M

Specifications: Price: $1,000, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 14.95mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Water Resistance: 500m, Movement: Auto ETA C07.611, Power Reserve: 80 hours, Crystal: SapphireCertina is a lesser known brand to most enthusiasts but does exist on the radar of most vintage dive watch fans. Certina supplied watches for the Tektite I project in 1969, where a team of scientists and divers spent two months in an underwater laboratory, and is also known for having been the issue watch for some lucky Royal Australian Navy divers in the 1970s. Today, like a lot of other brands, Certina is digging through their archives and providing updated takes on their classic designs including this excellent, orange-dialed PH500M, a watch which is visually an exact replica of the original watch but updated with a sapphire crystal, better lume, and the impressive Powermatic 80 caliber with 80 hours of power reserve. For the price, I think it’s one of the more interesting and obscure dive watches on the market.

Christopher Ward C65 Super Compressor

Specifications: Price: $1,025, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 13.05mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.12mm, Water Resistance: 150m, Movement: Auto SW200, Power Reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: SapphireModern super compressor-style dive watches, easily identified by their dual crown and internal bezel design, are relatively uncommon, but there are a few good ones out there to check out, including the Christopher Ward C65 Super Compressor. This is a vintage-inspired watch that stays faithful to the watches that influenced it, even in terms of sizing at just 41mm wide and 13mm thick. Topped off with a heavily domed sapphire crystal that slightly distorts the dial depending on the viewing angle, the C65 Super Compressor has the right amount of vintage charm without feeling cutesy. Considering the price, this watch is also a solid value from Christopher Ward, with a Sellita SW200, solid lume, and that excellent domed sapphire crystal.

Laco Sport Watch Atlantik MB

Specifications: Price: $1,190, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 13.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50.5mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto ETA 2824, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireLaco is famous for its pilot watches, but the brand also has a low-key selection of excellent dive watches including the parabolic-cased Squad Atacama and the Atlantik mentioned here. With blue accents meant to invoke images of the sea, the Atlantik’s 42mm stainless steel case can withstand water pressure of up to 300 meters, and the unidirectional bezel is made of ceramic, adding a great deal of durability to a high wear area. Large broadsword hands and Arabic hour markers are easy to read and have just a bit of a pilot-style touch for this aquatic sport watch.Shop here.

Seiko Prospex SPB143

Specifications: Price: $1,200 Case Size: 40.5mm, Thickness: 13.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.6mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Seiko 6R35, Power Reserve: 70 Hours, Crystal: SapphireSeiko’s Prospex lineup of dive watches runs the gamut of price points from hundreds to thousands of dollars, though the brand has recently released a number of excellent watches for around $1,000. The Prospex SPB143 might look somewhat familiar to you, and that’s because it closely resembles the limited edition SLA017, which is in turn inspired by the Seiko 62MAS — Seiko’s very first dive watch. To justify its higher price tag, the SPB143 comes in a more refined case that’s just a tad over 40mm wide, a sign of changing times and case downsizing throughout the industry. The finishing on the case and the dial is also a step up from your usual Sumos, Monsters, and Turtles. The movement inside is Seiko’s 6R35 with a 70-hour power reserve, making this an excellent option for the price.

Marathon Search & Rescue Diver’s Automatic 41mm

Specifications: Price: $1,232, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 13.6mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto ETA 2824, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireMarathon, based in Canada, has been supplying watches to military organizations around the world for 80 years now. With that kind of heritage, it’s no wonder their Search & Rescue Diver’s Automatic is one tough cookie. Originally designed for Canadian military search-and-rescue technicians, the beefy-looking 41mm case is 316L stainless steel and it is water-resistant to 300 meters. Under the sapphire crystal is a dial that uses tritium tubes on the hands and hour markers. Tritium glows consistently in the dark without the need for a charge, so visibility in low light situations is assured. The movement within is the Marathon M2, which is a tried-and-tested ETA 2824, making this tank-like watch a solid value for what you get.Shop here.

