The end of the year is near, so it’s time for the MONOCHROME team to sit down and look back at everything that happened during what was objectively a rich year for new models… With so many new launches, there was a lot to pick from in all categories and all price ranges. Today, we continue our series of buying guides representing our selection of what we think are the best watches in each category, with one of the industry’s most important and productive categories, one that is a must in all respectable watch collections: dive watches. Here are the Best Dive Watches of 2023, according to the MONOCHROME team.
There’s no denying the continuous interest of watch enthusiasts for a good diving instrument. This year, again, we’ve published over 160 articles under the “dive watch” tag. Once again, it’s been challenging to narrow this selection to only five watches. If we look at everything the watch industry has released this year, we had to exclude watches that some editorial team members truly wanted to see included. But the votes are in, and here are our five favourite dive watches of the year.
Doxa SUB 300B Collection
While it’s almost impossible to deny the appeal of the classic SUB 300 with an orange dial (it can’t get more iconic than that), this year, the team at Doxa has decided to give its emblematic watch a more urban, less instrumental look. And just reading this might scare you. Don’t be; the new Doxa SUB 300β Collection is a stunner. While keeping traditions alive, with the classic shape of the collection, the double-scaled bezel, and all the dive specs you’ll ever need this new model adds more versatility and a touch of modernity and elegance. Equipped with a ceramic bezel and a textured dial, it doesn’t deny its origins but makes for an easier watch on a daily basis.
For more details about the Doxa SUB 300β Collection, please consult our hands-on article here.
Longines Legend Diver 39mm
A long-awaited smaller size for the brand’s iconic compressor-style dive watch, and best of all, it lacks a date function! This is it; everything is said. The new LLD is here for the win. While it retains the strong visual appeal of its predecessors, it is now housed in a smaller (39mm vs 42mm) but also far shorter case. Indeed, one of the issues with the Legend Diver has always been the length of its lugs, which has been corrected; the lugs now measure a far more acceptable 47mm. The construction with an internal rotating bezel has, of course, been kept, and a new blue dial joins the collection. Longines equips the watch with its powerful, anti-magnetic calibre L888.6, presented here in a no-date version. Indeed, not only has the LLD returned to reasonable proportions, but it also embraces the coveted early no-date style. The price, however, is on the rise…
For more details about the Longines Legend Diver 39mm, please consult our first-look article here.
Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200m Summer Blue
Probably the most polarizing dive watch of Omega, the Ploprof is a niche model that has always had a solid fan base. Somewhat neglected in the last few years, it’s back as part of the 75th anniversary Summer Blue collection (and more versions are likely to follow). The list of good news isn’t limited to its return. Indeed, the new generation Ploprof is actually the closest to the original version, with a comeback of the original proportions and the monobloc case construction. It’s made of high-end O-MegaSteel, comes with a stunning gradient blue dial and is powered by the calibre 8912, a no-date version of the Metas-certified calibre 8900. Worn on an Isofrane-like rubber strap, it truly brings back the 1970s look we always loved about this watch.
For more details about the Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200m Summer Blue, please consult our first-look article here.
Seiko Prospex 1965 Divers SJE093
What’s old is new again… We all know the idea. With its immense Prospex collection, Seiko successfully combines modernity and retro style in almost all of its watches. But this new SJE093 goes far beyond that line. It is a very close re-incarnation of the brand’s first-ever dive watch, the famed 62MAS. While it’s not the first time that Seiko has reintroduced this watch, the present version might be the closest to the original we’ve seen in recent years, including the fairly compact dimensions of the case. A few concessions to modernity have been made, including the use of a sapphire crystal or an upgraded 200m water-resistance. Inside is the slimline 6L37, a durable movement dedicated to dive watches. A real looker.
For more details about the Seiko Prospex 1965 Divers SJE093, please consult our introducing article here.
Tudor Black Bay 54
Black Bay, Black Bay 58… and now Black Bay 54. The brand’s emblematic retro-styled dive watch is becoming smaller and smaller. Following its already successful counterparts, the new BB54 is a real trip down memory lane. How good is it to see an actual dive watch (with all the specs you need) in a slim and compact case of only 37mm and barely above 11mm in thickness? Well, it’s very good indeed. And it doesn’t stop here, as the charm continues on the gilt-like domed dial, the classic aluminium bezel insert and the slim, old-school crown. The Black Bay 54 almost feels like opening the box of a new-old-stock vintage Submariner… only with the reassurance of a COSC-certified manufacture movement, a sapphire crystal and a bracelet with micro-adjustment… And a 5-year warranty. Considering everything you’re getting in return, even the price feels right.
For more details about the Tudor Black Bay 54, please consult our hands-on article here.