The variety of watch types has never been greater than it is now.
We now have to choose between technologically advanced fitness trackers and smartwatches, and more conventional wristwatches that have been admired for decades.
If there is one traditional watch kind that has been in great demand since the publication of its pioneer model, it’s without a doubt the dive watch.
Contrary to popular opinion, these timepieces aren’t just for divers; they’re also popular among daily wearers who appreciate the unusual aesthetic they provide.
Diver watches appeal to a wide range of budgets, which is why they are so popular. Savvy buyers can discover something for around $100, while those eager to spend big on a top-of-the-line model could expect to pay in the five- or six-figure range.
The fact is that the best value is found somewhere in the middle.
That means you don’t have to spunk all your savings on the newest Submariner by Rolex. Instead, keep reading to learn about some great diving watch models from well-known watchmakers that might not be cheap but don’t break the bank either.
Look no further if you’re on the lookout for the best dive watch under $1500. In this article, we take a look at the top 7 models you can get in 2022.
Without further ado, let’s go.
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Best Dive Watch Under 1500 (Top 3 Overview)
Dive Watches Under $1,500 (Top 3 Reviewed)
As you can probably tell from the comparison table above, the choice of the best diver under $1500 will be heavily influenced by two things:
- your budget
- the water resistance required for your dives
To make sure you select the right product for your needs, we encourage you to read our short-but-detailed reviews of all three divers below.
We open up the list with what we consider the best value dive watch under $1500 currently in the market.
For those familiar with the diving watch sector, the fact that it’s a Citizen timepiece is hardly a shock as the Japanese watch brand is known for its rich collection of dive timepieces.
- Read also: Top Citizen Dive Watches
Citizen BJ8050-08 belongs to the Promaster series that focuses strictly on professional, ISO-certified dive watches. Starting with what is probably the most essential feature of a dive watch, the model comes with a 30ATM/300m water resistance rating. That means it’s perfectly suitable for professional scuba diving but saturation diving might be a step too far.
Moving to the exterior, the watch is fairly massive. The sporty design consists of a 48mm stainless steel case that is also fairly thick (19mm), and a rubber band with standard buckle closure. Naturally for a dive watch, the case includes a unidirectional bezel that can help you with measuring elapsed time underwater. For maximum protection against water damage, the caseback and the crown are screw-down.
The black dial features luminous hands and dot hour markers that are luminescent, ensuring excellent readability underwater. There are also minute markers around the outer rim and a date display window at the 3 o’clock position. The display is securely protected from cracks and scratches thanks to the mineral crystal glass.
Like most newly-released Citizen watches, it’s powered by Eco-Drive technology. It’s Citizen’s proprietary solar-powered mechanism that allows for hassle-free performance for at least 20 years. Eco-Drive watches are fuelled by Japanese quartz movements with a power reserve of 180 days. That means the watch will keep ticking accurately even if you don’t expose it to any light for as long as 6 months. Impressive!
If you’d like to learn more about the watchmaker, read our Citizen brand review.
If you’re after a watch that can go really deep, and we mean really deep, considering this Pantor timepiece is far from the worst idea.
Pantor is by far the youngest watchmaker on today’s list. With that said, with just over a decade’s existence, Pantor has done well enough to be considered one of if not the best microbrand specializing in watches for divers.
Granted, it’s nowhere near as popular and well-respected as the other remaining names discussed in the article. However, thanks to its microbrand status, you can get a really unique and capable dive watch at a much lesser cost.
Pantor Seahorse you see above comes with a water resistance rating of 1000m – the highest of all models included. That means it’s suitable for all forms of diving, including saturation diving. What’s more, it comes with an automatic helium valve which you can find at the 9 o’clock position. This tool makes sure the watch doesn’t get damaged under increasing pressure at bigger depths that are known to contain helium or hydrogen.
The watch wears smaller than the Citizen pick discussed above. The stainless steel case measures 45mm in diameter and 16 in thickness. The bracelet is also made from stainless steel and contains as many as 15 links, as well as an extension buckle for closure. Both the caseback and the crown (placed at 4 o’clock) are naturally screw-down. The case features a sea-inspired, dark blue bezel that rotates unidirectionally.
The black dial combined with large, alternating dot and arrow indices ensures excellent legibility. Needless to say, all markers, as well as hands, glow in the dark. Additionally, between 4 and 5 o’clock located is a tiny date window.
