Select Page

Reviewed by our experts:

The Best Dive Watch For Every Budget 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our two dive watch geeks one job:
Test 42 different dive watches and write reviews of the best.

The result is 25 of the best dive watches on the marked today.

Torben Lonne

Dive watch geek and editor
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially dive watches.

Thomas Grøndfeldt

Dive instructor & Author
Thomas is a dive geek. Loves the geer, tech and guides.

Buying a dive watch can be hard – no matter if it’s your first dive watch or if you’re just looking for yet another watch to the collection. All in all, you want to find the right one.

We’ve put our dive watch geeks to work and they’ve compiled a thorough list of the best dive watches available in 2021.

Consider it your dive watch cheat sheet.

So, what is a dive watch?

A dive watch is essentially just a watch that is waterproof enough to withstand the pressure at the depths that divers dive to. So not to be mistaken with a Dive Computer.

So, from a practical point of view, dive watches are obsolete. However, having a backup is never a bad idea. You never know when things will go south.

If you have a dive computer, you can still dive in with a dive watch.  Plus, they are often quite good looking watches. If you are looking to buy a dive watch, here are some of them that you can consider depending on your budget.

Top Dive Watches we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Best Budget Dive Watch

Best budget dive watches are those that will serve the purpose at hand which is diving. They should be water resistant at all depths that have been specified by the manufacturer. They should come at a low cost (less the $1000) which is affordable without stretching a buyer’s budget. Also, these watches should be easy to use for diving novices. It is worth noting that budget dive watches may not spot the fancy designs and specs like those of a high-end dive watch.

This is the cheapest classic dive watch you are likely to find out there. The SKX007 has been in production since 1996. At $200, you will have with you a mechanical watch stalwart which is not only simple but also absolutely reliable.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Movement: Seiko 7S26 Automatic
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Diameter: 42 mm
What we like:
  • Reliable, The dial is clear and well legible, Proper bezel
What we don’t like:
  • Does not have features of a modern dive watch.

Its breathtaking appearance is, perhaps, how it got its name; a sea star. It is one of the best choices you can make when buying a dive watch. The Seastar 1000 Powermatic has an impressive design and its features are top-notch. It has three sub dials on top of having a date window. Its casing is made from the 316L stainless steel.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Movement: Swiss automatic
  • Water resistance: 300m
  • Diameter: 43 mm
What we like:
  • Stylish design, can be used to dive up to 1000ft deep
What we don’t like:
  • Heavy

However, its unidirectional bezel is made out of ceramic which does not only resist corrosion but also makes the watch to weigh significantly less at 180g. Yes, 180g is quite a low weight given that the Seastar uses steel straps and has a wide length at 43mm.

This one has a classic design. It has a great appeal with the bezel being excellently labeled for legibility. It uses a nato strap which makes its general weight lighter when compared to others that use steel and other metals. In fact, a nato strap is among the best dive watch straps in the market today. It has a casing diameter of 44mm which makes it appear quite big. The casing has been curved out of 316L stainless steel which is of high quality to ensure a long lasting dive watch. The bezel is made out of the same material as well.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Movement: Seiko NH 36 automatic
  • Water resistance: 300m
  • Diameter: 44 mm
  • Price: $250
What we like:
  • Helium valve prevents damage, high water resistance depth suits deep diving.
What we don’t like:
  • Wide diameter makes it look big.

The Deep Blue Nato Diver is feature rich spotting a crown for movement control and a helium escape valve to secure the watch in case of deep diving.

The brand’s greatest dive watch has what it takes to win every diver’s heart. Starting from stainless Steel buttons to moon phase and tide indicators and to atomic time, the G-Shock Frogman watch screams ‘DIVING’. Unlike other dive watches, this one has got an ISO-6425 diver’s certification, which gives peace of mind to those skeptical about the legitimacy of dive watches.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Case: Stainless Steel
  • Strap: Black Resin
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz
  • Water-Resistance: 200m
  • Diameter: 45mm
  • Details: Tough Solar Power, Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping, Tide & Moon
What we like:
  • Has plenty of unique features like an optional triple sensor and a solar battery that lasts around 10-15 years
What we don’t like:
  • The design is quite bulky

The abundance of divers-oriented features puts it in the same line with some deluxe dive computers, and, with sufficient practice, has the potential to replace the need for a dive computer completely.

