BEST DIVE WATCH UNDER 500 DOLLARS

top dive watches under 500

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

Design

4.7

Durability

4.9

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General Impression

With a sophisticated design, this stylish watch is constructed to high Japanese standards. It’s one of the best affordable dive watches for men and suitable for ambitious recreational diving. There’s no need to change the battery, as this dive watch recharges with the movement of your arm.

Specifications

BRAND: Seiko
MODEL: SKX007K
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 8.5 ounces
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, mineral crystal, rubber strap
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660ft (200m)

Standout Features

  • Water-resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters)
  • Stainless steel case for a rugged design
  • The best affordable dive watch for the quality offered
  • Sophisticated black dial, time and date functions
  • Powers automatically with the movement of your arm
BEST VALUE

automatic divers

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

Design

4.7

Durability

4.9

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General Impression

Handling depths of up to 1000 meters, this Neymar watch features luminous markers and hands for easy viewing underwater. All of the high-quality metal straps are designed to withstand underwater conditions, making this one of the best men’s dive watches available. In addition, there’s a professional helium valve at the nine o’clock position to handle external pressure reduction if necessary.

Specifications

BRAND: Neymar
MODE: 116613NR
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 8.8 ounces
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, sapphire crystal, stainless-steel strap
CASE DIAMETER: 44mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 3300ft (1000m)

Standout Features

  • Ultra-deep water resistance to 1000 meters
  • Ceramic rotating bezel and sophisticated sandwich dial
  • Helium escape valve at nine o’clock to resist heavy pressure while deep-sea diving
  • Classic watch design for diving or business

best mens dive watches under 500

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

Design

4.8

Durability

4.6

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General Impression

The 792 Series with an aquamarine blue face and stainless-steel casing, these sophisticated yet affordable dive watches are water-resistant to 200 meters. It’s equipped with a Swiss automatic, self-winding movement so you don’t have to constantly change the batteries. It also boasts higher than average BPH and scratch-resistant Krysterna crystal.

Specifications

BRAND: Stuhrling Original
MODEL: 4332867631
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 16 ounces
MOVEMENT: Swiss automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, Krysterna crystal, stainless-steel strap
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660ft (200m)

Standout Features

  • Scratch-resistant Krysterna crystal to withstand the pressures of diving.
  • Water-resistant to 200 meters for diving in safe recreational limits.
  • Higher than average BPH for greater accuracy in timekeeping
  • Attractive blue face and stainless-steel design for everyday wear
  • One of the best Swiss dive watches under 500 dollars

best tool watch under 500

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

Design

4.7

Durability

4.5

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General Impression

While it might be weighty, this affordable dive watch is packed with features and has capabilities that other dive watches under 500 dollars don’t. The Eco-Drive function uses natural light for power (so there’s no need to change the batteries) and the large dial enables easy viewing underwater.

Specifications

BRAND: Citizens
MODEL: BN0150-28E
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 15 ounces
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, mineral crystal, rubber strap
CASE DIAMETER: 48mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 1000ft (300m)

Standout Features

  • Water-resistant up to 1000 feet (300 meters) for technical diving
  • Constructed using the Eco-Drive patented technology to create one of the best diver watches under 500 dollars
  • Large luminous hands and markers to clearly see the hour
  • The battery is powered by natural light, so you don’t need to change it

best budget dive watch

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

Design

4.9

Durability

4.7

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General Impression

Exuding style and sophistication (as well as 500 meter water resistance), this is one of the best women’s dive watches under 500 dollars. It comprises a white dial and rose gold stainless steel features, not to mention a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window. Whether you’re diving at depth or after an eye-catching timepiece, this Victorinox dive watch delivers.

Specifications

BRAND: Victorinox
MODEL: 249057
SEX: Female
WEIGHT: N/A
MOVEMENT: quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, sapphire crystal, rubber strap
CASE DIAMETER: 43mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 1650ft (500m)

Standout Features

  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window
  • Elegant white face with rose gold features
  • Ultra-deep depth rating up to 500 meters.
  • Large face for easy viewing underwater

toughest watches under 500

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

Design

4.5

Durability

4.8

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General Impression

Ruggedly designed for all sorts of recreational pursuits, this Seiko dive watch comes from one of the world’s top dive watch brands. It features a scratch-resistant mineral crystal face and a comfortable silicone strap, as well as a unidirectional rotating bezel. It boasts a 10-month power reserve when fully charged and will recharge with the power of the sun.

