Many people do not believe this, but with $100, you can get a dive watch that looks good, keeps time well, and performs underwater.
To prove this point, we decided to refer to our knowledge, and also scour the internet, and find the 17 best dive watches under $100.
Best function, history, aesthetics, and recognition.
Cheap & cheerful! Best as a daily beater watch.
Best function and performance for the money.
How We Selected These Dive Watches
When we selected the watches, we wanted to ensure that the dive watches were, first, a dive watch.
This means it should look like a dive watch and can at least handle casual activities underwater.
Then we further looked at some characteristics of dive watches that made them different, and we settled with this criterion:
- 39mm diameter minimum
- Analog dial
- Dive style bezel
- 100M water resistance
- Thick hands
- Larger markers on the dial
- Lumed hands and dial
We initially tried to look for rotating dive bezels, but at $100, that feature is not too widely available. We decided to settle on the watch having a ‘dive bezel look,’ discarding the need for it to be rotatable.
ALSO READ: How Many Watches Should You Own?
How We Ended Up with ’17+3′
We also debated for a bit on the analog dial. Still, we decided to stick with it as we think many people love dive watches because of the look.
This means we have to discard some excellent digital dive watches. Still, we added them into the bonus list anyway for you to check out.
This is why the title of the article says ’17+3.’
We went with the last three criteria because they make dive watches very functional – it helps make the watch legible underwater. Without those, a dive watch doesn’t look and function like one.
Imagine a dive watch with delicate hands and markers like a Seiko Cocktail Time? That won’t work underwater!
But anyhow, all these 17 watches will look like a dive watch and be able to handle some time underwater. Deep scuba diving might be too far-fetched, but 100M (330ft) water resistance manages most casual water activities.
But would you be surprised if we tell you that there are watches that can go up to 1000M (3280ft) deep and even come with a helium release valve in this list?
Yes, and please keep reading to find out more.
So let’s not waste any more time and get into the list. Vamonos!
17 Best Dive Watches Under $100
A sturdy dive watch at a super-affordable price. You would immediately think of the Casio Duro for best dive watches under $100.
This watch is 44mm in diameter and has 200M (330ft) water resistance. The watch also features luminous white hour markers and hands. These specs alone made it able to perform underwater.
On top of that, Casio still managed to pack more features into this watch. There is a date display at the 3 o’clock position. The watch runs on a quartz movement, so maintenance would be super easy. The watch case is stainless steel, and your watch will come with a rubber strap.
Fossil’s FB01 fits the latter. It is a dive-inspired watch that could perform underwater. The case is 42mm. The watch carries a perfect dive watch look, with a black sunray dial and red bezel details.
It is powered by a Japanese quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 100M (330ft). The watch also features a date window with mineral crystal. Choose between a stainless steel bracelet with a foldover clasp or a rubber silicone strap to match with this watch.
This watch is a screamer – It’s chunky, carries a bright orange dial, and is a large 43mm diameter. Not for everybody, but dive watches are supposed to be chunky and large. Wear this watch to catch some attention, if that’s what you fancy.
Aside from the three specs above, the watch also features a date window at 3 o’clock. A mineral crystal protects the dial, with a rotating dive bezel complimenting the look.
Instead of your luminated hands and markers, you get Timex’s Indiglo light-up. Your watch will have a lighted-up background, like when you turn on the light feature on your G-shock. The watch is also 100M (330ft) water-resistant.
Tauchmeister (meaning Dive Master in German) is a debatable German watchmaker. The HQ is in Germany, but it has much of its production outside of mighty Deutschland. Watch enthusiasts call Tauchmeister’s watches ‘Germasian’ rather than German watches.
But before you judge them, check out the specs.
This watch can give premium dive watches a run for their money. It is 46mm in size, features an all-stainless steel case, and wait for it… 1000M (3280ft) water resistance. It even has a helium release valve at the 9 o’clock position.
