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The Best Luxury Dive Watches 2022

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Black Stream Diver

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Black Stream Diver

It takes a brave man to delve into the depths of the ocean – or a very well built watch. Aside from looking fantastic as you emerge from the water, dive watches have their own cache as a practical instrument for underwater exploration. But what are the best luxury dive watches of 2022?

First, let’s break down the core elements of a diver. The signature diving bezel acts as a countdown, letting you tell roughly how long you’ve been underwater. Plenty of lume lets you read the information in the murky light many metres down and a rugged case keeps it ticking through hell and very, very high water. Despite such stringent core elements, you can find divers at every level of watchmaking, from accessible impulse buys to serious haute horology.

It’s a ubiquitous type of timepiece and it shows. So, to help clear the waters a little, we’ve divided the best timepieces of the past 12 months into just how much you’re looking to invest in your new favourite nautical pursuit.

Under £1,000

SDC Oceanrider Black Tip

SDC OceanRider Black Tip 

Given that it’s named after the black tip shark, you’d expect the latest timepiece from the divers-come-watchmakers at SDC to have some teeth. With its 300m water resistance and straps made from upcycled wetsuits (an SDC signature), it most definitely does. It has an automatic movement, a rugged case and a touch of red among the lume to enhance legibility.

It’s a fantastic watch for the money but that’s not all – some of that money will even go to the Marine Conservation Society. Anyone have some floss?

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 14.3mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Seiko NH35 Calibre, automatic, 41h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Upcycled wetsuits stitched into silicone rubber with quick-release bars for easy removal
Price: £425

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Elliot Brown Holton Professional

Elliot Brown Holton Professional

There are a lot of military inspired diving watches floating around, but the Holton Professional by Elliot Brown has an important distinction from the vast majority of the field. It’s actually being issued to the British military – it’s the real deal, not a wannabe. The key to being issued by a military organisation is durability, reliability and accessibility, which the Holton Professional has in bucket loads.

Case/dial: 43mm diameter, anti reflective gunmetal grey PVD coated stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Ronda calibre 715, quartz with 3-year battery life
Strap: Black rubber
Price: £445

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96Zero The Dive

96Zero Dive

If there’s anyone that understands what a tool watch really gets put through it’s the military – which puts 96 Zero in an interesting position. The father-and-son team behind the microbrand are both ex-military and it shows in the design of the pragmatically named, The Diver. Despite its imposing 44mm size, it’s not too bulky, and the macho timepiece wears like a smaller watch, slipping under the cuff. Diving-wise it boasts a ceramic bezel inlay and 200m water resistance, which at this price point is more than a little impressive.

Case/dial: 44mm diameter x 13.2mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 9015, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: NATO fabric or stainless steel bracelet
Price: £399

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BALTIC Aquascaphe Dual Crown

Baltic Aquascaphe Dual Crown

A riff on the dual-crown layout of a classic Compressor, Baltic’s latest Aquascaphe really leans on the retro vibes that made the original an Only Watch-level success. The main difference (other than the silhouette) is that the diving bezel has been brought under the crystal for protection, and is operable via the lower crown, even underwater.

This means a slimmer bezel and overall more elegant case shape, but otherwise hews close to the same aesthetic codes as the standard Aquascaphe, even down to very similar, albeit more modern, indexes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just add a second crown and turn it into one of the best luxury divers of 2022.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter x 11.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 9039, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: Tropic rubber strap in blue or black or stainless steel beads of rice bracelet
Price: €650 (approx. £560) – tropic strap
€730 (approx. £625) – stainless steel bracelet

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Zenea Ula Diver Time and Space Meteorite

Zenea Ula Diver Time and Space Meteorite

Given that most of the 500-odd meteorites that hit Earth each year crash into the sea, you could say that the Ocean is the most natural place to find the material. Evidently Toronto-based Zenea were thinking along the same lines as the coolest edition of their superb Ula Diver shows off a fine meteorite dial, complete with the material’s signature Widmanstätten patternation.

