As technology is always surprising more and more each day, you get to see more performance on so many levels, in so many life areas.
So, it should be no surprise to anyone that dive watches can do amazing things today. That is only if you know what their limitations used to be in the past and are surpassed today.
What makes a good dive watch? How to choose one? How deep can you take it? How much to pay for a dive watch? These are the questions you need to ask for yourself before going shopping.
It’s important to know if the dive watch is going to be your main source of timing or a secondary piece of gear for your diving hobby. When the dive watch is the primary source for your time, it’s essential that is also able to log your dives precisely. If you’d rather have a dive computer, it’s wiser to get a more basic, fairly priced dive watch.
No matter the choice you make, a redundant gear has to work as well as your primary equipment. And you also need to follow the regulations on a dive watch regarding the safety standards-yes, there is such thing.
Just because your budget is not over the sky, this doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on your dive watch. It still has to be able to take some minor accidents and take you as deep as you planned.
For instance, a 200meters depth dive watch is supposed also to take any minor incidents that might occur to you. And of course, there are also the dive watches that take you to 1000 m deep…but does your budget go that far?
Don’t get fooled by the “waterproof” watches as, even if they look like dive watches, they actually work better when snorkeling or doing some water sports that don’t really need a dive watch.
It’s good to take a look at the amount of atmospheric pressure on the dive watch, as this is a good detail revealing the quality of the dive watch. You may have seen it by now, it’s marked with ATM or with depth rating. It’s better to play it on the safe side and never go deeper than your dive watch is able to go.
Which details count the most?
Style shouldn’t matter that much when you get a dive watch, but there’s always some people who also care for the looks of their dive watch and a sporty look isn’t enough.
When you get a digital model which is in fact a self-contained dive computer, style is less important.
The reading on an analog dive watch is easier, due to the illumination feature. This type of watch also has bezels so that you note the elapsed time. You can only turn clockwise a unidirectional bezel. This feature is important in case of a bump: the watch keeps on going forward, minimizing the dive time and keeping you safe and sound. No matter how low you want to pay for your dive watch, look for a locked bezel all the time.
The luminescence of your watch is highly important also. You have to be able to read it clearly in the dark, at least 10in away. Some analog dive watches feature tritium which glows all the time in the dark.
For a good price though, you can find digital watches that use LED lights so you can see clearly in the dark.
All in all, style should be the last thing on your mind when you go shopping for a dive watch. Especially if your budget is tight.
Don’t despair if you see prices going through the roof, as they can even go into the few thousands of dollars.
Be practical when you get your dive watch and go for a not-so-complicated model in the beginning… what if you don’t actually like diving after a while?
You need to double check to see if the dive watch is indeed for diving. Put it on as its strap should be long enough to fit over your wetsuit or dry suit sleeve. You may want to get an extension strap for the watch.
And… don’t be shy to ask around for advice. Some divers on a forum may give you better tips than a salesman who’s never been underwater.
The Top 5 Cheap Dive Watches
1. Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Watch
The round watch from Citizen gives you reliability and confidence, for a fair price. The Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Watch with Blue PU Band has an analog display that is easy to read.
The round watch has unidirectional bezel and blue dial with date window at 4 o’clock. There are also luminous hands/hours markers that are useful.
The watch is made using Eco-Drive technology which means the watch is fueled by light and never needs a battery.
The watch has a 43 mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window. The Japanese quartz movement is with analog display.
The watch is comfortable to wear due to is molded polyurethane band with buckle closure. The strap is firm, yet flexible enough.
The watch is water resistant up to 200m (660ft) and is a great choice for marine professionals and avid surface water sportsmen and not scuba diving.
The fit and finish are great on the watch and the watch has a good, strong build.
Here are the most important pros:
- The watch is water resistant up to 200m deep
- The watch has an analog display
- The PU band is not only nice (blue color), but also pretty comfortable to wear
- The strap has a buckle for closure
As for the parts we like less, there are only few to mention:
- The watch is not the lightest watches out there
- The strap feels a bit stiff, according to some
- The second watch doesn’t align with the markers
But, the conclusion is that for the money you pay, you get a reliable, sturdy and pretty nice and elegant dive watch.
2. Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s 241431 Maverick Black Dial Stainless Steel Watch
When we talk about time, it seems that nobody knows better than the Swiss how to deal with it. The Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s 241431 Maverick Black Dial Stainless Steel Watch makes no exception and there are many great things related to it.
The round watch features corrugated dive-style bezel, luminous hands and date window at 6 o’clock.
When we talk about the extras, we need to mention that the watch has as additional functions three chronograph sub dials.
As we go farther with the details, we see a 43 mm stainless steel case The anti-reflective sapphire for the dial window is efficient and nice.
The Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s 241431 has quartz movement with analog display and a rubber bracelet that closes with a buckle. The bracelet has a nice feel and gives a snug fit.
As it is water resistant to 100m (330ft), the watch is the right choice for swimming and snorkeling, and not scuba diving.
The watch is beautiful, elegant and leaves a solid feel. It has a solid build and a good weight. It’s easy to operate it and the price is amazing for the quality you get.
Let’s underline the most important pros on our part:
- The round watch has corrugated dive-steel bezel and luminous hands
- The watch can take as deep as 330 ft. (100m), but not when scuba diving
- The watch has a 43 mm stainless steel case
- The display is analog
As much as we like the watch, there are some flaws to it and we need to mention it:
- It seems not all models have white numbers
- There is no illumination on the watch (the luminous hands are not enough)
- The rubber band is not durable
All in all, for a fair price, you get a sturdy, elegant, precise and reliable watch that can take you 330ft. underwater. Just as long you are not scuba diving.
3. Gosasa Tritium Luminous Men’s Quartz
The Gosasa Tritium Luminous Men’s Quartz is efficient for taking you underwater as it’s 200 M waterproof.
The watch is a deep sea dive military sports watch with a comfortable and cool rubber strap. We notice the Swiss Ronda army quartz watch movement and the high strength minerals lens.
The watch features tritium self-luminous constant glow for up 25 years so you can easily use the watch at night as there’s enough light on lit to see the display.
For the extras, we notice the date display, the 24 hours display, the countdown and the rotating watch circle- all useful and efficient.
The watch has analog display and a 44mm case. The rotating fine steel on the watch circle is a nice, elegant touch and the butterfly double snap used for the buckle adds up when it comes to the good things on the watch.
More important than anything else, the watch is able to safely take you up to 200meters depth.
Now, let’s highlight the pros:
- The watch has quartz movement and high strength mineral lens
- There are many nice features on the watch: the 24 hours display, the countdown, the rotating watch circle
- The watch features tritium which means for 25 years you are able to see the display in the night
- The watch is 200M waterproof
Along with the good things, come some that aren’t deal breakers, but bring some discomfort when we mention it:
- The band is a bit too short
- The band could be of better quality
- As the watch has push-in crown, some would have liked a screw in crown instead
When you check the price on the watch, you get amazed by the things it brings and the good performances and pay little attention to none to the minor issues.
4. Invicta Men’s 8926 Pro Diver Collection Automatic Watch
What’s great about the Invicta Men’s 8926 Pro Diver Collection Automatic Watch, is not that much its price, but the quality and good features it brings for the money you pay for it.
The round watch has Japanese automatic movement, with analog display. When we check on the features, we see the watch features fluted crown, date window, unidirectional bezel and luminous hands/markers.
The 40mm stainless steel case with the black mineral dial window give a nice, pretty elegant look to the watch. This appearance is completed with the stainless steel bracelet that has fold-over clasp with safety closure. If the stainless steel band doesn’t suit your likings, you may replace it with a leather strap.
The watch can take you, worries-free, up to 660ft (200m).
The watch has a good build and most of its feature give confidence on its performances. The fit, the finish and the design give a good, reliable watch.