Specifications

BRAND: Seiko
MODEL: SNE441
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 9.6 ounces
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, Hardlex mineral crystal, rubber strap
CASE DIAMETER: 44mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660ft (200m)

Standout Features

  • Wide black silicone strap that’s comfortable for prolonged wear
  • Easy-to-read dot hour markers and silver-tone luminous hands
  • Solid construction to withstand the rigors of recreational diving
  • Powered by light energy so there’s no need to change batteries

coolest dive watches

Overall Rating

4.5  /5

Design

4.3

Durability

4.8

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General Impression

Created by Luminox in conjunction with Chief Nick North from the Navy SEALs, these Swiss diver watches were first introduced in 1994. It’s since undergone numerous improvements and remains one of the best quartz dive watch models by Luminox on the market today. With scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a carbon-reinforced face, it’s durable enough to withstand the rough and tumble of elite military training.

Specifications

BRAND: Luminox
MODEL: XS.3051.BO.1
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 6.4 ounces
MOVEMENT: Swiss quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Carbon-reinforced case, mineral crystal, rubber strap
CASE DIAMETER: 45mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660ft (200m)

Standout Features

  • Water-resistant to 200 meters for diving within safe recreational limits
  • Ruggedly designed with a carbon-reinforced face and scratch-resistant mineral crystal
  • Black dial with luminous hands that are easily visible underwater
  • The date is displayed at the 3 o’clock position
  • Equipped with a high-end Swiss quartz movement

quartz diver watches

Overall Rating

4.8  /5

Design

4.7

Durability

4.9

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General Impression

Combining quality materials with outstanding performance, this deep water men’s dive watch is also a head-turner. It’s water-resistant up to 300 meters and chargers automatically on your movement or using the self-winding feature. It also boasts an automatic helium valve at 9H, which makes it one of the best dive watches under 500 in terms of performance.

Specifications

BRAND: Pantor
MODE: Sealion
SEX: Male
WEIGHT: 4 ounces
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz automatic/self-winding
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, sapphire glass, rubber strap
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 1000ft (300m)

Standout Features

  • Water-resistant to 300 meters for deep-water technical diving
  • Offers self-winding capabilities, with 21,600 vibrations per hour
  • Available in three different color options
  • Boasts virtually unbreakable sapphire glass
  • Comes with both a bracelet and rubber band so you can switch between the two

casio dive style stainless steel men's watch

Overall Rating

4.7  /5

Design

4.8

Durability

4.6

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General Impression

Lightweight and stylish, this unisex dive watch is packed with features that makes it one of the top dive watches under 500 dollars. Track the moon phase, figure out the current time around the globe and take advantage of the in-built stopwatch. It comes with a dive time and surface interval measurement function, as well as a solar-powered battery.

Specifications

BRAND: Casio
MODEL: GWF-1000-1JF
SEX: Unisex
WEIGHT: 4 ounces
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, sapphire cover glass, plastic strap
CASE DIAMETER: 53mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660ft (200m)

Standout Features

  • Water-resistant up to 200 meters for diving within safe recreational limits
  • Runs on tough solar power so no need to replace the batteries
  • Stylish design that stands out
  • Includes moon date, a tide graph and world time
  • One of the most popular automatic dive watches under 500

best inexpensive dive watches

Overall Rating

4.6  /5

Design

4.5

Durability

4.7

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General Impression

One of the best automatic dive watches under 500 dollars, this unique blue and red model was created to celebrate Seiko’s newly established relationship with PADI. It combines Seiko’s watch-making expertise with sought-after diver features endorsed by the PADI brand. Aside from a date display at the three o’clock position, it boasts luminous hands and markers that are easily visible underwater.

Specifications

BRAND: Seiko
MODEL: UPC
SEX: Unisex
WEIGHT: N/A
MOVEMENT: Japanese quartz automatic
MATERIALS: Stainless-steel case, Hardlex mineral crystal, plastic strap
CASE DIAMETER: 47mm
WATER RESISTANT DEPTH: 660ft (200m)

Standout Features

  • Water-resistant to 200 meters for diving within PADI’s recreational dive limits
  • Luminous hands and markers for ease of visibility in low-light conditions
  • A large case that replicates the look and feel of a dive computer
  • Endorsed by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors

What is a dive watch?

A dive watch is any watch that’s waterproof enough to withstand the pressures of being at the depths experienced by divers. A watch identified as being “waterproof” might not always be safe to use at depth, so always check the manual or the depth rating first.

