They may have been created to live beneath the waves, but diving watches have evolved over time. Crawling out of the sea on wet-suited wrists, these distinct, water-resistant timepieces have become mainstays of our watch collections. Many can even be worn daily, stylishly hopping from beach to boardroom — and back again.
And, while there are some established names in this field — think ‘Seamaster’ and ‘Submariner’ — watchmakers continue to surprise us with their design tweaks and technological advancements in this salty, sea-soaked sector. So snap on your goggles, strap on your diving watch and submerge yourself in our list of the best underwater timepieces.
Making waves: Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronometer
Omega’s 2019 update on its 1993 classic is a masterclass in modernisation. Keeping the same spirit, and sweeping lines that ensure it looks at home in the water, the Seamaster Diver 300M features a screw-in crown, unidirectional rotating bezel and transparent case back.
Like most of our favourite diving watches, it also nods to its natural habitat of the ocean with its blue highlights. Here, we can see a polished blue ceramic dial (complete with laser-engraved waves) and a navy rubber strap. And it’s not just a good looking timepiece — Omega have also ensured that this chronometer puts its money where its helium escape valve is; equipping it with a water resistance of 1,000 feet.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronometer
Drop in the ocean: Tudor Black Bay
If there’s one watch synonymous with diving, it very well may be Tudor’s Black Bay. 60 years of underwater history can be seen distilled in this truly iconic watch; recently updated with a new mechanical movement manufactured by the Swiss Maison.
But it’s miles from the mountains of the Alps that the Black Bay really comes into its own. On a blue fabric strap, a power reserve of approximately 70 hours makes this the perfect accessory for aquatic adventures. And, waterproof to 660 feet, you’ll still be able to read the black dial thanks to liberal amounts of grey lume.
Tudor Black Bay
Under the sea: Rolex Submariner Date
As impressive as Rolex’s Submariner Date is, its Oyster Bracelet equally floats our boat — perhaps even more so than the actual watch itself. The perfect blend of form and function, it comes equipped with an Oysterlock clasp — which prevents accidental opening, and Glidelock — an ingenious innovation that allows adjustment of links without the use of any tools.
Of course, the watch itself is also an incredible piece of diving equipment. With that familiar blue dial — characterised by hour markers fashioned from 18ct gold — the case contains a certified Swiss chronometer movement and a Parachrom hairspring, that offers resistance against both shocks and temperature variations.
Rolex Submariner Date
The coast is clear: Breitling Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition
Bold, blue and with a strong ecological message, Breitling’s latest limited edition dive watch doesn’t just look good in the ocean — it’s also helping to clean up the seas. Made in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy organisation, the watch is fitted with a NATO strap woven from repurposed ECONYL yarn to do its bit for sustainability.
The watch itself has a steel case with screw-locked crown and cambered sapphire, and contains Breitling’s 13 Caliber, a self-winding mechanical movement with a 48 hour power reserve. Limited to 1,000 pieces, these watches are sure to be snapped up soon — but every sale will see money donated to the worthy cause of healthy oceans and clean beaches.
Breitling Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition
Sea change: IWC Aquatimer Automatic “Laureus Sport For Good”
Each year, IWC launches a new watch in support of the Laureus Sport for Good charity, an organisation founded with the aim of using the power of sport to end violence. And this Aquatimer, a stainless steel chronograph with vulcanised rubber-coating case, is one of their finest offerings yet.
Boasting a water resistance of 30 bar, the chunky timepiece also features a flyback function, date display and blue rubber strap. An automatic, self-winding IWC-manufactured movement keeps things ticking along, and a Côtes de Genève perlage effect finish adds that final layer of sub-aquatic decoration.
IWC Aquatimer Automatic “Laureus Sport For Good”
Sink or swim: Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm
Ulysse Nardin’s Diver watches are that rarest of underwater beasts: timepieces that look just as home under the waves as they do on the streets of the city. They may have all the classic diving touches — Superluminova, rotating bezels and even silicium technology — but they’re stripped back enough to look good alongside wetsuits and and business suits alike.
On this 42mm, we particularly like the texture of the sand-blasted blue dial — an seafaring touch that belies the watch’s true sub-aquatic purpose. Pair this nod with its navy fabric strap, off-yellow detailing and water-resistance of over 900 feet, and you’ve got one hell of a catch.
Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm