Beneath The Surface: The Best Dive Watches For Men

These dive watches combine rugged style with technical prowess.

By Tanisha Angel 04/07/2023

Look. You needn’t be planning an expedition to the Mariana Trench to covet a dive watch. In a time when suggestion of wearing a watch is all too often met with a blasé “oh, I don’t need one, I have my phone for that,” there’s a certain allure to a piece of mechanical engineering that can go where our often-inescapable everyday devices cannot.

From the Rolex Submariner to the Omega Seamaster, dive watches continue to hold appeal for land dwellers, in no small part thanks to their clean, legible dials; sturdy construction that can withstand a knock or two; and place in pop culture (hello, 007). Plus, there’s a certain sense of surety that accompanies the knowledge that, should you be unceremoniously pushed into a pool at a summer gathering, your wearables won’t be irrevocably damaged.

Whether you’re an actual diver or the closest you’ll get to oceanic exploration is a splash or two at the kiddie pool, these are the best dive watches to buy in 2024.

Rolex Submariner

Let’s not bury the lede. Often cited as the reference point for all modern dive watches, the Rolex Submariner has been a certified hit since its inception in 1953. While it’s undergone several tweaks since it was first released 70 years ago, the contemporary iteration remains (relatively) aesthetically faithful to the original; fitted with a unidirectional bezel and retaining the same clean dial layout. Housed in a 41mm stainless steel case (though the Submariner Date is also available in precious metals), it’s equipped with the calibre 3230 and boasts 300m water resistance and a 70 hour power reserve.

From $12,850; rolex.com

Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Tech Gombessa

Another seminal timepiece released in 1953, the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms was the first to offer a unidirectional bezel with a diving scale to track time underwater. While the first modern dive watch has received several makeovers since its initial release, the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Tech Gombessa is one for the serious divers. Catering to the needs of contemporary divers, the Tech Gombessa is able to measure immersion times of up to three hours. The case is crafted from grade 23 titanium to ensure lightness despite its 47mm proportions, while the glossy ‘absolute’ black dial features legible luminescent monobloc orange hour indexes. Like the Rolex Submariner, the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Tech Gombessa is water resistant to 300m.

$38,900; blancpain.com

Panerai Submersible Quarantaquattro

For a timepiece recognisable 300 metres under, the Panerai Submersible Quarantaquattro is the way to go. With its signature cushion case and oversized crown guard, the 44mm stainless steel dive watch is unmistakably Panerai. Water resistant to 300m, it’s powered by the automatic P.900 calibre and has a power reserve of 72 hours.

$15,100; panerai.com

Grand Seiko SLGA015 Evolution 9 Diver’s

Equipped with Grand Seiko’s signature Spring Drive technology, the Grand Seiko SLGA015 Evolution 9 Diver’s is depth resistant to 200m and boasts a generous five day power reserve. The unidirectional bezel is crafted from scratch-resistant ceramic, with the 43.8mm case composed of lightweight titanium. The deep black dial features a patterned surface, recalling the powerful currents of the oceans that surround Japan.

$17,300; grandseiko.com

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

The ever-covetable, instantly recognisable sports watch takes a dive. In keeping with the heritage of the line, the octagonal bezel of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver is fitted with exposed screws (while being able to move unidirectionally) while the tapisserie dial swaps the usual understated stick indexes for blocky luminescent ones. Oversized screwed down crowns are crafted from black ceramic, complementing the 42mm stainless steel case. Presented on a blue rubber strap, its equipped with the Audemars Piguet quick-change system.

Approx. $41,800; audemarspiguet.com

Breitling Superocean Automatic 42

A contemporary take on its heritage diver of the same name, the Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 places legibility at its forefront, with its dial bearing chunky luminescent indexes and squared-off hands. Water resistant to 300m, it’s available in a plethora of colours, case materials, and case sizes, including this 42mm bronze iteration (pictured) which develops a beautiful patina over time—if actually used as a dive watch.

