Buying Guide

5 Cool and Accessible Dive Watches in the Sub-€1000 Segment

A cool-looking, yet performing dive watch doesn’t have to break the bank!

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Xavier Markl | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 min read |

Dive watches are some of the most popular timepieces around. These tool watches were originally designed to perform specific aquatic tasks, worn on the wrist of professionals. Today, they are equally ready-for-action instruments and style essentials; great companions in and out of the water. And even though it might be fully equipped, a cool dive watch doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. We have selected five great divers, all with a strong personality and great value for money.

Seiko Prospex Diver’s PADI Samurai SRPB99K1

Originally launched in 2004, the popularity of this watch and its sharp, angular design gave this model the nickname Samurai. After almost 10 years of discontinuation, the Seiko Prospex Samurai was relaunched in 2017, including this very cool PADI Samurai SRPB99K1 edition. It packs all the attributes of a professional dive watch, including a 120-click bezel with a 60-minute blue-and-red scale printed on an aluminium insert, a screw-down crown, 200m water-resistance, a solid and well-protected case and highly legible luminescent hands and indexes. The watch is powered by the in-house, automatic Seiko 4R35 movement displaying the hours, minutes, seconds and the date. A great package at a super affordable price. 

Seiko Prospex Diver Samurai PADI SRPB99K1

Quick Facts: 43.8mm steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel – water-resistant to 200m – automatic 4R35 movement – stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and diving extension – EUR 479www.seikowatches.com

Baltic Aquascaphe Diver

This cool vintage-inspired dive watch comes in a reasonable 39mm diameter with clear 1960s design cues and multiple well-thought details. The 316L steel case is fitted with a thin rotating bezel with sapphire insert, a double domed sapphire crystal and an oversized crown. It can dive to depths of 200m. The multi-layer sandwich dial is available in three different colours and it can be ordered with a very nice, period-relevant beads-of-rice bracelet. The movement is the automatic Miyota 9039. Design-wise, a watch with true appeal.

Baltic Aquascaphe Dive Watch - Review

Quick Facts: 39mm steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel – water-resistant to 200m – Miyota 9039 automatic movement – rubber strap or beads-of-rice steel bracelet – EUR 695 on Rubber, EUR 790 on Steel – baltic-watches.com

Certina DS Action Powermatic 80

This classic dive watch by Certina provides modern design, robustness and a clear, legible design. The 43mm case is fashioned out of 316L steel and is water-resistant up to 300m. It is fitted with the Powermatic movement, an evolution of the typical ETA base with an increased power reserve of 80 hours, something impressive in this price range. The robust 3-link steel bracelet is fitted with a security folding buckle and a practical wet-suit extension. Clean, modern and ready for action.

Buying Guide - 3 Watches from Certina Hamilton Tissot with Powermatic movement

Quick Facts: 43mm steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel – water-resistant to 300m – Powermatic 80 automatic movement – steel bracelet with folding buckle and wetsuit extension – EUR 795www.certina.com

Doxa Sub 200

Unveiled at Baselworld 2019, the Doxa Sub 200 provides an excellent entry-level point into the world of Doxa, a brand that has achieved cult status among dive collectors but that is still a niche for a mainstream audience. This affordable, no-nonsense retro-style watch comes in a 42mm steel case topped by a curved sapphire crystal. Inside is the precise and reliable ETA-2824. This Sub 200 is available in a large selection of colours, including the brand’s iconic “Professional” orange, the “Sharkhunter” black or the “Searambler” silver.

Quick Facts: 42mm steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel – water-resistant to 200m – automatic movement ETA 2824 – beads-of-rice steel bracelet with folding buckle and wetsuit extension – EUR 950 on rubber, EUR 990 on steel – doxawatches.com

Delma Cayman automatic

Picking up on design cues of 1970s Delma models, the Cayman is a visually refined yet robust dive watch with a more than respectable 500m water-resistance rating. Its steel case has a 42mm diameter and a height of 13.3mm. A rather unusual feature for a dive watch, it is fitted with an exhibition case back that reveals the tried-and-tested automatic ETA 2824. The model is available in different colours on strap or mesh bracelet.

Delma Cayman Automatic Dive Watch - Value Proposition

Quick Facts: 42mm steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel – water-resistant to 500m – automatic movement ETA 2824 – leather strap or mesh bracelet with folding buckle and wetsuit extension – CHF 990 on leather – www.delma.ch

5 responses

  1. Son propuestas interesantes pero relojes divers durables económicos confiables y con múltiples diseños vienen del oriente seiko y orient
    Saludos

  2. Interesting article, a mammoth task considering how many “divers” are about. One thing we never find out about and in truth not that relevant to most of us is how well these watches stand up to salt water. I am thinking of a cheaper “diver” I came across recently where the bezel mechanism corroded and did not work properly.

  3. @Phil – would definitely like to hear which one it was! Even with some of the cheapest divers that isn’t supposed to happen.

  4. What’s with that Doxa Sub 200? Doesn’t the blue Sub200 usually have a blue bezel, that one is black.

  5. How is that Delma 13mm with a 500m rating, exhibition case back, and automatic movement?

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