As the end of the year is fast approaching, it is time for us to sit back and look at all the new models the watch industry has offered. And when it comes to the highly coveted category of dive watches, it has been a rich year. We’ve seen two giants releasing ultra-deep divers, other brands revamping some emblematic watches, and some playing on the downsizing trend… There’s clearly room for very different takes on the concept of the dive watch, and following our buying guides focused on chronographs and traveller’s watches, here are some of the best dive watches of 2022.
Note: If you’ve been impressed by different dive watches this year, please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
The Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m Fujitsubo
We start this selection with a watch that impressed us with its highly competitive quality/equipment/price ratio. At first glance, there’s nothing really special about this Citizen Promaster Fujitsubo. It’s a classic 200m dive watch with all the necessary equipment – screw-down crown, sapphire crystal, unidirectional bezel and polyurethane strap, all of that in a watch with a design inspired by a vintage model. However, when you look at the quality of the construction, it becomes obvious that Citizen has put a lot of effort here. And then, you see that it is priced at EUR 650 and comes with a case made of Super Titanium with Duratect surface hardening treatment… And the movement inside is part of the 90xx series, with higher-end specifications that the more classic 82xx series. And now, you see why this Fujitsubo is part of our selection.
Quick facts: 41mm x 12,3mm Super Titanium case with Duratect treatment – unidirectional rotating bezel with aluminium insert – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistant – glossy black dial – calibre 9051, in-house, automatic, 4Hz, 48h power reserve – black polyurethane strap – reference NB6021-17E – EUR 650
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Titanium
Together with explorer Victor Vescovo, Omega holds the record for the deepest dive ever achieved by mankind. The record depth obtained was 10,928m during the Five Deeps Expedition to the Mariana Trench. For the occasion, Omega created three prototypes using impressive technology and capable of withstanding depths up to 15,000m. Early this year, the brand presents a narrowly downgraded commercial version of this watch because the opposite would have been a waste of technology… There are steel versions of this Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, but the most interesting model remains this titanium edition, a slightly scaled-down version of the watch that made it to the deepest point underwater. The design is almost identical, including the cool Manta lugs, and the watch is big (45.5mm x 18.12mm), but not as much as you’d expect from a 6,000m dive watch (actually, it’s tested at 7,500m). The whole thing is over-engineered, ultra-technical and relies on many advanced solutions. We don’t have enough time to explain them all here, but you can discover the watch in full here. One thing is for sure, and even though another brand later did better, this Planet Ocean Ultra Deep remains an impressive achievement.
Quick facts: 45.5mm x 18.12mm sandblasted grade 5 titanium case with manta lugs – unidirectional brushed ceramic bezel – EFG sapphire crystal with semi-conical shape – 6,000m water-resistant – black ceramised grade 5 titanium dial – calibre 8912, in-house, automatic, Master Chronometer certified, 3.5Hz, 60h power reserve – black NATO strap with cyan stripe – ref. 18.104.22.168.01.001 – EUR 12,900
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge 126067 Titanium
Talking about the other brand that did better… here comes Rolex with the new Deepsea Challenge. In short, the most advanced dive watch ever created by the Crown and the direct descendant of the prototype created for James Cameron. And here, it’s not even a downgraded version. It’s the full package, a watch capable of reaching the deepest point on Earth, with a water-resistance of 11,000 metres (and actually tested at 13,750m). But such resistance comes at a cost. While the Omega cited above was already a hefty watch, the Rolex is a beast with a 50mm x 23mm case. Thankfully, it’s made of RLX titanium (a first for the brand) and retains the classic look of the brand’s dive watches. It summarises decades of R&D in the field of diving, with solutions such as the Ringlock system. We have all the details about this beast of a watch here.
Quick facts: 50mm x 23mm RLX titanium grade 5 case with monobloc construction and Ringlock system – unidirectional bezel in black Cerachrom – 9.5mm sapphire crystal – 11,000m water-resistant – black matte dial – Rolex calibre 3230, in-house, Superlative Chronometer certified, automatic, 4Hz, 70h power reserve – RLX titanium Oyster bracelet – ref. 126067 – EUR 25,750
The Updated Seiko Sumo Prospex Diver 200m
There are names that immediately resonate in the mind of dive watch enthusiasts, and Sumo is certainly one of them. A classic among the classics, the Seiko Sumo has been around since 2007 and revised already multiple times. This year, Seiko offers its latest generation of Sumo Prospex Diver. And if the design remains quite conservative – it retains most of the attributes of the original version, including its cool fat case – it has also been upgraded with new materials and a certain upscale flair. As such, the 45mm steel case now comes with Super-Hard coating, and the bezel now features a ceramic insert with a redesigned 60-minute scale. The dial is new, too, with a cool combination of gradient colour and wave-like micro-texture. The rest is typical Sumo, for the best. All the details about this blue SPB321J1 (but also the grey edition) are in this article.
Quick facts: 45mm x 12.9mm stainless steel case with Super-Hard coating – unidirectional ceramic bezel – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistant – gradient blue dial with wave micro-pattern – Seiko calibre 6R35, in-house, automatic, 3Hz, 70h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet with Super-Hard coating – ref. SPB321J1 – EUR 1,250
The Tudor Pelagos 39
While mother brand Rolex played on the “bigger is better” strategy with the Deepsea Challenge, Tudor, on the other hand, has focused its latest dive watch on the “less is more” concept. The Pelagos, a watch that started its life with a 42mm titanium case with 500m water-resistance, has been shrunk to become smaller, and more daily-oriented this year with this new Pelagos 39. The case is compact, quite thin and short on the wrist. Still made of titanium, it also has more textures than before, with a brushed ceramic bezel and a brushed dial too. It’s a bit more luxurious, less rugged, and the specs have been scaled down. But with 200m water-resistance and a generous amount of lume on the dial and bezel, it will surely be more than enough for a recreational dive. Finally, it comes with COSC movement, a titanium bracelet and a rubber strap.
Quick facts: 39mm x 11.8mm grade 2 titanium case – brushed ceramic and luminous unidirectional bezel – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistant – black sunray-brushed dial – calibre MT5400, Kenissi manufacture, COSC certified, automatic, 4Hz, 70h power reserve – titanium bracelet and black rubber strap included – ref. 25407N – EUR 4,140