There are so many models, shapes, colors and styles these days when it comes to dive watches. Some are only advertised as especially designed for diving, when in fact they are not able to perform underwater, to say the least.
You find yourself in the situation when a watch, despite its classic appearance for diving, isn’t adjusted to take you at long depths. What to do now as you still want a dive watch that actually is for diving?
What makes a dive watch good?
There are some basic standards that a dive watch needs to accomplish and if some are general qualities, others relate to the personal preferences.
And, along with these basic features, there’s also the price that counts as you don’t want to go over a certain budget. This doesn’t mean you’re cheap, it only means you need to look more carefully to find that matches not only your wrist, but also your wallet.
The one thing a dive watch simply can’t do without is the water resistance. No dive watch is able to take underwater unless is waterproof.
A decent dive watch should be able to take you up to minimum 200m (660ft.). In order to be able to go this deep, the watch has to meet ISO-6425 specifications- a certified international standard for compliant dive watches. Any dive watch should be to take a pressure 25% higher that the stated depth. So, if a dive is supposed to go up to 200m, it should be able to perform in fact up too 250m.
In order to be able to go that deep, any dive watch should be greatly engineered. And, if you want your dive watch to go more than 1000m, it would need to come with thicker crystal, beefier case, Helium escape valves and so on.
The crown and case back are the most sensitive parts of the watch underwater, so you need to employ a screw down mechanism and get good gaskets to ensure a 100% water-tight seal. Before every diving, you should check that each pusher and crown are tightly screwed down for a better seal. Your dive watch should come with this feature. Some high end manufacturers employ sealing methods like double gaskets, cam locking mechanisms, but the screw down way is also reliable and popular.
A good dive watch should also come with a unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminous marker at 12 o’clock position. The bezel helps you measure elapsed time that is easily readable. The unidirectional bezel seeks that no dial accidentally moves backwards when you dive, giving you the feeling you have more time than in reality. Without this feature on your dive watch, you simply go to the surface earlier, which isn’t something to wish for considering your oxygen limitations.
If you dived before, you know that ocean isn’t quite that bright and the deeper you go, the darker it gets. So your dive watch has to be clear and easy to read in a blink of an eye. The hands, hour markers and dial face need to be large and clear, with big amounts of durable lumens.
As you take your dive watch underwater, it needs not only to be water resistance, but also corrosion resistant. The materials use on the dive watch should be easy to clean and able to take the sea salt buildup. A case made of high grade stainless steel or titanium is something you’d want on your dive watch. You can also go for ceramic and rubber, but stay away from plastics as it becomes fragile in time.
Some take their dive watch not only underwater, but also when running for errands in town. In this case, your dive watch should have a bracelet/strap that goes either way. Typically, you wear the dive watch over your wetsuit when diving, so you need a larger fit for the strap. The avid diver has actually a concealed extendable deployment clasp so that you can extend the bracelet as much as you need for a perfect fit. But, if metal bracelet is not your thing, some rubber or nylon straps go just as well.
No matter how many dive watch reviews you might read, there is always your sense of style that has the final word. Some go for statement dive watches, with big color contrast, whereas some like a subtle, functional and reliable dive watch.
And if your wallet is the one that has the final word, don’t panic as there are so many great dive watches under $500 that perform well and don’t look that bad either!
Top 7 dive watches under 500
For the very tight budget, the Casio Men’s MDV106-1AV 200M Duro Analog Watch, Black gets you by surprise with its quality and reliability.
Even though it’s imported, the watch is still a good quality dive watch that you can rely on in your diving adventures. The watch is water resistant up to 330ft. and has one-way rotating bezel which means you don’t need to worry about losing time and wasting the oxygen.
The screw-down crown and screw-lock back are great features that make the watch a great option when diving.
The mineral glass gives durability to the watch and the date display is easy to read even in dim lit areas. The simple 3-hand analog with date display helps with the easy reading. The resin band is comfortable to wear and lets you adjust the right fit. The watch is not too big or too small and has the right size for your diving needs. It’s rather lightweight also.
The watch has a good build and is simple, yet functional. The stainless steel case ensures its durability and the classic look is nice. It’s low priced, yet gives good performance. You don’t have any fogging experience with it and the watch is easy to read also underwater.
