Dive watches are one of those items that many admire but few actually use them for their intended purpose. I mean, let’s face it, not everyone has access to scuba gear whenever they’re feeling tired of spending time on land. And those of us who do experience the majesty of an extended underwater stay typically enjoy this luxury only a few times a year. This reality aside, dive watches serve as some of the most reliable and handsome timepieces around, mainly because they were, and still are, depended upon for life-saving purposes.
What sets a dive watch apart from your everyday water-resistant or luxury watch is its on-point accuracy and resistance to a number of factors including water pressure, ocean temperature, and obviously total submersion in water for extended periods of time. They are also life-saving devices that measure oxygen intake and how long divers can spend underwater before needing to resurface. Needless to say, if the watch fails once, it could result in catastrophic effects for the diver.
Clearly these watches need to function properly, feature a durable makeup, and maintain reliability over the course of their lifetime. They’re rough and rugged timepieces that recently entered into the arena of fashionable watches for men who don’t necessarily scuba dive on a regular basis. Now, think what you may about non-divers wearing such watches but the reality remains the same; that when looking for such a timepiece, it’s important not to skimp on form and function. We’re not suggesting you take out a second mortgage but we would like to get the gears grinding for you with this list of our favorite dive watches for under $1,000. Have a look. There’s plenty to learn and admire from these time-keepers.
Seiko Men’s Prospex Automatic Dive Watch
Known as the “Baby Tuna,” this Seiko serves as a solid introduction into the dive watch world. It features a balance wheel that regulates the time and a mainspring as its source of energy which is continuously wound in conjunction with the wearer’s movement. It falls on the larger side with a 48mm case diameter and 13mm case thickness. The movement is Japanese-Automatic resulting in an accuracy of within 15 seconds per day, which for the price point isn’t bad at all. It’s also water-resistant for up to 200 meters; a solid value piece for any dive watch neophyte.
Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver’s Watch
Nothing like a marriage of sustainability and design to warm the soul. Citizen’s Eco-Drive, fueled by both natural and artificial light, is as innovative as it is unique. And because light powers this diving watch, you’ll never need a battery. Period. It also features an easy-to-read dial, rotating bezel, and large luminous hands and hour markers, perfect for those murkier days under the water. The stainless steel case is 48mm in diameter and hosts a mineral dial window and Japanese quartz movement to keep everything accurate and on schedule.
Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Mecha
The crew over at Victorinox never cease to provide wearers with colorful options that stand out amongst the ubiquitous watch-wearing crowd. With a stainless steel case and a bright orange rubber strap, you’ll certainly draw the eyes and never misplace this bright addition to your wardrobe. Each watch features a date display, luminous hands and hour markers, a case diameter of 43.4mm and water resistance of up to 500 meters. Oh yeah, and because they’re famous for the original Swiss Army Knife, each watch features Swiss automatic mechanical movement.
Luminox Dive Chrono Ion Plated SS
As a versatile and stylish dive watch, this Chrono is a must-have for any collection. Featuring a polished stainless steel band and detailed chronograph dial, the 200-meter water-resistant piece lives in both realms of form and function. The interior Quartz movement powers the luminous hands on the watch’s black dial. You’ll also find a unidirectional bezel and the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting the dial. Black Ion-plated stainless steel adorns the case and makes this dive watch appearing ready to take on any stealth mission at hand. A good-looking piece no doubt.
Simplicity in design is too often overlooked these days. We all know how tough it is to create something simple and powerful but looking at this Anstead, we’re certainly believers in the possibility. And it’s not just looks either. The Oceanis boasts water resistance up to 300 meters, superluminova features that glow in low light, an inner 24-hour marker for accurate military time and navigation needs, a 44mm surgical stainless steel case and day/date adjust. Its movement is a Miyota 9015, which has the reputation as one of the most dependable automatic movements on the market today.
Magrette Moana Pacific Professional
Appreciate the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean at all times thanks to the splashy color scheme of this handsome timepiece. The Moana features Miyota 9015 movement with hacking seconds, a polished case finish, thick double domed sapphire crystal, C3 Super Luminova hands and dial, and is water-resistant up to 500 meters. There’s also a functional pressure release valve that protects the piece against pressure differences that occur below 300 meters of depth, just in case you find yourself diving 1000 feet below the ocean’s surface. All told, it’s quite the combination of looks and mechanics.
HALIOS TROPIK SS
Halios sports a quality vintage look with their Tropik SS and we’re perfectly fine with that design. The case material is made up of 316L stainless steel and features vintage domed sapphire crystal with underside AR coating. Also, you’ll never have to worry about inaccuracy at depths of up to 300 meters thanks to the Halois’ Japanese-made Miyota 9015 automatic movement. Additional features include Superluminova-coated hands and dial markers for low-light visibility both in and out of the water, and you can choose the strap of your choice depending on your style and preference.
Boschett Harpoon 1000 Meter
Boschett’s name says it all. Featuring Miyota 9015 movement and 4.34mm thick AR cited sapphire crystal, the 1000 meter water-resistant watch also features a rotating bezel with a scratch-resistant ceramic insert and the black dial has fully luminous markings throughout. There’s also a Helium release valve that serves as a quintessential status feature while etched on the back of the watch is a silhouette of a man about to hurl harpoon at an attacking sea monster, adding a nice ‘sea master’ look to the overall piece.
Marathon JSAR Jumbo Diver’s LGP Watch
For those tactical individuals interested in certified military spec equipment, look no further than this Marathon diver’s watch. In accordance with US Government Specification, it’s manufactured for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and designed for Search and Rescue missions. Durability is then guaranteed thanks to a 3mm thick scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a 46.6mm case size. Thanks to MaraGlo technology, the watch also features low-light illumination for enhanced visibility, ETA F06 high-torque 3-Jewel quartz movement, and vulcanized rubber straps. It’s also rated at 300 meters of water resistance and boasts the finest in Swiss craftsmanship, completing the job in a sleek manner.
SAS Stealth Tiger
Who’s not a fan of all black everything these days? The stealth look provides wearers with a classy design piece without being obnoxious. Each piece is engineered in a 1000 meter water resistant case, a 4.35mm screwed down crystal, features anti-magnetic protection for its movement (an auto-winding, automatic Swiss-made Elaboré with Incabloc Shock protection) and a Helium escape valve. As a buyer, you can choose between many different variations in either stainless steel or PVD coated cases along with leather or rubber straps to compliment the watch and intended use.
Oris Aquis Automatic
At the corner of casual the luxury, this Oris is wearable in just about any setting under the sun or in the water. It features a stainless steel case with a unidirectional rotating stainless steel bezel and black ceramic top ring, a black dial with luminous silver-tone hands and stick hour markers, and minute marker around the outer rim. Aquis’ movement is automatic Oris 733 and is water-resistant up to 300 meters. The dial also hosts a date display at the 6 o’clock position.
Seiko PROSPEX Marine Master
Japanese watchmaker Seiko rarely disappoints in their watchmaking prowess. This model, in particular, is a highly desired dive watch, known throughout the industry as the ‘Tuna’ or ‘Tuna Can.’ Its Seiko 7-Jewel quartz movement maintains accuracy within 15 seconds a month and battery life’s rated at 5 years. The Marine Master also features a day and date display, a 48mm case including a stainless steel shroud for additional protection when diving, comes with a ribbed rubber dive strap, and rated at 300 meters of water resistance. Any serious diver or watch wearer will appreciate the design and functionality of this well-made timepiece.