Best Dive Watches Reviews
Dive watches are not cheap, especially the ones from well-known high-end brands. However, this device can represent a worthwhile investment, given all the significant functionalities it can offer.
With the overwhelming number of dive watch models and brands available these days, narrowing down the best dive watches under $300 or under $500 on the market can be quite a challenge.
Thankfully, this article breaks down some of the top-trusted dive watches absolutely worth splurging on. Not just that. I’ll also help you choose the right model for your needs and budget by explaining the key considerations.
Here is a list of the 7 best dive watches for the money, which might help you in your hunt for the right unit to invest in.
1. Citizen Watches Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver
- 1 1. Citizen Watches Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver
- 2 Things You Should Look for in a Dive Watch
- 3 Best Dive Watches Brands
- 4 Dive Watch Frequently Asked Questions
- Round watch featuring unidirectional bezel and blue dial with date window at 4 o'clock and luminous hands/hour markers
- Eco-Drive technology is fueled by light and never needs a battery
- 48 mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window
- Japanese quartz movement with analog display
- Molded polyurethane band with buckle closure
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 10:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you are in the market for best dive watches that are not battery-powered, then the Citizen Watches Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver is the way to go. With its eco-drive technology, this watch is fueled by natural light and doesn’t need an external battery. This means zero battery replacement costs. Eventually, the watch will literally pay for itself.
This ISO certified watch is water-resistant for up to 666 feet, which makes it ideal for water activities like swimming, snorkeling, recreational diving and even recreational diving up to 200 meters.
Additionally, since it comes with luminous markers and hands, you will be able to read your watch even in low light.
On the other hand, the only downside to this watch is that there is no indicator for the battery life; thus, you wouldn’t know when its fully-charged or if it’s time to recharge. Despite that, this watch is still highly dependable, given all its excellent features, amazing aesthetics, great comfort, and guaranteed durability.
Furthermore, with its elegant and sleek design, this watch is also a great way to spruce up any outfit.
- This watch doesn’t need batteries due to its eco-drive technology. Thus, you get to save time and money from replacing batteries.
- With its elegant 43 mm design, this watch is not only ideal for diving, but it is also an excellent accessory for spicing up a man’s outfit.
- Great bezel action and very accurate.
- This watch is water-resistant for up to 666 feet, making it ideal for diving, swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.
- As it is not battery-operated, there is no way to tell if your watch is running low on power or is fully charged.
- The band is a little stiff.
2. Casio Men’s Black Analog Anti Reverse Bezel Watch
- Black Stainless Steel case and Resin Band
- Black Dial with date window at 3 O'clock
- Luminous markers and hour hands; sweep second hand
- Anti-reverse bezel
- Water-resistant to 200 M (660 feet)
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 10:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When it comes to design and durability, Casio is among the top watch brands in the market. The Casio Men’s Black Analog Anti Reverse Bezel Watch offers a sophisticated look with its black stainless metal case, flexible resin band, and a highly adjustable buckle seal.
This watch features an anti-alter bezel, which promotes standard function. Primarily designed for casual diving, the watch can survive 200m under the sea and many other challenging conditions.
However, although this watch’s hands and markers glow in the dark, it is not bright enough to provide any illumination.
- This watch has a sophisticated design, which makes it great for both diving or as an addition to an outfit.
- The quartz moves with high precision.
- It has a water-resistant build. Thus, it is reliable to use for a litany of underwater sports including swimming in the ocean and diving.
- Although this watch’s hands and markers glow in the dark, the luminosity is not bright enough to allow easy reading in low light.
3. Aqua Lung i300, i750tc Dive Computer Wrist
- 4 operating modes: Air, Nitrox, Gauge (with run timer), and Free Dive (tracks calculations to allow switching between DIVE and Free on the same day)
- User changeable battery and data retention. Maintains settings and calculations between battery changes
- Backlighting. For easy reading in low light
- Audible alarms and additional high-visibility LED warning light for additional safety
- User-updatable software gives access to the latest features and upgrade (must purchase optional download cable)
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 10:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This dive watch, with its rugged design and practical features, offers a seamless experience to dedicated divers.
With its simplicity and versatility, users can dive right in without having to take a lot of time tweaking their watch before taking the plunge.
