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The Ultimate Guide to Dive Watches

Here's everything you need to know about the best divers, their history and more.

watches
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Nobody really needs a dive watch nowadays, but it seems everybody wants one. Though potentially useful as a dive computer backup, that's not why almost anybody wears them. People, us included, love dive watches because they're just so damn cool — thanks to a mix of promised durability, a fun, sporty purpose and potential stylistic versatility.

The good news is there are options at every budget, and lots of them. If you're just getting into watches, dive watches or even diving, you may have some questions: How much water resistance do I need? How exactly is that distinctive bezel used? What features should I look for at my price range?

From solid recommendations to the history of iconic models, whether you're a professional saturation diver or a desk diver, all this and more is addressed below in our collection of dive watch content. How deep you want to go is your call.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Dive Watch

5 questions to ask before you buy a dive watch gear patrol lead full v2
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How do you know what kind of dive watch is right for your needs? Asking these five questions will help you make the right decision.

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How to Use a Dive Watch Bezel

submariner watch on white table
Oren Hartov

A dive watch is useful on dry land, too. You just need to know your way around the bezel.

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The 12 Best Dive Watches at Every Budget

best dive watches
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The best dive watches combine old-school style and genuine underwater usability.

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The Best Dive Watches Under $500

best dive watches under 500
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Both microbrands and blue chip companies offer great divers for five Benjamins and under.

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15 Incredible Dive Watches Under $1,000

15 dive watches under 1k gear patrol lead full
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There’s a myriad of great divers you can buy for a few hundred bucks.

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The Best Dive Watches Under $2,000

best dive watches under 2k
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From resurrected heritage brands like Alsta to blue chip companies like Longines, these are the best in sub-$2k divers.

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There’s a Great Seiko Dive Watch for Every Budget

seiko dive watches
Seiko

Whether you're well-heeled or strapped for cash, Seiko has a cool diver for your price range.

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This Is How to Maintain a Dive Watch

m2w how to maintain a dive watch gp issue 9 gear patrol lead full
Hunter D. Kelley

A diver may be the ultimate “tool” watch, but it still needs some TLC.

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Why Does Your Rolex Dive Watch Have a Hole in Its Side? We Found Out

fd helium escape valve gear patrol lead full
Zen Love

Like a screen door on a submarine, you wouldn’t think a hole in the side of your dive watch would be a good idea.

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5 Dive Watches Worn By Professional Saturation Divers

5 watches worn by professional saturation divers gear patrol lead full
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Commercial saturation diving is the final frontier for professional divers. Which watches do these brave people use?

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These 12 Watches Can Dive Deeper Than Any Human Being

best extreme depth dive watches gear patrol lead full
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Never mind that you can’t dive thousands of meters below the waves — the robustness of these watches alone is worth the investment.

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This Early Dive Watch Was Built for Military Frogmen

blancpain fifty fathoms
Blancpain

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms helped introduce the modern dive watch to the world.

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This Is the Root of All Badass Seiko Dive Watches

timekeeping icon seiko 6105 gear patrol lead full
Analog / Shift

The Seiko 6105 is an unlikely legend, but one that's earned its reputation.

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Is this the Most Capable Purpose-Built Wristwatch Ever Made?

seiko tuna can gear patrol lead full
Seiko/Gishani

In 1975, after seven years of development, Seiko introduced a dive watch that would change the category forever.

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A Timepiece with Serious Dive Watch Heritage May Be More Affordable Than You Think

1953 zodiac sea wolf gear patrol lead full
Webdeals4less

The Zodiac Sea Wolf is the forgotten dive watch that, in 1953, introduced the world’s most popular watch genre along with luminaries Rolex and Blancpain.

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