10 Best Diving Watches Tested & Reviewed
While the common wrist watch has been mostly replaced by the smartphone or smartwatch in recent years, there are still some applications for a well-made analog time telling device. One such situation in which these are helpful is underwater; where a smart device would stop working due to the pressure and moisture, a diving watch can provide valuable and potentially life-saving information in this environment. For the benefit of individuals who enjoy diving, we’ve compiled this list of the best diving watches money can buy.
- Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
- Handles Low Diving Depths
- Seiko Prospex
- 12 & 24 Hour Display
- Casio Anti Reverse Bezel
- Simple Face Design
10 Best Diving Watches
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Excellent build quality
- Can handle considerably low diving depths
- No need to charge or replace battery
- Somewhat outdated style
- No numbers on watch markers
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
Casio Anti Reverse Bezel
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Simple and clean face design
- Capable of handling significant water pressure
- Reasonable price tag
- Lack of additional features or gauges
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Superb build quality and construction materials
- Simplistic display prevents clutter or confusion
- Sturdy watch band with clasp and safety
- General appearance less fashionable than modern options
Casio G-Shock World Timer
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Convenient extra features including a timer and light
- Shock-resistant black resin construction
- Highly durable design
- Bulky and awkward appearance
Orient M-Force Beast Stainless Steel
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Intimidatingly high price tag for minimal differences
Victorinox Swiss Army
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Unparalleled construction and design
- Fantastic sense of style present in its visual layout
- Extremely durable and water pressure-resistant
- Absurdly high price tag
Casio Dive Series
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Diminished maximum diving depth compared to other products
- Lack of basic features such as a diving bezel
Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Somewhat cluttered display due to multiple features and large numbers
Orient Automatic Sport
As previously mentioned, this is a serious stylish watch. Although the use of a smaller face may lead to some difficulty reading it during a dive, it helps to make this Orient sport diving watch look very subtle and light on the wearer’s wrist. The black and gold color palette also help to give this product a look of luxury.
The features that are standard with just about every wrist watch can be plainly seen on the face of this Orient product. With large numbers to signify the different positions on its analog face, a small window towards the bottom keeps track of the date. On the very outer rim is where you’ll find the diving bezel that allows you to keep track of how deep you are in the water during a dive.
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.
As a fashion accessory, the excellent style present in the design of this Orient women’s diving watch makes it well worth the price of admission. Aside from that, this watch features enough compatibility and features for scuba diving to justify its purchase as a dedicated diving accessory as well. With this justification, it’s clear that this watch is a sound purchase.
- Unparalleled sense of style make this a fantastic fashion accessory
- Anti-reflective sapphire glass window improve its visibility in low light
- Simplistic display with large numbers improve readability while diving
- Smaller face and lack of additional watch features inhibit functionality
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 smart watches, 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. 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?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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.
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