dive watch
Pablo Profundo VB-11

10 Best Dive Watches for Your Collection for Every Budget

A versatile choice that wins everyone's heart

Date Published
November 4, 2022
Gnomon Watches
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Throughout my whole journey delving into the watchmaking industry, a dive watch is the most common and loveable watch type in the community. A dive watch itself is primarily a tool watch designed to meet certain needs. It helps anyone who enjoys diving activities to track time while diving, such as checking how long they’ve been underwater. 

Serving as a tool watch, diving timepieces were originally designed for military purposes and commercial divers. No wonder that if we take a step back, it’s quite uncommon to wear such a timepiece in the deep ocean – especially considering the tiny working gears and springs inside. Yet, the watchmaking industry always strives to go beyond the common norms, and, now, we can enjoy impressive dive watches while doing underwater activities.

The story of diving timepieces can be traced back to 1927 when Rolex introduced its Oyster as the first water-resistant timepiece. Following the pursuit, Panerai also debuted its Radiomir for the Italian Royal Navy divers in the late 1930s. Long story short, modern dive watches as can be seen nowadays become exceptionally popular. 

Many watch brands introduce their best version of diving timepieces with upgraded features and unique designs. The basic requirement in the past versions is also elevated, such as higher water resistance, better legibility, and tougher case. That shift somehow brings the dive watch from a basic tool watch to a recreational timepiece.

The reality shows that a dive watch is mostly used as a statement to complete someone’s style rather than just a tool watch. That is basically just fine as the dive watch is still here, staying faithful to its traditional concept but evolving with the current need and purpose.

What Should You Know About Dive Watches

As a fundamental guideline, dive watches should possess certain requirements to acquire the title. In these present days, many watches are equipped with the good capability to operate underwater. Therefore the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) makes some standards for a dive watch.

The modern ISO 6425 established some criteria, such as good legibility in total darkness along with the markers, a minimum water resistance of 100m, and a unidirectional bezel with markers (at least every 5 minutes). That said, a reliable dive watch is the one that should have those requirements at the very least.

Read also: How to Use Dive Watch Bezels: A Simple and Thorough Guide

10 Best Dive Watches for Every Budget 

What is the best dive watch? Truly, that is such a difficult question to answer as best can be considered from many things. It’s hard to find an expert at everything but you can always find a name that gives the best for a special offer. Not to mention, there are abundant options of diving timepieces to choose from. 

Therefore, before buying a dive watch, try to consider what you are looking for the most, whether the glow, water resistance, types of material, movements, etc. Regardless, I’ve compiled some of the best dive watches for every budget. That said, the watches listed here have a variety of features that might suit your preferences. Check this out!

Ball Watch Co. Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime Black 

A robust diver’s tool, the Ball Watch Co. Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime Black appears in bold looking while carrying an impressive performance. Equipped with tritium gas tubes for every marker and hand including on its unidirectional bezel, the watch offers exceptional nighttime legibility.

Ball Watch Co. Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime Black Ref. DG2232A-SC-BK
Ball Watch Co. Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime Black Ref. DG2232A-SC-BK

Along with the forms-follow-functions aesthetics, this watch highlights its performance. Working with the chronometer-certified automatic caliber BALL RR1501-C, Ball ensures the watch’s reliability. To top it off, it has 300m of water resistance as the essential feature.

Price; $2,760

Read also: The 5 Best Watches with Tritium that Glow Constantly

Seiko Prospex Profesional 1000M Emperor Tuna Ref. SBDX038

When it comes to fine watchmaking, the Seiko dive watch could be your way to go, especially considering the affordable price. One of the gems is the Prospex Profesional 1000M Emperor Tuna Ref. SBDX038 appears bulky yet appealing at the same time. Despite its bulky appearance, the watch houses an inner titanium case for a durable and lightweight material. 

Seiko Prospex Profesional 1000M Emperor Tuna Ref. SBDX038

It runs reliably with the Caliber 8L35 (Seiko’s automatic movement) with 50 hours of power reserve. This Emperor Tuna edition also highlights the bezel constructed with a titanium body and ceramic for the outer. With a great 1000m of water resistance and ISO-certified, this Seiko dive watch could be your best buddy for the next diving.

Price: $2,950

Squale 50 ATMOS Scuba – Ltd Ed 200pcs

Squale has been known as a brand producing dive watches with dependable performance and aesthetic designs. Staying true to its original heritage, the Squale 50 ATMOS Scuba also presents a vintage charm along with its modern features. Exhibits a nice water resistance for up to 500m, this watch is heavily inspired by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms during the mid-1970s. 

Squale 50 ATMOS Scuba - Ltd Ed 200pcs
Squale 50 ATMOS Scuba – Ltd Ed 200pcs

In addition to that, the watch is purposely designed with a matte black dial to minimize unnecessary glare that might impede time reading. As you can see from the dial, it results in a good contrast with the orange hour markers and hands – allowing for extra legibility along with its SuperLuminova glow in the dark. 

Price: $899

Steinhart Ocean One Double Green Ceramic Premium

A green dial watch creates aesthetic beauty and better legibility underwater. The Ocean One Double Green Ceramic Premium comes in proportional dimensions to ensure optimal comfortability for the wearer. It measures 42mm in diameter and 13mm in thickness. The highlight lies in the material that offers sturdiness and durability. 

