The Best Dive Watch For The Money For 2020

The Best Dive Watch For The Money For 2020

No outdoor adventurer can overemphasize the importance of having the best dive watch for the money when you are going diving. But at the same time, many people ask why they should buy a dive watch when they have a computer.

The answer is very simple. A dive watch is less bulky, it hardly fails and it is a good backup in case the computer fails. So either way that you look at it, having this watch on your person is a great plus. Similar to wearing a watch for telling time when you could just look at your smartphone, a diving watch lets you know the time that has elapsed under water. You will know when it is time to go back to the surface.

Because the best inexpensive dive watches come in all sizes, shapes and styles, it can be quite hard for you to choose the very best one, especially if it is your first time to buy one.

But not to worry, for in this post, I will show you how to choose the best digital dive watch for the money, or otherwise. No matter what your budget is, it can get you the best diving watch.

Best Dive Watch For The Money Reviews

Best dive watch under $500

Seiko 4R36 Men’s – Automatic Diver Watch

Seiko 4R36 Men’s Automatic Diver Watch

This watch is a Seiko! That is what endeared me to it when I first saw it. You see, Seiko is to watches what Coleman is to outdoor gear. This watch is not only very effective but it is a good looker as well. They do not make them any better than this!

The strap is silicone, therefore no allergies on your skin. Also, silicone can expand really well without breaking. The face of the watch is something to look at, you know, something that you will love having on your wrist.

The luminous hands means that you can read the watch even when in darkness. These hands will capture whatever little light is available and they will reflect it back, enabling you to know how much time you have left under water.

The one-way rotating bezel for the elapsed time will let you know when your time under water is up with just a glance.

I do really consider this as the best automatic dive watch under 500 because it is affordable, is self-winding and is water resistant for up to 200 meters. I have never dived any deeper than that actually, so I cannot ascertain whether it would resist water if someone goes deeper.

Thanks to the tightly screwed down case back, no water can get in and at the same time, the case keeps the interior of the watch protected from shock and impact.

With an analogue display, a stainless steel case and a black color, this watch looks like something that Q would make for James Bond, but hey, it lacks the weaponry. It is a modern watch, yet it has retained the best touches of a traditional holograph.

What I love about this watch

  • Made of stainless steel – Non-corrosive
  • Silicone band makes it light on the hand
  • Very reliable
  • Very accurate all the time
  • Self-winding means you cannot forget to rewind

What I don’t love about it

  • Loses time by 1.2 seconds a day


Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E – Best Dive Watch For The Money

Citizen Men's BJ8050 08E

This watch is made for the professional divers. It gives great value for money and if you take good care of it, you will have it for a long time. That is why it makes it to this list of the best diving watches 2018.

Being water resistant up to 300 meters/1000 feet makes it more preferable for divers who love taking to the greater depths, than the Seiko 4R36.

This watch is big and it was built to last. The sturdy and rugged nature of the band as well as the casing makes it not only good for adventure divers, but for commercial divers as well. It is the choice for many people who work in the ship yards.

The face is large. With luminous hands and markers, you can be able to see the elapsed diving time even in very low light. These markers and hands will remain luminous for a long time and even when you wake up in the morning, you will be able to read the time easily.

With the crown offset to the left, this gets the watch out of harm’s way if you get busy under the water. If you will be using tools in the water, this watch is going to stay out of harm’s way.

The watchband is made of rubber, and it is specifically made to last a long time on this watch. It is rugged, firm and steady and it will last a long time.

The casing is made of stainless steel, no surprise there as many other watchmakers have employed this material. It will not corrode and it is light. The band is secured by a metal buckle.

As a diver, one problem that I have had with clasp buckles is that they tend to make the watch dig in to your flesh. However, in the case of the Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E, the watch crown is set to the left side thereby making this watch very comfortable, with no risk of digging into your hand.

What I love about this watch

  • Rugged and sturdy build
  • One way bezel function
  • Highly luminous hands and markers
  • Very accurate  – up to 4 seconds in a month
  • Alerts me when charge level starts going down
  • Has a strap extender so you can wear it over your diving suit

What I don’t love about this watch

  • Changing the band is so hard and one has to buy adapters


Seiko SRP639K1 Men’s Prospex Automatic Diving Watch

Seiko SRP639K1 Men's Prospex

For less than $500, you can have this watch that gives great value for money. An analogue/mechanical dive watch has been built to last and serve the user for a long time. It has a water resistant of up to 200 meters/660 feet.

