Top Luxury Dive Watches: Your 2023 Ultimate Guide

Few wardrobe staples set the tone of both style and adventure as a luxury dive watch. Whether you’re in the boardroom or onboard a ship at sea, the dive watch is a timeless and functional accessory.

First developed in the 1920’s dive watches have stood the test of time, marking their wearers with rugged resilience in and out of the water. This long-standing history likely lends itself to the continued appeal of the dive watch, especially in the luxury market.

Dive watches were developed as one of the first waterproof wristwatches, which not only improved their functionality, but they helped popularize the look away from the more traditional pocket watch carried by men due to their practicality.

Used by scuba divers for decades, a dive watch is designed to withstand incredibly deep-water environments and allow those with such an adventurous spirit to keep track of timing while also descending underwater.

Over the years, impressive advancements in watchmaking have helped dive watches maintain their relevancy in the sport, even in 2020. Whether you’re new to scuba diving or seasoned professional, an accurate and well-made dive watch is essential to your sport.

To be certified as a dive watch, these products must meet the guidelines established by the International Organization for Standardization. Passing this test includes 100 meters of water resistance, visibility, and legibility in total darkness, magnetic and shock resistance, and a glowing second hand. Outside of the water, many avid divers and athletes alike continue to seek dive watches as durable alternatives to your traditional luxury wristwatch.

In keeping with the tradition of the seafaring man, many dive watch brands are issuing vintage-inspired, or heritage models to inspire a new generation of divers, some of which are included on our list.

A Look at the Best Luxury Dive Watches

The Rolex Submariner

Rolex SubmarinerWorn by 007 himself, any list of timeless dive watches must include the Rolex Submariner. With classic Swiss Rolex construction, this watch is one of the most recognizable in the world, and some would argue the first true dive watch on the market. The Submariner unidirectional, rotatable bezel is key to its functionality, and its engraved sixty minutes graduation ensures accuracy and safety.

Key features:

• Waterproof to 300 meters, 1000 feet.
• Corrosion-resistant.
• Cerachrom bezel insert is scratchproof.
• Color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays, seawater, or chlorine.
• Unidirectional, rotatable bezel.
• Unmistakable design with the Rolex name.
• Self-winding chronometer.

Panerai Submersible

Panerai’s Submersible dive watchPanerai’s Submersible dive watch collection gives the nod to the iconic brand’s history as the watchmaker to the Italian Navy. This luxury brand may be for you if you appreciate Italian detailing and high-end styling paired with military heritage and aesthetics. The Submersible collection includes it’s own metal design referred to as red gold, which combines copper and platinum for superior durability and unmistakable brand identification.

Key features:

• Available in a variety of metals and face sizes, including 42mm and 47mm.
• Red gold construction resists oxidation.
• Ceramic, rotating bezel that moves in only one direction for accuracy for 60 seconds.
• Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal watch face.
• Antimagnetic features are superior to international standards.

Omega Seamaster

omega seamaster luxury dive watchOmega is a modern standard of excellence in luxury watchmaking. The Omega Seamaster is no exception with a sturdy case constructed of blue ceramic, in a single block – classic to identifying an Omega watch. When you’re not in the ocean, the Seamaster is a combination dive watch/second time zone.

Since 1993, the Seamaster Professional Diver 300M has enjoyed a legendary following with its classic blue watch face and laser-engraved waves. It also includes a date window and skeleton hands.

Key features:

• Antimagnetic.
• Water-resistant to 300 meters, or 1000 feet. Models available to increase your water resistance to 600 meters.
• Signature Omega blue watch face and wave details.
• Slim design (36 mm) models available.
• 42 month battery life including indicator at loss of battery life.
• 60-minute bezel measurement.
• Anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal watch face.
• Helium release valve.
• Available in 1948 Heritage design, including leather strap and vintage face.

Breitling Superocean Heritage

Breitling dive watchesBreitling dive watches have recently celebrated their 60th birthday. As a result, the iconic Superocean line was redesigned to blend timeless aesthetics with cutting-edge technology. The design is clean and redesigned in a modern aesthetic of rubber, ceramic, and stainless steel.

