Diving Watches: The Best Men's Dive Watches for 2020

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Rolex Submariner

Save your black tie watches and fine jewellery timepieces for superyacht soirees – below the waves something much more high-tech is required. Whether you’re embarking on your first scuba diving course or are a trained pro with a love of free-diving, a fine instrument is a must. Favoured by sports stars, celebrities and fictional spies, the dive watch dominates the market and is the most sough-after piece of arm candy. Whether you’re looking for a top spec, technical dive watch or more fashionable timepiece then we’ve rounded up the best from the cult favourites including Omega, IWC and Rolex.

What is a Dive Watch?

Celebrated for their technical ability, engineering and stylish appearances, albeit different, dive watches are highly sought after by professionals and amateurs alike. Born from a very practical function, the dive watch was created to withstand the pressure of the deep blue and to help divers keep track of their bottom time.

The defining features of a dive watch include a rotating bezel, which was created so divers can track their time under water. A stainless steel or titanium casing is most common as well as a luminescent dial and hands, so divers can read their watch in the darkest depths.

Rolex Submariner

A watch that needs no introduction, the Submariner is arguably the most renowned dive watch in the industry. Whilst it’s not the most technical of the Rolex dive watches it’s one of the most sought after. It launched in 1953 as the first dive watch to be able to reach 100m, there has been little to improve on what has been considered a flawless creation, bar slight nuances in design varying from the date, colour and strap. With its simple black dial, luminous hands and hour markers, and unidirectional dive-time bezel, it is still regarded by many as the quintessential dive watch.

Case: Steel, 40mm
Strap: 904L steel
Movement: Calibre 3135 self-winding
Complications: Seconds, stop-seconds
Water resistance: 300 metres
Prices from: £6,950 | $8,550

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Breitling Superocean Automatic 46

Despite being famous for its pilot watches, Breitling has a rich history on the water that began with its SuperOcean dive models in 1957. That original look is available today in the Héritage line, but the Superocean II is a more modern, technical take on the theme that’s waterproof to an impressive 500m

Case: DLC-coated titanium, 426mm
Strap: Rubber
Movement: Calibre Breitling 17
Water resistance: 300 metres
Prices from: £3,670 | $5,400

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Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M

One of the stand-out features of the Seamaster Professional Diver has always been the helium escape valve. The escape valve helps manage the decompression when divers are undergoing deep dives to prevent any damage to the watch, most commonly the glass face popping off. The clear, sapphire crystal glass back on the watch allows the wearer to see the intricate composition of the Master Chronometer Calibre. There are 17 variations on the original Seamaster.

Case: Steel, 42mm
Strap material: steel
Movement: self-winding
Water resistance: 300m
Prices from: £4,170

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IWC Aquatimer, Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport For Good”

There’s been a number of adaptations of the Aquatimer since its inception back in 1967, this year’s big seller is the Laureus Sport For Good. IWC’s Aquatimer models are fitted with robust and reliable mechanical movements with automatic winding and can withstand water depths of up to 300m with a screw-down crown. This Chronograph Edition sports IWCs proprietary SafeDive system, where the outer bezel winds the inner bezel anti-clockwise only. The outer case consists of stainless steel with a vulcanized rubber-boating case, giving it the sleek, dark, matte finish.

Diameter: 45 mm
Movement: self-winding
Power reserve: 68 hours
Water resistance: 300m
Prices from: £9,700 |

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Panerai Submersible BMG-tech PAM00692

A standout watch that’s unique in appearance, the Submersible is quite sizeable but undoubtedly robust. Despite its size it’s not overly weighty due to its proprietary BMG-Tech casing, a lightweight metal. The crown protector - a trademark of Panerai- was created to do exactly what it says on the tin as the crown is the most vulnerable part of a dive watch. This watch is water resistant to 300m with anti-shock protection and a unidirectional bezel.

Diameter: 47mm
Movement: Self-winding
Power reserve: 72-hours
Water resistance: 300m
Prices from: £11,200 | $10,995

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TAG Heuer Aquaracer

A classic Tag Heuer watch in every sense. Renowned for being sports watches, this Aquaracer will carry you comfortably to 300m in its stainless steel casing. The horizontal lines that run across the dial resembles the wooden docks where sailboats are moored, an acknowledgement of the inspiration behind the watch. This high performance watch can really withstand pressure, even that from pressure cookers - they’ve tested it - making it an ideal dive watch for deep sea diving.

Diameter: 43mm
Movement: Self-winding
Power reserve: 42-hours
Water resistance: 300m
Prices from: £1,795 | $2,250

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Tudor Black Bay Black

Tudor, the more affordable sister brand of Rolex, has had great success with the retro Heritage Black Bay, launched in 2012. The Black Bay Black is more recent to the market having only launched in 2015, one of 17 variations on the design including the more standout, intricately detailed Chrono as well as the three hand models. This Black Bay Black sports the classic domed dial and the prominent, screw down crown for easier manipulation.

Case: Steel, 41mm
Strap: Steel
Movement: Self-winding
Water resistance: 200m
Power reserve: 70 hours
Prices from: £2,800 | $3,725

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Longines Legend Diver

A reissue from a 1960 Longines watch, the Legend Diver was created in celebration of the brand’s anniversary. luminescent hands against the dark dial make it more legible underwater and the sleek, face and mesh strap make it perfect for everyday wear.

Case: Steel, 42mm
Strap: Steel
Movement: Self-winding
Water resistance: 300m
Power reserve: 38 hour
Prices from: £1,850

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph

Launched in 1972 as the world’s first steel-cased luxury sports watch, one of the Royal Oak’s latest variations is the Offshore Diver Chronograph, which comes in colours including yellow, tangerine and lime. There’s a rotating inner bezel and rubber straps that match their dials with certain pieces in the range launched as limited editions.

Case: Steel, 42mm
Strap: Rubber
Movement: Calibre 3124/3841 self-winding
Complications: Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds
Water resistance: 300 metres
Prices from: £24,700 | $27,500

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Bremont s500 Dive Watch

Bremont launched its flagship dive range, the Supermarine 500, in 2009 and this year a host of new models to the line. Launched in July 2018, the S500/BL is a direct evolution of the original S500 model and has retained the day date window and C3 lume indices. The 43mm stainless steel case is waterproof to 500 metres and features a soft inner anti-magnetic Faraday cage to protect the C.O.S.C certified chronometer movement. Mounted on a rubber strap, the caseback also features an engraving of the Supermarine S6B Schneider Trophy seaplane the range was named for.

Case: Stainless steel, 43mm
Strap: Rubber
Movement: Calibre BE-36AE automatic winding
Complications: Chronometer, seconds, date and day
Waterproof: 500 metres
Prices from: £3,295 | $5,400

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