While iconic watches like the Rolex Submariner or the Omega Seamaster have set the standards as some of the best dive watches, most of our readers would not actually spend that much on a watch.
The good news is that there are plenty of good quality, affordable dive watches to choose from. We’ve narrowed down the options to include watches from Japanese brands, Seiko and Citizen, two of the most prominent brands when it comes to budget-friendly diver’s watches. All of the watches below are waterproof rated to 200M or better.
We also found a few Swiss-made dive watches that came in within our budget. So here is a closer look at our list of best dive watches under $500.
(Last Updated: September 2021, all these watches were selling for $500 or less. Prices may have fluctuated since then, possibly pushing them over the original budget. We’ve also included watches at the lower range for decent dive watches to provide affordable options for everyone’s budget).
- 1 Best Dive Watches Under $500
- 1.1 Casio 200M Duro Dive Watch (MDV106-1AV)
- 1.2 Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver (BN0150-28E)
- 1.3 Orient Men’s ‘MAKO II’
- 1.4 Seiko Men’s Automatic Diver (SKX007K)
- 1.5 Bulova Special Edition Oceanographer Automatic (96B322)
- 1.6 Tissot mens Seastar 660/1000 Dive Watch (T1204171104100)
- 1.7 Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Twin Sensor (GG-1000)
- 1.8 Victorinox Men’s I.N.O.X Professional Diver (241782)
- 1.9 Luminox Men’s Original Navy SEAL (XS.3001)
- 1.10 G-Shock Frogman (GWF1000B)
- 1.11 Orient Men’s Mako XL Diver’s Watch (FEM75004B9)
- 1.12 Seiko Men’s Prospex Automatic PADI Edition (SRPA21J1)
- 1.13 Orient Men’s Ray II (FAA02005D9)
- 1.14 Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron (BN5058-07E)
- 1.15 Glycine Combat Sub Automatic Diver (GL0273)
- 2 Buying Dive Watches: What To Look For
Best Dive Watches Under $500
Casio 200M Duro Dive Watch (MDV106-1AV)
The Casio 200M Duro dive watch features a relatively solid and straightforward build. Casio focuses more on functionality than bells and whistles, making the Duro Dive a fantastic entry-level choice for sea-lovers.
The black and white aesthetic is not only easy on the eyes; it is practical as well. Casio designed the Duro Dive to be as easy to read as possible, both in the day and nighttime settings. The black resin band provides that extra grip and comfort in both land and underwater.
The black dial features bold and luminous indices along with three analog arrow hands. There is also a date display neatly located beside the three o’clock marker. Other notable features of the case include:
- The diver-inspired anti-reverse bezel.
- A mineral crystal window.
- Water resistance of up to 200-meters.
Underneath the robust 44mm stainless steel case is a Japanese quartz movement to provide it with excellent reliability and accuracy at all times.
The Casio 200M Duro Dive excels as an affordable and highly reliable dive watch. The design of this timepiece is clean, professional, and has a sporty charm. The Casio 200M Duro Dive certainly offers an outstanding balance in performance and quality.
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver (BN0150-28E)
Designed with diving functionality and a minimalist aesthetic, the Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver BN0150-28E is perfect for underwater adventures and for matching with your casual attire for a sleek look.
It’s complete with the 200-meter water resistance, unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position, large and luminescent hands and hour markers, screw-down crown, screw-down case back, and polyurethane strap—altogether, those features make it a quintessential diver’s watch.
Apart from its excellent features for diving, it has more great features in store. As this Japanese quartz watch comes from the Eco-Drive series, Citizen’s series that is powered with solar energy, a technology that they have pioneered, this watch can convert any light source, whether natural or artificial, into power.
An additional handy feature it has is its date display at the 5 o’clock position. The mineral crystal for its dial window gives an unimpeded view of the dial, free from glares, as it is anti-reflective and also prevents scratches from getting on its surface, as it is a durable material that’s tough to scratch.
Orient Men’s ‘MAKO II’
A classic dive watch that you can bet will consistently deliver is the Orient MAKO series. Specifically, this entry is the second iteration, the Orient MAKO II.
If you have an idea in your head as to what a traditional dive watch should look like, the chances are that you are thinking of Orient’s MAKO watches.
The Orient Mako II features a sleek 41.5mm stainless steel case and comes with the standard 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel. In addition, mineral crystal glass helps provide the timepiece with more than adequate protection from scratches.