Steinhart Ocean One Double Green Ceramic Premium
Steinhart Ocean One Double Green Ceramic Premium

Despite a classic design, the Ocean One impresses with a green ceramic bezel for maximum scratch resistance. It further enhances with sturdy sapphire glass protection with a double anti-reflective coating over its sunburst green dial. As for the glow, it gives a blue-green glow for the hour markers, watch’s hands, and bezel. Overall, this would be a good dive watch for under $1000.

Price: $620

Pablo Profundo VB-11

Most of today’s dive watches resemble the iconic 60s dive watches. The same also applies to Pablo Profundo VB-11 which carries vintage beauty within a modern package. This dive watch is a homage to the previous model from Pablo Watches. This diver’s tool comes as a professional tool that is unique with its 70s “petite Clous de Paris” pattern dial.

Pablo Profundo VB-11
Pablo Profundo VB-11

At the heart of the watch is the Swiss automatic movement ETA 2824-2 with 40 hours of power reserve. Exhibits 200m of water resistance, this Profoundo comes as a complete package of a great neo-vintage watch. As a dive watch under $1000, the Profundo VB-11 truly gives a good offer.

Price: $520

Oris Aquis Date Blue – Rubber

The Aquis line is Ori’s exceptional dive watch collection that I deeply recommend to you. A stylish model that combines innovation, the Oris Aquis Date Blue – Rubber offers a high-quality performance of Swiss watchmaking at a very reasonable price point. 

It comes with a list of useful features for dive watches – reliable life-saving tools, such as 300m of water resistance, a robust uni-directional rotating diver’s bezel with black ceramic insert, and luminous Super- LumiNova. Powered by its automatic winding date, this watch delivers an aesthetic beauty that packages modern technology.

Price: $1,740

Orient Star Diver Blue/Red Pwr Rsv Ref. RK-AU0306L

Appears in a basic design of dive watches, the Orient Star Diver Blue/Red Pwr Rsv Ref. RK-AU0306L brings a fine-quality timepiece in a classic package. Similar to other Japanese watch brands, Orient Star’s watches also fall under the category of classic, sporty, and contemporary.

Orient Star Diver Blue/Red Pwr Rsv Ref. RK-AU0306L
Orient Star Diver Blue/Red Pwr Rsv Ref. RK-AU0306L

As for this 200m dive watch, it falls under Orient’s premium line. That said, the watch possesses what you call a reliable diving’s tool, such as an aluminum bezel insert, and a diver’s elapsed time markers where the first critical 15 minutes are highlighted in red. To top it off, the watch features a luminous green pip at 12 if one ever needs to use it in a dark environment to time something.  

Price: $660

Read also: 7 Best Oris Watches for Women to Elevate Your Elegance

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Moment of Adventure Green 

Known for its rugged and reliable quartz or mechanical timepieces, the Citizen dive watch also comes as a durable diving tool instrument. The Promaster Eco-Drive Moment of Adventure Green is one on the list that you can rely on. This watch features a rugged, tough, and bold-looking appearance to stand in extreme environments of wild nature.

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Moment of Adventure Green Ref. BN0157-11X
Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Moment of Adventure Green Ref. BN0157-11X

Following that goals, the Promaster Eco-Drive Moment exhibits a 316L stainless steel construction with a brushed gun-metal grey finish, a 60-click, and a unidirectional green aluminum bezel with minute markings all around. The white circular indices also make a good contrast with the green dial – allowing for perfect legibility underwater. 

Price: $310

Mido Ocean Star 200C Green Ref. M042.430.11.091.00

Another green dial watch for a fresh and pleasant view from Mido. The Mido Ocean Star 200C Green is one of Mido’s robust watch collections. It houses a solidly-built 316L stainless steel case construction that highlights superb durability and corrosion resistance. Along with its 200m of water resistance, this watch can last for up to 80 hours thanks to the Mido Caliber 80 automatic movement.

Not only that it comes with a robust performance but also a captivating watch appearance. A verdant green ceramic dive bezel with a high gloss finish and prominently engraved numeral markers. The intricate ripple patterns on the dial bring reminiscent of marine depths – allowing the charming dial to stand out.

Price: $1,035

Glycine Combat SUB 39 Metallic Blue Ref. GL0403

The Glycine Combat SUB 39 Metallic Blue truly embodies a reliable and nice dive watch for men. It appears in a handsome and cool appearance. The combination of stainless steel bracelet and blue dial make a legit style to elevate someone’s style. It also comes with proportional dimensions, allowing for gentlemen with smaller wrist sizes or even women. 

Glycine Combat SUB 39 Metallic Blue Ref. GL0403
Glycine Combat SUB 39 Metallic Blue Ref. GL0403

Moving on to its reliable performance, it is powered by the GL224 Swiss automatic movement, a unidirectional bezel with 120-click, 300m of water resistance, and a generous coating of Swiss Old Radium C3 Superluminova for better legibility in the dark. It truly gives a worthy spend for a dive watch under $1000.

Price: $568

Final Thought

In the end, I truly want to say that the dive watch is a gamut type of watch through which you can find an endless list of options. I can mention more than what I’ve listed above with different features, colors, and designs. That said, it’s no wonder that dive watches become the majority’s favorite. Not only that it comes as a reliable tool but also a stylish and trendy icon on the wrist.

You might also like: 7 Best Affordable Dive Watches Under $500 with a Fine Quality

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.

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