10 Best Diving Watches Tested & Reviewed
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. Your phone probably can't even get wet, let alone save your life, come on.
Below you will find the top ten best watches currently available!
- 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
Smaller face and lack of additional watch features inhibit functionality
This is an expensive option but for good reason, as it's one of the best diving watches 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 dive time.Read more
This watch is simplistic but stylish, and several expert reviews said they had gotten compliments on the watch. 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 on a watch before. It also comes with a multi-directional external bezel which makes it really easy to track your dive time while you're underwater.
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 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 watch.
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 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, 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 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 hundredths of seconds. Another appealing benefit to this Seiko watch is its solar charging capability.
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 wristband. It may not be the most impressive stylistic choice, but it's sound construction makes it a good buying decision 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 wristwatch. 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 diving watch is designed very inconspicuously. While some divers 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 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 on the 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.
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 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.Read more
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. Most users felt the Victorinox had a handsome, classic appearance.
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 customary for something designed by 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.
A great value at around $200, the Victronix Swiss Army dive watch has great build quality, most of the features of higher priced dive watches, and a cool, classic design.
5. Luminox Dive Chronograph Black Dial
Several important features clearly displayed on the watch’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 diving watch, albeit with its fair share of issues.Read more
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 the high-end luxury pricing of some other watches 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 diving depth compared to other products
Lack of basic features such as a diving bezel
Specially designed for women, this watch from the Casio Dive series 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 full-on scuba diving.
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.Read more
Being designed to cater to the stylistic preferences of women, Casio was free to implement additional flair to this casual diving watch. 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 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 a lack of features in comparison to watches that aren’t marketed towards women, many divers may take issue with this Casio Women’s diving watch. 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 instead of scuba diving, 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 diving watch will do all the work for the wearer. All they need to do is strap it on and enjoy their dive. OK, you might to swim a bit to.Read more
The general design of this analog wrist watch is similar to many other watches, diving or otherwise. However, the addition 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, the 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 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 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.Read more
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 known for making excellent products.
9. Seiko Kinetic
Superb build quality and construction materials
Simplistic display prevents clutter or confusion
Sturdy watch 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 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.Read more
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.
10. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
Excellent build quality
No need to charge or replace battery
Somewhat outdated style
No numbers on watch markers
An impressive maximum depth can be achieved from this diving watch that also gives value through its sense of style and overall build quality.Read more
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.
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 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, 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 watch 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 watches are exposed to.
All of the watches 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 dive watch is one of its most important features. Not only does the face reveal the style of the watch 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 watch is just plain dangerous.
All of the watches 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 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. A watch 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.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
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 watch 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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?
Dive watches 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 watch. 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 watch. These days you can get a great watch that has all the features and dependability you need for scuba diving for about $200 to $800.
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