Whether you’re a scuba novice, about to plunge into the big blue for the first time, or a seasoned diver looking for a stylish accompaniment on your underwater missions, sporting one of the best dive watches on your wrist can elevate your subaquatic adventure to the next level.
Admittedly, dive computers have more or less taken over the job traditionally held by diving watches—that of measuring depth and time spent in the water and using this information to plan ascents.
That said, diving timepieces continue to be highly popular choices when it comes to men’s luxury wrist-watches. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that you have a high-tech tool on your wrist—one with an exhilarating history of being used by military professionals and underwater explorers.
Maybe it’s the reassurance that comes with knowing that if you took an accidental dive—perhaps falling into a swimming pool on holiday, for example—your watch would survive and live to tell the tale.
Or perhaps you’re simply in the market for a rugged and robust tool watch that will withstand life’s beatings and batterings. Not to mention a watch that could serve as a lifeline in itself—if you ever got into deep water (quite literally).
Budget-friendly or high-end, exclusive, modern and minimalist or full of vintage flair—here are the best dive watches on the market today.
The 15 Best Dive Watches of 2020
- Maurice de Mauriac L2 Deep Blue
- Seiko Prospex Padi Solar
- Oris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic
- Timex Navi XL
- Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
- Tag Heuer Aquaracer
- Casio Analog Sports Watch
- Panerai Submersible Automatic
- Breitling Superocean Héritage II
- Tudor Pelagos
- Omega Seamaster
- Rolex Submariner 16800
- IWC Aquatimer Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau
- Longines HydroConquest
- Suunto Zoop Novo
Check our special dive watches buyers’ guide after the list to see exactly what you should pay attention to before purchasing a diver’s watch. We also share our fashion editors’ tips on how and when to wear a dive watch, because you should enjoy your watch when you’re above the sea level too.
Maurice de Mauriac L2 Deep Blue
Looking to make a statement with your scuba gear? This Maurice de Mauriac diving timepiece is guaranteed to rock the boat with its impressive bronze and leather profile and striking silhouette.
Architect and industrial designer Fabian Schwaerzler is the man behind this remarkable watch. He designed it with a unique dive bezel that has markers for only 15 minutes—unlike the standard 60 minutes of most dive watches. It’s definitely an individual touch that adds to the modern minimalist appearance.
Super-LumiNova markers enhance visibility while the bronze alloy case, slightly heavier than stainless steel, lends the watch a heftiness and reassuring solidity. It’s also anti-magnetic—plus will develop that much sought-after patina as it ages.
With its classic-meets-contemporary design, the watch channels a youthful and sporty aesthetic and is certainly distinct, standing out from the conventional dive watches with its blue-bronze colour pairing. The leather strap is a sophisticated final touch.
Whether you plan on wearing it on deep-sea explorations, or for some casual snorkelling in tropical waters, this is a trustworthy and versatile dive watch that also happens to have some serious high-class glamour.
Best for: the Maurice de Mauriac L2 Deep Blue is the perfect luxury dive watch for underwater exploration and making a style-statement simultaneously.
Case size: 42 millimetres Material: bronze Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 300 metres
Seiko Prospex Padi Solar
Serious divers seek practicality above all else when it comes to watches. And the Prospex Padi Solar is certainly a pragmatic choice in this regard. After all, it was produced in partnership with world-famous diving organisation, PADI—the very people who probably awarded you your first diving certification.
No surprise, then that the Padi Solar ticks all the boxes of a superb dive watch.
A Japanese solar quartz movement delivers precise timekeeping powered by the sun. When fully charged, it can deliver up to 10 months of power. A one-way rotating bezel allows you to time your immersions, while LumiBrite hands and markers allow for optimum visibility in all light conditions. The date display also has a magnifier in the style of a Rolex cyclops for improved legibility.
But it’s not all functionality with the Prospex Padi Solar. It also nails the no-nonsense aesthetic. The stainless steel case and band are sleek and tough-looking while the 43.5-millimetre size is chunky and bold.
Whether you’re diving coral reefs or exploring deep-sea wrecks, this is the perfect timepiece to take with you. It’s also pretty affordable. Hence why we consider this Seiko Prospex Padi Solar the best overall diving watch on our list.
Best for: an incredibly capable watch with an accessible price-tag.
