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17 Accessible Dive Watches To Buy in 2023

Tissot Seastar 1000 40mm Featured

Diving watches are ubiquitous these days; every watchmaker with a passing interest in sports watches has tried their hand at it, to varying degrees of success – and at very different price points. But while you might not want to risk your 10K grail watch in the water, there are plenty of accessible dive watches that pair deep diving, professional-standard specs with much more affordable price tags.

So, rather than run the danger of leaving your Rolex at the bottom of the ocean (unless you’re director James Cameron of course), here are some of the best accessible dive watches around right now, from bright, eye-catching colours to the kind of practical performance even the big boys (buoys?) can’t match.

Herbelin x Frank Sans C Trophy

Herbelin x Frank Sans C Trophy

A decidedly French collaboration makes up the core of this particular dive watch, a partnership between accessible watchmaking giant Herbelin (nee Michele) and YouTuber Frank sans C. Based on the practical Trophy model, this limited edition take on the archetypal dive watch includes a gorgeous gradient blue dial. Otherwise it’s the same Trophy, with its signature notched bezel for ease of use in diving gloves and a more-than- respectable 300m water resistance. To finish the look – and make it slightly more special – it’s fitted with an upcycled NATO strap.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Deep navy-blue recycled NATO fabric
Price: €890 (approx. £780)

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SEIKO Prospex Tropical Lagoon Special Edition

Seiko Prospex ‘Tropical Lagoon’ Special Edition

Seiko have been offering a fair few Prospex models recently that are a fair chunk above their usual accessible price point, such as the admittedly lovely Ocean Special Editions. But when it comes to bang for your buck, the Prospex ‘Tropical Lagoon’ has all the right ideas. The ‘turtle’ is as charming as ever, and in this instance has been given a green and blue makeover for a tropical nod to the oceans. Paired with a typically excellent (for this price range) Seiko movement, there’s a lot to love. What makes it a special edition? We’re not entirely sure. But it’s nice to think of it as special anyway.

Case/dial: 45mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Seiko 4R36 automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £450

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Farer Aquamatic CRIBBAR

Farer Aquamatic Cribbar

Trust British design-savvy watch brand Farer to bring some colour to the usually shadowy underwater world. The Cribbar nicely encapsulates their approach to timepieces: you take a classic design, in this case a diving tool watch, and just have some fun with it. In this case that means a charmingly cartoony handset and chunky indexes – as practical as they are fun – and a mix of black, pale blue, and bright red, with a little hint of yellow on the second’s hand. The result is one of the funkiest retro divers around, with all the specs that make it a solid tool watch, including 200m water resistance.

Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
Strap: Blue NATO
Price: £950

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Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III

Just because you’ve gone accessible doesn’t mean there’s any lack of performance. In fact, true to its name, Oceaneva’s Deep Marine Explorer III has all the trappings of a serious dive watch, complete with an incredible 3,000m water resistance. No, we didn’t add an extra digit in there, this thing can stand toe-to-toe with the greats, helium escape valve and all. That’s even true of the retro bi-metal version in stainless steel and rose gold. At 42mm it’s not even that big, meaning it wouldn’t look out of place away from the water – though obviously it still comes into its own as a seriously effective – yet rather handsome, tool watch.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 3,000m (300 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Bi colour stainless steel bracelet
Price: $1,299 (approx. £1,080)

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Baltic Aquascaphe Classic Blue Gilt

Baltic Aquascaphe Classic Blue Gilt

By now, Baltic likely need no introduction. The former microbrand is one of the biggest new players in the dive watch field with their inimitably elegant vintage style – like here, in their distinctly classical Aquascaphe Classic. As pared-back and minimal as a practical dive watch can get with a simple yet readable sapphire crystal diving bezel, svelte indexes, and a mix of retro beige and sunray blue. Its Fifty Fathoms-esque style makes it a stunner, while its accessibility makes it a no-brainer. If you’re looking for a diver that is an aesthetic cut above its price tag, look no further.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 423-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: €580 (approx. £510)