Let’s now highlight the most important pros:
- The automatic round watch has analog display
- You never have to change the batteries on the watch…as there aren’t any
- The watch is 660ft. water resistant
- The watch has numerous extras that get you: date window, unidirectional bezel, luminous hands, fluted crown
As in almost all cases, we also need to talk about the cons. It’s not that we want to, but we need to:
- Sometimes the watch runs ahead
- The stainless steel strap is a bit noisy
- The glass face is sensitive to scratch
- The strap has poorly made links
But, as we don’t get to pay that much on the automatic Invicta 8926, we say we’re not buying a lemon with it as it’s reliable, durable and pretty accurate. Not to say 660 ft. water resistant.
5. Invicta Women’s Angel 14320
When a woman goes shopping for a watch, even if we talk about a dive watch, it’s almost certain that looks are important. In the case of the Invicta Women’s Angel 14320, it’s not only the 660ft. water resistance that impresses us, but also the nice, elegant appearance of the watch.
When we get to the details, we see that the round watch has corrugated dive-style bezel, luminous hands (both for minutes and hours), Roman numeral markers. The date window at 3 o’clock looks nice and it’s well placed.
The 40mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window means the watch is not too large for a woman’s hand and that it looks rather nice. The case completes with a stainless steel bracelet with fold-over clasp with safety closure.
As for the technical parts, we need to mention the Swiss quartz movement with analog display and the water resistance of the watch (up to 660ft./200m). The watch is a nice option for marine professionals, avid surface water fans, but it’s not suited for scuba diving.
Let’s put it all together and line down the main pros:
- The watch has a nice, elegant appearance
- The watch is 660ft. water resistant
- The watch has a stainless steel case and strap
- There are various, efficient features on the watch: luminous hands, Roman numeral markers, corrugated dive-style bezel, date window
Even though we really like the watch, there are some minor issues that count as cons:
- The clasp is not durable and may lose in time
- The strap is a bit too long
- You need to read the info to set the time right
When it comes down to it, the Invicta Women’s Angel 14320 is an elegant, nice looking dive watch that has useful features and some minor flaws to it.
Cheap Dive Watches for Sale
The Cressi Leonardo Scuba Dive Computer Wrist Watch is a complete RGBM dive computer that features air and nitrox modes and manages to be reliable, and nice looking at the same time.
The watch is very easy to use as it has a single button and is also very easy to read. The alarm is audible and precise. The digits are large and make the reading very easy.
The watch is not only functional, but also very nice looking. The design is well thought-out, without minimizing the nice appearance. The Cressi Leonardo is a great tool for the entry level divers. The interface helps you to program Air, Nitrox and Gauge modes the first time. The computer is compact and travel-friendly.
The watch comes with a battery life indicator and the special audible alarms informs you on critical information while diving. You can re-set the Cressi Leonardo after each use and the watch is a good option for rental departments.
There are many useful features on the watch. The back lit screen is a great when night diving, whereas the temperature info when diving and in the dive log is always helpful.
The watch uses replaceable battery. It’s small, lightweight and low priced.
Let’s highlight the main pros:
- The watch is small, lightweight and easy to use
- The watch is easy to read underwater, even at night
- The watch has a compact design and is highly functional
- The watch is low priced and is both functional and nice looking
As for the cons, the list is short:
- The backlight is not that strong
- There is no air integration on the watch
- The computer interface has a cheap feeling
All in all, for the money you pay, the dive watch is a functional, reliable tool for any beginner diver.
Good/Best Cheap Dive Watches
Very bright in the darkest area, the Luminox Sea Anu 4200 Black Dial Black Rubber Mens Watch 4221 is a great option when diving and is made in our USA.
The Luminox Sea Anu is a Navy Seal watch and is also rotating 1-year diver.
The watch has a rugged build and is as durable as it looks. The stainless steel bezel and case are able to take a hit and are ready for the heavy use. The night vision tubes make the watch very easy to read even when it’s very dark around you.
The watch has a scratch resistant sapphire and brushed stainless steel case that translate into durability. There are many functions on the watch: calendar date, date display, GMT. You can take the watch up to 200m depth.
