A look back: Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016

Underwater view in en:Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA

Hello, Peter from the Watch source here! Whilst it is still me writing and making all the newly released blogs and videos, we came across this blog post written in 2016 by a previous writer ‘Ash from the watch source’! And once we’d read it we simply had to share it! While some of the watches shown in this round up may no longer be available from TWS it is great to look back at some of the amazing diving watches from the top brands in the last few years, all brilliant amalgamated by Ash!

With that said, I’ll let him take it away:

What is a dive watch?

The dive watch is a type of watch that really encapsulates what it is to be a luxury watch. It’s simultaneously a functional piece of specialist equipment, needing to survive the punishing environment of being dragged down deep underwater, while still telling the time: but, they are typically built to extravagant specifications, being water resistant to 10 or even 100 times deeper than people will actually dive down to in reality. Few people will ever test these dive watches to their full capabilities!

The function of a dive watch is a simple one – to monitor how long a diver has been underwater, and more importantly, how long they have left with their limited air supply. Or for the wearer to just look cool while wearing an extremely durable and reliable watch – which is more often the case.

US Navy 081207-N-9769P-029 Divers swim over a reef during a certification dive as part of the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) program
This Photo is a U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jayme Pastoric [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In the horological world, the dive watch is in a paradoxical state where it is both a highly functional tool but is also absurdly specific in function that few people buy them to actually go diving with – for the purpose they were created for. And if they do go diving with one on then they are more often used as a redundancy for digital diving computers. With the majority of people buying diving watches being ‘desk divers’, whom have little intention of going diving with their watch on.

A dive watch is considerd a luxury item today because of the tiny number of people who realy need one, and the superlatively high quality construction. Even profestional divers have no great need for them becuse they will use electronic dive computers that are more acurat, reliable and give more infomation to the diver.

When buying a dive watch a person is buying something with a great promise of performance – they assure the buyer of unparalleled durability and are perhaps the most durable of all watch types. These watches are so incredibly expensive because of the huge amount of time that the movements, casing, strap, deployant clasp and diving extensions spend in R and D to make the perfect, most durable, dive watch possible.

Why buy a dive watch?

The greater reason that people would buy a diving watch is because of the peace of mind that they give; that there robust construction makes dive watches the most reliable watch type to choice from. And makes them suited to a wide range of environments where toughness and reliability are desired.

There built to escape damage from water whether intentional or unintentional, they are designed to be tough enduring a beating, and are meant to just keep on running.

Things to consider when buying a diving watch for actual diving

  • Water Resistance – Will its seals keep increasing water pressure out of the watches internals?
  • Dial Legibility – How easy can the markings on the dial be read in subdued light?
  • Bezel – The most common way to time the duration spent under water is with a unidirectional bezel, though this is not always the case.
  • Strap Type – Some are more suitable than others for extended lengths submerged under water? Look for a rubber or a metal bracelet if it is your intention to go diving with the watch on, as leather just isn’t suitable for prolonged immersion under water (no matter what treatment it may have had applied to it).
  • Extra Features – Things such as a helium escape valve, depth gauge or a chronograph that functions at extreme depths can add value and set apart a dive watch from their competition.

And now in price descending order – The Top 16 Dive Watches Of 2016

  • Intro
  • Specs: Water resistance
  • Dial legibility
  • Bezel: unidirectional, ceramic?
  • Helium escape valve
  • Diving Extention system?
  • Other Extra: chronometer, depth gauge, date
  • Movement: Type Specs
  • Who is this For?
  • Buy this watch
  • Other watch options.

1 – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver [15703st.oo.a002ca.01] RRP: £13,900 – £20,000

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This watch retains many components that made the original Royal Oak so highly iconic; such as, the unique octagonal bezel with exposed screw heads, the maxi-tapisserie ‘waffle’ textured dial, minimalist dial markers and an integrated strap design.

As a dive watch the Royal Oak Offshore Diver is highly capable being rated down to a depth of 300m underwater. Though few people would realistically take such an expensive watch so deep under water. Without a doubt, the generous depth rating reassures prospective buyers at the robustness of its construction. The integrated bezel used would appear to have been chosen for aesthetical reasons rather than practical ones – as they are seen as being too fiddly to adjust once underwater with gloves on by divers.

The Offshore Diver sits at a modest 42mm wide on the wrist and 13.5mm thick (with the solid case option selected). It includes a date function at the 3 o’clock marker.

The beating heart of this watch is the AP Caliber 3120, that beats at 21,600 v/h, constructed out of 278 parts, continuing 40 Jewels and has an approximate power reserve of 60 hours.

The Royal Oak Offshore Diver is the most expensive dive watch on this list at a base price of a substantual £13,900 at the RRP set by Audemars Piguet, with our shop offerning it a discounted price. There is a choice between a white or a black dial models, with either a solid or transparent case back, there is also a forged carbon option at the RRP of £20,000.

Buy this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver [15703st.oo.a002ca.01] from our shop [Here].

Variations: Case Back: Solid or Transparent

Dial: Silver or Black

Case Material: Stainless Steel or Forged Carbon

All variataions can be brought [Here] from our shop.

chronogrpah range is also avialable: ‘Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph 42mm’ RRP £20,515 [Buy Here].

