When looking for the best dive watches under $200, you would have to make some sacrifices here and there. It would be best if you never had to sacrifice on the things that make dive watches functional, though.
This informed our quest for the best dive watches that money can buy for under $200. In a minute, we will get to the top picks that made this list.
If you don’t have the time to go through everything, cop yourself a Mares Nemo Dive Computer Wristwatch or the Seiko Prospex Turtle Diver Watch for something more conventional.
For those who have the time, we have put together many vital resources for you here.
|S/N||Name||Water Resistance(m)||Band Material|
|1||Seiko Men’s SNE283||200||Polyurethane Band|
|2||Mares Nemo Wide Dive Computer||150||Hypoallergenic Rubber|
|3||MOMENTUM M1 Splash Watch||200||Natural Italian Rubber|
|4||Tauchmeister 1937||1000||Diver Strap “Macuraflex”|
|5||Wenger Sea Force 3H (0641.102)||200||Silicone|
Does Anyone Go Diving with A Dive Watch?
Dive watches are explicitly built to withstand high pressure underwater without impacting the inner workings of the watch. So, yes, people do go diving with these watches.
Likewise, saltwater and other chemicals in water bodies affect the watch material in different ways. That is why we don’t recommend going diving with just about any watch that has a water resistance rating on it.
To get the best diving experience without harming your watch in the process, you should own a specialized diving watch too.
If you need more reasons to get a diving watch, we find this online resource highly helpful. It can be a matter of life and death in some cases.
What Dive Watch Should You Buy?
This is dependent on your needs.
If you are on a budget, you should get a dive watch that gets the job done. If you have more money to spend, you can look for more detailed dive watches that pack quite an extensive list of features.
There are also different brands offering dive watches out there. We tend to stick to the tried and tested brands that we know we can rarely go wrong on. Likewise, that makes it easier for us to get watch repair services quickly.
Can You Dive with A 200m-Rated Watch?
When considering watches for this list, we made 200m our least benchmark. We also came across picks that went as high as 300 meters and one that offers as much as 1000m depth rating.
We don’t think you’ll be diving that deep, but it is an excellent feature to have on your watch anyways.
What Makes A Good Dive Watch?
As we mentioned earlier, your watch’s water resistance rating is not the only factor to consider when choosing a dive watch. This is almost where everyone looks, which isn’t bad but limits you in making the absolute best choice.
Next time, broaden your scope of review based on the following factors.
Water Resistance Rating
This is obvious, so we are going to start from here also.
We have seen many wristwatches with just 100 meters of water resistance being advertised as dive watches. These picks are mostly cheap, but they will not get the job done as well.
We love to leave a lot of room for error when choosing dive watches. Thus, always select a dive watch that offers a better depth rating than the depths you will usually dive to.
Thus, if you are diving to 300 meters, get a watch that offers 500 meters of water resistance or more.
The deeper you go, the fuzzier things could get. More prominent hour markers make it easy to tell the time and other essential details on the watch face at these depths.
Following that, dive watches are also required to have good readability at a distance of 25cm, even in total darkness. Diving watchmakers usually achieve this with luminous hour markers or working in an LED backlight.
Magnetic and Shock Resistance
A watch that will be taken to the depths should stand up well against pressure and shocks. The ISO 6425 standards spell out the specific tests that watchmakers need to perform on their units to meet the barest magnetic and shock resistance levels.
All watches with a decent water resistance rating cannot be a diver’s watch because they could lack the chemical resistance requirements.
A diver’s watch will be deployed in saltwater conditions alongside freshwater environments too. It must, thus, be chemically resistant to salt (NaCl), which can accelerate the level of rust otherwise.
What Are the Best Dive Watches Under $200?
Considering all of the above, we have a list of affordable and best value dive watches. Check through the list to pick the one which matches your style better.
Seiko Men’s SNE283
- 200 meters water resistance rating
- Unidirectional rotating bezel
- Date display complication
- Japanese quartz movement
The Seiko Men’s SNE283 is one of the best quartz dive watches selling below 200 dollars.
The band material (polyurethane) is waterproof, and watch owners won’t have to worry about rust on the straps.
Seiko finished the watch design with a gunmetal-tone stainless steel face, which encloses the watch face itself. On that watch face are luminous hand markers – of which there is a sweeping second hand too. Complete with a date-window complication, the watch is simple yet functional.
Mares Nemo Wide Dive Computer Wrist Watch – Best Watch for Scuba Diving
- Specialized for divers
- Water resistance – 150m
- Hypoallergenic rubber strap
- Logbook function
- Air, Nitrox, and BT Function Modes
If you were looking for the best watch to go scuba diving with, look no further than this Nemo Wide Dive Computer Wrist Watch. This is the second generation from the same manufacturer, and they have pulled out all of the stops here.