The watch also comes with Miyota 8215 automatic movement, a unidirectional rotating bezel, and luminous hands and markers. It also features a screw-down case.
This watch to us is the best of the best dive watches under $100. Go get it now.
We could not find any Seiko dive watches under $100, and we almost gave up on Citizen before we found this little gem.
With under $100, you’ll get a full in-house Citizen watch. It is 42mm in diameter. It also features an all-stainless steel case with a bright blue dial and almost fluorescent yellow second hand. The watch is powered by a quartz movement and has a date window at the 3 o’clock position.
The watch is also 100M water-resistant, comes with a blue polyurethane strap, and a 5-year warranty.
Some of the best dive watches under $100 are with this American watchmaker. The name sounded German, but it is a company based in New York.
It started off trying to make tourbillion watches at affordable prices. Still, they eventually developed into a serious watch company, with beautiful homages as well.
This model carries a look that reminds people of the Rolex Submariner, especially the cathedral-style hands, black dial, and rotational black bezel. You also get a date window at the 3 o’clock position, with a cyclops magnifier.
The watch has a quartz movement ticking with a rubber strap. The watch dial is also protected with Stührling’s proprietary Krysterna mineral crystal.
Vostok started off as a war equipment manufacturer during World War Two. Still, their watches found their way into many wrists of Soviet military servicemen and officers. Their watches are seriously value-for-money.
Let’s start with the Amphibian 059. This is Vostok’s classic model, 39mm diameter with a rubber strap. The watch comes with Vostok’s own self-winding movement with 31 ruby jewels, hacking, and hand-winding.
The watch also features luminous hands and markers and a unidirectional rotating bezel. This watch is a genuine functional underwater watch with 200M (660ft) water resistance.
If you care about history, originality, and that sense of ‘underground-ness’, this watch is one of the best dive watches under $100 you can get.
This watch is part of the Aquadiver collection. Based on the looks alone, it is a serious contender for your money. If blue is not your choice, you can also select a different color from this model.
This watch features a 42mm diameter case with a stainless steel bracelet. It has a bright blue dial with luminous hands and markers. The Stührling original also has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a coin-edge finish.
The watch is powered by an ultra-reliable Miyota automatic movement. The watch is also 100M (330ft) water-resistant for that unexpected under-water moment.
This offering from Casio is probably the least dive watch looking on the list. In fact, it carries a crossover between a dive and a chronograph watch. We decided to include the watch because, after all, It fulfills our criteria.
This watch features a 45mm stainless steel case with a unidirectional stainless steel bezel. The dial is black with luminous hands and hour markers.
Casio MTD-1060D-1AVDF also features three sub-dial chronograph displaying hours, days, and date.
The watch runs a Casio quartz movement with a scratch-resistant mineral crystal. The bracelet is stainless steel and comes with a foldover deployant clasp. Water-resistant up to 100M (330 ft).
Another classic Vostok model, manufacturer of watches for the Soviet military. This watch comes in multiple colors and straps combinations, so it pays to check out the combinations before purchasing.
This watch runs Vostok’s in-house automatic self-winding movement with 32 ruby jewels. The movement is hackable and has manual winding capabilities. The watch also features a bright yellow dial and unidirectional rotating bezel with luminous hands and markers.
This watch has made it into several of our lists due to its similarity to the Rolex Submariner. Now, it again enters another of our lists due to its price.
With this watch, you’ll get a reliable Japanese automatic movement. The watch is 40mm in diameter, with a stainless steel case and bracelet. The watch also has a unidirectional rotating coin-edge bezel with coin-edge finishing.
A date window is present at the 3 o’clock position, with a cyclops magnifier on the watch crystal. The watch is also 200M (660ft) water-resistance. Save your money, ditch the expensive Submariner and grab this one instead.
We included this Invicta model to spice up the list of watches here. The color combination on this watch is just superb. Don’t you think so?
