Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

The Best Dive Watches Under $500

Both microbrands and bluechip companies offer great divers for five Benjamins and under.

best dive watches under 500
Courtesy

Today's watch buyer is completely spoiled for choice: Never before have there been so many awesome options, both quartz and mechanical, from companies big and small, for such little money. Believe it or not, you can snag an awesome dive watch for under $500. Many of these even feature automatic movements and premium features such as sapphire crystal and matching steel bracelets with dive extensions.

Keep in mind that you're not going to get the fit and finish of, say, a $9,000+ Rolex for $500 — the tolerances won't quite be there, and neither will the materials be top-shelf. However, you can get a great-looking, reliable timepiece that will serve you well for many years. Some of these will be quartz-powered, sure, but this can be advantageous in settings in which your watch will regularly get the crapped kicked out of it — as quartz is robust and inexpensive.

The following represent a few of our favorite picks for under $500 but keep in mind that many of the companies listed have numerous divers at this price point, so it's worth delving deeper into their ranges.

Orient Kanno

Orient Kanno

amazon.com
$177.10

The Kanno is a great choice for someone with a bigger wrist: At 44mm, it's got some serious girth, but the large dial and sword hands mean it'll be perfectly visible underwater, and 200m of water resistance means it'll work well in any sub-aquatic situation. With its in-house automatic movement, unidirectional dive bezel, optional matching steel bracelet and day-date display, this is a watch that punches way above its weight class.

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Movement: Japanese automatic
  • Water Resistance: 200m

    Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver BN0150-28E

    Courtesy

    Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver

    amazon.com
    $375.00
    $221.25 (41% off)

    What if you never had to change a battery or worry about servicing your dive watch? If that sounds attractive to you, go for this Promaster: it's powered by Citizen's Eco-Drive technology that derives power from ambient light. Other than that, it's got a 44mm steel case, 200m of water resistance, a big, visible handset and a cool rubber dive strap. Just don't show it to your friends, or you might be buying multiples...

    • Diameter: 44mm
    • Movement: Eco-Drive cal. E168
    • Water Resistance: 200m

      Scurfa Diver One D1-500

      Scurfa Diver One D1-500

      scurfawatches.com
      £235.00

      Available in multiple colorways, Scurfa's Diver One series presents tremendous value at under $300 for a watch with real diving cred — the brand was founded by a commercial diver. A Swiss quartz movement is housed in a 40mm case rated to no less than 500m of water resistance. The watch is genuinely made for diving and even includes a helium escape valve for saturation divers.

      • Diameter: 40mm
      • Movement: Ronda 715SM quartz
      • Water Resistance: 500m

        Dan Henry 1970

        Dan Henry 1970

        danhenrywatches.com
        $270.00

        The 1970s case mimics super compressor watches of decades past, with a rotating inner bezel controlled by one of the two crowns while the other crown performs the typical time-setting duty. It's powered by a Seiko NH35 automatic movement, features 200m of water resistance, and it’s available in versions with case sizes of 40mm or 44mm wide. It also comes in four colorways.

        • Diameter: 40mm; 44mm
        • Movement: Seiko cal. NH35 automatic
        • Water Resistance: 200m

          Luminox Original Navy Seal 3001.EVO

          Luminox Original Navy Seal 3001.EVO

          amazon.com
          $435.00
          $356.25 (18% off)

          Made to military requirements, the Luminox 3001 is the brand's original Navy SEAL watch that kicked off the series. Equipped with tritium gas tubes for constant illumination, the 43mm watch is surprisingly light and tough due to its use of a carbon-composite case. Equipped with a Swiss quartz movement, a unidirectional dive bezel and a matching black rubber strap, this is one tough diver, made for the most exacting of environments.

          • Diameter: 43mm
          • Movement: Quartz
          • Water Resistance: 200m

            Seiko Prospex "Monster"

            Seiko Prospex

            macys.com
            $495.00

            An evolution of the famed "Monster" dive watch, this modern version features a 42.4mm case, automatic movement, and toned down but still very distinctive design. The Monster family is just one example of great dive watches in this price range from Seiko's Prospex collection, other examples of which include the "Turtle," "Samurai" and "Arnie." While some are priced at or slightly above the $500 mark at retail, you can often find them for significantly less.

            • Diameter: 42.4mm
            • Movement: Seiko cal. 7S26 automatic
            • Water Resistance: 200m

              MWC Depthmaster 100 ATM

              MWC Depthmaster

              mwcwatches.com
              $448.00

              Military Watch Co. largely makes homages to famous references from other brands — however, some of these are spec'd higher than the originals and actually outperform them (see their higher-end G10s). Their Depthmaster is more of an original design (or an amalgamation of numerous designs), but it's clearly built for heavy use, and it's highly affordable.

              • Diameter: 44mm
              • Movement: Seiko NH35A automatic
              • Water Resistance: 1,000m

                Nodus Retrospect III

                Nodus Retrospect III

                noduswatches.com
                $450.00

                One of our favorite American microbrands Nodus makes a couple of dive watches, among which is the Retrospect. It features a rotating bezel, a date window and a matching steel bracelet. Powered by an automatic Seiko movement, it's got a circa 41-hour power reserve and comes in different colors, each of which should look great above or below the waves.

                • Diameter: 42mm
                • Movement: Seiko NH35 automatic
                • Water Resistance: 200m

                  Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph

                  Courtesy

                  Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph

                  macys.com
                  $495.00

                  This oversized chronograph from Tissot features a three-register dial layout, a cool blue/black dial a date window. Its black rubber dive strap is a welcome feature given the heft of a 45+mm steel case, but the watch's diameter and weight shouldn't matter too much underwater.

                  • Diameter: 45.5mm
                  • Movement: Quartz
                  • Water Resistance: 300m

                    Casio G-Shock GWF-1000-1 "Frogman"

                    Courtesy

                    Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF-1000-1

                    amazon.com
                    $351.92

                    The “Frogman” is the only digital watch to grace this buying guide, but it’s one hell of a timepiece nonetheless. Originally launched in 1993, it’s also the only ISO-compliant diver in G-Shock’s lineup. Aside from its shock-resistant build and time function, the watch also features a world-time function, a moonphase indicator and even a tide graph.

                    • Diameter: 50.3mm
                    • Movement: Quartz
                    • Water Resistance: 200m
                      Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
                      More From Dive Watches