Case size: 43.5 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 200 metres
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic
Ready to make waves with a diving timepiece that truly stands out of the crowd? This heritage model by Oris is inspired by the brand’s first diving model, launched back in 1965.
But while paying homage to diving tradition, Oris has also opted for a larger and more modern case as well as an improved automatic mechanical movement. The result is a reliable, robust, and stylish watch with a go-anywhere, survive-anything kind of vibe.
Inside the case, you’ve got a Swiss-made Oris 733 movement, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and with a 38-hour power reserve. Outside, you’ve got a unidirectional black bezel and Super-LumiNova coated hands and indices for low-light visibility.
Superior durability is guaranteed thanks to the sapphire crystal lens and the screw-down case back. The combination of the midnight-blue dial with the beige hands and brown leather strap conveys a retro mood that also feels highly sophisticated.
With water-resistance only up to 100 metres, this is a dive watch better suited to doing lengths in a swimming pool or laidback holiday snorkelling than deep-sea dives. Not even planning to enter the water? The Oris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic is also a hard-wearing yet stylish watch to sport on a day-to-day basis.
Best for: vintage-inspired timekeeping combined with modern technology.
Case size: 42 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 100 metres
Timex Navi XL
Timex makes everyday watches favoured by wearers for their affordability, high-quality, and reliability. They are best known for their pioneering Indiglo technology—an electroluminescent panel that serves as a backlight.
The Navi XL is the best value dive watch on our list, at under $150. However, it’s worth pointing out straight away that this is a diver-inspired watch, not a professional diver watch. It’s water-resistant, of course, but it’s better suited to snorkelling than scuba diving.
However, if it’s diver style you’re looking for, the Navi XL has that—in abundance. With its large dial, distinct markers, unidirectional bezel—contrasting with the dark green face—plus its perfect proportions, it’s chunky without being clunky, and noticeable without being overly showy.
Inside, you’ve got a Miyota movement with a 40-hour power reserve, and, on the dial, 24-hour markers, semi-skeletonised hour hands, and a date window. There’s also the brand’s signature Indiglo backlight.
This is a feature-filled watch that looks just as good with business attire as it does with casual wear, such as a bomber jacket. Finally, with a price like that, the Timex Navi XL is easily one of the best dive watches under $500.
Best for: style-savvy watch-wearers looking to capture that adventurous diver mood.
Case size: 41 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 100 metres
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
If you want a watch that takes advantage of pioneering developments in engineering and the best new technology, then you want to take a good look at the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster.
This ISO-compliant professional diver watch features Eco-Drive technology which means it’s powered by light—from either the sun or an artificial source. What does this mean? It means you’ll never have to change the batteries of your Eco-Drive Promaster—a major bonus.
Not only is harnessing renewable energy eco-friendly but it has an added advantage in that, by never opening your watch, you’ll never compromise the factory seal. You can therefore be assured of its long-term water-resistance.
But the fun doesn’t stop there with the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster. You’ve also got a one-way rotating elapsed-time bezel—vital in any good diver watch. There’s also a day-date indicator, luminous hands so you can read the time at any depth, and an anti-reflective mineral crystal display. Finally, a screw-down crown stops water and dust from penetrating the movement.
Best for: tech-whizzes seeking a men’s diver watch with exciting new features.
Case size: 44 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 200 metres
Tag Heuer Aquaracer
The Aquaracer was first introduced by highly-regarded luxury watch manufacturer Tag Heuer in the 1980s. These were watches designed to be worn to depth by experienced divers on their extreme underwater missions. And this particular model is no exception: a diving watch made not just to survive but to enhance subaquatic explorations.
Firstly, it has a quartz movement rather than mechanical, a popular choice among divers because of its exceptional accuracy and precision. You’ve got indexes and hands coated with Super-LumiNova so you can read the time in poor visibility or low light. The bezel is unidirectional—essential in a dive watch to avoid any accidental calculations that might put you at risk. Meanwhile, the glass is sapphire crystal—scratch-resistant and hard-wearing.
The army-green webbing strap is the final touch, adding some military-style panache to a watch that effortlessly captures the pragmatic, tough-minded, but adventurous attitude you’d associate with a dive watch.
