Best dive watches of 2021
Diving down to deep and daring underwater depths with a luxury watch strapped to the wrist may seem ludicrous to some, but to others, there is no better companion. Dive watches make solid investments for adding to any growing collection, but which are the best dive watches to buy right now? We’ve rounded up a list of the best dive watches to invest in this year. From high-end models manufactured by the likes of Rolex and Audemars Piguet to those tools that sit in the mid-range bracket like the Longines Hydroconquest, to others like the Seiko SKX series - considered affordable legends of the dive watch world. This guide to the best dive watches of 2021 covers every kind of style and design, regardless of whether you actually plan to plunge hundreds of meters underwater with it, or whether you just love the iconic dive watch look. Let’s take a look at the most investible dive watches of 2021.
The Omega Seamaster
Omega’s Seamster range is vast and varied. It is home to many sub-collections like the Aqua Terra, the Planet Ocean, Ploprof, Bullhead and Diver 300M. Surprisingly, some of the best dive watches for 2021 are faithful collector’s models – many of which have been around for some time. The Seamaster Diver 300M is by no means a young watch, but its strong and durable design is a symbol of Omega’s position within the dive watch industry – always at the forefront. The Seamaster Diver 300M has been a classic since 1957 but newer versions such as the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Chronomaster 43.5mm ref: 184.108.40.206.01.001 is an indispensable tool for diving. Its 300-meter water-resistant black ceramic case is fitted with a helium escape valve and brings a touch of youthfulness to the wrist. Its black aesthetic is combined with luxurious 18ct rose gold elements for paring with something more sophisticated by night. Luminous hour indexes are primed for easy timekeeping underwater, whilst the rose gold hands are powered by the COSC-certified Calibre 8806, capable of an impressive 55-hour power reserve.
The Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner is a true icon in the dive watch world. Popular amongst luxury watch enthusiasts, avid Rolex collectors and those who like to take a dip in the ocean - the watch is a reliable investment piece backed by the brand’s expertise in robust materials and unmatchable know-how. The Rolex Submariner comes in many forms, but since the brand ceased manufacture of its 40mm-sized models last year and now develops only the 41mm versions – the much-loved 40mm models have become even more sought after. Whether you opt for this newer and larger 126610LN model or a popular collectable like the ref: 14060 - the Rolex Submariner watch offers a solid automatic movement, a robust stainless steel case and the iconic black diver’s bezel with (or without) a date feature at 3 o’clock. Initially only water-resistant to 100 meters, newer variations are equipped with a 300-meter water resistance, a Cerachrom bezel for superior fade resistance and a robust stainless steel bracelet with features like the Glidelock system, enabling the diver to expand the bracelet up to 20mm.
Tudor Black Bay Heritage
For many, owning a dive watch is not just about exploring deep underwater depths. A collectable dive watch is about enjoying the archetypal dive tool physique that has come to define many luxury watches on the market today. The Tudor Black Bay watch is the Rolex Submariner’s more affordable sibling but offers many design elements and features borrowed from Rolex. Although only water-resistant to 200 meters, the Tudor Black Bay ref: M79230R-0012 is in Tudor’s current catalogue and features a striking deep burgundy anodized unidirectional rotating bezel for the easy measuring of elapsed time underwater. The Tudor Black Bay watch makes our list of top dive watches of 2021 thanks to its black dial with luminous indexes and hands, a domed sapphire crystal glass and a reliable in-house developed movement. The Calibre MT5602 provides a 70-hour power reserve and considering it is fitted with a Manufacture movement, offers a great value-for-money option.
Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy Special Edition
It’s nice when brands release a new dive watch but even nicer when there is a clear message behind a design. The Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy Special Edition Watch is a 316L stainless steel model measuring a diameter of 43mm. It fulfils all the requirements of the ISO 6425 standard with 300-meter water resistance and a rotating bezel, but also features a diver extension feature on its stainless steel bracelet, along with a Powermatic 80 movement, capable of an 80-hour power reserve. The watch has been developed in aid of Florida-based organisation, Sea Turtle Conservancy who works towards ensuring the survival of the sea turtle whilst conserving its habitat. The Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle watch incorporates the DS concept originally established by the watchmaker in 1959. The concept combines qualities of anti-magnetism, shock resistance, water resistance, longevity and robustness, and was forged through extreme stress tests and research projects.
DOXA SUB 1500T
With superior water resistance built into its robust stainless steel case, the DOXA SUB 1500T watch represents the brand’s pioneering spirit in developing expert dive watches for professional use. First released in 1967, DOXA’s premier dive watch boasted a legible orange dial. The SUB 1500T watch has to make it to our top list of dive watches for 2021, thanks to its tool watch design and legible dial. The ref: 881.10.351.10 promises a staggering 1500-meter water-resistance and follows in the footsteps of its orange-dressed predecessor. The model also features a tooth-edged bezel that rotates only in the counter-clockwise direction, along with luminescent markings for ultimate legibility. Those planning on deep-sea diving whilst on vacation or those who dive for a profession should look to the DOXA SUB 1500T for all their underwater needs.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
The Royal Oak series from Audemars Piguet distils the essence of the steel sports watches era of the 1970s. Equipped with the iconic porthole-inspired bezel and a distinct Tapisserie dial, there are many unique features to appreciate about the Royal Oak watch, whether collecting it for sport-wearing purposes or not. The Royal Oak soon took its place in the pre-owned market and there are still models that are hugely covetable today. From the brand’s current catalogue, however, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph is a model that meets all dive watch credentials. First and foremost, it boasts a chunky, attention-demanding design, a legible dial and an internal rotating bezel. The Audemars Piguet Offshore Diver Chronograph ref: 26703ST.OO.A027CA.01 features a blue “Mega Tapisserie” dial, white gold applied markers and hands, and a blue rotating inner bezel with the first 15 minutes mapped out in a vibrant yellow colour. It also provides chronograph counters offering small seconds and 30-minutes, along with a robust and supple blue sporty rubber strap.
The Seiko SKX173 is an ISO-rated dive watch with an appealing price tag that gets a remarkable amount of attention. The model has been around for a while but it still makes for a great investment piece – mainly because it is still so highly desirable within the dive watch field. Its Hardlex crystal glass front keeps manufacturing costs low, whilst its in-house made Calibre 7S26 is a tried and tested movement from an incredibly reliable family of movements named the 7S series. Its 42.5mm steel case also features a screw-down crown and caseback and Lumibrite hands and indexes for superior visibility when caught in low-light conditions.
The Longines Hydroconquest watch makes our list of the best diver watches for 2021. Built from robust materials but injecting a touch of luxury to the wrist, models like the Longines ref: L3.7220.127.116.11 offers a steel and yellow gold bi-colour aesthetic that makes the watch equally as appealing for pairing with smart attire as it will for daring underwater exploration. The Longines Hydroconquest watch features an ocean-inspired blue dial, Super-LumiNova coated hands and indexes, a date window at 3 o’clock and a unidirectional rotating bezel finished in a matching blue colour. The dive watch is water-resistant to 300 meters and features integrated lugs that lead to a steel and yellow gold PVD coated bi-colour bracelet. The metal link band also features a double safety folding clasp and an integrated diving extension to fit over the top of a wetsuit.
Rado Captain Cook MKII
Lastly, the Rado Captain Cook MKII makes our list of best dive watches for 2021. The dive watch has been around since the 1960s - its distinctive detail adding a retro charm to the wrist whilst also surpassing expectation underwater. There is a choice of interchangeable straps to play about with from a vintage-inspired mesh-like stainless steel metal link bracelet to a sportier NATO style strap. Water-resistant to 220 meters, the Rado Captain Cook MKII watch is as relevant today as it ever was. The black dial of the Rado dive watch ref: R33522153 features red detailing to mark the first 15 minutes of dive time on an internally rotating bezel. Along with green Super-LumiNova coated hands and indexes. This watch in particular is a limited edition of just 1962 pieces worldwide and is powered by an automatic movement that provides an 80-hour power reserve. The Rado Tradition Captain Cook MKII is a dive watch that will appeal to those with a preference for retro-inspired designs.