We previously included this watch in our best watch under £4K post, if you get the standard model.

Key features:

• Shock and scratch resistant ceramic bezel.
• Unidirectional bezel.
• Anti-reflective and scratch-resistant
• Self-winding chronometer.
• Water resistant up to 200 meters.
• Celibre B20 movement, co-designed with Tudor watches.
• Red gold hands coated with Super-LumiNova for enhanced nighttime visibility.
• Stainless steel link construction.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore diverInspired by a classic diving helmet, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore diver watch is eye-catching and iconic. This design often features limited edition colorways, always in a 42mm self-winding design.

Key features:

• Water-resistant to 300 meters.
• 60-hour power reserve.
• Stainless steel case.
• Glare proof sapphire crystal face.
• Black ceramic push pieces and screw-locked crowns.
• Blue dial with white gold hour-markers and Royal Oak hands.
• Blue rotating inner bezel with diving scale and zone from 60 to 15 minutes.
• Rubber bracelet.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Luxury Dive Watches

What is makes a watch a “dive” watch?

A dive watch is designed to withstand the pressure and moisture of descent into the deepest waters, most commonly worn by scuba divers during their early inception. The second dial or bezel is used to track the time of your water descent, typically up to one minute. The numbers and hands on the watch are also visible in the total darkness that accompanies deep water submersion.

Are dive watches certified as such?

To be certified as a dive watch, a product must meet the guidelines established by the International Organization for Standardization. Passing this test includes 100 meters of water resistance, visibility and legibility in total darkness, magnetic and shock resistance, resistance to certain chemicals, and a glowing second hand.

I have a dive computer do I really need a dive watch?

While technology has come a long way, and many may argue that a dive computer could replace any dive watch, technology is not always foolproof. A high-quality and accurate dive watch is essential to any avid diver that would like a backup mechanism for tracking descent into deep waters. A dive computer is also essential, but a dive watch goes back to basics and protects you during the unexpected.

I’m not a diver – why should I consider a dive watch?

Even non-divers have come to appreciate the durability and aesthetic of dive watches. Maybe you’ve been inspired by the rugged but classic appeal of James Bond, or seek the heritage of naval construction on your wrist – dive watches offer a luxury appeal to those with adventurous sensibility. A luxury dive watch provides superior water resistance, durability, and corrosion resistance. A high-quality dive watch is an investment that will last a lifetime or even lifetimes as today’s collections are undoubtedly heirloom quality.

Luxury Dive Watch Buying Guide

When shopping for your luxury dive watch, there are several personal considerations to make. Budget is forefront, but beyond your financial investment, it is important to make considerations around you use, durability need, and personal style:

Key considerations:

• Water resistance: how deep do you typically dive if at all and how many meters are you comfortable having your device withstand?

• Style: do you prefer a steel watch, gold? What about the bracelet? Would you like an oyster flat bracelet and links or a rubber construction for frequent dives? Are you wearing this watch in the boardroom or just onboard the boat? Some dive watches now also come with leather straps. Additionally, do not be afraid to consider if you plan to make this watch an heirloom, will you pass your dive watch down to an heir, and if so, should this figure into your design choice? Consider selecting a timeless style and metal for heirloom dive watches.

• Feel: it is imperative to actually try on your watch before purchase. Feel the weight of the overall watch and the size of your watch face. How does it feel when walking, using your hands for daily activities.

• Warranties: how long does the manufacturer warranty it’s work? How are repairs handled, and is there a charge for repairs? Do you have a trusted repair person, or does the manufacturer manage repairs and adjustments easily on your behalf?

• Power mechanism: dive watches operate off of either batteries or a self-winding chronograph. Self-winding watches often wind through the natural movement of your wrist, so wearing it often will be essential.

There are many considerations to be made when shopping for and ultimately purchasing a luxury dive watch. The good news is that as the style has become popular, there are more options on the market than ever before to fit a wide range of budgets and expectations. Evaluating your lifestyle and long-term goals for the purchase in advance will also help safeguard against missteps and ensure your luxury dive watch purchase is pleasing for decades to come.

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