Best inexpensive dive watch. The best affordable dive watch.
Dive watches are developed to operate 100 or more of feet under water.
Dive watch has distinctly over the years give masculine look to it and are made for men.
That is the reason why so many men out there are so fascinated by these timekeeper.
Dive watches are more than just tell the time, it makes a definite statement.
It has long been one of fictional movies of James Bond’s watches, and is often the style that guys wannabe.
So what is the problem?
The problem would be, they can cost big bucks and drown your wallet.
Or at least most of them can.
If you search online, you will see these types of watches ranging from thousand of dollars to below $300.
Dive watch must be reliable, accurate and can resist water pressure.
So here is the list of best inexpensive, cheap and affordable watches, but they can fulfill those requirements.
Top 12 best affordable dive watches
This Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch is a little more fascinated with watches worn by members of many law enforcement agencies or armed forces. The 43 mm case on this watch is made from a carbon reinforced polycarbonate which is lightweight but still strong. The material will delivers both stark canvas and shock protection. Dial markers on the watch apply self-powered illumination system to glow, making it easier for you to read at night or when diving deep under water.
Case material – this watch’s case material is consists of Carbon Powder, which is 3 times lighter than titanium and 6 times lighter than steel. Even though it is lightweight, it is strong, rigid, robust and durable, great fit for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals. Even with the hardness of the material, it is still very comfortable to wear.
Resistant – it feature a very strong chemical resistance, temperate change resistant, scratch resistant, and shock resistant. And it is anti-magnetic, non-metallic, and anti-allergenic.
Trusted brand – this brand has been trusted to supply tough watch to elite forces around the world including U.S. Navy SEAL, U.S. Air Force, ATF, U.S. Border Patrol, Secret Service, FBI, Coast Guard, SWAT, NATO arm forces, Austrian military police, Singapore air forces and other numerous highly respected and elite groups of law enforcement professionals and security.
Other specification – 200 meter or 600 feet water resistant (appropiate for recreational scuba diving), genuine rubber strap, illumination of Night Vision Tubes (25 years).
This Orient Men’s ‘Ray II’ Japanese Automatic Stainless Steel Diving Watch is a very nice inexpensive dive watch. You can have fun with this watch because of its mechanical movement. It uses the 22 jewel Japanese mechanical movement which runs automatically. Commonly, watches similar to this are often have expensive price tag. It display the day and date window on the watch, blue dial and Arabic numerals.
Dial – the dial is the best part of the Ray II. The watch introduce the deep blue dial features the capability of reflecting star burst patterned background, applied index, day and date window held in a frame, and minimum amount of text. Below the 12 o’clock index there is one Orient logo.
Date and day window – the day and date window placed at 3 o’clock index. The Ray II’s date window is framed in chrome and has squared edge. The text for the date and the day is sharply printed. You can choose between English or Spanish format of the day setting. The color of the text is black, except for the Sunday which is printed in red.
Handset – a set of two clean cut swords make up the hour and the hour hands. The hour is the shorter arrow compare to the minute arrow. The second arrow hand is a red a small chromed counterbalance and attached arrow. The movement ticks over at three times in one second, leading to an acceptable sweep without difficulty.
Bezel – there is a bezel which is marked with a round pip at the 12 o’clock location, marked the minute for each of the first 15 minutes, and marked the 5 minutes after that with numerals or bar.
Case – the case is made of stainless steel with flowing and smooth lines. The particular form is simple with crown and crown guards at 3 o’clock position with light curved lugs built on a circular center. The lugs blending back into each other and into the main case. The bottom side and top side of the case are rounded off, blending into the case-back on the bottom and blending the bezel on the top. Between the lugs are thin and standard bars. Between the lugs there is a slight cut-in, this will accommodate slipping NATO style straps in.
Case back – when you see the backside of this watch, you would see the standard screw down case back. It features a ‘200’ signifying the depth rating of the watch. There is also the Orient logo. The engraving is way much better than a printed design for holding many years.
