Best Automatic Dive Watches Under $500

Dive watches are more than just accessories that tell the time. They’re designed to track the oxygen remaining on a diver’s tank and the time it takes before high tide resumes, which is why accuracy is highly required on these timepieces. Obviously, dive watches also need to have a high water resistance rating and a readable face even underwater.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to find a dive watch with these features. There are budget dive watches under $500 available out there if you just have the patience to take a look around. To save you the time, we’ve rounded up the best dive watches under $500 that will surely fit your budget.

Casio MDV106-1A

The 44mm MDV106-1A features a unidirectional rotating bezel, a mineral crystal, a date window, luminescent hands and markers, a resin band, and Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Bezel has little to no play
  • Accurate timekeeping
  • Solid build for its affordable price
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Date can be hard to read
  • Lume is not that bright and doesn’t last long
  • Crystal gets easily scratched
  • Band is of low quality

Timex Expedition Dive Style

The 50mm Expedition Dive Style features a stainless steel bracelet and case, a mineral crystal, a chronograph dial, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a date window, luminescent hands and markers, 3 subdials, and a quartz movement.

Pros:

  • It’s easy to read the time thanks to its size and the bright lume
  • Bracelet is sturdy
  • Date is easy to read
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Might be too big and heavy to wear for some users
  • Crystal gets easily scratched
  • Lume doesn’t last long

Orient Black Mako

The 41mm Black Mako has a stainless steel case, a unidirectional bezel, a urethane bracelet, a day-date window, a mineral crystal, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese automatic movement.

Pros:

  • Durable and shock resistant
  • Band is high-quality and comfortable to wear
  • Lume brightness is good
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Gains time every week
  • Extra knob for adjusting the date looks off and unnecessary
  • No power reserve indicator

Orient Ray II

The 40mm Ray II from Orient features a mineral crystal, a stainless steel case and bracelet, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a day-date window, luminescent hands and markers, a red-tipped second hand, and an Orient F6922 movement.

Pros:

  • Accurate movement and excellent timekeeping engine
  • Manual seconds hacking is possible
  • Available in black matte and radiant blue dial face colors
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Bezel can get easily scratched
  • Stainless steel bracelet is not that durable
  • Lume is not that bright

Seiko SRP307 Black Monster

The 42.5mm Black Monster has a notched bezel and a black dial with triangular hour markers that give the overall impression of an open mouth surrounded by sharp, pointed teeth. The watch also features a day-date window, a Hardlex crystal, a stainless steel bracelet, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Lume shines brightly and has a lasting effect
  • The 120-click bezel has no play and rotates in a counter-clockwise direction
  • Seconds hacking is possible
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Gains time every day
  • Watch can be quite heavy to wear for some users
  • Date is a little hard to read

Citizen Eco-Drive Dive Watch

The 43mm Eco-Drive Dive Watch features a mineral window, a stainless steel case, a unidirectional bezel, a date window, a molded rubber band, luminous hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Second-hand hacking is possible
  • Easy to replace the band
  • Durable and suitable for rugged use
  • Curved crystal makes it easy to read time even underwater
  • Water resistant up to 300m

Cons:

  • Date window is a bit small
  • Watch is a little small for the big markers and hands
  • Prone to scratches

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster

The 43mm Promaster is a solar-powered watch that features a unidirectional bezel, a molded polyurethane band, a mineral crystal, a date window, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Sporty look appropriate for rugged use
  • Available in dark blue and black matte dial face colors
  • Lume is very bright and lasts for a long time
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Date window is too small to read
  • Bezel is too stiff to turn at times
  • Crystal and bezel gets easily scratched
  • Band is cheap and uncomfortable to wear

Seiko SKX007

The 40mm SKX007 from Seiko features a black dial with a day-date window, a unidirectional rotating bezel, luminescent hands and markers, a stainless steel case and bracelet (rubber strap is also available), a Hardlex crystal, and a Japanese Automatic 7S26 movement.

