In the age of sophisticated dive computers, classic, old-school dive watches have been somewhat pushed into the shadows. But we are strong believers in the trusty dive watch, and we think they still deserve a place on the wrists of divers and other adventure sports enthusiasts alike!
The primary use of a dive watch in the modern day is as a backup for electronic dive computers. Keeping track of bottom times is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of diving, so having a backup can offer peace of mind.
But one of our favorite things about dive watches is that they’re all water-resistant. That makes them appropriate for a range of water-based activities, from kayaking and surfing to snorkeling and everything in between.
Dive watches have also become highly popular amongst land-goers and worn by divers as a homage to the sport’s origins. Clunky dive computers are rarely attractive, while the classic dive watch chic is absolutely timeless. It, therefore, makes sense, for any water-loving adventurer to add a classic dive watch to their kit.
Dive watches don’t need to be an expensive purchase, in fact, there are many that can be bought for a very reasonable price. We’ve rounded up our favorite inexpensive dive watches, and compiled them below.
- Best Affordable Dive Watches Reviewed
- Best Affordable Diver Watches Comparison Table
- Best Dive Watches Under 100 USD
- Best Dive Watches Under 200 USD
- Best Dive Watches Under 300 USD
- Best Dive Watches Under 500 USD
- Best Dive Watches Under 1000 USD
- Best Inexpensive Dive Watch Reviews
- 1. Orient Mako II Dive Watch Review
- 2. Casio Men’s Duro Analogue Review
- 3. Invicta 8932 Pro Diver Collection Review
- 4. Marathon Diver’s Maple Leaf JSAR Watch Review
- 5. Invicta Grand Diver Watch Review
- 6. Bulova Sea King Review
- 7. Citizen Eco-Drive Pro-Master Review
- 8. Seiko SKX007 AND Seiko SKX009 Review
- 9. Tauchmeister Automatic Dive Watch Review
- 10. Stuhrling Specialty Grand Regatta Review
Best Affordable Dive Watches Reviewed
- Orient Mako II Dive Watch
- Casio G-Shock Frogman Dive and Tide Watch
- Casio Men’s Duro Analogue
- Invicta 8932 Pro Diver Collection
- Marathon Diver’s Maple Leaf JSAR Watch
- Invicta Grand Diver Watch
- Bulova Sea King
- Citizen Eco-Drive Pro-Master
- Seiko SKX007 OR Seiko SKX009
- Tauchmeister Automatic Dive Watch
- Stuhrling Specialty Grand Regatta
Best Affordable Diver Watches Comparison Table
|Orient Men's 'Mako II'||200m||9.5|
|Casio G-Shock Frogman Watch||200m||9|
|Casio Men's Duro Analog||200m||9|
|Invicta Men's 8932 Pro Diver Watch||200m||8|
|Marathon JSAR Swiss Made Military Issue Watch||300m||8.5|
|Invicta Men's 3047 Pro Diver Watch||300m||8.5|
|Bulova Men's Sea King||300m||8|
|Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Diver Watch||200m||8.5|
|Seiko Men's SKX007K2||200m||7|
|Seiko Men's SKX009KD||200m||8|
|Tauchmeister Automatic Diver Watch||1000m||7.5|
|Stuhrling Specialty Grand Regatta||200m||8|
Best Dive Watches Under 100 USD
Best Dive Watches Under 200 USD
Best Dive Watches Under 300 USD
Best Dive Watches Under 500 USD
Best Dive Watches Under 1000 USD
- Casio G-Shock Frogman Dive and Tide Watch
- Bulova Men’s Sea King
- Marathon JSAR Swiss Made Military Issue Watch
Best Inexpensive Dive Watch Reviews
We’ll now offer a detailed breakdown and review of each of our favourite affordable dive watches.
