You’ll be able to find a range of capable dive watches priced at $1000 and below, with big names and eye-catching designs that match up to more expensive options in almost every way.
Of course, any list containing the ‘best’ of anything is going to be fairly subjective, and the same is true for dive watches.
Aside from the obvious such as the ability to be used underwater, we’ve considered everything from the overall design to the potential resale value when coming up with this collection of nine great dive watches that will still come in under budget.
Top 9 Dive Watches Under $1000
As we’ve mentioned, the best dive watches are likely to fulfill a range of functions, while many have additional features to help separate them from the pack. This may be in the form of extended battery life, or they could be certified by an organization such as the U.S. Army, or even the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Here are nine of the best watches available right now, which all retail for $1000 or less. They’re listed in no particular order, as it’ll be down to personal preference when looking at which one is right for you.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Professional Diver (Shop on eBay)
The only Swiss watch certified to withstand 130 extreme endurance homologation tests, it’s unsurprising considering the I.N.O.X. Professional Diver can now be found in titanium. (It’s considered to be the strongest I.N.O.X. ever produced, while the material has the greatest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.)
It’s an ISO 6425 certified diver watch with Swiss-made quartz movement, anti-magnetism, 200m water resistance, and a hand-woven ‘survival paracord’ strap designed to fit safely over a wetsuit. It comes in a range of colors, and the strap corresponds with the watch face. It’s a great way to start the list, and it’s one of the sturdiest options overall.
Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 (Shop on eBay)
The Tissot Seastar 1000 is a specialized diving watch, which is now ‘combined with the energy of the Powermatic 80 movement.’ Essentially, this means that it’s an automatic watch that is powered by the energy of the person who wears it.
Tissot is another trusted brand, having built up a reputation as one of the better Swiss watchmakers since being founded in 1853.
Wrist movement enables the mechanism to run, and the Powermatic 80 movement earns its name due to a massive 80 hours of power reserve, which is enough to continue telling time accurately even if the watch is not worn for three days. It is an innovative movement that outperforms much of the competition, whose movements typically provide 1.5 days of overall power reserve.
SEIKO Prospex (Shop on eBay)
Offering the perfect mix of affordability and functionality, the Seiko Prospex is a great diver watch that should definitely be on your radar. The company produced Japan’s first diver’s watch with the self-winding 150M Diver’s in 1965, so they have a solid pedigree.
It’s guaranteed up to 200m, and it’s available in almost every color of the rainbow. For an in-depth look at the Prospex, check out our guide to the Seiko PADI, which was produced with help by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.
It’s a popular range from one of the most respected names in the game, while it benefits from great build quality, despite the lower price tag. Of course, they also have more expensive Prospex models, which are incredibly popular.
Citizen Promaster Aqualand (Shop on eBay)
Another affordable option that matches up with the big names in most respects, the Promaster Aqualand retails for $695 new. One of the best features is found with their Eco-Drive technology, which ensures that the watch can be powered by any light source.
This ISO compliant watch has a range of diving extras, such as maximum depth memory, a rapid ascent alarm, an auto-start dive mode, and a power reserve indicator. It’s guaranteed to work up to 200 meters, so it’ll be able to handle most tasks with ease.
In terms of design, the stainless steel case is complemented by an ocean blue polyurethane strap and blue dial with a blue and red bezel. If you’re not impressed by the red and blue color scheme, they do have others on offer.
Mido Ocean Star (Shop on eBay)
The Mido Ocean Star range is split into a number of different subsets, with an expensive Chronograph selection, and cheaper 200 editions that come in under budget. Of the many options on offer, we’d look to a limited edition such as the Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961. It’s affordable, while there’s decent potential for profit in the future.
The Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 attempts to reproduce ‘the irresistible vintage charm of the Ocean Star Skin Diver Watch’, a popular 1960s MIDO model that remains one of the brand’s most sought-after original timepieces to date. It’s instantly recognizable thanks to the multicolored display of decompression stops on the dial, and it’s a great price for a retro-inspired kit.
For those who prefer a more understated feel, there are other colors to choose from, with many finished in gold.
Introduced in 2019, the 3600 series is the latest in the collection to be officially licensed by the Department of the Navy. It features an inset magnifying lens on the crystal of the watch, while this is Luminox’s only collection available with this iconic Swiss-Watch feature, commonly referred to as a cyclops.