The Aqua Lung i300 comes with several helpful features such as a user-friendly interface, flexible multiple operating modes, in-built backlight for high visibility in the dark, and changeable battery with data recollection. The beauty of such basic dive watches is the fuss-free setup.
It features two dedicated buttons for setting up the air and nitrox levels. It allows you to switch the unit of depth from metric to imperial from the utility menu.
This automatic dive watch offers optimum robustness that you can always rely on. Moreover, it also comes with a water-activated function; it automatically works and tracks your profile as soon as you get into the water. However, you can turn on the watch before going into the water as well by simply pushing a button. On the surface, the watch will remain in the regular time mode which puts a negligible strain on the battery.
- Includes 4 operation modes.
- Settings, calculations, and data are retained during battery changes.
- Excellent backlighting that allows for easy reading even in low light.
- The audible alarms and LED alert lights promote the user’s safety.
- Software updates allow you to access the latest features.
- In order to update the Software, you will need to purchase the download cable as it is sold separately.
4. Citizen BN0150-28E Promaster Dive Watch
- Citizen Eco-Drive is Powered by Light, a watch that never needs a battery
- Mineral Crystal
- Japanese-quartz Movement
- Can be used during Swimming, Showering & Snorkeling. The case diameter is 48 mm
- Water Resistant To 660 Feet
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 11:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This dive watch boasts of sharp design and offers a smooth bezel action, which makes it ideal for anyone for a basic but highly functional watch to take into the waters. It’s stylish quartz that goes will any outfit and can survive the abuse of weather the integrity of a soldier. Can you think of a better combination?
What’s even more astonishing is that the device will never run out of battery. It runs on a light-powered special battery which eliminates the need for replacement.
The non-reflective mineral crystal material in this watch adds up to the overall aesthetic of this watch, making it one of the most fashionable wristwatches on the market. Additionally, it also comes with a polyurethane strap band and a silver stainless metal case which is guaranteed to stand the test of time.
I loved the big and bold hands make them easy to see in poorly lit conditions. Moreover, the dials have got a nice bluish lume to it that makes reading the clock a breeze at night, even to those with poor vision.
Furthermore, as this dive watch is guaranteed to be water-resistant up to 660 feet, it is ideal for water activities, including diving, swimming, snorkeling, and more.
- Due to its eco-drive technology, you won’t need to use a battery with this watch as it is fueled by natural light.
- Bright and long-lasting lume with a beautiful blue tint to it.
- Looks great on small to average-sized wrists.
- This watch is highly water-resistant; therefore, it is perfect for various water activities, including diving.
- As it includes luminous markers and hands, you will be able to read the time and navigate your watch, even in the absence of light.
- Tough, durable and classy at the same time, works both as diving and a dress watch.
- The strap quality has a lot of room for improvement.
- Quartz Movement, Case material: Carbon reinforced PC
- Case Bezel: Rotating 1-Way Diver, Case Back: Caseback with Screws, Crown: Double-Security Gasket
- Case diameter: 43 mm
- Polyurethane case, Black dial, Date function, Strap/Bracelet material Rubber / Silicone / PU
- Water resistance 200 m / 660 ft / 20 atm
Last update on 2019-06-02 at 04:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you are on the market for the best dive watches under 500, the Luminox 3001 Men’s Navy Seal Dive Watch is worth having a look. Crafted using mineral crystal, this watch is made to withstand weather elements and even a couple of drops without getting any serious scratches.
This dive watch is renowned for its high quality and exceptional illumination technology. Its dial markers and hands glow in the dark brighter than most dive watches on the market. The large numerals make the clock easy to read, even without glasses.
Since this watch is water-resistant for up to 660 feet, it is ideal for people who are into recreational scuba diving. Additionally, as it guarantees to provide optimum illumination for up to 25 years, this is the perfect watch to use, especially if you are someone who loves extreme adventures and water activities.
Moreover, not only this watch is excellent for diving and other water sports, but it is also a great addition to any type of getup since it has a sophisticated and straightforward overall design.
- This dive watch offers a unique illumination system that allows users to easily read and navigate their watch in low light since the hands and markers are incredibly bright.
- One way rotating bezel with great ratcheting action.
- It is crafted with premium-quality, durable materials.
