10 Best Diving Watches Tested & Reviewed

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If you are on the hunt for the best diving watches then you have come to the right place! Here we highlight the top 10 best options currently available, along with their pros and cons, and what to look for before making your purchase.

While most people prefer to use their smartwatch nowadays, there are still some well-made analog devices to choose from. Dive watches can withstand the pressure as you dive deeper and prevent moisture from accumulating. In fact, caught in a predicament, these watches could help save your life.

Below you will find the top ten best watches currently available!

Last Updated: July 22, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

Diving is such a fun, yet extreme activity (for some). In order to properly prepare for your next dive in the Philippines, Australia, or Malaysia, we have put together this list of quality diving watches. The picks are based on reviews, extensive research, and testing. Enjoy and have fun on your next dive.

IWC
  • IWC
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 1000 feet depth
  • Price: See Here
Seiko Prospex
  • Seiko Prospex
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Several measurements
  • Price: See Here
Casio Anti Reverse Bezel
  • Casio Anti Reverse Bezel
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • most affordable
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Diving Watches

IWC Aquatimer

IWC Aquatimer
This is an expensive option but one of the best out there. It is Swiss made and able to dive to depths up to 100o feet.
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Style

This watch is simplistic but stylish

Features

It can reach depths up to 1000 feet and is also highly durable.

Specs

The anti-reflective sapphire crystal used for the window of this diving wrist watch 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 diving watches is the fact that it can only handle 100 meters of water.

Value

This one is expensive but well worth the cost if you have the money to invest in.
Pros

• Stylish

• Durable

• Great design

Cons
  • Smaller face and lack of additional watch features inhibit functionality

Seiko Prospex

With so many different measuring gauges, individuals may have a tough time understanding how to read this watch at first. However, taking some time to understand how this watch works will allow individuals to get a lot out of this diving watch.
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Style

Some people may not like the lack of numbers for the readings on this watch, 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 this watch’s display is in black and white.

Features

The three smaller displays that comprise the lower half of this watch’s face is designed to provide more specific measurements, including a 24 hour clock and a measuring gauge for subseconds. Another appealing benefit to this Seiko watch is its solar charging.

Specs

This watch can be used at depths as low as 200 meters, far below the maximum casual diving depth. Its analog display is protected by a stainless steel housing and wrist band. It may not be the most impressive stylistic choice, but it's a sound construction decisions due to its sturdiness.

Value

The higher cost of this watch is a clear indicator that it will provide a higher level of quality and versatility than the casual wrist watch. It isn’t priced to the point where it becomes an ostentatious status symbol but it is a bit of an investment regardless.
Pros
  • Gauges for measuring 12 and 24 hour displays
  • Impressive build quality and maximum depth
  • Recharges from light, eliminating need to replace battery
Cons
  • Complicated display can be confusing to laymen

Casio Bezel

Aside from the bezel placed on the outer rim, this diving watch is designed very inconspicuously. While some divers may not like the absence of additional gauges, others will like the low-profile design implemented by Casio.
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Style

Due to the lack of multiple gauges or superfluous markings of any kind, this watch showcases a minimalist aesthetic. The benefit to this style is that this watch will look good in casual situations that don’t involve diving, although it is a bit boring to look at.

Features

Aside from a basic analog clock face and a small window for telling the date, no additional measuring units are provided by this Casio watch’s face. On the outer rim of this circular component is the diving bezel, which is capable of providing accurate readings in extremely deep water.

Specs

This diving watch is rated to work in depths of up to 200 meters, well below the standard range of an ordinary diving session. High durability is guaranteed through the use of mineral glass for the face, stainless steel for the housing, and resin for the watch band.

Value

Such a low price for a watch, let alone a diving watch, 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.
Pros
  • Simple and clean face design
  • Capable of handling significant water pressure
  • Reasonable price tag
Cons
  • Lack of additional features or gauges

Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial

Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial
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 diving watch, albeit with its fair share of issues.
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Style

The use of large, thick numbers to denote different markings on this watch help it to maintain high visibility in dark water while diving. However, these numbers fight to share an extremely limited amount of space with the additional gauges and dials present on this watch’s face, resulting in the presence of visual noise.

Features

Alongside its standard analog watch 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 diver’s safety.

Specs

Being made in Switzerland, it should come as no surprise that this diving watch 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, this watch is readable and functional at depths as low as 200 meters.