Crown – the crown is protected between two crown guards, but you can still manage to hold and operate easily. When you want to start an operation, it is standard by unscrewing the crown you can turn it to adjust the watch. Simply pull it out gently and it will click into the day and date setting. Turning one way will advance the date and the other way will advance the day. One click away you can set the hands. The seconds hand will stop after you pull out the crown. This will become a very precision setting.
Diving – when you take this watch for diving for a maximum depth of 200 meters, it will held up great, with no signs of water leaking in. Underwater, the bezel is easy to set, the dial and handset are easy to see, and you will know the elapsed dive time.
The Citizen Promaster Professional Diver Watches Men’s BN0151-09L is an affordable diver watch and popular because it is solar powered movement, stylish looking dial, and the affordable price. It is an Eco-Drive technology which is powered by light and you will never require a battery. The Citizen brand offers a 5 year limited (manufacturer) warranty on this particular watch.
Dial – the dial is arranged at the good position and it is clean. The date window is located at 4 o’clock for a clear display. All the markers embedded, lined in chrome, and filled with luminous phosphorescent glowing solution applied on this watch dials. When you wake up in the early dark morning, you can still able to read the time, even after last exposed to the light 6 hours prior. Markers are circles shape, but the 12, 3, 6, and 9 markers have different shapes that will make sure you can have an easy read the time at a brief look, even if the watch is at an upside down position.
Bezel – the design of the bezel is plain and basic. Its markings are decorated with paint onto the aluminum part. Small circle marking every minute, Arabic numeral marking every ten minute, and rectangular bars marking every 5 minute increments. There is just one marking at 12 o’clock with luminous phosphorescent glowing solution. The outer bezel edge is smooth, with 6 groupings of grooves to offer better grip. When you turn the bezel you will experience a pleasant clicking action, and you can turn them easily even with your diving gloves on. The bezel is a great quality for this price range.
Lugs – the lugs are slope downward and short. The shaping is just slightly rounded over. The spring bars are small but have a decent quality.
Crown – the screw down crown is easy to operate and in a great size. The logo is engraved on the outer end. The grooves on the crown are shallow for an easy unscrewing it. Pulling out after the unscrewing part to first position would let you to set the date. The second pull click would let you to set the time with ease. When you pull out the second position, this action will stop the second hand. The crown guards provide protection and extend out half the crown length.
Diving – when you decide to buy and have fun diving with this watch, it is reliable and easy to read watch to wear underwater. You can dive beyond 150 feet to see in the cold water corals.
Case – the case for this watch is a simple made. It is a smooth and short cylinder equipped with crown guard, crown and lugs. Matte brushed finish. It is a great case for this price.
Handset – the hands on this watch have different shape and color to avoid confusion when reading the time. The dimension is quite large and filled with luminous paint (completely) to see clearly the time in the dark. The dimension of the hour hand is short, wide, and shape like a sword outlined with black color. The width of the minute hand is almost the same as the hour hand, but a little bit longer and at the the end in a thick arrow point. Outlined with orange color to help you see better. The second hand is long, colored white, long, and ends in an arrow point. The arrow point filled with luminous phosphorescent glowing solution to easily see it in the dark. Especially during underwater dive with darkness.
Date window – the location of date windows of this watch is at 4 o’clock. The dimension is pretty small but you can read it with ease. With black text on white date will stand out.
The strap – the blue silicone strap is a flexible material and very comfortable to wear on your skin. The length is long enough to wear over the top of diving gloves.
This Seiko Men’s SKX007K2 Diver’s Automatic Watch is one of the SKX Seiko series of which the 007 is the best seller, that has many variations. All variations are the same watch, using the similar case and similar movement. The differences are in dials, bezels, and hand set.
Handset – the hour hand is shorter than the minute hand and shape like a sword. The end of the hour hand reaches almost to the inner edge of the long oval markers. While the long arrow minute hand stretched to the outer edge of the circle markers which is smaller. The minute hand and the hour hand are outlined filled with luminescent paint and chrome. The seconds hand has a white color, long, and less wider than the minute hand or hour hand, filled with luminous phosphorescent glowing solution. The purpose of the luminous phosphorescent glowing solution to quickly check that the watch can operate in the dark. If you see the watch stop running during a dive underwater, whether by mechanical failure or water penetration, you could be in danger if you do not notice.
