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Dive watches are a fantastic addition to any scuba diver’s equipment.
Because they’re such a popular piece of equipment, they can get pretty expensive…
But don’t worry.
We’ve reviews five of the most popular dive watches under $500, allowing you to stay within your budget.
If you’re feeling like dropping even more on a dive watch, we have another guide reviewing the most popular dive watches under $1,000.
Learn more about how to use dive watches in our actionable guide here.
Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X
The Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X is an extremely stylish watch made by a leader in the watch space.
Best Dive Watches Under $500
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Being made in Switzerland and under $500 for a diving watch is phenomenal.
Victorinox designed this watch to fit NIHS 92-11 Swiss watchmaking standards to become a certified diver watch.
To meet these strict standards — ‘the I.N.O.X.’ had to pass tests for luminosity, shock-resistance, anti-magnetism, and the strength of the strap — along with 130 other diving specific tests.
A nice high-end feature on this Swiss watch is the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Even on a budget, you’re still able to get some quality protection from the impacts of daily life.
With the I.N.O.X, Victorinox offers you a variety of band and case materials. You can choose from titanium and steel case and leather, paracord, and stainless steel options for the bands. For diving — the all stainless steel option is the most suitable.
The hour marks and hands are highlighted with lumination — ensuring your visibility of the time in low-light situations.
The movement is kept simple with swiss quartz — making the time kept accurately and reliably until it’s time to change the batteries.
The mission the manufacture had when creating this watch was toughness and the ability to withstand all elements.
- Extremely stylish
- 3-year warranty
- Scratch-resistant sapphire
- Case is thick
Up first is the Seiko SKX007K2 which is extremely affordable allowing you to get a huge bang for your buck.
Seiko has always held a unique place in the watch market for its affordable and well-functioning watches, and this one is no exception.
A common caveat of this Seiko is the bracelet — it’s very comfortable, but it has been known to break, and the clasp is rather thin. You can quickly solve this issue by purchasing a leather or rubber strap of your liking.
The case diameter is 42 cm and is stainless steel. It comes with date and day functions, and the glass is Seiko’s Hardlex Crystal. The clock is easy to read and legible at any time of the day — thanks to Seiko’s fantastic illumination technology.
At a weight of ~7-ounces — it has just the right amount of heft for durability, but not too much to be excessively bulky.
- Smooth bezel movement
- Seiko illumination tech
- Style is simple
- Clasp reported to break
Next up is the Orient Triton with all of the features of a more expensive watch at a great price.
The crystal is a scratch-proof Sapphire with an AR coating — making the time legible even in the bright sunlight.
Orient gives you the option of choosing a black, silver, and blue color-way. Regardless of your choice of color-way — all markings are contrasted by a matte-like dark background. The matte-like background helps prevent smudges from being visible.
The stainless steel case is 43.4mm wide and 13.6mm thick — an ideal size that can be worn for sports purposes and dressed casually.
The Triton meets all of the qualifications of the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) to be considered a Class 1 diver watch.
The Triton has an Orient 40N50 caliber Japanese-made automatic movement that can be charged up with its self-winding, hand-winding, and second hand-halt mechanism (hacking).
- Extremely accurate time mechanism
- Luminous color markings
- Date displayed at 4 o’clock
Another excellent diving watch for under $500 is the Citizen Promaster Diver.
While most like the attractiveness of the molded polyurethane band, it can be stiff and tends to spin the face away from the wearer, although it’s easy to adjust for sizing. You may want to stick with the titanium steel band, for comfort and fit.
Most negative reviews that you’ll see come from uncareful buyers not purchasing from a reputable dealer, so make sure you’re buying from a legitimate seller.
The dial comes in black or blue — featuring luminous hands, markers, and date. The bands can either be super titanium or match the blue dial with a blue molded polyurethane band. At such an unbeatable price, everyone loves the look of this watch.
The feature that makes this timepiece stand out from others on our list is the solar-powered battery. Thanks to this impressive feature, you know longer will need to worry about batteries, and you’ll always be able to trust the Promaster Diver to keep ticking when you need it.
Because of the price meant for a budget — Citizen used a mineral crystal. Mineral crystal may not be as hard as sapphire, but as long as you don’t plan on putting this watch through heavy-use — you should be okay.
- Luminous hands for dark
- Budget option
- Mineral crystal glass
- Hands are bulky
If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a diving watch that’ll still get the job done — this is the watch for you.
One thing that you may find annoying about the Ray II is the small hard- to-grip crown. You’ll end up having to use your fingernails to screw it down.
Despite being designed for divers, and having a slightly sporty look, you could very easily dress the Ray II up just as well as you could dress it down. If you just take a glance — you would think that this watch costs
hundreds more than its actual value.
The illuminated hands are easily legible and shaped like swords. Another thing to take note of — the lumination punches well above its weight, and shines as well as higher-end watches. The second hand has a bright red tip — making it super easy to read.
The new Ray II’s feature an F6522 caliber 22-jewel movement that can hack and hand-wind. Not many watches under $200 contain a hacking and hand-winding movement that is in house.
Corners were cut to create a budget diving watch, but for a name brand — the value doesn’t get better than this.
- Style fits many outfits
- Sword-shaped hands
- Illuminated hands
- Crown is hard-to-grip
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Dive Watch Bezels Work?
When you’re ready to take the dive and purchase your diving watch — do your research to make sure you get exactly what you want.
Consider your price range, intended use, and style that you prefer when choosing the best dive watch for yourself.
As long as you lookout for the right characteristics of a good watch, you’ll be okay.