10 Best Diving Watches Tested & Reviewed
While most people prefer to use their smartwatch nowadays, there are still some well-made analog devices to choose from. These products can withstand the pressure as you go deeper and prevent moisture from accumulating. In fact, caught in a predicament, these devices could help save your life. Your phone probably can't even get wet, let alone save your life!
- IWC Aquatimer
- Seiko Prospex
- Casio Bezel
- Victorinox Swiss Army
- Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial
- Casio Dive Series
- Orient M-Force Beast Stainless Steel
- Casio G-Shock World Timer
- Seiko Kinetic
- Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. IWC Aquatimer
Lacks additional features
This is an expensive option but for good reason, as it's one of the best models out there. Along with its high performance and Swiss-made craftsmanship, you get great understated style and reliability. Buyers also loved the easy to change strap system and the bi-directional external bezel which easily allows you to track your time underwater.Read more
This device is simplistic but stylish, and several expert reviews said they had gotten compliments on it. The style is understated but classic, and people also said that it's very comfortable to wear.
The IWC Aquatimer can reach depths of up to 300 meters and is also highly durable. It features an easy to change wristband, which is more important than you might realize if you've never changed the wristband before. It also comes with a multi-directional external bezel which makes it really easy to track your underwater time while you're underwater.
The anti-reflective sapphire crystal used for the window of the device helps it to maintain visibility and excellent durability even when the wearer is very deep in the water. Unfortunately, one aspect of its design that is less impressive than other models is the fact that it can only handle 300 meters of water.
The IWC Aquatimer is #1 on our list for a reason: quality, great design, style, and most importantly great performance. As a result, yes, it's expensive but well worth the price of admission for those in the know about this great product.
2. Seiko Prospex
Gauges for measuring 12 and 24-hour displays
Impressive build quality and maximum depth
Recharges from light, eliminating need to replace battery
Complicated display can be confusing to laymen
With so many different measuring gauges, individuals may have a tough time understanding how to read this device at first. However, taking some time to understand how it works will allow individuals to get a lot out of this product, which comes highly reviewed in just about every other category.Read more
Some people may not like the lack of numbers for the readings on this device, but their exclusion was necessary in order to free up space for the numerous gauges and bezels on its face. Aside from a few stylish blue accents, the rest of the display is in black and white.
The three smaller displays that comprise the lower half of the face is designed to provide more specific measurements, including a 24-hour clock and a measuring gauge for hundredths of seconds. Another appealing benefit to this device is its solar charging capability.
This model can be used at depths as low as 200 meters, far below the maximum casual depth. Its analog display is protected by a stainless steel housing and wristband. It may not be the most impressive stylistic choice, but its sound construction makes it a good buying decision due to its sturdiness.
The higher cost is a clear indicator that it will provide a higher level of quality and versatility than the casual options. It isn’t priced to the point where it becomes an ostentatious status symbol but it is a bit of an investment regardless.
3. Casio Bezel
Simple and clean face design
Capable of handling significant water pressure
Reasonable price tag
Lack of additional features or gauges
Aside from the bezel placed on the outer rim, this product is designed very inconspicuously. While some people may not like the absence of additional gauges, others will like the low-profile design.Read more
Due to the lack of multiple gauges or superfluous markings of any kind, this device showcases a minimalist aesthetic. The benefit to this style is that this product will look good in casual situations, although it is a bit boring to look at.
Aside from a basic analog clock face and a small window for telling the date, no additional measuring units are provided. On the outer rim of this circular component is the bezel, which is capable of providing accurate readings in extremely deep water.
This device is rated to work in depths of up to 200 meters, well below the standard range of an ordinary session. High durability is guaranteed through the use of mineral glass for the face, stainless steel for the housing, and resin for the band.
Such a low price for a product like this can lead some customers to be suspicious as to the quality of this Casio product. However, the lack of advanced features and building material justify the lower cost for this perfectly adequate underwater time teller.
4. Victorinox Swiss Army
Unparalleled construction and design
Fantastic sense of style present in its visual layout
Extremely durable and water pressure-resistant
Can be hard to find due to popularity
While many features and stylistic elements of this device may look similar to any other in a layman’s eyes, a few key differences help to define the Victorinox as a one-of-a-kind item.Read more
One key difference in the design of this Swiss Army gadget is the placement of its dials on the other side of its face. The rest of this product sports a sleek black appearance with splashes of white. Most users felt the Victorinox had a handsome, classic appearance.
In addition to the standard clock face and outer bezel, it has three small subdials which can take more specific and nuanced measurements. Other than this, the features present in the Victorinox are the same as those that would be found in any other model, just with the impeccable build quality that can only come from the Swiss.
As is customary for something designed by Swiss Army, this device is unparalleled in its build quality. Sapphire crystal glass is used for the window while the housing and wristband are made from extremely hard titanium.
A great value at around $200, the Victronix Swiss Army has great build quality, most of the features of higher priced products, and a cool, classic design.
5. Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial
Several important features clearly displayed on the device’s face
High durability and equally impressive maximum functional depth
Extremely well-made Swiss construction
Somewhat cluttered display due to multiple features and large numbers
A plethora of features and displays results in a well-designed and highly functional product with the downside of a somewhat cluttered and confusing face. Luminox delivers a competently made product, albeit with its fair share of issues.Read more
The use of large, thick numbers to denote different markings help it to maintain high visibility in the dark water. However, these numbers fight to share an extremely limited amount of space with the additional gauges and dials present on its face, resulting in the presence of visual noise.
Alongside its standard analog display, the Luminox features a small window toward the 6 o’ clock position that keeps track of the date. Some smaller subdials are also present near this area that can be used as a timer and depth tracker, both of which are very important to the average person’s safety.
Being made in Switzerland, it should come as no surprise that this device is incredibly well-built. A stainless steel wristband connects to a stainless steel housing, with a window made from non-reflective and highly resilient sapphire glass. Because of this construction quality, it is readable and functional at depths as low as 200 meters.
Right off the bat, some customers may have difficulty finding a reputable seller for this product due to its high popularity. Although this can lead to inflated prices, the average cost for this product is at the lower end of the cost spectrum. It isn’t quite a budget pick, but it is far from the high-end luxury pricing of some other models on our list.
6. Casio Dive Series
Colorful accents of pink and gold create an appealing aesthetic
Competitively low price makes this a fantastic casual option
Diminished maximum depth compared to other products
Lack of basic features such as a bezel
Specially designed for women, this model from Casio has a lot to love despite its simplicity. Solid construction, appealing style, and lightweight, it's also a great value at only around $30. It's rated waterproof to 100 meters, but is probably best for snorkeling and swimming rather than for a full-on underwater experience.
While it may seem demeaning to design a product with diminished functionality and market it specifically to women, there’s still a lot to love from this Casio product, such as its appealing style and solid construction at a lighter weight.Read more
Being designed to cater to the stylistic preferences of women, Casio was free to implement additional flair to this casual product. This is the reason for its rose gold face, pink markings, and white housing and wristband, which are appealing color combinations that set this product apart from its competitors.
For all of its style, this device features a disappointing amount of substance. All of the familiar features are present, such as an analog face, a dial for making adjustments, and a small window that tells the date. However, the absence of a bezel may cause concern for some potential customers.
While it does have a reduced depth capability of only 100 meters, this is still well within the range and shouldn’t be cause for concern. The same can be said for the lightweight white resin used for the face housing and wristband; it isn’t as resilient as stainless steel, but it’ll definitely get the job done.
With a lack of features in comparison to models that aren’t marketed towards women, many may take issue with this Casio Women’s device. However, it’s extremely low price tag more than makes up for these shortcomings, and as long as you use it for swimming and snorkeling, you'll be happy with your purchase.
7. Orient M-Force Beast Stainless Steel
Conveniently self-winding provides worry-free functionality
Highly durable sapphire crystal window
Subdial allows for easier reading of display
Bog-standard style is nearly identical to every other product
High price tag for minimal features and differences
With an array of convenient features and extremely solid construction, this product will do all the work for the wearer. All they need to do is strap it on and enjoy their time. OK, you might need to swim a bit too!Read more
The general design of this analog device is similar to many other models. However, the addition of a smaller subdial on its face helps the Orient M-Force Beast to distinguish itself slightly.
The obligatory bezel can be found on the outer rim of this device’s face, with a subdial located near the bottom center. This product can be set up without much hassle thanks to its self-winding ability.
