The 20 Best Dive Watches For Men

Sep 11, 2019

Category: Style

While the watch itself is an iconic staple of menswear, there are also sub-types with their own unique heritage, purpose, styling, and more. And while they all have their own place and time (no pun intended), there are some that are long-running fan favorites and have even reached well beyond their own category.

Dive watches, while originally intended to joint people in their aquatic endeavors, are one such timepiece sub-category that has expanded beyond its purpose in regards to menswear as a whole. And while many of them still retain their ability to participate in underwater endeavors, they’ve also made a home in the world of fashion. For those who are looking for a handsome timekeeper with a nautical influence and the kinds of durability that actually allows for a dip in the ocean, we’ve put together the following list of the best dive watches.

Photo: Rolex Submariner

What Are Dive Watches?

Our Criteria

Like many industries, especially those related to fashion, there is little regulation to ensure a certain standard is being kept in regards to dive watches. As such, it’s up to the consumer to do their research to ensure specific requirements are being met. That’s no different when it comes to diving watches. Just because something is labeled as a ‘dive watch,’ that doesn’t mean the said watch is actually capable of being submerged underwater. For our article, however, we wanted to make sure that these were more than just beautiful timekeepers — that they were truly capable of surviving nautical expeditions. As such, we set our own rigorous standards and expectations outlined as follows:

Water-Resistance: Most modern watches have a measure of water-resistance built-in. Usually, however, this means they’re capable of surviving minor splashes or abbreviated dips. For a watch to be a true dive watch, at least in our opinion, that expectation needs to be elevated. As such, all of the timepieces on our list have a water-resistance rating good for dives of at least 300m. That way, if you so choose, you can actually take them on a dive.

Dive Timer Bezel: Second only to the water-resistance rating, rotating dive timer bezels are an essential part of what makes a dive watch functional. That’s because they give you the ability to set a kind of timer — specifically related to how much oxygen you have in your tank. In use and at a glance, these additions allow you to tell when it is time to resurface prior to running out of oxygen in your tank. They have saved many a life and, without them, a watch is not a true diver.

Material Construction: A bit less restrictive than the above two metrics, construction materials are no less of import when it comes to diving watches. Typically, divers are made from things like stainless steel or titanium — metals that are durable enough to survive the pressures of the ocean. Modern synthetic materials, like carbon fiber, have also been used (and can even be found on our list), but the greater point is just to be certain the watch you’re getting is tough enough to survive a dive.

Jack Mason D101 Diver Watch

Proof positive that a low price does not necessarily mean a compromise on craftsmanship or capability, Jack Mason’s D101 dive watch is an exercise in timelessness and functionality for anyone on a tight budget. With beautiful styling cues, this watch is also quite handy — boasting 300m of water resistance, a rotating dive timer bezel, and a strikingly-good-looking black-on-silver colorway. Powered by a reliable Miyota quartz movement, you’re just not going to find a better diver for the price.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Miyota Quartz
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $315

MWC Kampfschwimmer Military Dive Watch

Originally, MWC’s Kamphschwimmer watch was made specifically for military and police personnel operating in extreme environments — like icy northern oceans. And that makes it a superb dive watch for just about anyone, as it can literally survive just about anything you can throw at it. It also boasts a 24-jewel automatic movement, 300m water-resistance, a sturdy NATO nylon strap, Super Luminova markings, and so much more. For such a low price, this EDC beast is unbeatable.

Case: PVD-Coated 416L Stainless Steel
Movement: 24-Jewel Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $320

Alsta Nautoscaph II Dive Watch

If you’ve ever muttered to yourself, “We’re going to need a bigger boat,” then the Alsta Nautoscaph II Dive Watch is the one for you. That’s because it’s an exact recreation of the one that Richard Dreyfuss wore in Jaws. Of course, while the styling itself is enough to get excited about, it’s also a very capable timepiece with a stainless steel case, mesh band, rotating dive timer bezel, and 300m water-resistance rating.

Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Movement: NH35A 24-Jewel Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $822

Shinola The Lake Superior Monster Dive Watch

Shinola actually created an entire line of watches inspired by the Great Lakes of the United States. And while each of these “Monster” watches are exceptional, our favorite might just be the Lake Superior edition. That’s because it’s got timeless dive watch styling, an automatic movement, a sturdy metal link band, and the ability to dive up to 1,000 feet. Made specifically with divers in mind, this timepiece is top-notch.

Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Movement: SW200-1 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $1,450

Citizen Promaster Professional Diver Watch

Citizen might not be a brand name that comes to mind when considering dive watches. But one look at their Promaster Professional Diver Watch and you can see that that might be a pretty big mistake. Not only does this watch look excellent in or out of the water, but it can handle impressive depths of up to 1,000 meters, it’s constructed from an ultra-tough material called “Super Titanium,” it’s ISO compliant, and it boasts a solar-powered movement that never needs a battery replacement or winding. For the price, you’re not going to find this level of performance elsewhere.

Case: Super Titanium
Movement: J210 Automatic Solar
Depth: 1,000m

Purchase: $1,840

Ball Engineer Master II Diver Watch

While Ball’s Engineer Master II Diver watch has all the hallmarks of an excellent underwater timekeeper, it also has some hidden features that just aren’t found elsewhere. That includes tritium illumination in the dial markings — meaning they self-illuminate with no need for charging for up to a decade or more. Mate that to a stainless steel case, 300m of water-resistance, a steel link or rubber band, a day/date window, and more and you can see why this watch deserves its spot on our list.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Ball RR1102 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $2,000

Luminox Scott Cassell Deep Dive Watch

If you’re a fan of dive watches — or ultra-tough timepieces in general — Luminox is a brand that should be on your radar. That’s because this is a brand that makes timepieces for some of the toughest dudes on the planet, including Navy SEALs, Icelandic search and rescue teams, and (the namesake of this particular watch) Scott Cassell. In case you are unfamiliar, Cassell is a diver, documentarian, and counter-terrorist operative. So when he puts his name on a watch, you can bet it can survive just about anything. With a shielded bezel, 500m of water-resistance, a helium release valve, and more, you can always count on this diver watch as a part of your everyday carry.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Swiss Automatic
Depth: 500m

Purchase: $2,000

TAG Heuer Aquaracer GMT Watch

Known as a “Pepsi” bezel, the blue-and-red surrounding the dial on this watch are as iconic as styling cues come in the dive watch sub-category. And Tag Heuer has embraced that iconography wholeheartedly. And while this timekeeper is certainly a looker, it wouldn’t matter much if it wasn’t also capable — which it is. You see, this stainless steel wristwatch has a reliable automatic movement with a date window, can dive to depths up to 300m, and it has a 42-hour power reserve. And if the blue-and-red isn’t your thing, it also comes in a number of different colorways.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Calibre 7 Twin-Time Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $2,850

Bell Ross BR 03-92 Diver Watch

While their signature square-shaped cases are inspired specifically by the gauges of aircraft instruments, Bell & Ross hasn’t limited their offerings to pilot watches alone. In fact, their 03-92 is a superb dive watch by any estimation and still features that angular styling. This shape also helps to make the screw-down shielded crown more manageable and the brand had the foresight to still include a circular unidirectional dive timer rotating bezel, as well. Pair that with an automatic movement and a 300m water-resistance rating and this is one of the more unique yet still functional options on our list.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: BR-CAL.302. Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $3,700

DOXA SUB 4000T Dive Watch

DOXA is a brand that is exceedingly well-known in the dive watch world, but hasn’t garnered respect in the larger arena — though we can’t seem to peg down exactly why that is. You see, this brand has been making impressive, iconic timepieces for decades and decades. Their SUB 4000T dive watch is just one example of their prowess. Complete with an oversized case/dial (better for reading with goggles on), this limited edition watch boasts the brand’s signature orange dial, can survive depths of up to 1,200 meters, has a power reserve indicator, a helium release valve, Super Luminova markings for low-light reading, and a sturdy link band.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: ETA 2897 Automatic
Depth: 1,200m

Purchase: $3,890

Tudor Pelagos Dive Watch

Tudor’s Black Bay watch is almost certainly their most recognizable — or at least their most iconic diver watch. Unfortunately, it’s only equipped to handle depths of 200m or fewer. By contrast, the Pelagos boasts similar, timeless styling but it can handle a whopping 500m dive. On top of that, it features an automatic movement, handsome and durable titanium and stainless steel case, a titanium crown, and a bracelet to match. Sure, it doesn’t have the Black Bay name, but it more than makes up for it in durability and functionality.

Case: Titanium & Stainless Steel
Movement: MT5612 Automatic
Depth: 500m

Purchase: $4,450

Breitling SuperOcean Dive Watch

In the words of the brand themselves, the Breitling SuperOcean dive watch was “built to last.” And that’s not just a blind claim — it’s a promise. That’s because this watch features a solid DLC-coated stainless steel construction, timeless styling in a contemporary format, a whopping 2,000m of water-resistance (likely more than anyone really ever needs, even divers), a unidirectional rotating dive timer bezel, and a durable and comfortable rubber strap. Perfectly balanced between style and functionality, this automatic watch is truly one of the best you can get for its price.