2 – Rolex Deepsea [116660] RRP: £8,050-£8,250

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The Rolex Deepsea [116660] is the gigantic big brother of the highly iconic submariner and has been made to survive down to the fiendishly deep depth of 3900m (12800ft) under water. This extreme water resistance rating is in itself highly impractical but is a demonstration of the expertness and talent of the watch makers at Rolex to make something so close to indestructible.

Rolex’s Deepsea is large by Rolex standards but only modest when compared to the other dive watches on this list at only 44mm wide and 17.7mm thick. Nonetheless this is by no means a small watch with the combination of the casing size and the clasps generous dimensions containing a diving extension.

The large clasp includes Rolex’s patented Glidelock extension system that allows the metal bracelet to be adjusted in 1.8mm increments up to a total of 18mm without the need for any tools. An additional Fliplock extension link allows the clasp to be unfurled by an additional 26mm so the watch can be worn over a diving suit.

This Sub on steroids is water resistant to an extreme depth of 3900m, with the help of a 5mm thick domed sapphire crystal and titanium case back; which is roughly water resistant to 5 times the depth that the Burj Khalifa is tall (at 828m). To put this into an aquatic perspective, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors states that the limit for recreational diving is at only 40m – some 97 times short of the Deepsea’s depth limit.

Sitting on the side of the casing by the 9 o’clock is a recessed automatic helium escape valve, to allow the tiny molecules of helium to escape out of the watch during an accent in saturation diving.

The movement used is a 3135 self-winding calibre which is of course certified as a Superlative Chronometer, accurate to within -2/+2 seconds a day. It includes a power reserve of approximately 48 hours, is hacking and has an instantaneously changing date function.

This Deepsea Rolex [116660] has been constrcted for divers with the help from divers. It’s features a utilitarian metal bracelet with enough capapbility to fit over a dive suit. Early models of the Sea Dweller where standard issue for the French company COMEX among their saturation divers in the late 60’s untill the turn of the century when the comapany was sold.

You can buy the Rolex Deepsea [116660] from our shop [Here].

Variations: James Cameron, D-BLUE DIAL. RRP: £8,250 [Contact us here for any inqirerys]

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3 – Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatic 43mm [5000-1110-b52a] RRP: £7,290 – £19,730
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If for whatever reason you don’t want a Rolex then take a look at the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. It’s water resistant to the usual 300m, is a more comfortable 43mm wide (and 13.40mm deep) and even includes a transparent case back, which is a feature less often found on dive watches; though, this may be due to the increased thickness they give a watches case, the perceived weakness that they give and the additional cost involved.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms holds its own style with its monochrome aesthetics that playfully toys with light – largely thanks to the brushed sunburst dial. Its black ceramic bezel borrows from Blancpain sister brand Omega for the use of Liquidmetal® graduating markings. This exotic alloy is three times harder than stainless steel and is one of the few things that can be bonded to the ceramic martial used as bezels.

It doesn’t include a helium escape valve or a diving extension. The supplied rubberised canvas strap may be too small to wear over a diving suit, something to consider if you intend to go diving with one on and have large wrists.

A luminous dot is located at the 12 o’clock on the bezel, and a combination of rectangular and circular markings are used for the hour markers and the watch’s hands.

Inside is the Blancpain Caliber 1315 beating at 28,800 v/h, being composed out of 227 parts, contains 35 Jewels and has an approximate power reserve of an excellent 120 hours. Wedged in between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers is sat a date window.

This watch is certinaly a capable divers watch, but prehaps targets the non-diving ‘desk divers’ who don’t go diving anyway. It doesnt fall into the trap of extreem water resistance that will never get utalised but ends up creating a impracticaly large watch that’s uncomftable to wear. The same could be said to watches with bulky diving clasps that will never get used – they get in the way and make a watch less comftable.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is everything a dive watch should be and nothing it shouldn’t. Its vintage-inspired aesthetics holds a design that should endure additional time well. It’s personally one of my favourite dive watches on this list.

You can buy the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatic 43mm [5000-1110-b52a] from our shop [Here].

Variations: Case material: Stainless Steel, Titanium, Ceramic or 18kt Rose Gold.

Strap: Stainless Steel Bracelet, Ruberised Fabric or NATO (in black or green).

All variations of this watch can be brought [Here].

A chronograph eddition is also available: ‘Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph 43mm’ RRP: £10,270 – £12,080 [Buy Here].

5025-5230-52a-blancpain_mainBlancpain also offer a Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Days [Buy Here] solely available in 18kt rose or white gold. This insanely luxurious and exubrant watch is available from a RRP of only just £92,600 – and with the white gold option with 32 baguette diamonds and 4 trillion (triangle) shaped additoinal diamonds weighing in at 6.68 carats, costing an eye poping £149,200. Making the Blacpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Days the most expensive dive watch that money can currently buy.

4 – Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm [263-10-3r/93] RRP: £6,300 – £23,480
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From the company who historicaly built incredibly well engeneried marine chronometers and provided them to over 50 of the world’s navies in the 1800’s, and whose logo includeds a ships anchor as a nod to their naval interwind past is the ‘Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm’. It’s water resistant to 300m, comes in either stainless steel or 18kt Rose Gold and is only avialable with a rubber strap or metal bracelet.

The dial of the Maxi Marine Diver is graced with a wave like pattern and includes a power reserve indicator underneath the 12 marker, and a small seconds sub-dial and date function above the 6 marker.

The uni-directinal bezel includes the usual luminsecent marker at the 12, and both the hands and hour markers included luminescent fill. This in combination with its red striped hour markers give good legibility and time reading acuracy – regardless of the enviroment the watch finds itself in.