The window to this product’s face is made from a highly resilient sapphire crystal. With stainless steel comprising the rest of the housing and wrist strap, the Orient can easily handle a depth of 200 meters.
This is a premium device listed at a price to match. Due to the plethora of other products on the market that offer similar features at lower prices, budget-oriented folks may want to look elsewhere. However, individuals interested in the finer things in life will appreciate this high-end product.
8. Casio G-Shock World Timer
Convenient extra features including a timer and light
Shock-resistant black resin construction
Highly durable design
Bulky and awkward appearance
This digital device from Casio is a drastic departure from the standard design, offering a bulky yet highly protective shell that houses a plethora of appealing features.Read more
Unlike many other options on this list, the Casio G-Shock looks like a piece of apparatus. Thanks to its tactical style, this bulky timepiece resembles something a member of the military might wear, aside from the fact that it doesn’t tell military time.
This Casio device features the traditional bezel, albeit in a different location than usual. Some wearers might dislike the smaller section devoted to this core aspect but others will appreciate the extra room given to programming timers and alarms.
It has a digital 12-hour display instead of the traditional analog face. The black resin that forms the housing and strap are highly durable and shock resistant. These aspects of its construction, in addition to providing fantastic durability, come with the benefit of a visually distinctive appearance.
Although this timepiece may look like an extremely fancy accessory, it is priced on the lower end of the cost spectrum. This may lead some customers to be concerned about its quality; however, Casio is known for making excellent products.
9. Seiko Kinetic
Superb build quality and construction materials
Simplistic display prevents clutter or confusion
Sturdy band with clasp and safety mechanism
General appearance less fashionable than modern options, especially for the price
With an appearance that matches most other traditional options, this Seiko product looks right at home in formal settings that don’t involve a wetsuit. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of some of the more appealing features commonly found in models of its kind.Read more
Although this Seiko product appears very similar in its design to ordinary wrist models, it doesn’t take the appearance of a very fashionable one. That said, the placement of the standard bezel is subtle and visually appealing, if a bit subdued.
Although little is provided by this product in the way of additional features, it does a very good job providing those that are standard for models of its kind. Thanks to expert craftsmanship, it is able to tell the time, the date, and the depth of water with high competence.
A Japanese quartz crystal forms the heart of this Seiko device. The rest of it is made of a small amount of glass and a larger amount of stainless steel. While the band with its foldover clasp is sturdy, it may appear dated to some customers.
While Seiko isn’t exactly a brand associated with luxury and high-end products, this product is made with such excellent craftsmanship that its higher price can be justified. You may not turn any heads while wearing this gadget but it is still worth every penny and can be a lifesaver during a scuba session.
10. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
Excellent build quality
No need to charge or replace battery
Somewhat outdated style
No numbers on the markers
An impressive maximum depth can be achieved from this product that also gives value through its sense of style and overall build quality.Read more
This Citizen model is designed in much the same way as the traditional options, using two hands to tell the time with a small window for keeping track of the date. The main differentiator between this and an ordinary time-telling device is the bezel located on the outer rim.
The bezel allows wearers to keep track of their depth for up to 200 meters, far lower than the common depth. No battery charging or replacing is required thanks to its light-based energy source.
This device keeps time with the aid of Japanese quartz, a material known for its high accuracy. The case is made from stainless steel and polyurethane comprises the band. As a result, this Citizen product will withstand a great deal of punishment without skipping a beat.
The suggested retail price places it in a higher range than some may find intimidating, but a drastic price drop can be found without much searching. Even without the discount, this is nowhere near the most expensive model out there.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Although a wristwatch is primarily meant for telling time, they have become a fashion statement and status symbol in recent decades. This category evaluates, as objectively as possible, the stylistic elements of these gadgets. This section also determines if this product is appealing enough to be worn as a simple wrist watch outside of standard diving.
In addition to simply keeping track of time, some diving devices will offer additional features that can be beneficial to divers. These can include a stopwatch, self-winding or self-charging functionality, multiple time zones, and of course a way to track how long you've been underwater. This category will compare features present in one model with those offered by others.
It seems obvious to point out, but your diving device is going to get wet. And along with being constantly submerged for an extended period of time, it's going to be exposed to a lot of pressure. That's why watchmakers spend a lot of time and money designing their products to withstand the extreme environments diving gadgets are exposed to.