- As it is water-resistant for up to 660 feet, it is ideal for various water activities such as recreational diving, snorkeling, swimming and more.
- With its sleek, sharp look, this watch is a great accessory to amp up any outfit.
- The rubber strap quality is below average. However, you can easily swap it with a higher-quality band, so this is no big deal.
6. Cressi Leonardo Dive Watch
- A single button Dive Computer makes effortless to set Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes. Ideal for beginners in Scuba Diving. It is easy to use, easy to...
- FO2 adjustable between 21% and 50%. PO2 adjustable between 1.2 bar and 1.6 bar. CNS oxygen toxicity graphic indicator.
- Three levels of user adjustable conservatism. Visual and distinct, easy-to-hear audible alarms.
- User-selectable deep stop function. Adjustable unit of measure: imperial or metric.
- Battery life indicator. User changeable battery. Battery model: CR2430.
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 11:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Cressi Leonardo is among the top affordable dive watches you can check out if you’re searching for a feature-packed yet easy-to-use entry-level model. This diving computer has all the bells and whistles a beginner could possibly need. It comes with a user-friendly interface and an HD screen which allows for easy reading and navigation.
Experienced divers who are into deep diving might require something more advanced, though.
Leonardo has a single-button interface which makes tinkering with the settings a breeze. You will need 10-20 minutes tops to get the hang of it.
The screen is large and the backlighting function is pretty amazing for the price. This diving computer is especially ideal for individuals who want to dive with Nitrox. You can adjust the Nitrox level easily and even save your settings in the log.
As many users have already pointed out, this diving computer watch has a very conservative diving profile compared to most models. This is not essentially a drawback if you are just starting out and want to be responsible for your own safety.
The safety stop counter activates at the depth of around 15-20 ft for 3 minutes. Its built-in alarm goes off the moment you start going too fast while ascending. The alarm is insanely loud but it’s an alarm, after all. I can’t complain much about that.
This dive watch comes with a battery indicator and a user-changeable battery which has a lifespan of up to 2 years. Some users have found the strap too big but the holes go all the way down. Hence, you won’t have any issue fitting the watch on a small wrist.
The interface can be connected to this dive watch through the use of IR and with a USB cable to connect to a PC. However, you will need to purchase the interface separately as it doesn’t come with the watch kit.
- Shows essential diving data e.g diving depth, time and temperature.
- Allows comprehensive dive planning.
- A loud ascending alarm that goes off if you go too fast.
- Safety stop counter.
- Since the battery is user-changeable, you don’t have to send it to a service center or a watch repair shop to have the battery replaced.
- In case you want to download your watch’s data through your PC, you will have to purchase the interface as it is not included in this watch’s kit.
- Very conservative algorithms often push the NODECO limits. Therefore, not recommended for advanced divers.
7. Oceanic Geo 2.0 Wrist Dive Computer
- 2 nitrox mixes to 100% oxygen, deep stop with countdown timer, intuitive user interface with step back, time, date & temperature
- Audible alarms with user acknowledgment, gauge mode with run-timer, history mode and 24 dive/99 free dives on-unit log book
- Last dive display: max depth and dive time, diver-replaceable battery with data retention, user upgradeable firmware
- Power: CR2430 Lithium battery, operational depth: 330' (100 meters) - altitude adjustable: 3, 001' to 14, 000' (916 to 4, 200 meters)
- Dual time display and daily alarms, backlight for night or low light conditions, 4 operating modes: watch, norm, free dive and gauge
Last update on 2019-08-19 at 11:56 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Oceanic Geo 2.0 Wrist Dive Computer is the perfect combination of quality and style. The computer is quite small compared to the traditional diving monitors. This makes it sleek enough to be used as an everyday watch.
This dive computer offers some essential features which aid both professional and recreational divers. Like any sophisticated diving computer, it includes important safety stops and decompression stop features. It lets you track your depth and the alarm goes off if you ascend too fast or go too deep.
Another top feature that is hardly found in computers of this price range is the two gas mix settings. You can set two different gas mixes on it and switch between the settings easily.
Also, it offers two algorithms to choose from along with myriads of other customizable options. The screen has great contrast and backlight, offering stunning underwater visibility.