Under the solid case back is a UN Caliber UN-26 which beats at 28,800 v/h and has a rough power reserve of 42 hours.

Ulysse Nardin’s Maxi Marine Diver does not include a helium escape valve, but in reality, the only people who will end up needing one will be commercial divers during saturation diving. In this case if they wanted a watch to take diving with them they would perhaps desire a more robust functional option.

Its charismatic aesthetics makes the Ulysse Nardin’s dive watch one of the more unique looking dive watches on this list and even has a power reserve indicator which is a rather rare complication to see – particularly on a mechanical dive watch.

You can buy the Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm [263-10-3r/93] from our shop [Here].

Variations: Case Material: Stainless Steel or 18kt Rose Gold

Dial and Bezel Colour: Black or Blue

Strap Type: Rubber Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelt

All variations of this watch can be brought [Here].

5 – Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m [224.30.55.21.01.001] RRP: £6,000 – £6,150
22430552101001

One of the first brands to capture the professional diver’s tool watch market in the 1970’s was Omega with their Ploprof 600 with its incredibly distinctive design. This new PloProf is water resistant to a staggering 1200 meters and refines what was already a very liked and capable watch into an even more capable professional divers watch.

The crown on Omega’s Proprof has always been on the left side of the watch to minimise the chanse of any impacts to the crown, and it’s surounded by an iconic chunky crown garde that’s a result of a functional desine. This desgine feature also means that when the crown garde is opened it mesures a collosas 55mm wide – otherwise only a 50mm by 48mm casing size.

Unusulay for a dive wach the bezel has been overlaid with a saphire crystal that alowes it to match the dial more thoughraly. Underneath this saphire cover a generous amount of Super-LumiNova has been aplied to all of the bezel’s graduations – this is a proper tool watch. And what is prehaps even more unuusual is that the bezel turns in both directinos; but, in order to make changes to the bezels position the button on the right side of the watches case must first be pressed down.

At the base of the button extrusion is an automatic helium escape valve which will allow the tiny helium molecules inside of the watch to escape during decompression in saturation diving.

Luckily for divers, the clasp by Omega includes a push-button micro-extension system and a 26mm divers extension to comfortably wear the watch over a diving suit. The clasp is well engineered and is relatively compact for what it accomplishes.

Omega has used their own exclusive in-house calibre 8500 movement. Luckily, it utilises a double barrel to give a power reserve of 60 hours. It beats at 25,200 v/h, contains 39 jewels and is composed of 202 parts. Also included is a date function that presents itself in between the 4 and 5-hour markers.

You can buy this Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m [224.30.55.21.01.001] from our shop [Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Strap typeShark-Proof metal bracelt (RRP £6150) or rubber strap (RRP £6000).

Rubber strap colours: Orange, Black or White.

Dial colour: White or Black.

All variations of this watch can be brought [Here] from our main site.

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6 – Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver [w7100056] RRP: £5,800
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Cartier’s dive watch may be a tool watch – but it’s a very sophisticated one at that. The Calibre de Cartier Diver is a capable dive watch whilst simultaneously looking great with more dressy aparence comaperd to its competitors.

It’s water-resistant to 300m (does not include a helium escape valve) and is unusualy thin for a diving watch at only 11mm thick, and tipping the scales at just 111g. It has a practicaly sized casing at 42mm, with its oversized bezel and crown gaurd making it look bigger than it realy is. The blue synthetic spinel crown gives the Calibre de Cartier Diver an elegant look, letting this Cartier divng watch feel more at home in a formal enviroment in addition to its life under water.

Being different to most of the watches on this list the bezel is covered in a black ADLC coating, over either a steel or rose gold case. It’s unidirectional and can be adjusted in 30-second increments (120 clicks in total). Featured at the 12 marker is the bezels only luminescent part, a luminescent triangle that lights up green.

The dial’s hour markers are all Roman numerals, and the running seconds use Arabic characters. When in low light the Super-LumiNova glows green; from, only the XII Roman numeral at the top, but just the small rectangle markers for each hour, all three sword-shaped hands and the register of the running seconds sub-dial.

The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver’s strap is on the small side for a man’s watch, and would only be able to fit over the diving suit of a guy with slim wrists. The strap is the non-standard width of 23.5mm by the lugs.

A single running seconds sub-dial sets this watch out from the crowd, adding some dynamics to the dial. Sat in-between the 2 and 4 hour markers is a curiously trapeze like date window showing three days simultaneously with a triangle pointing to the current day.

Protecting the Caliber 1904 MC automatic mechanical movement, is a solid case back; with, two barrels coupled in series to smooth out the energy transfer from the mainspring, at a rated power reserve of 48 hours. Contained within the movement are 27 jewels, and it beats at 28,800 v/h or 4 Hz. Cartier’s in-house movement is built from a total of 186 parts.

You can buy this Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver [w7100056] watch from our shop [Here] at a discounded price

Variations: Case material: Stainess steel, Black ADLC coated stainless steel, Stainless Steel & Rose Gold and 18kt Rose Gold.

Strap Type: Black rubber strap, Stainless steel bracelet, Steel and gold bracelet.

Dial Colour: Black or Blue.

All variations of this watch can be brought from our site at a discounted price [Here].

