One of the most important tools you’ll ever use when diving in the deep blue sea is the dive watch. Yes, your dive mask, oxygen tank, and fins will help you move around underwater. But your watch will let you know when you need to resurface, time your ascent, and measure the time you’ve spent resting between dives. Not to mention, it’s the perfect backup to their dive computer, as rudimentary as it is.
Several dive watches even feature a depth gauge. With such an important survival tool, it pays to make the right purchase. Not all dive watches are made equal. And some are just for show. To help you in your quest to find the right dive watch, we’ve tested a number of them sold on Amazon and ranked them all. The 10 best dive watches are:
Top 10 Dive Watches of 2017
- Top 10 Dive Watches of 2017
- 1. Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
- 2. Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch
- 3. Seiko SKX173 Stainless Steel and Black Polyurethane Dive Watch
- 4. Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Watch
- 5. G-Shock DW-9052-1CCG Black Military Watch
- 6. Victorinox Mid-Size 241555 Dive Master 500 Meters Watch
- 7. Seiko Divers Automatic Dial Mens Watch SKX009K1
- 8. Orient FAA02004B9 Ray II Analog Automatic Stainless Steel Diving Watch
- 9. Invicta 0076 Pro Diver Collection Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch
- 10. Stuhrling Original Men’s 395.33B11 Aquadiver Regatta
- How to Choose the Best Dive Watch
1. Cressi Leonardo Dive ComputerDive Watch for the Money
The Cressi Leonardo is actually a dive computer, technically not a dive watch. But it does perform much like a dive watch with extra useful features. The Leonardo features a single button for easy programming of Air, Nitrox, and Gauge modes and a high-definition screen for easy reading. It has extended battery life due to the battery saver mode and power-saving processor. This dive computer also features a backlit screen enabling you to enjoy night dives. It features an adjustable FO2 and PO2 settings as well as a user-selectable deep stop function.
- easy to use
- easy to read
- ascent alarm can easily be heard underwater
- single button can be hard to get used to
- strap is a bit too long
- doesn’t log time and depth of more than one dive at a time
Dive Computer Under 500
If Navy Seals use it for diving, why shouldn’t you? The Luminox Men’s 3001 has a self-powered illumination system making the markers and watch’s hands glow 100 times brighter than other watches of this calibre. It is water resistant up to 200 meters (20 ATM) and comes with a stainless steel watch case and a unidirectional rotating bezel. You also get a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating, and a 4-year battery life.
- comfortable to wear
- can withstand lots of abuse
- brightness of the light is just right
- some retailers on Amazon are selling fakes
- poor customer service
- the band is flimsy
3. Seiko SKX173 Stainless Steel and Black Polyurethane Dive Watch
Seiko’s SKX173 is a dive watch to watch out for. This automatic watch comes with a stainless steel case, a gear-edge unidirectional bezel, an off-center crown, a black dial, a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, and Lumibrite hands and markers. It is water resistant up to 200 meters and features an an English/Spanish day/date window.
- very bright in the dark
- great customer service
- comfortable feel
- doesn’t keep perfect time; needs frequent adjusting
- runs down quickly (within a day)
- the band’s quality is poor
4. Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Watch
The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch doesn’t require a battery since it’s fueled by light using Eco-Drive technology (hence the name). Like other dive watches, it is water resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters) and features a unidirectional bezel as well as luminous hands and markers. We love the small decompression dive table printed on the band.
- keeps accurate time
- printed dive table for newbie reference
- Eco-Drive technology
- stiff watch band
- date window is too small
- watch is too small for some users
5. G-Shock DW-9052-1CCG Black Military WatchDive Watch On A Budget
Casio’s G-Shock DW-9052-1CCG is the perfect choice for individuals looking for a dive watch that has the basic features, a rugged design, and the capability of enduring any kind of rough and tumble activity the wearer puts it through on land or in the water. This G-Shock watch is water resistant up to 200 meters and features a countdown timer, a daily alarm, an hourly time signal, an auto calendar, and a stopwatch. It’s also shock resistant. And the price is definitely nothing to scoff at either.
- rugged design
- built to last
- the band is too short for large wrists
- display is hard to read for some users
- the alarm is too quiet
6. Victorinox Mid-Size 241555 Dive Master 500 Meters WatchDive Watch Under 500
Victorinox is well-known for producing top quality products and this dive watch is no different. It comes with a black PVD stainless steel case, a unidirectional rotating bezel, luminescent hands and markers, a date window, a screw-down crown, and an anti-reflective scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Unlike most of our other picks, this dive watch is water resistant up to 500 meters or 1650 feet. Because it is a mid-size watch, it can fit most wrists – men and women.
