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In the past, a dive watch was an essential safety item that — when used in conjunction with a depth gauge — allowed divers to calculate their no-decompression limits. The advent of digital dive computers has made traditional dive planning somewhat redundant, and yet many divers like to wear a watch as a backup in case of computer failure. For others, high-end dive watches represent the pinnacle of watchmaking excellence and offer an effective way of broadcasting wealth and success. There are dive watches to meet all budgets and tastes, and in this article, we look at just some of the best across the spectrum. All of them meet the most elementary dive watch requirement — a water resistance rating of at least 200 meters.
Our Top Picks
Best Under $100: Casio Black Analog Anti-Reverse Bezel Watch
If you’re looking for a budget backup for your dive computer, you can’t go wrong with the Casio Anti-Reverse Bezel Watch. At $70 (or less, depending on the deals you can find online), it’s an affordable choice praised by Amazon reviewers for its performance. It features Japanese quartz movement, a screw-down back and crown, and three luminous hands. The latter make it easy for you to keep track of time even when it’s overcast or you’re diving in poor visibility, at depth, or at dusk.
The case is made of stainless steel and the black and white dial is protected by mineral glass. When entering dives into your logbook, double check the date with a quick glance at the watch’s date window. An anti-reverse bezel allows you to keep track of your time underwater. Because it only turns clockwise, you don’t have to worry about accidentally moving it in the wrong direction and miscalculating your no-decompression limit as a result. The watch is rated to 200 meters and carries a limited one-year warranty.
Best Under $500: Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch
The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch is the ideal match for serious divers that want a reliable, good-looking watch that won’t break the bank. Amazon reviewers love it for its rugged design and its innovative Eco-Drive technology. The latter means that it’s powered by light instead of a battery, saving you the cost and inconvenience of having to send it to a technician for a battery change. It also means the back stays factory sealed and completely water resistant up to 200 meters. The stainless steel case measures 42mm in diameter and features a one-way rotating bezel for measuring lapsed time when diving.
The black dial is protected by anti-reflective mineral crystal glass, making it easy to read the time even on sunny surface intervals and safety stops. Similarly, the watch’s luminous markers and hour, minute, and second hands are clearly visible at depth. Other highlights include a date window and a comfortable, durable black polyurethane strap. If black isn’t your color, you can find this watch elsewhere on Amazon in navy blue.
Best Under $1,000: Bulova Precisionist Chronograph Watch
A more attainable dream than the Rolex, the Bulova Men’s Precisionist Chronograph Watch is nevertheless an exceptional watch. Its three-prong crystal Precisionist movement boasts a vibrational frequency that’s eight times greater than standard quartz watches, lending weight to the brand’s claim to sell the most accurate quartz watches in the world. The stainless steel case measures 46.5mm across, making it even bigger than the Rolex — a pro for some Amazon reviewers and a con for others. Either way, this is a solid watch capable of meeting the challenges of recreational and technical diving.
It is water resistant up to 300 meters and features a stainless steel bracelet with a double-press fold-over clasp that can't be accidentally undone. The bevel is fixed, with hexagonal screw accents that add to the overall aesthetic. Beneath curved crystal glass, the blue, silver, and black dial has four subdials for chronograph measurement of hours, minutes, seconds, 1/10-seconds, 1/100-seconds, and 1/1,000-seconds. The yellow second hand sweeps continuously around the face and the hour and minute hands are luminous.
Best Statement-Maker: Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial
Retailing for around $12,000 and with a 44mm diameter that makes it impossible to overlook, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial is the ultimate status symbol. Its engineering is sublime: think 70 hours of power reserve, -2/+2 seconds per day precision, and waterproofing up to 3,900 meters. Serious technical divers will appreciate the case’s helium escape valve, which opens when the pressure difference between the inside and outside reaches three to five bars. This allows the helium used in decompression chambers to escape safely instead of forcing the crystal from the watch face.