7 – Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date [116610LN] RRP: £5,700
116610LN_main

The universally iconic archetypal dive watch – the one that started it all, the Rolex Submariner. Starting life in the 1950’s as an answer to the cries for a watch that could survive the punishing environment deep under water, the Submariner has progressed into the most famous of all dive watches around. Recognised by both the horologically inclined and watch novices alike.

Built from the tough and durable 904L stainless steel alloy that basically only Rolex use because of the additional costs involved when working with it: this special steel alloy is used for the fine finish that can be applied to it and an increase in durability – so it will hold its finish for longer than a lesser steel alloy.

With a 40mm diameter the Rolex Submariner is one of the smaller dive watches on this list but due to some clever designing by the people at Rolex it wears more like a 42mm watch. It is water resistant down to a depth of 300m – it does not include a helium escape valve.

Electric blue sunburst dial of Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

Its stainless steel oyster bracelet is perhaps the best metal strap available that money can buy. Managing the troublesome art of balancing both the needs of a diver (it including Rolex’s patented Glidelock Extension System) and its ability to be worn with jeans or a suit and tie with its versatile design.

At the top of its class the Submariner uses Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent compound that Rolex states ‘lasts up to eight hours’ meaning that dial legibility should be good enough to read the time whether exploring life underwater or checking the time in the middle of the night.

This Rolex’s beating heart is the completely in house 3135 caliber movement, construct with a Parachrom hairspring giving the watch a great resistance to shock and temperature caused timing variations. It has a 48 hour power reserve and beats at 28,800v/h. The movement in each Submariner will have been sent to the COSC for chronometer certification and after casing Rolex conduct their own accuracy tests – each movement will be within -2/+2 seconds a day to become a Superlative chronometer. The 3135 caliber movement also includes a date window by the 3 o’clock marker which is magnified by a cyclops window.

The Rolex Oyster perpetual submariner date is the archetype dive watch. It has been around for a good long time and it’s not going to be disappearing anytime soon. If you can’t decide between this and another dive watch then just pull the trigger on the Sub – you can’t go wrong. They are also one of the few watches that reliably hold their value – with it not being unheard for a used two year old used model only losing a couple of hundred off pounds on a list price of some £5,700. But when Rolex eventualy increas their prices – the value of your Rolex will increase too!

Buy this Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN [Here]

Shop all Rolex Submariner Dates [Here]

Variant: Dial and bezel colour: Black, Green or Blue

Case and bracelet material: Stainless steel, ‘Rolser’ two tone gold, solid gold in either yellow or white 18kt.

Other variant: Submariner (no date) [Here]

Submariner laying on side with crown facing up - Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

8 – IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm [iw376801] RRP: £5,500
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IWC’s offering for recreational divers is the Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm (iw376801 pictured). It’s available on both a rubber strap with a tang buckle (which is fitted with a quick change system and sells for a RRP of  £5,500) or a metal bracelet (RRP £6240) and has a water resistance of 300m.

Its 44mm case width and 17mm thickness make the Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph of average proportions for a diving watch. Of all the diving watches on this list it is the only one to include the day of the week in addition to the date, which IWC have combined with a charming chronograph complication.

Dial legibility is enhanced with the use a blue luminescent compound on each of the hour markers, and the hour and minute hands (though having both a light coloured dial and hands means visibility is not the best it could possibly be – if that’s a concern then go for this watch but with a black dial).

Its chronograph complications pusher button do not screw down; but, considering that this watch is only water resistant to 300m I don’t suppose they are really needed. The 30-minute subdial is located at the 12-position, and the hour subdial counts up to the usual 12 hours (being sat by the 6 o’clock position). A running seconds dial is located opposite the date and day windows by 9 o’clock.

The Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph’s casing does not include a helium escape valve but does have a rather intriguing bezel: to progress the divers bezel you turn the external bezel counter clockwise, and this will advance the internal bezel and its markings; if the outer bezel is knoked clockwise it will not affect the inner bezel. This is thanks to a sliding clutch system that alowes the external bezel to comunicate with the internal bezel, while maintiang the 300m water-resisatcen of the watch. The clutch mechanism’s protective covering is found at the protrusion of the left of the watches casing.

Inside is a IWC calibre 79320, it beats at 28,800 vph, includes 25 jewls and has a power reserve of 44 hours.

Buy this IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm [iw376801] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

The additional IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm watches can be found from our [Shop Here].

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9 – Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm [232.30.46.51.01.002] RRP: £5,010 – £20,950
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Omegas offering for a tough diving watch with a chronogrph funtion comes in the form of this Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph. In order to apeal to a large number of audienceas the watch is avalable in a few different colour options, strap types, and even includes a couple of variants set with a ring of 42 dimonds, constructed from titanium, or an 18kt rose gold case option – which weighs in at just over £20K (at the current RRP).

What is so unusual on this Omega dive watch is the fact that the chronogrph compliation pusher buttons don’t screw down and can be used safely down at a deapth of 600m (or 2000 feet). Whilst most chronometer watches that are water resistant down to depths reqire their buttons to be screwed in or just not used at all, with most serious diving watches being cool used down to 300m – being ok to use the chronogrph function down to 600m is a staggering attainment.

On the right of the dial is where both the minute and second hands for the chronograph complication are sharing the same sub-dial. The hour hand using an orange aluminum arm, and the minute hand is constructed out of polished steel – both of which employing the use of luminescent fill.

Located at the bottom of the dial, a shy inconspicuous date window sits at the 6 o’clock position with white text applied over a black background. At the 9 o’clock position is the Omega Planet Ocean 600m’s continuous seconds  sub-dial.

Small this watch is not, at 45.5mm wide and 19.2mm thick it’s even more massive than the already dimensionally elephantine Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea’s [116660] 44mm by 17.7mm case size.

Any grand plans to become a deep diving, commercial, mixed gas, saturation, diver then rest assured that the manual helium escape valve on the outside of the casing by the 10 o’clock won’t impede you on your dark murky aquatic exploits, letting any trapped helium molecules out of the casing whilst decompressing.

The liquied metal bezel is only available on the more expensive titanium models with blue dial’s and bezel’s. The reson why liqied metal is used for markings on ceramic bezels is its incredible strength, being three times harder than steel and it can be bonded to the ceramic smoothly. Its bezel is of the unidirectonial variaty, only turnig in one direcrtion and built for the pourpous of diving.

Omega has put into the Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm their caliber 9300 movement; a proper in-house movement that combines two mainspring barrels to provinde a generous power reserve of 60 hours. It beats at 28,800 v/h and contains 54 Jewels. The reverse of the movement can be viewed through the saphire crytal exibition case back; with, the bridge, the rotor and main plate being rhodium plated and machine decorated with Geneva waves in arabesque. The 9300 Omega movemnt has not been COSC certified but has insetead been METAS tested in-house at Omega, hopfully adding even more value to the watch than just COSC testing (it is after all a more stringent standard to pass at).

The Swiss government controlled METAS Federal Office Of Metrology agency will be working with Omega to test each movement (that omega makes in-house) as they don’t have their own facility (like COSC do). METAS will be certifying and confirimg the results of the movements, and testing the monitoring eqiptment used by Omega. Omega appear to be moving away from COSC for their own movents to seperate their watches from everybody elses – They are by no means the first brand that has started to certify their own watches acuracy with two notible examples being Rolex with their superlative chronometer testing of each watch after casing, and the Patek Philippe Seal.

The variation that a METAS certified movement must be within is also a lot more stringent than COSC (which is based on the international ISO 3159 standard) being within 0 and +5 seconds per day, a step up from the -4 to +6 second tolerance that a COSC movement needs to be within in order to be certiffied a chronometer. METAS also test the power reserve and the water resistance of each watch: but, the thing that METAS tests that other testing bodies seem to be lacking is a mocements resistnce to magnetic fields.

The 9300 Omega movement is very reistnat to high strength magnetic fields becouse of its ‘Si 14′ sillicon ballence spring. Wheres the Rolex Milgauss has magnetic tolerance to 1,000 gauss (as you may have gathered from the name milli-gauss) the Omega 9300 movement levels this up further and is resistant to magnatism up to 15,ooo Gauss.

Oftern overlooked, a mechanical watch’s vunrability to magnetic fildes is a serious problem faced by owners of these luxury watches. If a watch is treated properly, not dropped, servised when reqired, and is not subjected to water presures higher than it should be taken into, the reason why most watches stop keeping good time is because the movement has been subjected to overly powerful magnetic fields. It’s not unheard of for a watch to lose acuracy just by being kept sat on an Ipad (and its magneticaly attaching cover) overnight while not wearing it.

Each of these movements is tested with a monstrous 1.5-ton magnet, at the Omega testing facility, to check the imperviousness of each movement to magnetic fields in order to subject each movement to over the 15,000 gausses required.

The chronograph function on the Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial is also of the column-wheel variety – considered by most watch connoisseurs to be superior than cam actuated chronograph mechanisms, and column-wheel chronographs are also found on more expensive luxurious watches. 

[Read about  Column-Wheel Vs Cam Actuated Chronographs Here]

The bracelet’s calsp thankfuly includes a micro-adjustment system and a divers extention. And fortunatly Omega has instead opted for screw in pins; far better than the push-pins used in the cheaper Seamasters that so infuriates everyone who has the missfortune of having to take a link out or two of one.

Lume-wise, all hour markers and hands are all imbued with this bright blue lume – with the exception of the minute hand and central bezel marker (having green lume). Each of the bright white markings provide good legibility against the watches black or blue dial (these watches being constructed out of titanium).

With the Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm, Omega has demonstrated that they can compeat with the other high end divers watches out there like the; Submariner, Calibre de Cartier Diver, and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe – all of which are avialbale in gold. A tell that prehaps the buysers of these watches are not in reality going deep sea diving with their watch straped onto their wrists. That we will leave to the Deepsea, ProPlof 1200m, and Oris Depth Gauge Chronograph – watches each apearign to be desgined for real divers.

Buy this Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm [232.30.46.51.01.002] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

All the Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm watches available to buy from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

10 – Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 [a73310a8/bb74-1lts] RRP:£3,600-£4,515

a73310a8bb74-1lts_main

This Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 is an eceptional divers watch in that the chronograph functon is still operatable all the way down to 2000m deep under water. That would be like having Portugal’s tallest mountain (Serra da Estrela) made from water crashing down on the Superocean Chronograph and not a drop of water being let inside of the watch’s casing. It’s certinaly good to know that if on your aquatic adventures the watch where to unfortuantly fall off your wrist – that any sea life under the world record 610 metres ADS dive (or 332 metres world record SCUBA dive) would be able admire the fully functional chronograph watch – intact and working perfectly.