Case: DLC-Coated Stainless Steel
Movement: Breitling 17 Automatic
Depth: 2,000m

Purchase: $4,850

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Dive Watch

Oris has a long history of building solid, functional dive watches. In fact, their original Depth Gauge watch was heralded as one of the most innovative of its time. Now, they’ve followed it up with another excellent offering in their Aquis Depth Gauge diver. Like its predecessor, this is a mechanical watch that incorporates an actual diving-ready depth gauge into its functionality. It also has a dive timer bezel, chronograph sub-dials, and an automatic movement that powers the whole thing. With a whopping 500m of water-resistance, this is one of the most capable dive watches available.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Swiss Automatic
Depth: 500m

Purchase: $5,200

Seiko Prospex SLA025J1 Dive Watch

Seiko has been making superb timekeepers for more than a century at this point, but their 1968 diver watch will undoubtedly go down as one of their best, most iconic designs ever. Lucky for us, they also decided to remake that beautiful watch with modern sensibilities — and it’s the watch you see before you today. Complete with its flat caseback and silicone strap, this automatic dive watch was made for adventure — boasting a stainless steel case, rotating bezel, 300m water-resistance rating, and much more. Best of all, it’s priced at a mere fraction of its true value.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: 8L55 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $5,400

IWC Aquatimer Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau Dive Watch

Jacques Cousteau will likely go down in history as the greatest oceanographer of all time. And this watch, from the masters at IWC, pays proper tribute to the ocean-going activist and documentarian. It’s loaded with a 21-jewed automatic movement (complete with a 42-hour power reserve), can handle dives of up to over 300m, has a handy date window at the 3 o’clock position, and boasts a unique external/internal rotating bezel with SafeDive system. It’s a unique and almost minimalist take on the classic diver’s watch but doesn’t sacrifice any functionality.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: 30120 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $5,600

Omega Seamaster Chronograph Dive Watch

When it comes to dive watches, there are a few brands and models that have set the standard for the rest of the watchmaking world, stood the test of time, and keep right on being important and relevant to the greater industry. Omega’s Seamaster is definitely one such watch. This particular example, besides it being a head-turner, offers chronograph functionality courtesy of its automatic movement, has a unidirectional rotating dive timer bezel, features an exhibition caseback, and can survive dives of up to 300m. It’s a timekeeping icon if there ever was one and you’d be lucky to add it to your collection.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: 9900 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $9,300

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatic Dive Watch

Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms watch is heralded by many as the first modern diver’s watch. And while it originated back in 1953, its modern interpretations still stand up, even to harsh scrutiny. This particular black-and-steel version is complete with easy-to-read luminous markings, a unidirectional dive timer bezel, a 32-jewel automatic movement (with a 120-hour power reserve), and an oversized crown — making it easy to fiddle with even with gloves on. If you want an iconic dive watch, but you tend to stray from the obvious hits, this might be the one for you.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Swiss Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $11,600

Rolex Submariner Date Dive Watch

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the brand and their history that Rolex’s Submariner made it onto our list. This is, after all, one of the dive watches that set the standard for the whole category. This particular edition is done up in the brand’s Oystersteel and yellow gold and comes with a reliable automatic movement, a day/date window, 300m of water-resistance, and a striking blue dial — which helps tie it to the waterways of our world in more than just function.

Case: Oystersteel & Gold
Movement: 3135 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $13,400

Panerai Submersible Bronzo Dive Watch

The only watch on our list crafted with a bronze case, Panerai’s Submersible Bronzo dive watch is an absolutely stunning modern ocean-going timepiece with some throwback styling — with looks that harken back to the old-timey dive suits of years passed (like those you might see in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). Of course, it’s got plenty of substance to match with its automatic movement, 300m water-resistance rating, 31-jewel automatic movement, rotating dive timer bezel, and shielded crown.

Case: Bronze
Movement: P.9010 Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $16,500

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Watch

The Roal Oak model was a breakaway hit for Audemars Piguet for many reasons, one of which is its unique, angular case. Of course, the Offshore version is, on top of being exceptionally handsome, also a superb dive watch — for those who can afford it. With timeless styling, 300m of water-resistance, a stunning exhibition caseback, and an automatic movement, this is the kind of heirloom watch you can pass down for generations. And it will keep right on ticking through it all — even if you do find yourself frequently diving.

Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Swiss Automatic
Depth: 300m

Purchase: $19,000

How To Read A Watch Bezel

An essential part of what makes a dive watch a dive watch is its bezel. Learn all you need to know about how they work on our guide to how to read a watch bezel.

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