If you’re an outdoor adventurist, a scuba diver, lifeguard, or someone whose life revolves around the ocean, gadgetry that withstands moisture is an indispensable need of your lifestyle. Behold! Dive watches — the timepieces that are built for underwater life and can be a great addition to your adventures.
You would be stunned to find out that something this useful and high-tech can be bought for under $200. Read on to find out some of the best dive watches we have carefully handpicked for you.
So, let’s dive in (pun intended).
What Are Dive Watches?
Masterfully designed for underwater use, diving or dive watches often come with a minimum of 10 atm (1.0 MPa) water resistance. In layman’s terms, the watch can survive up to 330 ft/ 100 m to 980 ft/ 300 m ocean depth. However, some of the latest models can surprisingly go even deeper harmlessly.
They come with brawny shapes, enhanced visibility, unidirectional bezels, and great moisture resistance, depending on the watch brand and type.
How They Differ from Regular Watches?
In addition to the resistive ability, dive watches are also equipped with many useful features. For instance, they usually contain a diving time indicator to track their progress right after you hit the water surface.
Since the visibility reduces as you dive deeper, it gets harder to read the display of watches. For this reason, the dive watches’ display is of better resolution and highly readable. Also, they come with chemical resistance, magnetic resistance, and shock resistance, ensuring longevity and durability.
Our Top Picks
Stuhrling Aquadiver Regatta
- Survive a good distance
- Comes in 5 colors
- Visible in dim light
- Small date window
- The battery’s quality is questionable
Culminating the best aspects of classic dive watches, Stuhrling is a great option for professionals. The design comes with an extremely tight water seal that ensures water resistance up to a whopping 660 ft.
The 42 mm stainless-steel casing makes the gadget incredibly durable, allowing it to withstand the harshness of the ocean. The royal blue dial along with the luminous markers and hands provides necessary visibility even in dim conditions.
The watch looks good and performs well for something that can be bought for under $200. It has every essential feature that you would want in a cheap but quality dive watch.
Timex Allied Coastline (TW2R60600)
- Visible design
- Inexpensive watch
- Impressive QuickDate feature
- The hand design hinders readability
- The numbers should be smaller
Continuing our list with a timepiece that is a great blend of practicality and style. The watch features a sturdy casing for exceptional durability and comfy straps for optimum fit. Also, for maximum protection, a glass crystal is added to the design.
Even if you are diving into a pitch-black surrounding, Timex’s night-light feature makes sure that everything is vividly visible. Additionally, the Arabic hands and markers make it more easily readable.
It would be a great addition to your diving gear, especially because of its night-light feature and luminosity. But the hand design makes it tough to read, but apart from this, it is worth your investment.
Orient Ray II
- Performs better than previous models
- Super rigid and strong
- Easily readable display
- Appealing to the eyes
- Some parts are poorly engineered
- The water can seep into the dial
Out of the brand’s colossal archive of dive watches, we have culled a winsome product — Ray II, which can prove a great purchase if you are seeking quality but inexpensive timepieces. Compared to the previous versions, this model has all the upgraded features.
Ray is well-made and allows the divers to reach 200m for deep-sea exploration. It is always ready to combat the immense water-pressure, thanks to its stainless-steel design and tight-seal construction.
If you are looking for a dive that is both functional and attractive, Ray II is perfect for you. The quality of some parts, however, is questionable. Apart from this, it is a real trophy to be acquired.
- It looks unique
- It is built for great depths
- The construction is strong
- The plastic bezel is a problem
- Humidity invades the seal
At first glance, it looks like a military-grade gear, which it was signed for back in 1942. Later, it became a public attraction, especially for divers seeking a watch with superb rigidity.
Compared to what we have reviewed above, Vostok’s design is pretty unique — square body but round divers face. It can survive up to 200 meters, allowing divers to enjoy great depths worry-freely. Therefore, don’t expect this impressive gadget to fail in the middle of your adventures.
It is exactly what you should expect from a piece of military-grade equipment. Plus, the watch looks incredibly unique, which adds style to your outfit. Even though it has some flaws, the watch is still worth the shot.
Seiko Divers Automatic
- Comfortable strap
- Sturdy construction
- Unique color scheme
- It loses 5 minutes weekly
- The bezel fades
In the category of affordable dive watches, SKX009 is a well-known timepiece. The model we have chosen here is also called “Pepsi” because of its blue and red bezel design. If this doesn’t seem attractive, you can go for a black alternative.
Constructed from stainless steel, the quality is top-notch, making it suitable for long-term diving sessions. It comes with either a steel or rubber wrist band for maximum comfort and easy fit. Divers prefer the latter, because of the more comfortable feel against the skin.
It is an excellent value performer. And you will have a challenging time finding a better dive watch than SKX009 at such an affordable price.
Casio G-Shock Classic Analog-Digital
- It offers several features
- The design is highly luminous
- The battery lasts for years
- The build-material is cheap
- The readability of the digital section is poor
The major highlight of this amazing dive watch is the stylish looks, incredibly durable, reasonable price, and useful features like dual time display, auto-calendar, stopwatch, etc. The design, on the other hand, is a beautiful blend of classic and state-of-the-art manufacturing.
What you will appreciate the most is the model’s 3-year battery life. No wonder divers whether beginner or advanced, fall head over heels in love with this marvelous creation.