Pros:

  • Clean, elegant look that’s suitable for any kind of fashion
  • Accurate hand movements and keeps time well
  • LumiBrite technology ensures long-lasting and bright illumination
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Crown position may be a little odd for some users
  • Stainless steel bracelet is a bit flimsy
  • Not hackable

Citizen EcoZilla

The 48mm EcoZilla is a solar-powered watch that features a unidirectional rotating bezel with large fonts, a 6mm anti-reflective mineral crystal, luminescent hands and markers, a date window, a rubber bracelet, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Durable build meant for rugged use
  • Time is easy to read even underwater
  • Excellent lume brightness in low-light conditions
  • Water resistant up to 300m

Cons:

  • Date is hard to read
  • The crown is found at the 9 o’clock position instead of the 3 o’clock area
  • Dial looks small compared to the gigantic bezel
  • Watch is a little heavy to wear

Seiko SBDC001 Prospex

The 44mm SNDC001 Prospex has a black dial, a unidirectional bezel, a date window, luminescent hands and markers, and a 23-jewel automatic 6R15 movement with self-winding features. The watch comes in an exclusive packaging that includes the manual on how to use the watch and a certificate of guarantee.

Pros:

  • Clean face makes it easy to read time
  • Durable and designed with excellent craftsmanship
  • Power reserve of up to 50 hours
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Crystal surface isn’t anti-reflective
  • Gains at least 15 seconds a day
  • Clasp and band are flimsy

Citizen Promaster Altichron

The 50mm Altichron features slide rule markings on its dial and has a titanium case, a scratch-resistant mineral, a date window, a unidirectional bezel, luminescent markers and hands, a power reserve indicator, and a caliber J290 movement.

Pros:

  • Titanium case is highly durable
  • Has a lot of features including a compass and an altimeter
  • Accurate hand movements
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Watch face is a little busy
  • Date window may be hard to read
  • A bit heavy to wear

Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500

The 43mm Dive Master 500 features a unidirectional bezel, luminescent hands and markers, a date window, a stainless steel window, a scratch-resistant sapphire, a rubber band with tang clasp, and a quartz ETA 2892 movement.

Pros:

  • Available in different dial and band colors
  • Power reserve of up to 2 years
  • Good lume brightness
  • Water resistant up to 500m

Cons:

  • A little bit heavy to wear
  • Date window can be hard to read
  • Gains a few seconds to a minute per day

Anstead Oceanis

The 44mm Oceanis features a black dial, a stainless steel case, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a sapphire crystal, luminescent hands and markers, and a Miyota 9015 movement.

Pros:

  • Excellent lume brightness
  • Clean, elegant look makes it easy to read time
  • Water resistant up to 300m

Cons:

  • Comes in a leather strap that’s not suitable for diving
  • It’s heavy to wear
  • Date window is a bit small

Seiko SSC017 Prospex

The 44mm SSC017 Prospex is a solar-powered watch that features a Hardlex crystal, a unidirectional bezel, a stainless steel case and band, luminous markers and hands, a date window, 3 chronograph subdials, and a V175 quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Versatile look that’s good for casual and formal wear
  • Accurate hand movements and timekeeping features
  • Lume brightness lasts for 5 hours after only a 10-minute exposure to sunlight
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Date window may be too small for some users
  • Watch face is a little busy
  • Bracelet is quite thin when compared to the size of the watch
  • Bezel has play

Conclusion

A dive watch is an important accessory to scuba divers and to people with hobbies and professions that require them to be underwater for a long time. With this, people are looking for reliable brands that have the necessary features for a dive watch, yet have a price tag that won’t break the bank. Orient, Seiko, Citizen, and Casio are some of the trustworthy brands that offer affordable but quality watches suitable for everyday use. The prices depend on the watch features, especially on the engine used in the timepieces.

In choosing a timepiece, it would be best if you know where you’ll be using it to easily determine the features you need. We’ve given you a list of watches and their features to make things easier for you. We’re sure that you’ll be able to pick one that will suit your taste.

More Information:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diving_watch
  2. https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/gallery/best-diving-watches-for-men

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