The result is a modern diving watch with a truly ancient dial underpinned by far more impressive dive watch specs than its price tag hints at.

Case/dial: 48mm diameter x 12mm thickness, stainless steel case, meteorite dial made from Muonionalusta meteorite found in 1906 near the village of Kitkiöjärvi, ceramic blue bezel with lumed markers and numbers
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Swiss ETA calibre 2824, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel solid link bracelet with deployant clasp
Price: $1,049 (approx. £850), limited to 100 pieces

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Nomadic Maraí 401 Pro

Nomadic Maraí 401 Pro

A timekeeping nod to Belfast’s maritime history, the Maraí 401 Pro from Irish brand Nomadic (named after the Titanic’s passenger ferry) is a slim, streamlined diver. It’s very Tudor, which is no bad thing. It’s a slightly more elegant take on a classic tool watch, especially in the paired blue dial and bezel with a high-contrast yellow second hand, a nod to Belfast’s signature cranes.

Backed up by a respectable water resistance of 200m and heavy-duty construction, there’s a lot to love. It might not have a funky dial or novel construction, but the Maraí 401 Pro is nonetheless a solid, handsome diver that deserves more than a second look.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 11.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, deep ocean blue dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and double safety push buttons
Price: £747

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Tool Watch Co. AMA Diver

Tool Watch Co. AMA Diver

Tool Watch Co. have made it their mission to celebrate the lesser known explorers of the world, which is the driving force behind their diving watch the AMA Diver. Ama is a group of Japanese pearl divers who use traditional free diving techniques to find and collect their hauls. As such, the AMA Diver is a retro style skin diver, an iconic type of watch designed to be used by free divers who typically don’t wear diving suits, hence the term skin diver. The watch has the classic unidirectional rotating bezel and oversize circular hour markers that help a diver stay safe under water. Worthy of being called one of the best luxury dive watches of 2022.

Case/dial: 41.5mm diameter x 12.8mm thickness, titanium case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 9039, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28.800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: 20mm titanium H-link bracelet and 20mm tropic FKM rubber strap
Price: $600 (approx. £580)

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Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional

Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional

A wavy dial reminiscent of Swatch Group stablemate Omega, a gold-and-black gilt colourway and a massive 600m water resistance all go towards making Tissot’s Seastar one of the strongest swimmers in its lane. More importantly however is that it’s powered by the phenomenal Powermatic 80 calibre, which not only boasts its namesake 80-hour power reserve but has a NIVACHRON balance spring to help it survive shocks, temperature changes and magnetism. It’s one of the best movements in this price range (and a couple above it).

Case/dial: 46mm diameter, stainless steel case, graded blue-black dial
Water resistance: 600m (60 bar)
Movement: Powermatic calibre 80.111, automatic, 80h power reserve, 23 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp, safety diver extension and push-buttons, and interchangeable quick release
Price: £865

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Valimor Kilgharrah

Valimor Kilgharrah

Ancient world-inspired watch studio Valimor are going Arthurian with their latest ornately finished timepiece, the Kilgharrah. As you’d expect given their previous releases, there’s plenty of armour-inspired detail across the watch, scaled to imitate the hide of its namesake, the dragon who made Excalibur the most powerful sword in Albion. While its depth rating of 100m is a slight chink in its armour, the rotating bezel, rugged construction and epic finishing make it a timepiece fit for a king. And hey, if it ended up sunk in a lake beside Excalibur, it wouldn’t look out of place. There are a few colourways but for us it’s all about the red bezel with black dial.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 13mm thickness, stainless steel case
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 8315, automatic, 60h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 21 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £460, limited to 50 pieces in each colour

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Certina DS Super PH500M

Certina DS Super PH500M Blue NATO

A Certina diver is hard to knock. For well under £1,000 you get a seriously impressive timepiece with a 500m water resistance on the outside and one of the best calibres this end of the watchmaking pool on the inside, in the Powermatic 80. It doesn’t even need to be a looker to be a must-have for a wetsuited wrist – but it is, with a shimmering blue dial and matched diving bezel. If all that weren’t enough (and it really should be) this particular edition goes some way towards helping turtle conservancy, something near and dear to Certina’s heart and caseback.