Formex Reef Automatic Chronometer COSC 300m

Specifications: Price: $1,790, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 11.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto SW300, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Formex Reef Automatic Chronometer has a 42mm stainless steel case with ears on its flanks that resembles the Patek Philippe Nautilus. It’s also powered by a thin Sellita SW300 movement which allows Formex to keep the case height to just 11.4mm — impressive for a watch with 300 meters water resistance. The dial has large hands and markers, and thanks to the date at 6 o’clock, it’s also pleasantly symmetrical. The bezel is ceramic and the watch has a quick strap change system that allows owners to easily swap between a metal bracelet and rubber strap. The bracelet, which is easily one of the best for the price, also features a patent fine-adjustment system reminiscent of Rolex’s Glidelock. Overall, the Formex Reef is a very thoughtful, refined dive watch from a brand that deserves more attention that it gets.Shop here.

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT Automatic

Specifications: Price: $1,795, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 14mm, Lug-to-lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Soprod C125, Power reserve: 42 hours, Crystal: SapphireAfter much clamouring from fans, Zodiac finally succumbed and agreed to include the Sea Wolf GMT as a regular production piece after a few successful limited editions. With its vintage-inspired looks and unique aesthetic, it’s easy to see why the Sea Wolf GMT is such a hit. What’s distinctive about the watch is how Zodiac decided to go with squared-off hands — even the GMT hand is a blockish rectangle. The brushed bidirectional bezel features a 24-ring to make it easy to keep track in a second or even third timezone. Inside beats a Soprod C125, which is a clone of the ETA 2893-2 and it offers similar specifications like a 4Hz beat rate and 42-hour power reserve. It’s available in stainless steel and there’s also a two-tone version, making this one of the more fun options for a GMT diver today.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer

Specifications: Price: $1,990, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 11.6mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto SW200, Power Reserve: 38 Hours, Crystal: SapphireStainless steel sport watches with integrated bracelets and straps are all the rage now. That’s why it’s close to impossible to get a Nautilus or Royal Oak. It’s also why brands like Chopard and even A. Lange & Söhne are releasing their takes on the genre. For a more attainable alternative, look no further than the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer. The Venturer is the dive watch of the Aikon range and it has a water resistance rating of 300 meters. The dial is quite conventional with large round hour markers and thick hands, but what’s unique here is the Royal-Oak-style case that’s relatively thin for a 300m diver — just 11.6mm — and also has angled integrated lugs, along with a quick-change strap system for users to easily swap straps.Shop here.

Rado Captain Cook Bronze

Specifications: Price: $2,000, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 12.5mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48.2mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: ETA C07.611, Power Reserve: 80 Hours, Crystal: SapphireMost people associate Rado with funky retro designs and high-tech ceramic as a case material. However, the brand has an extensive history with dive watches as well. In the early 1960s, Rado produced a dive watch called the Captain Cook. Unfortunately, production was short-lived and Rado ceased making the OG Captain Cook after just six years. Seeing the popularity of vintage-inspired watches, Rado cleverly decided to resurrect the Captain Cook and produced a stunning homage in 2017. The latest version stays true to Rado’s history of using exotic materials by featuring a ceramic bezel and a unique bronze and aluminium alloy case that doesn’t develop patina as readily as most other bronze watches. Inside, it’s powered by the ETA C07 movement that has an impressive power reserve of 80 hours.Shop here.

Mühle Glashütte ProMare Go

Specifications: Price: $2,099, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 12.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50.5mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto SW200, Crystal: SapphireCompared to a lot of the watches on this list, the Mühle Glashütte ProMare Go provides one of the cleaner dials and a well executed combination of colors I haven’t seen anywhere else, with shades of blue carefully combined for a refined-yet aquatic effect. Add to that legitimate dive chops, such as 300 meters of water resistance and solid lume, and you have a lesser-known German diver you should probably add to your list. At 42mm by 50.5mm, the ProMare isn’t small, but the relatively minimal aesthetic means this won’t jump off your wrist at passersby like a Panerai.Shop here.

