Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard the whole “Who needs a watch when I can get the time on my phone?” argument a thousand times already. It’s true, up to a point. If you look at a watch as purely a time-telling device, then yeah, there’s probably no need to own one. But watches are much more than that. They are intricate works of art, feats of engineering, and forms of self-expression. You can tell a lot about a guy by the kind of watch he wears in the same way that you can by the shoes on his feet.
Watches are also the only piece of jewelry that most men wear in today’s society and there are few better ways to make a statement about yourself than with a dive watch. They are both highly functional timepieces designed to be easily seen underwater and highly-stylized accessories that look great in everything from swim trunk to a tuxedo.
We found six great dive watches and sorted them into good, better, and best so that you can find the one that will keep your wrist gleaming this season.
TIMEX EXPEDITION CHRONOGRAPH
Timex says this watch is “designed for outdoor torture tests.” That may be a bit extreme but at least you’ll look good while you’re putting it to the test. The large 46mm case feels plenty hearty and the wave details on the deep blue face are a nice detail. It is water resistant to 200 meters and has a 30-minute chronograph. Having the date at 4 o'clock instead of the traditional 3 is also a clever touch.
SHINOLA RUNWELL SPORT
A good-looking divers watch doesn’t have to come from Switzerland. The quartz movement on Shinola’s Runwell Sport is assembled in Detroit and the rubber strap comes from Minnesota. The green bezel and strap are sure to stand out in a crowd. But the watch is only rated to a depth of 100 meters, so it’s not suited for serious divers.
TAG HEUER AQUARACER
The Grande Date Chronograph edition in Tag Heuer’s Aquaracer line looks way more expensive than it actually is. It is accurate to 1/10th of a second and water resistant to 300 meters. The watch also has counters for split seconds, minutes, seconds, and hours, and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal that can take a beating and still look great.
When talking about Tudor, it’s impossible to ignore its relationship with big brother Rolex. But Tudor is stepping out of that shadow and emerging as a desirable watch in its own right. The new Tudor Pelagos is an excellent example of that. It features Tudor’s own proprietary movement and comes in a stunning matte blue option modeled after those favored by sailors in the French Navy in the 1960s. If you’re looking for an alternative to the Rolex Submariner, this is an excellent choice.
BLANCPAIN FIFTY FATHOMS BATHYSCAPE CHRONOGRAPH FLYBACK
For starters, just saying the word “fathoms” sounds cool. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape Chronograph Flyback is a watch that is prized by both hardcore underwater explorers and serious collectors who would never let their watches touch water. It has a 12-hour chronograph, is water resistant to 300 meters, and all the dots and lines on the watch are luminous making it easy to read while diving. From a style perspective, the thing looks badass with its black on black dial and bezel. It’s a timeless design that will look just as sharp 50 years from now as it does today.
You can’t talk dive watches without mentioning the Submariner. It’s one of the most popular watches ever and it’s easy to see why. Everything, from the bracelet to the dial to the bezel to the crown that secures like the hatch of a submarine (hence the name) is in perfect proportion. The only knock on the Submariner is that just about every guy loves it, so you see them often.