Discover the 5 Best Affordable Dive Watches for Under $150

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Dive watches are icons in the watch world. They are built to last, beautiful, and versatile. A dive watch is meant to be worn underwater, yes, but they can do so much more at the same time. They can easily be worn every day as a casual watch due to their sporty design and robust build quality. You can also pair them with fancier outfits for more formal occasions.

What Exactly Are Dive Watches?

What makes a dive watch a dive watch? How is it different than any other watch that can go underwater? Dive watches have some key defining features. First off, they must be very comfortable under the water. This means that the water resistance should be rated to at least a depth of 100 meters. An even better model should be rated to be able to survive 200 meters below the surface. They should be easy to read, even in the depth of the ocean, so large markers and hands with great lume is necessary.

An example of a dive watch from Grand Seiko

The most apparent cosmetic feature of the dive watch is its bezel. Dive watches have large, rotating bezels with time markers. The bezel serves an important purpose in addition to looking cool. It shows the wearer how long they have been underwater. This allows them to time their expeditions and stay aware of how much oxygen they have left. Before you get in the water, you align the marker on the bezel to the current position of the minute hand. Now, you can check how much time has elapsed by seeing where the minute hand points to on the bezel.

For this reason, most bezels only rotate in one direction, counter clockwise. This way, if the watch’s bezel is accidentally moved out of place, it will show you that you have fewer minutes of oxygen left than you actually have. If you were to think you have more oxygen, things could get dangerous. The bezel on a dive watch can be used throughout daily life, too. You can use it when cooking or to track how long you have left on your parking meter, for example. Even if you don’t get in the water much, the possibilities are endless.

Best Affordable Dive Watches

Now you know what makes a dive watch, and all the reasons you should get one. So now it’s time to dive into the best models you can get today at an affordable price.

Casio Duro

If you already follow watches, you knew this one was coming. The Casio Duro (MDV-106) is a legend in the affordable dive watch market. It comes in at just about $50. For this low price, you get a true dive watch that you can feel confident wearing in the water. It boasts an impressive 200m of water resistance. This is partly made possible by the screw down crown, another hallmark of dive watches. The screw down crown creates a tight seal that prevents any water from reaching the internals of the watch.

The Duro has the classic dive watch look, with large legible hands that illuminate in the dark. It comes fitted with a resin strap from the box, which is great for water resistance. Resin is usually comfortable too, but some people report that the factory strap is not the best. You may want to replace it once you get it if you have the same issue.

One “downside” to this watch is the large case size at 44mm. Although many report that the watch doesn’t wear that big when actually on the wrist, that size is a potential turn off for those of us with smaller wrists. Medium and bigger sized wrists will still love it though. Overall, this watch is still a great value dive watch.

Invicta Pro Diver

If the Casio’s size does in fact seem too big, then here is a more reasonable option. This line of the Invicta Pro Diver comes in at a 40mm case width, which is an ideal sweet spot in our opinions. This watch is a clear homage to the Rolex Submariner. Obviously with such a large price difference, the Invicta will not be at the Rolex’s level when it comes to quality, but it is still very solid and definitely the better value.

As it is an homage, the Invicta Pro Diver takes some design cues from the Rolex. The “Mercedes” hour hand, cyclops date display, and classic dive bezel are all nice touches. Unlike the Casio, it comes fitted with a stainless steel bracelet by default. Couple that with the stainless steel case, and this watch is durable and luxurious. It truly seems like it should be far more expensive than its price of $60-80, especially when you factor in the 200m of water resistance.

The watch comes with your choice of quartz or automatic movement, both from Japan. They are both reliable movements and solid options. If you go with the automatic, you will be receiving a Seiko NH35 movement with hand winding. The quartz is a decent option, too. It really boils down to personal preference. If you want to avoid the potential of a pricey service years down the road, go with quartz. If you like mechanical movements and sweeping second hands, go with the automatic.

Timex Harborside Coast

Next up, we have some dive watches from Timex, a major player in the affordable watch game. The Timex Harborside Coast is a line of 43mm wide brass dive watches that come in at under $150. You have a wide selection of color choices and strap choices. You can get a stainless steel strap, a resin type band, fabric, or even leather. Keep in mind that leather is great for regular wearing, but if you are one of the few who will actually wear their dive watch underwater, it’s not so good.

The water resistance on these models is worse than the previous two at just 100m. So if you are one of the few who plan on using their dive watch underwater, we recommend one of the other options. All in all though, Timex did a great job with the Harborside models. There are some other variations, so check them out and see what you like.

Fossil FB-01

The Fossil FB-01 is another great option for an affordable dive watch. Just like the Timex, it has only 100m of water resistance so don’t expect to go too deep. One thing we really love about this watch is its design. Namely, the bezel on this watch is beautiful. It is thinner and more understated than the other watches, giving this piece a unique and elegant look. Because of the thin bezels, this watch has a large face with long hands to pair. Overall, this is a beautifully proportioned and designed watch.

This 42mm watch comes in a variety of colors and options, including a chronograph version. At 42mm, this watch is nicely sized for most wrists except maybe for some on the smaller side. Another pro of this watch is that Fossil offers complimentary custom engraving at participating locations. This will allow you to really personalize your watch and make it yours.

Vostok Amphibia

Vostok is a Russian watchmaker that is well liked among many watch enthusiasts. They use in-house automatic movements in their Amphibia line of dive watches with 31 hours of power reserve. The case is stainless steel, and it is offered with a variety of strap options. We say to get the stainless steel since you can easily replace it later.

The Vostok has a unique, rugged design to it. As you may have noticed, the bezel on this watch is unlike most other dive watches. Not only are the markers different, the bezel is bi-directional. This goes against the common practice of unidirectional bezels being used for safety, but it does add to the watch’s flair and unique attitude.

Some may feel reluctant to use this watch on actual deep diving trips because of that bezel, but it is still very durable and robust underwater. As long as you don’t need to keep track of oxygen, you can feel confident wearing this watch in the water while swimming or snorkeling because of its 200m water resistance. Another reason you may want this watch is because it’s something different. Most people, except Russians and watch people, have never heard of the Russian brand Vostok. They make quality products that are different from the competition, in a good way.

Just Missed the Cut: Orient Ray II and Mako II

For the first 5 watches, we stayed true to our original budget of $150, with many models coming in well under that. We still want to give a nod to some dive watches from the Japanese brand Orient, even though they are just a little over $150. The Orient Ray II or Mako II are outstanding value dive watches if you are willing to spend just a little extra and move into the next price bracket.

Both watches are basically the same with the exception of the dial. The Ray II has the classic dive watch dial and large dot hour markers. The Mako II has some actual numbers on the dial. The numbers on the bezel are slightly smaller on the Mako II. This gives the Mako II a more sporty design whereas the Ray II is the classic dive watch. They both have an impressive 200m of water resistance and they share the same automatic movement made by Orient themselves. The movement is solid with 40 hours of power reserve, hacking seconds, and hand winding. They are both housed in a 41.5mm stainless steel case.


In conclusion, dive watches are one of the best watch categories out there. They really do serve multiple purposes. If you do get out in the water, whether swimming, boating, snorkeling, etc., dive watches are your friend. You can know what time it is in style even in those wet conditions. However, they’re just plain great watches overall even if you don’t use them as intended. All of the dive watches in this guide feature attractive designs that can be worn casually or formally. The versatility of dive watches is what makes them great. The best part is, as we have shown, that you can enjoy them on a budget.


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