Taking this all into account, this Tag Heuer Aquaracer diving watch is definitely a great value choice, costing far less than some of the other high-end brands while still offering exceptional quality and functionality.
Best for: a top-quality men’s diver watch offering accessible luxury.
Case size: 43 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 300 metres
Casio Analog Sports Watch
Japanese watch manufacturer Casio has made a name for itself producing comfortable, function-packed, and reliable timepieces. Their watches are affordable but still deliver top-quality and feature-heavy timekeeping.
With this analogue sports watch, you’ve got a 12/24-hour function, a day and date display at 3 o’clock, a bi-directional rotating bezel, and large indexes so you can read the time with a quick glance. It’s corrosion and water-resistant, and, with its quartz movement, can be depended on for precision and accuracy.
Visually, this Casio watch definitely errs on the side of function over fashion. With its no-frills aesthetic and chunky profile, it’s a good choice for outdoorsmen and adventurers who prioritise practicality above all else.
As it’s only water-resistant up to 100 metres, it’s not a good option for avid scuba divers, but if you’re more into water sports like surfing, snorkelling, or sailing, then this is the perfect aquatic companion.
And, when all’s said and done, you really can’t go wrong with a price-tag like that, which makes Casio’s Analog sport watch the best budget dive watch on our list.
Best for: watersports enthusiasts seeking a reliable and practical timekeeping accessory.
Case size: 43 millimetres Material: resin Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 100 metres
Panerai Submersible Automatic
Panerai’s Submersible collection is a homage to the brand’s distinguished history as a supplier of watches to the Italian Navy. This particular version of the Submersible takes that military heritage and adds a major dose of high-end luxury.
The first thing that will strike you about this particular model is that gleaming gold material. It’s called Goldtech and it’s a combination of copper and platinum. With its reddish glow, it’s certainly visually arresting and highly original.
But not only does Goldtech look like the height of luxury. Because it contains platinum, it’s also resistant to oxidation, so will last even longer.
Panerai is renowned around the world for its unimpeachable craftsmanship and this watch is a fine example. With its ceramic bezel, protective shield over the crown, and sapphire crystal glass, it’s pretty much unbreakable.
Want to see what’s going on inside for yourself? Flip over the Panerai Submersible Automatic and you’ll be able to see the movement at work through the case-back.
Best for: lovers of luxury after a high-end dive watch.
Case size: 42 millimetres Material: Goldtech Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 100 metres
Breitling Superocean Héritage II
The Superocean Héritage II takes its name from Breitling’s original 1957 Superocean line of watches—iconic diving timepieces that have been catching the attention of watch enthusiasts for decades now.
The creation of this model has been masterfully executed, from the mechanics to the aesthetic. Inside, you’ve got a COSC-certified chronometer and a self-winding B20 movement. On the outside, you’ve got a mixture of materials—rubber, ceramic, and stainless steel—that combine to realise a highly modern design that will certainly get noticed.
The red gold hands aren’t just pleasing on the eye. They’re also coated in Super-LumiNova for optimum night-time visibility. Meanwhile, a stainless steel case will ensure your watch survives the occasional bash and knock.
The ceramic bezel is unidirectional to ensure nothing messes up your measuring. And the sapphire crystal is domed and anti-reflective. Finally, the strap is black rubber: comfortable and long-lasting, even with use in water.
The Superocean Héritage II feels like an authentic dive watch—solid and sturdy, but with a cool retro air that makes it a unique choice. Want a watch that will (excuse the pun) create a splash? Breitling Superocean Héritage II is the one for you. It’s available in black as shown above, or silver blue.
Best for: watersports fans seeking a hard-wearing and attention-grabbing timepiece.
Case size: 42 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 200 metres
The first thing that will catch your eye when you come across the Tudor Pelagos is probably not even the watch itself but its specifications. This is a timepiece that boasts a depth rating of up to 500 metres. That’s quite a feat.
But when you’ve regained your composure over this incredible level of water-resistance, you’ll be equally impressed by the rest of the watch.
The titanium strap and the titanium and stainless steel case feel sleek, masculine, and business-like. Titanium was chosen for being lightweight and resistant to saltwater corrosion. Meanwhile, the sapphire crystal over the dial is the apex of long-lasting durability.