1. Orient Mako II Dive Watch Review
Performance-wise, Orient’s Mako II Dive Watch really provides ‘bang for your buck’ (value for money). At well under $200, it is one of the few mechanical timepieces in this price bracket, and a fantastic budget diver watch. For most watch enthusiasts who love feeling the ticking heartbeat of your watch, this is a major benefit! The Mako II is one of the best cheap diver watches on the market.
Style-wise, as a homage to Orient’s famous Submariner, it is a classic. The Submariner’s timeless style shines through, while small updates have tastefully modernized its look. We are especially fond of the 2nd hand’s red accent.
The watch is automatically powered, has a large 41mm case, and has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal face. A quality timepiece, and a cheap dive watch with quality attributes!
Although the watch is water-resistant up to 200m, it is listed as “in general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving”. Despite this warning, we would be comfortable using the watch on recreational dives. From experience, we found watches that qualify for a 200m water resistance rating can handle the depths explored by recreational divers.
2. Casio Men’s Duro Analogue Review
As the best cheap dive watch on this list, one may assume inferior quality or a lack of style, but that is far from the case. Casio has built a fantastic reputation for affordable but stylish, high-quality watches.
This cheap diver watch is the quintessential Casio timepiece – reasonably priced, fashionable, and functional. The large 45mm case makes a statement but remains sleek and elegant.
As far as its diving capabilities, with a screw-lock back and screw-down crown, the watch is water-resistant at up to 200m. The anti-reverse bezel provides classic diving functionality. Effectively, all this makes it the best entry-level dive watch, and the best budget dive watch in our books!
3. Invicta 8932 Pro Diver Collection Review
Invicta, much like Casio, has a reputation for quality. The Invicta 8932 Pro Diver Collection provides value, style, and diving capabilities to the masses with its incredibly competitive price. This all contributes to this piece being one of our favourite cheap dive watches.
The stainless steel case and band, as well as its large 37mm case, makes for an elegant, but masculine look. The 3-dial analog display is clearly presented behind crystal dial window that magnifies the date display.
The anti-reverse bezel provides standard diving capabilities and can survive up to 200m below the surface. Perfect for a recreational diver.
Ultimately, in terms of style, quality, price, and diving capabilities, this watch is extremely similar to the above Casio. The only major difference being the Casio’s resin band. For a slightly lower price, you forgo the luxury of a stainless steel band.
4. Marathon Diver’s Maple Leaf JSAR Watch Review
Built to government military specifications, and used for marine Search and Rescue missions, this is a hardcore diving watch. No matter the conditions, this watch remains water-resistant up to 300m below the surface.
With regards to style, the timepiece is elegantly styled to highlight its durability, with the Maple leaf symbolizing its use in the military. The curved case is stunningly beautiful, but for this price could be accompanied by a stainless steel band, rather than the silicone band on offer.
Marathon only produced 1000 units, so exclusivity is guaranteed. Furthermore, this increases the chance of this timepiece becoming a collectable.
5. Invicta Grand Diver Watch Review
Another Invicta. This is no surprise, as the brand is quickly becoming known for providing excellent, but affordable quality. The Grand Diver, is a fantastic entry-level dive watch, with a few extra details helping it stand out. It’s certainly one of our favourite cheap diving watches.
The Grand Diver is based off the same design as Invicta’s more affordable 8932 model, as they are both part of the Pro Diver Collection. Because of this, the two timepieces look and function similarly as dive watches.
However, with a larger 49mm case and elegant green bezel, the Grand Diver is more of a statement piece.
Furthermore, it is automatically powered by your arm movements, has a scratch-resistant crystal face, and can be used up to 300m underwater (100m more than the 8932).
The Invicta Grand Diver Watch is, therefore, an upgrade on the 98932. For a few extra pennies, you get improved style and performance.
6. Bulova Sea King Review
Bulova, a proudly American brand, renowned for innovation and quality. The Sea King is a large watch, with a massive 50mm case diameter making it suitable for persons with larger wrists. However, once on your wrist, the watch is perfectly comfortable and does not feel too big, heavy, or cumbersome.
