Diving watches is such a broad category that despite being a watchmaking niche itself, it is full of other niches. Off the top of my head I could name skin divers, desk divers and professional divers – each of which add a specific spin to the dive watch formula. However, perhaps the most rapidly growing dive watch niche is that of the deep diver. Dive watches with 3,000m+ water resistance ratings.
While these depths were once the exclusive province of high end brands like Rolex, today there are many more brands capable of reaching these deeps and of those brands, the one offering the best value is Oceaneva with the Deep Marine Explorer III.
Oceaneva are an American brand that aims to bring high value watches to customers for accessible prices and with the Deep Marine Explorer III, they certainly do that. The watch has a 42mm diameter case made from brushed stainless steel with an incredible 3,000m water resistance rating. Now, water resistance ratings can be a deceptive metric because it often refers to a test that involves no water and in which the watch is static.
For the Oceaneva Deep Explorer III, they wanted to show that they’re serious about its water resistance and so to test it, they challenged it to face the real depths by strapping it to the side of a submersible and send it into the deep. With the addition of actual water and movement, the way we consider water resistance needs to change. In the real world a watch needs a much higher water resistance rating than the depth it’s actually meant to be used at. The Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III reached a true depth of 2,150m and returned to the surface in perfect working condition.
That is beyond impressive for a watch that costs just £2,220 or, in the current sale, just £807. To put that into context, the RALFTECH The Beast, which also has 3,000m water resistance is roughly £6,000. If you were to consider a handful of deep diver’s depth per cost, the Oceaneva comes out on top with approximately 1.5m/£ value (jumping to 3m/£ in the sale). The Oris AquisPro comes in at next best value at 1m/£ and the RALFTECH, Omega Ultra-Deep and Rolex Deep Sea Challenge all share a value of 0.5m/£. So the Oceaneva really does offer the most bang for your buck when it comes to swimming and deep diving.
Rounding out the watch is classic dive watch display that’s available in a wide verity of colours and styles. There’s black, blue, brown, navy, green, grey and white, all created in mother-of-pearl for a swirling, scintillating pattern. Those dial variants are also matched by a couple of case options like black IP plating or golden bi-colour.
Inside, the Oceaneva Deep Explorer III houses the Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve. It’s an absolute staple of the industry and a real workhorse. The SW200-1 was actually updated with an improved power reserve fairly recently so I wonder if once the existing stock has run out we’ll see Oceaneva adopt the new version, which would increase the value of the watch yet further. It’s an exciting time to be exploring the deeps with Oceaneva on your wrist.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer III 3000M
- Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 17.8mm thickness, stainless steel case, mother-of-pearl dials
- Water resistance: 3,000m (300 bar)
- Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 26 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 38h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
- Price/availability: $999 (approx. £807)