From $6990; breitling.com

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Omega recently celebrated 75 years of the Seamaster collection, and holds the world record for undertaking the deepest dive in history (10,935m). For those after a daily diver, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is the ideal timepiece; launched in 1993, it quickly became known as the ‘James Bond watch’ thanks to being sported by both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig throughout the illustrious franchise. Water resistant to 300m, the 42mm stainless steel case features a black or blue ceramic dial, encircled by a colour-matched unidirectional bezel.

$9575; omega.com

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date

A refined take on the humble dive watch, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Date features a blue lacquered dial with a sunray-brushed centre. Oversized Arabic numerals and coffin-shaped indexes receive a luminescent coating, as do the skeletonised hands. Water resistant to 200m, the in-house movement provides a power reserve of 70 hours.

$17,900; jaeger-lecoultre.com

IWC Aquatimer IW328803

While best known for its pilot’s watches, IWC’s dive watches are not to be overlooked. First released in 1967, the Aquatimer line as we know it today was the result of a collaboration between IWC and Porsche Design in 1983. Water resistant to 300m with a power reserve of 120 hours, the IWC Aquatimer IW328803 retains some of the key design codes of the Porsche-era Aquatimer, while adapting it to suit contemporary tastes. Unlike most modern dive watches, the IWC Aquatimer IW328803 features a unique internal/external rotating bezel with a bevelled edge for ease of use underwater. The 42mm stainless steel case is accompanied by a matching bracelet, with IWC’s quick-change system making it easy to sub in a black rubber strap.

$11,300; iwc.com

Baume & Mercier Riviera Azur 300m

Now in its 50th year, Baume & Mercier’s iconic sporty timepiece gets a dive-ready upgrade. The Baume & Mercier Riviera Azur 300m sees the model’s signature dodecagonal bezel able to move unidirectionally and fitted with knurled inserts for ease of grip. The translucent smokey blue sapphire dial houses sleek stick indexes, with the hands sized up to improve legibility. The wearable 42mm case is presented on a blue rubber strap or matching steel bracelet.

$6,800; baume-et-mercier.com

Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton

For those desirous of making a statement underwater, the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton is the watch to wear. Water resistant to 200m, the 44mm titanium case plays host to an openworked dial—a rarity when it comes to dive watches—with the namesake ‘X’ splashed across it it black and azure blue. The unidirectional rotating bezel is composed of carbonium (a lightweight recycled composite material) and adorned with a subtle swirled pattern.

Approx. $108,500; ulysse-nardin.com

Glashütte Original SeaQ Chronograph

A quintessentially Glashütte Original take on the dive watch, the SeaQ Chronograph looks anything but utilitarian. Depth resistant to 300m, the 43.2mm stainless steel case features a handcrafted intense blue dial, complemented by a colour-matched ceramic inlay in the unidirectional rotating bezel. The German manufacture’s first dive watch to feature a flyback chronograph function, the bicompax layout showcases small seconds and a 30-minute counter. Arabic numerals, applied markers, and the hour and minute hands receive a luminescent coating, allowing them to be read under all lighting conditions.

$22,300; glashuette-original.com

Bremont Supermarine Type 300

Laden with vintage design details, the Bremont Supermarine Type 300 responds to the desire for professional dive watches in slightly smaller case sizes. Featuring Bremont’s unique Trip-Tick (three-piece) case construction, the 40mm stainless steel timepiece doesn’t compromise on function. Its soft black metal dial is encircled by a scratch-resistant colour-matched ceramic bezel, with creamy indexes and Arabic numerals adding to the vintage aesthetic. Water resistant to 300m and with a power reserve of 38 hours, it’s presented on a stainless steel bracelet.

$5750; bremont.com

Carl F. Bucherer Pavrati ScubaTec

A relative newcomer to the dive watch category, the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec impresses with its 500m depth resistance and aggressively masculine aesthetic. Equipped with a helium escape value, it’s able to withstand high pressure environments, while its 44.6mm stainless steel case exudes rugged style. The ceramic bezel insert features a two-tone blue-and-black colour palette, which is reflected in the rubber strap it’s presented on (also available with a matching stainless steel bracelet).