To accomplish this astonishing feat, Breitling have used their patented magnetic push-button system, on the Breitling Superocean Chronograph, that results in a case without holes for the chronograph buttons to operate through – thus eliminating two vulnerability’s that could compromise the internals of the watch while deep underwater. Instead of conventional push buttons that require access to the movement inside the watch’s water resistance casing – magnetic push pieces are manipulated that push their magnetic field through the solid casing of the watch, resulting in a far more durable tool watch.

In addition to the fancy magnetic pusher buttons, the solid case back is screwed in and a thick 4mm glare-proof cambered sapphire crystal protects the dial. Its screw down crown is double-gasketed for additional protection from water while deep underwater.

Serra-da-Estrela (1)
‘Serra da Estrela covered with snow’ By Gsarmento (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
At only 46mm wide this Breitling Superocean Chronograph is by no means the biggest divers watch but is cerinaly one of the thickest at a monstrous 19.10mm. Availabel in only stainless steel (and a limited numbered editinon in Blacksteel of only 2,500 peices) this chrograph watch is one of the more practical and utilitarian watches on this list and prehaps more suited to life actualy under water than some of the other contenders on this list.

This Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 watch makes use of a helium escape valve, unidirectional diving bezel, and luminescent markings on the hands and hour marking on its Volcano black dial.

As a quartz watch (and a rather expensive one at that) this watch would suit somebody who desires a highly accurate horological time keeping device that is low maintenance. Not requiring constant winding or servicing; but, only a change of its 394 type battery every 2 or 3 years. Breitling have used their calibre 73 SuperQuartz movement for this watch – that is as you would expect COSC certified.

Intriguingly, the 73 SuperQuartz movement is a rather sophisticated movement for a quartz: its movement is thermo-compensated and is supposedly 10 times more accurate than a standard quartz movement. It enables quick timezone changing for frequent flyers and a chronograph capable of recording to within a tenth of a second up to durations of 12 hours. It is available to buy on a variety of straps and differing sub-dial register colours.

Buy this Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 [a73310a8/bb74-1lts] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Sub-Dial Register colours: Green, Blue, Black, Red

Strap type: Superocean leather strap (with colourd edges),  Diver Pro rubber strap, Ocean Racer rubber strap (with circular cut outs), or the stainless steel Professional III bracelet.

Limmited eddition: M200 Blacksteel limited and numberd edition of only 250 pieces [Found Here].

All variations of the Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 can be found from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

11 – Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph 48mm [01 774 7708 4154-Set RS] RRP: £3,400
01 774 7708 4154-Set RS_main

Oris’s most capable dive watch on offer is the very unique Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph: a watch that not only includes a chronograph complication, but also a rare mechanical depth gauge that uses the increasing pressure underwater to compress trapped air to indicate the depth.

Water-resistant to 500m, with the depth gauge reading to 100m, this watch is not one of those watches which are just a normal watch with some beefed up water seals – it has been designed singularly to be a dive watch and nothing else.

As water enters the channel opening by the 12 o’clock it compresses a trapped bubble of air and turns the channel a dark grey – where the water and air bubble intersect is the depth reading. The yellow graduations mark the depth in meters from zero down to 100m.

Oris’s Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph is available on a black rubber strap that is easily adjusted in leangh, with a thoughtfull stopper at the end to keep the strap attached to the clasp when making big sizing adjutments. Built into the calsp is a ‘Sliding Sledge’ mechanism to allow for small adjustments to be made quickly without taking the watch off.

In the supplied pelican like waterproof box is also an additional stainless steel bracelet with a diving extension, professional strap changing tools, spare lugs, and a device for cleaning inside the sapphire crystal channel.

At 48mm wide this really is a very large weighty watch. Expectantly the case back is of the solid variety (with a meters to feet conversion table up to 100m engraved into it).

Covered in white coloured Superluminova BG W9 the hands and indices have a good level of legibility. The subdials for the chronograph complication are the standard 12 hours spread over 2 registers. These sections of the dial are further distinguished from the rest of the dial with the use of a guilloche pattern on both the chronograph and running second sub-dials.

Inside an Oris Caliber 774 base SW500 powers the watch, beating at 28,800 v/h, containing 25 jewels and has an approximate power reserve of 48 hours

While not cheap the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph certainly feels like you would be getting a lot for your money were you to buy one. It gives the wearer not just the promise of performance – but real performance.

Buy this Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph 48mm [01 774 7708 4154-Set RS] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

There is also a 46mm non chronogrph version of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge watch [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

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12 – Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph (43mm)  [cay211b.ba0927] RRP: £2,750
cay211b.ba0927_main

Tag Heuer’s offering of a more wallet friendly automatic diving watch, with a ceramic bezel, is the Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph [cay211b.ba0927].

In Tag’s lineup, it this watch straddles the gap between the entry quartz aquaracers and the 500m Automatic Chronograph Aquaracers (which have more than a passing resemblance to the Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 42mm watch collection).

Buying this Tag Heuer Aquaracer gets you a well proportioned stainless steel watch, a metal bracelet with a safety latch, 300m of water resistance to play with, a ceramic uni-directional bezel and the workhorse Tag Heuer Caliber 16 chronograph movement inside.

It doesn’t make use of a helium escape valve – but considering the price I wasn’t expecting one (if your heart is set on a chronograph Tag with a helium escape valve then have a look at the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph 500M [Here]). 

