The saying goes – It takes a brave man to delve into the depths of the ocean – or a very well-built watch. Many call themselves watch collectors, but only those who genuinely like to go above and beyond know the value of a luxury dive watch. Much like the name suggests, diving watches are suited for the depths of rivers and oceans making them the toughest mechanical gadget out there. But the reality is that most people don’t use diver watches for their functional purposes, but rather as a style statement. Diving timepieces continue to be highly popular choices when it comes to men’s luxury wristwatches.
Aside from looking fantastic, dive watches have special features for underwater exploration that tell you how long you’ve been underwater, very crucial if you’re a scuba diver or even an amateur diving for pleasure. Sporting one of the best dive watches on your wrist can elevate your experience. But before we get to the best luxury dive watches, let’s understand the key features of a dive watch.
What are dive watches?
With an uber-luxe visual appeal, dive watches were originally used by divers to calculate the amount of time spent underwater. It needs to be a watch that can withstand a minimum water resistance of 10 atm (the equivalent of around 100 metres). However, over the year with technological advancement, some dive timepieces today can reach depths of 200-300 meters and some can even go as deep as 20,000 feet below the surface of the sea.
Distinctive characteristics of a dive watch
One of the key standout features of a dive watch is the rotating bezel, which is responsible for allowing divers to keep a track of the duration underwater. Another design element that is common amongst these watches is a rubber strap and a rugged case that makes them more durable. But reading time underwater isn’t always easy, hence the watches have luminous (or glow-in-the-dark) indices to make them readable. And the more you’re willing to splurge, the fancier the features and the more rugged your watch is to dive deeper.
It’s needless then to say what characterizes a good dive watch – waterproof and one that can withstand pressure underwater. From Rolex to Omega, LuxeBook has curated a list of the best timepieces worth the splurge.
Carl F Bucherer Patravi Scubatec Black
Black never goes out of vogue, and Carl F Bucherer’s timepiece proves that. Following the success of the brands Blank Mantra Special Edition, the Patravi ScubaTec in matte black is one of the best dive watches. The 44.6mm watch is slick with an ultra-light titanium case coated in blackened titanium, and has a unidirectional rotating bezel. Adding a luxe quotient is the sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides that shines blue in the dark. With an automatic helium release valve, the watch has 500 metres of water resistance. While it does feature as one of the best dive watches in the market, its undeniable masculine and luxurious appeal also makes it a watch that can be worn on the red carpet.
When it comes to luxury dive watches, no one does it better than Omega. Being the pioneers of dive watches back in 1932, the brand was the first to create a diving watch, the rectangular Omega Marine with a patented double sliding and removable case. And ever since, year after year new iterations of dive watches have left us in awe. From the Seamaster to Planet Ocean, Aqua Terra, and the newest Seamaster Diver 300m James Bond 007 Edition.
Identical to 007’s watch in ‘No Time To Die’ this 42mm Seamaster, is strong yet lightweight. Made with Grade 2 Titanium, it sports a brown tropical aluminium unidirectional bezel ring and dial. Guaranteeing the Swiss industry’s highest standard of precision, performance, and magnetic resistance, it’s waterproof up to 300 metres.
The Rolex Sea Dweller is ideal for deep-sea exploration with water resistance of 1,220 metres. While the first iteration was launched in 2008, with every passing year the luxury giant has created editions better than the previous. Impeccable technology is combined with design aesthetics to create a timepiece that can withstand the toughest underwater expeditions.
Being the archetype diving watch, the Sea-Dweller now comes in a bi-metal version with a bezel, crown and bracelet centre links in gold and the case and outer links in steel. Thanks to original developments such as the D-blue dial, large luminescent hour markers, Oyster case and helium escape valve, unidirectional bezel and numerals and graduations coated in platinum, this handsome 44mm timepiece is amongst the ultra-resistant divers’ watches engineered by Rolex for deep-sea exploration.
Breitling partnered with sustainable clothing brand Outerknown to create a dive watch that is not only a limited edition but also sustainable. In a unique Khaki colour, the Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown features an Econyl yarn strap made from recycled nylon sourced from discarded fishing nets. Featuring a stainless-steel case and a rugged strap, the watch is a 44mm model with a unidirectional bezel and green dial with three hands that like the hour markers, are coated in Super-LumiNova that glows in darker conditions. Being water resistant up to 100 meters, this is a heavenly addition for any underwater adventure and watch collector. But the sustainable promise doesn’t end there, each watch is presented in packaging made entirely of recycled materials.
At Watches & Wonders Montblanc debuted their first ever sports diving watch, the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Dive Watch…. and the crowds were captivated at first sight courtesy of its icy dials. The eye-catching watch features a glacier pattern dial that gives the impression of looking into the depths of a glacier, almost making it look like a dream. This blue glacial pattern dial is inspired by the Mer de Glace – Sea of Ice – the main glacier of the Mont-Blanc Massif. And its texture was achieved using an almost-forgotten ancestral technique called gratté-boisé. The watch is water resistance is up to 300 meters, comes with a unidirectional bezel, and the pristine blue colour makes it worth the hype.
If you are looking for a radically designed and executed timepiece that backs up its looks with performance, the buck stops at the Richard Mille RM 032 Voiles de Saint Barth. Characterised by its impressive two-tone combination of Caribbean blue and white Quartz TPT® the watch is limited to just 120 pieces, making it more exquisite.
At 50mm in diameter, the watch has an unusual aesthetic and has an automatic winding movement. The crown is interesting with the ability to lock both itself and the pushers with the twist of a ring. A coloured index indicates the position – green is unlocked, and red is locked. Encrusted with sapphire crystals front and back, a unidirectional bezel and water resistance is rated at 300 meters, this is a true statement maker backed with performance.
A watch you can take everywhere – even under the waterline. The Panerai Submersible PAM00973 dive watch features an anti-clockwise rotating bezel with a graduated scale and Super Luminova markers and hands, so you can measure your timing whatever the environment. The rubber strap adds an athletic touch, while the steel case and black matte dial elevate it to a contemporary and classic accessory. With the properties of a traditional diver’s timepiece, it is waterproof up to 300 metres.
Minimal yet statement-inducing. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barracuda is a seamless marriage of technical refinement and aesthetic purity, that sets apart this ultra-slim watch. The elegant watch boasts an understated array of grey tones making it slick with a distinctly elegant finish. The lightweight case of grade 23 titanium is complimented with a brushed ceramic bezel that underlines the tough-guy charm. A 300m depth rating tells you that it’s perfectly suited for your rugged underwater adventures.
Classic, yet minimalist; the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdrive is the perfect accessory for decisive modern styling. And if you wish to have a companion for your 1000-meter aquatic explorations, this polished piece in gleaming silver-tone steel won’t disappoint.
The 45mm grade 5 titanium case has a crown protector and helium escape valve and is made to endure any conditions. Featuring a bracelet strap, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal case and a contrasting dial, a faceted case and 12-sided bezel horizontally engraved dial, the watch exudes sophistication with timeless appeal.