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Best Dive Watches for 2019 Revealed

Best Dive Watches for 2019

Scuba diving is testament to mankind’s ingenuity in overcoming natural barriers, and dive watches are one of the best examples this. Combining precise engineering and looks into an accessory for an activity that humans shouldn’t really be doing is why dive watches have a soft spot in our hearts here at WKOW. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a dive watch for that 2019 holiday, or potentially saving for that splurge watch, this guide will definitely point you in the right direction without getting your feet wet.

The main functions of a high-quality dive watch is to allow scuba divers to keep a record on the dive time, under pressure, by using a rotating (or analog) bezel that allows the wearer to pre-select a period of time up to 60 minutes. This allows the wearer to understand their dive time, and then calculate maximum dive time before hazardous gases build up in their blood system. Diving is by its a nature a risky sport, so the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your dive watch is going to give way mid-dive, leaving you more vulnerable than is necessary. This is where technical specifications and user reviews come into play.

The robustness of a watch will be tested underwater. Yes, you’ve got additional pressure from water above, but watches also get banged around a lot whilst diving. This can be from rocks, coral, your own tank/gear and even fine sea particles such as sand and seaweed can play havoc to the durability of a dive watch.

We all love a sexy design, but don’t just base your decision on looks. Instead, make sure the watch has the features you’re going to use the most. This doesn’t mean you need to go for the highest-price watch simply because it has the most features. If you aren’t going to use the feature, you’re basically adding extra expense for no benefit.

I personally perform a simple design when I’m diving because I don’t want to be wasting my dive time playing around with features, dials and buttons. This is time I can spend hanging out with my dorsal appendaged friends. That said, we’ve included a range of watches for different budgets, styles and preferences in the round up of our 7 favorite dive watches below:

Seiko Prospex Padi Solar

Depth Rating: 656 ft

Price: $353.00
Best for: Value conscious without compromising on quality

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

Depth Rating: 2000 ft
Price: Check on Amazon

Best for: Sticklers for precise chronometer movement and classic designs

Rolex Submariner

Depth Rating: 1000 ft
Price: $8,795.00

Best for: Wearers of iconic, durable and timeless dive accessories

 

1. Seiko Prospex Padi Solar

Depth Rating

656 ft

Case diameter

44 mm

Price

$

Overall rating

4.9

This is one of the most affordable watches on our list, but this doesn’t come at a big compromise on style or performance. The lower price point and more casual look of this watch has allowed it to attract the eye of many divers. The solar quartz movement with a long power reserve means this watch will keep you under the water with a minimum of maintenance and stress.

These Padi licensed watches are water resistant up to 200m (656 ft), made of stainless steel and the overall look of the watch is quite appealing with a smaller form factor than some of the more bulkier dive watches on the market.

The word Prospex implies professional specifications and these watches don’t disappoint the budget conscious diver that also needs precise engineering. With a lower price point, you’d be forgiven for splurging a little more on that new Go Pro you’ve been eyeing…

Buy Seiko Prospex Padi Solar on Amazon

 

2. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

Depth Rating

2000 ft

Case diameter

42 mm

Price

$$

Overall rating

4.8

The Omega Seamaster has experienced a resurgence in popularity ever since Pierce Brosnan wore a Seamaster Professional in Goldeneye . But even before this, the Omega Seamaster has been a long time favorite of water sport aficionados, with the rivalry between Omega and Rolex pushing advancements in underwater watch technology and design. The following video shows a detailed history of the Seamaster Planet Ocean, featuring the old and newer designs – it’s beautifully shot too!

Where this watch really departs from its predecessors is the technology and associated attention to detail. They’ve removed the satin aluminium bezel inserts and replaced with scratch resistant ceramic inserts. And, perhaps the biggest improvement to design is the use of liquid metal, rather than traditional casting and subsequent machining. This produces a very precise, strong and corrosion resistant watch.

This level of engineering finds it’s way throughout the entire watch, including the movement system.  Powered by the Omega 8500 caliber Co-Axial based automatic movement which has been widely regarded as a robust and precise movement system. This watch is a true competitor and alternative to the Rolex Submariner.

One of the main drawbacks of the new Planet Ocean’s technology is that they are a few millimeters thicker. This has left some enthusiasts shaking their head as one of the Seamaster’s long running standout trait’s has been it’s slim, elegant design. This watch has been known to actually feel thicker than it is.