Powered by the same Japanese movement like the famed Seiko, Pantor Seahorse Dive Watch presents a highly qualitative alternative to its pricey companions that perform the same duty. With 1000m water-resistance and a Swiss-mode lume, this model is an attention-grabber that does not seize to surprise the first-time dive watch buyers.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Case & Strap: Stainless Steel
  • Movement: Japanese automatic 9015
  • Water-Resistance: 1000m
  • Diameter: 33mm
  • Details: Automatic Helium Valve at 9H; hands and dials with Swiss C3 Super LumiNova
What we like:
  • Has a simple and classy look to it; features an adjustable clasp and band
What we don’t like:
  • The display size is quite big at 45mm, which is not everyone’s preferred option

When added the stylish design to the concoction, you have got yourself an accessory that serves multiple purposes at the same time. Not too bad for a budget watch, right?

Szanto has dialed in the perfect ratio of vintage inspiration and modern styling in their line of watches that draw on the field and aviation timepieces of the past.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Bezel: Unidirectional 120 Click Rotating Timing Bezel
  • Crystal: Hardened Mineral Crystal
  • Movement: Japan Quartz (Miyota 2317)
  • Water resistance: 200 Meters (tested in air and liquid)
  • Lume: Thick Swiss Superluminova Lume on Hands and Dial Numbers ensures bright and long lasting visibility
  • Bracelets/Straps: 22mm Waterproof Leather Strap (treated for use in water) with Signature Buckle

Their Vintage Dive watch is inspired by the old-school tool watches that divers used to time their dives and ascents

This dive watch wins at every nomination: it has a medium-sized 42mm display, is backed up by the first-rate automatic Swiss movement, and a 2-year guarantee from the manufacturer. The Ceramic bezels with non-reflective sapphire crystal display alone are able to put this watch into a luxurious category that, however, is not going to break anyone’s bank. If this is your first dive watch investment, you won’t even want to scan the high-end section – that’s how revolutionary this number is.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Case & Strap: Stainless Steel
  • Movement: Automatic Swiss
  • Water-Resistance: 500m
  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Details: Two-tone ceramic bezel, screw pins, Automatic Helium Escape Value
  • Warranty: 2 years
What we like:
  • Pros: Combines a decent water-resistance level, stylish and practical design, and an ample set of functions
What we don’t like:
  • Cons: It is on the higher-end of the budget dive watches range

Best Medium-priced Dive Watch

A medium prized dive watch can serve both novices and intermediate divers. Their pricing is quite high but it will have advanced features that even an advanced diving professional can make use of. The manufacturers of these watches tend to balance the materials used with the kind of pricing they will peg to them. Some of these watches would even contest with the higher priced ones in some areas. For example, you are likely to find a medium budget dive watch that will excel in terms of water resistance in very high depths. All in all, a medium budget dive watch is a balance of stylish design, affordable price, quality parts, and a premium appeal.

Seiko SKX007 Review

This is the cheapest classic dive watch you are likely to find out there. The SKX007 has been in production since 1996. At $200, you will have with you a mechanical watch stalwart which is not only simple but also absolutely reliable.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic

Its breathtaking appearance is, perhaps, how it got its name; a sea star. It is one of the best choices you can make when buying a dive watch. The Seastar 1000 Powermatic has an impressive design and its features are top-notch. It has three sub dials on top of having a date window. Its casing is made from the 316L stainless steel.

Deep Blue Nato

This one has a classic design. It has a great appeal with the bezel being excellently labeled for legibility. It uses a nato strap which makes its general weight lighter when compared to others that use steel and other metals. In fact, a nato strap is among the best dive watch straps in the market today. It has a casing diameter of 44mm which makes it appear quite big. The casing has been curved out of 316L stainless steel which is of high quality to ensure a long lasting dive watch. The bezel is made out of the same material as well.

Casio G-Shock

The brand’s greatest dive watch has what it takes to win every diver’s heart. Starting from stainless Steel buttons to moon phase and tide indicators and to atomic time, the G-Shock Frogman watch screams ‘DIVING’. Unlike other dive watches, this one has got an ISO-6425 diver’s certification, which gives peace of mind to those skeptical about the legitimacy of dive watches.

Pantor Seahorse Pro

Powered by the same Japanese movement like the famed Seiko, Pantor Seahorse Dive Watch presents a highly qualitative alternative to its pricey companions that perform the same duty. With 1000m water-resistance and a Swiss-mode lume, this model is an attention-grabber that does not seize to surprise the first-time dive watch buyers.