It’s resistant up to 200m, so it’s likely to be good enough for all but the deepest of divers. It’s another strong statement piece, with lots of different straps and dials depending on the model you’ve chosen. For example, the 3615 comes in red, while the 3603 is available with an orange finish.
Our personal favorite is 3617.SET, which comes with a constant glow that is guaranteed for 25 years. The combination of the black case and the green dial makes for a great look, which stands out from the crowd.
CASIO G-Shock Master of G Frogman (Shop on eBay)
First launched in 1993 in the form of the DW-6300, the Frogman is a capable dive watch produced by G-Shock. They originally obtained scuba diving certification and sought feedback from professionals involved in marine rescue during the design phase, while it has also benefited from advances in technology over the past three decades.
The Master of G collection features a number of interesting dive watches that cost less than $1000. For your money, you’re getting the first-ever analog 200m diver certified watch, although it’s currently out of stock, having originally been released in 2019. As such, it’s a popular choice on the second-hand market, and retains its value well.
It has a lot going on, with an oversized dimensional index and large hour and minute hands which offer improved readability. Three dual-coil motors enable the hour, minute, and world time hands to move rapidly so the wearer can switch between modes with no delay. It has a tide mode, and the app is pre-set with some of the world’s major dive spots.
Alpina Seastrong Diver (Shop on eBay)
Okay. Only a couple of the watches found in the Alpina Seastrong collection actually retail for $1000 or under, but they’re too good not to mention! The company has been operating since 1883, and they’re best known for their red inverted triangle logo. Their marketing notes that;
“Alpina’s diving watches are brought together in the Seastrong collection, presenting strong and readable features true to Maison’s legacy. Designed to please water sports lovers, these models perpetuate the Brand’s proud tradition established over the last century and can be used at depths up to 300m underwater.”
Once again, Alpina has focused on producing a diving watch first and foremost, rather than adding water-resistant functionality to a product from their existing range. The overall build quality is notable, while the watches are impactful and chunky on the wrist.
It has a battery life of 25 months, while the company invented the concept of the Swiss sports watch as we know it today, with the creation of its legendary Alpina 4 in 1938.
It’s true that the titanium edition is slightly over budget, but the Khaki Navy versions of the Hamilton Frogman can be found for roughly $1000. Another prestigious timepiece, the original Hamilton Frogman was created for U.S. Naval ‘Frogman’ teams and featured in the 1951 smash-hit movie ‘The Frogmen‘.
It boasts a unidirectional rotating bezel, solid water resistance (300m), and underwater luminescence, while it’s available in a range of different colors. They offer two years of international warranty, and the watch has a battery reserve of roughly 80 hours.
The watch is positioned at the top end of our list, but it is a specialist item that is used by many industry experts. While the Casio G-Shock DW-6600 is probably the watch of choice for Navy Seals in 2021, the Frogman is perfect for any experience level.
The Best 9 Dive Watches Under $1000: Buyers Guide and Investment Outlook
You’ll be able to find a great divers watch for under $1000, be it an older option like the Prospex or the Frogman, or even a limited edition watch such as the Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961. As always, much depends on what you plan to use the watch for, and whether you’ll be wearing it every day.
If it’s going to be used a lot, it’s worth paying attention to the build quality, the size, and how comfortable it is. Pay attention to the strap as well as the face, as it can be the source of a number of issues if it’s made of cheaper materials.
Others will prefer a true divers watch rather than one that happens to be able to go underwater, so it’s best to weigh up the options before committing to one of the timepieces listed above. Aesthetic appeal is important, but it’s better to consider everything we’ve mentioned, as well as any additional features on offer when looking at dive watches.
From an investment perspective, we’d look to limited editions if possible. Keep an eye on any rarer watches, as there’s decent potential for profit if you’re able to pick one up for a good price on the second-hand market. Otherwise, we’d recommend investing in a vintage dive watch, although you may struggle considering the lower budget.
You’ll still be able to find a capable timepiece at the $1000 dollar mark, and they match up to the majority of luxury options without the addition of an eye-watering price tag.
What is the best dive watch under 1000?
The best dive watch under $1,000 is the Victorinox I.N.O.X. Professional Diver.
What is the best affordable dive watch?
The most affordable dive watch is the CASIO G-Shock Master of G Frogman.
What is the best watch under 1000?
The best watch under $1,000 is the Timex Classics Analog Silver Dial Men's Watch (in our opinion and testing).
What is the best looking dive watch?
The best looking dive watch is the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman.
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