Looking for a good diving watch for your next scuba diving outing?
We have decided to create a three part series covering some of the best and most established men’s dive watches available. These watches have earned reputations as some of the most highly acclaimed divers watches. All are all highly rated by experienced scuba divers.
The watches are from a wide range of brands, designs and prices. From budget Casios to high end Rolexes, from 200 meter depth watches to watches that can operate just fine at 4000 meters below the ocean surface, these are a mixed bag from across the board!
The one criteria that is common in these watches is that they represent the highest quality and greatest value to you, the consumer, no matter which features, price or depth rating you seek.
So to kick it off we present the first seven watches from Britling, Casio, Citizen, Dive-Rite, Luminox, Omega and Reactor.
Join with us as we commence this three part voyage…
Breitling Men’s Dive Watches
The Breitling watch company was founded in 1884, but Louis Breitling in the Swiss municipality of St Imier. The goals of the company (at first) were the advancement of new industrial and scientific applications of counter and chronograph watch technology. The 19th century would see the company expanding its scope to include the manufacturing of top quality instruments for automobiles and airplanes – which remains the watchmaker’s key speciality.
Breitling would inevitably extend their precision watchmaking into other areas, using their skills and experience to develop some of the greatest diving watches on the planet.
Here we take a look at two of Breitling’s finest watches, the Breitling SuperOcean Dive Watch and Breitling Avenger Seawolf Dive Watch.
Breitling SuperOcean Dive Watch
|Power reserve:||min. 40 hours|
|Vibration:||28 800 v.p.h|
|Water resistance:||1500m (5,000 ft)|
|Crown:||Screw-locked, two gasket|
|Back (or caseback):||Screwed in|
glareproofed both sides
|Interhorn width:||20/18 mm|
Launched in the 1950’s, Breitling’s Superocean dive watch was created to address the needs of divers in the US forces and commercial diver industry. The Superocean series is noted for it’s energetic styling and superior capabilities in the most demanding of conditions.
The Superocean dive watch is cut from a solid steel block and utilizes Breitling’s unique Professional II triple link steel bracelet. The watch features not just the common screw-down crown and caseback, but a pressure-balancing safety valve, allowing dives to depths of 1500 meters. The watch is slightly cheaper than the Breitling SeaWolf, slightly smaller and while it is rated to about half the depth, 1500 meter is certainly a lot more than the average diving watch can handle.
The Superocean also looks near identical to the SeaWolf, but is slightly smaller and lighter. It’s case is comprised of brushed, polished steel and the user presented with a clear and highly legible black dial with aribic numerals, bright luminescent hands, radial shaped hour markers and red-tipped second hands that glow in dark conditions. The dial features 24-hour markings and a date window that is fixed at the 3 o’clock position. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, scrath-resistant case which is framed by a rotating, steel bezel and dive time markers that is unidirection in accordance with the ISO dive watch specifications.
If you engage in professional diving activities and seek a dive watch of the finest quality that will last you near a lifetime, then the Breitling Superocean is a professional instrument that should be a mandatory inclusion on your shortlist of watches.
Breitling Aeromarine Avenger Seawolf Automatic Dive Watch
|Power reserve:||min. 40 hours|
|Vibration:||28 800 v.p.h|
|Water resistance:||3000m (10,000 ft)|
|Crown:||Screw-locked, two gasket|
|Back (or caseback):||Screwed in|
glareproofed both sides
|Interhorn width:||22/20 mm|
The Breitling Avenger Seawolf dive watch may be many things, but one thing it is not is depth-shy. With the ability to wisthand water pressure to a depth defying 300 atmospheres or the equivalent of submersion to 3000 meters (10,000 feet) below the surface, the Seawolf is the ultimate diving watch, even for the most hardened scuba diving professionals.
This watch features sharply pronounced masculine edges, and an expertly crafted, ultra-durable, ultra-light titanium case and professional bracelet. A uni-directional rotating timing bezel outlines an elegently simple dial with highly legible Arabic numerals that mark the hour and hands that illuminate in low or no light environmental conditions. The dial is available in various dial color schemes including an iconic yellow, striking blue and compelling black.
The Breitling Avenger Seawolf dive watch features a helium safety valve, that safely expelling helium build-up within the crystal case, making this watch suitable for saturation diving. The Seawolf’s automatic movement is certified by the C.O.S.C. (Swiss Official Chronometer Control).