Dial – the dial of this watch is for practical use rather than for attractiveness and rather minimalist shape. A luminous phosphorescent glowing solution filled triangle is located at the 12 o’clock position. Large circles is position at every 5 minutes marking. A bigger elliptic shape mark the 9 and 6 o’clock at the exact place. There is a white day or date window which is located at 3 o’clock. You can choose between English or Spanish day setting. The Saturday (SAT) is in blue color, the SUN (Sunday) is in red color and the Monday to Friday text is in black. At the center of the watch above the 6 o’clock oval, there is printed an indication of Certified ISO Diver.
Case – the case itself is made out of stainless steel which the case is flowing and smooth, almost no lines or no transitions. The soft curved and circular lugs mixed and blended into the case and the crown guards. The inside of the lugs are 90° angles and the inside of the crown guards are also 90° angles. With this angle, the case feel and look very organic and does not give a machined case impression. The top of the lugs have a brushed finish with less reflective, while the sides of the case are polished to a mirror finish. You can see how the top of the lugs and the sides of the case transition is very well designed.
Crown – at the 4 o’clock location is where you can find the crown close position. A big crown guard is protecting the screw down and water resistant crown. The rounded end of the crown almost expands past the furthest of the guards. The crown is very hard to unscrew but it is good for protecting the watch from getting accidental opening while you are diving. If you successfully unscrew the crown, then it will deliver 2 positive click positions when pulled outward. The purpose is for setting the day or date and time.
Movement – the watch is powered by Seiko’s caliber 7s26, mechanical automatic movement. The operation of the power is at 21,600 beats per 60 minutes and it offers 21 jewels. Equipped with Seiko’s patented Magic Lever system, with a bi-directional winding mechanism and powered by the movement of your wrist. The watch can keep operational in 48 hours, so you do not have to worry about not wearing it for a day.
Bezel – the watch is equipped with a counter clockwise rotating timing bezel, 120 clicks, and with stainless steel material with a black aluminum insert containing the timing markings bezel. Every minute is marked, with long bars marking the 5-minutes, numerals for the 10-minutes, and small circles for the rest. You can turn the bezel smoothly, quickly and a quiet click action. Luminous phosphorescent glowing solution pip marks the 0/60 minute mark, and is the only luminous phosphorescent glowing solution on the bezel itself.
This Phoibos Men’s PX005B 1000M Dive Watch is a good looking quartz with a sapphire crystal and strong luminous phosphorescent glowing solution. This watch use a Swiss movement and water resistant at 330 feet or 1000 meters. It is a beautiful timepiece, built as accurately and solidly. The bezel design is smooth and accurate. The second hand is very long and matches up exactly with the outside 60 markers. The band of the watch fits well and well made. The intensity of light emitted from a surface area in a given direction is far better with this price range. There is a wide date window at the 3 o’clock position. The minute hand is very bright outline orange color so you can see it clearly and can tell the difference with the hour hand. There is a triangle shape marker at the 12 o’clock position to tell the accuracy of the time and with luminous phosphorescent glowing solution to see clearly in the dark of the deep water. The Phoibos logo sit under the 12 o’clock marker.
This Neymar Men’s Diver Watch is a stainless steel watch that can tackle at least 1,000 meters of depth. The 44 mm casing holds a spinning (rotating) bezel system. The dial equipped with a calendar feature on the 3 o’clock location. The hands and markers are all shine in the dark, and the minute hand and hour hand feature a beautiful design touch. The high quality made metal straps are specifically for diving. There is actually a built in helium valve placed at the 9 o’clock position that let the watch to handle external pressure reduction if necessary.
