Dive watches are a pretty common sight in gear collections as curated by many watch enthusiasts. It is, after all, an excellent sports watch and not to forget a diving gear. Whether you take it underwater or not, it still remains a classic timepiece that can be worn regularly without the need for getting wet.
Despite the inclusion of quality features in a dive watch, you can still get one for a fair price – if you know where to look and what to choose. As selecting the right piece of accessory and gear is crucial, we hope this article on Best Dive Watches under $300 will help pick the right piece for you.
Best Dive Watches under $300 Reviews
Here is a list of the 5 best dive watches under $300 currently available in the market. Take a look at these affordable watches and their phenomenal price ranges!
1. Suunto Core Outdoor Watch – Best Overall Dive Watch
The Suunto Core is a watch that undoubtedly knows how to deal with the rocky wilderness as much as it does with underwater adventures. It comes in an all-black display with interactive buttons and a ton of excitable features to withstand all types of environment.
First off, it has a durable casing that can withstand strong underwater pressure while maintaining a tight seal. A barometer is featured for observing and predicting weather conditions by keeping a tab on the air pressure trend. As for tracking any vertical movement, the altimeter function displays current elevation, ascent/descent, and also records the session.
Whether it’s out in the sea or the wilderness, you can easily pinpoint and navigate locations using the compass feature. To support convenient traveling, the Suunto core comes with the weather trend graph along with a preset time setting covering over 400 locations. This makes it much easier to initiate any outdoor activities safely.
Lastly, the intelligent storm alarm system can sense air pressures drop, thus immediately notifying the user of any approaching storms. Suunto effortlessly combines modern design and a diverse set of functions, making the Suunto core an ideal piece for every adventure and watch enthusiasts.
- Versatile features
- Accurate compass
- Easy readability
- Moderate battery
- A little large
2. Citizen Eco-Drive – The Runner Up
The Citizen Eco-Drive is a watch that puts the ‘fun’ in functional. It features the classic Promaster stainless steel screw down crown along with the black dial and band to create a blend of edgy and minimalistic design. Further, the water and scratch-resistant stainless steel bracelet are ISO-compliant, making it even more reliable.
You can easily perform several marine activities like scuba diving or snorkeling, thanks to its water-resistant casing that can withstand underwater pressure as deep as 200 meters. The outer surface of the watch features the rotating bezel and a plastic band with adjustable buckle closure.
The interior interface is also quite alluring with the luminous hand display and a date window that enables clear visibility. In terms of the power dynamics, this one incorporates the eco-drive function that harnesses the energy of any natural or even artificial light for keeping it charged. The converted energy is then stored within a rechargeable power cell, thus, eliminating the need for constant battery changes.
The anti-reflective mineral crystal (as opposed to hardlex crystal) dial window makes the watch a functional device with sporty and wearable style, perfect to suit the taste of any underwater adventures. Overall, it is simple yet revolutionary with a lot to offer – particularly for those engaged in water sport activities.
- Features eco-drive
- Simple and easy to use
- Average band
3. Casio Diver Watch – Best Budget Diver’s Watch
The Casio diver watch comes in a deep blue dial design and a black resin band. As it unapologetically pays tribute to the enigmatic hues of the sea, the watch creates a sort of nostalgia for the sea through its blend of colors and minimalistic surface design.
Its stainless steel case provides a solid frame that prevents water from leaking in while the resin composed band offers ease and sturdiness on the wrist. Despite its simple appearance, it’s still a highly functional dive watch that can perform quite well during underwater operation and activities.
It even supports a 650 ft pressure and water resistance rating. The minimalistic surface and dial are made up of simple hand analog and date display. This further makes the watch easy to use and read, especially for beginners engaged in underwater activities. Additionally, it also features a unidirectional bezel on the surface.
If you want a dive watch that can compete with harsh water activities without the need for complex dial features, the Casio diver is a great pick. It delivers well with the design aesthetic and overall performance – without putting a dent on your budget.
- Solid and Sturdy band
- Value for money
- Great design
- Prone to scratch
- Small date window
Orient’s very own Mako II is an incredibly robust and handsome timepiece. It is constructed from stainless steel, providing a sleek silver-toned band with the blue and red infused dial. The deep blue and silver pairing results in a ‘classic meets the modern’ type of aesthetic – perfect for the contemporary watch enthusiast.
Apart from its moody design, the watch is generally suited for all kinds of professional marine activity as well as water sports as it supports 660ft of water resistance. It features 120 unidirectional bezel clicks with Japanese-automatic hand movements and you can also adjust and customize the band.
The Mako II has a pretty neutral dial size with a conveniently placed date window. The dial further displays the Arabic numerals 12, 9, and 6 with luminescent hands to accommodate darker outdoor or indoor setting. This unique dial styling adds a basic feel to the watch, making it versatile enough to accommodate casual occasions.
It also deals with strong underwater pressure, thanks to its mineral crystal casing while the sunburst dial easily shines in the presence of light. Overall, it holds up pretty efficiently and remains an excellent pick for those interested in an affordable and reliable mechanical diver watch with a laid back design and functionality.
