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15 Incredible Dive Watches Under $1,000

There’s a myriad of great divers you can buy for a few hundred bucks.

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Reality check: your watch doesn’t need to be submersible to 300 meters. Hell, Ahmed Gabr’s scuba diving record is 318 meters, and if you really think you’re in the running to beat it, odds are you’re using an actual diving computer, not an $8,000 Rolex Submariner.

To stand firmly by that argument, though, would be missing the point. We love dive watches because they’re overkill. They make great daily wearers because if they can handle 20 or 30 atmospheres of pressure, they can probably handle your day-to-day life. We love dive watches because our favorite world-saving lush wears one. We love dive watches because, in the horological hierarchy of tool watches and complications, dive watches are actually really approachable.

Want proof? For under $1,000 there’s a myriad of great divers, so much so that we had to narrow down this list to 15. There are divers here from watchmaking powerhouses in Japan and even Switzerland, though there are a few micro-brands thrown in for good measure. These watches mostly have a depth rating of 200m or more, though claim to be able to go to depths well beyond human limits. Some are classy and understated, others are big and brash, but there are options to appease pretty much any watch lover with a $1,000 budget.

Citizen Promaster Diver


Cheap, reliable and handsome. Citizen’s Pro-Master Diver is an ISO-certified dive watch with a 200-meter depth rating as well as a solar-powered quartz movement — so you can spend more time in the sun, less time getting your watch serviced. Handsome and highly legible, with its orange-accented blue color scheme, there are simply few watches at this price that offer this kind of bang-for-buck.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 44mm
Price: $280

Learn More: Here

Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver


Dan Henry is a small independent brand that offers classic vintage-style watches at affordable prices. This one is a little different from other dive watches on this: its 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. The 1970s diver has a Seiko NH35 automatic movement, 200m of water resistance, and it’s available in versions with case sizes of 40mm or 44mm wide.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 40mm
Price: $290

Learn More: Here

Orient Mako II USA


Sporting a classic design, a 41.5mm case and a 200-meter depth rating, the Orient Mako II “USA” (it was made with the input of US watch enthusiasts for US watch enthusiasts) seems to get everything just right, especially considering its sub-$400 price tag. Sweetening the deal is an in-house automatic movement and a sapphire crystal, two features you’ll rarely see at this price point.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 41.5mm
Price: $315

Learn More: Here

Seiko SKX007


Seiko’s cheap dive watches have a cult-like following for good reason: it’s hard to find a better value for the money for just a couple of a few hundred dollars. The SKX007 looks great and comes in a reserved 42mm case, is ISO-certified with a 200-meter depth rating and comes with a Seiko automatic mechanical movement. Keep in mind that it’s no longer in production, but so many were made that it’s still relatively easy to find a new one on the ‘net.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 42mm
Price: $305

Learn More: Here

How to Maintain a Dive Watch

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G-Shock GWF-1000-1 ‘Frogman’


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.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 50.3mm
Price: $500

Learn More: Here

Seiko Prospex “King Turtle”

The awesome value, look, quality and comfort of the Seiko “Turtle” easily earns it a place on this list. If you like the Turtle with its circa-$500 retail price, however, you might also consider spending about a hundred bucks more for the premium features of the “King Turtle“: Now you’re getting sapphire crystal, a ceramic bezel and a “cyclops” magnifier over the day/date display. It otherwise shares the Turtle’s same solid specs, like the Seiko 4R36 automatic movement and 200m of water resistance, but some cool dial textures help make it distinct.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 45mm
Price: $595

Learn More: Here

Marathon TSAR Quartz Medium


Built to U.S. Military standards, the Marathon TSAR is a tough watch in a small package. Coming in at only 36mm, it’s the smallest diver on this list, but it’s still super tough and submersible to 300 meters. It also features tritium gas tubes for luminescence, which is a nice bright, colorful touch.

