BEST DIVE WATCHES UNDER 500

Initially designed for professional divers, a dive watch is equally useful for anyone who wants to spend some quality time underwater without having to worry about their watch getting ruined. 

You don’t need to go scuba diving often to appreciate these aesthetically designed, high performing, and undoubtedly practical timepieces for everyday use.

In this article, you will get to know our top picks for the best and most affordable dive watch options available in the market and what features to look for while buying a dive watch.

What is a Dive Watch?

The purpose of a dive watch is to identify how long have you been underwater and how much air you have left in your tank. There is actually an industry standard that defines what features a dive watch must have. This standard is called ISO 6425, and all of the high-end dive watches meet the criteria given in these guidelines.

A typical dive watch can be recognized easily as it features a larger case (typically 42 mm), a rotating unidirectional bezel, and a rubber or metallic strap. These dive watches usually offer water-resistance of up to 200 meters or more and are often shatter and shock-resistant dial windows to withstand pressure underwater.

Dive watch

Best Dive Watches Under $500

1. Orient Mako II Automatic Dive Watch

 

Orient Mako II Automatic Dive Watch

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Key Features:

  •       Case Diameter: 41.5 mm
  •       Bezel: 120-click unidirectional bezel
  •       Power Reserve: Approx. 40 hours
  •       Movement: Orient Cal.F6922 Automatic, hand-winding, hacking movement
  •       Water resistance: 200 meters
  •       Dial Color: Black / Blue
  •       Band Color: silver

Product Description:

Orient Watch is a Japanese brand that has been making quality watches since 1951. Their Mako II Diver watch has been something of a cult favorite for years now.

It is an automatic dive watch. Typically, automatic dive watches are pretty expensive because of their supreme performance but not this one. You can find this watch for under $150.

Even with its remarkably low price, Mako II has all the features of a perfect dive watch including a water resistance of 200 meters, a shatter-resistant mineral crystal for the dial window, a 41mm stainless steel case, a 120-click unidirectional bezel, and a power reserve of about 40 hours.

Mako II also features a date window, and if you do not like an all-black bezel, you can opt. for a blue bezel or one with a mix of blue and red. It also comes with a link band that matches it perfectly. The water-resistance of this watch makes it perfect for all sorts of water sports.

2. Citizen Eco-drive Promaster Dive Watch

Citizen Eco-drive Promaster Dive Watch

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Key Features:

  • Case diameter: 48 mm
  • Material: stainless steel case with mineral dial window
  • Movement: Japanese quartz with analog display
  • Bezel: Unidirectional
  • Dial Color: Blue
  • Band Color: Blue
  • Water resistance: 200 meters
  • Powered by:  Eco-drive technology (fueled by light)

Product Description:

Citizen Watch is more than a century-old Japanese company that proved itself as a high-quality and innovative watchmaker. Designed with minimalistic aesthetics and diving functionality, Citizen’s Eco-drive Promaster is a perfect fit for underwater adventures and for matching with your casual attire.

Eco-drive Promaster dive watch features a unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position, a screw-down crown, screw-down case back, large and luminescent hands and hour markers, 200-meter water resistance, and a polyurethane strap.

Furthermore, this Japanese quartz watch comes from the eco-drive series, which is powered with solar energy. This means that you do not have to worry about the power reserve of this watch as it comes equipped with built-in solar panels for recharging.

Citizen’s eco-drive Promaster also has a date display at 5 o’clock position. To make it, even more, water-friendly, this watch has a mineral crystal dial window which gives it an unimpeded view of the dial, free from glare as it is anti-reflective. It does not get scratched easily because of its durable material.

3. Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Professional Diver Watch

Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Professional Diver Watch

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Key Features:

  •  Material: stainless steel case, rubber strap, and scratch-resistant, triple-coated anti-flare sapphire crystal dial window,
  •  Case diameter: 45 mm
  •  Movement: analog quartz
  •  Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel
  •  Water resistance: 200 meters
  •  Dial Color: Black
  •  Band Color: Black

Product Description:

The Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X professional diver is not an ordinary diver watch. Coming from the maker of the iconic multi-purpose pocket knife, this diver watch is quite innovative and versatile. It can resist anything including water, high pressure, extreme temperatures, vibrations, and heavyweight impacts.

This swiss army diver watch features luminosity, shock-resistance, anti-magnetism, ability to withstand 130-diving specific tests for resistance and functionality. To add further, this Swiss quartz watch comes with a hypo-allergenic stainless steel case and bracelet, as well as an anti-glare, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial window. In its case, it also has a screw-down crown and screw-down case back.

The watch also comes equipped with an attachable bumper that can protect the case, keeps the unidirectional bezel intact, and magnify the dial while diving. A diving extension is also attached to its bracelet.

The dial has a nice minimalistic design in blue color. The hands and hour markers are highly luminescent for clear readability underwater as the watch offers water resistance for up to 200 meters. There is also a date display between 4 and 5 o’clock position.

4. Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Diver Watch

 

Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Diver Watch

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Key Features:

  • Case diameter: 43mm
  • Movement: POWERMATIC 80.111
  • Power reserve: up to 80 hours
  • Crystal: scratch-resistant
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Bandwidth: 21 mm

Product Description:

Tissot is yet another Swiss watch brand that has been manufacturing high-quality watches for quite some time (EST. 1853). The Tissot seastar 1000 is one of their most popular products. It is an automatic dive watch with a water resistance of 300 meters.

This diving watch is so classically styled and aesthetically pleasing that you might never want to take it into the water. It features a 43 mm stainless steel case, a striking blue dial with a rotating dive timer bezel to match, a steel link band, a date window at 6 o’clock, and a swiss automatic movement to keep it tickling for decades.

The seastar 1000 also comes with an impressive 80-hour power reserve and luminescent hands and markers for enhanced visibility underwater. All in all, Tissot Seastar 1000 is one of the best dive watches that you can get your hands on for under $500.

5. SEIKO PROSPEX BLACK ION Automatic Dive Watch

 

SEIKO PROSPEX BLACK ION Automatic Dive Watch

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Key Features:

  • Case Diameter: 43.8 mm
  • Band material: silicone
  • Band Width: 22 mm
  •  Power Source: Approximately 41 hours
  •  Water Resistance: 200 meters
  •  Movement: Automatic
  •  Dial Color: Black
  •  Band Color: Black

Product Description:

Seiko is another well-known Japanese watch brand with a long history of manufacturing quality products that goes all the way back to 1881. Their Prospex black-ion dive watch comes in a very sleek and minimalistic design and is perfect for you if you are into all-black products. The golden numbers on the jet-black background give it a highly aesthetic appeal.

The black ion automatic dive watch features a 45 mm stainless steel case, a dive timer bezel, a differently textured dial, a date window, a silicon strap, and the Calibre 4R35 automatic movement. Its ion plating does not only make this watch look cool but much more durable as well. It provides water resistance of up to 200 meters and a power reserve of 41 hours. This watch also features LumiBrite hands and markers to keep the dial visible no matter what the light conditions.

6. Casio G-Shock Frogman Dive Watch

 

Casio G-Shock Frogman Dive Watch

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Key Features:

  •  Diameter: 56mm
  •  Size of Case: 59.2×53.3×18 mm
  •  Power Source: Tough Solar Power System
  •  Water Resistance: 200 meters
  •  Dial Color: Black
  •  Band Color: Black
  •  Movement: Quartz
  •  Dial material: Mineral glass
  •  Construction: Shock-resistant, magnetic resistant

Product Description:

Casio is one of the earliest pioneers of a quartz watch and is now known for its highly resilient watches that are jam-packed with tons of quality features. This Casio G-Shock Frogman dive watch is quite uniquely styled and is clearly different from the rest of the watches in this list.

First of all, it is a digital watch and comes with some additional features that only a digital interface can provide. These features include moon data, tide graph, dive time, and surface interval measurement. 

This G-Shock watch is powered by Casio’s Tough Solar Technology that draws in energy from either natural or artificial and even the weakest light sources. On a full charge, its approximate battery life is up to 10 months. A power-saving function and a battery indicator are also included in the watch.

Its dial window is composed of resin and scratch-resistant mineral crystal which is reinforced with Casio’s trademark shock-resistant technology. It has a full auto EL backlight with Afterglow for enhanced visibility.

Other useful features include hourly time signal, 1/100 second stopwatch, countdown timer, 31 time zones (48 cities + UTC), world time, city code display, 4 daily alarms, and 1 snooze alarm, and daylight saving on/off.

7. Seiko Prospex SBDC033 SUMO

 

Seiko Prospex SBDC033 SUMO

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Key Features:

  •  Diameter: 44mm
  •  Thickness/height: 13.5mm
  •  Lug-to-lug: 52.5 mm
  •  Power reserve: 50 hours
  •  Water Resistance: 200 meters
  •  Movement: 6R15 Japanese automatic
  •  Dial Color: Blue
  •  Band Color: Metallic
  •  Frequency: 21600 BPH

Product Description:

The prospex dive watch is another high-quality model by Seiko that speaks well of its reputation. A good dive watch needs a robust and durable movement, and the Prospex SBDC033 SUMO has exactly that.

It features the in-house SEIKO caliber 6R15 which is an automatic mechanical movement. With a stainless steel strap, analogue display, 200 meters water resistance, power reserve of about 50 hours, and a 45mm case diameter, Prospex SUMO is one of the best automatic dive watches available.

The watch has a unidirectional bezel for keeping track of your time under water. For better visibility, luminescence is present in the pip of the bezel at the 12 o’clock position, as well as in the hand and hour markers that are designed strategically and coated in Lumibrite for enhanced visibility.

8. Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph Watch

Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph Watch

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Key Features:

  •  Case Diameter: 45 mm
  •  Band Material: Resin
  •  Band Width: 24 mm
  •  Movement: Swiss Quartz
  •  Water-resistance 200 meters
  •  Crystal: Mineral
  •  Band Color: Black
  •  Dial Color: Black

Product Description:

Luminox is an American swiss-made watch brand that enjoys the prestigious status of being the provider of watches to the world’s elitist forces. The most unique and popular feature of Luminox watches is that they can glow for up to 25 years under any light conditions. 

This automatic Navy Seal dive watch is one of the most remarkable watches by Luminox. The watch features a 45 mm Carbonox case that bears the advantage of scratch resistance, lightweight-ness, and increased strength relative to forged carbon cases. Other features include a date window, a Swiss crystal dial window that is scratch resistant, Swiss Ronda movement, a black rubber strap, and a gasket stainless steel crown that offers water-resistance of up to 200 meters. 

Additionally, the watch comes with Luminox light technology (LLT) which provides matchless night visibility through its self-powered illumination system. 

9. Dango DV-01 Dive Watch

Dango DV-01 Dive Watch

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Key Features:

  • Material: Silicone strap, 316L stainless steel case
  • Weight: 130 g
  • Strap Color: Black
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Strap Width: 22mm
  • Case Diameter: 45 mm
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal

Product Description:

Dango DV-01 comes with all the rock-solid features that a watch needs for reliable performance on land or underwater. DV-01 comes with 200-meter water resistance that you would expect from a good dive watch.

It features a 45 mm stainless steel case with a ventilated silicone sport strap. The dial window is made up of sapphire crystal which is scratch resistant. It also comes with luminescent hands and hour markers so that you can see the time even in dark. There is a date window at 3 o’clock position and hi-vis yellow ends for its three hands. Finally, a unidirectional notched, and rotating bezel rounds out the DV-01’s case.

DV-01 has patented interchangeable lugs giving you an option between a metal bracelet or silicone sport band, which makes it easy to switch the strap even on the fly.

10. MWC Submariner Military Dive Watch

MWC Submariner Military Dive Watch

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Key Features:

  • Case Diameter: 40 mm
  • Strap Width: 20 mm
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Strap Color: Beige
  • Strap Material: NATO webbing strap
  • Case material: stainless steel
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters
  • Movement: Automatic

Product Description:

This Swiss watch company specializes in military watches but also makes them available for private consumers. This Submarine military dive watch comes equipped with features required by troops in the field.

The watch is made up of a 40 mm durable stainless steel case, 24 jewels self-winding automatic movement, a screw-down crown, and two NATO nylon webbed straps in black and gray.

This submarine dive watch comes equipped with SuperLuminova hands and hour markers to make the dial visible in low light conditions. The dial also has a date window at 3 o’clock position. Moreover, this military dive watch offers water resistance down to 300 meters. Not only that, this powerful watch is impact, shock, and shatter-resistant and has long-lasting power-reserves as well.

Features to Look for in a Dive Watch

 Aside from the cost, you should look at these three key features of a dive watch to make sure that it fulfills the requirements of a quality dive watch.

 Water Resistance

While buying a dive watch, the most important feature to look for is its water resistance. There are some watches that only claim water resistance of up to 50 meters, which indicates that these watches will survive showers and hand washes only and are not particularly suitable for divers.

If you are looking for a professional dive watch, the minimum water-resistance you should be looking for is 200 meters (660 ft.). The higher the water resistance a dive watch offers, the safer it will be underwater.

Build Quality

For dive watches, the reliability and durability of its construction material are very critical. Its casing should be thick and sturdy enough to prevent water from coming in. It should be able to withstand pressure underwater. It is also important to consider the clarity of the casing so that the dial is clear and easy to read underwater. Similarly, the back of the watch should be totally sealed or screwed down to be more resistant to pressure and outflow.

 Rotating Bezel

When underwater, it’s critical to know how long you have been diving especially for scuba divers. The rotating bezel of the dive watch is designed for this sole purpose. The bezel’s 12 o’clock dot can be rotated to match up with the minute hand to track time underwater. As the minute hand moves, you can see how many minutes have elapsed by reading the bezel number as opposed to the watch face. While purchasing a diver watch, make sure that it has a fully functional rotating bezel which is easy to read underwater. 

Conclusion

Although, we have shortlisted the most affordable dive watches in this guide that are jam-packed with quality feature. But it all really comes down to your personal preferences whether you opt. for automatic or quartz, analog or digital display, rubber or metallic strap. Rest assured, the dive watches mentioned above are bound to serve the purpose.

 

Michael Holding
 

Michael is an outdoor adventurer and a kayaking enthusiast who loves to share his experiences with others. He is the Chief Editor at XgearHub.

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