Packed with features, Casio G-Shock is a real force in the dive watch industry. That’s because it rivals the functionality of relatively expensive watches, making it an attractive option to go with.
Spinnaker Men’s Pro-Diver Helium Watch
- Highly durable
- Packed with features
- The design looks awesome
- The dial is easy to understand
- Only effective up to 100 m
- For some people, the blue dial might be too flashy
The brand was previously known to manufacture swiss-knives, and now they have moved on to dive watches, but have retained the quality. Plus, they have not forsaken their habit of packing their gadgets with impressive features as evident from this model.
Built to reach 100 m, but it won’t fail even if you dive a little deeper. It can be worn casually as well, considering the eye-catching design and flashy color-scheme — something that young drivers would appreciate.
For those who look for a blend of formal and informal design, Spinnaker is the one that we recommend. With this device, you can enjoy a great performance at a fraction of an expensive watch’s price.
Luminox Navy Seal
- Very attractive
- Unique design
- Military grade construction
- The tube glows for 25 years
- The band edge is not well-made
- Luminosity reduces over time
Look at its stylish dial! It can win awards for being unique and eye-catching. However, looks aren’t the only reason why we have chosen this watch to be on our list. It features a mineral crystal dial, precise Swiss quartz movement, and luminous design for optimum visibility.
It is built for 660ft depth, which is more than enough for most divers out there. Because of its amazing durability and the ability to withstand great water pressure, the watch is also used for military purposes.
You couldn’t be happier with this gadget. It may have some negligible flaws, which are overshadowed by bountiful features. Overall, it will serve you for a long time and will not disappoint you.
- Powered by sunlight
- It comes with a depth calculator
- The dial is visible in dim conditions
- The band is fragile
- Over time, the water resistance reduces
Without a doubt, it is a huge competition when it comes to providing quality and functionality in an affordable price range. The product is tested to hold out against an enormous pressure of 300m.
Moreover, the device comes with an easy-to-read dial, luminous design, and a strong crown for maximum protection. The biggest benefit of this watch is infinite power. All thanks to the light-powered system that turns sunlight into energy to keep the system working for a lifetime.
Citizen Eco-Drive is perfect for bringing along long-lasting diving sessions. It is indeed one of the most enduring dive-watches we have come across, making it an ideal candidate for your diving equipment.
Invicta Pro Diver
- Incredibly inexpensive
- Huge size
- Elegant color scheme
- The build quality isn’t up to par
- It doesn’t carry many features
Lastly, we present you Invicta Pro Diver — a watch that is treasured for its large size. Dive watches are usually petite, but this gadget breaks the conventions, which is why it attracts a certain crowd. It may look like a Seiko Pepsi Watch, but it doesn’t carry the same quality.
Further, it lies amongst the cheapest dive watches ever manufactured. You would be saving money by choosing this good-looking performer.
Invicta Pro Diver will do the job if you are seeking a simple design, easy to read, and inexpensive dive watch. However, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, considering the overall large dial.
What to Look for When Choosing Dive Watches?
A few things are important to note before purchasing dive watches, especially if you want to make the most out of your investment. Here are things that you should examine…
Water Resistance — It goes without saying that a dive watch should be able to survive the minimum depth of 100m. Some brands claim that their watches fulfill the requirement, but the reality is often different. So, make sure the depth limit is verified, or at least, buy the device from an eminent brand to avoid fraudulent purchases. If you can afford it, we suggest going for a watch that is made for 200 m to 300 m depth.
Uni-directional Bezel — Accurate measuring of the elapsed time is essential when it comes to diving. That is where a unidirectional bezel comes in. It does not turn the other way and continues to provide accurate reading while moving only in the counterclockwise direction.
Watch Straps — Dive watches come in a variety of bands, each offering different benefits. For instance, the rubber band feels comfy and smooth against the skin, however, it will become brittle over time. On the other hand, titanium and stainless steel are much stronger and are made to last for a long time. The only fault they have is that they don’t feel as comfortable as rubber wristbands.
Good Readability — Make sure that everything from the dial to the date window, whether digital or analog, is easy to read. Not to forget, it should also be visible in dim light conditions because there is less light underwater. The dials and clock hands should be luminous enough for the user to read in a single glance.
Adjustability — When you are diving, your body undergoes pressure and rigorous movement, which is why it is important that your gear fits you. This movement can easily unfasten regular watches, and you wouldn’t even notice when it has slipped off from your wrist. So, choose a dive watch that comes with adjustable straps that hold firmly around your wrist, otherwise, it will easily come off.
What Is the Best Affordable Dive Watch?
In case you’re putting forward affordability than anything else, then Invicta Pro Diver is what you should look for. It may not carry many exciting features, just like what we have witnessed in other members of the list, Invicta is still a reasonable gadget.
Which Depth Rating Is Best for Impact Water Sports?
For those who are obsessed with scuba diving or board diving, a watch with a water resistance of 200 m/ 660 ft would work fine. Any rating lower than that might not prove as useful as you’d hoped.
Which Strap Works for Dive Watches?
Maximum comfort comes from rubber straps, whereas strength and longevity are the traits of titanium and steel bands. So, it depends on the diver’s personal preference, but in our opinion, we suggest the latter.