While many watchmakers will label a watch as designed for diving, not all will meet international standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has outlined several requirements for what constitutes an actual dive watch. These include having:

  • A unidirectional bezel
  • Clearly distinguishable minute markings
  • Easy-to-read when positioned 10 inches from your face in the dark
  • Operates in the dark (luminous markers/minute hands)
  • Magnetic resistance
  • Shock resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Solid strap/band
  • Water resistance

Be mindful of the fact that not all dive watches have a diver’s ISO rating. It is expensive for manufacturers to conduct these tests. So, you can find high-quality, budget dive watches that will withstand years of diving that DON’T have an ISO rating.

Maximum depth

An essential feature to consider when shopping for diving watches is depth rating. This details how deep you can dive safely, without running the risk of damaging your diver watch. Look for a depth rating of at least 100 meters (300 feet), even though you’ll probably never dive this deep. It will ensure your diver’s watch can withstand the pressure you might encounter irrespective of the depth you dive.

Water resistance

Sometimes dive watch manufacturers will talk about water resistance, which is directly related to the maximum depth they can go. So, if dive watches have a water resistance of 100 meters, they can descend to that maximum depth, without running the risk of being damaged. Once you go deeper, the manufacturer can’t guarantee that it will maintain its water resistance (and any warranties will likely become nullified).

There are watches labeled as having a water resistance of 100 meters or 200 meters, yet they are not suitable for diving. There are also dive watches with a water resistance of 100 meters or 200 meters, specifically approved for scuba diving. Check the product information carefully and study the fine print to ensure the watch is suitable for scuba diving.

Size

Dive watches come in a variety of sizes, which will appeal to different people depending on their preferences. If you’ve got small wrists, you’ll probably want a more modest dive watch face so that it fits comfortably. But if you’re happy to wear a larger dive watch, it will have more room for advanced mechanisms and will be easier to read underwater. Most sub watches will come with straps that can be adjusted to fit all wrist sizes.

Movement

Dive watches are available with two types of movement – quartz and mechanical. Quartz movements use a battery and tend to be the most affordable dive watches on the market. However, you may need to replace the batteries over time. Mechanical watches use a clockwork mechanism and are driven by a mainspring that can be hand-wound periodically.

Depth gauge

Some dive watches also come with a depth gauge that usually sits between the hands of the watch and the time numerals. Most will feature two hands – one for the current depth you’re diving at and one for the deepest depth you’ve reached on that dive.

Analog vs. Digital

Analog watches feature a dial with hands while digital watches have a display screen. Some dive watches will be analog-digital, with both features on the same dial.

Parts of a dive watch

Bezel

A bezel is a circular rim around the face of the watch. It is either stationary or can rotate unidirectionally or bidirectionally. The best dive watches have unidirectional rotating bezels that can be used to mark elapsed bottom time. As a result, you can safely plan your dive time and ascent to the surface.

Lume

Lume is a short-hand term for the “luminous phosphorescent glowing solution” that is a feature of all dive watches. It allows you to read the dial, even in the dark. Lume is useful whether you’re diving at a depth where light doesn’t penetrate, in low-lit caves and caverns or night diving. Dive watches will have varying levels of brightness on their displays. So, consider the lume when purchasing a dive watch if you’re doing a lot of low-light diving.

Straps

All dive watches come with a band or strap that is used to fasten the watch to your wrist. You can find rubber, stainless steel, and titanium bands, which will appeal to different people for their style and comfort. Rubber bands are often a feature of more affordable dive watches. They can contract and expand to different wrist sizes while being durable and flexible. You can also find stainless steel or titanium diving watches, with the latter being lighter and hypoallergenic. Titanium straps feature on some of the top dive watches but tend to be found more commonly on men’s dive watches than on women’s watches.

What is a diver watch?

A diver watch is a waterproof watch that can withstand the pressures of being at depth while scuba diving. It’s essential to keep in mind that not all “waterproof” watches are designed to be worn while scuba diving. Also, not all watches labeled as “diving watches” will withstand the depths frequently encountered by divers. Carefully read the product description and fine print before purchasing a dive watch to make sure it is compatible with your recreational dive limits.

How to use a dive watch?

If you’re using a dive watch to keep track of the time you’ve spent underwater, set the bezel’s zero marker opposite the minute hand. As time passes, you can read the elapsed time on the bezel, without having to do any calculations. If your dive watch has a countdown scale (60-0), you should rotate the bezel so that your planned bottom time is opposite the minute hand. Once the minute hand reaches zero on that scale, your bottom time is up, and you should start your ascent.