Case/dial: 43mm diameter x 14.95mm thickness, stainless steel case, black or blue dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Powermatic calibre 80.111, automatic, 80h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Black or blue #tide ocean material® NATO with stainless steel buckle
Price: £770

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Spinnaker Spence Automatic 300

Spinnaker Spence Automatic 300

Spinnaker produce many accessible diving watches, however they can sometime be a little over zealous in their proportions and uncompromising dive watch design. That’s what makes the Spence Automatic 300 such a nice change of pace and one of the best dive watches of 2022. Spinnaker’s aim was to create a stealthy watch that can easily slip under your cuff, which is why the timepiece has a height of just 11mm, paired with a water resistance rating of 300m. The perfect combination of practicality, utility and style, exactly what the doctor ordered for a professional dive watch.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 10.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, crimson red, brown, indigo blue, black or green dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 9039, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and pin buckle
Price: £500

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Farer AquaMatic

Farer AquaMatic

British watchmakers have a reputation for using bright colours in funky colourways and you can always trust Farer to deliver on that promise by the bucket load. The new AquaMatic collection offers retro stylings in gorgeously off the wall colours that are impossible not to love. Three of the colourways riff on aquatic themes with teal, royal blue and ice blue bezels. The fourth is less to do with water and more marine accessories, as it’s bright red like a buoy or life ring. Enhancing the thematic is the fact they’re named after iconic surfing locations around the UK.

Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter x 11.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, silver/orange or silk blue wave dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 41h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: Quick release genuine rubber with steel buckle with additional NATO strap with pins for fitting and quick release integrated jubilee steel bracelet with flush butterfly clasp
Price: £895

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Seiko Prospex Heritage Turtle 1968 Re-Interpretation

Seiko Prospex Heritage Turtle 1968 Re-Interpretation

Continuing their mission to leave no historical model left un-revived, Seiko has once again delved into their archives for what is, as it turns out, the Japanese watchmaker’s thinnest diver to date. We’re always happy to see the sweeping curves on the Turtle and despite the thinness the new throwback release has lost none of its wrist presence. Particularly cool is the black dial and bezel version with gold indexes. Gilt might not be everyone’s favourite look, but if anyone can pull it off it’s Seiko.

Case/dial: 41mm x 12.25mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Seiko 6R35 Calibre, automatic and manual winding, 70h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Stainless steel with three-fold clasp and secure lock
Price: £990

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£1,000 – £2,000

Balancing value, performance and accessibility, these seaworthy timepieces are the next step in your epic journey to conquering the seven seas. Or just having a respectable daily wearer. Either works.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto

Hamilton may be best known for their Khaki field watches and pilot’s fare but they’re no strangers to dive watches either. The new Khaki Navy Frogman automatic is one of the best luxury divers of 2022 and has a bold aesthetic with a 46mm diameter case in stainless steel and a chunky diving bezel. It’s basically an affordable alternative to the Rolex submariner. That comparison is more than skin deep too, as the movement inside can actually compete with the Submariner. It’s the calibre H-10, which has an 80-hour power reserve and accuracy of +/-15 seconds per day.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter, stainless steel case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Hamilton calibre H-10, automatic, 80h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3Hz) frequency
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Price: £1,035

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TIDLÖS Marin Green

TIDLÖS Marin Green

There’s a good reason the Hulk is one of the most sought-after Rolex models around; the combination of green dial and bezel on a diving watch is hard not to love. Scandinavian brand TIDLÖS agree and in the Marin have created a timepiece that has the same good looks, without breaking the bank. It has more-than-impressive diving specs with 500m water resistance and one of the funkiest crowns you’ll find on an otherwise utilitarian tool watch, all wrapped up in a reassuringly chunky steel case.

