diving watch

Not Too Deep: Four Dive Watches for Those Who Don’t Dive

Love the look of a dive watch but afraid you wouldn’t get in the ocean if your life depended on it? Here are our picks for dive watches so good you’ll want to Netflix Jaws.

By Barbara Palumbo

Strapping a 35-pound metal tank to my back and jumping into waters deep enough to view sunken ships and swim with sharks has never been my cup of tea. It’s never even been my glass of scotch if I’m being totally honest because for me – a city dweller who was more familiar with playing in open fire hydrants than swimming in pools as a kid – the ocean is, well, foreign.

But just because I stare at those who dive with the same expression I use when someone tries to explain cryptocurrency to me doesn’t mean I don’t like the look of a dive watch. On the contrary, I actually own one, and with the variety of pretty rad dive watches available on the market today, there’s a good chance I may purchase another in the somewhat near future.

Here’s a closer look at four dive watches that even the strongest of sea-haters could love.

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black “Volvo Ocean Race” Limited Edition

1973 was a very fine year and I’m not just saying that because it was the year of my birth. Okay, actually, I am saying it because of that but it was also the year that the original Volvo Ocean Race began (although technically, Volvo didn’t become the title sponsor of the race until 2001).  Held every three years, the Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race with the boats typically departing Europe sometime in October and racing around the world, usually with 9 or 10 legs. The Seamaster Planet Ocean Black watch paying homage to the race will be limited to 73 editions to celebrate the year of its inaugural event.

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black “Volvo Ocean Race” is a 45.5mm diver’s chronograph which is water resistant to 600 meters (not that you’ll need it!) and contains the OMEGA Master Chronometer 9900 caliber movement which is housed in a case crafted from a single block of ceramic. The black ceramic dial of the watch has a brushed finish and includes the watch’s limited-edition number, 18K white gold indexes and hands, and a red “Volvo Ocean Race” flag on the subdial at the 3 o’clock mark.  

The Bremont Supermarine S501

While Bremont is known for their ties to aviation, back in 2009, the brand released their first dive watch – the Supermarine 500 – that carefully stayed true to the brand’s aviation heritage while competing with other dive watches within the same price category. This year, Bremont added the Supermarine S501 to its collection, drawing inspiration from the S301 which was released the year before. The vintage-like look of the S501 dive watch may offer more for one who’s into a distressed leather jacket and biker boots than a wetsuit made of neoprene. 

The movement in the watch is the modified caliber 11 ½’’ BE-36AE automatic chronometer (C.O.S.C chronometer tested and certified). The 43mm watch is water resistant to 500 meters (in case you accidentally drive your motorcycle into a lake), has a ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel with Super-LumiNova luminous coating, 38-hour power reserve (for the time it takes you to get your bike out of the lake), stainless steel exhibition case back, and your choice of either vintage leather strap or stainless steel bracelet.

The Breitling Superocean Héritage II B01 Chronograph 44

Breitling’s revamped attitude under the leadership of Georges Kern also comes with a new tagline: “A Legendary Future.” But for me, the company could have added, “... Without Ever Stepping Foot in the Water” to the end of that statement and I’d have totally been down with it. Fortunately for Breitling, land lovers like yours truly are a rarity so the brand is going to still pump out the dive watches that they’re known for, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make them just a little cooler than the rest.

The Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 is an affordable, uncomplicated, and borderline elegant looking dive watch available in either a black dial presented on a black Aero Classic rubber strap or a bold blue dial accompanied by the Ocean Classic stainless-steel bracelet. The 44mm stainless steel case contains the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement with at least a 70-hour power reserve. The watch has a sapphire, convex, double anti-reflective crystal, sapphire glass case back, unidirectional, ratcheted bezel, and it water resistant up to 200 meters.

The Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025

Okay, while this is probably the divey-est looking of the dive watches on this list as of yet, there’s a reason for that. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t want people to know that you’d rather poke yourself in the eye with a ball-point pen than get within 500 feet of a beach. Maybe you’ve got your eye on that cute bartender at your local pub who always talks about her snorkeling excursions in the Maldives. So maybe giving the appearance that you dive is just as good as diving, at least, until your fourth date when she asks if you’d be interested in joining her (in which case she’s probably already into you so you should just go ahead and be honest with her anyway).

The Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat in version SLA025 made waves at Baselworld this year (see what I did there?) for a variety of reasons. As an almost identical reissue (same fonts and everything!) of the 1968 Seiko reference 6159-7001 (which was the first ever dive watch to use a high-beat movement and was one of Seiko’s most popular dive watches), the 44.8mm diameter dive watch is water resistant to 300 meters and contains the Seiko caliber 8L55 movement. The watch – seemingly a Seiko collector’s dream come true – is limited to 1500 pieces, has a stainless-steel case with uni-directional diving bezel, a dual curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and a black silicon strap.

(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)

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