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Vero Open Water North Coast

Vero Open Water North Coast

If you’ve ever been to Oregon, you know just how rugged the landscape is there, so you’d expect any watch brand from the state to offer pieces built to last. And Vero watches very much are – but that’s not all they are. The Open Water is about as reinforced as a tank, but thankfully much slimmer (slimmer than practically any other diver), while its combination of monochromatic grey with subtle blue highlights of the North Coast edition and the collection’s signature broad diving bezel help it stand out in a crowded ocean. It’s as cool as it is a tool.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: $875 (approx. £725)

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Tissot Seastar 1000 40mm

Tissot Seastar 1000 40mm

Tissot are continuing to kill it at the accessible end of the dive watch market with another version of their phenomenally good-value Seastar – now with a 40mm case. That’s not impacted the water resistance at all, which still stands at a more-than-decent 300m. Style-wise, the green and gold echoes the trend for gilt dials that are everywhere right now and while it may be quartz rather than automatic, there’s more than enough solid watchmaking and wrist presence here to satisfy a dive watch aficionado. Especially at this price.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Swiss quartz movement
Strap: Rubber
Price: £395

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Christopher Ward C60 Trident Bronze

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Bronze

A full bronze diver with 600m water resistance? It can only be Christopher Ward. The frustratingly good value British brand have been focusing on their field and chiming watches (somehow) this year, but their C60 Trident remains a modern value classic, particularly when pairing the soon-to-be patinated bronze case with a textured ombre blue dial. Finishing on a blue hybrid rubber strap, it cements CW’s position (as if it were needed) for incredible value, solid builds and upper level performance. It’s almost annoying, honestly.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter bronze case
Water resistance: 600m (60 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Blue hybrid rubber
Price: £905

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Walteri Oceaner 500 Green

Walteri Oceaner 500 Green

A superb military-coloured watch with spec ops performance, Walteri’s Oceaner 500 is everything you might hope it could be. Like a Swiss Unimatic, every watch the brand produces is a strict limited edition and here that takes the form of a sea green dial and minty-hued indexes. On paper that sounds more summer than Special Forces, but paired with a fully blacked-out case and a choice of black NATO or rubber straps, there’s no denying that this is a serious diver, complete with 500m water resistance – a good 200m above even the impressive standard of 300m. And hey, if that performance isn’t good enough, maybe check out Walteri’s Deep Oceaner instead…

Case/dial: 44mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 500m (50 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
Strap: Rose gold bracelet
Price: £1,250, limited to 99 pieces

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Citizen Promaster Unite with Blue

Citizen Promaster Unite with Blue

If you’re not too worried about a mechanical movement – if you’re an actual diver, practicality trumps prestige any day – then something like Citizen’s light- powered Eco-Drive is for you. But practicality likely isn’t why you may want this visually stunning Promaster Unite. The (not very) limited edition pays tribute to the world’s waters with a sea of oceanic blue and green hues. Don’t let its impressive size put you off either; that just means more room to let that dial shine. Available from June 2023.

Case/dial: 44mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive light powered movement
Strap: Rubber
Price: £299, limited to 7,000 pieces

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Marathon Large Diver’s Automatic (GSAR)

Marathon Large Diver’s Automatic (GSAR)

Nestled at the upper end of the accessible spectrum, Marathon’s practically named Large Diver’s Automatic is a substantial, 42mm chunk of stainless steel. As you may have guessed from its striking notched bezel, utilitarian, high-contrast colours and tritium gas tubes for low light conditions, it’s built to military specs, issued and worn by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – hence the GSAR designation: Government Search and Rescue. Needless to say, it’s a durable beast, complete with 300m water resistance. If you’re after a military-grade watch that’s not about showing it, Marathon have you covered.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Marathon M2 movement with 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Rubber
Price: £1,335

