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When it comes to dive watches, they’re quite popular. They are timepieces that not only look good but are durable too. The best can handle depths over 1000 feet (300 meters). You may think that you won’t be able to snag one for cheap – but we did you a favour and ran through the best dive watches under $100.
Table of Contents
Before we get into it, you should probably read the following table. We summarized some of our most notable picks.
One last thing:
A good diving piece needs to be ISO 6425 certified. This would mean that it’s capable of handling diving depths safely, and for long periods. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find such devices for this price. But you’ll be able to find watches that can still handle dive depths – which we did. These depths are the most they can handle, so regularly reaching them is not a good move.
Vostok is a company that knows what they’re doing. They’re acclaimed for making some of the most durable pieces in the game. It shouldn’t surprise you that they make timepieces for the military.
The 420374 looks peculiar. To begin with, its display is a bright blue, with anchors across. And there is a chunky, stainless steel case to compliment it. The fact that its bezel is made with a Pepsi-like arrangement makes it more eye-catching.
It is one of the smallest watches we’ve seen. It stretches 1.53 inches (39 mm) across. Being so small, its face is hard to read. This is one of the reasons why it’s not ISO 6425 rated. Not only is its face small, but so its strap. This isn’t bad, though. Large metal bands make you sweat.
Its full body is quality stainless steel. As it was made to handle considerable depths, this is perfect. The Amphibia is very water-proof. The material not only keeps water off, but anything that tries to stick to it.
You’re probably wondering how much water it can handle. Well, it’s resistant up-to 660 feet (200 meters). As mentioned, you probably shouldn’t dive with it for prolonged periods.
When you’re deep underwater, you need a luminous dial. The timepiece won’t disappoint. There’s pigment on its hands and markers. We don’t know the name of the specific lume used. However, it’s bright.
You’d need a durable glass. This would help you withstand deep pressures underwater. The watch has an acrylic window. It’s not the strongest. The watch isn’t a pro diver, so this isn’t something you should be mad about.
You’re looking at an automatic device. It comes with the Vostok 2416B movement. It’s super smooth. It provides a 31-hour power reserve, and 31 jewels. You normally see such specs from timepieces well over $100.
The more jewels present, the smoother a watch will run. No, they aren’t real. They’re synthetic and are placed between gears. 17 is the standard amount.
What makes it special:
It comes with 31 jewels.
The Best Diver
The timepiece is the most water-resistant piece on our list. It would’ve deserved our number 1 spot if it wasn’t slightly above the $100 price range. It can handle 1000 feet (300 meters) underwater. It will be very hard for you to find such a resistant piece for so cheap. Being so water-resistant not only means you can dive with it, but you can deep dive too.
If you’re a fan of luxury pieces, you’re probably a fan of the PX002C. Why? Because it’s very reminiscent of the Rolex Submariner. Phoibos wanted to pay homage to it.
It’s a super waterproof watch. It is made from high-quality stainless steel. It was brushed and polished too, helping water stay off. Being brushed and polished also improves its appearance as it’s ultra-shiny.
As it was made for the seas, you’ll love to know that it’s very luminous. Lume is on its hands and markers. Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of its pigment.
It is not an automatic watch. The Phoibos is Swiss quartz. Swiss quartz is superior to their Japanese counterparts as they’re made with more craftsmanship. You usually see the movement in more expensive devices, but the brand has you covered.
The device is not very big. Its case stretches 1.65 inches (42 mm) across.
We, unfortunately, don’t know what type of glass is on it. If we had to guess, we’d say mineral. That being said, it seems like the more hardened type, letting it easily handle the pressures of 1000 feet (300 meters) underwater.
The timepiece is made even more functional due to the calendar in-place. It is in the 3 o'clock position, so you won’t be straining your neck. It only reads the date. It would be more functional if the day was included too. Its calendar feature is magnified. When reading the watch at sea, this makes things easier.
If you’re ever bored, flip its back over. There is an intricate octopus design on its rear. We think it’s pretty neat. It would’ve been more eye-catching if it was exposed, letting you peek at its insides. Then again, the timepiece is quartz, so there are not many gears present.
Did we mention that its bezel rotates? It clicks as it rotates, helping you time yourself underwater. We have to say, its ticks are quite loud. There will be 120 of them in an hour. Gripping its bezel won’t be an issue with dive gear on – it’s perfectly edged.
Speaking of dive gear, the device comes with a crown protector. This keeps it from snagging onto your wet-suit.
What makes it special:
It’s probably the best value dive watch we’ve seen.
The timepiece is the largest entry so far. Its case stretches 1.73 inches (44 mm) across. When diving, this is what you want. The watch would be easier to read. Its case is made from stainless steel. It’s high-quality. Its strap is resin. If you should know anything about resin, it’s that it is more waterproof than stainless steel. It’s also pretty tough.
That being said, it’s not fun to wear for long periods. The material would collect a lot of sweat. Unfortunately for the MDV106, it has the largest strap so far. Your wrists would be drenched.
If you’re wondering how water resistant it is, you’re looking at a device that can handle 660 feet (200 meters) underwater. Just like the Vostok, it can handle dive depths. But it’s not a timepiece that’s suitable for regular, consistent dives. Remember that it’ll be hard for you to snag such a device for under $100.