Monta Oceanking

Specifications: Price: $2,140, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 11.9mm, Lug-to-Lug: 49mm, Water Resistance: 304m, Movement: Auto SW300, Crystal: SapphireFor a lot of enthusiasts, Monta is the best microbrand on the market, having built up an impressive reputation for the luxurious build quality and tasteful design in its small collection. As the name implies, the Oceanking is Monta’s take on a luxury dive watch, featuring the up-spec Sellita SW300 as well as a truly impressive level of finishing for a price more often associated with entry-to-luxury brands like Oris. In terms of its design, the Oceanking combines elements from other classic dive designs in a way that doesn’t feel like an homage but rather a new, modern piece. With a ceramic bezel insert, adjusted Sellita caliber, Super-Luminova in great supply, and one of the best bracelets in the business, the Oceanking is a really strong choice for a dive watch no one else will have seen before.

Sinn U50

Specifications: Price: $2,180, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 11.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47mm, Water Resistance: 500m, Movement: Auto SW300, Crystal: SapphireOne of the most welcome releases from Frankfurt, Germany-based Sinn in a long time, the U50 is a tastefully downsized version of the brand’s much-loved U1 diver’s watch. Finally available with Rolex Submariner-esque dimensions, the U50 allows those with smaller wrists, myself included, to enjoy the minimalism, Sinn technology, and low-key tool watch vibes built into the U series. Powered by a reliable Sellita SW300, the U50 is also a solid value when you consider what you get for the price, especially compared to many Swiss brands. For a bead-blasted diver that feels very German, the new U50 is an excellent choice for a tool watch with easy wearing dimensions.

Longines Legend Diver

Specifications: Price: $2,300, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 12.7mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto ETA A31, Power Reserve: 64 Hours, Crystal: SapphireBased on Longines’s own Super Compressor-cased watches from the 1960s and 70s, the Legend Diver was one of the first watches in the “heritage reissue” game, having been launched way back in 2009, even before the Tudor Black Bay in 2012. Over the years, it has received a couple of minor updates, but still looks much the same. The big change is inside the watch. In place of the previously included ETA 2824, the Legend Diver is now powered by the caliber L888, which is based on the ETA A31. This movement sacrifices beat rate, slowing from 4 Hz to 3 Hz, for a longer 64-hour power reserve. The Longines Legend Diver is also available with an all-black PVD case and even a bronze case with a green dial, as well as in different case sizes.

Doxa Sub 300

Specifications: Price: $2,490, Case Size: 42.5mm, Thickness: 13.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: ETA 2824, Power Reserve: 38 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Doxa Sub 300 might not be the first dive watch, an honor battled over by Rolex and Blancpain, but its history is synonymous with diving. Launched in 1967, it quickly became the watch of choice for many professionals, and its bright orange dial is now an icon for dive watch enthusiasts. Wisely, Doxa decided to release a new Sub 300 that is very much a visual reissue of the original, but with modern upgrades. Water-resistance is still 300 meters, but the case is now better constructed and finished. The unique cushion case shape remains untouched, and it’s still available in orange as well as five other colors. Perhaps most importantly, the movement is updated too, with a COSC-certified chronometer ETA 2824 powering this updated diver’s icon.

