Best Inexpensive Dive Watch for Everyday Use
Our Top 10 List: Dive Watch for Everyday Use
Designed with the avid diver in mind, the Eco-Drive Promaster by Citizen is one of the best affordable dive watches designed to satisfy casual divers, pros, and the marines alike.
This classic timepiece impresses with elegant lines that pair beautifully with the stylish polyurethane strap. A silver-tone stainless steel case and anti-reflective mineral crystal are two of this watch’s highlights, while the 42mm diameter fits perfectly on most wrists.
With this timepiece, Citizens aims to demonstrate that a dive watch can be fun. It has a one-way rotating elapsed-time bezel that can help you keep track of the time spent underwater and glow-in-the-dark hands and hour marks that are easily visible in low light conditions.
The watch is powered by an analog Japanese quartz mechanism capable of transforming both solar and artificial light into energy, so it never needs a battery.
Stylish and practical, the Eco-Drive Promaster comes as an alternative to the classic G-Shock. It’s water-resistant to 660 feet and classified as a scuba watch by the manufacturer.
Interchangeable straps add versatility, although we believe the black and silver-tone choice is the most stylish. Ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving, this watch can be an ideal underwater companion.
Their Core watch is an all-round timepiece designed for underwater and onshore adventures. Simple lines and flawless aesthetics make it appealing for men and women alike – even though this model is geared majorly towards the gents.
We like that it comes in various styles. Sleek looks aside, SUUNTO Core is more than a watch.
It is a wrist-top computer complete with altimeter, barometer, compass, and weather indicator. It operates in temperatures between -5°F and 140°F, so you can literally take it anywhere. The compass is an extremely useful feature in most circumstances, while the barometer and weather predictor work in tandem for accurate weather tracking.
The watch is capable of sensing changes in air pressure, and its intelligent storm alarm function can notify you of an approaching storm.
While it’s not designed specifically for diving, it withstands depths up to 100 feet and has a stopwatch and countdown function that helps you monitor the time spent underneath the surface.
A backlight option and customizable face display bring further value; overall, SUUNTO Core is an excellent watch for swimming and snorkeling. For diving, though, you might want to read our Suunto scuba watch reviews here.
Another affordable dive watch model from Citizen, the Eco-Drive Chronograph is designed for swimming and snorkeling, resisting depths of 330 feet.
From an aesthetic point of view, the timepiece is similar to the Promaster, although it features different colors and a sleeker, black stainless steel band. The gunmetal tone matches most outfits and makes this watch ideal for the elegant, active man.
The Chronograph presents a tachymeter bezel and three clocks you can use to track your laps or diving time. A date window between four and five o’clock adds the final touch.
Fitting perfectly on most wrists, it has a 48mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window that resists shocks and scratches. Like the Promaster, it boasts a Japanese quartz movement and analog display.
It doesn’t have the utilitarian style of a sports watch, but perhaps that’s exactly what makes it attractive. The Chronograph is a splendid casual watch you can take on all your adventures.
Another stunning timepiece that can stay on your wrist as you’re diving is the Stuhrling Original. This gorgeous watch comes in multiple styles to fit most tastes.
Our favorite is the all-black model with rose gold accents. It’s easy to pair with both casual and formal attire while maintaining a sporty spirit.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this timepiece is the easy-to-read dial consisting of baton-style hands and indices. It’s visible even in the dark, and the convenient minute marks on the bezel make it easy to track your diving time. Another big plus is the ultra-accurate Miyota movement.
Water-resistant at 330 feet, it’s perfect for swimming or snorkeling. Another nice thing is the fully adjustable triple-row link bracelet.
Beyond elegant, this timepiece suits the office men and those who want to maintain a flawless image even at the beach. It comes with a comprehensive Stuhrling warranty and at a price that won’t break the bank. No doubt, a nice buy for you or gift for a beloved one.
Casio is renowned worldwide for utilitarian watches, such as the G-Shock; that’s why the Super Illuminator Diver comes as a surprise.
This stylish timepiece can look amazing with all outfits, but it’s made to be your trustworthy companion while you’re exploring the deep blue. It’s water-resistant to 330 feet, so it’s more suitable for swimming and snorkeling, and boasts a stainless steel case and band that speak of high-class elegance.
Its highlight is the super illuminator LED face that turns on with a simple touch of a button. Seeing the watch in darkness has never been easier, while the anti-reverse rotary bezel and heavy-duty chronograph let you accurately track diving time.
Like most Casio watches, the Super Illuminator Diver is highly accurate. The analog dial gives it a classic touch, while the 44mm case diameter makes it look well on most wrists.
This watch doesn’t come in multiple styles and colors, but it’s attractive enough to make most heads turn. Undoubtedly, a reliable choice if you’re looking for a classic water-resistant timepiece.
Manufacturing superior quality timepieces since 1950, Orient caters to the stylish man who’d feel awkward with a sporty smartwatch on his wrist. Simple, elegant, and highly functional, the Ray II is an amazing choice for avid divers.
