Best Dive Watches Under 500 Reviews

Updated November 22, 2020

Divers need to have quality gear when they’re scuba diving. That includes a trusty watch that can be read underwater.

Having a watch allows a diver to know how long their dive session has lasted, which is essential for safety. A dive watch has to be manufactured with rugged construction and sealed to be water resistant.

Outside of the water, everyone appreciates a watch that looks good and is built to last.

And it’s possible to get all that at a price you can afford. Sure, there are luxury models available. But you can get quality and style with a dive watch under $500.

So let’s explore our best dive watches under $500, and then look at the considerations for choosing the best dive watch for the money.

Best Men's Dive Watches Under 500

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1 Orient – Mako II Men's Dive Watch
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2 Citizen – Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Men's Dive Watch
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3
Best Overall
Victorinox – Swiss Army Pro Diver Men's Dive Watch
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4 Luminox – Evo Navy Seal Men's Dive Watch
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5 Invicta Men’s 1090 Russian Diver Dive Watch
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1. Orient – Mako II Men's Dive Watch

Highlights

The Orient watch company has been manufacturing mechanical watches for over 65 years, and all the movements, in other words the timing device, are made in Japan.

This fashionable, all stainless steel watch combines the company’s mechanical quality with stylish design. It features a mineral crystal and a power reserve of about 40 hours. It does require hand winding. 

The watch specifications state that it’s water resistant to 200 meters or 660 feet, and also states that it’s suitable for professional marine activity and surface water sports. 

It has a three-hand analog display with day and date at the 3 o’clock position.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Case, Stainless Steel Band
Size:
4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches
Weight:
13.1 ounces

Pros

  • Stylish design with stainless steel band.
  • Easy-to-read display and day-date display.
  • Power reserve of about 40 hours.

Cons

  • Suitable as an all-around watch but may not be the best choice for professional divers.

Why We Chose This

This watch is desirable to us for its good looks and quality craftsmanship. The design and stainless steel case and band look great. It’s easy to read and has a good day-date display that’s also convenient.

2. Citizen – Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Men's Dive Watch

Highlights

This watch features Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive technology, which harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy. This energy is stored in a permanently rechargeable power cell, which means your watch will never need its battery replaced as it uses renewable energy to keep it running forever.

That function is a bonus in a dive watch, because the case will never be opened, helping your watch to maintain its factory seal and water resistance.

It’s water resistant to 200 meters or 660 feet, and it’s suitable to wear in the shower, in professional marine activities like swimming and snorkeling, for surface water sports, and for scuba diving.

The mineral crystal window is anti-reflective, protecting the date indicator and luminous hands while providing a crisp time display that’s easy to read. It has a three-hand display (hour, minute and second) with quartz movement and a date indicator over the 4 o’clock position.

Comes with the renowned Citizen name, a pioneer in watchmaking and innovative technology for decades.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Case, Plastic Strap
Size:
4.9 x 4.6 x 4 inches
Weight:
10.6 ounces

Pros

  • The Eco-Drive technology means there’s no need to ever change batteries or wind the watch.
  • Citizen is renowned for making quality watches.
  • Anti-reflective window makes it easy to read.

Cons

  • Visibility of the watch face and hands may not be great at deeper dive depths.

Why We Chose This

The Citizen name is synonymous with quality watches, giving this product a step up on the competition before we even look at it. The Eco-Drive technology means you never have to change batteries, so the watch back is never taken off, and the water resistance should therefore be protected.

3. Victorinox – Swiss Army Pro Diver Men's Dive Watch

Highlights
Best Overall

Victorinox made its name producing quality Swiss Army Knives but is now known for other top-notch products. This is a Swiss-made certified diving watch.

It’s  manufactured to stand up to 130 extreme endurance tests to guarantee resistance and functionality. That includes being shockproof and anti-magnetic, but the challenges it can withstand also include high pressure, vibrations, extreme variations in temperature, corrosion, UV, traction and torsion, aging and wear.

It’s made for diving, with an ISO 6425 certification, but suitable for wearing anywhere and using for other sports. The water resistance is to depths of 656 feet (200 meters), and it has a diver extension that fits over wetsuits, allowing users to explore open waters.

It’s also easy to read, particularly underwater. The diver indicators – the minute hand and the bezel marker – are Blue Super-LumiNova and the time indicators are green Super-LumiNova.