Mühle Glashütte S.A.R. Rescue Timer

Specifications: Price: $2,499, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 13.5mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.3mm, Lug Width: 24mm, Water Resistance: 1,000m, Movement: Auto SW200, Power Reserve: 38 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Mühle Glashütte S.A.R. Rescue Timer, while not necessarily designed for diving as such, is still one hell of a maritime watch that is more than capable of any undersea missions you’re likely to undertake. Developed in collaboration with the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, the Rescue Timer has some uncommon features including a recessed screw down crown in the four o’clock position, 1,000 meters of water resistance, an extremely thick sapphire crystal with a date magnifier, and a rubber bezel. For example, the case is remarkably robust and the large crown is positioned at 4 o’clock for better wearing comfort during missions. The dial is densely packed with lume and designed for at a glance visibility in all conditions. The movement inside is a Sellita SW200, but heavily modified to feature a woodpecker regulation system.Shop here.

Tag Heuer Aquaracer

Specifications: Price: $2,700, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 12mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto ETA 2824, Power reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Tag Heuer Aquaracer is a popular choice for a first luxury Swiss watch because it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s robust, versatile enough to wear for most occasions, and it comes from a brand with cachet and a long history. The latest version of the Aquaracer comes in a 43mm case that’s water-resistant to 300 meters. But most of all, it has colorful resin bezels that mimic the look of tortoiseshell. It’s also available with a blue dial and blue bezel, and a black dial with red bezel. I think it’s a look that you either love or hate. I happen to like it and I think that at the very least it makes it look different from a lot of the competition out there. And also, thankfully, it isn’t a vintage-inspired reissue of anything, which is refreshing.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master 300 SLA023J1

Specifications: Price: $2,790 Case Size: 40.5mm, Thickness: 13.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.6mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Seiko 6R35, Power Reserve: 70 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Prospex Marine Master 300 is a modern icon of dive watches. It has been with us in some form since the early 2000s, and the SLA023J1 is simply the latest iteration, with an unchanged 44mm monocoque case, finished to a very high standard for the price, and 300-meters of water resistance. The big change with this new model is the dial. Gone is black and in its place, we have blue with gold accents. Compared to earlier versions, this is more colorful and striking to look at. Inside, the SLA023J1 is driven by Seiko’s in-house caliber 8L35, which is closely related to the Grand Seiko caliber 9S55. If you’re searching for a luxurious diving watch with a lot of what you would get from a Grand Seiko, but don’t have the coin, this SLA023 is a great option to take a look at.

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue M79030B

Specifications: Price: $3,375, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 11.9mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Tudor MT5402, Power Reserve: 70 Hours, Crystal: SapphireIn some ways, I’m tired of covering the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue, but that’s mostly because it’s tough to keep saying how good the watch is and how fair the pricing is on this in-house equipped, tastefully-sized diving watch from Tudor. Tudor’s MT5402 is actually a pretty interesting movement and has a 70-hour power reserve. Add to that one of the best wearing experiences from any watch in the Rolex or Tudor family, and the BB58’s hype is completely justified. These are a bit hard to get at the moment, and I probably wouldn’t pay over retail, but if you’re looking for one diver’s watch to do it all while feeling a bit more youthful and casual, and your budget is somewhere around four grand, I’m not sure you can do better.

Breitling Superocean Automatic 42

Specifications: Price: From $3,450, Case Size: 42mm, Lug width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 500m, Movement: Auto ETA 2824 (COSC), Power Reserve: 38 Hours, Crystal: SapphireBreitling gave its Superocean collection a thorough overhaul in 2019 and released new versions in case sizes from 36mm all the way up to 48mm. The 42mm model, I think, is the sweet spot. The design is boldly contemporary and has little of the vintage-inspired DNA currently dominating the market. The modern Superocean dial has large markers, equally large hands, and a prominent date window at 3 o’clock, everything you need and nothing superfluous. The movement within is the Breitling 17, an ETA 2824 that’s been certified as a chronometer by the COSC. The new Superocean is also available in several colors, including black, white, orange, and blue, and can be ordered with a high-quality rubber strap or a metal bracelet.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver

Specifications: Price: $3,700 Case Size: 42mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto SW300, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireWith a totally unique look, the Bell & Ross BR 03 is one of the most recognizable watches on the market. The round dial coupled with its square, instrument-style case can be easily spotted on a wrist from across the room. It was only a matter of time before Bell & Ross released a dive watch version in 2017. The BR 03-92 Diver has all of the hallmarks that made the standard watch it was based on famous, but adds a beefier case, rotating diver’s bezel, crown guards, and an upgrade in water resistance to 300 meters. While expensive for a Sellita-powered watch, Bell & Ross watches have always been about their visual design, and the BR 03-92 Diver is a distinctive, legible, and solid dive watch from the brand.Shop here.

Ball Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II

Specifications: Price: $3,749, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 15.5mm, Water Resistance: 1,000m, Movement: Auto ETA 2892, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireAs you might have guessed from its name, the Hydrocarbon DeepQUEST II is Ball’s deepest diving watch. Thanks to its solidly-built monocoque titanium case, the DeepQUEST II has a rated water resistance of 1,000 meters, which is frankly more than anyone will ever need. And, like all other Ball watches, the DeepQUEST II uses tritium tubes for the hands and hour markers, presenting a powerful glow without the need for a charge, and making the DeepQUEST II easy to read even in pitch black conditions. Besides the aggressive look, tritium tubes, and titanium case construction, another highlight of this DeepQUEST II is the inclusion of the Ball RR1101-C, a caliber based on the ETA 2892 and chronometer-certified by the COSC.

Bremont Supermarine Type 300

Specifications: Price: $3,795, Case Size: 40mm,Thickness: 13mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto ETA 2836, Power Reserve: 38 Hours, Crystal: SapphireBremont may be more closely associated with aviation-style watches, but they make some mean dive watches too, though much of Bremont’s aquatic collection has been huge in terms of case dimensions. In 2017, Bremont released its most compact dive watch yet: the Supermarine Type 300. With a case measuring 40mm in width and 13mm thick, the new Supermarine is still water-resistant to 300 meters. The overall design is best described as simple but effective, and makes use of a lot of Bremont’s visual cues. Like most dive watches on this list, it has large hands and prominent markers which make it easy to read. The crown is large and exposed for easy operation. The movement is ETA-based but has been regulated enough to achieve COSC-certification. Overall, the Bremont Supermarine 300 a simple yet stylish and highly effective dive watch from the young British brand.

Tudor Black Bay GMT

Specifications: Price: $3,900, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 15mm, Lug-to-lug: 50mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Tudor MT5652, Power Reserve: 70 Hours, Crystal: SapphireAt this price point, few watches offer as much value as the Tudor Black Bay GMT, a 200-meter diver-style watch with a stainless steel case that’s built and finished to the high quality that Tudor has become famous for. Powering the value proposition even further is the Black Bay GMT’s caliber, an in-house manufactured “true” GMT caliber from the Rolex family known as the MT5652. With an overall aesthetic that manages a good balance between vintage-inspired and contemporary, the Black Bay GMT was a huge hit right out of the gate and remains a solid option for the diver who travels. Think of it as a quirkier Rolex GMT Master II you can actually buy.

Favre-Leuba Raider Harpoon 42

Specifications: Price: $3,950, Case Size: 42mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto FL 301 (Sellita SW200 with module), Power Reserve: 38 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Favre-Leuba is likely the most unusual watch on this list. The odd-sounding name aside — you can trace the brand’s history back to 1737 — the watch also has an uncommon case design and a unique way of telling time. The 42mm case is cushion-shaped, water-resistant to 300 meters, and features a probably unnecessary helium escape valve. On the dial, there is only one large hand paired with a small triangle, which is actually a running seconds indicator while the large hand is the minute hand. How do you tell time, you may ask? The Raider Harpoon features a unique module so the hour is read off the top of the minute hand. As time advances, the minute hand makes its way around the dial and moves on to the next hour on the 12-hour ring. This is arguably the most mechanically interesting watch on the list, while still offering up utility to those who wear their watches diving.

Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition

Specifications: Price: $4,200, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 12.5mm, Lug-to-Lug: 49.1mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Auto Oris Calibre 401, Power Reserve: 120 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Oris Divers Sixty-Five has enjoyed immense success ever since its release in 2015. Since then, Oris has delighted fans with numerous versions featuring different color dials and case materials, including the series of special editions designed to commemorate Master Chief Carl Brashear, a Navy diving legend and the first black US Navy Master Diver. The latest version is the Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition. Limited to 2,000 pieces, this watch features a bronze case and a midnight blue dial with a subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. Longtime fans of the Divers Sixty-Five will know immediately that something is up and indeed, this watch is powered by Oris’ in-house Caliber 401. This movement beats at 4Hz and has an amazing power reserve of 120 hours. Oris also regulates it to -3/+5 seconds a day — the same as COSC chronometers, making this an impressive and interesting watch for a surprising price compared to larger luxury brands.Shop here.

Nomos Ahoi

Specifications: Price: $4,660, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 10.6mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46.mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto NOMOS DUW 5101, Power Reserve: 42 Hours, Crystal: SapphireNomos is most famous for its classy and elegant Bauhaus-style watches. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that their take on a dive watch would be just as stylish and sophisticated. Unless you know what you are looking at, you might mistake the Ahoi as a regular Tangente. After all, at just 40mm wide and 10.6mm thick, it’s almost as svelte. However, this is a true dive watch that is water-resistant to 200 meters. Crown guards give added protection to the crown while diving underwater. It’s available in numerous colours but this version with its siren blue dial was designed to invoke the blue skies over the Côte d’Azur.Shop here.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Specifications: Price: $4,900, Case Size: 42mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Omega 8800, Power Reserve: 55 Hours, Crystal: SapphireThe Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is, without any question, an icon in the world of dive watches, and also the watch of a certain British secret agent. This latest iteration of Omega’s popular Seamaster Diver 300M comes in a 42mm stainless steel case and features a ceramic bezel with scalloped edges, as well as the signature manual helium escape valve at 10 o’clock. The use of ceramic extends to the dial, for the entire dial is also made out of ceramic with laser-engraved waves. The movement is Omega’s high-tech Caliber 8800, which has a Co-Axial escapement, a silicon balance spring, and is a certified Master Chronometer. Unlike most 300m divers, the movement is visible through a sapphire caseback, and it’s very well finished. Sure, this is $5,000, but looking at what you get for the price compared to something like the Rolex Submariner, it’s a wonder Omega doesn’t charge more for it.

OMEGA Seamaster 300

Specifications: Price: $6,800, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 14.5mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto Omega 8400, Crystal: SapphireAs the vintage-inspired craze charges ever forward, Omega has deeper reserves than most in terms of having a backlog of beautiful designs to reimagine with modern materials and movements. Their Omega Seamaster 300 harkens back to the 1960s, an era when diver’s watches were essential tools used to track a diver’s bottom time. This design, and especially this dial, are icons in the watch world, thanks to their good looks and legibility. The modern Seamaster 300 pairs that near-perfect vintage design with all the good things about modern Omega, most prominently with the 8400 co-axial movement. While the vintage-tinted lume and 41mm width isn’t for everyone, I think this watch, along with the Tudor Black Bay 58, is among the best heritage designs out there.

Glashütte Original SeaQ

Specifications: Price: $8,700, Case Size: 39.5mm, Thickness: 12.15mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47mm, Water Resistance: 200m, Movement: Auto Glashütte 39-11, Crystal: SapphireIn the now busy heritage reissue market, there are more modern watches which incorporate a brand’s iconic design elements, such as the Tudor Black Bay, and there are watches which are near visual replicas of historical pieces such as the German made Glashütte Original SeaQ, a watch which looks like it traveled to the present day in a time machine. Though strikingly similar aesthetically, the SeaQ has just the right amount of modern updates, including a domed sapphire crystal, modern lume, and most importantly a fully in-house manufactured caliber in the 39-11. While expensive, this SeaQ really stands out as a more independent option compared to the standard options from the big brands everyone knows, and is an excellent example of where I hope German watchmaking is going.