The watch carries a 45mm diameter case with 12.5mm thickness, with a stationary yellow and black bezel. The dial is a black, yellow, and white combination, with a screw-down case providing additional water resistance.
The watch runs a Japanese PC21J quartz movement, which means super easy maintenance – just change the battery when the time comes. The watch is 100M (330ft) water-resistant, perfect for casual underwater activities.
Neymar is a Chinese watchmaker focusing on producing homage pieces of iconic Swiss timepieces. Take a look at this model and see what iconic watch it is paying homage to – The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.
It carries a full brushed and polished 316L stainless steel case in 44mm size. The dial is bright blue and features a bright blue dial with luminous arrow hands and markers. The rotating bezel is unidirectional.
The watch runs a Japanese quartz movement. The movement is protected with a sapphire crystal, with 300M (990ft) water resistance. A stainless steel bracelet completes the package.
Another great offering from Casio, which we included here as it is a solar-powered watch. The watch is 46mm in diameter, with a stainless steel case and a stationary bezel. The dial is black, with luminous hands and markers.
The watch dial is protected by a mineral crystal and features a day and date window at the three o’clock position. The watch is also 100M (330ft) water-resistant.
An in-house Casio solar quartz movement powers this watch, with a 6 months power reserve when fully charged. The watch also comes with a black resin strap.
This watch made it due to its slightly unorthodox dive watch look. It features a 40mm ‘Ministry Style’ case in stainless steel, with a 5-ring Zulu nylon strap.
The watch has a beautiful matte black dial with metallic luminous hands and markers. The watch’s rotating bezel is bi-directional.
It runs Vostok’s in-house 2416B self-winding movement with 31 ruby jewels and a 31-hour power reserve. The watch is also 200M (660ft) water-resistant, capable of handling some serious time underwater.
This watch from Stührling carries a look that reminds us of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean. It features a bright blue dial with luminescent hands and indices. The case is 42mm in diameter and is fully stainless steel.
The watch runs a Japanese Miyota quartz movement. It has a coin edge bezel and is finished with a signed screw-down crown. The watch is water-resistant up to 200M (660ft) and comes with a high-grade rubber strap with pin and buckle fastening.
Another durable, affordable dive watch from Casio. This model is imported and not sold officially in the US. It features a 3-hand analog dial with a day and date display window at the three o’clock position. A luminous coating provides long-term illumination after only a short exposure to light.
The watch is 43mm in diameter, with a resin case and mineral crystal. A resin band with a buckle fastener comes with the watch, and the watch is 100M (330ft) water-resistant.
Bonus: 3 More Best Dive Watches Under $100 With Digital Display
These three models made it to the bonus list as they feature a digital instead of an analog dial.
But we still feel that we should somehow mention it to you. Hence, this bonus list.
Digital watches suitable for underwater activities will need to have a large, legible display and a backlight to replace lumes. This watch got that done.
This watch activates into ‘Dive Mode’ immediately when you are 1.5 meters underwater. It will display water temperature, depth, and dive time. The watch is 100M (330ft) water-resistant. It features an electroluminescent backlight that you can activate with just a tap on the button.
This watch made it into our list due to its huge dial size, which will translate into excellent legibility underwater. The watch is 50mm in diameter encased in a resin case with acrylic crystal.
The display is in negative digital, with Indiglo light-up for lumination. The watch is water-resistant up to 200M (660ft), with additional functions such as an alarm and a countdown timer. It also is shock resistant to ISO standards.
The one watch that can handle it all, even for serious underwater activities. Who else, if not the OG of G-Shock watches?
The DW5600 carries a rectangular dial with a digital display. The backlight can be triggered by simply pressing the button at the 2 o’clock position. The watch also comes with an alarm, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, calendar, and 12/24 hour formats.
The DW5600 comes with a black resin strap and is 200M(660ft) water-resistant.
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Dive Watch Under $100 Buying Guide
Buying a dive watch is not as simple as picking something that looks nice. There are factors to be considered, terminology, and concepts to be understood first before making the right call.