Case/dial: 43.9mm x 13.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, green dial
Water resistance: 500m (50 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1 Elaboré, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with quick release
Price: £1,010 (rubber strap) and £1,155 (bracelet)

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Chronotechna Seaquest Dive Steel Blue

Chronotechna Seaquest Dive Steel Blue

It can be pretty hard to innovate on a design as formulaic as a dive watch; it needs certain elements to be considered an actual look watch. Nonetheless Swiss brand Chronotechna have managed to build a visually unique take on the deep sea timepiece with the Seaquest Dive. The bezel is similar to many other diving pieces, but the dial is something else completely. A minimal mix of pure black and an interrupted ring of blue lume, it’s a stunner. With 300m water resistance and a COSC certified movement, it’s also deeply practical. It’s not every day those two meet, but here you go.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 12.36mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial dial filled with blue 2915c X1 grade luminescence
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 41h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels, COSC chronometer certified
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release
Price: €2,090 (approx. £1,800), limited to 333 pieces

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Delma Blue Shark III Azores

Delma Blue Shark III Azores

While Delma’s imposing Blue Shark III might look like an incredibly serious diving watch… well, it is. If the 47mm case and that blacked-out, orange inscribed bezel wasn’t enough to prove it, the ridiculous 4,000m water resistance damn well should. And yet with a sharkskin-textured blue dial, it’s a lot more fun than you might expect from the specs sheet alone. That dial has more meaning than a fun nod to the collection though; the watch has been built in support of the Megalodon Project in the Azores – so good cause, great watch and one of the heftiest, deepest divers on this list. And it’s not even at the top end in price.

Case/dial: 47mm diameter x 18.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, blue or green dial, unique Blue Shark engraving on caseback
Water resistance: 4,000m (400 bar)
Movement: Calibre SW200 with Delma custom rotor, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with deployant clasp and rubber strap
Price: £2,175

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Michel Herbelin Newport Héritage Diver 

Michel Herbelin Newport Héritage Diver 

It’s hard to see a cushion case and not imagine diving along the French Riviera, especially when said cushion case has plenty of Seventies heritage touches and the kind of gallic flair that has come to define Michel Herbelin. The Newport Héritage Diver combines 300m water resistance, a satisfyingly mechanical 120-click bezel and a sleek, retro sector dial for a downright lovely diver at any price point. The fact that it’s also seriously good value for money is the cherry on top of your marina-side cocktail.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 13.95mm thickness, stainless steel case, matte black and blue gradient dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: FKM rubber with folding clasp
Price: €1,290 (approx. £1,110)

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Escudo Ocean Seacrest

Escudo Ocean Seacrest Chocolate Bronze

Any naval explorer should have a solid dive watch and while they wouldn’t have had anything as accurate as a modern timepiece themselves, Escudo’s accessible Ocean Seacrest diver is inspired by the Portuguese and English explorers of the 15th century. That inspiration manifests in a compass point dial, a lovely bezel with inserts rather than the standard diving scale, and in this case, a lovely combination of chocolate brown and bronze. It’s not a new frontier but it’ll definitely get you there.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter x 12.8mm thickness, stainless steel case, compass inspired matt finished rich dark chocolate dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Escudo calibre 1488 (base Sellita SW200-1), automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Price: £1,650 

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Milus Archimèdes Silver Storm  

Milus Archimèdes Silver Storm  

Another Seventies inspired Super Compressor is never a bad thing, especially when it’s authentically based on the famous Milus Super Compressor of horological history. The combination of tone-on-tone silver dial and steel case and royal blue accents is beautifully clean and fittingly nautical. Fit with a broad arrow handset and slightly upsized dimensions compared to the vintage model it’s based on, the Archimèdes is a fantastic balance of heritage and modernity, underpinned by solid diving specs.

Case/dial: 41mm x 11.9mm thickness, polished stainless steel case, brushed silver dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: ETA calibre 2892-A2, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: Leather or textile, leather lining with polished steel clasp
Price: CHF 1,919 (approx. £1,620)

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£2,000 – £3,000

Style, substance and a slightly higher price tag put these pieces into the vague category of ‘practical dive watches you’ll actually want to show off’. That goes for off the boat as well as on it.