Casio Men’s Dive Watches
Casio Sea Illuminator Dive Watch
Dispelling the myth that a good dive watch must cost an arm and a leg, the Casio Sea Illuminator dive watch makes an ideal starter watch or backup watch for dives you do not wish to risk your more expensive diving watch on.. This solid offering from Casio features a large, round dial and two side buttons. Surprisingly robust for such a cheap watch, this Casio matches up favorably against many higher end sports dive watches.
The Sea Illuminator features luminous hands and markers and a bright dual LED backlight illumination system that intensily highlights the watch dial should you need it. The date display is positioned at four o’clock and the dial protected by a scratch-proof mineral dial window.
This watch is water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet), which should be adequate for most recreational scuba dives. The watch battery will last for about three years and this casio watch is backed by a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Casio Sea pathfinder dive watch
|Casio Men’s Sea Pathfinder
Solar Atomic Watch
|Casio Men’s Sea Pathfinder
The Casio Sea Pathfinder is a member of Casio’s “Pathfinder” line, a series of sports watches that cater to the outdoor lifestyle and possess a list of features as long as your arm. The Sea Pathfinder is designed for outdoors activities in and around water, with some rudimentary diving features.
Being digital rather than analog, as is the case with the Sea Illuminator, one might consider the Pathfinder a sort of entry level computer dive watch, with a broad scope of features that make it a very useful all-purpose timepice, not just your dives.
The watch features a built in depth guage and dive log and even a system-specific nitrogen loading graph. Unlike the Sea Illuminator, can only withstand submersion to 100 meters, which while adequate for light scuba diving, is definitely not a professionally rated dive watch. On the other hand this watch features enough features to make even MacGyver proud. It features: built-in digital compass, barometer, thermometer, solar power and wirelss atomic clock updates.
Overall, this is an excellent watch for outdoorsy types, especially those who are active around water. The watch is quite large and bulky, but compensates for this with it’s large list of features.
Citizen Men’s Dive Watches
Citizen Aqualand Dive Watches Series
The Citizen Aqualand dive watch series is a collection of mid-range watches featured in a number of distinct designs, including retro designs based on iconic Citizen dive watches of the past.
All modern day Citizen dive watches feature “Eco-Drive” technology. This gives Citizen watches a distinct advantage over other diving watches due, their ability to recharge the battery from a light source. A Citizen watch will effectively “power-up” its battery when placed in direct sunlight or even an artifical light source. In theory, this means the battey life of a Citizen Eco-Drive watch is infinite. In practice you will probably not need to replace the battery over the life span of the watch.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Aqualand Dive Watches have earned a reputation as one of the most popular watches in the diving community. Not only does it look great in both business and casual settings, but is a solid dive watch that performs.
It sports a unidirectional rotating bezel, a depth sensor that is accurate up to 125 feet and will log the maximum depth of your dive. Aqualand watches feature luminous watch hands and markers and a screw-down crown and case-back for complete water-tightness, with the ability to withstand depths of up to 200 meters (660 feet).
The Citizen Eco Drive professional Aqualand diving watch is a quality diving watch for both recreational and experienced divers and can be purchased at a very reasonable price.
Dive-Rite Dive Watches
Dive Rite was founded in 1984, by two North Florida underwater cave explorers in an era where technical diving equipment wsa virtually non-existent. The company filled that gap in the market and in 1997 when the company changed ownership, Dive Rite began its ascent from a fledgling North Florida dive gear company into a global entity with distribution in 23 countries around the world. Today Dive Rite is a world leader in the technical diving market place and a leading manufacturer of diving computer watches.
Dive-Rite NiTek Plus
The Dive Right NiTek Plus is a user-friendly diving computer in the size of a standard wrist-watch. It is actually a highly sophisticated dive computer that rivals those usually found in much larger packages.
The watch features a dive planning mode and simulator, plus diving logs and the tracking features that have become standard in computer diving equipment.
When diving under water, the NiTek Plus can accurately track your depth and features a bottom timer when in “Gauge Mode”. In “Dive Mode”, the watch monitors one or two different gasses, displaying the fraction of oxygen for Mix 1 and 2. It turns itself on automatically as you begin your descent. Mix 1 can be programmed for mixes comprising of Nitrox in the range of 21-50%. Mix 2 is for Nitrox mixes in the range 21-99%. Divers are able to switch between mixes at a press of a button.
