In the Water: Best Dive Watches for Men
I saw a headline boasting the best affordable dive watches. I saw the prices — between $500 and $1000, and I laughed. Until I took a closer look. Diving watches, especially if you get a Rolex, can run you up to $75,000 if you want to pay that much.
So, in context, $200 to $350 for a diving replica watch doesn’t seem that bad. Consider this: A certified diving watch is going to be able to calculate the length of your dive trip and let you know how much oxygen you have and when you need to begin your ascent. These details can save your life, so getting a good replica watch seems kind of obvious. Check out some of our favorites.
Do Dive Watches Need ISO Certification?
Well, yes. Some people may go diving infrequently or casually without certified dive watches, but if you are going to invest in an expensive hobby anyway, you might as well get ISO 6425 Certification. This is the International Organization for Standardization. Certified watches are marked with the word DIVER’S to distinguish it from unsuitable fake watches.
What to look for in a good diver’s watch
- Water Resistance. At a minimum, you want greater than 100 meters (m) or 330 feet. A good diver’s watch will have a water resistance of 200 to 300m.
- Calculate Safe Ascent Profile. You definitely want a watch that is going to help you ascend without getting the bends. The best diving watches have a unidirectional bevel that can only go in the direction of indicating that you have been in the water greater amounts of time. The bevels cannot move in the direction of a false, briefer dive time.
- Markings. The watch will also have every five minutes elapsed minute markings, and a pre-select marker to mark a specific minute.
- Total Darkness. It is important to have clear minute markings on the face. There should also be adequate visibility at 9.8 inches in total darkness. Equally important is a total darkness indicator.
- Accuracy. The watch should also have magnetic resistance to provide accuracy around magnetic fields.
- Durable. Watch durability and shock resistance are tested with a hard plastic hammer.
- Strap/Band Solidity. The strap should NOT come off your wrist during a dive.
- Saline Resistance. It doesn’t hurt to soak your watch overnight in a bowl of fresh water after salt-water dives just to keep your watch from deteriorating prematurely.
- End of Battery Life Indicator. Nuff said. Though, I confess that I am not sure what you’re going to do when you are 300m down and your watch tells you that your battery is dying, except come to the surface as quickly as you can safely.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of these watches up close. You can also look at our table for ratings and some ideas of where to find them.
Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E Eco-Drive Professional Diver
I like three things about this watch: Its price ($244); its one-way rotating elapsed time bezel, and its water resistance (even though it is the minimum at 300m, that is what I’d expect for this price).
Rolex Submariner Replica
This watch, on the other hand, is going to run you nearly $150. But it’s a Rolex replica. This watch has a rotatable bezel, which I’m not crazy about. I want as little manipulation of the bezel is possible. The band is adjustable, with a wetsuit extension link. That’s nice, but the bezel really bugs me.
TW Steel CE5010 Watch CEO Diver
Water resistant to 100m means this watch barely meets certification standards, and it is not clear whether it has been certified.
It is not mandatory for companies to submit their watches for certification, so not everybody does. So, why is this question important? Because the watch sells for $597. For that price, I want to test with rubber hammers.
Omega Men’s 2222.80.00 Seamaster
If you are more than a dabbler, you may want to check out the best dive watches out there. The ones the professionals use. The Seamaster is probably best known for belonging to James Bond.
In addition to the unidirectional bezel, this watch has a helium escape valve that helps the watch withstand pressure to 2000 ft. It has a domed sapphire crystal, which is scratch-resistant, but less shatterproof than some of its acrylic or hardened glass peers. It’s gonna cost you about 3800 clams.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Seadweller Deepsea
Let’s remember again that Rolexes are not cheap. This watch is for the Jacques Cousteau out there. This watch is completely waterproof to 12,00 feet. That is more waterproof than a baby in a womb.
The case is steel and titanium and built to resist water pressure. The tests are conducted with diving bells because the watches are more durable than humans. This $12,000 watch is something you will be able to give your grandchild.
Seiko Men’s SKX781 “Orange Monster”
Right on its distinctive orange “Orange Monster” face, you’ll see the words “automatic” referring to the winding movement that works with your own arm movements, and “DIVER’s,” which indicates that the watch is certified for diving (presumably up to 200m, as that is the other thing the face says).
For $195, Gear Patrol calls this a good diving watch for a great price. Of course, since I am obsessed with the bezel, it gives me pause to learn that the bevel could use some tightening, but this is also touted as a “recreational” diver’s watch.
MARATHON Military Divers LGP Wristwatch (JSAR)
This is a big watch. It is 46mm, so this is a big watch for a big wrist. With a big, comfortable, natural rubber watch band. It is water resistant to 300m. This giant of a watch weighs about ⅓ of a pound, so it is no wonder that it is popular both in the military and among enthusiasts.
This is a tough watch, and the bezel is easy to grasp and operate. At a moderate $760, this watch is a steal for the serious or professional diver.