The bold design with broad arrow hands and gloss dials, works effortlessly with the well proportioned, precise engineering contained within this iconic and practical watch that James Bond still wears to this day. This watch is definitely one to consider if you have the budget and want a stylish, practical and superbly engineered dive watch.

Buy Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean on Amazon

 

3. Tudor Pelagos Blue

Depth Rating

1650 ft

Case diameter

42 mm

Price

$$

Overall rating

4.8

Next on our list of best dive watches for 2019 is the Tudor Pelagos Titanium dive watch. Tudor is a sister company to Rolex – both are owned by the Hans Wildorf Foundation, so it’s no surprise that this watch follows in the footsteps of the Rolex Submariner. We’ve chosen to feature the blue version of the watch, as we’ve fallen in love with the vibrancy and deepness of this blue backing. Check out the brilliant blue color in the video below:

This Swiss made watch with automatic hand movement has been gaining in popularity with divers since the Pelagos’ rebirth in 2012. Because this watch is made of titanium, it is lighter than it’s stainless steel counterparts, which is a great feature if you plan on this watch being your everyday watch too. The titanium watch and bracelet have a brushed finished, which makes it stand out from a traditionally high-polished finish of a stainless steel and tends to hide scratches very well.

In 2015, Tudor introduced it’s own revamped movement system, the MT56 12 with a 70 hour power reserve. The saphire crystal is completely flat, eliminating any distortion that a raised crystal provides, which is a handy underwater feature. The build quality can be felt and heard in the click of the bezel as you move it.

The Tudor Pelagos is much more than a “cheaper” version of it’s big brother, Rolex. The titanium build provides a sophisticated , lightweight alternative to a Submariner or Planet Ocean and is very worthy of at least adding to your shortlist. At least try and check out the brilliant blue version of this watch as we’ve found it to be very striking, whilst remaining elegant for those dinner occasions.

Buy Tudor Pelagos Blue on Amazon

 

4. Rolex Submariner

Depth Rating

1000 ft

Case diameter

40 mm

Price

$$$

Overall rating

4.6

Rolex has followed diving technology ever since aqua lungs were invented and revolutionized the depths humans could explore. The Submariner was invented shortly after, with it’s iconic status cemented by Sean Connery wearing one in the first Bond film, Dr No.

There are two main versions of the Submariner; with and without a date plus magnifier. The non-date version costs about $1,000 less and is arguably the more popular of the two. It was also the original as the date version only came in later.

Featuring a 40mm wide case crafted from a single block of a corrosive-resistant 904L steel, and a turning bezel made from Cerachom (a type of ceramic) which makes it extremely resistant to scratching, fading and corrosion. The movement is controlled by the in-house Rolex Calibre 3130. An important visual and functional feature is the winding crown, which closes much like a submarine latch.

This video shows the beauty of the Submariner close up in all it’s beauty:

The Submariner isn’t just renowned by divers, or for precise engineering. It redefined what it meant to own a prestige watch. You certainly do pay a premium for the Rolex brand, but in return, you know you’re getting an incredibly engineered watch that will last for many years, is universally loved and admired. Indeed, a significant factor for many in purchasing this watch is for the status, announcing to the world that you’ve made it. Don’t let this fool you though, the Submariner is a serious dive watch and definitely worth considering.

Buy Rolex Submariner on Amazon

 

5. TAG Heuer Aquaracer

Depth Rating

1000 ft

Case diameter

41 mm

Price

$$

Overall rating

4.4

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer is another diving watch with an interesting history. The Aquaracer has evolved from the  Heuer 2000 which came out in 1982. Tag Heuer have used this time to add various features, whilst retaining the original elegance and style.

The 41 mm case features alternating polished and brushed stainless steel, bringing a casual elegance to this watch. The biggest change in recent years has been the addition of the ceramic bezel. Similar to Rolex’s Submariner and Omega’s Planet Ocean, the ceramic bezel allows the watch to take an absolute beating without scratching, fading or corroding. This is a massive feature for dive watches given that it’s very common to bang your hands on all sorts of rocks, corals, sand and other general underwater hazards whilst diving. But, the Aquaracer is considerably more affordable than a Submariner or Planet Ocean, making it a great entry-level dive watch for collectors and wearers.

The Aquaracer comes in both chronograph (three-counter calibre 16 movement) and automatic (Calibre 5) models. The chronograph models are generally around $1,000 more than the automatic models. Both models are quality, durable dive watches.

Check out this detailed review on the Aquaracer below – FWIW, I don’t think this watch deserves any hate!

