Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect 11 additional selections for 2015. Our earlier selections, from 2013, are on the following page.

N
othing in the world of horology matches the feeling of a great dive watch. The turn of a tightly ratcheting unidirectional bezel, nearly endless lume and a helium release valve on the hefty case make for a wrist watch any man can get behind. And a good diving watch is versatile — it toes the line between dress and active, suit and wetsuit, and follows the current large diameter trend.

Regardless of your hours spent underwater, a good dive watch is a staple style piece and, thankfully, you don’t have to take out a loan to get a great one. We’ve chosen some of the best dive watches under $1,000 (and one just over), supplying motivation to get out to the crystal blue yonder.

Seiko Prospex SRP641

Seiko-Prospex-Gear-Patrol
Ask any diver and he’ll tell you that Seiko’s Prospex line deserves respect. It has a solid cult following in the watch community because of its robust build and impressive performance. The SRP641 is also known as the “Baby Tuna” (46mm) since it’s smaller than the original Prospex (47.5mm). The tuna motif is based on the outer protective case that shrouds the main case and a portion of the bezel, and it’s as tough as it looks. Shod in black-ion plating and gold touches, the SRP641 gets doses of both flair and stealth, with zero incongruity.

Prospex SRP641 Tick List
Case: Black Ion-plated 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 46mm
Movement: Seiko Caliber 4R36, 24-jewel automatic
Lume: LumiBrite
Crystal: Hardlex (mineral)
Crown: screw down
Depth:200 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Polyurethane w/ pin buckle

Maratac SR-3 Mid Diver

Maratak-GEar-Patrol
Maratac wants you to have a manly diver without the watch swallowing your wrist, so the mid-sized SR-3 delivers a timepiece in a smaller package. The 40mm case is plenty thick, but the diameter is less intimidating for smaller wrists. The minimalist matte black dial has no numerals, no date and no branding — just hands and markers with good lume. The domed sapphire makes the simple dial easy to read, and the comfortable nylon Maratac strap is easily interchangeable and inexpensive to replace. Throw on a leather NATO strap after your swim, and you can go right to dinner without skipping a beat.

SR-3 Mid Diver Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic w/ hacking, 24 jewels
Lume: C3 Super-LumiNova
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Crystal: Domed Sapphire
Crown: Screw Down
Depth:100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Nylon Maratac w/ pin buckle

Borealis Sea Dragon

Borealis-Gear-Patrol
The latest addition to the Borealis line is affordable at $290, and chock-full of the right details to make it more than just a diving poseur. The 300-meter depth rating means you can casually dive with it without worries, and the automatic movement means you can stay active and never fuss with a battery. It even gets a case shroud that guards the bezel, similar to the Seiko Prospex, so knocking it against a reef doesn’t have to mean game over. We’re also partial to the highly visible orange dial.

Sea Dragon Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 44mm
Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic, 24 jewels
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Lume: BGW9 Super-LumiNova
Crystal: Flat Sapphire with underside anti-reflective coating
Crown: screw down
Depth:300 meters
Strap/Bracelet: PU rubber, leather

Halios Delfin

Halios-Delfin-Gear-Patrol
Jason Lim has been making his Halios brand watches for a while, and each one is a gem. The Delfin is his latest creation, and as expected, it’s beautiful. The black dial benefits from simple markers on a slightly beveled ring, as well as a detailed chapter ring with the minute markers. The outer diving bezel curves downward and might not be the easiest to grip with diving gloves, but it gives the 43.5mm diameter watch a less bulky look that’s office appropriate. It has a serious 500-meter dive rating and a genuine diving extension on the clasp of the meaty 22mm solid-link bracelet.

Delfin Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43.5mm
Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic, 24 jewels
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Lume: BGW9 Super-LumiNova
Crystal: Double-Domed Sapphire Crystal with Underside Anti-Reflective Coating
Crown: screw down
Depth:500 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel with Flip-Lock Clasp and Dive Extension

Victorinox Maverick Chronograph

Victorinox-Gear-Patrol
Victorinox’s new line of Maverick watches takes their diving line to a more sophisticated level, but with a depth rating of only 100 meters, you can’t take it too deep. The aesthetic is more upscale and refined than the Dive Master line it replaces, and the Maverick’s blue-hued main dial gets peppered with three functional subdials and a well-placed date window at the 6 o’clock position. A Swiss quartz movement is good for accuracy, and the sapphire glass is good for keeping the face in tact.