One of the most valuable features of this watch is the sapphire crystal glass which is by far the most durable form of crystal used in timepieces today. The glass comes with an anti-reflective coating which means the transparency is so good you might at times forget the crystal is even there!
If you normally opt for automatic over battery-powered watches, it’s another reason to go for Pantor. The timepiece runs on a Japanese automatic caliber produced by Miyota, one of the most trusted movement manufacturers in Japan. It has a power reserve of 40 hours.
Closing the Top 3 section of best dive watches under 1500 is this beast from Luminox.
Luminox produces some of the toughest watches on the planet, appreciated by folks from the most demanding professions including the Navy Seals. If it’s good enough for a Seal, it should be good enough for you as well!
What distinguishes Luminox watches from others on the list is the fact that they’re incredibly lightweight! You might wonder: how’s that possible that such a robust timepiece is featherweight?
The secret is in the Luminox-patented material known as Carbonox. It’s a carbon compound material that “consists of carbon long bars or carbon powder in varying percentages depending on the model”. The material is used both with cases and bands, contributing to the overall decrease in weight. To paint a clearer picture, the Carbonox is 6 times lighter than steel, and 3 times lighter than titanium. In this case, the watch weighs as little as 3,2 oz (90 grams). If you want a timepiece that you can forget you’re even wearing, look no further.
On the waterproofing front, the watch can withstand depths of up to 30ATM/300m. The water resistance is further aided by the screw-in caseback and crown.
Despite its incredible ruggedness, Luminox 1550 is a moderately-sized timepiece. With a diameter of 45mm and 15mm case thickness, the model doesn’t require a gigantic wrist to look neat. The band uses a secure tang buckle closure, making sure it doesn’t slip while underwater. Obviously, it has a unidirectional bezel.
The combination of black exterior and shiny green can certainly turn heads. The orange second hand just adds to the unique look. For the best readability experience, the dotted hour markers and hands are luminescent. Like all Luminox watches, this one utilizes the brand’s patented Super Luminova technology that ensures glow for up to 25 years.
The best possible protection against cracks and scratches is guaranteed by sapphire crystal glass. Additionally, it has an anti-reflective coating so it’s perfectly legible in any light.
The watch utilizes Japanese quartz movement, ensuring excellent accuracy of ±15 seconds/month.
Best Dive Watches Under 1500: Alternatives
There’s nothing to worry about if none of the three picks caters to your taste. Below you will find 4 additional dive watches under $1500 that can do just as good a job.
Fully made from stainless steel, all models below lean towards dressy style. If you’re after a watch that can be a great companion underwater but looks equally on point during everyday use, continue reading.
Bulova Oceanographer 98B320
We kickstart the alternative list of divers with this iconic model from arguably the most respected American watchmaker, Bulova.
The number of Bulova watches designed exclusively with divers in mind might not be incredibly big. However, the ones that are available in the current offer are extremely capable.
Bulova Oceanographer you see above has been released as a tribute to one of the most iconic dive watches of the 1970s, the Devil Diver. As you’d expect from a watch referred to as the Devil, the timepiece can withstand depths of 666 feet (200m). Further decreasing any chance of water getting inside the watch are the screw-down crown (positioned at 3 o’clock) and caseback.
The 98B320 model comes with a 44mm stainless steel case featuring a unidirectional black and red bezel ring. People often refer to the watch case as “tuna” since its shape resembles a tuna can. The 3-link bracelet is also made from stainless steel and uses a fold-over push-button clasp with safety.
The black dial features three luminescent hands pointing to dotted hour markers that also glow in the dark. At three o’clock there’s a date window. The watch comes with a double-domed sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating. The side view certainly looks intriguing.
The Oceanographer is the second automatic watch on today’s list. It’s another movement produced by Miyota. It has a power reserve of 42 hours and delivers an accuracy of ±8 seconds/day.
Learn more about Bulova by reading our Bulova brand review.
A list of top dive watches wouldn’t feel complete without a Seiko timepiece.
Next to the aforementioned Citizen, Seiko watches provide arguably the best value as far as the Japanese watch market is concerned. The SRP637 model you see above belongs to the Prospex collection – a line of watches dedicated strictly to diving enthusiasts.
- Read also: Top Seiko Dive Watches
Referred to as “Baby Tuna”, it’s another diving timepiece that boasts a tuna can-shaped bezel.