Here are some terminologies that can better help you understand dive watches, how they work, and what you should pick for a better purchasing and ownership experience.
Maximum Depth Rating
It goes without saying dive watches should be able to handle being submerged in water over some time.
This is known as water resistance within the watch world. Most dive watches will indicate their watches’ water resistance level on the dial.
When you read the dial’ 200M water-resistant, it means that the watch will be able to handle water pressure to the maximum of 200M deep. Your watch will be protected and dry inside when you are 50M, 100M, or even 150M deep.
However, it is essential not to push the water resistance to the limit. At times, gaskets may age and might not be able to handle the full pressure underwater as when they are new.
A standard depth of 100M (330ft) should be sufficient for many water activities – snorkeling, swimming, free diving, or just basic poolside fun. If you plan to go scuba diving, go with watches with at least 200M (660ft) water resistance.
Also, check if the watch comes with a screw-down crown for confirmation’s sake. A screw-down crown will give the watch better water resistance, and many water-resistant watches would have this function.
To further confirm the performance of a diving watch, ensure that watches with 200M (660ft) water resistance actually carry an ISO6425 certification. This should give you complete confidence in the watch’s water resistance capability.
Dive watches are chunky and large for a reason. The chunkiness is to allow more space to place gaskets and water protections. The large watch size is so that it can accommodate a larger dial.
A large dial is vital to help with legibility underwater. More often than not, lighting is an issue when underwater, so a sizeable luminous dial helps.
Watch size is measured in two ways – diameter and the lug-to-lug. Case diameter is between the end of the watch case to another.
The lug-to-lug measurement is between the end of the top lug to the end of the bottom lug.
Watch sizes need to complement your wrist sizes. Small wrists will struggle with large watch sizes as the fit will not look good. If you want an example of a bad watch fit, just look at children wearing adult G-Shocks, and you will know what we mean here.
Fortunately, dive watches come in multiple sizes, from the standard 39mm diameter to massive 46, even 53mm. So there will be a dive watch that suits your wrist.
Do check out our guide on measuring your wrist, and decide on which watch size suits you.
ALSO READ: 7 Exercises To Get A Bigger Wrist
Style VS Function
Here’s a thing – many people buy dive watches, but very few actually go diving with it.
This is because they love how the watch looks – A dive watch always carries that ‘outdoor, tough’ image that many guys just love.
The best thing is that dive watches are truly versatile. You can take it outdoors, take it underwater, wear it for casual situations, and some premium dive watches even look good with a suit.
For example, an Omega Seamaster, Seiko Samurai, or a Rolex Submariner.
With this in mind, check with yourself if you are getting a dive watch for the looks…
Or you actually intend to go diving with it.
If the earlier is your choice, you do not need to focus too much on water resistance or if the bezel rotates. Instead, focus on the materials and perhaps the watch’s elegance as a whole.
However, if you truly are going to take the watch to dive, functions should always come first. Ensure deep water resistance, large, legible dials, and long bright luminosity on the hands and markers.
If you are going really deep underwater, try to get a dive watch with a helium release valve, such as the Tauchmeister that we recommend in this list.
Our list of 17+3 best dive watches is under $100. What do you think?
Dive watches used to be expensive, but prices have come down substantially, and quality has also gone up due to competition between watchmakers.
These days, with $100, you can get great, functioning, and beautiful dive watches. All it takes is some time to scour the market to find great models.
Watches we review here are not just beautiful for daily wear. They are also functional – one of them can dive up to 1000M (3280ft) deep!
Regardless, it is still vital that you take time to learn about dive watches and the terminologies that come with them. This is so that you can make an informed decision when shopping, and you do not suffer from buyer’s remorse.
Suppose you are a fan of iconic dive watches such as the Rolex Submariner. In that case, we suggest that you check out this list where we reviewed 17 affordable watches that look like Rolex Submariner.