On the automatic Aquaracer’s dial we have 3 subdials at the 12, 6 and 9; they display the 30-minute register, 12-hour register, and a small seconds subdial respectively. At the 3 o’clock position is a date window and the Tag Heuer logo. Its hands, indece hour markers and the top of the bezel each have had a lumineccent compound applied.

There’s a ceramic uni-directional bezel that makes this watch more competitive (than this watches metal bezeled sibling) when compared to competing diving watches.

Within the 15mm case thickness but behind the solid case back is the Tag caliber 16 movement; originaly desgined by Valjoux but known as the ETA 7750 movemet. It’s one of the most ubictuous chronogaph movements around, being used by luxury watch brands like Tudor, Panerai, Hublot and IWC, it’s easy to servise and is a very durable movemnt that has a good acuracy considering its price. Tag have made their own modifications, on the ETA 7750 movement into the Tag caliber 16, to yeild a power reserve of 42 hours, it beats at 28,000 v/h, contains 24 rubies, a date complication that can be quick set, and a chrograph complication.

Built as an introduction to the world of luxury watches the Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph’s sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel should repel scratching and most of the abuse you can throw at it, keeping it looking new for longer.

But this Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph (43mm)  [cay211b.ba0927] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Bezel Type: Stainless Steel or Ceramic

Dial Colour: Black, Blue or White

Strap Type: Stainless Steel Bracelet or Black Fabric

Case material: Stainless Steel, Titanium, or Two-Tone Stainless Steel and Plated Yellow Gold

All variations of the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph are found from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

13 – Longines Heritage Diver (1967 Chronograph) [L2.808.4.52.9] RRP: £1,970
L2.808.4.52.9_main

Both the Longines Heritage Diver’s retro aesthetics, high-quality chronograph movement, and reasonable asking price makes this a sought-after classic diving watch.

Taking inspiration, from as you may have guessed, a 1967 diving watch by Longines; the biggest aesthetic changes being the introduction of a running seconds dial at the 6 o’clock, and the addition of a date window between the 4 and 5 hour markers.

A capable diving watch this is, at a rated 300m of water resistance – it’s a watch which could happily go diving with you if you were to have the desire to do so.

Its polishded 42mm stainless steel case is peculierly polished for a diving tool watch, though the red alluminium bezel and playful contrasting white sub dials reasures that this is no dress watch, but compared to other dive watches – it’s a rather dressy dive watch, and at 16mm thick it does sit rather high up on the wrist.

The bezel is rather fascinating in design as it incorporates an aluminium diving bezel (uni-directional) and a 12 hour scale that can be used to give the time in different time zones with but a twist of the bezel – simpler than unscrewing a crown to change a secondary time zone hand on a GMT watch. Beneath the protective sapphire crystal we have a stepped tachymeter scale that can be used to make quick calculations with the chronograph.

On the reverse of the watch we have a solid case back with a spearfishing skin-diver in relief, a subtle reminder of Longines rich past. Talking about herritage – Longines is one of the oldest luxury watch brands around having started their journy way back in 1832, and was one of the first to get worldwide protection for their brand name and winged hourglass logo by being registerd with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property. And has been the oldest brand name to be registered with the WIPO (who is the current protector of intelectual property) that is still in use unchanged today.

Underneath the solid case back is one of this waches best features – the Longines Caliber L688.2 column wheel chronograph movement! Built by ETA exclusivly for Longines use it’s something very unusual to see at this price point, becuase of the dificultis in constructing such a complicated movement. A large number of chronogrph movements are simply a modular 3 hand (hour:minutes:seconds) movemnt with an add-on to gain the additoinal chronograph functionality. Due to the design nature of the Column wheel chronograph – all are required to be build around this fundamentally important component of the movement (making these integrated column wheel chronograph movements more expensive to develop and make).

It is a staggering attainment that Longines has created a watch with this type of chronograph movement at under £2K, with nearly all chronograph movements in this price range using cam-actuated movements (like the famous Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch); column wheel chronograph movements are considered more luxurious because the vertical clutch minimises stuttering when starting and stopping the timer. Brands that use this more luxurious movement include: Rolex, ZenithGirard-Perregaux and Omega on some of their high-end Speedmasters.

With a power reserve of 54hours, the Longines Caliber L688.2 should in theory still be telling the time after both of the Rolexes and Cartier Diver have run out of juice. The movement beats at 28,000 v/h.

Despite this vintage inspired Longines Heritage Diver watch looking rather simple in design it houses a complex movment type rarley seen on such an afordable watch. It’s also a very versitile watch which can be used as a diving watch (using the bezel to track elapsed time), as a chronograph (regisering up to 12 hours), a quazi-GMT (with the use of the bezel) or a casual dress watch at a push.

This Longines Heritage Diver (1967 Chronograph) [L2.808.4.52.9] is availbale to by from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

It is also available to buy on a [Leather Strap] (L2.808.4.52.0) and a [Metal Bracelet] (L2.808.4.52.6) from our [Shop Here].

14 – Oris ProDiver Date 49mm [01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB] RRP: £1,650

Oris ProDiver Date 49mm 01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB

Not quite as large as the Oris ProDiver Chronograph: Unboxing Review [01 774 7683 7154-Set] that I wrote about [Here], the non-chronograph version is a little smaller in width and marginally less tall by 3.5mm – at only 15.9mm thick, making this Oris ProDiver the more practical of the two.