This BLWRX 44 mm Men’s Diver Watch is made of stainless steel. The glass is made of domed very thick sapphire glass. The bezel can rotate for 120 clicks one side. At the 9 o’clock position, there is a professional helium valve for enduring external pressure reduction. The dimension is 44 mm x 52 mm. It features a Japan NH35 automatic movement with analog display and date indicator at the 3 o’clock position. It weight at 250 gram with solid 316L stainless steel band. The crown is waterproof screw down. It is suitable for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming with water resistant at 1,000 meters or 3300 feet. The markers, minute hand and hour hand is filled with blue color luminous.
This Seiko Prospex Padi Solar SNE435P1 watch has a 44 mm stainless steel case with a hardlex crystal glass. It is powered by solar powered quartz movement which when fully charge has the 10 month power reserve. A window that display the date is located at the 3 o’clock position. The Seiko logo is located right under the 12 o’clock marker. The minute hand is long and stretched to the markers. It has a red outline color with arrow shape. The body of the minute hand is filled with Lumibrite (luminous paints that is free of radioactive substance, brighter, and longer-lasting). Different than the minute hand, the hour hand is shorter, wider than the minute hand so you can see the hour clearly. It is also filled with Lumibrite. The second hand is thin but much different than hour hand or minute hand. All the markers are elliptic shape except for the 12 o’clock marker, 6 o’clock marker and the 9 o’clock marker. These markers are also filled with Lumibrite for seeing in the dark. Just above the 6 o’clock position, there a “PADI” text that means that this is diver’s watch certified by the world’s leading scuba diver training organization. It can be wear in depth of 200 meter underwater.
This Seiko SNE498 Prospex Solar Dive Watch Black Silicone Strap is part of a Seiko Tuna collection. For you to see clearly is very much provided because of its diameter of 47 mm. There is a blue shroud to help protect the bezel and the case. There is a square shape window date that is located at the 4 o’clock position. The minute hand is very long that reached over the markers. It has an arrow shape, treated with Lumibrite (luminous paints that is brighter, free of radioactive substance, and longer-lasting). While the hour hand is wider and shorter than the minute hand for you to see the difference. It is also filled with Lumibrite. The second hand is very thin and long, sit above both the minute hand and hour hand. For your convenience while diving, it has a black silicone dive strap, so it will not comes off during the underwater dive. It is operated by a solar powered movement, when it is fully charge has a 10 month power reserve. You do not need to charge the battery. It is manufactured and designed to resist and remain undamaged up to 200 meter going under the water. Its is suitable for scuba diving and meets ISO standard. A triangle shape marker sit at the 12 o’clock position. Just below the triangle marker, a Seiko logo tell you what is the brand of the watch. The crown has screw down protection to avoid any pull out by accident. When the crown is at a normal position, the water resistance function is functional. The bezel is also has secured operation to prevent accidental rotation.
This Gosasa Clearance Tritium Luminous Dive Watch Waterproof Quartz Mens is such a great looking watch for fashion, sport, diving and pleasure. There is a day and date window at the 3 o’clock position that will tell you the accurate day and date of today. The Monday thru Saturday is black text. The Sunday text is red color. The 12 o’clock marker has orange color for distinctive purpose. The rest of the markers are blue color which is very stylish look and bright. The lights in the watch are bright to help you read in the dark. The minute hand is long enough to pass the edge of the markers. It is a black color hand with blue color line matching with the blue marker. The stainless steel band is very strong and robust to resist anything thrown at it. You can wear this watch for snorkeling, for diving and for swimming with water resistant up to 200 meters. It is an affordable watch with price under $300 and worth a try.
This Pantor Nautilus Dive Watches look larger than most dive watch. With the diameter at 45 mm, it is actually wears much smaller because the bezel (120 click unidirectional) has a diameter of 42 mm. The watch thickness is 12.6 mm, 46 mm lug to lug and the distance between the lugs is 24 mm. The bezel has perfect dimension, easy to grip, coarse gear edged in stainless steel. The polished edge crown is 7 mm positioned at 3 o’clock, designed with care. The brand name “Pantor” sit below the 12 o’clock marker. While the 200 meter or 660 feet and the “Automatic” are above the 6 o’clock position. There is a date window with black on white text is at the 4:30 position. The minute hand is white luminous with black outline pass on markers. The hour hand shape exactly like the minute hand with shorter length. The markers are circle shape, except the 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock marker which is square shape.