All body elements (case, unidirectional bezel, bracelet) are made from stainless steel. The case measures 48mm in diameter and is 13mm thick. The caseback, as well as the crown located just before 4 o’clock, are screw-down ensuring the best protection against water-related damage. And since we’ve touched on the subject of water, it’s the perfect moment to mention that the watch is water-resistant up to 200m.
The combination of a pitch-black dial and giant-sized white baton indices make the watch extremely easy to read. In fact, the readability is on point in any conditions thanks to the luminescent hands and indices. Furthermore, positioned at 3 o’clock is a day and date window. The face is protected by Seiko’s patented Hardlex crystal. Durability-wise, the crystal type is closer to mineral glass than sapphire.
As far as additional diving watch features are concerned, Seiko SRP637 is the only model on the list that comes with a wet-suit extension buckle for diving.
Apart from being an excellent watchmaker, Seiko is also a well-respected movement manufacturer. Hence, it’s hardly a surprise the watch is powered by the brand’s in-house automatic caliber.
Read our Seiko brand review for more information.
It’s hardly a secret that Swiss brands are still considered by many the trend-and-standard-setters in the world of watchmaking. If you’re sharing the same sentiment, continue reading. The last two dive watches under $1500 come from renowned Swiss watchmakers.
First up we have this brilliantly-crafted watch from Tissot.
Tissot watches provide arguably the best value in the mid-price basket Swiss watches. Although the diving collection isn’t particularly massive, Tissot Seastar timepieces are manufactured exclusively with divers in mind and they never fail to deliver.
The Seastar watch in question here, T1204071104100 (yes, we wish Tissot model names were easier to remember as well), ticks all the boxes of an excellent dive watch.
The timepiece is water-resistant up to 300m and comes with a screwed-in caseback and crown, guaranteeing the best possible protection underwater. The caseback in this model is transparent, allowing you to peek at the intricate workings of the automatic movement.
The tuna can-shaped blue bezel is unidirectional and allows you to comfortably measure elapsed time during your leaps. It matches the color of the dial which gives the watch quite a stylish look. The white hour markers and hands are easily distinguishable. All elements are filled with luminescent material which can be a great help in low-light conditions. Another distinctive feature of this watch is the round date window at 6 o’clock.
One of the best features of this Seastar model is its movement. The timepiece is powered by Tissot’s much-appreciated Powermatic movement. It’s an automatic Swiss caliber that delivers excellent accuracy and has a power reserve of a whopping 80 hours.
Size-wise, Tissot T1204071104100 wears relatively small with a case diameter of 43mm and thickness of 12.7mm. Both the case and the 5-link bracelet are made from stainless steel. The best possible protection against face damage is guaranteed by sapphire crystal glass.
For more information on the brand, read our Tissot watches review.
Revue Thommen 17571.2214
Finally yet importantly, something for those of you who appreciate a kind-of-vintage gold-tone design.
Closing today’s list of best dive watches under 1500 bucks is this head-turning model from another highly regarded Swiss brand, Revue Thommen.
Granted, RT watches might not be getting the same attention they enjoyed decades ago, but there’s little doubt that the Swiss company is still delivering well-crafted, Entry-Level luxury timepieces.
The design of this Revue Thommen dive watch is clearly inspired by one of if not the most iconic diver ever released – Rolex Submariner. If you’ve been on the lookout for an excellent Submariner homage, look no further.
The watch is an all-stainless steel model. Both the 42mm case (thickness: 12,6mm) and the 5-link bracelet are carefully brushed and polished. It goes without saying that the combination of the gold-tone case/bracelet and the shiny green dial catches the eye. Completing the splendid look is the green unidirectional bezel with gold-tone markings.
For the easiest possible time measurement underwater, the dial features three luminescent hands and hour markers. At 3 o’clock you will also find a magnified date window. The dial enjoys the best protection against cracks thanks to the anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
When it comes to waterproofing, the model can withstand depths of up to 300m. Obviously, extra protection is provided thanks to the screwed-in caseback and crown. And since we’ve touched on the subject of the caseback, it’s worth noting that it’s see-through which again allows you to marvel at the movement.
Last but not least, Revue Thommen 17571.2214 is powered by a Swiss automatic movement with a power reserve of 38 hours.
Best Diver Under 1500: Buying Guide
We hope that today’s list of dive watches under $1500 has delivered at least one model you appreciate and feel like buying.