Oris Aquis New York Harbour 

Oris Aquis New York Harbour 

It’s time to talk about oysters, and I don’t mean the Rolex kind. Oris’s latest environmentally conscious timepiece is the Oris Aquis New York Harbour, a dive watch that supports the Billion Oyster Project non-profit in New York harbour. It’s their aim to repopulate what was once Earth’s most polluted water way with one billion oysters and revitalise the heavily damaged habitat. In honour of the endeavour, the Aquis bears a mother of pearl dial in shimmering green that symbolises the iconic waters of New York harbour. It’s a simultaneously fun and poignant restyling of the Aquis for a noble cause.

Case/dial: 41.5mm diameter x 13.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, green mother of pearl dial 
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Oris calibre 733, automatic, 38 hour power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: Green rubber and stainless steel 3-link bracelet
Price: CHF 2,400 (approx. £2,035), limited to 2,000 pieces

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Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium Limited Edition

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium

Zodiac’s new titanium cased Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver is a limited edition celebration of their 140th anniversary, making it one of the best dive watches of 2022. It takes elements of the standard stainless steel version and turns them up to 11. For example, it has a larger diameter of 42mm compared to 40mm and has a water resistance rating of 300m, instead of just 200m. The titanium allows it to be bigger and more resilient without compromising on the Super Sea Wolf’s weight or durability, thanks to the metal’s lightweight and corrosion resistant properties. Plus, it has a bright aesthetic with a phosphorescent green bezel and orange dial accents.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter, titanium case, black dial with seafoam green phosphorescent lume bezel and blaze orange dial accents
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, COS-C chronometer, 26 jewels
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Price: $2,495 USD (approx. £2,040), limited edition piece

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Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea

Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea

They might not have much in the way of a diving pedigree, but that didn’t stop Montblanc from building a dive watch that turned out to be one of our highlights of Watches & Wonders 2022. The 1858 Iced Sea isn’t just far more well-built than Montblanc’s ever-accessible price tag suggests; it has one of the coolest (pun intended) dials around. The icy dials are in colours you might actually see on an arctic expedition and add a level of depth you just don’t see, even on similarly lavish lacquered dials. Here’s hoping we see a lot more like these.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter, stainless steel case, blue glacier dial with white luminescent arabic numerals
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Montblanc calibre MB M16.29, automatic, 50h power reserve, 18,000 vph frequency (2.5 Hz), 22 jewels
Strap: Blue rubber or stainless steel bracelet
Price: £2,435 (rubber strap) and £2,610 (stainless steel bracelet)

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ZRC Grand Fonds 300 38163

ZRC Grand Fonds 300 38163

While ZRC might be a new name to some of you, they’re a veteran in watchmaking terms, having built timepieces for the French Navy back in the 1960s. The watch in question was the Grand Fonds 300, which as you can see has made a modern reappearance in the ZRC line-up. It’s a bit more advanced than its predecessor – the benefits of modern watchmaking – with 300m water resistance (tested at 1,000m) and the lovely elaboré version of the workhorse Sellita SW200-1. Still, it’s retained the elegant-yet-practical styling you’d expect from the French, with its large, easily operable crown at six o’clock, sharply angled sides, beautifully clean dial and ceramic-insert bezel combination.

Case/dial: 40.5mm diameter, stainless steel case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1 Elaboré, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph frequency (4 Hz), 26 jewels
Price: CHF 2,782.95 (approx. £2,400)

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Longines Ultra Chron

Longines Ultra Chron

When it comes to certifying a watch calibre, there are several well established standards that are widely used such as COSC and METAS chronometers. However, Longines have pushed the boat out with the Ultra Chron Diver with which they introduced a new chronometer standard. The “Ultra Chronometer” standard tests the performance of the movement inside the watch case, whereas most only test the calibre itself. For the Ultra Chron the movement is the high frequency L836.6, which is housed inside a 43mm steel case with curved edges.