Style-wise, we love this timepiece. The yellow accents work perfectly against the black background and white text, effectively illuminating the dials at night. On the one hand, the elegantly simple design is perfect for almost any occasion. On the other hand, the lack of flashy details removes any risk of the timepiece coming off as ostentatious.
With regards to diving, the watch is rated for diving up to 300m, has a unidirectional bezel, and integrated crown protection. This makes it more than capable of handling your recreational diving needs.
One possible drawback is the position of the date window. It sits closer to 5 than 4, creating an uneven gap. Although not an issue for some, this can be extremely annoying for others.
7. Citizen Eco-Drive Pro-Master Review
Citizen’s Eco-drive Promaster has placed itself firmly in the future with its solar-powered quartz movement. This means extremely accurately timekeeping, without the hassle of continual servicing.
The mineral crystal face is scratch and glare resistant, allowing a clear, unobstructed view no matter the weather or abuse you put the watch through. Standard dive styling ensures a classic look but does not take many risks. If you want to stand out, this may not be the right option.
It is, however, a fantastic diving watch with a durable reputation. With its unidirectional bezel, and water resistance rating of 200m, it can handle your recreational diving needs.
8. Seiko SKX007 AND Seiko SKX009 Review
The Seiko SKX series dominates the entry-level dive watch market. This is owed to its elegant styling, value for money, and reputation for reliability. For over 20 years, this affordable watch has served recreational divers, without fault.
With regards to its diving capabilities, the watch is water-resistant up to 200m and credited with ISO 6425 certification. Furthermore, Seiko’s environmentally friendly LumiBrite technology illuminates the dials when it is dark. Ultimately, this means it can handle recreational diving.
Internally, the SKX range is automatically powered by the movement of your arm, while the face is protected by a scratch-resistant crystal. You honestly cannot go wrong with any Seiko, let alone the iconic SKX range.
The only difference between the SKX007 and SKX009 is the styling. While the SKX007 is black, the SKX009 is styled in the classic Pepsi colour scheme. See GTT’s detailed breakdown of the Seiko SKX series and an analysis of the difference between the Seiko SKX007 and Seiko SKX009.
9. Tauchmeister Automatic Dive Watch Review
A direct upgrade on Tauchmeister’s T0251, the T0308 is also one of the most durable and robust timepieces on this list. I repeat, if you plan on wearing your watch to war, this is what I would suggest. It’s arguably the best affordable divers watch in this rice bracket.
Again though, this durability does come at a cost. The solid stainless steel case is relatively bulky, while the face is relatively small. Some prefer a sleeker, more elegant look, while others praise this design for its uncompromising masculinity.
The face on this upgraded model is, however, slightly bigger than the more affordable option. This makes the timepiece look less bulky and much easier to read.
As a dive watch, it has a unidirectional rotating bezel and is rated as water-resistant up to 1000m. This makes it suitable for scuba diving, no matter how deep you dare to venture. If you do dive deep enough to harm this watch, you won’t have to worry about the warranty, you’ll be dead.
10. Stuhrling Specialty Grand Regatta Review
If you are willing to fork out a few more pennies, Stuhrling’s Speciality Grand Regatta is another option under $100. Although slightly more expensive than the Invicta or Casio, it still offers excellent value for money.
Much like the previous two options, it is a quality and stylish dive watch, equipped with simple scuba functionality and operates up to 200m underwater. However, an elegant stainless steel case and band, as well as the deep blue dial design help make this watch stand out.
Ultimately, with regards to performance and quality, this affordable divers watch is much like the aforementioned Casio and Invicta. However, you pay slightly more for a timepiece that makes a statement.
Whether you wear a dive watch as a daily nostalgia piece, a fashionable throwback, a backup for your dive computer, or a combination of the three, we think they’re great. There’s a dive watch out there to suit all kinds of dive enthusiasts, and they don’t have to cost the world! We hope this guide to the best cheap diving watches has helped you find one that’s perfect for you.