It doesn’t have any complicated functionalities, such as performance tracking or notifications on the wrist.
This classic timepiece impresses with a robust 120-click bezel that helps you monitor your time underwater and a stylish stainless steel finish throughout.
Three color choices give you the possibility to match the watch with your personality or outfit. At 41mm, the case is slightly smaller than average. This could be a good thing if you don’t like big watches, but it might pose some difficulties when reading it underwater.
Luckily, the fantastic lume on the indices adds brightness when you’re way deep under the surface.
This automatic analog watch has a mineral dial that not only resists scratches, but that doesn’t fog while snorkeling or diving at 660 feet. Lauded for its fantastic quality, the Ray II packs true bang for the buck.
Another entry from Citizen, the Eco-Drive Blue Angels edition is a timepiece built for the marines, but that can easily satisfy any avid sailor or diver. It has a multitude of functions that blend seamlessly with a flawless look – just what you need to keep track of your time underwater without compromising on style.
Ideal for frequent travelers, it boasts radio-controlled time accuracy in 5 zones around the globe. This atomic watch will show you accurate time in the USA, the UK, Europe, China, and Japan.
The slide-rule bezel features chronograph functions with 1/20 seconds chrono up to 60 minutes, while the dial has a window date and three clocks.
Like all Citizen Eco-Drive watches, it’s fueled by light and never needs a battery. Besides unmatched accuracy and functionality, you can also expect flawless aesthetics. Indeed, this handsome timepiece boasts a stainless steel casing with blue and yellow dial and elegant blue bezel.
A non-reflective sapphire crystal allows you to see the time quickly and effortlessly underwater or in direct sunlight. Stylish is also the patterned polyurethane-coated blue leather strap with yellow reverse.
The watch is water-resistant at 660 feet and is one of the most accurate timepieces in the world. Sure, you’ll have to pay for all these features. Nonetheless, this limited edition watch is worth every dime.
At first glance, this dive watch from Seiko looks surprisingly like our top pick. Considering they both come from reputable brands, we can’t say that one is the imitation of the other; nevertheless, it’s impossible to deny their similarity.
That said, Seiko SKX007K is a standalone watch that deserves consideration on its own.
It’s not powered by light, but it boasts a quality Japanese automatic movement that eliminates the need for a battery nonetheless. The watch powers automatically with the movement of your arm; perhaps that’s an extra-point compared to the Citizen Promaster, which relies on light.
Seiko dive watch is water-resistant to 660 feet and designed for recreational scuba diving. Fluorescent hands and hour marks enhance visibility underwater, while the hardlex crystal withstands fogging.
Like most men’s watches, the SKX007K has a 42mm case diameter and boasts a stainless steel case. A rubber band gives it a sporty look though; not quite the choice for a businessman.
Considering its price, the Seiko is a bit expensive for what it offers. Nevertheless, if you want a diving watch with automatic movement, this might be it.
Another watch that has made it to our list is INOX by Victorinox. A diving watch designed for the army but affordable enough to appeal to everyone.
Like all Victorinox products, the Pro Diver watch distinguishes itself with its looks. The silver stainless steel case and band add a touch of class to any outfit. Coming in various styles, it also appeals to the sporty or outdoorsy guy.
While the sophisticated look can easily make it pass for a casual watch, the INOX is built for diving; that’s why it comes with an extension buckle element that makes it fit perfectly over a diving suit sleeve.
This professional diving watch is manufactured in Switzerland and is ISO 6425 certified. It can reach depths of 660 feet and is resistant to corrosion.
Unique features include a unidirectional rotating bezel and count-up scale, both designed to help you keep track of your time underwater. The 45mm dial includes a lot of essentials, such as military time, date, and end-of-life indicator.
The triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire glass is scratch-resistant, and the entire timepiece comes with 3 years of limited warranty. Just what you need for a smooth transition between work, dive, and dinner.
The last entry on our best affordable dive watches list is the Invicta Men’s 3045. Designed to make a statement, this classic timepiece has attractive aesthetics and is highly functional.
It’s one of the few diving watches on the market – and the only one on our list – that is water-resistant to 990 feet. Besides outstanding water resistance, the watch is designed specifically for divers.
It has a highly visible unidirectional bezel, a magnified date window, and three clocks. Thanks to its blue dial and luminosity function, you can easily spot the time even in low light conditions or in darkness.
An analog display and automatic self-winding movement are two other highlights. Regarding its size, the watch features a 47mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window and fits most men. A diver emblem embossed on the bracelet and fold-over clasp add the final touches.
This timepiece doesn’t come in several design options, but that’s hardly an issue. The elegant yet sporty finish of this watch can suit most people. Last but not least, we truly like its price point. No doubt, one of the cheapest dive watches out there capable of bringing true value for money.
How to Choose a dive watch for Everyday Use?
When diving every 10 m or 33 feet the ambient pressure increases 1 ATM or 14.7 psi. At sea level we are breathing and living at 1 Atmosphere (ATM) so going down to 30 meters (99 feet) we are now at 4 ATM. Water weighs 64 pounds per cubic foot so every time you submerge 1 foot and then keep doubling from there.