$10900; carl-f-bucherer.com

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300

Optimal durability meets Tag Heuer’s sleek design language in the Aquaracer Professional 300. Designed to suit the needs of professional divers, the Aquaracer collection was launched in 2004 and represents the unity of technical capability and elegant style. While refined enough to pair with a suit, it’s most at home underwater; depth resistant to 300m, the 43mm stainless steel timepiece is fitted with an ergonomic stainless steel bracelet and has a 38-hour power reserve.

$5050; tagheuer.com

FAQ

What is a dive watch?

Advancements in contemporary watchmaking mean many timepieces can now be used underwater. However, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) stipulates that a dive watch must have a minimum depth rating of 100 metres, a unidirectional bezel with markings at least every five minutes, and a dial visible in complete darkness (as well as an indication in darkness that the watch is running—typically achieved by a running seconds hand with a luminous tip). The ISO 6425 also specifies that dive watches must be anti-magnetic and resistant, in addition to being resistant to corrosion in seawater.

What are the deepest dive watches?

While most people will never dive further than 50 metres underwater, manufactures are continually pushing the boundaries when it comes to depth rating. Currently, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge holds the record for the highest depth rating at 11,000m. It’s followed by the Omega Planet Ocean Ultra Deep which is certified to 6000m and the Rolex Deepsea, water resistant to 3900m.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

The Boldest, Most Exciting New Timepieces From Watches & Wonders 2024

Here are the highlights from the world’s biggest watch releases of the year.

By Allen Farmelo, Carol Besler, Paige Reddinger, Oren Hartov, Victoria Gomelsky, Cait Bazemore, Nick Scott, Justin Fenner 10/04/2024

Watches & Wonders, the world’s largest watch show, is in full swing in Geneva. The highly anticipated cascade of new releases is marked by confident individual brand identities — perhaps a sign that watchmakers are done scrambling through the violent collision of restricted supply and soaring demand for high end watches. All seem to be back on solid footing.

Steady confidence is a good thing. Consider Jaeger-LeCoultre offering up traditionally styled grand complications or Vacheron Constantin revamping the classic Patrimony with smaller cases and vintage-inspired radially brushed dials. Consider TAG Heuer celebrating the 55th anniversary of the square Monaco with a skeletonized flyback confidently priced at US$183,000, or Moser similarly showing off a fascinating skeletonized tourbillon in its distinctive 40 mm Streamliner at US$86,900. IWC has leaned hard into their traditionally styled Portugieser line, including an astounding Eternal Calendar complication. We find the storied French houses of Cartier, Chanel and Hermes blurring the lines between jewelry and watchmaking with the technical prowess and artistic whimsy that originally earned these brands their exalted place in the hearts and minds of sophisticated aesthetes. Confidence abounds in 2024.

We could go on and on with examples, but the watches below will demonstrate that for 2024 the big watch brands dared to be themselves, which appears to have given them the confidence to take some seriously compelling horological risks. We have separate coverage of off-show releases and, of course, Patek and Rolex, so keep and eye out for those.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Patek Philippe Brings Back Collector Favourites at Watches & Wonders 2024

Both the Nautilus Chronograph and Aquanaut Travel Time receive a welcome return.

By Josh Bozin 10/04/2024

If you’re a watch fan, there’s every reason to believe that a Patek Philippe Nautilus, Patek Philippe Aquanaut—or both—would be high on your wish list. Both collections are of historical significance, helping pave the way for the influence of the steel sports watch category—and subsequent chokehold on the market today.

So, when Patek Philippe unveiled its newest releases at Watches & Wonders in Geneva, it was a pleasant surprise to see the return of two of the best past iterations of the Nautilus and Aquanaut collections.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph

First, we get a new Nautilus Chronograph, with the return of the revered 5980, now replete with a new case in white gold and a denim-like strap (a contentious issue among watch pundits). Discontinuing all Nautilus 5980 models earlier this year, including the collector-favourite 5980/1AR in Rose Gold, left a sombre feeling among Nautilus fanatics. These celebrated chronographs, renowned for their distinctive porthole-inspired design and air of sporty elegance, are some of the most sought-after watches in the Patek Philippe catalogue. Thus, the revival of the 5980, now in white gold, is a cause for collectors’ celebration.