Over on the dial, we see that the MAKO II features a combination of slim indices and three Arabic numeral hour markers (6, 9, and 12). There is also a sleek-looking sword-style analog hand and a red-tipped second hand. There is a day and date display that also acts as the three o’clock hour marker. All essential components on the dial also have a luminous finish which improves visibility in the dark.
The main upgrade of the MAKO II from its predecessor is its movement. The MAKO II features the caliber F6922, which has manual hacking, something not present in its predecessor. Additionally, the F6922 also packs a power reserve of 40-hours.
Seiko Men’s Automatic Diver (SKX007K)
This watch is a lot similar to the aforementioned watch from Citizen, but it also has its own distinct features. Seiko and Citizen are, indeed, two of the most sought-after Japanese brands by divers, and some of their watches share similarities. But they also have their differences.
In plain sight, the Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver BN0150-28E above and this Seiko Men’s Automatic SKX007K may look almost identical with the simplistically chic design and the features for diving, such as the 200-meter water resistance; unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position; large and luminescent hands and hour markers; screw-down crown; and screw-down case back. But let us point out their differences.
While the Promaster Diver is a quartz watch that’s powered by light, as Citizen focuses only on manufacturing quartz watches, the SKX007K is an automatic watch powered by the movement of the wearer’s wrist. And as an automatic watch naturally has more mechanisms within it, the SKX007K is a bit thicker. This watch has approximately 40 hours of power reserve and 21 jewels.
Another difference is that this watch is made with a rubber strap instead of a polyurethane strap. Although both rubber and polyurethane make good materials for diving, since they both do not soak in water and you could just let dry, what sets them apart is that while rubber is more comfortable than polyurethane, polyurethane is stronger and more resilient to tears but is less comfortable compared to rubber. While you can still find this watch online, Seiko has stated that they have discontinued production. If you like this one but can’t find it in stock we have a list of SKX alternatives here.
Like the Promaster Diver, this watch also includes a date display but also displays the day of the week, which is not present in the Promaster Diver. And lastly, the dial window of this watch is made with Seiko’s trademark Hardlex crystal that is more scratch-resistant than mineral crystal.
Bulova Special Edition Oceanographer Automatic (96B322)
The Bulova Special-Edition Devil Diver is one serious diver’s timepiece that brings both style and substance to the table. This specific model we included in the list is the stunning silver, black, and green Special Edition Oceanographer Automatic model. Coming in with a robust 44mm stainless steel case and water resistance of up to 200-meters, the Bulova Devil Diver looks and acts the part of a great dive watch.
The green dial features round luminous hour markers and bold baton-style analog hands. There is also a date display located at the three o’clock position. A unidirectional rotating bezel is also present in the build of the case, along with a scratch-resistant mineral crystal window.
Within the Bulova Devil Diver Special Edition watch is a Myota Japan automatic self-winding movement with 21-jewels with a power reserve of 42-hours.
Tissot mens Seastar 660/1000 Dive Watch (T1204171104100)
As typically for diver’s watches, the Tissot Seastar 660/1000 is legible and minimalist in design, but it also comes with a pop of red in the ceramic top ring of its unidirectional rotating bezel and a nice design molded into its silicone strap, adding to its aesthetic. This watch is perfect for those looking for a diver’s watch that has an added oomph to its style.
For an optimal diving experience, along with its water-resistance of 30 bar (300 m / 1000 Feet) are other features that’ll come in handy for diving including a unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position; and luminescent hands and hour markers.
And of course, reinforcing its water resistance is its screw-down crown and screw-down case back. Apart from its diving functionality, this Swiss quartz watch also provides a chronograph and a date display at the 5 o’clock position.
Glares and scratches won’t impede the view of the watch’s clean face, as the dial window is made of anti-reflective; scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Twin Sensor (GG-1000)
Few can deliver that trifecta like Casio’s G-Shock series when it comes to watch toughness, reliability, and affordability. Unfortunately, G-Shock watches are always quite large, and the Mudmaster Twin Sensor is not about to break tradition. This timepiece measures 56.2mm in diameter, which makes it not the best choice for smaller wrists. That said, it piles on the functionalities to make up for the added trunk space.
Like all G-Shock watches, the Mudmaster Twin Sensor comes filled to the brim with features such as the standard countdown timer, alarms, full auto-calendar, 12/24-hour format, and low battery notification. In addition, the Twin Sensor design means that users also get a digital compass and thermometer.
Thanks to its complete resin build, the tank-like case might seem cumbersome, but it is pretty lightweight. Also, aside from having a solid 200-meter water resistance rating, this G-Shock watch is mud-resistant.