Keep in mind that in order for the watch to work, you need to pull out dial and push dial back in for units to work.
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
- The watch is water resistant up to330ft.
- The watch is reliable and functional
- The watch is durable and easy to read underwater
- There are good quality materials on the watch that has a classic, yet durable design
When it comes to the cons, we also have something to mention:
- The watch could be brighter under water
- The band is not as durable as the rest of the watch
But, for the little money you pay, you get a reliable, functional and pretty long lasting dive watch.
When you don’t want and can’t spend too much on your dive watch, a reliable and highly functional watch is the Pyle Waterproof Underwater Snorkeling & Diving Multi-Function Water Sport Wrist Watch. The watch comes with many functions and is a reliable little tool to get when diving.
The watch has a Dive Mode, Chronograph, Stopwatch, Water Temperature, Dive Depth & Duration.
The watch can take you up to 330ft. and is able to store up to 100 Dives. You can select sea or lake diving mode, current dive duration, depth and water temperature display.
The dive alarm lets you know when emerging faster than 6M/minute. The chronograph mode lets you set the stopwatch to display the current time, as well as elapsed time. The start, stop/pause buttons are functional and efficient.
The dive works well and has a nice style. It’s a tough watch that can take your diving experiences for quite some time. The interface is pretty intuitive and the watch is easy to operate, even though it comes with so many functions.
The watch is easy to read. The rubber band is comfortable and gives the right fit.
Let’s make a short list of pros:
- The watch comes with many useful functions
- The watch is water resistant up to 330ft.
- The rubber strap is comfortable and gives the right fit
- The watch is reliable and functional
As for the cons, the list is way shorter:
- The buttons are a bit too sensitive and you may hit them by accident
- The temperature gauge is not very accurate
Despite the minor issues, the watch is a good, reliable and pretty watch to have when diving.
The rugged analog watch Bulova Men’s 98B166 CATAMOUNT Strap Watch is both accurate and dependable when diving.
The watch has precise quartz movement and takes you as deep as 990ft. it’s a great choice when scuba diving to a depth of 100 ft. for up to two hours.
The durability of the watch is pretty good as the watch has a flat mineral crystal and a stainless steel case. The case is scratch resistant and so is the crystal. The watch has a good build and a rugged feel.
The rotating ratchet bezel ring and bezel ratchet lock take any worries about losing time when diving. The multiple-layer black dial is long lasting. The watch is easy to use and read thanks to the luminous markers and clear dial. The analog display is nice and clear. The red second hand is highly visible.
The watch comes with a calendar window and a Polyurethane strap. The strap is comfortable and gives just the right fit.
The watch has great finish and is very accurate.
Here are the most important pros:
- The watch is waterproof and goes up to 990ft.
- The dial is scratch resistant
- The analog watch comes with accurate quartz movement
- The watch is easy to use and read
As for the cons, there are only a few:
- The date window might be bigger
- The illumination needs to be better
- You need to change the battery once a year or so
Despite the cons, the Bulova 98B166 is a reliable, rugged watch that takes the deep waters.
Versatile and with many great features, the Suunto Core is the watch to take when diving. The functions are dependable and may be used in various situations.
The Suunto Core features an altimeter, compass, sunrise/sunset functions and also a barometer.
The altimeter informs you on the vertical movement, whereas the barometer tells you on the air pressure. And, if you feel lost, the compass is there to point your directions.
The Weather Trend graph is useful and so it is the storm alarm when on the ground. You can preset sunrise/sunset times for more than 400 locations and use the temperature functions when in need.
When it comes to protection against the elements, the watch is safely secured with the lock feature. The rugged stainless steel and the sapphire crystal glass give the watch durability and ability to take the heavy jobs. The aluminum case is not only long lasting, but also nice looking. The watch is lightweight and looks nice.
The watch takes depths up to 100ft. and is great for your diving experiences as it shows you not only the current, but also the maximum depth when diving.
It’s easy to replace the watch’s battery and the menu is multi lingual. There is also date and time functions.
Despite the many functions, the watch has a menu that is easy to navigate through.
Let’s highlight the most important pros:
- The watch is water resistant up to 100ft.