Value

Right off the bat, some customers may have difficulty finding a reputable seller for this watch due to its high popularity. Although this can lead to inflated prices, the average cost for this product is in the lower end of the cost spectrum for diving watches. It isn’t quite a budget pick, but it is far from high-end luxury pricing.
Pros
  • Several important features present clearly on the watch’s face
  • High durability and equally impressive maximum functional depth
  • Extremely well-made construction from Swiss manufacturers
Cons
  • Somewhat cluttered display due to multiple features and large numbers

Casio Dive Series

Casio Dive Series
While it may seem demeaning to design a diving watch 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.
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Style

Being designed to cater to the stylistic preferences of women, Casio was free to implement additional flair to the design of this casual diving watch. This is the reason for its rose gold face, pink markings, and white housing and wristband: an appealing color combination that sets this product apart from its contemporaries.

Features

For all of its style, this watch features a disappointing amount of substance. All of the familiar features are present, such as an analog watch face, a dial for making adjustments, and a small window that tells the date. However, the absence of a diving bezel may cause concern for some potential customers.

Specs

While this watch does have a reduced depth capability of only 100 meters, this is still well within the range of traditional divers 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.

Value

With such a disappointing lack of features in comparison to watches that aren’t demeaningly marketed towards women, many divers of either gender will likely take issue with this Casio Women’s diving watch. However, it’s extremely low price tag more than makes up for these shortcomings.
Pros
  • Lightweight design implements white resin for its housing and wristband
  • Colorful accents of pink and gold create an appealing aesthetic
  • Competitively low price makes this a fantastic casual option
Cons
  • Diminished maximum diving depth compared to other products
  • Lack of basic features such as a diving bezel

Victorinox Swiss Army

Victorinox Swiss Army
While many features and stylistic elements of this watch 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.
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Style

One key difference in the design of this Swiss Army diving watch is the placement of its dials on the other side of the watch’s face. The rest of this watch sports a sleek black appearance with splashes of white.

Features

In addition to the standard clock face and outer diving bezel, this watch 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 wristwatch, just with the impeccable build quality that can only come from the Swiss.

Specs

As is custom for something designed by the Swiss Army, this watch is unparalleled in its build quality. Sapphire crystal glass is used for the watch’s window while the housing and wristband are made from extremely hard titanium.

Value

Anyone who is interested in a diving watch simply for use in recreational diving is not going to want to pay the cost for the Victorinox. The only justification for paying roughly the same as the cost of a used car is to show off this Swiss Army watch as an ostentatious symbol of status.
Pros
  • Unparalleled construction and design
  • Fantastic sense of style present in its visual layout
  • Extremely durable and water pressure-resistant
Cons
  • Absurdly high price tag

Orient M-Force Beast Stainless Steel

Orient M-Force Beast Stainless Steel
With an array of convenient features and an extremely solid construction, this diving watch will do all the work for the wearer. All they need to do is strap it on and enjoy their dive.
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Style

The general design of this analog wrist watch is similar to many other watches, diving or otherwise. However, the additional of a smaller subdial on its face helps the Orient M-Force Beast to distinguish itself slightly.

Features

The obligatory diving bezel can be found on the outer rim of this watch’s face, with a subdial located near the bottom center. This diving watch can be set up without much hassle thanks to its self-winding ability.

Specs

The window to this diving watch’s face is made from a highly resilient sapphire crystal. With stainless steel comprising the rest of the housing and wrist strap, this Orient watch can easily handle a depth of 200 meters.

Value

This is a premium watch listed at a price to match. Due to the plethora of other watches on the market that offer similar features at lower prices, budget-oriented divers may want to look elsewhere. However, individuals interested in the finer things will appreciate this high-end product.
Pros
  • Conveniently self-winding provides worry-free functionality
  • Highly durable sapphire crystal window
  • Subdial allows for easier reading of display
Cons
  • Bog-standard style is nearly identical to every other product
  • Intimidatingly high price tag for minimal differences

Casio G-Shock World Timer

Casio G-Shock World Timer
This digital watch from Casio is a drastic departure from standard watch design, offering a bulky yet highly protective shell that houses a plethora of appealing features.
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Style

Unlike many other watches on this list, the Casio G-Shock looks like a piece of diving 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.

Features

This Casio diving watch features the traditional diving 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.

Specs

This watch has a digital 12-hour display instead of the traditional analog watch face. The black resin that forms this watch’s 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.

