A good dive watch is a virtual necessity whenever you find yourself getting wet. Whether you’re actually going diving, or simply want to lounge in the backyard pool, a good dive watch should be able to keep pace.
Not all dive watches are made equally, and not all dive watches need to be overbuilt deep-divers, either. As I curated the watches for this liset, I organized them based on water resistance ratings and then ranked them by price within their respective categories. This list will grow and evolve over time as new and notable divers get released.
I’ve been checking out a lot of dive watches lately as research for an upcoming dive watch article, so when Spinnaker reached out to us and asked if we wanted to review one, the timing couldn’t have been better. I received the Overboard early August and have given it plenty of wrist time since.
Compared to some of the other divers I’ve been wearing lately (the Scurfa Diver One and Hamilton Navy Sub Auto, for example), the Overboard is bigger and heavier at 46mm. The Overboard boasts 300m of water resistance, a sapphire-coated mineral crystal, and a helium escape valve.
Several weeks back a reader emailed me asking if I’d ever seen a watch from Scurfa Watches hands-on. Scurfa, a microbrand based out of the UK, is owned by Paul Scurfield. A North Sea pressure diver, Paul created Scurfa in order to build dive watches that gave divers high-end capability… but at an affordable price.
Scurfa is a two-person brand – my favorite kind of company – and so I decided to buy a Diver One Blue and get my feet wet. Let’s dive in.
Powered by an Eco-Drive quartz movement, and with styling only an underwater welder could love, the Promaster BJ8050-08E is one of the few watches I’ve come across where the photos do not at all demonstrate the entirety of it.
I have talked about Hamilton watches quite a lot on WYCA over the years because their mid-range price point puts them right in the upper-end of affordable for most people. “Watch people” might spend north of $1,500 on a watch without hesitation, but for most that’s simply a bit too much. $500 or $600, though? That’s more manageable.
Priced on the grey market in the $490 – $525 range, the Sub Auto is an affordable Swiss-made dive watch with an ETA 2824-2 in it. This is my favorite price range to shop in, and so I definitely appreciated a chance to assess the Sub Auto hands-on. Let’s check it out.
The MDV106-1AV is handsome for a diver, and it’s absolutely as capable as its deep-water aesthetic suggests. I had to do a double-take on it, actually, as I’d have no idea this wasn’t a $200+ watch if I hadn’t bought it myself on Amazon and paid $45 for it. With that in mind, let’s make some waves with the Casio’s most affordable and ubiquitous diver.
I’ve never been a fan of dive watches, but the looks of this Tissot are bested only by the automatic movement’s immense power reserve and accuracy. With this Seastar on your wrist you’ll enjoy 300m of water resistance, a screw down crown to keep everything air tight, and the usual appointments you’ve come to expect from a Tissot of this calibre.