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Doxa SUB 200 Professional

Doxa SUB 200 Professional

You can’t mention accessible divers without Doxa in the same breath; there’s a law against it. And as ever, the SUB 200 offers incredible value from one of the luminaries in the dive watch field with its streamlined take on their inimitably bright style. There are a few colour options these days – including a Tiffany adjacent aqua – but for our money it’s all about the classic orange. It’s what they originally used, as it’s the best colour to see through the water and it’s going to make heads turn in all the right ways. A modern classic, the SUB 200 might still be the best summer diver around – especially on the insanely comfortable rubber faux-milanese strap.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Orange rubber
Price: £950

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Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer Worldtimer

Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer Worldtimer

Dive watches famously have understated dials that are left relatively bare in order place the focus of the wearer’s attention solely on the amount of valuable time they have left underwater. Over-complicated designs are usually few and far between. In contrast, the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer Worldtimer says to hell with convention, we’re stacking as much information as humanly possible onto the watch. It features an incredibly colourful rendition of a decompression timer table wrapped inside a 24-hour scale and a minute scale and then the whole dial is encompassed by a worldtime bezel with iconic cities from around the world.

Case/dial: 40.5mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Mido calibre 80 movement with 80-hour power reserve
Strap: Rubber
Price: £1,165

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Bausele Sydney Diver Sand

Bausele Sydney Diver

Bausele are an Australian brand dedicated to improving the reputation of Australian watches on the international market. They’ve recently began working with the US Army and their latest collections are built in support of military veteran support charities. The Sydney Diver has a stainless steel case with black IP coating in a diameter of 39.5mm, making it durable and easy to wear. The dial has a khaki colouration inspired by both the beaches of Sydney and the tough desert terrain many army personnel will be familiar with.

Case/dial: 39.5mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW200 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Elastic nylon and additional tropic rubber
Price: £1,000

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Charlie Paris Concordia Green

Charlie Paris Concordia Green

Charlie Paris’ Concordia is a stylish diver that oozes 1960s retro diving watch charm. Specifically, the highly legible display with oversize round hour markers, coated with lume, is inspired by the types of watches developed around the French Riviera in the 60s, which makes sense for a modern French brand like Charlie Paris. The newest edition features a lovely green dial with a soft gradient contained within a 40mm steel case water resistant to 300m. Inside, it houses the Soprod calibre P024 with 40-hour power reserve.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Swiss Soprod PO24 movement with 40-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: €845 (approx. £744)

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Certina DS-2 Turning Bezel

Certina DS-2 Turning Bezel

Once upon a time, unidirectional rotating bezels were a novelty, not the standard, for dive watches. Hence the slightly odd name for Certina’s 1960s-inspired retro diver, the DS-2 Turning Bezel. It’s not just the name that oozes charm either; the cushion-shaped case and pared-back dial are both less-than-subtle nods to the watchmaker’s historical models, while titanium across the board means a lightweight, comfortable fit.

All that is stacked on top of one of the best third party movements in the industry – at any price point, let alone the sub- £1,000 mark – the Powermatic 80, with its eponymously long power reserve. If all that’s not enough, this handsome aqua-streaked special edition also aids turtle conservancy. What’s not to love?

Case/dial: 42mm diameter titanium case
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Powermatic 80 automatic movement with 80-hour power reserve
Strap: NATO
Price: £880

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Airain Sous Marine Re-Edition Lollipop

Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition Lollipop

These days Airain are perhaps best known for creating modern reinterpretations of their incredibly attractive heritage watches, particularly in the region of pilot’s watches like the Type 20. However, they aren’t limited to the skies as the Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition shows, available in a handful of styles and colourways including this Lollipop version. It has a very vintage 37.5mm diameter case in stainless steel with 200m water resistance and a unidirectional rotating bezel. The dial is lovely with a combination of oversize Arabic numerals and rectangular hour markers coated in retro-style beige lume. Under the hood is the AM5 automatic calibre (base La Joux-Perret G100) with 68-hour power reserve giving you some serous bang for your buck at a price of €1,600 (approx. £1,375).

Case/dial: 37.5mm diameter x 10.45mm thickness, stainless steel, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Airain AM5 automatic movement with 68h power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: 1,600 (approx. £1,375)

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.