Like many of its Seiko counterparts, it comes with a tightly screwed back, brushed stainless steel casing and a black rubber band that makes the watch very friendly to the skin.

The luminous markers and hands are incredibly bright, thus allowing you to read the time even in the low-lit conditions. This is the best dive watch for the money because for a price of less than $500, it gives you almost the same features as the big boys in the industry.

With a 50-hour reserve for power, you can dive all you want and then recharge it later. You just have to keep it in the light to recharge. It is also more accurate than most of the automatic diving watches in the market, but some reviews say it is faster by up to 15 seconds every month. It will be hard to notice that though.

Compared to the big rugged Citizen BJ8050-08E, I would say this one is a mid-size watch which is not too big nor too small. It sits comfortably on your wrist and better yet, you can wind it by hand.

The bezel is one way, date and day window has been provided which greatly improves the look of this watch and makes it more functional as well. Being a Seiko and at the same time ISO Certified, this makes it one of the most sought after timepieces in the market.

I have a feeling I will keep mine as a souvenir when I am done with using it for diving. Such affordable masterpieces can be hard to come by at this price.

What I like about it

  • It is built to last
  • Highly accurate
  • Attractively designed and styled
  • Can change the band easily
  • Hand winding available
  • Charge lasts a long time

What I do not like about it

  • Rubber band looks a bit low quality


Best dive watches under $200

These are hard economic time, but that does not mean that you cannot have a great time diving. You just need to buy a dive watch rated as the best under $200.

Invicta Women’s 2961 Pro Diver – Best Womens Dive Watch

Invicta Women's 2961 Pro Diver

The diving watches industry, even in their thousands focus on the men more, forgetting that we have many women divers who look for a watch that is specifically made for the beautiful and nimble feminine wrists. Well, but there are a few, and this Invicta Women’s 2961 dive watch is a marvel to look at. Every beautiful woman should wear this incredible timepiece in the water.

When you wear this watch, you will feel that it is a bit heavy on the arm, you know, considering its small size. But not to worry because it comes with awesome quality and it is very sturdy. For example, it uses the Swiss Quartz movement and that alone should tell you that you will get good value for money.

The watch is a good looker too. Thanks to the two-tone case and a blue dial, large luminous markers for easy reading even in low light conditions, a high quality stainless steel bracelet and casing, it seems as if Invicta did not leave anything to chance when making this watch.

For the watch to laminate in water and low light, you should have exposed it to light for at least 15 minutes before diving. But that is the standard procedure for many watches. It is also water resistant for up to 330 feet or 100 meters. This therefore makes it only good for surface water sports and recreational diving.

Can we say that this is one of the best women’s watches under $500? Definitely we can, but the price is even much lower than you imagine.

What I love about this watch

  • The blue dial really pops out beautifully
  • It is durable
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Two tone color
  • Long lasting
  • Beautiful one way bezel

What I do not love about this watch

  • It uses battery
  • Not as luminous as I would like it to be


Luminox Men’s Navy SEAL 3051 EVO Dive Watch

Luminox Men's Navy SEAL 3051 EVO Dive Watch

I understand that Luminox is a well-known name when it comes to making nicely designed watches.  And for sure, the Luminox watch is a great looking timepiece that you will love to wear. I think the Luminox label at the “12” position.

With a polyurethane strap and a polycarbonate case, this is a very light on the hand. You will hardly know you have the watch. It is also water resistant for up to 200 meters/660 feet.

From the name of the watch (the Navy Seal part J) ‘you can guess that this is the watch of choice for the military. The matte finishing makes it a darling for the navy seals as does the effectiveness as well as the ability to resist the elements like sleet, snow and water.

While it may not be very good for scuba diving, it is great for shallow diving of not more than 660 feet, sailing, kayaking, water and snowboarding as well as other water sports.

One feature that you would expect from a watch made for the navy, SWAT and other tactical teams is precision, and the Swiss mechanisms for these watches deliver precision and functionality.

The markers and the hands are luminous. It will be easy to read this watch in the water. The bezel is one way, and then there is a date display on the position where 3 o’clock usually is. This watch is easy to read during the day and the night too.

You will also find it very comfortable on the hand. The material used is easy on the hand and will not pull your wrist hair. When you wear this watch, you will agree that it looks dashing on the wrist.