The case is crafted from anti-corrosion hypoallergenic stainless steel, and the watch itself has analog quartz movement. The scratch-resistant, triple-coated, anti-reflective watch face includes a removable translucent protective bumper and a removable magnifying glass. There are three hands (second, minute, hour), two displays for the hours including military time, at a date indicator between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Case and Band, With an Option For a Band Made of Rubber
Size:
Case Diameter is 1.70 inches
Weight:
8.11 ounces

Pros

  • Built and tested to withstand almost anything you can throw at it.
  • A cool feature is the folding buckle with an extension that makes it easy to fit over a dive suit.
  • It has a scratch-resistant, triple-coated, anti-reflective watch face.
  • Has a removable translucent protective bumper and a removable magnifying glass.

Cons

  • Make sure you specify whether you want a rubber or stainless steel band.
  • Might be more watch than you need, depending on your lifestyle.

Why We Chose This

Besides carrying the renowned Victorinox Swiss Army name, this watch is also extremely well made while also looking good. Swiss made, water resistant to over 600 feet, and an extension to fit it over a dive suit all make it ideal for every level of diver, from the novice to the most experienced. It can be worn by non-divers too, with the style and luxury common to Swiss made watches.

4. Luminox – Evo Navy Seal Men's Dive Watch

Highlights

The Evo Navy Seal from Luminox features durable polyurethane case and band, resists under 660ft (200m) of water, and glows 100 times brighter than other luminous timepieces on the market. This makes it the ideal design for people who need to tell the time in low-light or no-light conditions or for professional marine activity.  

The large face, durable mineral dial window, and white hands and markers make it easy to read the analog black dial with one date complication by the 3 o’clock position. The watch features both 12h and 24h formats and the unidirectional textured bezel is adorned with minute indexes for easier timing. 

At its core, the Evo Navy Seal is powered by a Japanese Quartz movement, which means it is highly accurate. In summary, this is a highly durable, comfortable to wear, reliable timepiece that can be used by professionals with demanding jobs like US Navy Seals, Air Force pilots, medical personnel and more.

Specifications

Material:
Polyurethane, Mineral Crystal Lens
Size:
44mm
Weight:
2.05oz

Pros

  • Durable build & protective case
  • Reliable & accurate quartz movement
  • Easy to read face
  • Good water resistance
  • The glowing markers are bright

Cons

  • The band breaks in time
  • The glowing markers will lose power in time
  • Replacement parts are quite expensive

Why We Chose This

The Evo Navy Seal makes for a great EMT watch because it is easy to see even in no-light conditions and features a durable build (polyurethane band and case). It’s also resistant to deep underwater conditions and has a Japanese quartz movement that is reliable and accurate.

5. Invicta Men’s 1090 Russian Diver Dive Watch

Highlights

The Invicta brand is well-known on the market for its gorgeous-looking watches that are both durable and easy to wear. In this case, the 1090 Russian Diver features a scalloped bezel with a skeleton dial without numbers. Still, this doesn’t mean it is difficult to read – it just sets the attention on the Skeleton dial, which charms you with the movements of all those tiny elements!

The case is big (52mm) and is made from a gold-tone stainless steel material with a synthetic sapphire dial. The system needs to be hand-wind, but this is not too much of an inconvenient once you get used to the idea. 

Since the watch is a bit big and heavy, the producer had it fitted with a durable polyurethane band that can hold everything in place. Furthermore, the watch resists in about 50m of water, which makes it suitable for a quick swim.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel

Pros

  • The Skeleton mechanism is fully visible
  • The stainless steel rose-gold case is elegant
  • It is a watch that commands attention
  • It is water-resistant
  • Designed by one of the best Skeleton watch brands

Cons

  • It needs to be hand-wind
  • It can seem big and heavy
  • The band could be more durable

Why We Chose This

It is a beautiful piece that keeps time accurately and gives the wearer a well-deserved boost of confidence. While it can seem a bit big on men with thin wrists, the Skeleton mechanism steals the view and ads finesse and elegance to the entire ensemble.

Best Women's Dive Watches Under 500

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1 Luminox – Ladies Steel Colormark Women's Dive Watch
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2 Invicta – Women’s Mako Pro Diver Dive Watch
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1. Luminox – Ladies Steel Colormark Women's Dive Watch

Highlights

This Swiss made, stylish watch is perfect for a woman’s wrist, with a smaller case diameter of 1.54 inches. 

The black case and stainless steel black bracelet are highlighted with grey Arabic numerals and luminescent hands for second, minute and hour. Smaller military time indicators are on the face beside the regular hour numbers.

