Dive watches, in addition to transmitting style and professionalism, can also provide great functionality and resistance. For this reason, if you are thinking of buying one but you do not know what model to choose, knowing its types and characteristics can make the difference between a good choice or a bad investment.
The most important thing is to differentiate those watches that are really suitable for diving from those that only appear it. There are many brands and models in the market and, often, a higher price does not ensure a good performance under water.
In this article you will find the 10 best models of today and a guide with all the information to choose the watch that best suits your needs.
These are the best diving watches that are currently on the market for their performance and their quality / price ratio.
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The Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Quartz Tuna SBBN033 is a classy dive watch with a sporty appearance, and is an instant go-to for watch enthusiasts. Diving fans can now own a gorgeous watch that goes with the aweaome feeling which comes with the activity.
This watch, one of the bestsellers in diving watches , offers everything you need for a very affordable price (it is the cheapest model recommended in this guide) and with the guarantee of a brand specializing in diving equipment.
Available in a wide variety of colors, it is a very good choice for recreational divers who want a watch with a casual and modern look to use both inside and outside the water.
Max Depth: 200m
Case: Stainless steel and anti-scratch mineral glass with luminescent needles and indexes and extra-flat profile
This high accuracy automatic watch is a very good option for those recreational divers who want a good performance diving watch at a very affordable price.
With a very small box size, it is a good choice for both men and women.
Max Depth: 200m
Case: 40mm, Stainless steel
Strap: Stainless Steel
Within the more than well-known range of diving watches from Seiko , the Prospex Mar Diver’s collection stands out for its characteristics and performance underwater. With a moderate price, once again the Japanese watchmaker has created a machine with impeccable quality and results.
It emphasizes the bevel with a marked red to facilitate the visualization of the time of immersion. Within this collection, the automatic model is the most guaranteed for its precision and durability, although you can also find solar (for tastes …).
Max Depth: 200m
Movement: automatic with power reserve of 41 hours
Case : 44mm, solid stainless steel and hardlex mineral glass. It has large luminescent indexes that make it easy to see the dial
Bezel: Unidirectional, stainless steel painted blue and red
These watches, military concept, are those used by the elite body of the US Navy, so their quality and results are more than endorsed.
It stands out for its excellent visibility even in the worst lighting conditions: the watch incorporates Luminox llt lighting technology, which provides constant night visibility for 25 years, without having to press any button or have to recharge it.
The quartz mechanism is Swiss made. Although it is a good quality watch, it has a very affordable price, making it a good choice for recreational divers.
Max Depth: 200m
Case : 44mm, composed of ultralight carbon and tempered and hardened mineral crystal.
Strap: Silicon and Polyurethane
Another bestseller on Amazon with very reasonable price, this watch perfectly covers the needs of the majority of recreational divers. It has an ISO6425 certificate that supports its use as a diving watch.
The recommended price according to the manufacturer is € 228, but in Amazon you can find it with a lot of discount (you can click on this link to see the Amazon offer).
Max Depth: 200m
Case : 44mm, made of steel. The hands and indexes shine in the dark after loading with natural or artificial light. Mineral glass with antireflective treatment
Strap: Rubber. Also available in steel
This collection, with a classic but sporty look, offers good performance for recreational divers.
Thanks to the wide bezel and large needles and indicators with a generous coating of SuperLuminNova® allows a good reading at all times, both inside and outside the water. It is also a precision watch thanks to the quartz movement made in Switzerland ETA G10.212 PRDP Precidrive.
It also has the endorsement of the ISO6425 certificate for diving watches. Ideal for recreational divers.
Max Depth: 200m
Case : 43mm, stainless steel and sapphire crystal
Strap: Stainless steel
The Seastar collection presents a good balance between performance and design, betting on careful details (for example, the markers of the bezel are not painted on top, but engraved) accompanied by the main characteristics of a high-level diving watch, such as the valve helium escape to avoid overpressure at great depths and precise Swiss quartz movement.