Its list of impressive features, for us, starts with the wide-face that provides all the relevant data at a glimpse. The backlighting feature provides better readability of the watch face at depths where light starts becoming a luxury.
The display shows your current depth and maximum depth for real-time feedback on your adventure. You also get the audible alarms, precautionary modes, air and nitrox functions, among other things.
Of course, this won’t pass as an everyday watch when you are done diving. When underwater, though, you will be glad that you made the purchase.
MOMENTUM M1 Splash Watch
- Water-resistance – 200 meters
- Rotating dive bezel
- Multiple color options
- Sapphire crystal option for better durability
Don’t let the name fool you. At a 200m water resistance rating, this watch can handle much more than just water splashes.
The standard version of this watch features a mineral crystal glass face. For those who are tougher on their watches, you might want to choose the sapphire crystal option instead. The latter material is better treated against scratches and nicks.
We appreciate that personal style and aesthetics went into the making of this watch. Not that it would have been a dealbreaker, but it makes things more enjoyable too. Choose from a variety of 15 different bezel color options to fit your style better.
Complete with a highly legible watch face, the only thing we’re skeptical about here is the visibility in low light.
Tauchmeister 1937 – Best Water Resistance Rating
- 1000 meters of water resistance
- Sapphire glass crystal face material
- Unidirectional rotating bezel
- Luminous hands
No, we did not make a mistake. This watch offers a stunning 1000 meters of water resistance rating.
At such depths, saltwater concentration goes very high. This is why we appreciate the combination of sapphire crystal glass face and a high-quality diver strap too. The specially coated luminous hands make it easier to see the watch’s details, even in low light situations.
Again, we cannot but refer back to the 1000 meters water resistance rating – and at this price point, no doubt.
If we are honest, though, this wristwatch doesn’t do too well in the looks department. Beauty, they say, lies in the eyes of the beholder. There is a high chance that you see something there which we are not seeing.
Don’t let that discourage you anyways. It looks good for the money, and you are probably not planning on making this a dress watch anyways.
Wenger Sea Force 3H (0641.102)
- Water-resistance – 200 meters
- Multiple color options
- Rotating bezel
- Suitable for professional marine activity
When we saw Sea Force in the name, we knew it better be suitable for diving. Else, we would have brought the watch here for some severe dragging.
Ha-ha. Just kidding. Or are we?
Moving on, 200 meters of water resistance should get you some excellent depth on diving. We would not push this watch too close to that depth if we were you, though. To be on the safer side, nothing more.
The watch hour markers are designed to be luminous enough for low light visibility. We also like the non-busy watch face, only having the date complication to spice things up. Finished with a black silicone strap to better withstand the water is also a plus.
Overall, this is also a great looking watch that could pass as an everyday watch when you are not diving.
How Do You Maintain A Dive Watch?
We get this one a lot too.
The watches you select from this list have been engineered to withstand the conditions they have been advertised for. To ensure longevity, there are some tips to maintain your dive watches too.
- Rinse in clean water – the watch has been tested against saltwater and other chemical components in most diving waterbodies. Still, it is in your best interest to rinse the watch off with clean water after diving. This gets the chemicals and salt off the surface of the wristwatch before it settles/ dries on.
- Watch the temperature – Your dive watch may be rated for water activities, but hot water is a whole different ballgame here. Take off your watch if you are getting into saunas or hot tubs.
- Don’t use chemicals – we did an entire piece on best practices for watch cleaning and repairs, and we strongly recommended against chemicals. The same piece of advice holds here. Besides the fact that chemicals can damage the watch’s shine/ exterior, they could compromise the integrity of the watch.
- Watch out for condensation – A regular dive watch should not have condensation problems, mostly if used under recommended conditions. If you do notice such, though, it is time for a trip to a watch professional. They should get the condensation out and also address issues that caused moisture to get under the hood in the first place.
- Service regularly – top watches require servicing once every 4-5 years. Your diving watch should be monitored more closely, especially at this price range. It wouldn’t hurt to get it checked by an expert once or twice every year. To make sure everything is still in tip-top conditions.
- Eyes on the crown – The crown on a dive watch is essential for two reasons. Like any other watch, the crown is instrumental in setting the right time and date on your watch. For dive watches, a loose crown could provide the entry point for water/ moisture. We don’t want that.
- Check the bezel – Especially when you are done with a dive, turn the bezel from right to left to get rid of any debris that might have found its way there. Go gentle in case something is stuck there, lest the bezel break.
- Follow recommendations – Your dive watchmaker has subjected that timepiece on your wrist to multiple tests. Granted, sometimes dive watches can do better than was advertised on them. That is not only rare but unsafe too. Going overboard is one way to ensure your watch doesn’t last as long.
Go Have Fun
Now that you have chosen your desired diving watch, you should go out and have some fun. Happy diving. Don’t forget to take many pictures with new friends you are about to make underwater.