- The watch has many functions: altimeter, depth gauge, compass, barometer
- The watch is versatile and efficient above and under water
- The watch is durable and dependable
As for the cons, there are only a few:
- You need to calibrate the compass from time to time
- The strap is not as durable as the watch
- The alarm is a bit too quiet
But, as these cons are too minor to count, the Suunto Core is a great, versatile and highly functional watch to get for all your outdoors activities, not only for the underwater ones.
When you don’t want to get a regular, subtle dive watch and want to rather stand out with a bright, nice colored watch, the Seiko Men’s SKXA35 Stainless Steel Automatic Dive Watch is a great option to keep in mind.
The round watch comes with unidirectional bezel so you don’t get too late to surface and don’t have to worry about the oxygen run out.
The watch features day/date window at 3 o’clock and circular accent on second hand. The watch is easy to see in the dark due to its nice, bright shade of yellow. It’s also easy to read in most situations.
You don’t have to worry about the durability of the watch as it comes with a stainless steel case with Hardlex dial window.
The automatic movement on the watch makes it precise and is rather quiet. The analog display is classical and easy to read. The luminous hands help you read the watch in poorly lit areas (like inside the deep ocean).
The corrugated rubber band is long, comfortable and features a buckle for closing.
You can take the watch carefree up to 660ft. as it’s water resistant that much.
The watch is not only functional, but also has a great look.
Here are the main pros:
- The watch has analog display and is automatic
- The watch is water resistant up to 66ft
- The watch comes with a long, comfortable rubber strap
- The watch is easy to read even in the dark due to its luminous hands and yellow display
As for the cons, there are some of them also:
- The watch is a bit thick
- The watch could be bigger that this
- The durability may be questionable
All in all, for the money you pay, the watch is a great choice for your diving experience, in a great yellow style.
There are many good things related to the Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E Eco-Drive Professional Diver Black Sport Watch, but the most important things that stands out is its strong build.
The watch comes with an easy-to –read dial as the contrast on dial is very strong and efficient when underwater. Sure enough, the large luminous hands and hour markers do help on the easy reading.
The rotating bezel is efficient and the Eco Drive technology on the watch means the watch is fueled by light and never needs a battery.
The watch has a great build and the stainless steel case helps the watch to take the heavy use. The mineral dial window is also not very sensitive to heavy duty jobs.
The Japanese quartz movement is quiet and makes the watch accurate. The analog display supports an easy reading of the watch.
The rubber band comes with buckle closure and is easy to use. The strap extension is useful just as well.
You may take the watch up to 985 ft. with no worries.
The watch is large, though subtly designed.
The list of the most important pros is as follow:
- The watch is waterproof and takes depths up to 985ft.
- The watch has a strong build and takes the heavy use
- The watch is reliable and easy to read even under water
- The watch has unidirectional bezel
As for the cons, there aren’t many that count:
- The strap needs to be of better quality as it’s not that comfortable
- The bezel ring doesn’t come off
Despite the cons, the watch is still a good, long lasting, built like a tank watch to take under water.
if you only to go shopping once in a lifetime for your dive watch, the Seiko SRP777 Automatic Diver Black Rubber Strap 45mm Watch is a watch to keep in mind.
The automatic watch has a long lasting build and brings great accuracy and reliability to any avid diver.
The watch has day and date functions and takes you up to 650ft. deep.
The stainless steel case is durable and the watch can take the heavy use. The strap is made of silicone and is very comfortable to wear. The strap is also flexible and gives you the fit you want.
The watch comes with unidirectional function so there’s no way you lose some time when diving.
The watch has a good and clear display so it’s easy to use and read.
The lumen used for the watch makes the display very bright and the watch is easy to read even underwater.
The watch has a good weight and feels very comfortable on the hand. It’s very well made and is designed for the heavy duty use. additionally, it also looks very good.
Let’s sum it all up and pinpoint the main pros:
- The watch is durable and water resistant up to 650ft. deep
- The watch is easy to use and read even in dim lit spaces
- The strap is flexible and comfortable
- The watch is accurate and dependable
On the other hand, we need to mention the cons. Some mentioned some problems with the accuracy, but it wasn’t the case for us.
So, for us, the watch is a great option and we have not noticed any limits until now.
Best automatic dive watch under 500
If you are an avid diver and want a dive watch you can rely on, the Seiko Men’s SKX007K Diver’s Automatic Watch might be your next dive watch.