Szanto Vintage Design

Szanto has dialed in the perfect ratio of vintage inspiration and modern styling in their line of watches that draw on the field and aviation timepieces of the past.

Davosa Ternos Professional

This dive watch wins at every nomination: it has a medium-sized 42mm display, is backed up by the first-rate automatic Swiss movement, and a 2-year guarantee from the manufacturer. The Ceramic bezels with non-reflective sapphire crystal display alone are able to put this watch into a luxurious category that, however, is not going to break anyone’s bank. If this is your first dive watch investment, you won’t even want to scan the high-end section – that’s how revolutionary this number is.

Best High-end Dive Watch

The best of high-end dive watches should feature unparalleled skill in its engineering. The design should ooze style and the materials used should be quality. It should be satisfactory to a professional diver with no limitation on the possible diving depths. If possible, a high-end dive watch should be suited as a diving utility as well as a fashionable outfit for everyday use.

Whether you are planning to venture into diving either for recreation or as a professional, there is a dive watch for you.

All you need to know is the features you are looking for and your budget. There are even those watches that will serve you well both as a diving equipment and as part of your daily outfit.

Why do many divers wear a dive watch?

Partly, tradition and preference. Dive watches are still strongly associated with the sport, and many divers wear them because they like them, and because they like having a backup for their computer, even if this backup doesn’t have all the features of the computer. Some dive watches feature depth gauges, and these can actually work as a rudimentary dive computer backup, allowing you to do a complete ascent to the surface, including any deco or safety stops along the way. But many divers, and non-divers, do simply wear them because they like them. Bremont Supermarine

Why do dive watches have rotating bezel?

The bezel is marked with minutes up to 60 minutes (typically) to allow divers to quickly discern how long they’ve been down. You rotate the bezel so the zero mark is at the minute hand when you descend, and then you can read the duration of your dive at any time, without having to calculate it. And the bezel typically only rotates one way, so if it is accidentally moved, it will only shorten your dive, not extend it, possibly beyond your no-decompression limit. Always err on the side of caution.

What should I look for in a dive watch?

First and foremost, depth rating. At least 100 meters/300 feet/10 ATM. Then of course, a rotating bezel. Material is worth considering as well, stainless is good, titanium is better. Titanium is lighter and more corrosion resistant. Whether you choose a rubber strap or a metal bracelet is a matter of preference, but make sure that both are long enough to allow you to wear the watch over your wetsuit or drysuit. Most metal bracelets will have an extension function to ensure this. A depth gauge is useful, too. Also, make sure the watch face is clean enough to be easily legible.

Is Helium buildup a problem?

You may hear wild stories about an exotic feature called a helium valve. Don’t get hung up on this. A helium valve is useful for commercial divers doing very deep saturation diving, where they live in underwater habitats filled with a trimix breathing gas containing helium. The helium molecules, being extremely small, can make their way into the watch case, and then, when the diver ascends, these molecules expand (due to dropping pressure) and can damage the watch. But for recreational divers, even technical ones, this isn’t an issue, as we typically do not spend a lot of time in underwater habitats hundreds of meters below the surface.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about dive watches

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is the best dive watch?

    The answer to this really depends on a combination of your style, budget, and feature requests. It’s never easy to pick one specific best dive watch and that is why we’ve created this extensive guide for the best dive watches.

    However, at this very moment, these are our own favorites:

    (read full reviews of each on DIVEIN.com – click the links above)

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Should I buy a dive watch?

    Short answer; Yes if you like them ????

    Divers’ watches are designed for the best readability underwater possible. This enhances the readability overwater, too.

    Top of this, the built quality of dive watches are usually very high and will give you a watch that last for years.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Why are most dive watches automatic?

    The automatic movements are popular in the diver market as they don’t require a battery – and as you can imagine a battery change on a dive watch is more complicated as they need to be 110% waterproof.

    Automatic watches “wind” from the motion of your arm, so they’ll keep ticking as long as you keep them on your wrist. Also seen in this class of watches are day/date features, adding to the utility of the timepiece

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is the best dive watch at a low budget (below $1000)?

    Here are 5 superb dive watches for under $1,000. Any one of these can weather the elements with you while keeping your wallet happy and still be ready for your next dive.

    These are our own favorites:

    (read full reviews of each on DIVEIN.com – click the links above)

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *