In every man’s heart, there is a Rolex that he loves. For many, it will be the Submariner.
But the basic Submariner (41mm, oystersteel, no date window) retails for over $8,000 – not something affordable to many.
If budget is an issue, let’s see if we can find watches that look like Rolex Submariner.
All watches here are affordable, with nothing over $400. Some will be a direct homage, some will be similar but still has their own character.
The Rolex Submariner
Before going into watches that look like Rolex Submariner, lets talk about the original watch first.
Introduced in 1953, it was developed to assist divers as they travel into the depths of water. It features ceramic bezels to help divers measure dive time.
The watch hands are lumed, with big round hour markings to help legibility under water. The cyclop on the date window has similar function.
Current Submariner is water-resistant up to 300M (990ft).
Outside of its use as a divers watch, tit’s a tool watch loved by many. It’s rugged, good-looking, sporty, and timeless. The 40mm size is also manageable to most men.
The design of the Submariner has since defined the concept of dive watches, and other watchmakers design their dive watches based on the look and feel of the Submarine. This alone made the Submariner one of the most iconic luxury watch.
How We Select Similar Watches For This List
Its hard to nail this down, but we identified features of the Submariner that made it stand out from the other watches.
Then we try to find other watches with similar, if not all of the characteristics below:
- Dive watch
- Black or very dark coloured dial
- Lumed hands and hour marker
- Hour markers are round or baton, without digits.
- Thicker watch hands with loom
- UNDER $400
Due to the budget constraints, we decided to relax requirements on:
- Movement: watches can be automatic or quartz
- Bracelet: they do not need to be steel bracelet.
- Cyclops magnifier – they are becoming increasingly rare on affordable watches
17 Watches That Look Like Rolex Submariner
$ = Under $100
$$ = $100-$200
$$$ = $200-$300
$$$$ = $300-$400
#1 Invicta Automatic Pro ($)
Let’s start with Invicta. They make solid dive watches, and this particular model definitely carries the Submariner’s DNA.
You’ll get a reliable Japanese automatic movement with this watch. 40mm in diameter, with stainless steel case and bracelet. The watch also has a coin-edge bezel, with cyclop and date window at the 3 o’clock position. The watch is also 200M (660ft) water-resistance.
All this package and the price is not even $100.
#2 Seiko Prospex SRPB51 ‘Samurai Black Waffle’ ($$$$)
The Samurai is one of those affordable Seiko dive watches that will turn the heads of watch snobs. Reviews are excellent on YouTube too.
It is powered by Seiko’s 4R36 automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking. There is a dat window at the 3 o’clock position. 44mm diameter size and sapphire crystal helps with legibility.
The watch comes with stainless steel case and bracelet. 200M (660ft) water-resistant.
#3 Stührling Original 792 Series ($$$)
One of the watches that look like Rolex Submariner.
Stührling got started by making affordable tourbillions, but their dive watches are also great. Made with 316L stainless steel, with Miyota/Citizen automatic movement.
The watch also has a coin-edge bezel, with cyclop and date window at the 3 o’clock position. Protected with Stührling’s proprietary Krysterna crystal, with 200M (660ft) water resistance. Definitely a dive homage that can do the job the real Submariner does.
#4 Loreo Submarino ($$)
An unapologetically homage watchmaker. Loreo’s website offers only Submariner homages in their product lineups.
Powered by Seagull’s automatic movement, it comes with a 316L stainless steel case and bracelet. The watch has a coin-edge bezel, with cyclop and date window at the 3 o’clock position. Comes with sapphire crystal and 200M water resistance (660 ft).
#5 Casio Duro MDV106-1AV ($)
Does Casio need more introduction? They make some of the world’s toughest and most reliable watches, such as the G-shocks.
Casio Duro is probably the best ‘bang for the buck’ watch in this list. Affordable, reliable, and can actually be used on a diving trip. Even the name ‘Duro’ means hard in Spanish.
Slightly larger at 44mm, it is powered by a Quartz movement. Comes with an ultra-tough rubber strap and is 200M (660ft) water-resistant.
#6 Pagani Design Submariner Homage ($$)
Pagani Design is a Chinese watchmaking company producing homage watches. They do not make the whole watch in house though. For example they usually use movement sources from Chinese and Japanese companies.
Their Submariner homage is made with 316L stainless steel – 40mm case and bracelet. Seiko’s NH35 automatic movement powers the watch, with a cyclop and a date window at the 3 o’clock position.
There is also a coin-edge bezel, similar to the original Submariner. Water-resistant up to 100M (330 ft).
#7 Bulova Marine Star ($$$)
Bulova is an American watchmaking company, now part of the Citizen watch group. The Bulova Marine Star carries that Submariner-inspired look.
The watch runs on a quartz movement with stainless steel case and bracelet. There is a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Protected by a mineral crystal, it is 100M (165ft) water-resistant.
#8 Seiko 5 SNZF17K1 ($$)
Seiko 5 has been the entry-level automatic watch range for Seiko since the 1960s. Stainless steel case and bracelet, and powered by Seiko’s own in-house 7s36 movement. There is a day and date window at the 3 o’clock position.
The only downside is that the movement is not hand-windable nor hackable. So make sure you are ready to perform some ‘Seiko shuffle’ if you choose to go with this model.
#9 Parnis PN K545 ($$)
YouTube up this watch, and you will see many reviewers giving this Chinese homage a great review. It looks almost the same on the outside, aside from the brand, of course. There is also a coin-edge bezel, similar to the original Submariner.
It is powered by Miyota/Citizen 8215 automatic movement and comes with a 316L stainless steel case and bracelet. There is a cyclop and a date window at the 3 o’clock position, with a coin-edge bezel, similar to the original Submariner.
#10 Seiko Prospex SRPE93 ‘Turtle’ ($$$$)
Part of the ‘Turtle’ line, this watch is definitely no homage, as it has its own ‘cult’ of collectors and enthusiasts alike. Powered by Seiko’s own 4R36 movement, it is hackable and hand-windable.
The watch also comes with a stainless steel case with an ultra-durable rubber watch band. There is a day and date window at the 3 o’clock position200M (660 ft) water-resistant.
#11 Orient Ray II FA002004B9 ($$)
One of Orient‘s iconic dive watches, aside from the Mako and the Kamasu. This watch made the list as it looks the closest to the Submariner, with its rounded hour markers.
The watch is 41.5 mm in diameter and runs on Orient’s F6522 automatic movement. There is also a day and date window at the 3 o’clock position. It comes with stainless steel case and bracelet and is 200M water-resistant.
#12 Lacz Denton LD-9104 ($)
Another finely made homage from the land of the Great Wall. 40mm diameter, stainless steel case and bracelet. There is also a coin-edge bezel, similar to the original Submariner.
Powered by Miyota/Citizen’s 8215 automatic movement, with hand winding and hacking. Similar to the original Submariner, there is a cyclop and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Protected with sapphire crystal, with 200M water resistance.
#13 Citizen Promaster Dive Watch ($$$)
Citizen‘s take of a reliable, tough, and functional dive watch. Powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive quartz movement, with stainless steel case and polyurethane watch band.
Large 44mm size helps with legibility underwater, and date windows a 4 o’clock position makes this watch unique in its own way.
#14 Fossil FB-01 ($)
If you just want the look without caring too much about actual functionality for your dive watch, consider Fossil‘s FB01.
This watch features a quartz movement and a black dial inside a 42mm case. Taking the cue from Submariner, there is a cyclop and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Bracelet and case made with stainless steel. 100M (330ft) water-resistant.
#15 Reginald PN K66 ($)
The cheapest of the bunch and probably the looking closest to the actual Submariner. In fact, the logo is also a crown, just like Rolex, just that it has one ‘spike.’
Now to think of it, even Reginald starts with ‘R’, just like Rolex…
This homage is 40mm in diameter, with stainless steel case and bracelet. There is a cyclop and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The bezel also has a coin-edged bezel, similar to the original Submariner.
The only difference is that it is powered by a quartz movement and only has 20M water-resistant. Something has to give for it to be this affordable.
#16 Seiko 5 SRPD55K1 ($$$)
Seiko just makes great dive watches. Here we are looking at another from the Seiko 5 range, with stainless steel case and bracelet, with Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex crystal protection.
The watch is powered by Seiko’s 4R36 movement, with hand winding and hacking. There is a day and date window at the 3 o’clock position. The watch is also 100M (330ft) water-resistant.
#17 San Martin SN019-G ($$$$)
San Martin is also another Chinese homage watchmaker. Compared to the other Chinese homages here, the watch seems to be using much more Swiss parts and materials, and the price shows that.
You get a Swiss Sellita SW-200 automatic movement, ceramic unidirectional bezel, Swiss Super-Luminova Lume, and 200M (660ft) water resistance. There is also a cyclop and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. There is also a coin-edge bezel, similar to the original Submariner.
So, thats our list of 17 watches that look like Rolex Submariner.
If you are still undecided on which to get, perhaps we can help.
If a homage is what you are looking for, consider the Invicta Automatic Pro.
The reasons are simple. First, Invicta is an American company, which some of us would care about. It is also incredibly affordable, with a price tag under $100.
It carries has a reliable NH35/4R35 automatic movement from Seiko, and reviews on YouTube are positive.
If durability is what you want, think about the Casio Duro.
It’s the second cheapest on this list, looks and functions like a proper dive watch, and comes with a super durable and washable rubber strap.
When the watch is cheap and durable, you know what they are suitable for, as a daily beater.
Smack it, drop it, soak it in mud. Then watch it continue to tick, and smile.
If you want a dive watch with its own character, then check out Seiko SRPB51 ‘Samurai Black Waffle.’
Seiko Samurai is one of those watches that look like Rolex Submariner, but has its own character and cult following. Seiko Samurai can even turn the heads of even watch snobs.
It certainly does not need to ‘borrow’ any prestige or image from the Submariner as a homage do.
Lastly, if you want a watch that looks as close as possible to Rolex Submariner, and at the cheapest price possible, then go ahead and pick up a Reginald PNK66.
You will trade away the functionality of the watch since it is only 20M (65ft) water-resistant, and your watch will be quartz powered.
But you will get the look almost dead similar to the Submariner. Even the watch logo is a crown too.
It’s A Wrap
We hope this has been helpful to you.
We also have articles listing out affordable watches that look like other Rolexes, and one just about Rolex Datejust.
If that strikes your fancy, feel free to check it out. Thanks for reading!