The watch comes with a high quality Japanese Automatic movement which means the watch is accurate and never loses time. Let’s not to mention you never need do worry about replacing its battery as it needs none. The watch actually powers automatically with the movement of your arm.
The case is made of stainless steel which gives you a long life span for the watch. The date-and-day functions are efficient and useful. The Harldex crystal takes the heavy use and the watch is designed to take the heavy duty experiences of the avid diver.
You can take the watch up to 660ft as the watch is water resistant.
The unidirectional function on the watch is useful when diving so no accidents may occur and the watch remains accurate.
The black dial and luminous feature make the watch very easy to read even in poorly lit areas. The analog dial is simple and easy to read.
The rubber strap is comfortable and has a nice feel to the hand.
Let’s highlight the main pros:
- The watch is water resistant up to 660ft.
- The watch takes the heavy use
- The stainless steel case and the Hardlex crystal are long lasting
- The watch is for the avid diver
When it comes to the cons, we don’t have many:
- It seems it’s challenging to stop the second hand
- The watch is non-hand winding, which is a big fuss for some
All in all, when looking for a good automatic dive watch, the Seiko SKX 007K is a great buy.
Best dive computer watch under 500
For the passionate diver that likes not only to go diving, but also to take his/her number one hobby to the next level, the Oceanic Geo 2.0 Air/Nitrox Computer Watch comes with most functions that a diver would want.
The Oceanic Geo 2.0 is powered by Oceanic’s Exclusive Dual Algorithm. The computer watch has 4 operating modes that you can choose from: watch (Alternate Time, Chrono, Daily Alarm, Countdown Timer), Norm (air and Nitrox), gauge (with run timer) and free (that records your calculations and lets you switch from NORM to Free).
The interface of the computer watch is not very complicated to use and the “step Back” feature helps you go forward and backward through menus and settings.
You can switch between up to 2 Nitrox mixes to 100% Oxygen without any restrictions.
The Oceanic Geo 2.0 comes with many useful features: stop times (displays minutes and seconds), deep stop with countdown timer (that may be turned on or off) and 2-minute countdown at half of your max depth when you go deeper than 80ft.
The single button access to “Last Dive” is efficient, and the computer watch also stores your date. It keeps your calculation until you replace the battery. The history mode includes number of dives, max depth, total dive hours, lowest temperature.
The computer dive watch comes with useful audible alarm and flashing LED light.
When we talk about the style of the watch, we need to mention the stainless steel accent ring and the nice color combination. The computer dive watch is versatile and may be used as a regular watch as it’s rather small and subtle.
The watch is comfortable to wear and comes with an extension strap to get the right fit. It’s lightweight and not difficult to use.
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
- The computer dive watch comes with 4 operating modes
- The watch is versatile and may be used as a regular watch
- The watch is comfortable and lightweight
- The functions are dependable and efficient
As for the cons, the list isn’t the shortest:
- The instructions are difficult to follow
- The interface is not very intuitive
- The computer dive watch doesn’t come with a USB cable
- The audible alarm is not very loud
- The computer dive watch doesn’t come with a compass
The cons are not deal breakers though and, for the money you pay, you still get a functional, versatile computer dive watch for even a professional use.
Best men dive watch under 500
One of the best men ‘dive watches out there is the Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s 241423 Dive Master 500 Orange Dial Watch.
The watch has quartz movement which means precision for a very long time.
The anti-reflective sapphire crystal means the watch is durable and is able to take the heavy use. The stainless steel case is also designed for the heavy use.
When it comes to diving, the watch is able to take you as far as you want, as it’s water-resistant to 1640ft.
The watch has a nice orange color and is highly visible in the dark. It has a great design and a rugged build. The analog display is nice and clear and the watch is easy to read.
The rubber band is flexible and gives a nice, comfortable fit.
The unidirectional function makes the watch reliable under water and you never loose time. When it comes to other functions, we also need to mention the chronograph, stopwatch, elapsed time recorder and data recorder.
The watch has a good weight and feels comfortable on the hand. The details, the style make the watch a great option for any man diver.
The list of pros is:
- The watch is water resistant up to 1640 ft.