  • The face is scratch-resistant
  • It reads well in low light
  • Very light on the hand
  • Great strap, does not pull wrist hair
  • Highly accurate


  • It can be very hard to get the battery for this watch


Citizen Eco-drive BN0151 – Affordable Diving Watches

Citizen Eco drive BN0151

Citizen seems to have the best of everything under every category. The Eco-drive BN0151 is indeed a good investment for people who love underwater adventures. It is an eco-drive meaning there is no charging required at all. Just wear the watch and bang! Back in business.

This watch is rugged and truly designed for the outdoors. It does look a little heavy though, but it is a nice one. You will love everything about it, from the matte finishing to the strap that can be extended so that you can wear this dive watch on your wetsuit.

This watch is not only good for diving, but it is also very beautiful. It has a blue dial and luminated markers and hands. It is easy to reading low light conditions. The bezel 50-click one-way system. It is a hand-rewind watch thanks to the Japanese quartz system but the best thing about it is that it is solar powered so you just need to put it in the light and it will power up.  The entire dial of the watch is actually a miniature solar panel, which captures the light and turns it into energy to power the watch. Thankfully, the watch stores some of the energy for use when there is no light.

The Citizen BN0151 is not only used for fun diving, but it can also be used for commercial diving. Many dockyard repairmen use it as they work on various tasks under water. However, note that it is rated to be water-resistant up to 200 meters depth.

Your search for the best diving watches for the money sold under $200 stops right here with this watch. It gives good value for money.

What I love about this watch

  • It is waterproof
  • Nice dial with hourly markers
  • Solar powered – no batteries
  • Luminous hands and markers for lowlight use
  • Has a date window
  • Nicely designed

What I do not like about this watch

  • The strap is measly and looks like it will fall apart after some use


Orient Mako II & Ray II Automatic – Best Dive Watch

Orient Mako II & Ray II Automatic

I guess by this far we are all agreed that a diving watch must not only be rugged in nature, but it must look really good on your wrist. However, the Orient Mako II goes a step further, by incorporating stainless steel into the entire design of the watch. The case as well as the band are made of stainless steel and this makes the watch not only anti-corrosive, but awesome and long lasting.

When I look at this watch, I almost think that it should have cost me at least two or three times the price I paid for it, but no. It was that cheap, and that is why it makes it to this list of best dive watches under 300.

Now, I have something against the stainless steel straps because I have had instances where my wrist hair was caught between the band links. However, as far as I have been wearing this watch, that has not happened to me. I cannot say I will be entirely safe though, but stuck wrist hair is a small price that I am willing to pay for this grand diving watch.

This is a big watch, and being made of stainless steel, it is going to feel a bit heavy. However, you should get used to it soon. When it is winded, it can last up to 40 hours on one charge.

What I love most about this watch is that I can have it on my person all the time, when I sleep, take a shower, dress up for church in a suit and for almost every occasion. I guess it is the stainless steel casing and band that makes it look so classy all the time.

The depth rating is 200 meters. Although I have swam with it, I am yet to dive with it, but going from the reviews posted in different places on the internet about it, it can hold its own end of the bargain at 200 meters of water.

The bezel is a bit stiff when new, but it is a 120 click one way system.

What I love about this watch

  • It looks awesome
  • It is water resistant
  • Cheap to buy
  • Retains charge for long
  • Can be worn for all occasions
  • Accurate

What I do not love about this watch

  • It is not self-charging, you know, solar powered
  • Band makes quite a ruckus on wrist if left too loose


Seiko SRP639KP – One Of The Best Seiko Dive Watches

You know it does not disappoint if it is a Seiko, and this one is even better because it is cheap and it is made of stainless steel. You know, it is one of those watches that you see and they immediately sweep you off your feet.

From the Seiko bezel, the big black dial gives the watch a great face and better yet, it makes the luminous markers and hands stand out in low light making it a very readable watch under low light conditions.

The stainless steel band/bracket also helps a lot because it does not stick to the skin when wet as rubber bands do. Although there is usually the small problem of getting your wrist hair trapped in the gaps between the links, you will really enjoy having this watch.

This watch is solar powered. Fancy that! That is like the icing on a cake. The black dial is actually a solar panel, and you know why solar panels come black or dark bluish, so that they can trap as much light as possible. This means you will have to let your watch stay in the light some to charge, but then you will love it for it lasts a long time on one charge.