Case/dial: 43mm diameter x 13.6mm thickness, stainless steel case, grain finished black dial with C3 Super-LumiNova
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Caliber L836.6 (base: ETA C07.811/2824-2), automatic, “Ultra-Chronometer” certification through TimeLab in Geneva, silicon balance spring, 52h power reserve, 36,600 vph (5 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Seven-link stainless steel bracelet with double safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism or brown leather strap with stainless steel buckle, plus an additional black-and-red NATO-style strap made out of recycled material (box edition)
Price: From £2,750

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Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer

Ball Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer

Somehow, the name isn’t the most reassuring aspect of Ball’s gloriously over-engineered diving watch. Along with the classic compressor dual crown layout, the Engineer Master II has gauss-beating magnetic resistance, a shock system built to survive a marine rockfall and H3 gas tubes on the dial that put traditional lume to shame, especially with their rainbow colours. With all that in mind, being one of the most handsome Ball pieces around is almost an afterthought. Almost though. That inner sapphire bezel is Fifty Fathoms-levels of underwater elegance.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 13.5mm thickness, stainless steel case 
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Ball calibre RR1101-C, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, chronometer certified COSC
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle or rubber strap with pin buckle
Price: £2,150, limited to 1,000 pieces

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Vertex M60 Aqualion wrist shot

Vertex M60 Aqualion

Heritage military divers are an important style of dive watch with their own distinct features. Purely rugged designs and easily legible displays with vital information that can be read at a glance. However, Vertex never produced a dive in their heyday so for the M60 Aqualion they couldn’t rely on their archives as they typically do. Instead, it pays homage to Vertex’s predecessor brand Aqualion, hence the half-cat, half-fish engraving. It houses the Sellita SW300-1 automatic calibre, which has a 42-hour power reserve and COSC chronometer certification making it one of the Swiss calibre manufacture’s top movements.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 14mm thickness, stainless steel case, matte black dial
Water resistance: 600m (60 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW300-1, automatic, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 42h power reserve, 25 jewels, COSC-certified chronometer
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet, single-strand Zulu strap (made by Zulu Alpha Straps) and rubber dive strap
Price: £2,850

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£3,000 – £6,000

Probably the priciest divers you’ll actually, you know, dive with, these are serious depth defiers that up their more-than-respectable diving specs sheets with cutting-edge materials, novel constructions and cool designs aplenty.

Rado Captain Cook Diver Plasma

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver

The cover star of our Tech issue is a superb combination of high-tech ceramic, serious diving specs and the retro good looks that have made the Captain Cook collection Rado’s well-built, Sixties-inspired flagship. The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver, with the metallic sheen to its ceramic case, is a particular stand-out, particularly with the steely blue dial. Inside is the equally solid R763 calibre with an 80-hour power reserve, which will keep the running indicator at 12 o’clock spinning for over three days straight. That’s reassuring for a potentially life-saving instrument.

Ref: R32144202
Case/dial:
43mm diameter x 14.6mm thickness, plasma high-tech ceramic case, black, blue, green or grey dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Rado calibre R763, automatic, 80h power reserve
Strap: Plasma high-tech ceramic and titanium bracelet
Price: £3,255

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Doxa Sub 300 Carbon

Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl

Underwater visibility’s all about contrast and you can’t get more eye-catching than white on black. Enter the latest colour for ever-bright diving specialist Doxa. The Whitepearl is, as it suggests, a combination of white strap and dial that looks particularly great against the mottled carbon fibre case of the SUB 300 Carbon. It’s a racier look that retains the timepiece’s diving specs and incredibly light weight (just 87 grams) case. Add in a full lume dial and you have a watch that seems almost bioluminescent – perfect to blend in at serious depths. It’s absolutely one of the best luxury dive watches of 2022.

