Elevated Divers

The Best Dive Watches: Wear These All Summer Long

May 26, 2018 Watches By Photo by Henry Phillips
From Issue Six of Gear Patrol Magazine.
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A beater watch is not something that’s meant to be thrashed then thrown out. Yes, it should be built to take a beating during beach trips, backpacking treks or any other summer excursions you throw at it — and, ideally, it should be able to handle those activities year after year. As such, a few qualities are requisite: it must be water plus shock resistant, and most of all legible. It just so happens that dive watches are precisely these things. While there is no shortage of reliable divers that cost just a couple hundred bucks, spring for a premium model and you’ll be treated to impeccable finishing, impressive mechanical movements and timeless designs. And believe us when we tell you there’s no need to go easy on them.

Seiko Prospex SRPB51K1

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Seiko’s SKX and Sea Urchin divers are archetypal beater watches, but the brand’s ISO-compliant mechanical divers — like the Prospex — add so much more for a small investment. The crisp, sculpted and brushed stainless steel case design on this Samurai (a throwback to cult-favorite Seiko diver from the 2000s) is indicative of that, as are the textured dial and the in-house automatic movement inside.
Movement: Seiko 4R35 automatic
Case Size: 44mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53

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The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf launched in 1953 alongside the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Rolex Submariner, but it almost never gets the recognition it deserves as one of the first dive watches ever made. The modern reissue borrows faithfully from the original design; it’s light blue bezel, for example, is a call-back to an early reference of the Sea Wolf.
Movement: STP 3-13 automatic
Case Size: 40mm
Water Resistance: 200m?

Oris Divers Sixty-Five

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The Oris Diver Sixty-Five is a spot-on interpretation of a dive watch from decades past — so much so that Oris kept an of-the-era 40mm case size and moderate 100-meter depth rating. The focus on vintage design and rugged wearability — characterized by a slim case that sits flat on your wrist and rubberized leather strap — means the Sixty-Five is just as at home paired with a seersucker suit as it is with a T-shirt and a lawnmower.
Movement: Sellita SW-200-1 automatic
Case Size: 40mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Sinn EZM 3

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Sinn’s over-engineered EZM 3 is the watch you seek out if a typical 200-meter dive watch isn’t tough enough for you. Not only is it good for a 500-meter plunge, its super anti-magnetic thanks to a soft-iron cage protecting the movement inside. It can also operate in extreme temperatures, from -49 up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. The positioning of the crown on the left-side of the case is a considered touch as it keeps it from digging into the back of your wrist.
Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
Case Size: 41mm
Water Resistance: 500m

Doxa Sub 6000T Professional

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Lord knows you’ll never need the 1,800-meter depth rating, but it’s nice to know this monstrous diver is up to the challenge. The 6000T is an evolution of the legendary Doxa divers of the late ’60s and early ’70s and carries the brand’s iconic decompression limit bezel and orange dial — ostensibly to aid in legibility, but is more so a fun, colorful feature to talk about around the grill.
Movement: Soprod A10 automatic
Case Size: 45mm
Water Resistance: 1,800m

Read More in Gear Patrol Magazine

A version of this story appears in Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Six, more than 220 pages of guides and reports that put product first. Subscribe Now: $39