The new offering retains its chronograph function with mono-counter tracking 60-minute and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock on the dial, but now comes on a new denim-inspired, hand-stitched fabric strap with a Nautilus fold-over clasp in white gold—some will love it, some won’t.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe

The Calibre CH 28‑520 C/522 powers this new Nautilus with its flyback chronograph, all of which is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The dial is also incredibly eye-catching, with a beautiful opaline blue-gray hue accentuated by white gold-applied hour markers with a white luminescent coating. It is priced at approximately $112,000.

Also returning to the fold is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time, now with its own bluish hue dial—similar to its Nautilus counterpart. After discontinuing the Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A this year, as well—a watch often regarded as the greatest Aquanaut to date—Patek Philippe surprised all with the new 5164G in white gold. Its greatest attribution is the clever Travel Time GMT function, which clearly rivals the Rolex GMT-Master II as perhaps the travel-friendly watch of choice (if acquiring one was that simple, of course).

For those who prefer the Aquanaut’s sportiness and easy-wearing rubber strap, this newest iteration, with its Opaline Blue-gray dial and matching rubber strap with a deployant clasp, is undoubtedly an icon in the making. The new 5164G has a 40mm case and features the Calibre 26‑330 S C FUS movement, which can also be viewed via the transparent sapphire crystal caseback.

Expect to pick up the new Aquanaut Travel Time for around $95,250.  

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time

 

Follow @robbreportau for all your Watches & Wonders coverage, and more!

 

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Rolex Kicks Off Watches & Wonders 2024 with a New GMT-Master II

The new stainless steel GMT-Master II has already been dubbed the “Bruce Wayne”.

By Josh Bozin 09/04/2024

It may not be the GMT that watch pundits were speculating on—or that collectors were hoping for—but the new Rolex GMT-Master II with a new grey and black ceramic bezel adds dazzle to the revered Rolex collection, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

The idea of a new Rolex GMT launching at the world’s biggest watch fair is cause for a little madness. While the watch community eagerly awaited what was thought to be the discontinuation of the highly sought-after GMT “Pepsi” and the return of the GMT “Coke,” the luxury Swiss watchmaker had other plans.

Instead, we’re presented with a piece that, on paper, hasn’t changed much from previous GMT releases. That’s not to say that this isn’t an impressive release that will speak to consumers—the new GMT-Master II ref.126710GRNR, dubbed the “Bruce Wayne,” is definitely a sight for sore eyes.

Rolex
Rolex

This new GMT retains the same dimensions and movement as the other watches in the GMT collection, along with its 40mm size case and the option to fit either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. The obvious changes, albeit subtle, come in the way of its mostly monochrome return; a fact that will appease traditionalists. If you’re opposed to the attention-drawing “Pepsi”, “Sprite”, or “Batman” iterations, this model is a stealthier pick—much like pseudonymous Bruce Wayne.

The other noticeable change is the “GMT-Master II” now applied in green text and a 24-hour hand in green; perhaps a nod to the 2007 Basel World GMT release.

Like many Rolex timepieces, this will generate great hype and attention, so don’t expect allocations to come easily.

Rolex
Rolex

Model: GMT-Master II
Reference Number: 126710GRNR

Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Colour: Black
Lume: Chromalight on hands and hour markers
Water Resistance: 100m
Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee

Movement: Caliber 3285
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: Automatic

Price: $17,150 (Oyster); $17,500 (Jubilee)
Availability: Now. Non-limited edition

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Moments in Time

Silversea’s Kimberley adventures transport passengers into a different dimension.

By Vince Jackson 09/04/2024

Whoever refuted the theory of time-travel has clearly never set foot in the Kimberley, a geological relic where craggy landscapes forged hundreds of millions of years ago remain untouched, and dinosaur footprints are still etched into the ochre terrain. And while traversing one of the planet’s last great wildernesses in a 4X4 holds rugged appeal, a more refined way to explore the Western Australian outback is by cruise liner. 