Once you return to sea level, the NiTek Plus will hold your entered gas mixture until midnight that night and must be reset the following day. The NiTek Plus is capable of determining your decompression stop times for depths of up to 90-feet.
Dive mode also displays an Oxygen limit bar graph, that represents the cumulative PO2 exposure (“CNS Clock”), the partial pressure of oxygen (PPOS) for current mix and depth, a residual nitrogen bar graph that conveys the cumulative nitrogen absorption, water temperature and the no-decompression remaining time.
The watch also features symbols indicating the current mix setting, nitrox mode (no symbol displayed in air mode), current water salinity, a safety stop that includes a three minute countdown at 20 feet, an excessive ascent rate warning and daily or hourly alarms.
Small, light and simple to use, the NiTek Plus is an advanced dive computer watch for experienced divers. It is available at a mid-range price, making it exceptional value for anyone seeking the sophistication to keep track of their dives both in and out of the water.
Lumionx Dive Watches
Luminox Navy SEAL Dive Watch
The Luminox Navy SEAL Dive Watch was released by the Luminox watch company after just 4 years in the business. It began when US Navy Procurement officer Nick North heard stories of an earlier model Luminox sports watch that featured a remarkable new approach never before been seen in a sports watch.
Luminox signed a deal to create a custom watch that would go on to become the dive watch of the illustrious U.S. Navy SEAL team and later, a sensational hit with consumers.
The Luminox Dive Watch is distinct from normal dive watches in that emits light at all times, even in total darkness and does not require an external power source or even environmental light to “recharge”.
The Navy SEAL watch is a solid divers watch. It features stand-out Arabic numers that contrast with a dial available in several color schemes. The watch has a unidirectional textured bezel and distinctly marked white minute indexes for superior readability.
The movement is powered by analog-Quartz mechanices and the dial protected by a mineral window. This watch is water-resistant to 200 meters (660 ft) below the ocean’s surface and features a handy date calendar at the 3 o’clock position.
Whether you’re a serious or recreational scuba diver, you can’t go too far wrong with a Luminox Navy SEAL dive watch.
Omega Men’s Dive Watches
Omega’s illustrious story originates in 1848 when founding figure Louis Brandt began the practice of assembling precision, key-wound watches by hand with local parts from his principality La Chaux-de-Fonds, located in north west Switzerland. The name “Omega”, did not originate until 1894. By then Louis had passed away and his business, had passed onto his sons Louis-Paul and Cesar Brandt.
The Omega story has grown considerably stronger than in those early days, the company’s proudest moment in 1969 at 02:56 GMT, when an Omega Speedmaster chronograph, NASA’s official space watch, was worn by the first man to step foot on the Moon’s surface soon after Apollo 11 had landed safely on the surface. Omega enahanced their legend and prestige and the Seamaster earned the nick-name “Moon Watch“.
Today Omega watches are associated with the glamourous pursuits of sports stars, actors and actresses. The Omega Seamaster can be seen worn by the rich and famous includig, Nicole Kidman, ladies tennis player Anna Kournikova swimmers, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps and former James bond actor Pierce Brosnan.
Omega has gained a repuatation for it’s rigorous testing of its bands, cases and watch movements. By the time a new Omega watch has reached the stores, it has undergone thorough testing for shock-resistance, vibrations, extreme temperatures and other tests of its mettle.
This Superb Omega Men’s Seamaster Blue Dial Watch appeared in the James Bond film, Casino Royal, although in truth, two “limited edition” versions of the watch actually appeared. This non-limited edition watch bears the James Bond Style without the “limited edition” price tag. The watch, a favorite in the diving community features precision Swiss quartz movement and a rhodium-plating finish resulting in greater durability, stability and precision.
The case is cast stainless steel and the watch features a uni-directional rotating blue bezel, offest with white markers and Arabic numerals. Featuring a domed, scratch-proof sapphire crystal dial window, the dial is coated with anti-reflective treatment and a calendar is conveniently positioned at the 3 o’clock position.
The Omega Seamaster dive watch makes an outstanding dress watch, but this timepiece is also a professional quality dive watch that is water resistance to 300 meters (1000 feet) and supports an automatic chronometer with the new Co-Axial escapement movement, a technology advancement that ensures a high level of precision and stablity over a long period of use. (Model 2220.80.00).
If you are seeking a “James Bond” style watch at a price you can afford, this watch is an absolute beauty! Users report, the Omega Seamaster watch looks many times better than any picture you see on the internet, including the official ones.
The Seamaster Planet Ocean Watch is a step up from the Seamaster Blue Dial. It features a black, rather than blue dial and a self-winding Swiss automatic movement that unlike conventional automatic watches, features co-axial escapement. The watch is water resistant down to 600 meters (2000 feet), making it an excellent option for serious diving professionals.
Reactor Men’s Dive Watches
Unlike many of the other diving watches listed here, Reactor sports watches are a relative newcomer having been founded in 2003 and the company is very passionate about their journey into the dive watch word. Here is a snippet from the company mission statement:
In 2003 we set out on a mission to design a line of sport watches that would exceed the demands of the action sports athlete, while creating a style uniquely different from the norm. In short, we wanted to push well beyond what the watch industry had to offer and create a product that would truly set a new standard. Bold components, uncompromising quality and unconventional styling have combined to create Reactor.
The new and exciting sports watch company was in fact founded by former partner in the Freestyle watch line Jimmy Olmes. A passionate workaholic, with a tendency to constantly strive towards perfection, Jimmy and his partners sold Freestyle at the end of 2000. Jimmy stayed on as president until the end of 2002 and after a brief retirement, set out to create a new standard in watch design.
Jimmy whos background is in action sports was on a mission to create the best performing sports watch yet seen on the planet regardless of what price needed to be paid. The watch was to have a distinctive styling and be wearable at all times of the day. The result was a performance oriented set of criteria that would become the “DNA” of the Reactor brand.
These features, when combined set Reactor watches apart from average sports watches and have paved the way for Reactor’s success.
In fact Reactor are so confident of the quality of their watches, they back it with a two-year unconditional warranty:
We’re so confident in the integrity of the Reactor DNA, that we back every watch with the industry’s only two-year UNCONDITIONAL warranty. If it breaks, we fix it … period.
The Reactor DNA
Solid 316L Stainless Steel or Titanium Forged Cases
Both these metals are incredibly strong, can be crafted with machinery to fine tolerances, and are resistant to highly corrosive environments. All Reactor wrist bands and watch cases have been forged from either of these quality metals resulting in premium longevity and strength.
Screw-down Crown with Crown Guards
The crown is a fragile component of a wrist watch and so requires it’s own unique protection. Therefore in Reactor watches, crown guards are built into the watch case of every model in production. Reactor screw down crowns are even water resistant when unscrewed, a feature you won’t find in other diving watches.
Extraordinarily Bright Swiss Superluminova Dials & Hands
Reactor watches use proven Swiss material in all dial markings and watch hands, making them amongst the longest lasting and brightest watches in the world.
Solid Threaded Screwbar Case-to-Band Attachment
The weak point of most watches is springbars so Reactor have completely done away with them. All Reactor watches feature a solid threaded screwbar that provides around a 500-800% increase in strength.
Solid Forged Casebacks with D-profile Seal
Reactor watches feature a caseback that is forged from exactly the same metal as the case. Using a d-profile ring, Reactor watches have a rigid, seal that is completely watertight, even after a change in batteries.
Triple-secure Clasp Closure on all Metal bracelets
Reactor are aware that failed claps are the bane of every diver who has lost a watch and so have designed their watches to require pressure in three seperate directions to open ensuring your watch is where you left it after your dive – securely on your wrist.
Reactor Men’s Trident Dive Watch
The Trident Reactor Men’s diving watch is a beautiful arrangment of contoured polished bracelet links, attached to a stainess steel case that can be used both in the water or in everyday life.
This sleek and stylish watch features, intuitive Arabic numbers, an innovative new “Never Dark” illumination technology that like the Lumionx Dive Watches shines a distinctly bright light twenty four hours of the day, every day. The watch has a day/date display at 3 o’clock, a uni-directional bezel and is water resistant to 200m (660 feet).
The stainless steel or titanium bracelet can be easily fastened with a fold-over clasp and is protected from unwanted release by a tripple-point pressure release mechanism. This watch is a fine addition to any modern gentleman’s wardrobe, whether he be a hardened diver or just looking for something smart to hit the town in. The Trident Reactor watch is available in a black or polished steel case and a wide range of dial colors. All Reactor watches are backed by a manufacturers two year warranty.
That is it for now. In this article, we have looked at some of the finest diving watches around, yet have barely scratched the surface of what’s on offer in the world of diving timepieces. Join us in the next part of the series, where we look at men’s dive watches from Rolex, Seiko and Suunto.