- The watch has a great design and a rugged build
- There are many useful and efficient functions
- The watch has a good weight and a nice feel on the hand
The only thing we don’t really like about the watch is its user manual. As it’s international, it’s a bit challenging not to get lost inside.
For the quality, the build and the great look, the Victorinox Swiss 241423 may be a great gift for any man diver.
Best quartz dive watch under 500
The Citizen Men’s ‘Promaster Diver’ Quartz Stainless Steel and Polyurethane Diving Watch is a reliable quartz watch to take under water next time you go diving for several reasons.
The watch has a long lasting build and a classic design. It’s subtle and versatile and may also become you regular watch.
The most important feature of the watch is the Eco-Drive system, which means the watch is powered by light and you never need to worry about changing the battery, as it needs none.
The mineral crystal dial is able to take the heavy use and so does the stainless steel case.
The Japanese-quartz movement gives the watch precision for a long time.
The watch is water resistant to 660ft. and is very bright in the dark. The watch is simple, easy to use and read.
The Polyurethane strap is comfortable to wear and lets you find the perfect fit. The 4 o’clock crown feels nice to the hand also.
The bezel action is good and the watch is dependable.
Here are the most important pros:
- The watch is water resistant to 660ft.
- The watch comes with Japanese quartz movement
- The Eco-Drive system means the watch is powered by light and it never needs battery
- The watch is simple, yet efficient when diving
Along with the pros, come some cons:
- The mineral dial is not sapphire crystal, which is more durable
- The watch feels a bit heavy
All in all, the Citizen Promaster is a great Quartz dive watch for those who don’t want to worry about ever changing the battery.
Best Swiss dive watch under 500
When it comes to any kind of watch, we all know that no one does it better than the Swiss. So having to choose and present only one Swiss dive watch is a bit challenging, to say the least.
This time we talk about the Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s 241426 Dive Master 500 Black Ice Black Dial Watch that has a quartz movement so it’s precise and never loses time.
The watch has an antireflective sapphire crystal so the watch is made to last forever and ever. The stainless steel case is PVD-coated and gives durability to the watch and ability to take the heavy duty jobs. The bezel has engraved minute markings and Arabic numerals.
The dial is black and features luminous, silver colored, indices at every hour position. The date window is placed at 3 o’clock. The hour, minute and second hands are silver-toned and luminous for an easier reading even in the dark. The outside minute track and 24-hours’ time are also printed on the dial.
The rubber band is comfortable and has a buckle clasp for safe closure.
The watch is water resistant to 1640ft. So…it’s up to you how deep you go.
The watch has a strong build and is made to last.
Here are the most important pros:
- The watch is water resistant to 1640ft.
- The watch is very easy to read even under water thanks to the luminous hands
- The watch is durable and has a strong build
- The watch is comfortable to wear
On the other hand, there are some very small cons that we need to mention:
- The design crown needs improvement
- The watch is a bit on the heavy weight side
But, if your mind is set on a good, reliable, precise and long lasting Swiss dive watch, this is definitely a great choice.
Best Seiko Dive Watch under 500
The Swiss are not the only one to know about precision, and the Seiko sure makes a point. There are many dive watches out there from Seiko that are high quality and great performers, but the Seiko Men’s SKA413 “Adventure” Stainless Steel Kinetic Diver Watch caught our attention with its great built and useful features.
The stainless steel watch comes with a gear-shaped bezel, ribbed band and skeleton hands, which give it a nice appearance, but also durability.
The watch features an automatic kinetic movement and analog display. The watch is easy to read and use. The dial features minute markers, complementary watch hands and an efficient date calendar at 3 o’clock. The watch doesn’t need a battery and powers automatically with the movement of your arm.
The Hardlex crystal dial window is long lasting and the unidirectional bezel makes sure the watch never loses time.
The rubber strap is comfortable to wear and the buckle keeps safe and secure the watch on your hand.
The watch is water resistant to 660ft.
Let’s highlight the most important pros:
- The watch is accurate and sophisticated
- The watch is powered by kinetic movement so it never needs battery
- The watch is water resistant to 660ft
- The watch has a good, durable build
As for the cons, there are only some:
- The watch is a bit big
- The watch is too thick for some
Despite the minor issues, the Seiko SKA 413 is still a great watch to get from Seiko for your dive experiences.