- Easy setting
- Solid and sturdy frame
- Accurate automatic dive watch
- Quite heavy
- Small crown
5. Nautica Tarpoon Watch
The sophisticated design of this watch draws inspiration and similarity from scuba diving watches. The Nautica style flag present on the dial and the mixture of bright/dark tones provide a unique representation and design.
Speaking of dials, the Nautica Tarpoon consists of luminous indices and hands for enhanced clarity in a darker environment. The outer construction of the watch contains a water-resistant and sealed case composed of stainless steel and silicone rubberized straps that maximize comfort while cutting down on weight. The strap can be adjusted to meet different wrist circumference.
The outermost surface features the bi-directional ring and finally, a mineral crystal glass ensures a clear dial read of the clock position along with sturdy pressure withstanding. In addition to this, it can support up to 200m of water resistance, making it suitable for snorkeling, diving, and other swimming activities.
This one may be last on the list but it’s certainly not the least as it provides consistent and convenient operation. Plus, the signature sporty style helps establish more versatility, not only in terms of functionality but on different occasions as well. Although it essentially maintains simple functional exchange, it still delivers a promising performance.
- Lightweight silicone band
- Versatile function
- Date window is absent
- Not ideal for heavy use
Inexpensive Dive Watch Buying Guide
Dive watches are highly functional but it has lots of added features. So, before making a purchase, you may want to keep certain features in mind to ensure the right pick.
As a device that’s expected to perform well underwater, a dive watch has to meet the bare minimum of resisting water. Now, this factor primarily depends on the casing of the watch. It has to be thick enough to keep water from leaking in and sturdy enough to withstand high water pressure.
Hence, a high-quality watch constructed of strong crystal casing should be kept on the lookout. That is, if you’re looking for a diver watch that’s durable enough to meet frequent diving adventures. Likewise, make sure the back along with the casing of the watch maintains a tight seal for better resistance against pressure.
If you’re constantly diving in high-depth or low-light murky conditions, clarity of information is essential. Keep an eye out for divers that provide durable luminous hands and numbers as it will provide clear assistance during any underwater operation or even late-night outdoor camping.
On another note, if you’re not well-versed with diving underwater, you may want to go for a watch that features a simple dial interface. This will be easier to navigate as it will contain less added features, hence providing more clarity. It will also have a more minimalistic appeal, providing a kind of casual accessory feel.
In terms of power source, dive watches are typically available in two kinds – mechanical or battery-powered. There’s not much competition between the two as both are characterized by different advantages and flaws. So, the choice eventually falls on your preference.
If you’re not too keen on constant battery changes, mechanical dive watches are great as it requires little need for opening the watch. While the battery-powered ones lean towards better durability as it contains fewer moving pieces, both are pretty costly but the pricing will vary depending on the kind of materials used and overall construction.
Affordable Dive Watches FAQ
Here are some of the frequently asked questions by people regarding dive watches.
How Do Dive Watches Work?
The work of a rotating bezel is usually what sets a dive watch apart from the others. Rotating bezels are typically engraved with the 60-minute markings and here’s how this creates the functionality of a dive watch. Before divers make any underwater descent, the bezels are aligned with its minute hand at 12 o’clock.
While underwater, the bezel will rotate forward indicating the time spent underwater. For instance, if it points towards the 20 marking, this means the diver has spent 20 minutes. Although there isn’t much technicality and execution involved in the workings of a dive watch, it keeps divers from making unnecessary calculations underwater.
Why Do Dive Watches Have Rotating Bezels?
The rotating bezel is considered as a very distinctive part of dive watches. It is simple yet important as the functionality of rotating bezels are crucial during a dive. Before submerging underwater, the diver aligns the bezel marker with the minute hand, thus allowing an hour to pass and be read.
A rotating bezel is typically an outer disk with 60 divisions that represents an hour that correlates to the longevity expected of scuba oxygen tanks. As such, rotating bezels are a vital component that distinguishes it from regular watches, specifically for diving related activities.
Are Dive Watches Heavier Than Normal Watches?
Dive watches are a lot slimmer now as compared to its predecessors but it remains heavier than most ordinary watches as it features thicker crystals to deal with strong underwater pressure. The cases tend to have more stout construction as it has to face a harsh seawater environment.
This makes the watches thicker than other ordinary timepieces and also heavier in contrast to the lightweight composure found in most modern watches. As a consequence, dive watches are indeed quite heavy even when constructed using similar or the same materials as normal watches.
Find the Best Dive Watches under $300 That’s Right for You
It’s no surprise why dive watches are essentially reinventing the modern watch scene. It offers convenient performativity with tons of features; combine that with the chunky case, rotating bezels and you get a timepiece that fulfills timekeeping functions reliably with packing mechanical movements.
One can never go wrong with a diving watch but at the same time, it’s important to make sure you’re making a quality investment. A wide variety of dive watches are available these days so, take your time and pick a good one. Whether it’s a $50 or a $1000 purchase, it’s better to invest in a watch that will fit your wrist and meet your desired occasion.