James Bond, sporting an Omega diving watch. Image: Omega
Air tank. Check. Mask. Check. Buoyancy-control device. Check.
Divers already know how important it is to do due diligence and find the best equipment accompanying them underwater. The same should go for watches. After all, you don’t want to lose track of time when you have a finite amount of air.
While PADI, a worldwide diving-certification organization, recommends a depth limit of 30 meters for recreational diving, watch makers have their sights far beyond that. The minimum water resistance for watches is 10 atmospheres, or 100 meters, but many timepieces on the market are resistant up to 300 meters. Some watches boast durability, others luxury or even practicality. Here’s a look at five of the best diving watches on the market.
1. Luminox 3001 Original Navy SEAL Dive Watch
If it’s good enough for the Navy SEALS, it’s good enough for recreational divers. In fact, Luminox’s Navy SEAL timepiece is what brought the watch maker to the limelight. Designed to be a dependable for night missions, this watch is durable and it lights up without an external light source. Borosilicate glass capsules, or tiny self-powered micro gas lights, illuminate both the hands and the numbers on the watch face, for more than 25 years, according to Luminox. This bad boy is water resistant up to 200 meters, and a buckle clasp with safety ensures it won’t get lost at sea. $275
2. Omega Seamaster 300 M Chrono Diver
If you’re not convinced the Omega Seamaster is a slick watch, consider this fact: James Bond wears it. The movie character has been associated with the watch since 1995, when Pierce Brosnan wore the 300M timepiece in “GoldenEye.” Omega even made a commemorative edition in 2002 for the 40th anniversary of James Bond, the only notable change being the presence of the 007 logo. The 300 M Chrono Diver, made of stainless steel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, is water resistant up to 300 meters. $3,350.
3. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner
Rolex first introduced the Submariner in 1953. Then, it was the first diving watch with water resistance up to 100 meters, now considered a minimum limit for today’s diving watches. The Oyster Perpetual Submariner is water resistant up to 300 meters and features the iconic oyster case, which is hermetically sealed like a submarine hatch, with five Newton meters of torque, protecting the watch from shocks, pressure, dust, water and just about anything else. The Submariner line includes six models, in different colors and materials. $5,000 to $25,000.
4. Tag Heuer Aquaracer
Image: Tag Heuer
The Aquaracer‘s climb to fame? Leonardo DiCaprio sporting it on his wrist. While he’s not known for his diving abilities, the line of watches was designed and developed by professional divers. The Aquaracer is water resistant up to 300 meters, and an anti-reflective treatment ensures you’ll always be able to tell time underwater. As a safety feature, the watch’s bezel moves only in one direction. If it ever gets accidentally moved, you won’t overestimate the time you have left since it only reduces indicated remaining time. $1,000 to $1,800.
5. Citizen Watch Promaster GMT
Even though the Promaster GMT is considered an affordable diving-watch option, it doesn’t compromise in quality. It is water resistant up to 300 meters. And like the rest of the Citizen Watch lineup, the Promaster does not run on a battery. Citizen says its watches run continuously on natural and artificial light for the lifetime of use. In addition, the atomic-timekeeping feature ensures you don’t need to fiddle with changing time, since the watch’s technology syncs time to radio clocks.