The “Step Back” option in this dive computer allows you to navigate the settings forward and backward. Additionally, since it records your previous dive activities, it helps you evaluate your performance and help you create a comprehensive plan for further improvement.
- This dive computer’s user interface comes with a “Step Back” option, which allows easy forward and backward navigation of the settings and menus.
- Two gas mix settings and two algorithms.
- Capable of retaining the memory of up to 24 dives.
- This watch includes a user-changeable battery that has a data retention function which ensures all your data and settings are kept during battery replacement.
- You can read and navigate this dive computer during nighttime or in low light since it includes a backlight.
- Beginners might find the plethora of settings it offers a little intimidating at first.
Things You Should Look for in a Dive Watch
Dive watches must fulfill many essential requirements to ensure quality. When used the right way, a good dive watch can even save your life underwater. Thus, when shopping for such a timepiece, carefully evaluate each unit, and do consider your needs and preferences as well.
This list of factors below will help you narrow down the best dive watches under $500 on the market:
Water Resistance Depth Rating
A dive watch must be water-resistant to avoid any damage when submerged in water. However, it’s not enough to only look for watches that claim to be water-resistant; you must look into the depth rating to determine if a specific unit is ideal for diving.
Dive watches must have a water-resistance of at least 100 meters. This depth rating is suitable for diving and snorkeling at minimal depths. On the other hand, dive watches intended for professional use generally have a water-resistance for 200-300 meters.
However, it is better to select a dive watch with a depth rating, which is higher than the standard requirement.
The Strap Material
Dive watches are regularly exposed to moisture, varying temperatures, and direct light. Non-metal materials, just like the watch’s strap, are some of the first parts to wear out. Therefore, you must choose a dive watch with a durable strap.
Fabric and leather straps easily break down over time when exposed to water and extreme temperatures, hence why the majority of the dive watches have stainless steel or premium-quality rubber strap bands. Moreover, rubber and stainless steel straps are also ideal as it can be easily adjusted to fit onto the wrist safely.
The Case and Back of the Watch
The dive watch’s casing has to be thick and durable enough to avoid water from penetrating it. Additionally, the casing must also resist pressure. Thus it should be crafted with a premium-quality material such as a sturdy mineral crystal.
Moreover, the casing must also be clear enough to allow users to read the markers and the hands easily. Similarly, the back of the dive watch must also be sturdy and safely screwed down or sealed to avoid water penetration and resist pressure.
Clarity and Luminescence
The dials and the face of a dive watch must be easy to read even at night or in low light conditions. For this reason, you must choose a dive watch that has good backlighting or luminous hands and markers. The luminescence has to be bright enough for you to easily read and navigate the clock underwater where there’s very minimal lighting.
While some dive watches have luminous hands and markers, some are not bright enough to allow you to read the dials with ease in the absence of light.
A Rotating Bezel
A dive watch’s rotating bezel is another crucial factor you need to take into account. It allows you to keep track of your dive time easily without having to remember what time you plunged into the water. You have to put the dive start time marker over a certain minute mark, and you’re good to go.
Durability and Resistance to Elements
It is typical for dive watches to be exposed to various elements such as salt which can potentially damage its exteriors. You can also occasionally knock your watch on hard surfaces while diving. For these reasons, a dive watch must be durable and resistant to damaging elements.
For battery-powered dive watches, replacing batteries should not lead to the loss of settings and data stored in the device. Hence why, when shopping for battery-powered dive watches, look into a watch that guarantees full data retention in case the battery runs out of power.
Style and Design
Although the functionalities and the construction quality should be the top factors you need to look for in a good dive watch, you must also take a look at the overall style and aesthetic features of the watch. Dive watches not only aid diving and other water activities, but it can also be a great accessory to add up to any outfit.
Dive watches can range from $150 to $700 depending on the brand and features. If you are on a budget but want a good-quality purchase, you can browse dive watches reviews on the web to know several budget-friendly options.
Best Dive Watches Brands
Wondering what are the top dive watches available nowadays? Below is a list of some of the best ones on the market to date.
Luminox is among the top reputable brands that produce top-quality dive watches. They are one of the most popular watch brand choices among professionals, including the US Coast Guard, Navy SEALs, law operative divers, and more.