Case/dial: 42.5mm diameter x 14.4mm thickness, forged carbon case, white dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz) frequency, 26 jewels, COSC certified Chronometer
Strap: FKM rubber strap with folding clasp, black PVD coating, with ratcheting dive suit extension, exclusive DOXA fish logo
Price: £3,790

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Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Brown Bronze

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Brown Bronze

Like a vintage sepia photograph of the standard BR 03-92 Diver, this handsome brown and bronze take on the square-cased tool watch feels like it belongs mounted to the control panel of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submersible. That said, it won’t be heading 50,000 leagues under the sea, even if its 300m water resistance is perfectly respectable, especially for the less-than-ideal flat planes of a square watch. Think of it as an industrial twist on a Jules Verne classic.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 12.05mm thickness, satin-finished and polished CuSn8 bronze case, brown dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.302, automatic, 38h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Brown calfskin leather and woven black rubber
Price: £3,900, limited to 999 pieces

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Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdrive

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdrive

Why would you ever go 1,000m deep? Who knows, but if you do, this extreme take on the Aquaracer has you covered. It’s massive at 45mm across but given its depth rating that’s not too much of a surprise. Size aside though, it’s much the same as the standard Aquaracer with its mix of faceted case, 12-sided bezel horizontally engraved dial. The most important change though is the movement, which is a Kenissi TH30-00 built exclusively for TAG Heuer. What this means for the future of the collection is yet to be seen (it could just be a one-off due to the enlarged case) but it makes an already notable release downright exciting.

Case/dial: 45mm diameter, grade 5 titanium case, black sunray brushed dial
Water resistance: 1,000m (100 bar)
Movement: Kenissi calibre TH 30-00, automatic, 70h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: Titanium bracelet with folding clasp push-buttons 
Price: £5,500

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Sherpa Ultradive

Sherpa Ultradive

A long-overdue tribute to the beloved Enicar model of yore, the newest incarnation of the Sherpa Ultradive was well worth the wait and is one of the best watches of 2022 full stop. Incredibly solid with its signature crown guard and a technical diving style straight out of the golden age of underwater exploration, it comes with a practical compressor caseback and, surprisingly, compressor crowns which work to the same effect: the more pressure on the watch, the more tightly sealed they are. It may be a re-issue, but innovation abounds. It’s available in a blacked-out OPS version but for us, the classic steel Ultradive is the one.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 13.5mm thickness, polished stainless steel case, rotating inner diver’s bezel
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Mantramatic calibre MM01, automatic, 38h power reserve
Strap: Tropic style rubber
Price: €5,900 (approx. £5,040)

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£6,000 +

Sure, these pieces in the upper echelons of fine watchmaking may be able to hold their own in the great blue yonder, but they’re serious collector’s pieces, the kind that won’t be easily replaced if an errant shark has particularly good taste. They’re fantastic divers; they’re even better show pieces.

Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro 

Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro

Choosing the right case size for our dive watch can be difficult. Take the Panerai Submersible for example, prior to 2022 it was only available in 47mm or 42mm. The former is so large that only titanic wrists can sport it and the latter is on the smaller end of the dive watch spectrum. However, the Submersible QuarantaQuattro launched in 2022 has a sizing right in the middle of the two at 44mm. It’s a size that benefits from the best of both world, small enough to wear (especially over a diving suit) but still large enough to give off a bold, strong aesthetic.

Case/dial: 44mm diameter, AISI 316L brushed steel case, black, blue or green dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Panerai calibre P.900, automatic, 72h power reserve, 28,8000 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: Black, blue or green rubber
Price: £7,900

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Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Ushio Diver

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Black Stream Diver

If you want a dive watch that looks as good as the mysterious and dark waters around the archipelago of Japan, look no further than Grand Seiko’s Evolution 9 Black Stream Diver. It’s the first dedicated dive watch in the Evolution 9 collection and draws its inspiration from the Kuroshio Current. It’s an incredibly evocative timepiece, which is to be expected as Grand Seiko are virtually unchallenged in the arena of producing watches with natural textures on their dials. Although the excellence of the Black Stream is more than skin deep as it houses the Spring Drive Calibre 9RA5, an automatic movement with a 5-day power reserve.

Case/dial: 43.8mm diameter x 13.8mm thickness, high density titanium case, black or white textured dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Grand Seiko spring drive calibre 9RA5, automatic, 5 day power reserve, 38 jewels
Strap: Titanium bracelet with three-fold clasp with secure lock & push button release and solid and slide adjuster
Price: £9,970

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Glashütte Original SeaQ Red Gold

Glashütte Original SeaQ

Gold isn’t generally the most desirable material for a diving watch. Opting for a soft case metal in one of the harshest environments on Earth doesn’t seem like the best idea. But it’s hard to keep practicalities in mind when you get Glashütte Original’s latest gold-touched diver on your wrist. The ceramic bezel inlay and 200m water resistance let the SeaQ hold its own at sea, but it’s definitely one of those ‘dive watches you never dive with’. Which is perfectly fine. If you do deign to join for a spot of diving, you can, but otherwise you’ll look fantastic waiting at the boat club working your way through a good bottle of Riesling.

Case/dial: 39.5mm diameter x 12.15mm thickness, 5N red gold case, galvanised black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Glashütte Original calibre 39-11, 40h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Black rubber or grey synthetic fabric
Price: £19,400

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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complet

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet 

If a gold watch is dubious enough as a diver, what about a high complication? What about, let’s say, a complete calendar? That alone would generally disqualify a diver, but this is the Fifty Fathoms, one of the most iconic underwater watches ever built. It does have solid diving specs with 300m water resistance, a unidirectional rotating diving bezel, and a lightweight titanium case, just with the addition of day, date, month and moon phase – a diver being one of the few places a moon phase is actually useful for the tides. While it’s another watch you probably shouldn’t take on a dive with you, it’s reassuring to know that you could.

Case/dial: 43mm diameter x 13.3mm thickness, titanium case
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Blancpain calibre 6654.P.4, automatic, 72h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 28 jewels
Strap: Titanium bracelet with folding clasp
Price: £15,300

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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep wrist shot

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep

Ultra Deep by name, Ultra Deep by nature, this production take on Omega’s record-breaking timekeeper of the Five Deeps Expedition is slightly less extreme in its performance – which is still at a downright insane 6,000m of water resistance. That’s the kind of depth that conjures existential dread. The big, 45.5mm case is rendered in the painfully named but nonetheless practical O-MEGASTEEL and a stunning (if a little too Sea-Dweller-esque) gradient blue dial. The Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep might just be the best true diver on the market. It does however have a price tag to match.

Case/dial: 45.5mm diameter x 18.12mm height, “O-MEGASTEEL” case, gradient blue dial
Water resistance: 6,000m (600 bar)
Movement: Omega calibre 8912, automatic, 39 jewels, magnetic resistance to 15,000 gauss, Master Chronometer Certified, approved by METAS, 60h power reserve, 25,200 vph (3.5 Hz) frequency
Strap: Rubber or O-MEGASTEEL bracelet
Price: £10,060

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Richard Mille RM 032 Voiles de Saint Barth

Richard Mille RM032 Les Voiles de Saint Barth  

Racing definitely, golf, obviously, tennis – well, just check out Nadal’s wrist. But diving? The avant garde performance of Richard Mille doesn’t often go hand-in-hand with the depths of the ocean. Unless of course that ocean is around the well-heeled island of St. Barth, to which this hefty piece of regatta action is dedicated to. This is more a change in colourway than anything else, being a revamp of Richard Mille’s 2011 diving chronograph, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking teeth: 300m water resistance on a hefty 50mm case in titanium and carbon TPT and a bezel with a mix of Caribbean blue and quartz white. The dial’s a little harder to read than you might want for a diver, but looks-wise it’s fresher than a rum punch in a coconut. Hard not to call it one of the best luxury dive watches of 2022.

Case/dial: 50mm diameter x 17.8mm height, grade 5 titanium case, lugs, inserts and case back in Carbon TPT®, skeletonised dial with two-tone combination of Caribbean blue and white Quartz TPT
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Calibre RMAC2, automatic, 50h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 62 jewels
Strap: Caribbean blue rubber
Price: EUR 225,000 (approx. £195,000), limited to 120 pieces

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Junior Content Producer for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. While a relative newcomer to the magazine, he's nonetheless a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better.

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