Enter the Silver Cloud, one of Silversea’s most luxurious vessels, available for 10- or 17-day expeditions. Upon arrival via private executive transfer, expect a level of intimacy that’s often conspicuous on other cruise experiences. With a maximum of just 200 guests, attended to by 212 staff, the Silver Cloud can lay claim to the greatest passenger-to-crew ratios operating in the Kimberley. Twenty-four-hour butler service is standard for every suite, along with ocean views—no matter if you plump for a modest 22 m² Vista Suite or supersize to a 217 m² Grand Suite.

Yet bigger is not necessarily better on water; the ship itself is compact enough to manoeuvre into isolated coves and waterways that larger vessels—or, indeed, four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers—are unable access. Each sunrise brings the promise of an unforgettable adventure, whether hopping on a Zodiac at Koolama Bay to witness the cascading thunder of the 80-m-high, twin King George Falls, or embarking at Swift Bay to scramble over rocky standstone and view the disparate rock-art forms on display at the sacred Wandjina art galleries—some reckoned to be up to 12,000 years old.

Another example of the Kimberley’s ability to propel you back through time.

Prices from $15,500 pp (10 days) and $23,900 pp (17 days); June 9-19, and August 8-25 or August 25- September 11 respectively; silversea.com

Click here to subscribe to Robb Report ANZ.

Click here to subscribe to Robb Report ANZ.

 

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Kelly Slater’s Hawaiian Hideaway Hits the Market for $30 Million

After seven years of ownership, the legendary surfer is selling his beachfront compound on Oahu’s north shore for $20 million.
Published on April 5, 2024

By Wendy Bowman 08/04/2024

Always wanted to live like a surfing legend—specifically, a pro shredder with countless accolades under his board? Now’s your chance, because the picturesque Hawaiian spread that Kelly Slater has owned for the past several years has just popped up for sale on Oahu’s north shore, as was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The asking price is an impressive $30.3 million—or around $18.2 million more than the 11-time champ dolled out for the beachfront digs seven years ago, back in spring 2017. Acquired largely for personal reasons—he fondly remembers crashing at a nearby house with teen surfing buddies in the 1980s—Slater has long floated the place on the rental market, once for as much as $121,500 per month.

Sited amid a gated parcel spanning just over a half-acre, alongside one of the most sought-after streets in the Haleiwa area, the property was built in the early 2000s, and offers a main home and pair of guesthouses—for a total of six bedrooms and eight baths sprawled across a little more than 706 sqm of Asian- and Hawaiian-infused living space, all with access to 101 feet of secluded shoreline.

Though interior photos are scarce, previous listings show the primary dwelling is showcased by a soaring living room displaying an open-trussed ceiling, a curving hardwood staircase tucked off to the side and glass doors spilling out to a covered lanai. Other highlights include a formal dining room, media room, and kitchen outfitted with natural wood cabinetry and an expansive island. Two bedrooms include an upstairs primary suite, which boasts an ocean-view balcony, a seating nook, walk-in closet, and bath equipped with dual vanities and a soaking tub.

Outdoors, the garden-laced grounds host a boardwalk spanning a pond, along with an infinity pool and hot tub bordered by a grassy lawn; and topping it all off are the aforementioned ancillary accommodations, which consist of a three-bedroom guesthouse with its own kitchen and living area, plus a one-bedroom apartment resting atop the detached three-car garage. There’s plenty of Polynesian artwork left behind by a previous owner that’s reportedly part of the sale, too.

The 52-year-old Florida native, who told WSJ he is wrapping up what may be his final year as a pro surfer, also operates numerous business ventures ranging from a private surfing ranch to a sustainable footwear brand, and coming soon, a skin care and sunblock line.

In addition to his for-sale compound, Slater and his longtime partner Kalani Miller also maintain a primary residence he calls a “small beach shack” on Hawaii‘s Banzai Pipeline reef break, plus homes in Florida, California and Australia.

The listing is held by Paul Stukin of Deep Blue HI, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate | Southern California.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected