10 Best Diving Watches Tested & Reviewed
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
- IWC Aquatimer
- Seiko Prospex
- Invictus 8926 pro diver
- Victorinox Swiss Army
- Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial
- Casio Dive Series
- Bell and Ross Blue Diver
- 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. Invictus 8926 pro diver
Sleek and classic design
Can withstand depths up to 200 meters
Lack of additional features or gauges
This is a really great-looking dive watch--it looks like your everyday watch! It is also one of the more affordable options to choose from, so take a look!Read more
Whether you are a runner who loves to dive or just a diver, you will appreciate the sleek and conspicuous design of this watch. It comes packed in a nice-looking box where you can store it as well.
This watch is round and features a classic design at first glance. It has a unidirectional bezel, lighted hand markers so you can read the time, and a date window so you can remember the date. This watch has an analog display and it can withstand depths up to 200 meters.
This is a stainless steel watch that is clasped and comes with a safety closure.
At its low price, this one is an excellent option for those of you looking for a quality watch while on a budget.
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. Bell and Ross Blue Diver
Highly durable sapphire crystal window
Can withstand depths up to 300 meters
If you are looking to splurge--and I mean splurge--on a diving watch then this might just be it. It looks beautiful without sacrificing effectiveness or durability--so you can be sure to have it for the long-haul, as long as you take care of it.Read more
This watch manages to look stylish and practical at the same time. It is blue with silver indices--and the colors match perfectly.
This watch will tell you the time down to the second, has a unidirectional bezel, 60 minute scale, and can withstand depths up to 300 meters.
The window to this product’s face is made from a highly resilient sapphire crystal, with a stainless steel housing, and anti-reflective coating.
This watch is expensive. If you have the budget for it AND require the features it provides--otherwise steer clear and check out other options on our list.
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
The most important thing to look at. Know how deep you want to be able to go before you start shopping.
It goes without saying that your diving watch is probably going to get wet so this is obviously an important thing to look at. Before you start shopping you will want to know how deep you're going to be diving. All of the watches on our list are rated to a depth of at least 200 meters, or over 600 feet. But if you know that you're really going to be diving deep we also have a couple of higher-end watches that will go down even further. The depth a watch can go do really depends on how well it's built and the quality of its materials. Having a good seal inside of the bezel is very important as well. There are a series of standardized tests that a watch has to undergo in order to get rated and all of the products on this list passed with flying colors.
If nothing else, make sure it has a rotating bezel.
The classic and ultimate feature of a dive watch, and what really makes it a dive watch, is a bezel that rotates counterclockwise. This allows the user to set the watch and note the time at the beginning of the dive and it rotates counterclockwise because if it accidentally adjusted during the dive this will cause the diver to ere on the side of caution instead of thinking they weren't submerged for as long as they actually were. Some other good features to have are a stopwatch, an extra long band so it will fit over a bulky wetsuit if necessary, a screw down crown, an easy to read watch face that is also luminescent, and of course the aforementioned bezel. We also recommend buying a dive watch with a metal, rubber, or another acrylic strap since leather can be too easily worn down in the constant exposure to water, humidity, and intense sunlight that most dive watches undergo.
Having an easy to read face is key to a dive watch being effective and easy to use so it can help keep you safe.
When you're deep underwater it doesn't matter how stylish your watch looks or whether or not it packs all the cool features that are the latest high technology. All that matters is that can clearly read the face of the watch so that you can see how much time and oxygen you have left. This is quite literally a life and death factor, so we didn't mess around and only chose products for this list with a clear and easy to read watch face. When you're shopping for a dive watch look for a product that has a clear face that isn't cluttered up with too many different dials and options. All of those little tiny dials may look cool in the store but when you get underwater and can't just look at your watch at a glance and see what time it is and how much air you've got left all those cool features and dials don't matter. Before shopping, it also good to think about whether or not this watch will be just for diving or if you'll wear it throughout your normal day. If it's not just a dedicated dive watch you may want something that also easily and quickly shows the date without cluttering up the face.
While this isn't the most important thing there's nothing wrong with your dive watch looking good.
It all started with the classic James Bond film, Goldfinger. After setting explosives underwater, Bond takes off his wetsuit to reveal an impeccable white dinner jacket and Rolex Submariner. This iconic scene was the world's introduction to the dive watch and its place in our culture has been much the same ever since. People who scuba dive usually have the means to also buy expensive watches, so a dive watch definitely says something about the socioeconomic status of the person who's wearing it. Today you don't have to be a multi-millionaire to be a scuba diver and you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on a dive watch. You can still get one that's very effective and stylish for a couple of hundred bucks or less. While we know this isn't the most important thing to consider, or at least it shouldn't be, we recognize that it's an important factor nonetheless which is why we included it in our criteria.
Dive watches used to be a massive status symbol but they're now within the price range of most people.
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. Admittedly this is somewhat of a subjective factor since we may value certain features over others that are more important to you and vice versa. But we also did our best to not be blinded by the high cost of some of these watches and to judge them on their own individual merits. In other words, just because a watch was expensive doesn't mean it made our list, and just because it's affordable doesn't mean it didn't. We judged each watch on its own merits and scored it in this category independently.
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
q: How do I read a diving watch?
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.
q: How do I clean a diving watch?
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.
q: What is the maximum depth a diving watch can handle?
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.
q: What is the average lifespan of a diving watch?
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.
q: Why is there such a large price range for diving watches?
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.