There’s also a date window at 3 o’clock. The bracelet length can adjust by removing links.

This watch is water resistant to 656 feet (200 meters), making it suitable for diving and other watersports.

Specifications

Material:
All Black Stainless Steel
Size:
Case Diameter is 1.54 inches, With a Thickness of 0.43 inches

Pros

  • Smaller case size and watch face and narrow band make it ideal for ladies.
  • You can adjust the band to the length you need.
  • All-black style is sporty and unisex.
  • Smaller style is preferable for some men as well.

Cons

  • The luminescent hands are not that bright.

Why We Chose This

This is a sporty looking, basic watch for ladies. The smaller case and narrower band might make it suitable for those men who want a smaller watch, as the all-black styling with grey numbers make it unisex looking. Luminescent hands are helpful underwater but not super bright.

2. Invicta – Women’s Mako Pro Diver Dive Watch

Highlights

A dressier option for ladies who want to use it for diving and more. It has a two-tone color scheme of gold and silver.

It features Japanese quartz movement in an analog style, with second, hour and minute hands and a date window at 3 o’clock. The design is helpful to read time underwater with a protective crystal window that’s anti-reflective, and hands that are luminescent. 

This watch is water resistant to 330 feet (100 meters).

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case is Just Over 1 inch in Diameter and Only 0.39 of an inch thick

Pros

  • A nice option for ladies who want more of a dressy look than a sporty look.
  • Two-tone gold and silver color scheme is somewhat unique for sports watches.
  • Smaller style is nice for those who want a daintier watch.

Cons

  • Water resistant to just 330 feet (100 meters).

Why We Chose This

This is a smaller watch, ideal for women, with a dressy look that comes from a two-tone gold and silver design on the stainless steel case and band. Water resistant to 330 feet, it should still be suitable for most divers.

Dive Watch Under 500 Buying Guide

Water Resistance Rating

The whole purpose of having a dive watch is being able to wear it underwater. Other watches may be listed as being waterproof, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can be fully immersed in water for long periods of time, at depths necessary when you’re diving.

A dive watch must be able to be worn on underwater dives and withstand not only water but the pressure that comes with deep dives.

So, look for a minimum water-resistance rating of 328 feet, or 100 meters, although most divers prefer an even higher rating. Even for those who don’t typically do deep dives, it’s worth going for a deeper rating so you’re covered as you progress as a diver. And even affordable dive watches have water resistance ratings for the most experienced divers.

Luminescent numbers and hands 

Being able to read your watch underwater is another key feature in a dive watch. To do that, look for watches that have numbers that are easy for you to understand. Arabic numbers may be simpler for you than a marking that you intuitively know means 3 o’clock. And some include a dual set of numbers, with military time beside the regular hour markers.

And then there’s luminescence. By having luminescent numbers and hands (second, minute and hour hands), it’s easy to read exactly where you are in the dive without struggling to see in dark and murky waters. The best affordable dive watches are easy to read when you’re diving. These types of watches are called luminous watches and they are fairly popular for a lot of activities.

Some watches even have two-colored numerals and hands, so can differentiate between them without much thought. Add a non-reflective watch face and you’ll have found the best diver watch under 500.

Design and Style

This is a more personal choice, as there are different designs available. After all, the best inexpensive dive watch is one that you love to wear, so why not choose one that fits your lifestyle in and out of the water?

Some prefer a stainless steel case while others are looking for black. There are even dressier options with silver and gold touches. The look of the watch face and the style of the numbers are a consideration for some users.

The band is another component of design and style. While you want to choose based on preference for looks, you also want to stay away from cheap dive watches with bands that will quickly break down in salt water.

Bands should be stainless steel or a rubber/silicon material, which will hold up in saltwater and freshwater, and still look good. These are both corrosion-resistant material, lightweight, and easy to clean. So as long as the dive watch you’re considering has a strap made of one of those two materials, the choice between the two  becomes a personal preference.

Durability

A dive watch is intended to be worn in the water without having to worry about your watch being ruined. For that matter, it should be durable enough to wear in other sports settings.

The best dive watch under $500 should be able to withstand water and pressure, and also be resistant to shock, extreme temperature variations, and other conditions that are sometimes part of a dive.

So look for dive watches that are rated for extreme conditions. Even if you don’t typically need that kind of durability, it doesn’t hurt to have a watch that will take you there when you need it.

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