The watch has a nice, comfortable feel on the hand, even though is on the heavy weight side. The bezel is smooth, and not lose and the screw down crown gives time and date accurately.
The screw-on case back is also a nice feature. The watch has a solid steel body and the rubber band is comfortable to wear.
The watch also looks very nice with its black color and grey accents. The orange-red second hand is a subtle detail and the Navy insignia on the back of the case gives the watch a special look.
Here is the list of the most important pros:
- The watch has a rugged construction and a solid body
- The watch is water resistant and comes with many functions
- The watch is very bright thanks to its night vision tubes
- The watch looks nice and performs great when diving
As for the cons, they are only a few:
- The watch is a bit heavy weight
- The rubber strap is kind of long
- The second strap loop slips down sometimes
Despite the minor cons, the watch is great to take in the darkest waters, when diving.
Best Cheap Dive Computer Watches
Featuring a very intuitive menu, the Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer is a reliable tool that you can take when diving.
The Cressi Giotto has a one-of-a-kind appearance with its yellow and black colors. It’s the first mixed gas drive computer designed-and-built by Cressi. It features 3 buttons with Air, Nitrox and gauge modes. The high definition screen features large numerical display and makes it easy to read. The dive computer watch is compact and very easy to travel with.
The watch comes with integrated RGBM factors for safe decompression calculations in repetitive multi-day dives and with mixtures. Software is able to take two different hyper-oxygenated mixtures and you can select it while diving.
If we go thru the technical details and features, we see that deep stop can be turned on or off and a protective replaceable display screen. The batteries are easy the replace and when it comes to planning, the decompression curve may scroll. You can switch the measurements units from Metric (meters and C), to Imperial (feet and F).
The dive computer watch also has visual and auditory alarms, graphic CNS oxygen toxicity indicator and a backlit display. The built-in calendar and clock are easy to use and the log book (70 hr. or 60 dives) complete with dive profile. You can save the history dive and also have a full reset when in need.
The computer dive watch has a PC/Mac interface with simulator and dive profile (optional).
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
- The computer dive watch is efficient and very well built
- It comes with air/ nitrox/gauge modes
- The computer dive watch is lightweight, has a compact shape and is very easy to travel with
- The screen is large and easy to read and there are 3 buttons for easier operation
As for the cons, here they are:
- The battery is a bit challenging to find
- The wrist strap is long
- The instructions are not very easy to understand
The cons are to minor to count, so the Cressi Gioto makes a great choice for improving your diving experiences.
Cheap Dive Watches with Depth Gauge
For the diver that wants a versatile tool that comes also with a depth gauge, but may be used in other outdoor adventures, the Suunto Core is a nice tool to have.
The Suunto Core has many attractive functions that are both reliable and useful in so many kind of situations. The Suunto Core has an altimeter, barometer, compass, sunrise/sunset functions also.
I the altimeter keeps tracks on your vertical movement, the barometer informs you on the air pressure, whereas the compass points you the way.
The Suunto Core comes with other useful functions. It has also a weather Trend graph and a functional storm alarm. The preset sunrise/sunset times are for more than 400 locations and keep you safe and help you plan your trips. The temperature function is also reliable and useful. The lock feature keeps the watch protected from the elements.
The design is nice and elegant and there are many options to choose from.
The depth meter makes the watch a great choice when diving as it shows both current and maximum depth reached while snorkeling diving.
The rugged stainless steel and the sapphire crystal glass make the watch durable and ready to take the heavy duty jobs. The aluminum case is both elegant and durable and the watch is lightweight.
The battery is easy to replace and the menu is multi lingual.
The menu is well organized and easy to navigate through. The watch comes also with date and time functions.
The short list of pros is:
- The Suunto Core features many functions: altimeter, barometer, depth gauge, compass, sunrise/sunset
- The storm alarm is functional
- The watch is highly versatile
- The watch has a rugged, yet elegant built
As for the cons, there are also some to mention:
- The compass needs to be calibrated from time to time
- The strap band is not as rugged as the watch
- The bezel scratches rather easy
- The alarm is not very loud
Despite the minor issues, the Suunto Core still manages to be a reliable and accurate watch with depth gauge function.
