Contrariwise, it would be more sensible to predict that someday smart watches will overshadow smartphones because nowadays, smartwatches are becoming more like smartphones. They are quickly evolving into touchscreen wearable computers capable of performing basic tasks like calculations, digital time-telling, game playing, translations, and digital messaging. Moreover, smartwatches now have digital cameras, portable media players, radio, playback of digital audio and video files, GPS receivers, barometers, heart rate monitors, thermometers, accelerators, speakers, compasses, and many other features and functions that were previously only ascribed to smartphones.
Dive watches are also evolving into more innovative designs, and it is no longer unusual to find dive watches that are truly smart. However, with all the different variants and brands out there in the market today, it isn’t easy to choose the best dive watch. Moreover, the best dive watches are extremely expensive, requiring you to shell out a sizeable chunk of your hard-earned money just to get hold of one. In fact, the best dive watches are usually priced at around several hundred or even several thousand dollars.
Thus, it’s more reasonable for most of us to choose something more affordable. You can find dive watches for less than $300 that are as elegant, reliable, water-resistant, transparently readable, and technologically advanced as the more expensive option. Of course, if you don’t have a well-established set of criteria for choosing dive watches, you might end up shortchanged in your choice. So, to make it easy for you, we have listed here 15 of the best affordable dive watches on the market today.
It is also powered by Japanese automatic movement with a typical analog display. Moreover, it has a band with gold and stainless-steel tones and a safety closure with a foldable clasp. It has been proven to be water-resistant up to 200 meters, and is ideal for surface water sports, but not advisable for deep-water scuba diving.
The apparent advantages of this watch include its being well-built and its solid reputation for accuracy and reliability, transparent readability, smooth bezel, and suitable design. Moreover, it is less pricey than most available dive watches. Its obvious shortfall is its being a “look-alike” of the Rolex Submariner. Its gold-plating in some occasions also tends to wear off after continuous use.
It has a 40-hour reserve when left at rest, and a 120-step unidirectional bezel circles its hardened crystal set with a 41-millimeter diameter stainless-steel case. It also has Lumi-Nova illumination for the hands and markers. Like its case, its band and clasp are also made of stainless steel.
The Orient Mako II delivers accurate date and time (hour, minutes, seconds) information. As advertised, the Mako II is water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters (660 feet); it is ideal for water sports and other water activities, just not deep-sea scuba diving.
Like any other product, the Mako II has been beset with subjective issues regarding its diminutive size, difficulties hand winding it, and its high price tag.
It is still not advisable to push this watch to the hilt even if it is casually advertised to be water-resistant up to 200 meters. You can definitely use it when engaging in water activities just below the water surface but not in deep-water scuba diving. Lastly, despite being almost the same as the Mako II, the Ray II is a much less expensive option than the Mako II. Both share the same hand-winding problem and diminutive size as reported by some users.
It is the affordable counterpart of the Submariner. It also has a robust build and looks incredible. It is reliable and provides awesome luminosity in the dark. It also wears comfortably with any range of wrist sizes. Its overall design is quite soft with no hard lines. However, it has one apparent weakness, which is that it’s prone to scratching with its chamfered crystal made of Hardlex material.
It has a silver tone and stainless steel case that is around 44 mm. It is powered by Japanese quartz movement with a fantastic analog display. Additionally, its band is made of rubber with a buckle closure. It is also water-resistant to 300m (1000 feet).
The obvious advantage of the Citizen Ecozilla BJ8050-08E is that it is extremely dependable and is designed for deep diving. It is water-resistant to 300 meters, so you can rely on it for a maximum diving experience. It also features non-reflective luminous accents to provide a clear display. It sports an eco-drive model as it is reliant on solar energy for power.
One downside of this watch is its large 48mm diameter size, which for some guys is too big. Moreover, it has an eye-catching design that does not fit the taste of many guys. It is also more expensive than other dive watches under $300.
This watch is stunningly stylish and looks great with hyper-natural rubber. Its rubber is more pliable than other brands and softer than nylon or plastic. Moreover, it readily conforms to whatever size wrist you have.
It also has a screw down crown that does not leak. Its casing is made of solid stainless steel, ensuring that it will not crack or develop holes. It also has a unidirectional bezel, and has a sapphire crystal, making it almost impossible to scratch. One advantage of opting for the M20 is that its battery is long-lasting unlike the battery of the Swiss Army, for example, which lasts only up to 12 months.
The only obvious disadvantage of this watch is that at 44 mm, it might seem too big for those with small hands and wrists.
With a diameter of 44 mm and thickness of 12 mm, the Duro Marlin MDV106-1A is a big piece of a watch. It sports a fashionable look with its prominent unidirectional bezel ring and white dial markings.
The Casio MDV106-1A is driven by reliable Japanese quartz technology that has been proven to be robust in combination with a long-lasting battery – the SR626. The MDV106-1A can last up to three years, not bad for such an inexpensive offering.