All of the products on our list are waterproof rated down to at least 200 meters, or over 600 feet. A couple of them will go down to 3000 meters. Unless you're Jacques Costeau, we think that 200-300 meters is plenty, so rest assured that any of these watches will withstand deep water and the accompanying pressure.
We feel pretty strongly that the face of a device is one of its most important features. Not only does the face reveal the style and the person wearing it, most notably it should be functional and easy to read. When you're 100 feet underwater, and you need to know how long you've got left on your tanks, not being able to quickly and accurately use your device is just plain dangerous.
All of the options on our list have been selected and rated as having faces that are easy to read, functional, and still stylish. Within the top 10 however, of course there is a variation of all those things, so be sure to read our reviews, look at the pictures, and think about what matters to you most.
While these products tend to cost a significant amount, this price isn’t always justified by the quality and its features. That’s why we devote this section to determining whether or not each diving device is priced appropriately. It can cost thousands of dollars but not be a good value because of several factors, or it can cost less than $100 and be a great value because of the included features and quality.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Watches are luxury items, which means that some of them can cost upwards of several thousand dollars. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are better at telling the time or handling great depths while swimming. These products with high-end prices are mostly status symbols or 'investments' that hold a high value for a long time.
Analog watches are designed to keep telling time accurately for many, many years without needing any parts replaced. However, they still need adjustments from time to time in order to account for different timezones and Daylight Savings Time. While digital watches can do some of these tasks automatically, many of the products listed here will need to be adjusted by hand.
Other Factors to Consider
Many modern models offer some form of compatibility with smartphones, either as a smartwatch or with a companion app. If you are interested in one of these smartwatches, it’s a good idea to verify its compatibility with your other smart devices.
For complex items such as a wristwatch, the costs of repair can be astronomical, so it is a good idea to find out what kind of protection your new gadget will come with. Fortunately, many manufacturers offer an extended warranty that can cover the costs of some repairs. If one product has a better warranty than the other, it may be a better value even if it costs more to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Diving devices measure either depth or water pressure in order to gauge your location in the water. They also commonly include a separate clock that can be used to keep track of how much time you’ve spent underwater. Other than that, these watches offer similar readings of time to traditional wrist watches, whether they have a digital or analog display.
Diving watches can be cleaned in much the same way as any other model. They can be done so with the aid of a jeweler’s kit, watch oil, and pressurized air. It is recommended that any individual interested in repairing their device either take advantage of the manufacturer’s warranty or contact a professional repairman in order to avoid damaging the sensitive internal components.
For casual divers, the maximum depth they can comfortably reach on a scuba dive is 40 meters. However, many diving watches will offer a maximum depth of 300 meters. Because of this, any diving gadget with a maximum depth of at least 100 will be sufficient for all recreational scuba divers, with any additional depth capabilities only being useful for those diving with the assistance of advanced technology.
Each diving gadget will have a suggested lifespan in their included instruction manual as well as guidelines for when certain parts will need to be replaced. In general, a well-maintained diving device can last for several years, provided it is kept in a safe place while it isn’t being used and routine maintenance is performed on it regularly.
The watches on our list range from about $20 (#5 Casio Dive Series) to almost $5,000 (#1 IWC Aquatimer).
Whoa! Why such a large range?
They come in such a large price range because it's actually a pretty broad category. On the lower end of the price spectrum, you have watches that are designed and used primarily for water sports and everyday activities such as rafting, fishing, swimming, boating, etc. Some people may use these for some light scuba diving once in a while, but even though they usually don't go more than a few feet down in the water, they still need to be waterproof and able to withstand plenty of shocks and bumps.
On the higher end of the price spectrum, you have watches that are designed for serious scuba diving and exploration, where performance and reliability are a matter of life and death. In those cases, it's worth the investment to have a high-end model. And look at it this way, a lot of the time people who are serious scuba divers have done well for themselves and can afford to spend a large sum of money on something that's important to them. That's how they got so into scuba diving in the first place, by having the money and time to do so.
However, we found that you don't need to break the bank or take out a second mortgage to get a good diving gadget. These days you can get a great model that has all the features and dependability you need for scuba diving for about $200 to $800.