Last updated: September 14th 2016 Fun fact about dive watches: Most folks who own a dive watch will never wear it in deeper water than their bathtub. You should expect all of the best dive watches to work in up to 200 meters of water though (just in case you are someone who wants to take a swim).
Our chart below will cover a variety of watches to suite anyone’s needs, including cheap dive watches. Our rating scale sets 5 as the best and 1 as the worst, so you can naturally expect some models will outperform others. Our pricing goes from four dollar signs to 1 dollar sign, and you’ll be happy to know that you can fine a list of the best dive watches under $1000 on our chart.
Different Types of Dive Watches
Now that you’ve seen our list of recommended dive watches, we’d like to “dive” in and give you some educational material about them. There are many different styles of dive watches, so you need to understand what separates them in order to decide which is best for you.
- Analog Dive Watches: Typically the most common type of dive watch, these display time like as a standard clock. They have an hour hand, a minute hand, and sometimes a second hand. If you go this route, make sure your watch has a unidirectional bezel.
- Digital Dive Watches: This style of dive watch is popular because it’s typically the cheapest for consumers. You should make sure that your digital watch has a backlight (if you do go this route), so that you’re able to see time in darker water.
- Automatic Dive Watches: Powered on kinetic energy, these gain more power the more you move. No battery, no winding. If you go this route make sure that it can stay powered around 48 hours when removed from your body.
- Titanium Dive Watches: Titanium watches are popular due to their hypoallergenic nature. You can find these in either analog or digital, and they tend to be corrosion resistant, which makes them great for salt-water use.
- Chronograph Dive Watches: Similar to a stopwatch, the chronograph dive watch allows the diver to designate specific times and can typically track up to an hour interval. Perfect for safety stops, monitoring the length of your dive, and monitoring the duration that you’ve been at a specific pressure.
How To Maintain A Dive Watch
As with all things, the care that you provide your dive watch will determine how long it lasts. Here are some tips to help your dive watch last as long as possible:
- Rinse it off with freshwater after each use. This helps minimize the chance of corusion.
- Rotate your bezel after each use. This makes sure that no debris gets stuck under the bezel and locks it up.
- Avoid hot tubs and saunas. The heat that is produced by these can cause rubber seals within your dive watch to expand, which can reduce the effectiveness of your water resistance.
What Are The Advantages Of Cheap Diving Watches?
Well the first is obviously that if you are budget strapped, you can find cheap diving watches under $500 at most major retailers (including Amazon.com). The thing to keep in mind is that the lower priced dive watches are typically water resistant to 100 meters or more, not necessarily 200 or more. A cheaper end watch will help you save money, but we wouldn’t recommend it to be your primary dive watch.
Cliff notes on main advantages:
- Cheap, so not hurting budget
- Good backup time piece
- Typically resistant for 100+ meters of water