With a brushed titanium casing, black rubber strap, lume aplied high contrast dial markings, helium escape valve and the inovative rotation safety bezel – this Oris packs in heaps of features for such an afordable and inexpensive timepeice; a term which can only be used relative to other watches as no luxury watch is truly a neseccity – being a non-ecentual item is admitantly one of the reqirements for something to become a luxury.

I can’t think of many people who would require a watch to go any deeper than the rated 1000m – which just happens to be equal to the height of Mount Snowdon (Tallest mountain in Wales). Thinking about it some more I still can’t think of any people who would need to dive half that!

A clean dial from Oris showcases one of the things that Oris does rather well – making good quality and functional tool watches, with its clean and well porportiond dial that has a good amount of contrast between the hour markers and matt black dial behind. Oris as a brand may not be considdered the most luxurious or sophisticated; but, along with longines, they provide a very high quality watch to price ratio.

Each marker has had Superluminova BG W9 applied that is considered the brightest Superluminova to appear white in daylight conditions.

An Oris 733 based SW 200-1 movement that packs in a central hour, minute and second hand, and a date window that is hacking and quick changing is used under the solid titanium case back. It winds automatically, bi-directionally with their red rotor, at 28,800 v/h at a somewhat short 38 hour power reserve.

The Oris ProDiver Date 49mm is availabel on both a black rubber diving strap with a titanium folding calsp and diving extention, or for a modest price premium a titanium metal braceelet with a push button safety.

Buy this Oris ProDiver Date 49mm [01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Strap: Black Rubber or Titanium Bracelet [Shop Here].

Also available is the [ProDiver Pointer Moon 49mm] and [ProDiver Chronograph 51mm] – All Oris ProDiver watches can be found from our [Shop Here].

=============================================

15 – Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18] RRP: £1,150
01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18_main

Perhaps one of the most charming watches on this list and one of the more popular items available from our shop – the Oris Divers Sixty-Five is a great example of a brand updating a classic design with modern materials and manufacturing techniques; replacing a coated brass casing with stainless steel, and a plexiglass crystal with a more modern sapphire crystal.

Retaining the 40mm case size of the original, the Divers Sixty-Five remains of vintage proportions without overly modernising its classic design.

Charismatic box numerals are found by the 12, 3, 6, and 9 markers respectively, that gives this Oris watch a highly distinctive appearance. The luminescent fill used is the SuperLuminova called ‘Light Old Radium’ giving the markers an aged look.Oris Divers Sixty-Five Laying back on its strap at an angle on black leather with the clasp going out of focus in the background [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18]

Water-resistant to 100m the Oris Divers Sixty-Five should be more than adequate for use on holiday and semi-professional diving.

The movement used is the Oris Caliber 733 (based on an SW200-1) which beats at 28,800 v/h, contains 26 Jewels and has a modest power reserve of 38 hours. It allows hacking when setting the time, quick setting the date, and hand winding.

Ultimately the Oris Divers-Sixty Five provides a lot watch for the asking price, is unique in looks being unlikely to be confused with another diving watch, and demonstrates how a brand can re-engineer a classic piece without corrupting the original spirit of the watches design. This diving watch is for the person who would like a quality mechanical watch, that looks different to most dive watches out there, from a reputable brand at an affordable price.

Buy this Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Size: 40mm or 42mm

Dial Colour: Black, Blue, Grey and Blue, or Black and Blue.

Strap Type: Fabric (tang buckle), Black Rubber Tropic strap (tang buckle), Fabric NATO (Deployant), Leather, or a Stainless Steel Bracelet.

All Variataions of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five can be found from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five (With Metal Bracelet) [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18] Bracelet Pulled Strait To One Side

16 – TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph [T0664171705700] RRP: £440

t0664171705700_mainThe second quartz watch to feature on this article the TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph provides a capable dive watch at a very affordable price point. It includes many features usually to be found on vastly more expensive watches.

Its black bezel is surprisingly a ceramic and the crystal on the front of the watch is a synthetic sapphire crystal. The back of the stainless steel casing is a solid case back which has been screwed in to provide a water-resistance of 300m (990ft) that is more than adequate for most peoples aquatic exploits.

The TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph’s black rubber strap lends its self to a life in contact with water that will not degrade with exposure to water unlike every leather strap; the watch strap is held togeather with a tang buckle.

Inside an ETA Caliber G10.211 movement provides both the time, date and chronograph functionality. A circular date window is located at the 4 o’clock that manages to match the surrounding hour markers in a similar style. The three sub dials by the 10, 6 and 3 each respectively show a 30-minute register, a 60-second register and a 1/10th of a second register.

A case size of 45mm wide and 13mm thick makes this watch large but of typical proportions for a diving watch.

Buy this TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph [T0664171705700] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Kleine Bonaire-Underwater life(js)
Photo By Michal Strzelecki, Wojtek Strzelecki I Jerzy Strzelecki (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

081207-N-9769P-029The industry standard depth limit for recreational divers is 130 feet (39 m) at sea level. During the basic scuba certification, students experience depths of 30-60 feet (9-18 m), and a “deep” dive is considered more than 60 feet (18 m).

“Going deep” is not an end in itself for scuba enthusiasts. Science has shown that the vast majority of marine species live at depths less than 60 feet (18 m). Within the limits of their training, divers go as deep as necessary to see the points of interest at a particular dive site. That may mean 110 feet (33 m) along a coral-covered wall, 90 feet (27 m) on a wreck or 20 feet (6 m) in a river.

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