This Invicta Pro Diver 89260OB designed like a classic watch that almost similar to Rolex Submariner dive watch. The hour, minute and second hand are luminous. The diameter is 40 mm that feature a folded unidirectional bezel and magnified date window placed at 3 o’clock position. The markers are also luminous. The 12 o’clock marker is a triangle shape while the 9 o’clock and 6 o’clock markers are rectangle shape. The rest of markers are circle shape. The watch can operate because it is powered by Japanese automatic movement with analog display. The band is stainless steel and gold tones and locked with a safety closure along with foldable clasp. The watch has water-resistant up to 200 meters feature for water sports but not for deep water scuba diving. The normal advantages include being well built, good reputation for reliability and accuracy, suitable, transparent readability, and smooth bezel. The price is cheap and affordable enough compare to most available dive watches.
How to buy dive watch
A watch must provide precision as well as accuracy.
In addition to accuracy and precision, a dive watch that you are about to buy must provide a superior water resistance.
Many professional and true diver will comply the ISO 6425 standard for water resistance feature.
The ISO 6425 means that a watch has been tested and passed the water resistance certification tests.
Many tested watches must pass certain measure in order to qualify to get 6425 certification.
The first thing to be checked is the condensation test if a watch is undergoing the ISO test for water resistance.
After the first test, a watch will be placed 50 hours underwater with room temperature (between from 66° to 77° F)
The next test for the watch is to be set on a heated plate 100° F.
Put a drop of water on the crystal for about 50 seconds.
If condensation forms on the inside of the crystal, this will proof that the watch is leaking and will fail the test.
The last test is meant for moisture resistant which means how well a watch withstand water.
Beside the condensation or moisture, pressure is the other factor for running underwater.
On the earth surface, the pressure is about 14.5 psi of pressure or 1 atm (Atmospheric Pressure Measurement).
But when you want to go underwater, you must consider the pressure exerted by the water pushing down on you.
For every 33 feet of underwater depth, pressure increases by 14.5 psi as you travel down.
If a watch is officially certified to 330 ft or 97.53 meters, or 10 atms of pressure.
For instance, a 100 meter rated watch has to perform normally without condensation after exposure to 125 meters underwater.
One defining characteristic of a dive watch is the uni-directional bezel that will only rotate counter clockwise.
With this characteristic, you as a diver will have the capability to set the index to the minute hand when he start the dive and he will see how long he has been underwater.
Brief history of dive watches
Long before watches have the capability of exploring deep water, many producers failed develop a watch to withstanding the underwater pressure.
Watches were for earth surface environment and early wristwatches were not strong enough for life underwater.
Water resistant is the least feature of dive watches.
The history of water resistant watches can be tracked as earliest as in 1920s and they became popular after three decades later.
Even many claim to be the first to designed a dive watch but the actual name still remained unclear.
A well named brand Rolex claimed that they created the first waterproof wrist watch.
While Blancpain, had created the first ever dive watch. However.
According to many sources, the first waterproof watches got into the market in the 17th century.
Rolex changed the history by developing a waterproof and dustproof watch named Oyster in 1926, was put on test in 7 October 1927.
The test was a swimming across the English channel by Mercedes Gleitze, a British swimmer.
She carry along the watch around her neck during the swim and the watch worked with accuracy and survived in the freezing water for more than 10 hours.
It is Omega which was the first brand name in the dive watch industry that commercially distributed and industrially produced the dive watches in 1932.
Henry Kaswandi is graduated from University of Indonesia majoring History. After receiving the bachelor degree of History, Henry Kaswandi take the education to the next level by graduating from University of Indonesia majoring Information Technology. On daily basis, he writes article and review the product sold on Amazon. Before this, he was the Head of Information Technology Department at PT Indopoly Swakarsa Industry, Tbk and was the Head of Information Technology at PT Pratama Cipta Inaweb.