Victorinox Men’s I.N.O.X Professional Diver (241782)
The Victorinox Men’s I.N.O.X. Professional Diver 241782 is not your ordinary diver’s watch. It can resist anything from water, high pressure, vibrations, extreme temperatures, and even the weight of a 64-ton tank running over it.
Having met the rigorous NIHS 92-11 Swiss watchmaking standards for certified diver’s watches, including criteria, such as luminosity; shock-resistance; anti-magnetism; and the solidity of the strap and ability to withstand 130 diving-specific tests for resistance and functionality, this makes an exceptional diver’s watch.
Making up this tough and functional Swiss quartz watch is hypoallergenic stainless steel for its case and bracelet, as well as an anti-reflective; scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial window. In its case, it has a screw-down crown and screw-down case back.
Attached to its bracelet is a diving extension. In addition, an attachable bumper comes with the watch that can protect the case; keep the unidirectional rotating bezel intact; and magnify the dial during diving sessions.
Its dial has a clean minimalist design for legibility in a nice blue color. Placed on it are highly luminescent hands and hour markers for clear readability underwater, especially since you can go deep depths with this watch, as it’s water-resistant to 200 meters. It also comes with a date display between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions.
Extreme resilience and functionality are what Luminox is all about. Since 1989, the company has been providing the toughest watches in the market along with its proprietary light technology that can last up to 25 years and allows visibility at any condition without the need of an external light source or a push of a button, hence their brand name.
Not only has the watch brand been used by military and law enforcement groups, but it has also become all the rage for outdoorsy; sporty, and active persons for the quality it never fails to deliver.
Once again, Luminox delivers its trademark quality in the Original Navy SEAL XS.3001, which is why we have considered it as one of the best dive watches.
This durable Swiss quartz watch is composed of a carbon-reinforced polycarbonate case with a double-security gasket crown and a screw-down case back, mineral crystal dial window, and rubber strap. It’s water-resistant to 200-meters and provides a carbon-reinforced unidirectional rotating bezel making it perfect for diving. An additional feature is its date display at the 3 o’clock position.
G-Shock Frogman (GWF1000B)
The G-Shock Frogman series is the dive watch entry of Casio’s popular tough-as-nails watch line – and it definitely lives up to its name. The G-Shock Frogman is designed for diving, specifically. While it has the standard 200-meter water resistance that all other G-Shock watches have, it is the only G-Shock series with an ISO certification. This means that the G-Shock Frogman model is designed to withstand the pressure and challenges that come with diving underwater.
To achieve this ISO certification, one of the most visible inclusion into its design is the use of a screw-lock back case and a robust stainless-steel body. To help enhance its dive watch capabilities, Casio managed to pack the GWF1000B model with some excellent features. For one, the GWF1000B is equipped with a depth meter to give users the ability to track their dive. We also liked the built-in compass that has a bearing sensor, tide graph, moon data, automatic horizon compensation, and thermometer.
Of course, this isn’t a G-Shock watch without its signature features such as the multi-band 6 atomic timekeeping, stopwatch, countdown timer, super illuminator with afterglow, auto-calendar, different time zones, and alarm. Take note though that the Frogman GWF1000B model features a 59mm diameter case, this is definitely a large wristwatch that might not jive well with those with smaller wrists.
If you like the look and features of this watch but aren’t convinced, see our list of top G-Shock dive watches here.
Orient Men’s Mako XL Diver’s Watch (FEM75004B9)
Diver’s watches are, as a matter of fact, typically large, which makes for easy readability. And due to popular demand for a larger Orient Mako from the community, a larger version of the watch they got, indeed, as then came the Orient Men’s Mako XL Diver’s Watch FEM75004B9 that’s wider by 3 mm and thicker by a third of a millimeter.
There was also a revamp in design with its larger bar hour markers, pear-shaped hour and minute hands, lollipop second hand, and a splash of color orange on its unidirectional rotating bezel. Furthermore, it maintains its 200-meter water resistance; screw-down crown; screw-down case back; and luminescence.
This Japanese automatic watch with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours and 21 jewels is made with a stainless steel case and bracelet along with a scratch-resistant mineral crystal dial window. A day of the week and date display is present at its 3 o’clock position.
Seiko Men’s Prospex Automatic PADI Edition (SRPA21J1)
The Seiko Men’s Prospex Automatic PADI Edition is a product of Seiko’s collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Its diving-specific features include its 200-meter water resistance, unidirectional rotating “Pepsi bezel” with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position, large and luminescent hands and hour markers, screw-down crown, and screw-down case back.