What I like a lot about the Aquaracer is that it doesn’t try and be a Submariner clone. It is bold and unique in its own right. Go elsewhere for a Submariner clone. Choose a Tag Heuer Aquaracer if you want an extremely durable Swiss-engineered dive watch that has many of the features that rival its more expensive counterparts.

Buy TAG Heuer Aquaracer on Amazon

 

6. Oris Titanium Divers

Depth Rating

3280 ft

Case diameter

49 mm

Price

$$

Overall rating

4.5

Oris, a Swiss watchmaker that was once more widely known for it’s alarm clocks than watches has been producing high quality dive watches since the 2006 Carlos Coste Limited Edition Chronograph. We’ve chosen the titanium version of the Oris Diver collection because the watch is on the chunky side and we love how lightweight this watch is. It’s actually a little deceiving when you first pick it up – as given it’s size you’d expect it to be heavier.

The 49mm case is the largest in our roundup of favorite watches for 2019, so it’s definitely one you’d want to put on your wrist before buying. Other notable features are the ceramic unidirectional bezel which is great for resisting scratches and bumps, anti-reflective sapphire window and a date window at 6 O’clock. Aesthetically, the subtle waves behind the dial give it a smooth look against black face and the luminous indicators work well at night.

This watch definitely makes a statement, and whilst it may not have the same branding appeal as a Rolex or Omega, it is definitely one to look out for if you prefer slightly larger watches that won’t weigh you down. We’ve seen some good deals on these watches too, so don’t be afraid to shop around.

 

Buy Oris Titanium Divers on Amazon

 

7. Victorinox Dive Master 500

Depth Rating

1640 ft

Case diameter

43 mm

Price

$

Overall rating

4.4

Victorinox’s move into higher end watches has given consumers the option of a well engineered, durable, sporty watch at a price point which is more affordable to most of us. Indeed, this is one of the least expensive quartz based dive watches that is rated to 500m water resistance.

The simple, practical design performs very well under low light conditions, with bold, luminous hands, hour markers and graduations on the unidirectional stainless steel bezel. Bezel movement is met with solid, deep clicks – something that is often missing in less expensive dive watches. The date function features a magnified display for easy reading.

This watch should be on your radar if you want a practical dive watch rated to 500m, but aren’t prepared to fork out thousands more for brand or prestige appeal. It is a very good watch for the price and worthy of consideration.

Buy Victorinox Dive Master 500 on Amazon
 

What’s your pick for dive watches to consider for 2019? Feel like we’ve left out some worthy tool watches? Let us know in the comments below. Happy diving!

 

What type of watch did James Bond wear in Octopussy?

seiko-g757James Bond wears the Seiko G757 watch in Octopussy. James Bond became and instant hit on the big screen after Sean Connery’s portrayal in Ian Flemming’s “Dr. No”. Since then, many actors have taken up the mantle of the gentleman spy, including Roger Moore. Moore starred as a stylish, sharp, and dashing version of James Bond in 1983’s Octopussy. In the movie, Moore’s Bond is given a Seiko G757 by “Q”.

The Seiko that James is given in the movie looks exactly like the one Seiko actually made with one small exception: James’ watch doubled as an impossibly small TV. The real Seiko G757 is a classy watch reminiscent of early 80s super cars, like the Lamborghini. Stainless steel band with a mineral glass face. The watch is a classic piece that is no longer made by Seiko, and you’ll be hard pressed to find them in good condition.

Where can I buy a Seiko G757?

Well the watch itself is discontinued and the only place you can find them anymore is on eBay or yard and estate sales (if you’re lucky). But Casio has made a very similar watch that would serve you well: The Men’s A1200WHD.

While the watch isn’t very high end, it does have the same look and feel as the G757, and with a price of just $18.75, it is also rather affordable.

The watch itself is water resistant to 100 meters (about 330 feet) which, they claim, is suitable for swimming and snorkling, but I would caution against that. If price is an indicator of quality – and with watches it usually is – a $18.75 watch is likely not to be tested for its durability. This watch is probably fine to shower with, and maybe light swimming, but I wouldn’t take it into the ocean or submerge it in water for any lengthy period.

Another consideration for this watch is its quartz movement. A Quartz movement watch will always be more accurate than a self-winding watch, but will require you to change the battery out whenever it dies. They claim the watch as a 10 year battery, and while I have no experience with this particular watch or battery, I would like to see such a thing for myself.

All in all, the A1200WHD by Casio is a good substitute for the Seiko G757 as long as you aren’t expecting it to have a built in TV.