It is a very used model, especially by recreational divers and with which people are usually very happy both for the performance and duration of the piece and for being very comfortable to wear.
Max Depth: 300m
Case: 45mm, stainless steel with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Automatic helium escape valve. Needles and marks illuminated by the patented SuperLumiNova® system that allows good in all lighting conditions
Bezel: Unidirectional ceramic with engraved markers
Strap: Black rubber with closure and extension to dive with suits of different thicknesses
Acclaimed as the best diving partner by many divers, the Aquaracer is a solid and reliable watch.
It has a Swiss automatic mechanism of high precision that works excellently even under high pressure conditions in deep dives. Ideal for regular recreational divers as well as those for whom diving is more than a hobby.
Max Depth: 300m
Case : 41mm, polished and satin stainless steel and sapphire crystal highly scratch resistant and anti-reflective treatment. Green and blue luminescent markers in hour markers and hour and minute hands
Bezel: unidirectional, blue / black ceramic
Strap: nylon. Also available in satin steel
This outstanding quality automatic watch offers reliable and accurate operation both inside and outside the water. The Seamaster collection is a tribute to the marine legacy of Omega , which has a long tradition and experience. Ideal for demanding divers both recreational and technical diving.
Max Depth: 300m
Case : 41mm, stainless steel and sapphire crystal highly resistant to scratching with antireflection treatment. Helium escape valve. Screw-down crown to ensure excellent tightness, even at great depths
Bezel: unidirectional, blue polished ceramic
Strap: noble steel
Due to its technical characteristics, the high quality of its materials and its robustness, it is an ideal watch for professional divers.
It is equipped with the TUDOR MT5612 manufacturing caliber, which guarantees an exceptional autonomy, with a running reserage of approximately 70 hours. The mechanism of automatic movement with bidirectional rotor, has the precision and quality of this prestigious Swiss brand.
In addition, within the recommended watches in this guide, it is the only submersible up to 500m deep , ensuring a precise operation and absolute sealing in any type of dive, even in the most demanding technical dives.
Max Depth: 500m
Case : 42mm, titanium and steel with satin finish and sapphire crystal. Helium valve that prevents overpressure at high depths
Bezel: unidirectional, titanium with matt black ceramic disc and graduations in luminescent white material
Strap: titanium with folding clasp and steel safety clasp. It has the exclusive self-adjustment system developed and patented by Tudor. This system adjusts the bracelet during the descent phase, contracting it, and expanding it as the pressure decreases again during the ascent of the diver
Criteria to choose the best diving watch
If you still do not know which watch is the most suitable for your needs, below you will find a complete guide with all the information you need.
Types of diving watches
Watches can be divided into three main categories:
These are analog clocks, mainly mechanical or quartz. They are usually characterized by great durability and resistance. It is also where you will find the widest range of prices: from the cheapest for less than 100 euros to the most exclusive with prices that are around 4000-5000 euros, and even more. dual cressi diving watch
Some “street” digital watches are suitable for diving. As long as you can submerge at least 200m, have a good backlight and stopwatch function to count the time you spend underwater, you can use it without problems to dive. There are also specific models to practice this sport, offering some additional options focused on diving, such as a depth gauge. They are relatively cheap and compact.
Not yet properly a diving watch, in recent years we can find in the market several options with a size and shape that resembles that of a diving watch. They even have “clock” mode, so you can use it as such out of the water. If you want more information about diving computers,I recommend you take a look at this guide that will help you to know the available options and choose the most appropriate one.
The choice of the type of watch is something very personal that will depend on your preferences, tastes and the use that you are going to give.
If you are looking for a versatile analog watch to use both in and out of the water that allows you to know the time of immersion, with a model that is submersible 200m, with unidirectional rotating bezel and good visibility of the digits and hands will suffice. On the other hand, if you want a device that allows you to monitor some other parameter of the dive , such as the depth at which you are at each moment, you can opt for a digital model that offers additional monitoring functions.