The glass on its display is something we’ve seen many times now. It is a mineral. The glass is cheap, so it’s not surprising to see it on affordable units.
Of course, there is lume on its face. The pigment is on its hands and markers. You’re getting some on its second hand too, which you don’t see that often.
There is a calendar on it. It’s pretty small, though. The fact that it only reads the date too disappointed us.
If you’re wondering what movement it rocks, you’re getting Japanese quartz.
Its bezel rotates, helping you tell the time underwater. It’s an anti-reverse one. This means it only turns counterclockwise. Why would you want this? Because it might accidentally turn the other direction, ruining its accuracy.
What makes it special:
Its anti-reverse rotating bezel.
Don’t let its name deceive you. It’s a great water-resistant watch, but you can’t dive with it. It’s only resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters), and it’s not ISO certified.
The 8926 has some of the best lume we’ve seen so far. It’s on its hands and markers. The fact that it’s on thick, rhomboid markers gives it a better surface to shine on.
Like the Phoibois, you’re looking at a device that’s emulating another. The Invicta Pro Diver is paying homage to the Rolex Submariner. That’s why it looks more expensive than what it is. We have to say, Invicta did a really good job paying tribute to the timepiece. They’re known to produce great homage pieces anyway.
Not only do they look alike, but they are the same size too. Both are 1.57 inches (40 mm). This makes the 8926 a relatively small device. If you have smaller wrists, make note.
It’s fully made from stainless steel. As you know, this makes it expertly waterproof.
There is a calendar on it, which we appreciate. It’s in the 3 o'clock position, so you won’t be hurting your neck. It is also magnified, making it easier to read. It unfortunately only reads the date, not the day.
Its bezel rotates. However, you’re not getting ample gripping to rotate it. Speaking of gripping, its crown is edged well. There’s a crown protector too, preventing the piece from snagging onto your wet-suit.
You’re looking at a Japanese automatic watch. When you flip it over, you’ll find an exposed back. You’ll be able to gawk at its many gears in motion. Don’t worry, a quality glass back is on its rear. It prevents water from getting inside.
Its mechanism comes with 24 jewels. This makes it run smoothly.
What makes it special:
It has 24 jewels.
The Best Looking
The watch is a vision in blue. We’re total fans. Its blue is quite regal, so the 9204OB is our favourite looking entry.
It can handle 660 feet (200 meters) underwater. Like its counterpart above, it is paying tribute to the Rolex Submariner. It is the third device on our list that’s a homage to it. It’s smaller than the Rolex device, though. Its case stretches 1.47 inches (37.5 mm) across.
At certain angles, the timepiece will be even more stunning. Its dial rocks a sun-ray effect. This means it’ll glisten when the sun hits. It makes the 9204OB seem more expensive.
There is luminous pigment all over its hands and markers. Invicta has the best lume.
If you’re expecting an automatic device, the watch will disappoint you. It comes with a Japanese quartz movement. That’s why its back is not exposed. There’s a cool emblem on it, though. We think it’s pretty neat.
It is made from high-quality stainless steel. As you’re aware, this makes it very waterproof.
You’ll have a hard time damaging the glass on its display. It is a flame fusion crystal. It is much stronger than mineral. It’s a sapphire. If you didn’t know, sapphire is the strongest glass out there.
You can rotate its bezel. It’s grooved way better than on its sibling above. It ticks as it turns of course. There is also a crown protector in place.
You don’t have to look too close to notice the calendar on it. Yes, it’s gigantic.
What makes it special:
Its flame fusion crystal.
Now that you know what the best affordable dive watches are, let’s answer some questions. They’ll keep you the most informed.
If it can handle over 330 feet (100 meters), it is classed as a dive watch. However, you won’t be able to dive with it. It’ll need to have thoroughly been screwed down. This would make it able to handle consistent, deep depths. That’s why going for a piece that’s ISO 6425 certified would ensure this.
If you’re someone who wants durable watches, you should give them a go. They were made super waterproof, to handle serious depths. That’s why if you’re an active individual, you’ll appreciate that you won’t be getting mud, sweat, or any muck on them.
Water-proof materials like resin, rubber, silicone, and stainless are generally quite resistant.
The devices are also easily accessible and affordable.
Even if you’re not planning on going swimming with them, having such water-resistant pieces by your side is great. The rain will never wreck their insides.
When looking for the best timepiece, you’d want something big. This lets you read the time easier. It also needs to have ample luminous pigment. It can get very dark underwater, after all. The device needs to be water-proof too. This means made from either resin, stainless steel, rubber, or silicone.
Although a lot of timepieces we reviewed covered these points, some didn’t. Except for the Phoibos, none of them are dive resistant, so you can’t blame them.
Check out our other top watches
Now that you know what the best dive watches are for your budget, you know which you should be spending on. The Vostok Amphibia is the best. It looked the most intriguing, could handle considerable depths, and is very durable. However, it was one of the more expensive devices we talked about.
Dive watches are great purchases even if you don’t want to dive with them. They're so waterproof and durable. If you’re someone who loves going on hikes, you might want to check them out.