Passionate divers always rely on quality equipment and sometimes, this equipment involves a good, resistant, water-proof watch. We should point out right from the start that having a water resistant watch isn’t the same as having a diving watch, not by a long shot. You see, even the strongest water resistant watches can break down when dealing with the water pressure that most divers face every time they dive.
There are two things to look for in a water resistant watch if you’re planning on taking it with you whenever you go diving – it has to be ISO6425 certified and it has to feature a?unidirectional bezel. Of course, a good diving watch should also have luminous dials and a resistance system against external shock, and you would do well to expect this from any high-quality diving watch that interests you.
Many watches are advertised as being ‘diver’ watches nowadays, yet few of them possess the quality, structure, and capabilities that a true diving watch should have. With so many watches to choose from, it’s easy to get distracted into overspending on an otherwise inadequate diving watch. This raises an important question: How much should you spend on a good diving watch? The answer is simple – around 500 US dollars.
5Hamilton Khaki King Scuba Watch
Hamilton Khaki King Scuba is among the few mechanical, automatic watches in this price range that has proven its worth time and time again. Capable of withstanding water pressure as deep as 100 m, it is a good choice for anybody who isn’t necessarily a deep diver. Due to its stainless steel band and its mechanical core, you can expect this particular watch to be quite rare thus hard to come by.
Pros: You would hardly think it was a diving watch judging by its stainless steel band and its mechanical nature, meaning that it is very aesthetically pleasing. Its automatic battery?system allows you to recharge the watch simply by moving your hand around.
Cons: It is only waterproof as long as you don’t dive deeper than 100 meters. Designed to look good rather than being overly practical, the Hamilton Khaki King Scuba Watch barely meets the ISO requirements of a diving watch. Also, due to its mechanical core, you might be forced to adjust it quite often.
4Seiko SKX779 “Black Monster”
Seiko’s SKX779 “Black Monster” diving watch is one of the best diving watches money can buy. Not necessarily because of its price but also because of the high-standard capabilities it features, capabilities that you aren’t likely to find within this price range. Waterproof until 200 meters deep, this mechanical, yet automatically rechargeable watch is truly in a league of its own.
Pros: Great price for such a high quality watch. The fact that it is a mechanical, automatic watch makes it a ‘must have’ among diving enthusiasts and not only. Equipped with an attractive stainless steel band and a black display, it is considered quite fashionable compared to standard diving watches.
Cons: It uses a Hardlex crystal rather than sapphire, taking away from the overall aesthetic value of the watch, although hardlex crystals give the watch a better shock resistance. Some people consider Seiko SKX779 “Black Monster” to be a bit chunky.
3Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E Eco-Drive Professional Diver
Movement: Eco Drive
Water Resistance: 300 m
Crystal: Japanese Crystal
Weight: 7.84 oz
Bezel: Stainless steel unidirectional
Battery Type: Eco Drive, fueled by light
Band: Rubber with buckle closure
We should start off by pointing out how affordable Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E is compared with other diving watches with similar capabilities. One of the things that make it stand out among the rest, however, is its Eco Drive function that feeds off natural light to recharge itself. This, however, can be seen both as a feature and a downside at the same time by some, given its nature as a diving watch.
Pros: The watch comes from a reputable brand and it features among others a diver extension watch band, an unidirectional bezel, good luminosity with a high contrast dial for underwater visibility and much more. Given its peculiar light powered battery, it requires virtually no charging whatsoever.
Cons: We should point out that Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E comes with a rubber band that has been known to break or rapidly deteriorate. Furthermore, sometimes despite the reputable brand, you might purchase the watch poorly packaged. Last but not least, this particular watch is quite heavy compared with other diving watches in the same price range.
2Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500
Another reputable brand, another high quality diving watch. While Victorinox makes a variety of dive watches that we could talk about, the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 is by far the most impressive of them all. Not only is it capable of withstanding a 500 meters deep water pressure, but it does so while being quite elegant and relatively pleasant to look at. Needless to say, it is among the best money can buy in this price range.
Pros: Like we already mentioned, you can dive 500 meters deep without any concerns for the watch’s security. Its black dial features luminous, silver-toned indices, perfect for deep dives or bad weather conditions. It also has to be noted that Victorinox is among the world’s best producers of diving watches, making it a tasteful addition to any diver’s inventory.
Cons: Despite weighting 7.1 oz, the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 sometimes feels much heavier. This is partly due to its chunky nature and because of its large rubber band. Another problem is the thickness, as many people who have bought it have complained about it being difficult to fit under a shirt with cuffs.
1Invicta Reserve Subaqua Venom 5727
Movement: Swiss Quartz
Water Resistance: 1000 m
Crystal: Flame Fusion
Weight: 15.84 oz
Bezel: Black ion plated stainless steel unidirectional
Battery Type: Standard
Band: Stainless steel
The high-performance, good-looking, yet rather heavy Invicta Reserve Subaqua Venom 5727 is without a doubt, THE best diving watch you can currently buy for less than $500. While as a company, Invicta is well-known for making fashionable, stylish watches, they did a particularly good job putting this one together. Incredibly resistant, you wouldn’t normally buy such a high quality diving watch for such a price.
Pros: Very stylish, easy to match with almost any vestimentary choice. It features a water resistance of 1000 meters, making it one of the strongest, most resistant diving watch currently on the market. It is very affordable given its features and you simply cannot find another diving watch in this price range that even comes close to its capabilities.
Cons: The Invicta Reserve Subaqua Venom 5727 is one of the heaviest diving watches on the market, the heaviest on our list by far. Invicta’s patented Flame Fusion uses a synthetic crystal similar to most mineral crystals. While it performs just as well as organic mineral crystals, some people might have a problem with it.