The Pelagos has a matte black dial with luminous hour markers, plus a red and black roulette date wheel. It’s also a left-hand drive, with the crown positioned at 9 o’clock. But what really makes this model special is the helium escape valve—a necessity on any professional diving watch.
This is a timepiece certain to catch the eye of your dive buddy and—let’s be honest—that counts for a lot.
Best for: with its mega depth rating, the Tudor Pelagos is the perfect companion for any aquatic adventure.
Case size: 42 millimetres Material: titanium and steel with ceramic bezel Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 500 metres
An edition of Omega’s iconic Seamaster dive watch, the Seamaster Diver 300M was a big hit when it emerged on the dive scene in 1993, complete with what has become the brand’s signature blue dial. The addition of those mesmerising waves in the background captures the aquatic mood perfectly.
Water-resistant up to 300 metres, from scuba holidays to deep-sea discoveries, this is the perfect underwater timekeeping accessory. It’s also pretty slim at only 36 millimetres, making it a highly versatile buy.
As for the other specifications, the bezel measures time in 60-minute increments, and the watch’s battery life is 42 months. But there’s also an end-of-life battery life indicator so you won’t be caught by surprise when it does finally go.
This vintage model, dating from 1993, has a clean and classic aesthetic with its stainless steel finish and skeleton arrow-shaped hands. And, with its anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, plus the helium release valve, it’s durable and dependable too.
Best for: an iconic and durable diving timepiece that will last you a lifetime.
Case size: 36.25mm Material: stainless steel Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 300 metres
Rolex Submariner 16800
One Swiss diver watch guaranteed to cause a stir among anyone who knows anything about watches is the Rolex Submariner. There’s just no other scuba dive watch out there that has the same instantaneous name recognition. It helps, of course, that it was also the original James Bond watch.
Within the Rolex Submariner collection, however, there’s one model in particular that has a devoted following of fans: the Rolex Submariner 16800. Known as the transitional Submariner, this specific edition offered watch-wearers totally new features while also retaining aspects of the original.
For example, it was the first Submariner to be created with sapphire crystal, rather than acrylic, and the first to have a depth rating of up to 300 metres, rather than 200 metres. The 16800 also introduced the world to Rolex’s calibre 3035, and added a quickset date function.
But Rolex also decided to keep certain traits of the watch’s predecessors; namely, the matte dial with painted hour markers, which lends it some additional vintage charm.
Indeed, this is a vintage Rolex Submariner, but one that effortlessly meets contemporary standards thanks to that impeccable durability for which Rolex is famous. There aren’t many things dating from 1985 that you could wear scuba diving in the Bahamas, after all.
Best for: that unique modern-meets-retro mood.
Case size: 40 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 300 metres
IWC Aquatimer Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau
For anyone in the least bit familiar with the world of diving, Jacques Cousteau will need little introduction. This French oceanographer, inventor, and ultimate diving icon is behind a whole host of diving and scuba devices, including the Aqua Lung.
Hard to think of a better namesake for a dive watch than this aquatic explorer. And you can take inspiration from the underwater adventurer himself every time you put it on as there’s an engraving of Cousteau on the case back.
The timepiece features an internal and external bezel with a SafeDive system incorporated to prevent any timing errors out in the water. It’s also a chronograph dive watch, and features a day and date indication, and the 30120 calibre movement has a 42-hour power reserve.
A blue dial combined with white luminescent indices ensures easy legibility in any conditions. And at 42 millimetres wide and 14 millimetres thick, this Aquatimer is a solid but wrist-friendly size too. Finally, in terms of visuals, this scuba dive watch nails the classic diver aesthetic—but with a touch of modern minimalism.
Even if you plan to just be lounging on a deckchair, poolside, this IWC Aquatimer Expedition model offers a robust and sporty timepiece that would look great with a laidback casual attire—perhaps a summer shirt and sunglasses.
Best for: an underwater timekeeper named after one of diving’s great champions.
Case size: 42 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: mechanical automatic Water resistance: up to 300 metres
Whether you’re freediving coral reefs or wreck diving far from the coast, you need a watch that won’t be out of its depth, and the Longines HydroConquest will do more than keep up with you. With its 300-metre water resistance, and screw-down crown too, you’ll have no problem taking this timepiece out on your underwater explorations.
