Dive watches are some of the most popular models on the market and can be found in basically all price ranges. From accessible to high-end, there will be a watch for every need and all budgets. Still, the idea today was to list some of the best, coolest models presented recently at fair prices – which doesn’t mean these watches make concessions on their diving capacities. Knowing that the use of a mechanical watch when diving answers practical (backup to a dive computer) and slightly romantic needs, that’s where you can go accessible but also cool-looking, slightly vintage or simply original. Here are 8 dive watches priced under 2,000 euros, ready for the 2022 diving season.
Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage
Alpina has been providing rugged tool watches for almost 140 years now, but only entered the race for the dive watch in the late 1960s. Nevertheless, the watch proposed by the brand back then was a typical Super-Compressor model with a case constructed by Ervin Piquerez SA (EPSA). In 2016, the brand brought the concept back to life with a first re-edition, and recently Alpina presented this Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage, a compressor-like watch with vintage appeal, classic design and an undeniable charm. This 42mm steel watch with an internal rotating bezel and a pair of crowns on the right side is fitted with a new gilt dial, and now a no-date display. And if it looks old-school, it remains a performing dive watch with 300m water-resistance… that will just need to be worn on the additional rubber strap (included) to make it more relevant underwater. And at EUR 1,495 with an automatic Sellita movement inside, it’s also quite attractive in terms of price.
Quick facts: 42mm stainless steel case – internal rotating bezel – screw-down crown – 300m water-resistant – black gilt dial – AL-520 calibre (Sellita automatic SW200) – brown calf leather and additional black rubber strap – EUR 1,495
Certina DS Super PH500M Sea Turtle
Now owned by the Swatch Group, Certina has made a name for itself with its Double Security or DS Concept, first incorporated inside a shock-resistant automatic 200m water-resistant watch in 1959. Since then, the brand has released multiple high-performance dive watches, including a 1960s model that was used in the Tektite I programme (1969-1970), the 1968 DS-2 Super PH500. Modelled after this important watch, the brand released a re-issue of this model last year, and recently a cool-looking blue edition made with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. This retro-styled, 43mm steel model, has a distinctive unidirectional rotating bezel, a direct nod to the 14-sided bezel of the 1960s diver. It’s fitted with a fully-graduated blue aluminium insert, a deep blue dial and orange accents for a cool, sporty look. The screw-down crown and caseback ensure a high water-resistance of 500m. Inside is the Powermatic 80 with extended power reserve and anti-magnetic Nivachron balance spring. It’s worn on a blue textile #tide ocean material strap, made from recovered plastics from the sea. And at EUR 895, I can hardly find anything to complain about… Such a great value for the money.
Quick facts: 43mm stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with blue aluminium insert – screw-down crown – 500m water-resistant – sun-brushed blue dial with orange accents – Powermatic 80 automatic – blue fabric made from #tide ocean material – EUR 895
Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200M NB6021
Known for its Promaster series of watches, Citizen is sort of unmistakable when it comes to accessible yet performing dive watches. Recently, the brand released the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200M NB6021, a simple, classic yet excellent little dive watch. Starting at EUR 650, it still offers plenty of cool features. It has a 41mm Super Titanium case with Duratect hardening, a glossy bezel insert, a decent mechanical movement and an overall cool retro-vibe. It comes with a black or blue dial and a rubber strap or titanium bracelet and is an ISO 6425 compliant 200m dive watch with all the necessary equipment. And to add to the background story, it’s actually modelled after Citizen’s Challenge Diver series released in 1977, and in particular, a watch that was discovered after 5 years underwater, covered in barnacles, but still in running condition… Quite a testimony of the brand’s overall quality!
Quick facts: 41mm Super titanium case – unidirectional bezel with black insert – screw-down crown – 200m water-resistant – glossy black dial (also available in blue) – Calibre 9051 automatic – black rubber bracelet with waffle-like pattern – ref. NB6021-17E – EUR 650
Dietrich SD-2 Skin Diver
If you’re someone who likes to think out of the box and wants to dive original, Dietrich has just released a watch for you, the new SD-2 Skin Diver. A new take on the design introduced last year with the SD-1 Skin Diver, that unique and very personal organic design, the brand now moves to more instrumental cues with the SD-2. It brings a rugged and tool-like vibe to this new design language, but without muting the overall aesthetics. This compact (38.5mm) steel watch is now fully matte and has a new bezel with an aluminium insert. It’s not the most performing of our selection, with a 150m water-resistance, but that will be more than sufficient for recreational dives. The new dials, black or blue, have a sandwich construction and those unique and very Dietrich-like set of hands. Inside is a Sellita SW200 automatic and the watches are worn on textured rubber straps. At USD 1,150, it packs a lot of features and great personality.