When to wear a dive watch?

A dive watch can be worn as an everyday wristwatch, as well as underwater when diving. If you already dive with a dive computer, then you don’t need to wear a dive watch as well, although it can function as a good backup. Some dress dive watches are also designed to be worn as formal accessories for business or pleasure.

How to choose a dive watch?

The best dive watch for you will depend on the type of diving you’re doing and your individual style preferences. If you’re diving below recreational limits, then you’ll want a dive watch with a higher water resistance rating. However, if you’re only diving to a maximum depth of 30 or 40 meters, then there’s no need to invest in a dive watch with a high water resistance rating. The added expense would be tough to justify. The size and features of the watch face, as well as its band type, may also influence your decision.

What are the best divers’ watches?

The best diving watches are those that meet the ISO requirements for a dive watch, although not necessarily with an ISO rating. They are made from high-quality materials that can withstand the pressures of being at depth and the constant immersion in water. The best diver watch will also have a unidirectional bezel that can be used to track bottom time to ensure safe diving within no-decompression limits.

What is the deepest dive watch?

Currently marketed as the world’s deepest dive watch is the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional by Omega. It was worn by adventurer Victor Vescovo when his submersible Limiting Factor reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench in early 2019. At 10, 928 meters, he set a new world record, with his Omega watch coming along for the ride!

What is the difference between a dive and an aviation watch?

Dive watches are built to withstand being regularly submerged up to 300 meters in-depth and at a pressure of up to 30 bars. They come with unidirectional rotating bezels and large dials with luminous numbers that can easily be read in dark conditions.

On the other hand, aviation watches often come with a slide rule bezel that assists in performing arithmetic or conversions. They can be used to figure out if you have enough fuel to make it to your destination. Other features of aviation or pilot watches include chronographs, tachymeters, and world time functions.

How to use the bezel on a dive watch?

The bezel on a dive watch can be used to figure out how much time you’ve spent underwater, so you know when to begin your ascent. If your dive watch uses a count-up scale (0-60), simply set the bezel’s zero marker opposite the minute hand. Then as time passes, you can easily read the elapsed time on the bezel, without having to do any calculations.

On the other hand, if your dive watch has a countdown scale (60-0), rotate the bezel so that your planned bottom time is opposite the minute hand. When the minute hand reaches zero, you know that your bottom time is up, and you need to start your ascent.

How to remove a dive watch bezel?

If you need to remove your dive watch bezel, lie the watch face-up on a soft cloth. Using a few strips of masking tape, place them beneath the bezel to prevent scratching the case. Slide a pocket knife blade under the bezel on top of the masking tape and rotate is slightly to pop the bezel off. While removing the bezel, be careful of the small spring that causes your bezel to click as it should remain in place.

When it’s time to replace the bezel, place it on top of the watch and push down on both sides until it clicks in place.

How to use a dive watch with a depth/time table?

Using a dive watch effectively requires you to understand how to read dive tables. First, select your planned dive depth, then your planned bottom time to make sure you’re within no-decompression limits. If you’re doing multiple dives, then you first need to select your surface time. Then slide your finger down to the bottom of the table to determine your new pressure group. This crossreference will consider your residual nitrogen levels. It can then be used to figure out how long you can spend underwater at your planned dive depth.

Based on these calculations, you can figure out how deep you can dive and set the bezel on your dive watch accordingly.

What is the best dive watch for under 500 dollars?

In our opinion, the best dive watch under 500 dollars is the Seiko SKX007K. It’s not only an affordable dive watch, but it comes with all the features you need for recreational diving. It recharges with the movement of your arm, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the battery, and it’s stylish enough for everyday wear.

Where to buy a dive watch?

Once you’ve done your research on the best dive watches under 500, there are various online platforms where you can purchase your preferred model. Amazon is one of the most convenient places for US buyers to buy dive watches, with similar platforms in Europe, the UK, Australia, and beyond. Alternatively, your local jeweler may stock boutique dive watches and big-name brand models.

REACH OUT

As always, we create our content with you, fellow divers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next dive is a great one!

Pippa Strickland

Pip is a product expert, a degreed environmental scientist, and an adventure-style traveler originally from Australia. Pip has been an SSI-certified Divemaster for over 5 years, during which time she’s worked with hundreds of certified divers. She’s dived widely throughout Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines and the Middle East, with a particular passion for night diving. When she’s not diving, her key interests include surfing, trekking and gardening in her ever-growing veggie patch.

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