Rolex Submariner 41

Specifications: Price: $9,150, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 12mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto Rolex 3235, Crystal: SapphireWhile I think everyone is rightfully a bit tired of hearing about it, I can’t not include Rolex’s new Submariner 41 on this dive watch list. While the updates in terms of case size aren’t crazy, amounting to a 1mm increase in width both in the case, lug to lug, and interestingly, the lug width, the new Caliber 3235 with a 70 hour power reserve is a legitimate upgrade over the previous Submariner movement. Even though the changes are subtle, even the smallest moves by Rolex tend to influence the entire watch industry to some degree, so it’s important for enthusiasts to keep their ear to the ground where the Crown is concerned. And, whether you or I agree with how Rolex does business, the new Submariner is an excellent watch by virtually any metric.

Panerai Luminor Submersible 42mm

Specifications: Price: $9,800, Case Size: 42mm, Thickness: 14.5mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Lug-to-Lug: 51mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto Panerai P.900, Crystal: SapphirePerhaps one of the most polarizing dive watch designs, Panerai’s Luminor collection has undeniable heritage stemming back to WWII, when Rolex-manufactured Panerai watches were indispensable tools used by Italian Navy frogmen in their efforts to thwart Allied naval efforts. Where the first modern Panerai watches were powered by (extremely) inexpensive pocket watch calibers, many of the newest models come with fully in-house manufacture calibers such as this P.900 with a three day power reserve. In addition, this particular Submersible is 42mm, a newly offered option intended to bridge the gap to consumers who have been put off by Panerai’s traditionally cartoonish sizing. With an iconic design and legitimate military diving heritage, this newest 42mm Submersible might be exactly what more consumers need to try Panerai.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 43

Specifications: Price: $11,700, Case Size: 43mm, Thickness: 15.5mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50mm, Water Resistance: 1,220m, Movement: Auto Rolex 3235, Crystal: SapphireWhere the Rolex Submariner was originally designed for scuba diving, the Sea-Dweller was developed in collaboration with the US Navy for its SEALAB experiments in the 1960s with a critical difference compared to the standard Submariner, a helium escape valve. In saturation diving like the SEALAB experiment or in today’s oil fields, divers live for an extended period in a pressurized chamber on the surface (though SEALAB was on the ocean floor), making a daily trip to the seafloor via an also-pressurized diving bell. To safely remain at pressure for such an extended period, divers breath a gas mixture rich in helium, the molecules of which are so small they creep past the seals in, say, a watch, sometimes causing the watch crystal to explode when decompressed at the end of the “sat” dive. The Sea-Dweller’s patented helium escape valve allows for the safe exit of expanding gasses inside the watch case, making it a historically interesting development, even though it has no practical utility for literally anyone who isn’t a saturation diver.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Specifications: Price: $15,700, Case Size: 45mm, Thickness: 15.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Auto Blancpain 1315, Crystal: SapphireAmong the most historic dive watch makers is Blancpain, perhaps one of the more under-appreciated early diver designs, considering their contribution to nearly all who came after. Arguably the first ever diver’s watch, the modern Blancpain has DNA that has held up over the last seven decades or so, thanks to a straight-forward dial designed for underwater legibility. The modern Fifty Fathoms I reviewed this year (Ref. 5015-12B30-NABA) is somewhat more luxurious compared to its ancestors, with a 45mm titanium case, sapphire crystal, sapphire bezel, and an auto in-house 1315 caliber. Despite being pretty large, the new Fifty Fathoms wears well and presents an interesting argument for an extremely luxurious diver with a rich heritage.