Quick facts: 38.5mm stainless steel case – unidirectional bezel with aluminium insert – screw-down crown – 150m water-resistant – matte black or blue dial – Sellita SW200 automatic – black or blue NBR rubber strap – USD 1,150
Doxa SUB 600T
An icon of the dive watch community, Doxa is mostly known for its SUB 300 collection. Last year, the brand looked further into its archives and reissued a typical 1980s model, with a blocky shape, the SUB 600T. The base for the 24 references available is an angular barrel-shaped block of stainless steel that is 40mm in diameter. This 600m diver has a typical Doxa bezel on top, with the US Navy no-decompression dive table. And the bezel’s insert can be chosen either in steel or in glossy black ceramic. The dial – which we clearly encourage to take in signature Professional Orange (you can’t beat an orange Dox’) has the distinctive shark-tooth markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock and blocky hands. Inside, it’s a classic Sellita SW 200-1 automatic that will give you the time. And you’ll also get the option between a steel bracelet or a colour-matched rubber strap… for a price starting at EUR 1,350. Not bad for a true deep diver.
Quick facts: 40mm stainless steel case – unidirectional No-Deco bezel in steel or ceramic – screw-down crown – 600m water-resistant – 6 dial colours available – Sellita SW200 Automatic – rubber strap or steel bracelet – from EUR 1,350
Edox Hydro-Sub Automatic Chronometer
Edox has a long history in the field of dive watches, with several important models in its archives. In recent years we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of the brand’s collections of divers through various Skydiver models in either a vintage or more contemporary design. A few months ago, that’s another historical watch that has been brought back to life, one of the best-known dive watch collections by Edox, the Hydro-Sub. The original 1960s model was impressive back then, with high water-resistance. And the new one not only keeps this alive but also revives a cool, original design with coloured accents, for the fun. The 42mm barrel-shaped steel case is topped by a ceramic bezel. The funky dial is available in black but also in this blue version with orange hands and markers… And it really looks cool. Inside is Sellita SW200 automatic that is Chronometer-certified by COSC, and it’s worn on a three-link stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp. All of that for EUR 1,790. Not bad!
Quick facts: 42mm stainless steel case – unidirectional ceramic bezel in blue – screw-down crown – 300m water-resistant – matte blue and orange dial – Sellita SW200 automatic – stainless steel bracelet – limited to 500 pieces – EUR 1,790
Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic
A few weeks ago, Hamilton re-launched one of its most powerful watches, the Khaki Navy Frogman. Usually, we tend to associate the brand with cool, vintage military-inspired watches. Well, this one isn’t such a watch. It’s a big and bold, ultra-robust dive watch made for adventures. Still, there are some elements that recall the military past of the brand, such as the canteen-style screw-down crown – which has been modernized. The rest of the watch has been drastically redesigned compared to the previous iterations, for a far stealthier look, with more modern attire. The watch is large, at 46mm in diameter, but also highly protected and WR to 300m with a helium valve. The new dials are in line with the new stealthy vibe, with matte surfaces. Inside, you’ll find the Powermatic 80 movement, with extended power reserve and Nivachron balance spring. Available in steel with either a bracelet or a rubber strap, the collection also includes a PVD black edition. And it’s available from EUR 1,175.
Quick facts: 46mm stainless steel case (possible PVD) – unidirectional bezel in steel – screw-down crown – 300m water-resistant – matte black dial – Powermatic 80 Automatic – rubber strap or steel bracelet – EUR 1,175
Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver 200m SPB317J1
Last but not least, the freshest watch from Seiko’s Prospex department, the new Automatic Diver 200m SPB317J1… Once again, the Japanese manufacturer looked at its archives and brings back to life the lesser-known successor to the 62MAS, with a new, shaped dive watch that also happens to compact, and the slimmest of the collection. The cushion-shaped case is 41mm in diameter, yet with short integrated lugs and a rather thin 12mm height. The whole design is cool, restrained and utilitarian, with good specs: sapphire crystal, matte aluminium bezel, crown at 4 and 200m water-resistance. Three versions are available, including a white dial and a black/gilt edition. The present SPB317J1 is the most versatile of the lot, with its matte black dial and silver-coloured markers. It’s also worn on a rubber strap, making it easier on the wrist. Inside is the 70h calibre 6R35 automatic. And while you’ll have to wait until July for its release, it could be yours for EUR 950.
Quick facts: 41mm stainless steel case – undirectional aluminium bezel – screw-down crown – 200m water-resistant – matte black dial – Calibre 6R35 automatic – rubber strap – EUR 950
You can read all our articles about dive watches here. Also, make sure to consult the underwater reviews of our resident diver and editor Derek here.