Even if you already have a dive computer, if you are a regular diver or do technical diving, you will need a redundant backup system to ensure you can control the essential values of your dive in case the computer fails.
It is not the same as the watch is submersible to be really prepared to withstand the pressure to which it is subjected during a dive. It is important to look at the maximum depth to which the watch can be submerged, which is indicated by the acronym WR ( Water Resistant ) followed by a number. Thus, WR100 means that the watch, theoretically, can be submerged up to 100 meters deep. Another possibility is that the maximum depth is indicated by the number of atmospheres (ATM) of pressure exerted by the water that supports the clock.
To know the equivalence in meters, you just have to use this simple rule: 1 ATM = 10 meters deep . Thus, a clock that supports 10 ATM could be submerged up to 100 meters deep (in theory, although in reality it is not good either).
Keep in mind that the conditions used in the laboratory to define the resistance of the watch to pressure are not totally comparable to those of a real dive, since it is calculated by simulating the static pressure of a water column and not the dynamic pressure that receives the watch during a dive.
Therefore, I recommend that you do not buy a WR watch too low. For example, WR20 does not mean you can lower up to 20m real with your watch.
A digital watch is considered suitable for diving if it can be submerged at least 200m (20 ATM). Clocks with lower depths are suitable for other water sports, but not for diving according to official limits.
Check that the watch face is optimally under water to allow easy readability of all parameters even during night dives or inside caves.
For that, make sure you meet the following requirements:
Digital clock: choose a clock with a good backlight.
Analog clock: must have a high contrast between numbers, hands, markers and the bottom of the dial. I recommend that you count, at least, with phosphorescent hands (especially the second hand, which will allow you to check that the clock is running), although ideally also the numbers and markers of the bezel should be bright. In addition, some models have an orange or yellow background to further increase the contrast with the numbers and hands. diving watch kronsegler MKS
Characteristics of the bezel The bezel is the ring that rotates around the watch face. It is an essential element, especially in analog watches, as it will tell you how long you have been in the water since you started the dive.
Check that the ring turns freely and gently. However, it should not turn too easily, to prevent you from being able to move it unintentionally during the dive.
To dive, the bevel has to rotate only in the anti-clockwise direction (unidirectional rotation). This way, if you accidentally moved during the dive, it would always be to make it shorter, which would keep you safe.
It is also important that brands that account for time have divisions of at least five minutes and that are clearly indicated.
Watch material for diving Body of the watch
The watch case is usually quite thick to properly withstand the high pressure to which it is subjected during the dive.
In general, the watches that withstand the greatest pressure are made of heavier materials, such as stainless steel. If you do not plan to do deep dives, you can opt for lighter models made of titanium or even plastic for digital models.
The most important thing when choosing the type of strap, is that it is extensible and long enough so that you can adjust it according to whether you dive with a more or less thick suit or even without sleeves. If not, think that you will have to change the strap every time you dive with a different suit or if you want to use the watch out of the water.
For the rest, the choice of belt material will depend on your tastes and preferences: from the most classic solid steel belts to the most modern silicone options, including nylon, etc.
Keep in mind that leather straps are not suitable for diving / snorkeling.
How to make the final decision
To summarize, when choosing your watch for diving, you must take into account the following points:
The clock gives you the necessary information: is immersion time enough or do you want it to record other parameters such as depth? It has the water resistance you need for the type of diving you will do: will you do many deep dives? Do you dedicate yourself to technical diving?
The information of the watch is easy to read, even in conditions of total darkness: backlighting, phosphorescent hands, etc. The strap is extensible and comfortable The watch is well sealed and compact Maintenance of the diving watch
After each dive, remember to clean your watch (like the rest of the equipment) with fresh water to eliminate salt and possible sand. Do not keep the watch wet: let it dry in the air, but avoiding direct sun exposure.
Avoid leaving the watch exposed to the sun for a long period of time before a dive, as the sudden change of temperature could irreversibly damage the watch, losing its tightness.
And there you have it, all of the factors to consider when picking the best divewatch for you in 2018.