Value

Although this timepiece may look like an extremely fancy accessory, it is priced on the lower end of the cost spectrum when it comes to wrist watches. This may lead some customers to be concerned about its quality; however, Casio is not known for making faulty products.
Pros
  • Convenient extra features including a timer and light
  • Shock-resistant black resin construction
  • Highly durable design
Cons
  • Bulky and awkward appearance

Seiko Kinetic

Seiko Kinetic
With an appearance that matches most other traditional wrist watches, this Seiko diving watch 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 watches of its kind.
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Style

Although this Seiko diving watch appears very similar in its design to ordinary wrist watches, it doesn’t take the appearance of a very fashionable one. That said, the placement of the standard diving bezel is subtle and visually appealing, if a bit subdued.

Features

Although little is provided by this product in the way of additional features, this diving watch does a very good job providing those that are standard for watches of its kind. Thanks to expert craftsmanship, this watch is able to tell the time, the date, and the depth of water with high competence.

Specs

A Japanese quartz crystal forms the heart of this Seiko diving watch. The rest of it is made of a small amount of glass and a larger amount of stainless steel. While the watch’s band with its foldover clasp is sturdy, it may appear dated to some customers.

Value

While Seiko isn’t exactly a brand associated with luxury and high-end products, this watch is made with such excellent craftsmanship that its higher price can be justified. You may not turn any heads while wearing this watch but it is still worth every penny and can be a lifesaver during a scuba diving session.
Pros
  • Superb build quality and construction materials
  • Simplistic display prevents clutter or confusion
  • Sturdy watch band with clasp and safety
Cons
  • General appearance less fashionable than modern options

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster

An impressive maximum depth can be achieved from this diving watch that also impresses through its sense of style and overall build quality.
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Style

This Citizen watch is designed in much the same way as a traditional watch, 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 diving bezel located on the outer rim.

Features

The diving bezel allows wearers of this diving watch to keep track of their depth for up to 200 meters, far lower than the common depth for the casual diver. No battery charging or replacing is required thanks to its light-based energy source.

Specs

This watch 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 watchband. As a result, this Citizen product will withstand a great deal of punishment without skipping a beat.

Value

The suggested retail price for this watch places it in a higher range than some casual divers and watch enthusiasts 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 watch out there.
Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Can handle considerably low diving depths
  • No need to charge or replace battery
Cons
  • Somewhat outdated style
  • No numbers on watch markers

 

 

The Criteria We Used to Determine the Best Diving Watches

It’s no easy task determining the best diving watches on the market. Since there are so many available with so many different features, we’ve compared very specific design criteria for all of the models listed below. Here are the metrics we used to reach our decision as to the best watches for diving:

Style

Although a wristwatch is primarily meant for telling time, they have risen to become a fashion statement and status symbol in recent decades. This category evaluates, as objectively as possible, the stylistic elements of these watches. This section also determines if this watch is appealing enough to be worn as a simple wrist watch outside of standard diving.

Features

In addition to simply keeping track of time, some diving watches will offer additional features that can be beneficial to divers. These can include a stopwatch, self-winding or self-charging functionality, This category will compare features present in one model with those offered by others.

Specs

Does this watch have a digital or analog reading? Does it tell time on a 12-hour or 24-hour clock? How deep can it go? These questions and other specific criteria are addressed in this section. While these particular aspects may not be as important to all prospective buyers, they’re still worth covering to check for discrepancies.

Value

While watches tend to cost a significant amount, this price isn’t always justified by the quality of the product and its features. That’s why we devote this section to determining whether or not each diving watch is priced appropriately.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Most customers interested in a diving watch will know whether or not a specific product is a right fit for them based on the criteria outlined above. However, here are some additional factors that may be important in special cases:

Smart Compatibility

Many modern watches 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.

Warranty

For complex items such as a wristwatch, the costs of repair can be astronomical. 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 watches 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 watch. 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 watch either take advantage of the manufacturer’s warranty or contact a professional watch 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 watch 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 watch 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 watch can last for several years, provided it is kept in a safe place while it isn’t used and routine maintenance is performed on it regularly.

Sources

  1. Business Insider, Best Diver Watches Under 500 Dollars, Article,
  2. Hodinkee, Ten Best Dive Watches of 2017, Article,
  3. Bloomberg, Best Dive Watches of 2017, Website,
  4. Hi Consumption, Best Dive Watches for Men, Article,
  5. The Adventure Junkies, Best Dive Watches, Website,
  6. Gear Patrol, Best Affordable Dive Watches, Article,
  7. Town and Country Magazine, Best Dive Watches, Article,
  8. Best Products, Best Dive Watches for Men, Website,
  9. Scuba Diving Dreams, The Best Dive Watches for Men, Article,
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