Best Dive Watch

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Top 5 Dive Watches Under Review

WATCH DEPTH MATERIAL VERDICT PRICING
Pantor Seahorse 1000m Stainless Steel Editors Choice Check Price
Phoibos PX002C 1000m Stainless Steel Best Budget Check Price
Orient M-Force 200m Titanium 4.4 Check Price
NEYMAR Auto 1000m Stainless Steel 4.4 Check Price
Phoibos PX005B 1000m Stainless Steel 4.0 Check Price

It’s not that long ago that the only way you could time your dive would be using a dive watch. Dive computers that work out your bottom time amongst a myriad of other things have largely taken their place, but there are some very good reasons you shouldn’t overlook the humble dive watch.

Table of Contents

Dive Watch Review

The Pantor has a sleek, classy look with a solid, high-quality stainless steel strap that matches the watch case.

The bracelet is extendable, and if you are a saturation diver, you’ll like that it has a helium valve. The hands and number markers luminesce, and the bezel also has a luminous marker. The date is also set within the dial.

What makes it great:

  • Very classy look and feel of quality
  • Extendable bracelet
  • Helium valve

Specifications

Water Resistance 1000m
Body Stainless Steel
Strap Stainless Steel / Adjustable
Mechanism Auto / Self winding
Body Dimensions 45mm Dia / 16mm thick
Weight 10.09 oz

BEST BUDGET DIVE WATCH

Phoibos PX002C Dive Watch

Phoibos PX002C is a great looking watch with a very clear, readable face. The hands and number markers are bold.

The weight of the weight gives an instant feeling of quality and by all accounts this is a very durable dive watch. The octopus logo on the face and engraving on the reverse of the case looks extremely cool. The watch is a good size and will sit well on the average wrist without looking cumbersome.

What makes it great:

  • Durable
  • Clear face
  • Weight gives a feeling of quality
  • Swiss movement

Specifications

Water Resistance 300m
Body Stainless Steel
Strap Stainless Steel
Mechanism Swiss Quartz
Body Dimensions 41mm Dia / 13mm thick
Weight 180g

Orient M-Force Dive Watch

Automatic Titanium Dive Watch with Sapphire Crystal. Titanium means this watch is both light and strong and its design evokes serious diving chops.

The dial has luminous hands and hour markers, and the bezel has a luminous marker which helps visually. The dial also has an analog date inset, and the strap is rubberized

What makes it great:

  • ISO 764 antimagnetic and ISO 1413 shock-resistant
  • Clear Display
  • Titanium Case
  • Rubberised strap and buckle gives a sports feel

Specifications

Water Resistance 200m
Body Titanium
Strap Rubberised
Mechanism Automatic (self-winding)
Body Dimensions 47mm Dia / 13.6mm thick
Weight 1.3lbs

NEYMAR 44mm Dive Watch

The Neymar adds a touch of gold plating to some of its designs. The hands and digits are luminescent, and there’s a date feature too.

There are many colours to choose from including a popular, very cool-looking matte black. Neymar understand that some divers like their watches to look classy as well as practical. If you’re looking for something that also looks smart and won’t look out of place with more formal clothing, this could be one of the best dive watches for you. The variations in style cater for this. Neymar have also included a Helium escape valve.

What makes it great:

  • Choice of styles
  • Helium escape valve
  • Classic look

Specifications

Water Resistance 1000m
Body Stainless Steel
Strap Stainless Steel
Mechanism Automatic (self-winding)
Body Dimensions 44mm Dia / 16.5mm thick
Weight 8.82oz

Phoibos PX005C Dive Watch

The Phobias comes in a blue or black design which matches the long strap to the dial.

For its price, it’s a great quality watch and one to consider if your available budget is not infinite. It has a youthful, sporty look with luminescent hands and number markers and also incorporates a date inset. Phoibos have managed to design one of the best dive watches for combining sporty with smart looks.

What makes it great:

  • Good value
  • Helium release valve
  • Sporty look

Specifications

Water Resistance 1000m
Body Stainless Steel
Strap Rubberised
Mechanism Swiss quartz
Body Dimensions 43mm Dia / 13.5mm thick
Weight 4.2oz

How to Choose the Best Dive Watch

​If you are a diver and you are in and around water a lot having a dive watch makes life easier. Ask anyone who’s check the time on their non-diving watch at 60ft and realized that not only do they not know the time but that watch is never going to tell the time again.

A watch is quite a personal thing so of course, you will want something to suit your style and a budget to suit your pocket but beyond that, there are a few things you need to consider when looking for the best dive watch for you.

Simplify your Diving

​If you regularly dive on the same shallow dive site, you could plan your dives with little fuss and monitor your dive with a depth gauge and dive watch.

A Tool for Instructors

​Divemaster and instructors need an underwater timepiece, not only to time skills but watches are far preferable to a computer when you are teaching skills in shallow water. Diving computers don’t cope very well with shallow water and the ‘up and down’ of skill development.

Splash-proof, water-resistant and water-proof

These descriptions are far from the same thing, and confusingly you will also find that the water resistance of a device has a rating measured in bar.

Being a diver you might think that a watch with a 5ATM/bar rating would be good to 40m /120 ft, but this is not the case – buyer beware! A 5 ATM rated timepiece is good for a bit of swimming but nothing more.

If you want to take your watch snorkeling, then look for watched designated 200m / 20 ATM but if you want to know the time at 30m / 100ft then you are looking for 100bar/1000m and ISO6425 ratings.

Readability

Any watch becomes useless if you can’t read it and underwater you have to allow for reduced light at depth, and reduced visibility due to water clarity. All good dive watches will ensure their digits, and hands luminesce for ease of reading in low light, but there are variations in strength so do check what you will see. Most will have a ‘black-out’ image for you to view the dial in the dark.

Elapsed Time

A dive watch needs a way to track elapsed time. Traditionally you would do this with a bezel that you align with the minute hand as you submerge. Some offer a digital display within an analog dial. Remember that this should be not only easy to read but also be easy enough to set with gloves on if you wear them to dive.

Strap

If you need to get the watch around a wetsuit or even a dry suit you need to make sure that the strap is either quite long or that the watch is mounted on an expanding bracelet.

Helium Release Value

A helium release valve is a feature that allows any helium that enters the watch to be safely released. This feature is only necessary if you are saturation diving and living in a pressurized habitat. Some would say that the valve is an unnecessary weakness that increases the flood potential.

Other Features

Many dive watches have features like depth gauges and temperature gauges too. Be clear on what you want and how you will use it. If your timepiece is a back up to your computer and you have an analog depth gauge on your high-pressure hose then maybe you don’t need this feature. With a dive watch, less does tend to be more when it comes to durability.

Conclusion

If your computer fails a secondary timing device, used with a depth gauge, will allow you to monitor your depth and speed and therefore enable you to get to the surface safely.