Maverick Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43mm
Movement: Swiss Quartz
Lume: Yes, but Unspecified
Crystal: Sapphire Glass with Triple Layered Anti-Reflective Coating
Crown: screw down
Depth:100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel

Citizen Promaster Professional BN0151-09L

Citizen-Dive-Gear-Patrol
The Citizen Promaster is one tough bastard. Its robust 42.5mm case can be banged around, and the Promaster is a watch that looks better with a bit of age. The Eco-Drive solar movement means power is always on tap, and the mineral glass is scratch-resistant and highly impact-resistant, so there’s no worry about aquatic or land-based rough-and-tumble.

Promaster Professional Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 42.5mm
Movement: Eco-Drive E168 Solar
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Lume: Yes, but Unspecified
Crystal: Mineral Glass with Anti-Reflective Coating
Crown: screw down
Depth:200 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Polyurethane with Pin Buckle

Magrette MPP Vintage

Magrette-Gear-Patrol
Magrette, out of New Zealand, offers handsome, affordable dive watches, like their new MPP Vintage with a brown dial. The PVD-coated cushion-style case is squarishly good, and the matte brown dial complements the more modern-hued case nicely. Radium lume provides old-school night visibility, and the double-domed sapphire with AR coating inside provide excellent bright light and underwater legibility. Finally, the depth rating is a solid 500 meters.

MPP Vintage Tick List
Case: PVD coated 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 44mm
Movement: Miyota 9015 Automatic with Hacking, 24 jewels
Case: PVD coated 316L Stainless Steel
Lume: Old Radium
Crystal: Double-Domed Sapphire Glass with Underside Anti-Reflective Coating
Crown: screw down
Depth:500 meters
Strap/Bracelet: PU Rubber or Leather with Pin Buckle, or Both

Benarus Vintage Moray 44mm

Benerus-Gear-Patrol
The Benarus Moray has been a staple in the Benarus line for a few years now, and their Vintage Moray is a new take on a very successful niche dive watch. This time, it gets a Plexi acrylic dome that’s decidedly different from sapphire and mineral glass, albeit less resistant to scratches. The play of light and reflections is unique to acrylic, and the Vintage Moray looks better for it. You can still get 300 meters deep with it, and the C3 Super-LumiNova provides great low-light visibility underwater. It’s fully automatic, and the caliber and rotor can be viewed through the display back.

Vintage Moray Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 44mm
Movement: Miyota 9015 Automatic with Hacking, 24 jewels
Lume: C3 Superluminova
Crystal: Plexi Acrylic Dome
Crown: screw down
Depth: 300 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Leather with Pin Buckle

Shinola Runwell Sport

Shinola-Chrono-Gear-Patrol
If Shinola is any indication, Detroit is making a comeback. Shinola’s take on the dive watch offers a more sporty than scuba look, but the watch is still gorgeous. The big 48mm high-polish case has curved walls that taper into the base of the bezel, giving it drama, along with curved lugs that have no spring bars, making a Nato or Zulu strap change a snap. The precise quartz movement is made in Detroit, for additional American bragging rights.

Runwell Sport Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 48mm
Movement: Argonite 715
Lume: Yes, but Unspecified
Crystal: Double-Domed Sapphire Glass
Crown: screw down
Depth:100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Nylon with Pin Buckle

Deep Blue DayNight Scuba

Deep-Blue-Gear-Patrol
Deep Blue’s DayNight Scuba might be mistaken for an Omega Speedmaster from a short distance — not that that’s bad company. The blue wave dial provides texture and light play, while the 45mm case provides heft. Deep Blue imbues the markers with super bright, self-illuminating Tritium gas vials that glow for 10 years without a hiccup, and the DayNight Scuba also gets a mechanical automatic movement, sapphire glass and a robust solid-link stainless steel bracelet with screws instead of pins, so you know it’s built to last.

DayNight Scuba Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 45mm
Thickness: 15mm
Movement: Citizen Caliber 9015 Automatic Movement
Lume: Tritium
Crystal: Sapphire Glass
Crown: screw down
Depth:300 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel with Clasp

Zodiac Heritage Sea Wolf

Zodiac-Gear-Patrol
The Sea Wolf is a watch icon (the first Zodiac was so good, the Navy Seals wore it), and Fossil has taken on the Zodiac brand and reissued a modern Sea Wolf that does the original 1954 version justice. The size has been updated from the old 35mm to a slightly larger 39mm, for more versatile wear, but the classic dial design remains virtually identical. The original engraved bezel is also essentially unchanged. The watch is a modernized icon worth its $1K+ asking price, especially with the weight of history behind it.

Heritage Sea Wolf Tick List
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 39mm
Thickness: 13mm
Movement: Fossil STP 1-11
Lume: Super-LumiNova
Crystal: Sapphire
Crown: screw down
Depth:200 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel with Fold-Over Clasp
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