Water Resistance: 300m
Diameter: 36mm
Price: $600

Learn More: Here

Baltic Aquascaphe


Baltic is one of our favorite boutique watch brands and boasts a refreshingly simple and well-proportioned take on vintage-inspired designs. The Aquascaphe boasts a handsome look, a solid 200-meter depth rating, vintage-style “box” sapphire crystal, a Miyota 9039 automatic movement and Super-LumiNova. Baltic watches are assembled in France and offer a remarkable value — and this Aquascaphe is available with a rubber strap or cool beads-of-rice-style steel bracelet.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 39mm
Price: ~$637

Learn More: Here

Victorinox INOX Professional Diver Titanium

Victorinox aims to compete with the likes of G-Shock, subjecting its INOX series of watches to extreme testing. It made perfect sense when the brand expanded on the line with a dive watch iteration, offering the chunky 45mm case in lightweight titanium. (You won’t find too many dive watches under $1k using this premium material.) A Swiss quartz movement inside not only keeps the watch light and affordable, but it’s also the more practical choice for durability.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 45mm
Price: $725

Learn More: Here

Eza 1972

The Eza name was resurrected in 2016. This year, the brand joined the vintage reissue fray with a remake of a historical diver from its archives. Named the Eza 1972 after the year it was debuted, it features sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel and a Swiss automatic movement (ETA 2824). Though it’s already nicely sized at around 40mm, there’s also a historically accurate limited-edition version available in a 35.8mm case (only 30m water-resistant) with plexiglass crystal for the same price.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 39.6mm
Price: $759

Lear More: Here

Le Jour Hammerhead

The modern Le Jour watch company looks to the history of its namesake for inspiration, especially its midcentury sport watches, but the Hammerhead dive watch isn’t another vintage remake. At 42mm, it feels contemporary, but certain vintage cues give it charm. With a sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel insert, steel bracelet, ETA 2824 Swiss automatic movement and 200m of water resistance, you could do a lot worse for $800. It’s also available in several attractive colorways that help it further stand out within the affordable dive watch market.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 42mm
Price: $800

Learn More: Here

Squale 1521


Squale was once a small watchmaker and watch case producer (used by the likes of Heuer and Blancpain, among others) that relaunched in 2010 as a maker of affordable divers. The 1521 is undoubtedly retro-looking, but it has an impressive 500-meter depth rating. Powered by an ETA 2824 automatic movement, it’s cased up in a matte stainless steel case that differentiates it from many other polished divers on this list.

Water Resistance: 500m
Diameter: 42mm
Price: $899

Learn More: Here

Christopher Ward C65 Dartmouth Series 1

Christopher Ward has been around since 2004 and helped paved the way for the online microbrand movement. Their latest affordable diver is vintage themed, and continues to offer a ton of watch for the money: though the C65 Dartmouth is water resistant to only 150m, that should be plenty for most folks, and it’s also the only watch on this list featuring a COSC chronometer-certified, Swiss automatic movement (Sellita SW200-1). With a raised, box-shaped sapphire crystal and 41mm case, it’s also pretty attractive.

Water Resistance: 150m
Diameter: 41mm
Price: $910

Learn More: Here

Doxa Sub 200

Not many mainstream Swiss brands are offering divers as solid as Doxa’s Sub 200 in the sub-$1k price range. Though the brand is famous for its professional dive watches, this is Doxa’s entry level option, but it’s still got all the right specs as well as retro cues like its box-style sapphire crystal. It comes in the brand’s range of often vibrant dial colors, and runs on the ETA 2824 Swiss automatic movement. That beads-of-rice steel bracelet only sweetens the deal.

Water Resistance: 200m
Diameter: 42mm
Price: $990

Learn More: Here

Yema Superman French Air Force Limited Edition

Yema is an interesting brand from France with a long history of producing serious tool watches for serious adevturers. The brand’s faithful re-edition of a model issued to the French air force in the 1970s, the Superman, has turned out something of a hit. It has a thin bezel with a locking mechanism, making for an unusual look among dive watches, but offering serious diving specs with 300m of water resistance. A domed crystal is also true to its vintage inspiration, and inside ticks a Swiss ETA automatic movement.

Water Resistance: 300m
Diameter: 39mm
Price: $999

Learn More: Here

The 12 Best Dive Watches at Every Budget

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

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