Many watch brands make water resistant watches that are perfect for jumping in a swimming pool, but if you’re the more serious water type who likes to do some scuba diving, you need a dive watch that you can actually scuba dive with. One that can withstand the depths, the pressure, and the elements like you and your wetsuit.
The standards established for diving watches are regulated by the International Standardization Organization, which sets the best standards for recreational and professional diving. The ISO 6425, established in 1996, states that watches designed for diving must withstand depths of at least 100 meters while perfectly tracking time.
However, for those who like to dive deeper, some watch brands go the distance by offering even stronger water- and pressure-resistance and a host of other features. Additionally, one of the great things about some of the best diving watches is that they range across all price points – so there is a dive watch for almost everyone’s budget. Here we take a look at some of the best scuba dive watches on the market.
Oris ProDiver GMT – $3,300
This Oris ProDiver GMT watch is the perfect tool watch for scuba diving. It is water resistant to an impressive 1000 meters — so it can go the distance with you. The bold 49mm watch is crafted in titanium with a ceramic insert bezel and rubber strap with folding clasp. The watch is powered by the automatic Oris 748 on a base SW 220-1 movement. It offers 38 hours of power reserve, and in addition to showcasing hours, minutes, small seconds, and date, it features a 24-hour display. The independently owned brand has been making dive watches for decades.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date – $9’040
This Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date watch is an officially certified Superlative Chronometer that is water resistant to 300 meters. Crafted in steel with a ceramic bezel, the 40mm watch offers hours, minutes, central seconds and date. Rolex has been building water resistant watches almost since the turn of the 20th century. It is a master at building dive watches that can go to the depths of the Marianas Trench.
IWC is known for making some of the best dive watches on the market. Its Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands is a perfect example. The brand works with the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands to try to preserve the fragile eco-system there. This particular black PVD stainless steel model measures 45mm in diameter and is water resistant to 300 meters. The chronograph watch is highly legible thanks to Super-LumiNova hands and markers. It is powered by an automatic movement with 68 hours of power reserve. $10,600.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatic Grande Date – $17.245
The name of this watch says it all: Fifty Fathoms Automatic Grande Date. Truly one of the best dive watches on the market, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms has a legendary history. Blancpain has been building dive watches since the middle of the 20th century and is recognized as a leader in the category. This model is powered by an automatic in-house-made movement, 6918B, that offers 120 hours of power reserve. The 35mm titanium watch even features a sapphire case back for viewing the movement. It is water resistant to 300 meters.
Citizen ProMaster Diver – $395
One of the best dive watches you can buy at an affordable price is the Citizen ProMaster Diver. Water resistant to 200 meters, the stainless steel watch offers luminous hands and markers, as well as a rotating blue dive bezel and chronograph and 24-hour timing. The watch is also anti-magnetic and shock-resistant. It is powered by the brand’s Eco-Drive technology.
Doxa Sub 4000T Professional – $4,090
Nicknamed the Safe-dive watch, this Doxa Sub 4000T Professional dive watch (created in a limited edition of just 200 pieces) is powered by an automatic ETA 2897 movement with 50 hours of power reserve. Crafted in stainless steel with screw-in crown and solid case back, the watch is water resistant to an impressive 1200 meters.
Delma Shell Star – $ 610
As blue as the ocean, this Delma Shell Star watch is powered by an ETA quartz movement and features luminescent hands and markers that glow in the dark for easy underwater reading. The 44mm stainless steel watch is paired with a blue rubber strap and is water resistant to 200 meters. While this is a highly affordable dive watch at about $610 retail, Delma has been making more professional dive watches for years. Recently, a 4000-meter water resistant Delma made history ice diving the depths of Lake Baikal on the wrist of photographer diver Alfred Minaar.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 Co-Axial Chronometer Chronograph 45.5mm Volvo Ocean Race watch is bold and beautiful. Powered by an automatic movement, the caliber Omega 9900, it is crafted of black high-tech ceramic. The watch offers hours, minutes, chronograph, date, and small seconds indication. It is chronometer-certified, anti-magnetic, and water resistant to a very impressive 600 meters thanks to a helium escape valve and a screw-in crown. Omega is the official timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race, known as the world’s longest sailing competition—spanning more than 45,000 nautical miles.
Favre-Leuba Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth – $8,800
Water resistant to 200 meters, this precision- and performance-based Favre-Leuba Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth watch offers a sophisticated design perfect for wear both in and out of the water. The 48mm titanium watch with closed case back is powered by the automatic caliber FL321; EMC 3903M movement. The watch displays dive depth on two scales. The center hand shows current depth, while the subdial at 3:00 records the maximum depth reached (up to 120 meters). $8,800.
Panerai Submersible – $8,700
Officine Panerai is a brand built on the concept of dive watches. In the mid-20th century, this brand built timepieces for the Italian frogmen who would launch the torpedoes underwater during the war. Panerai has, in fact, had a long and storied past with underwater activities. It remains a leader in the dive watch category today. This 42mm stainless steel Panerai Submersible watch is powered by an automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve, Fitted with a khaki green rubber strap and matching green dial, it is water resistant to 300 meters.
About the Author
Roberta Naas is a veteran watch and jewelry journalist who began her career in the early 1980’s, and was the first female watch journalist in the United States. She is the editor and founder of the authoritative watch blog, ATimelyPerspective, has written six books on watches, writes for numerous consumer publications (including Forbes and Elite Traveler) – and always brings forth in her work the essence of what makes watches tick. She tirelessly travels the world in search of watch news and stories that she turns into compelling and enlightening articles.