For the best watches under $200, you really cannot go wrong with a Seiko and you know that is true. If you are a fun diver, well, this watch meets your needs perfectly and it will last a really long time. If you are a commercial diver, you know, those people who work in shipyards welding and repairing things under water, this watch can take all the abuse that you throw at it without getting beat. Try it, you will love it.

The depth rating for water resistance is 200 meters, but for most adventure divers, this is more than enough. This watch is also highly accurate and therefore when you are taking group diving packages and you want to time yourselves under water, this watch will not let you down.

It is a buy-and-wear kind of watch. You may have to shorten the bracelet a bit, at least I had since I have a smaller wrist, but I just removed one link, which is quite easy, and I was good to go.

What I love about this watch

  • Made of stainless steel casing and bracelet – anti-corrosive
  • Sturdily built – really quality
  • Highly accurate
  • Great accuracy
  • Tightly screwed case back keeps water out
  • Really cheap for a Seiko

What I do not love about it

  • The elapsed time dial is hard to read in low light
  • Second hand stops after one hour

Best dive watches under 300

If you are looking for the best diving watches under $300, you really will be spoilt for choice as there are many of them and with incredible features too. Here are just a few of them:

INVICTA 8926OB ProDive – One the Best Invicta Dive Watches

INVICTA 8926OB ProDive

It is not a watch until you can wear it and make a fashion statement, and believe me, that is exactly what the INVICTA 8926OB ProDiver will do for you. You can wear it when diving and then when you are not diving, you can wear it for pretty much any other occasion. You can wear it with your casual outfits as well as your dress suit.

This surely looks like one of those best luxury dive watches, only that it is sold at a very affordable price. From the face of the watch, you will love the black dial, which is actually a solar panel that captures light and turns it into energy, which in turn powers the watch.

The stainless steel casing and bracelet look good. You can use it to dive in the saltiest oceans on earth and it will not corrode. Since this is a link bracelet, you can just remove a single link to make it more fitting, or you could add one to make it bigger depending on the size of your wrist. At the same time, we all know that steel bracelets are easy to change and replace with a strap of your choice.

But it takes more than good looks to make the best dive watch for the money and that is why ProDiver series of watches comes with the best mechanical movement from (you guessed right) Seiko! This makes the watch accurate to about 10 seconds every day. For less than $300, this is really good and worth every dime you pay for it.

What I love about this watch

  • It is very stylish
  • Screw down crown makes it very waterproof
  • Automatic movement – no batteries
  • Luminous, easy to read in low light conditions
  • Very cheap
  • Useful for all occasions

What I do not like about this watch

  • It loses some minutes
  • Requires regular use to keep it charged/moving


Seiko Men’s SKX007K2 – One of The Best Seiko Watches

Seiko Men's SKX007K2

Looking for the best dive watches under 300 leads you to a Seiko, maybe even two or more watches under the same brand. The truth is, Seiko is good! The Men’s SKX007K2 is a marvel of engineering, the kind of watch that says, yes, I love diving.

It is all steel, and not only steel but stainless steel. So for people that love stainless steel watches, this one is simply awesome and you will love everything about it.

How would you like to wear a diving watch that you can also wear when you are going out to party, to school, to work and basically to anywhere else that you might want to go? This Seiko watch is a watch for all seasons!

It makes a perfect gift too, if you have that husband, brother or boyfriend that loves serious surface water sports like sailing, water boarding, swimming and shallow diving.

Because this is a masculine watch, it has embellished looks in matters of size, with an impressive case diameter of 42mm. The black bezel and dial do stand out perfectly thanks to the contrasting color of the stainless steel.

What I am trying to say here is that this watch will look awesome on you even if you wear it with an Armani jacket. It will also look great on you when you hit the water.

It is water resistant up to 660 feet according to the manufacturer. However, personally, I am yet to test that, but if the rave reviews that this watch has online are anything to go by, then it indeed is a good water resistant watch. I have showered with mine, been rained on and so on, and it still ticks away faithfully.

Other features that you would not like to miss include the fold-over clasp with safety, which basically means that this watch is safe on your wrist and no matter what the rigors you undergo when in the water, the watch is not in risk of unclasping and falling out.

Dock welders and other wet workers use this watch a lot. It is made with materials that make it stand out.