The black bezel is made from aluminium—lightweight and UV resistant—and is unidirectional. The dial has luminous hands, and there’s a date display at 3 o’clock. The L263 movement is highly reliable and precise.
At only 39 millimetres, the HydroConquest is slim and compact, a comfortable watch to wear on a daily basis as well as out in the water. The stainless steel case and link bracelet is as stylish as it is practical and wouldn’t look out of place with a suit.
When you consider everything you’re getting with the HydroConquest, you’d expect a far higher price-point. Instead, this luxury dive watch costs much less than some of the better-known dive watches on this list—but still provides solid functionality.
A Swiss-quality movement, extra durable materials, and a rather dashing profile—as the name suggests, you really will be conquering the seas with this Longines HydroConquest timepiece.
Best for: a classic pro diving watch at an accessible price, we think this is the best affordable luxury dive watch of the year.
Case size: 39 millimetres Material: stainless steel Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 300 metres
Suunto Zoop Novo
This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one dive computer. Indeed, dive computers have more or less replaced dive watches today. While once they were too bulky and complicated to wear underwater, today they are affordable and incredibly reliable and precise, providing essential information to divers on their missions.
But you just can’t beat the elegance and panache of a traditional men’s diver watch, which is why many watch enthusiasts and style-conscious divers continue to wear dive watches—often alongside their dive computer.
However, if you’re an experienced recreational diver for whom diving successfully and safely is the absolute priority, then you need a dive computer, and those by Suunto are some of the best in the business.
This dive computer is solid, strong, and hard-wearing. It’s lightweight, at only 120 grammes, and features four diving modes: air, nitrox, free, and gauge. It has a backlight so you can take it night-diving, and a logbook with 140 hours of memory.
Most importantly, the Suunto Zoop Novo is easy to read and to navigate, making it the perfect diving instrument to accompany you on your underwater excursions.
Best for: divers seeking an outstanding diving computer above all else.
Case size: 40 millimetres Material: acrylic Movement type: quartz Water resistance: up to 80 metres
High-end dive watch buying guide: what to look for when shopping for a modern diver’s watch?
When buying a modern dive watch, there are a few key features to pay attention to:
- Illuminated dials – usually featuring lume, a luminous glowing solution
- Rotating dive bezel – used to time water immersions. In dive watches, these are usually unidirectional so they can’t turn in the opposite way and mess up calculations.
- Gasket – a rubber or synthetic ring inside a watch to create a seal that keeps water out
- Helium escape valve – some divers use helium tanks and this gas can find its way inside a watch case. The valve allows the diver to let the gas escape after returning to the surface, stopping pressure from building up.
- Screw-down crown – a type of crown that can be screwed down so tightly that it creates a seal, meaning no moisture can enter.
It goes without saying that dive watches need to be seriously water-resistant. Beyond that, and in terms of materials, the best luxury diving timepieces are usually made from the following:
- Stainless steel – corrosion-resistant and extremely strong.
- Titanium – exceptionally corrosion-resistant and more lightweight but also more expensive.
- Natural, silicon, PU, or PVC rubber – lightweight, comfortable, highly durable, waterproof, and resistant to UVA radiation.
- The display is likely to be made of either sapphire crystal, which is scratch-resistant, or hardened mineral glass, which scratches more easily, but is less likely to break.
As for brands, famous watch manufacturers like Rolex and Omega make some of the top dive watches. Montblanc and Panerai are also known for creating high-quality scuba dive watches.
How and when to wear a dive watch?
Dive watches are designed for water sports and underwater activities like snorkelling and scuba diving. However, the best luxury dive watches have also been created with an understanding of aesthetics and are therefore visually striking as well as functional, making them a great timekeeping accessory to wear as part of casual or smart casual attire.
Dive watch frequently asked questions
Dive watches vary in price, with some available for under $100 and others priced at well over $10,000. They are typically more expensive than your standard wrist-watch because of their extreme water-resistance, durability, underwater luminosity, and extra features like a rotating bezel.
A dive watch is a watch designed to withstand pressure underwater and which has a depth rating of at least 100 metres. They also include a bezel with markings every five minutes and a dial that is legible in darkness. A dive watch is not the same as a dive computer watch, which is a more high-tech piece of diving equipment that provides important information on depths and dive times.