‘Since the 1950s, diving watches have become an increasingly popular style. They are instantly recognisable for their bold and chunky appearance and designed to withstand challenging conditions and extreme pressures while travelling deep below the water’s surface.’
Since the 1950s, diving watches have become an increasingly popular style. They are instantly recognisable for their bold and chunky appearance and designed to withstand challenging conditions and extreme pressures while travelling deep below the water’s surface.
Since its launch in 1954, the Rolex Submariner has revolutionised the world of diving watches. The The Submariner offers an impressive water-resistance up to 300 metres, thus effectively outperforming most other diving watch models that typically reach a maximum of only 200 metres
Nowadays, the Submariner continues to be a popular choice for divers and amateurs alike. It comes in a 40 millimetre case, and is available in a range of finishes and colour combinations, all fitted onto a matching Oyster bracelet.
The dial of the watch features large luminescent hour markers and illuminated hands. It also comes equipped with a rotatable Cerachrom bezel. This allows divers to track immersion time for up to 60 minutes.
The Submariner’s success arguably lies in its universal design. Although it’s built for purpose, its blend of sporty and professional aesthetic also makes it a suitable option as an everyday watch.
The current price tag for a Submariner Date in steel is: £6,250.
All in all, the Rolex Submariner is an excellent option for those looking for a top-class diving watch, that looks great underwater as well as in the office.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
Launched in 2008, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea may at first appear almost identical to the Rolex Submariner. Despite the undoubtable similarities, the two are in fact very different timepieces.
Measuring an astounding 44 millimetres, the Sea-Dweller Deepsea is Rolex’s biggest steel-sports-watch. It is truly unlike any other. The watch can withstand the depths of the ocean up to 3,900 metres and can easily adapt to ascending pressure changes. Its remarkable robustness is the result of a lengthy collaboration between engineers and professional divers.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea is currently priced at: £8,900.
Overall, the Deepsea is the go-to watch for those who require maximum water-resistance.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Originating from the same horological lineage, Rolex’s sister brand – Tudor offers some of the most innovative timepieces intended for deep sea adventures.
First introduced in 2012, the Heritage Black Bay is one of the brand’s most iconic pieces. The watch has been updated in 2016, which brought about three new colour combinations, and an upgraded mechanical movement.
Inspired by Rolex’s early diver’s watches from the 1950s and 1960s, the BB evokes the classic designs of vintage diving watches. It comes in a 41 millimetre steel case, and is waterproof to a depth of 200 metres. It is currently sold on a steel bracelet or on an aged leather strap.
The watch’s most characteristic elements include the absence of crown protection, the oversized crown, gilded indexes, and snowflake hands.
Like Rolex’s early diving watches, the Heritage Black Bay offers an easy-to-read dial, stripped down to the essentials for an extra easy readability.
The price for the leather strap finish is £2,410 and £2,630 for the steel bracelet.
Although it is one of the more affordable diver’s watches on our list, it is nonetheless a very respectable contender. It is a great diving watch that can be confidently used underwater and worn on an everyday basis.
Panerai Luminor Submersible
Panerai is known for its exceptional products designed specifically for diving purposes in mind. The Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42 pays tribute to the company’s legacy. Measuring 42 millimetres, it is surprisingly small for Panerai, which is famous for its particularly large cases.
The watch is available in two finishes. This includes traditional steel, and a limited edition rose gold. Both are fitted to a 22 millimetre black Caoutchouc rubber strap.
While the steel watch maintains Panerai’s typical diving specs, with a water resistance to 300 metres, the more opulent rose gold edition offers a water resistance up to 100 metres.
The two versions also differ in price. The steel version retails for £6,300, while the limited edition rose gold comes for £19,360.
All in all, the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42 is a luxurious tool-inspired dive watch. Arguably, it is less intended for deep sea exploration, and instead seeks to evoke the brand’s famous aesthetic.
Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean
Amongst the best performing diver’s watches of all time, is Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean. For years, watches from this collection have been at the forefront of the sea chronometer competition.
The new Planet Ocean 600M ‘Big Blue’ has yet again redefined the standards in top diver’s watches.
This remarkable watch is water-resistant to 600 metres and able to withstand magnetic forces of up to 15,000 gauss.
It measures 45.5 millimetres, and features a blue ceramic dial with an orange GMT track. Its hands and indexes are finished with 18K white gold with a white Super-LumiNova coating. The watch is attached to a blue strap made from rubber with an anti-bacterial treatment.
Planet Ocean 600M ‘Big Blue’ currently retails for £8,320.
This is certainly a great offer for those looking for a practical diving watch that has been purpose-built from start to finish.
Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms
The Fifty Fathoms collection from Blancpain perfectly communicates the brand’s passion for innovation and pioneering. First launched in 1953, Blancpain’s original Fifty Fathoms became the world’s first modern diver’s watch. Furthermore, the company was the first to use the unidirectional bezel, which serves the indispensable role of measuring underwater oxygen consumption.
The Fifty Fathoms Automatique is a professional dive watch, offering a water resistance up to 300 meters. The 45 millimetre steel watch prides itself with its bled of vintage aesthetics and the very best technologies of modern diving timepieces. Its latest edition includes new developments such a crown protector, shorter lugs, date indicator, and an extra-long power reserve.
The watch currently retails for £10,620.00.
It is the perfect choice for those seeking a combination of top-class mechanical excellence encompassed within a robust yet also beautiful, vintage-inspired case.