However, there are some issues that come with this price, such as its having a weak lume and its low-quality 22-mm ribbed strap. Moreover, its 200-meter (660 feet) water-resistant rating won’t allow for the depth of scuba diving that you might want.
It has a tightly screwed crown, making it water resistant to 200 meters (600 feet). It comes with a black dial and an awesome silver band with a fantastically designed bezel. It has a diameter of 37 mm, which makes it quite small compared to other dive watches.
It has a wavy edge that replaces the coin-style edge of regular watches. It also has a flame fusion crystal and stainless steel with mineral dial.
Its downside, however, is its unidirectional bezel, which is not really a downside considering that most dive watches have unidirectional bezels. However, its bezel might not readily move at first. Moreover, the band is not readily adjustable. Lastly, its customer service might not be immediately responsive as attested by some users of this item.
It has a black dial with awesome gold-tone Arabic numerals. It also has a gold-tone sweeping second hand. It is water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet). You can use it for snorkeling and swimming, but it is not advisable for use in deep diving. It surely looks sexy and expensive despite it being less costly than most dive watches.
Based on customer reviews, some noteworthy disadvantages of this watch include the fact that its reserve power seems too short and it has to be reset if you don’t wear it after only a day and a half. Lastly, the claim of Seiko that it is water resistant to 100 meters might not be accurate, so you shouldn’t push the use of this watch to its limit.
Moreover, it has a helium-release valve at the 2 o’clock position, with a reliable waterproof screw-down crown. It is water-resistant to 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), making it very suitable for snorkeling and scuba diving. Additionally, it makes use of a sapphire crystal glass with super-luminous markers and hands.
The upsides of buying the Phoibos PX005B include its great case design and quality material. It is definitely reliable. Its downside, however, is that the second hand seems not to hit all the indices exactly. If you are meticulous enough, you’ll surely notice this disparity, which is almost 60%. But, overall, it is a fantastic dive watch.
Its total weight is just 250g with a solid stainless steel band. It is water-resistant to 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) with a waterproof screw-down crown. It also sports a Swiss BW9 blue color luminous markers and hands.
The noteworthy merit in wearing this watch is that it is of very good quality with a style that readily fits various outfits. It also exudes a perfect balance between its case and thickness. Additionally, it provides highly accurate time and is reliable. It is likewise very readable even if you are in the dark or deep in the water.
One downside based on customers’ observations lies in the tendency of its time-changing mechanism to not release after you have already screwed down the crown. Hence, you need to redo it all over again and push the crown several times. Another shortfall of this watch is its larger size, which might not be suitable for those with a wrist under 7 inches.
The Invicta 9110 is a simple wrist watch with a sporty appearance that can be worn casually. It provides time (hour, minute, seconds) and has calendar functions. Despite not being a true dive watch, it can be used in other marine or water activities (like skin diving), just not deep diving. As with other less expensive dive watches, this watch shares some drawbacks with other models, such as its seemingly overstated water-resistant depth rating and day function.
The case has a diameter of 43.5 mm and has an overall thickness of 15 mm. The dial is protected by a clear crystal made from Seiko-developed material called “Hardlex.” The SSC031 Dive Watch provides hour, minute, and second functions as well as a date display between the 4 and 5 o’clock position. Moreover, it also features a stopwatch function using the three chronograph sub-dials.
The SSC031 Dive Watch comes with a black 20-mm polyurethane band that can be secured around the wrist by a fold-over clasp with a double push-button safety feature. It weighs 10.4 ounces, or 295 grams. You can easily replace the straps with other rubberized straps or with metal bands.
The crown and the two chronometer buttons need to be unscrewed to adjust time and operate the chronograph respectively. Seiko rates this watch as water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet). But, like most brands and models, the SSC031 is much more of a water-resistant watch than a diver’s watch and should not be used for deep diving.
It has a black rubber strap band with a double-security gasket with the necessary screws for added protection. It also has a unidirectional bezel, edged details, and an anti-reflective coating. It is also scratch-resistant. Additionally, it’s battery life lasts for 4 years. But its most unique and noteworthy feature is its awesome luminosity, which is self-powered. So, you can be very sure that you will clearly see the time and other details of this watch regardless of light conditions. Moreover, its double gasket crown is highly regarded for its integrity.
The potential downside of this watch is the seemingly doubtful quality of its black rubber strap. Moreover, some buyers also doubt the scratch-resistant description of its crystal faceplate. It is also more expensive than that of the Invicta, but less expensive than the Citizen Ecozilla and Seiko Diver’s Automatic Watch.
The Promaster BN0 150-28E is equipped with a black dial with white lume hands and markings. It is externally protected by an anti-reflective mineral crystal, and is ringed by a rotating, time-elapsed unidirectional bezel.
The Promaster BN0 150-28E comes with a black polyurethane band that you can secure around your wrist with a buckle. You can readily replace this 20-mm wide band with a metal band or similar material. This watch weighs 16 ounces, or 453.6 grams. Citizen claims that this watch is water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet), which is equivalent to 20 bars of pressure. Despite this low ceiling, it is not wise to push the use of this watch to the hilt.