Luminox believes that a professional diver’s watch must have optimum visibility in various diving situations; be it daytime diving, night diving, or diving in very minimal profile. Hence why they introduced the Luminox Light Technology which ensures that all of their watches offer easy readability. Additionally, the LLT also guarantees that all Luminox dive watches are consistently visible and glowing for up to 25 years.
When it comes to providing premium-quality sports watches, Citizen is among the top notable names in the industry. Citizen is well-renowned for their Promaster dive watches, which offers top of the line safety, durability, and functionality. Additionally, Citizen’s Promaster Sea timepieces feature Eco-drive technology; the watches are fueled by light and do not require the use of a battery.
The Citizen Promaster includes 16 models and range from $350 to $2,300 in price. With this number, you get to choose the best unit that suits your style and diving needs.
Seiko is trusted for producing exceptional timepieces, not just dive watches. Seiko has been providing some of the top innovative watches in the industry for decades, with their cutting-edge dive watches being introduced in 1965.
Seiko dive watches have been one of the top choices among divers worldwide who participate in both professional and recreational diving. Seiko diver’s watches became a global standard due to its 50 years of consistent innovation. Although they have already proven their name in the industry, Seiko continues to strive for progress.
The creation of Seiko dive watches all started through a letter from a pro diver from Hiroshima, Japan. He stated that when diving in a depth of over 300 meters through a diving capsule and congestion diving techniques, the majority of watches become damaged. As an answer to this request, Seiko formed a new development team. After a few years of crucial research and development, they created the world’s first-ever Professional Dive Watch 600m with a titanium casing.
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN is a brand known for producing some of the best Swiss diver watches on the market. IWC’s introduction to the dive watch industry all began with the Aquatimer Reference 812. In the following decades, the brand consistently released innovative dive watches one after another.
IWC also takes pride in running a business that strongly believes in the importance of sustainability. They have been supporting two non-profit organizations that are devoted to protecting the oceans. Thus, when you choose to invest in an IWC dive watch, you are also helping a good cause.
Because IWC dive watches are considered more luxurious, the prices can be steep. Their Aquatimer watches range from $5,400 to $46,800. However, high-quality and durability are guaranteed for every unit.
Dive Watch Frequently Asked Questions
What is a diver’s watch?
A dive watch is just a watch that can prevent water from leaking into the case. Dive watches are also crafted to withstand the extreme pressure of the depths divers dive into.
However, not all watches labeled “water-resistant” can be used for diving. As mentioned earlier, a dive watch should have at least a 100-meter water resistance. Moreover, dive watches must have adequate luminescence to allow easy reading and navigation during the night time and in low light situations.
Why do divers and snorkelers wear them?
Aside from preference and tradition, divers and snorkelers wear a diving timepiece as a backup to a diving computer. A number of dive watches include depth gauges that allow the timepiece to become a substitute for a dive computer.
On the other hand, some people wear dive watches simply because it is highly associated with sports. Certain dive watches also have a sharp, sleek look that works great as a way to spruce up a man’s getup.
What is the purpose of a rotating bezel?
A rotating bezel helps you keep track of the time duration of your dives. It is typically marked in minutes, which is up to 60 minutes max.
What is the purpose of a helium valve? Is it necessary?
A helium valve is a device that equalizes the external and internal pressure which goes in and out of the watch case while the watch is being worn in a diving compartment.
The diver breathes a mixture of gas containing helium inside the diving compartment. As the helium molecules are incredibly tiny, it can easily penetrate the dive watch case. Through the decompression process, the pressure inside the compartment declines rapidly inside the case. In return, it can cause the crystal on the watch to burst.
A helium valve allows helium to breakout during the decompression state, thus, equalizing the pressure inside and outside the watch case.
Which is better, a dive watch or a dive computer?
Dive computers have comprehensive features essential for professional divers. On the other hand, some divers use dive watches as backups for their dive computers in case it runs out of power.
Moreover, divers and non-divers not just for diving but also as an accessory due to its elegant and stylish design wear dive watches.
A premium-quality dive watch can serve as a significant investment. Thus, remember to only choose from the top-rated dive watches to get your money’s worth. Moreover, doing your research, reading dive watch reviews, and taking the factors mentioned in this buying guide into consideration are the practical steps that will help you find the right product to purchase.