That is a lot of pressure not only for us (we do it controlled so we have nothing to worry about) but for a watch that is poorly made, you will have now just wasted your money. I hope that wasn’t to boring but it puts perspective on diving.
Here are some tips and cautions about how to decide which dive watch to buy for your everyday purposes and also for a safe dive trip:
1. Strapping and Placement on the Wrist
By this time, you should be aware that there is a big difference in using a dive watch on land compared when using it for your underwater adventures, even if we focus our discussion on the simple topic of strapping and location on the wrist.
The first notable difference is that you will be wearing exposure suits during diving and that you need to put on the dive watch straps after you wear the wetsuit in such a way that the dive watch is above the suit.
2. Left or Right Wrist?
The answer depends on your preference or whether you are a left-handed or a right-handed person. However, what is important is the placement of the dive watch in relation to other diving instruments like dive computers and compass.
A dive watch should be a stand alone equipment and should never be mounted with other instruments as this may disrupt its operational mechanism and vice versa.
For example: if you are a left handed person (like me) and prefer to wear a dive watch on the left wrist, I make sure that my compass or dive computer should be worn on the right wrist.
3. Pre-dive Operation
Let us assume that you have properly worn the dive watch and that you are ready for an adventurous dive. On the way to the dive site, most newbies will just take note of the time without realizing that the possibility of forgetting what time they start diving is relatively high.
Now here’s a simple way to mark your underwater time: USE THE ROTATING BEZEL TO MARK YOUR TIME. Depending on the brand and model, some rotating bezels can be rotated either clockwise, counter-clockwise or both. But ideally, the rotating bezel should only be moveable on a single direction, not multi-directional.
As you enter the water before the start of your descent, move the rotating bezel in such a way that its zero mark gets in line with the minute hand of the watch. Take note: not the hour hand, not the second hand but the minute hand. It is illogical to place the zero hand of the rotating bezel to the hour or second hand of the watch as most dive durations last in minutes and not in hours or seconds.
4. Post-dive Care
Given the fact that most material casing of dive watches are made of stainless or high performance steel and that you don’t need to worry about corrosion, you still need to perform some post dive care for your watch to last long.
Like any other scuba equipment and instruments, you need to rinse your dive watch with freshwater. But it would be better if you soak and immerse it for several minutes allowing salt deposits to be completely eliminated.
Do not open any operating ports while rinsing or soaking in freshwater, otherwise, you will expose your timepiece to flooding. And lastly, clean with a dry piece of cloth before you wear it back or store in a cool dry place.
5. Waterproof vs Water Resistant:
When you see a watch that is “Waterproof” they not are geared for diving! Waterproof watches are fine for snorkeling, showering, swimming and sometimes being in the salt water but be cautious especially with the cheaper watches because it may be a throw away at the end of the day. If the watch says Divers 100m they are minimum standard (ISO 6425) but will work great and Divers 200m and 300m and suitable for everything but very deep depths. Divers 300m are suitable for saturation diving.
Water Resistant watches will say to what depth that can reach and most watches usually have a 100m depth rating however, it is unlikely that you will be going past 30-40 meters as a recreational diver anyways. As mentioned all watches are different so when push comes to shove get a watch with a higher water resistant rating!
6. Bezel Markings:
A bezel is the ring located on the outside of the watch around the face. It will have markings and can move one way, both ways or it will be fixed.
Having a good bezel is key and you will want one that moves unilaterally so it cannot get turned back just in case you brush up against something and it turns.
Better to shorten your dive moving one direction than the other. The function of the bezel is to track elapsed time so when you are diving you know when you entered the water and have a measuring point to elapse your time underwater.
Uni-directional dive watch bezels can only be rotated in a single direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the brand and model. This means that the possibility of an accidental rotation is lessened as compared to a multi-directional bezel. Common instances of an accidental rotation is the touching of the bezel to the wetsuit of the opposite wrist.
7. Corrosion Resistant Watch Casing:
Most of the diving environments we are exposed to are saltwater ecosystems which means that salt, a highly corrosive compound, is perpetually existing. Therefore, it is imperative that the material of our dive watch must be corrosion resistant.
Most dive watch casings are made up of high grade stainless steel or even titanium. These premium metals are also used in the dive watch band or maybe fitted with a silicone or hard rubber. Crystal and minerals may be added to the internal components of the dive watch in exchange for the parts that may potentially be corroded. Some of the common internal addons are sapphire and mineral glass.
8. Luminous Time Index:
There will come a time that the need to go night diving is inevitable, may it be for recreational, commercial or professional reasons. But nonetheless, all these kinds of light-restricted diving requires a dive watch that has a luminous time index.
Please take note that what we are talking here is not about pressing that dive watch button and an illumination will reflect the internal surroundings of your dive watch. What we are talking about is that with the use of an external light source (like an underwater torch or flashlight) and directing its beam to the dive watch, the time index will become luminous and that it will glow in the dark for several minutes without the need of a light source.