It’s a Japanese automatic watch with hand winding and hacking capabilities. Its movement consists of 24 jewels and has approximately 41 hours of power reserve. It also provides a day of the week and date display.
Stainless steel for the case and bracelet along with a tough Hardlex crystal dial window that’s scratch resistant for the dial window make up this watch. And it has a stunning combination of blue and red in its design.
Orient Men’s Ray II (FAA02005D9)
In Orient’s attempt to further enhance the Orient Ray, came the Ray II FAA02005D9 with improvements including the upgrade of the movement to caliber F6922; hand-winding capability; stop-seconds feature; 120-click unidirectional diving bezel; and strong luminescence.
Making it a conventional diver’s watch is its 200-meter water resistance backed by the screw-down crown and screw-down case back, unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position, and luminescent hands and hour markers.
Another useful feature it has is its day of the week and date display at the 3 o’clock position. This Japanese automatic watch has hand-winding and hacking capabilities. Approximately 40 hours is its power reserve. And it consists of 22 jewels.
It’s minimalist but rather stunning with the shades of blue that its sunray dial gives off. Enclosing its aesthetic dial is a scratch-resistant mineral crystal along with a stainless steel case that’s attached to a stainless steel bracelet.
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron (BN5058-07E)
With terrific features packed in a sleek and durable design that’s eco-friendly, the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron BN5058-07E is a superb timepiece perfect for a guy who’s always on the go, even when going off for diving.
Its water resistance to 200 meters makes it suitable for underwater adventures. And making it extra resilient to water are its screw-down crown and a screw-down case back. Its luminescent hands and hour markers help to read the time clearly underwater.
Other features of this Japanese quartz watch include an altimeter, bidirectional rotating compass bezel, and date display at the 3 o’clock position.
Another advantage of this watch is that’s made with Citizen’s solar technology as their eco-friendly approach to reduce the use of batteries that could be toxic to the environment. And to show its stored energy is its power reserve indicator.
It has a rugged construction composed of a black-ion plated bezel on its solid stainless steel case, scratch-resistant mineral crystal dial window that’s also anti-reflective, and a polyurethane strap.
Glycine Combat Sub Automatic Diver (GL0273)
The Glycine Combat Sub Automatic Diver is a stylish watch that could suit the taste of a diver who also wants something fashionable to match with his outfits, whether casual or even a suit.
This striking timepiece is tastefully designed with a stunning blue sunray dial with gold-tone hands and markers perfectly complemented by its yellow gold-tone unidirectional rotating bezel with a blue top ring on its silver-tone stainless steel case that’s attached to a stainless steel bracelet in tones of silver and yellow gold. A durable sapphire crystal dial window protects this watch from scratches.
As good as it looks, are its features for diving, such as its 200-meter water resistance; screw-down crown; screw-down case back; unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent pip at the 60-minute position; and luminescent hands and hour markers.
This watch runs with a 38-hour power reserve, 25-jewel Swiss automatic self-wind movement, and also provides a date display at the 3 o’clock position.
Buying Dive Watches: What To Look For
Even if you are not a professional diver or never even plan to dive, the iconic look of a divers watch and the ability to fully submerge them in water without damaging them make them some of the most popular watches on the market.
The key feature is, of course, the water resistance. For diving watches, you should look for one that is water-resistant to at least 200 meters (660 feet) or more. Another way to see if it’s good for diving is by checking if its IP Code is usually presented as IPX 8.
You may also see terms like ATM or BAR which are other ways to measure. However, for the sake of this article, you can rest assured that all the watches we’ve reviewed here have a rating of 200 meters or better.
Other necessary features include a screw-down crown and a screw-down case back for a tighter seal; a legible watch dial that’s luminous for clear visibility underwater; and most importantly, the unidirectional rotating bezel that allows a diver to keep track of the time spent underwater.
Diving is an enjoyable activity that also requires caution. So we understand how you can also be careful in choosing the best diver’s watch with the best bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve done some filtering to come up with a list of only the best.
But it really all comes down to your own preference, whether you opt for quartz, automatic, analog, digital, one with a rubber strap, one with a bracelet; or whatever. There are a variety of watches here, so you may find something that’s suitable for you. But rest assured, these watches, indeed, will serve their purpose.
Timing is definitely important when it comes to diving. Take it from the professional diver, Craig Mainprize, himself. So it’s essential to have with you a precise diver’s watch when going underwater.