My Favorite Dive Watches On the Market

I love doing these roundups of my favorite of ‘x’ watch, and this one is arguably the easiest one for me. The dive watch is basically ‘the’ watch, the Rolex Submariner is one of the most recognizable watches in the world, and for a more enthusiast reason, dive watches are just designed to be durable so its kind of a no brainer to own one for life. For me, I love the design that can go into a dive watch, is it a serious diver? then add a bezel, is it modern or vintage? then choose ceramic or aluminum respectively. With all this heritage it is easy to enjoy the new age of watchmaking and enjoy the “good” ol’ days. This list is not in any particular order, but here are my top five dive watches on the market right now. As usual, unless it is an in hand wrist shot any and all photos come from the respective brand’s websites.

If you want a no nonsense luxurious dive watch, but want to stay a little bit underground, there’s only one watch to turn to. The Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 300 has a long name but all the right stuff. It uses Christopher Ward’s signature light catcher case, which is to say lots of mixed polishing and brushing to look interesting, a shiny ceramic two part bezel and simble baton markers with healthy lume. This watch steers clear from having design interest and puts all the budget into quality, everything is finished to a tee, like the case and bezel, but even the handset, is actually really interesting. These hands are polished on the outermost edges with a solid line of brushing down the middle and the markers are brushed at the outer edge and polished at the sloped part near the middle of the dial. Even though this isn’t the msot impressive design, it’s probably the most impressive quality especially for the price.

The Omega PloProf is really weird, because it’s not supposed to be worn. Omega and Rolex are always fighting about who makes the better dive watch, and the answer is actually Seiko, but one way Omega has attempted to assert their dominance has been with the PloProf. This dive watch is hefty, with a monobloc steel case, a prominent screw down crown system, a thick rubber strap and a huge saphire bezel. Honestly my favorite part of the watch is the helium escape valve because it looks like it would be super fun the press down, but I honestly don’t even know if that’s how it would work; I’m too poor for that. This watch is so needlessly utilitarian especially because technically a normal consumer can buy this watch relatively easily, especially when compared to getting ones hands on a Rolex Submariner, I mainly find it funny that it exists, and it makes me happy to look at but I would never wear it.

Getting back on track, Citizen has been making some incredible watches lately. One of those has been the new 36.5 millimeter Promaster Dive. I mean, get out of the way Black Bay 54. I have always appreciated Citizens dive watches, always a bit too funky but also a bit too good, especially from a brand who got their popularity from department stores. But now they finally have a watch I would impulse buy. My favorite version is this blue version, with a bright blue rubber strap, contrasting the darker bezel and dial. The bezel by itself is quite a bold design that I normally wouldn’t like but when the overdesigned hour markers and handset are added, including the bright orange minute hand it all feels somewhat perfect. This watch uses Citizens Eco-Drive movement, so it’s solar powered and basically doesn’t need maintenance at all. The Promaster series has always been casually interesting to me, but now I’m thinking of how good this watch would look on my wrist with a chic baby blue leather strap.

I know, I always sneak Farer in here, but this time I do think it is deserved. Sticking with my theme of small dive watches we have the incredibly designed Aquamatic series. Farer usually impresses me with their use of colors but here they blew me out of the water. This is the Nazare, named after a Portugese tourist town, a popular destination for surfers at that, the color suddenly makes so much sense. This bright pink and blue works for me on every level, add the printed wave motif on the dial, not unlike an Omega Seamaster 300m and the watch coming with a jubilee style bracelet, a fitted rubber strap, and a nato strap, every little detail on this is perfect. I’m not going to talk about the crown because its always the same and always gorgeous, a little bronze insert, but man, does this whole watch work. Farer is doing some really cool stuff right now and I’m especially excited to see where the Aquamatic line goes.

Before we get to my final watch on this list I want to bring up some honorable mentions. All of these watches are cool but do something I’m not quite a fan of. The Omega Seamster 300m is just too big,   the Lorier Neptune is designed to be as vintage as possible, and that just doesn’t completely work for me unfortunately. The Tudor Black Bay 54 is sort of the same thing, but at least its small. From a design point of view, the Oris Aquis is perfect, but after seeing the 2023 Hoelstein the non limited edition versions just don’t do it for me, and finally the Doxa Sub 200, also just a bit vintage and not enough new to keep me interested.

Finally the last watch on my list, The Nomos Ahoi 36. Certainly a different type of dive watch, there is no bezel here, but it has the water resistance. I love that Nomos’ take on the dive watch was to take their Tangente and add some crown guards, a screw down crown and some lume and call it a day. But for this watch it’s not about the effectiveness of this as a dive watch, especially cause none of these watches hold a candle to the dive computer, it’s about the Nomos of it all. Little details like this little bit of red on the crown when it’s unscrewed so you know your watch isn’t at its most durable, big details like the beautifully finished DUW 3001 movement and the overall quality that Nomos is known for. Recently they released a sand blue and a beige color with dates on their larger version which I’ll admit I’m a bit envious about, because those ones are too big for me, but at least for those of us with smaller wrists we get the bolder Siren Blue and Siren Red.

This list was easy and difficult to compile strictly because there are so many dive watches I like, I almost feel a little bad about excluding any from my list. It is a bit annoying how popular dive watches are, but nowadays the trend is all watches leaning on the smaller side so we are getting some truly fantastic watches that are wearable by everyone, I can appreciate that.