5 of the best dive watches 5 of the best dive watches

5 of the best dive watches

Fergus Nash

How can one possibly quantify the best dive watches? Even among the legendary watches with significant history and influence, there are just so many to count. Where one watch may be more recognisable, another could surpass its specifications. And yet, the list is here. They may not be to your personal taste, but among the most popular genre in watchmaking, here are 5 of the best dive watches.

Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner 14060 lunaroyster

This list is presented in no particular order, but if you had to pick the #1 slot, it would have to be the Submariner (or the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea if you prefer the biggest option). There’s really no debate, even if you think it’s boring and overpriced. The fact is that nearly everyone on the face of the planet can recognise one, even if they know nothing about watches, and that’s something which can’t be replicated. On top of its cultural status, its accurate performance as a chronometer is renowned, and every design variation among the references has become iconic in its own way. The Rolex Submariner is an absolute titan, whose popularity has made dive watches the global phenomenon they are today. Price: A$13,550 (ref. 124060)

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Omega Seamaster 300M 25418000

Rising to prominence on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is another example of a watch with both extraordinary fame as well as technical excellence. Its Summer Blue version even made it to our list of the best gift watches under $10000. Having evolved significantly from the eccentricity of the mid-‘90s, the recent versions of the Seamaster Diver 300M still capture a suaveness alongside rugged capability. The laser-cut ceramic wave dial is contemporary without being alienating, and the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 is a movement you’ll be proud to stare at through the sapphire caseback. It might not have the same hype power as the Rolex Submariner, but its one major advantage is that you can actually buy them at retail. Price: A$9,850 (on bracelet)

Seiko SKX/Seiko 5 Sports

seiko skx007 3

Seiko’s dive watches have been favoured by professionals since the 1960s, but it’s the SKX of the late ‘90s which eventually had the biggest impact on watch culture. Providing affordable access to a 200-metre water resistance rating not only allowed its popularity to flourish among divers and casual wearers alike, but it also allowed people to do things which they wouldn’t dare attempt with luxury Swiss watches. Modifying them by swapping around compatible components was made possible from Seiko’s streamlined production and huge variation of references, and eventually third parties began to manufacture custom parts specifically for watch modding. It’s that idea of personalisation which has evolved into the Seiko 5 Sports range after the discontinuation of the SKX, and, barring the 100-metre water resistance, it’s as iconic as ever. Price: A$550 (ref. SRPD55K on bracelet)

Tudor Black Bay 58

Tudor Black Bay 58 2 845x550@2x

Although some could argue the Tudor Black Bay 58 is too closely related to the Rolex Submariner, it has had a significant and lasting impact in its own right. Founded as Rolex’s more budget-conscious relative, Tudor have grown substantially in the last decade with releases that focus on the heritage period of the ‘50s and ‘60s. The Black Bay range was already fairly popular, but the Black Bay 58 created an absolute craze when people discovered its ergonomic dimensions. Released in 2018, it marked a time when watch enthusiasts began to pay attention to things like lug-to-lug length as a measure of wearability, and that has affected watch designs across the board. Plus, its vintage stylings and COSC-certified movement make it a fantastic watch in any regard. Price A$5,730 (on bracelet)

Halios Seaforth

Halios Seaforth

There are so many watches which could have taken the fifth slot in this list, but I’ve chosen the Helios Seaforth for what it represents to the watch community. Throughout the online watch forums of the 2000s, enthusiasts began to realise that they could design and manufacture their own low-production runs of watches. As the audience and markets grew, these came to be known as microbrands. Halios were founded in 2009, and to this day almost all of their releases sell out instantaneously. The Seaforth is their most famous watch in a diving style, capturing a skin diver aesthetic of the 1960s merged with bright colours and some modern finishing sensibilities. Without the existence of watches like the Helios Seaforth, we wouldn’t be blessed today with so much variety in online companies, with incredible quality at affordable prices. Price US$775