  • It is automatic – no battery, powered by your arm
  • Anti-corrosive stainless steel
  • Great to use for recreational scuba diving
  • Easy to change the bracelet
  • Accurate
  • Affordable


  • Wrist hair gets trapped between the links


Seiko Men’s SSC021 Chronograph Watch

Seiko Men's SSC021 Chronograph Watch

While this watch costs slightly below $300, it still makes it to this list of the best dive watches below $300. It is made of stainless steel, that is, the casing and the one way bezel while the band is made of nylon – polyurethane. This makes the watch lighter in weight than watches that have stainless steel bracelets.

The watch comes with a very bold design in matters of size since the crown measures 44mm. However, it is not heavy as to be too much on your arm. You will love the big black dial which by the way, is a solar panel since this watch is solar powered and therefore it needs to take in light for power.

It is easy to read this watch since the hour markers are shaped like jewels. However, at the same time, it can be a bit hard to people with poor eyesight to read the date because the window for the same is squeezed in there between the dials, in a slanted position.

Seiko Mens SSC021 is rated for 200 meters or 660 feet of water resistance. It sits comfortably on the wrist and with the nylon strap, there will be no hiccups with wrist hair getting caught as usually happens with the watches that come with stainless steel bracelets.

What makes this watch so beautiful to look at is the three dials. The first one is the huge one, the total face size of the watch. The second one is a small subdial that shows 6 o’clock. Its work is to totalize the chronograph. The other dial is a 24 hour marker and it occupies the 3 o’clock position.

We could go on and on about the looks of this watch, but is it functional? Of course it is, one of the best in the business. It charges with solar and therefore there are no issues with changing the battery. It is also scratch proof and it can take a lot of abuse under water.

I did not love the nylon strap very much, but it can be changed.

What I like about this watch

  • It is very stylish
  • It is accurate
  • Solar powered
  • Very affordable for a Seiko
  • Comfortable on the wrist
  • Quality quartz

What I do not like about this watch

  • The nylon strap is a turn off and can be a bit of a bother


Best diving watch for the money buying guide

Choosing the best dive watch for the money should be very easy if you know what to look for. Is it all about the price, the brand name or what? You will find that many things matter for buying a good watch.

Here are a few things that you need to know before you can buy your favorite dive watch.

What powers the watch?

This mostly means whether a watch is battery powered or automatic. Consider an option like the best automatic dive watches under $500 that come with a mechanical movement. These are the most sought after watches in the market because of their long lasting quality. However, you will find that they last more than the quartz movement watches.

Quartz powered watches use batteries, thus coming with the shenanigans of having to replace the battery after every so long. However, they are very affordable and quite contrary to popular opinion, they do hold their end of the bargain quite well. Mostly, they come with Japanese or Swiss quartz movement and they do give good value for the money.

If you buy a watch with mechanical movement, you need to find out whether you can wind it by hand, or whether it requires you to buy a winder. You also need to know whether it can be powered by arm movement (usually they are).

Dive depth rating

This is actually one of the most important factors to consider for a dive watch. If you are a researcher and you dive to great depths, you will need a watch rated for 500 meters and above. If you are a recreational diver, just look for a watch rated for 200 meters, 300 meters and so on. Watches rated for 100 meters are best for snorkeling and there is no guarantee that if you dive deeper than that they are going to resist leakage. You will note that the deeper the depth rating, the more expensive the watches are and vice versa.


Many of the diving watches come with rubber bands or stainless steel bracelets. Now, many people love the stainless steel bracelets because they can wear such watches for any occasion. Who said that just because it is a diving watch it is confined to diving only?

Material should be high quality so that the watch can withstand the rigors of diving, being knocked against things like diving masks and so on. Of course, there is also the issue of salty water to deal with. This is why watches whose casing and bracelets are made of stainless steel stand out, but there are also great rubber counterparts.


Many things under water can distort your vision. It is important that a watch be readable under water so that you can time your stay in the water. Because of the low light conditions in the water, you need a watch that “speaks” out to you, in the form of luminous hands. It must have bold and luminous markers too, and the display of the watch must glow. Even the best inexpensive dive watch has a very clearly laid out and uncluttered display. A single glance and you can be able to tell the time you have been under water.


I always think that price should be the last consideration when it comes to choosing the best dive watch for the money, but it is most important that you know there is a dive watch for every budget. Just because you cannot afford the best automatic dive watch under 1000 does not mean that you have to miss out on your diving adventure. There are watches that cost even as less as under $100, all of them good watches.