Cheap Luminox Dive Watches
The Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch has been rewarded for its long lifespan and illumination system and is a stainless steel watch that is both versatile and elegantly looking.
The watch has quartz movement and a case made of carbon reinforced PC. The case back comes with screws and the double-security gasket is efficient. The black dial and the rubber strap make the make good looking and ready to take the heavy use.
The watch is water resistant up to 200 m/660 ft./20atm and is a great choice for scuba diving.
The black-plates stainless steel watch case features a unidirectional rotating bezel with engraved 5-minute Arabic numerals in white and coin-edged details for better grip. The black dial features white Arabic numeral markers and a date function at 3 o’clock.
The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal has anti-reflective coating and the battery has a 4-years life.
The watch is very accurate and lightweight. It’s very easy to read in the dark and its low profile makes it comfortable to wear. The watch is rugged and may be used when diving, but also when wearing a suit.
Here are the most important pros:
- The watch has been rewarded for the illumination system and its durability
- You can take underwater the watch up to 660ft.
- The watch is lightweight and rugged
- The watch is versatile and accurate
Some things need to be improved, though:
- The strap is synthetic which is not very long lasting
- The Navy Seal propaganda is not very subtle
- The compass is not the best out there
Despite the minor issues, the Luminox 3001 is still one of the best Luminox watches out there.
Quality Cheap Dive Watch
Ready to take to the dim lit spaces and the big depths, the Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout Mens Watch 3051.BLACKOUT is a reliable option to consider when diving. The watch has Swiss quartz movement and comes with a long lasting mineral crystal that protects it from scratches.
The PC carbon reinforced case means the watch is a great choice for the heavy use. The watch is water resistant up to 660 ft. and the black rubber strap is both comfortable and nice looking. The unidirectional ratcheting black polymer bezel is reliable and efficient, whereas the black dial with luminous hands and black Arabic numeral hour markers is easy to read.
The watch features minute markers around the outer rim and a GMT scale. The date is shown at 3 o’clock position and case back is screw down black reinforced.
The watch has a sturdy construction and looks very nice. It’s rugged and can take a beating. The bezel is responsive and it’s very easy to use the standard crown.
Here are the main pros:
- The watch is rugged and prepared for the heavy use
- The watch is very bright and the dial is very easy to read
- You can take the watch up to 660ft. deep
- The watch looks nice and has a responsive bezel
When it comes to the cons, the list is very short:
- The glass fogs on the inside
- The rubber strap is not as rugged as the rest of the watch
Very bright, reliable and lightweight, the Luminox Navy is a reliable buy anytime.
Cheap Swiss Dive Watch
If you want the Swiss precision, but don’t want to spend too much for your new dive watch, the Stuhrling Original Men’s 417.03 Aquadiver Regatta Espora Swiss Quartz Date Stainless Steel Dive Watch is an option to consider.
The watch comes with logoed blue dial and magnified date window at 3 o’clock and unidirectional bezel. The 44 mm stainless steel case comes with a synthetic-sapphire dial window that is scratch resistant. The Swiss quartz movement has analog display. The watch is accurate and reliable in all kinds of situations.
The stainless link bracelet has fold over push-button clasp. The watch is easy to put on, looks nice and is comfortable to wear. As it’s water resistant, you can take the watch to 66ft deep.
The face of the watch looks amazing and is easy to read thanks to the many details. It doesn’t scratch and the watch feels hefty in the hand. The case is rugged and the bezel has a long lasting feeling. It’s easy to setup and to adjust the watch.
Here are the main pros:
- The watch is sturdy and precise
- The face comes with many details and makes the reading easy
- The watch doesn’t scratch easily
- The watch is comfortable to wear and has a hefty feel
On the other hand, there are only few cons:
- The watch is on the heavy weight side
- It’s a bit tricky to select the day
All in all, as it’s accurate and low priced for the high quality of the materials and workmanship, the watch may become your reliable tool when diving.