The case is made from Oystersteel, a corrosion-proof Rolex superalloy of the kind typically used in the aerospace industry. The numerals on the unidirectional bezel are coated with platinum and the fit of the Oyster bracelet can be adjusted without tools for a comfortable fit over your wetsuit sleeve. The dial displays hours, minutes, seconds and the date and features long-lasting Chromalight luminescence. Beneath the sapphire crystal glass, the two-color gradient from blue to black commemorates James Cameron’s 2012 solo dive to the deepest point on Earth.
Most Innovative: Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch
Another pricey statement-maker, the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Watch is the first dive watch to measure depth, which it does by allowing water to enter the timepiece. If you’re a traditionalist who likes to use recreational dive planning tables, this watch gives you everything you need to calculate your no-decompression limits in one handsome wrist unit. The watch also boasts automatic winding date movement, 38 hours of power reserve, and a 50 bar/500 meter water resistance rating.
The case measures 46mm and is made from black plated stainless steel, with a screw-down back and a sapphire crystal glass face. Both sides of the glass are domed and finished with anti-reflective coating, giving you flawless clarity no matter the weather or water conditions. Luminous indices and hour, minute, and second hands stand out clearly against the black dial, while the date window auto-corrects for reliable accuracy. You can choose whether you want the comfortable rubber strap in timeless black or high-visibility yellow.
Best Women's: Invicta Women’s Mako Pro Diver Quartz Watch
Women that prefer a more delicate timepiece than this list’s oversized men’s options will love the Invicta Women’s Mako Pro Diver Quartz Watch. An Amazon’s Choice product with hundreds of positive reviews, its stainless steel case measures just 24.5mm in diameter. It also wins style points with a silver and gold two-toned stainless steel bracelet that contrasts beautifully with the sapphire blue dial. The unidirectional bezel is also blue with gold accents. For optimum visibility, the indices and all three hands are luminous, while the mineral crystal glass has an anti-reflective coating.
This watch is more than a fashion statement, however. It is fully certified for recreational scuba diving with a depth rating of 200 meters. It features Japanese quartz movement, a fold-over clasp with a safety catch, and a useful date window. Best of all, it's well-priced, meaning that savvy ladies will have plenty of room left in the budget for other dive accessories. Your purchase is protected by Invicta’s one-year warranty.
Best Limited Edition: Omega Seamaster Commander’s Watch, James Bond 007
For James Bond aficionados, the Omega Seamaster Commander’s Watch is the ultimate investment. Created by the brand worn by Bond since 1995, the watch celebrates the fictional agent’s rank by incorporating the ensign colors of the British Royal Navy. The 41mm stainless steel case is adorned with a blue ceramic unidirectional bezel, with a red rubber accent covering the first 15 minutes. Similarly, the white dial is offset by blued skeleton hour and minute hands and a varnished red second hand complete with a 007 gun logo counterweight. The NATO strap features a naval five-stripe pattern in blue, red, and grey.
Of course, the watch is more than an expensive gimmick. It is powered by the exclusive Caliber Omega 2507 self-winding movement and has a 48-hour power reserve. The domed sapphire crystal glass is scratch resistant and anti-reflective on both sides. With a depth rating of 300 meters, this is a serious technical diver’s timepiece complete with a screw-in crown and helium escape valve. Lastly, this collector’s item is limited to just 7,007 pieces.
Best Computer: Suunto D6i Novo Dive Computer
If you can’t resist the efficiency and safety of a modern dive computer, the Suunto D6i Novo Dive Computer also doubles as a stylish day-to-day timepiece. It pairs a steel casing with sapphire crystal glass and a silicone strap. In addition to telling the time, it calculates your dive time, acts as a depth gauge and uses Suunto’s full continuous decompression algorithm to determine your no-decompression limits and required surface intervals. It has five modes including air, nitrox, and freediving. An apnea timer comes in particularly handy for freedivers.
Tec divers will appreciate the fact that they can switch between three different gases. Other highlights include a tilt-compensated 3D digital compass and a built-in dive planner. The computer also stores a log of each dive so that you can scroll through them afterward and view details including your maximum depth, dive time, and the water temperature. If you purchase a transmitter (sold separately), the computer can even display your current cylinder pressure and calculate your remaining air time. Choose yours in stone, black, white, or stealth.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular dive watches on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different dive watches overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers and read over 45 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.