Whether your ultimate water adventures are diving and snorkeling beneath the surface, or sailing and windsurfing on the water, the best dive watches from today’s top watch brands are all about offering precision and performance to go the distance with you.
What’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice looks: These dive watches are designed to turn heads while on land, too. From bold colors to sea blue and green hues, most of the finest dive watches boast features like higher water resistance (300 meters and up), bracelet or rubber straps that can weather the elements, luminescence for easy underwater reading and a host of safety features.
They range in price from just under $5,000 to the tens of thousands, so there is something for weekend fun or serious adventure. Now, all you have to do is pick one.
[See also: Most Influential Watch Brands in the World]
The best dive watches
Omega, Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm James Bond Numbered Edition
Honoring James Bond, one of the most adventurous spies in literature and film, Omega unveils one of its best dive watches in the Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm James Bond Numbered Edition watch. The platinum timepiece celebrates Omega’s long-standing partnership with the James Bond brand, which just celebrated the 60th anniversary of the franchise in theaters.
Water resistant to 300 meters, the watch boasts a black enamel dial with a spiral gun-barrel motif in 18-karat white gold. It is fitted with a black ceramic bezel with platinum diving scale. The 007 logo is visible at 7 o’clock on the minute track. The Bond coat of arms is laser engraved on the sapphire caseback, which reveals the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8807.
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph Great White 44mm
With a strong marine heritage, Swiss brand Ulysse Nardin has remained committed to creating luxury dive watches meant to go to great lengths in the water. The brand is also committed to ocean conservation and shark preservation. This Diver Chronograph Great White 44mm watch is made in a limited edition of just 300 pieces.
Great for underwater and on-water adventures, the watch is powered by the brand’s UN-150 mechanical self-winding movement consisting of 318 individual parts. It offers chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds and date, and boasts an anti-magnetic escapement. The case is crafted of lightweight and rugged titanium and the strap is built of rubber and ceramic.
Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph
The SeaQ Chronograph from Glashütte Original is the German brand’s first luxury dive watch equipped with a chronograph (countdown) function. Designed to meet ISO 6425 diving standards, this watch is built to resist saltwater corrosion, pressure up to 300 meters, shock, extreme temperature changes and more. Delivering optimum precision, the automatic mechanical movement offers 70 hours of power reserve.
Crafted in stainless steel, the 43.2mm watch boasts a ceramic inlay for the unidirectional bezel and offers hours, minutes, small seconds, big date, chronograph with flyback, central stop seconds and 30-minute counter. The rich ocean blue dial features Super-LumiNova applied markers and numerals.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge
This brand has been to the depths of the Mariana Trench and withstood multiple expeditions deep underwater, especially with explorer and filmmaker James Cameron (think: Titanic). Now, Rolex’s recently released Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge watch takes underwater journeys to new depths.
[See also: The Most Sought-after Rolex Watches]
The watch, inspired by one that accompanied Cameron on an epic, nearly 11,000-meter descent in 2012, sets a world record in that it is water resistant to 11,000 meters. It is crafted of RLX titanium with a helium escape valve and the well-known Rolex Ringlock system to ensure water resistance. The number of technological advances and performance features packed into this watch will boggle the mind.
Breitling SuperOcean Chronometer
Breitling recently released its new SuperOcean Chronometer watches. Water resistant to 300 meters, the new collection was inspired by the brand’s Slow Motion dive watches of the 1960s, but is updated with a well-rounded look that is both sporty and chic thanks to new colors and materials. This 46mm shock-resistant version is crafted using a special alloy bronze that will develop its own unique patina with wear.
It boasts a black ceramic diving bezel insert and a rich gradient green dial with a matching sporty rubber strap. The hands and markers are coated with Super-LumiNova and the crystal is glare resistant. It is powered by Breitling’s automatic Caliber 17 COSC-chronometer-certified movement.
Bremont Waterman Apex
Known for partnerships that go to extremes (like making a watch for pilots who’ve ejected safely from Martin-Baker ejection seats), British brand Bremont now unveils the Waterman Apex watch — tested by big-wave surfer ‘waterman’ Laird Hamilton. The high-performance mechanical watch measures 43mm in diameter and is crafted in stainless steel with a patented protective anti-shock mount for the movement.
Water resistant to 500 meters, it is equipped with a helium escape valve and is a COSC-certified chronometer. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the 250 pieces will support ocean research for the nonprofit Bimini Shark Lab.
Oris Aquis Calibre 400
Independent Swiss watch brand Oris is known for its Aquis collection of dive watches that offer versatility in, on or off the water. This 41.5mm Aquis Date Caliber 400 watch is named for the in-house movement that offers performance and precision at a value proposition.
The movement ensures extended levels of anti-magnetism and a five-day power reserve. Crafted in stainless steel with a solid-gold fluted edge on the unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel, the watch is water-resistant to 300 meters. Sold with both a stainless steel bracelet and a rubber strap — changeable with the brand’s patented Quick Strap Change system — the watch’s domed sapphire crystal is anti-reflective on both sides.
This article appears in the 06 Mar 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Spring 2023