However, if you’re still on the lookout for the perfect diving timepiece, the Buying Guide below should help you pick the right product on your own.
Further down the article, you will also find a FAQ section in which we cover popular questions on the subject.
Just like any other watches, diving watches come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. And, just like with any other type of watch, there are certain factors you should consider before making your purchase.
Here are the most important things to look for when buying a dive watch under $1500:
When it comes to watches for diving, the first and most important factor to consider is water resistance.
All diving watches should be able to withstand depths of at least 100 meters. But, if you’re looking for a watch you can use for more extreme diving, you should look for a model with a water resistance of 200 meters or more.
Not sure what water resistance rating is suitable for your needs? Refer to the following rules:
- Water-resistant up to 100m (10ATM) – suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, and water sports + some ISO-certified watches for diving
- Water-resistant up to 200m (20ATM) – suitable for everything above + serious surface water sports and skin diving.
- Water-resistant up to 300m (30ATM) – suitable for everything above + scuba diving at depths
- Water-resistance rated at 300m+ – suitable for everything above + saturation diving
The sturdiness of casing is extremely important when it comes to dive watches.
Not only is the case material crucial (best to opt for stainless steel, titanium, or ceramic) but also the way it’s sealed plays an integral role in the timepiece’s longevity. Before going ahead with the purchase, make sure the watch has a screw-down caseback and all the elements attached to the case such as crown(s) and pushers.
Screwing down the elements greatly decreases the chance of water getting inside the watch, which could lead to unrepairable damage to the movement.
Do divers actually use dive watches?
Dive watches are designed for underwater activities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that divers always use them. While dive watches are certainly water-resistant and can be useful for monitoring time during a dive, some divers prefer to leave their watches on the surface.
There are a few reasons why this might be the case:
- Dive watches can be expensive, and not all divers can afford one.
- Some divers find that dive watches are bulky and uncomfortable to wear.
- Dive watches may not be necessary for every dive – in some cases, a simple timing device on the surface may suffice.
Ultimately, it’s up to each individual diver to decide whether or not to use a dive watch.
Does Rolex make dive watches?
While Rolex is not primarily known for its dive watches, the company does offer several models that are designed for underwater use.
The Rolex Submariner is perhaps the most iconic dive watch not only from the brand but in the whole industry. Because of the popularity of the model, many lesser brands such as Citizen, Tissot or Mathey-Tissot have decided to recreate the iconic Submariner style with lines of homages.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller is another popular dive watch from the Swiss watchmaker, and it offers water resistance to 4,000 feet which is one of the highest produced to date.
Do people actually dive with a Rolex?
When it comes to diving, professional scuba divers and enthusiasts alike often choose Rolex watches.
In particular, the abovementioned Submariner and Sea-Dweller models are excellent choices for those looking for a capable water-resistant watch. While it’s generally not recommended to take an expensive watch like a Rolex into the water, these models are designed to withstand depths of up to 1,000 feet.
So, while people do dive with a Rolex, it’s important to choose the right model for your needs.
What is the toughest dive watch?
There are many different types of dive watches on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Hence, it’s difficult to define the toughest dive watch – although there are a few key factors to keep in mind.
First, you’ll want to make sure that the watch is water-resistant to a solid degree (330 feet / 100m is the absolute minimum). This is pretty much the bread and butter for a dive watch.
Second, you’ll want to choose a watch with a solid case. A dive watch needs to be able to withstand the pressures of the water, as well as the bumps and scrapes that come with diving. A metal or ceramic case is typically the best choice for a dive watch. It also needs to be screw-down, just like the crown and additional pushers in case the watch has them.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the watch has a reliable movement. A dive watch needs to be able to keep time accurately, even when it’s underwater. A quartz movement is typically the most accurate, but a mechanical movement can be just as reliable.
Can you wear a dive watch in the shower?
Yes, you can wear a dive watch in the shower.
However, you should avoid wearing it in hot water, as this can damage the seals and cause the watch to leak. You should also avoid exposing the watch to harsh chemicals, such as bleach, as this can also damage the seals.
What is the best first dive watch to get?
If you have never owned a dive watch before, it might be a good idea to start out with some lower-end models. There are plenty of affordable options on the market that will still give you a taste of what it’s like to own one of these watches.
Once you have a better idea of what you like and don’t like, you can then start looking at some of the more expensive models.