- easy to read in light and dark surroundings
- impact-resistant steel case
- impressive 500-meter depth
- watch band may be too short for large wrists
- loses about a second a day
- a bit heavier than other watches
7. Seiko Divers Automatic Dial Mens Watch SKX009K1
The 009 Seiko diver was the watch to own back in the day. It is also considered an icon in the watch collecting community. And for good reason. This dive watch is one of the best you’ll ever get under $200. It is a self-winding watch that is water resistant up to 20 ATM. It features lumibrite treated hands and markers, a day and date display, a uni-directional bezel, and a scratch resistant hardlex crystal. The solid stainless steel case and rubber dive style strap looks great whether you’re going casual, classy, or cool.
- classic Pepsi watch
- easy to read
- rugged and built to withstand abuse
- doesn’t keep perfect time
- band is a bit stiff
- replacing the band is a tad difficult
8. Orient FAA02004B9 Ray II Analog Automatic Stainless Steel Diving Watch
If you want a classy dive watch, then the Orient Ray II should be right up your alley. It is powered by a 22-jewel, Caliber F69 automatic movement and allows you to stop the second hand for more accurate syncing of time. It also features a hand-winding capability and a 120-click unidirectional diving bezel. The watch also has a day and date window, a stainless steel bracelet, and luminescent hands and markers for easy visibility in low light surroundings. This dive watch is water resistant up to 200 meters and comes with a 1-year warranty.
- complements any style – dressed down or up
- 120-click unidirectional bezel
- automatic watch (no need for batteries)
- some users found the watch dial to be a bit on the small side
- the bracelet feels cheap
- bezel is a bit hard to turn (too tight)
9. Invicta 0076 Pro Diver Collection Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch
The Invicta 0076 is a badass dive watch for individuals on a budget. The black ion-plated stainless steel case and bracelet feels solid and seems built to last. The stopwatch has several functions – 60 seconds, 30 minutes, and 12-hour subdials. The watch also has a date function and silver-tone, luminous hands and hour markers. There’s a unidirectional bezel with five-second indexes and a scratch-resistant flame-fusion window. The watch is water resistant up to 200 meters.
- cool design
- easy to read display
- keeps accurate time
- may be too heavy and bulky for individuals with smaller frames
- the hands and markers are not bright enough in low light situations
- not for everyday wear
The Aquadiver is made of surgical grade stainless steel with a unidirectional ratcheting coin edge bezel, a quick set date, luminescent sword-style hands, and a protective Krysterna crystal window. It has a screw-down crown and is water resistant up to 200 meters.
- classy design
- keeps good time
- date is hard to read
- can be too heavy for some
- the hands are barely visible in the dark
If you can’t find anything that catches your fancy on our list, you might be interested in checking out some of the highly rated watches that we hadn’t had a chance to test: Freestyle Hammerhead XL, Momentum Men’s Quartz Stainless Steel and Rubber Diving Watch, Seiko Men’s SKX007K Diver’s Automatic Watch, and the Casio Men’s Black Analog Anti Reverse Bezel Watch.
How to Choose the Best Dive Watch
If you’re looking for a dive watch, there are several things one must consider before finalizing your choice. Even if money is no object, you still want to get the best right? After all, it is key to your survival underwater. So, what features should you look at in a dive watch?
How water resistant is it?
Any dive watch worth its salt must be water resistant to a certain degree. At the very least, it should have a depth rating of 100 meters or 330 feet which is more than enough for recreational diving. The higher the watch’s rating for water resistance means that it has undergone more rigorous testing. Most of our picks are only rated for 200 meters such as the Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch. If you want something with a higher depth rating, then you might want to check out Victorinox Mid-Size 241555 Dive Master 500 Meters Watch which has a depth rating of 500 meters (1650 feet).
Does it have a unidirectional bezel?
A dive watch isn’t a dive watch if it doesn’t have a unidirectional bezel. What is that, you ask? This is when the bezel only moves in one direction – counterclockwise. This allows you to measure your diving time and easily see it at a glance. Because it only moves in one direction, the diver’s safety is never compromised if the bezel is accidentally moved since it will indicate more time has passed.
Does it have luminescent hands and markers?
It’s important that you’re able to view the time easily while diving. And since light doesn’t penetrate far into the ocean, you’ll need a watch that actually glows in the dark. Dive watches that use luminescence paint will require exposure to the light to charge up before it can glow. Watches that use tritium do not need to be in the light and typically glows brighter. However, the brightness tends to fade over time.
What is the watch made of?
Since you’ll be exposing the watch to water, specifically salt water, it should be made of material that is corrosion resistant such as rubber, stainless steel, titanium, and silicone. Take note that a longer band is ideal because you’ll want it to fit around your wrist while you’re wearing bulky diving equipment.
Keep in mind that the best dive watch should be able to perform just as well underwater as it does on land. While style and price will depend on your preference, the factors we discussed – material, luminescence, depth rating, and unidirectional bezel – are not negotiable.