The dive watch has been the go-to choice for many watch enthusiasts and collectors for decades already, ever since the likes of Blancpain and Rolex broke new waters in the 1950s and determined the standards for modern dive watches. Through innovation and technology, the dive watch has become a staple in any watch collection, mostly for its robustness and everyday wearability but also for its cool, adventurous nature. Yet while most of us might not be in the position to acquire said Blancpain or Rolex watches, there are plenty of solid, cool and accessible alternatives! With that in mind, here’s a selection of five dive watches showing great style without costing a fortune!
Dan Henry 1975 Skin Diver
The skin diver is a very popular sub-category in dive watches, as they tend to be smaller and less bulky than their professional counterparts. One of the coolest and most accessible ones is this Dan Henry 1975 Skin Diver. With a retro-design in four variations, the Dan Henry 1975 Skin Diver has bundles of character and lots of fun details. The bezel is either brushed steel or Super-LumiNova under a sapphire crystal. The dials come in white, orange, black and gilt, with contrasting markers and hands. The solid caseback hides a Miyota 9015 automatic, and the watch comes with an FKM rubber strap. Priced between USD 430 (no-date) and USD 450 (date), it’s a bargain that’s hard to pass up!
For more information, please visit DanHenryWatches.com.
Quick Facts – 38mm x 11.5mm – stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with steel or Super-LumiNova insert under sapphire – boxed-shaped sapphire crystal – solid caseback – 150m water-resistant – orange, black, gilt or white dial – indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – Miyota 9015 automatic – 24 jewels – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – FKM rubber strap with pin buckle – USD 430 (no date) or USD 450 (date)
Mido Ocean Star GMT Special Edition
The Mido Ocean Star GMT Special Edition is another very solid and accessible option for dive watches. And with the added practicality of the true GMT function, it’s perhaps the best everyday watch on this list. At 44mm in diameter and just over 13mm in height, it is one of the larger watches featured today. The red, white and blue colour scheme is very nice, with cool features like openworked hands, double markers at 12 and 6 and that bright red GMT hand. Powered by the ETA-based Mido Calibre 80, it packs a pleasant 80 hours of running time. It retails for EUR 1,300 on a steel bracelet with a secondary fabric NATO-style strap.
For more information, please visits MidoWatches.com.
Quick Facts – 44mm x 13.28mm – stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with ceramic insert – screw-down crown and caseback – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistant – velvety blue dial – indices and skeletonized hands with Super-LumiNova – two-tone 24h GMT track – Mido Calibre 80 (ETA base), automatic – 25 jewels – 21,600vph – 80h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, GMT 24H – stainless steel bracelet and fabric NATO strap with diving extension – EUR 1,300
Seiko Prospex Diver Black Series Limited Edition SPB335
If you were ever to compile a list of affordable and pricy dive watches, Seiko would need to be on that list. It simply is impossible to ignore the brand, thanks to watches like the Turtle, Samurai, Tuna and others being fan-favourites for decades. One of the most recent cool releases is this SPB335, a member of the Black Series limited edition sub-collection. It comes in the new, more compact case with a black and mint-green combination for the case, dial and bezel. Power comes from the calibre 6R35 automatic, and it’s worn on a black silicon strap. Limited to 4,500 pieces, it retails for EUR 1,000.
For more information, please visit SeikoWatches.com.
Quick Facts – 41mm x 12.3mm – black coated stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with black insert – sapphire crystal – solid caseback – screw-down crown – 200m water-resistant – grained black dial with applied indices – sword-shaped hour and minute hand, paddle-shaped seconds hand – mint-green LumiBrite – calibre 6R35, in-house automatic – 24 jewels – 21,600vph – 70h power reserve – black silicon strap – limited edition of 4,500 pieces – EUR 1,000
Vulcain Skindiver Nautique 38mm
Vulcain’s revival was kickstarted with a faithful recreation of the iconic Cricket alarm watch, but the brand’s most recent release again taps into our love for vintage designs. The Vulcain Skindiver Nautique 38mm revisits another classic in Vulcain’s history and is presented in two styles. The 38mm wide and 12.2mm tall steel case is fitted with either a matte black dial or a vertically brushed blue dial. Both come with contrasting white and beige transfer prints, markers and hands. It relies on the tried-and-tested ETA 2824 and is worn on a black leather strap with a carbon fibre pattern. Retailing at CHF 1,490, it offers an authentic retro vibe at a fair price.
For more information, please visit Vulcain.ch.
Quick Facts – 38mm x 12.2mm – stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with black ceramic insert – domed sapphire crystal – solid caseback – 200m water-resistant – matte black or vertical brushed blue dial – white and khaki brown transfer prints – hand and markers with Super-LumiNova – ETA 2824, automatic – 25 jewels – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – black leather strap with carbon pattern and pin buckle – CHF 1,490
Yema Superman 500
The last entry in his Buying Guide is the most waterproof one. As its name suggests, the Yema Superman 500 is water-resistant to a depth of 500 meters, which is more than double some others. Yet it’s not any larger or bulkier, as it comes in 39mm and 41mm sized cases with a modest height of 13.4mm. The smaller of the two is seen here, with a glossy deep-blue dial (a black dial is also available). The bezel is secured with Yema’s signature locking system. The solid caseback protects the YEMA2000 proprietary movement, which has a 42-hour running time when fully wound. It can be purchased on a steel multi-link bracelet (EUR 1,190) or a leather strap (EUR 1,049) or an FKM rubber strap (EUR 1,219).
For more information, please visit Yema.com.
Quick Facts – 39mm or 41mm x 13.4mm – stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with aluminium insert and bezel-lock device – double-domed sapphire crystal – 500m water-resistant – black or blue dials with white or beige markers – steel hands – Super-LumiNova – calibre YEMA2000 (proprietary), automatic – 29 jewels – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – steel multi-link bracelet, leather or FKM rubber strap – EUR 1,049 (leather), EUR 1,190 (bracelet) or EUR 1,219 (FKM rubber)