2018’s Best Dive Watches

Need a new watch and have a budget of under $500? You’re in luck since the best dive watches under $500 but above about $250 are the ultimate sweet-spot (in my humble opinion) for features and finish vs. cost of the watch.

Unlike the sub-$200 watches, here you’ll start seeing sapphire crystals, automatic watches with higher quality movements featuring longer power reserves and hacking seconds, and just better fit and finish overall, from the case to the bracelet.

I’ve spent many hours reading reviews, feedback on various watch forums, and getting my own hands on watches in order to hunt down the most often recommended and best dive watches currently available new in this price range.

1 – Seiko Samurai SRPB5x

The Seiko SRPB5x series is a modern reissue of the extremely popular ‘Samurai’, first produced from 2004-2008. The Samurai was nicknamed so by Seiko fans due to the shape of it’s hands, reminding people of samurai swords.

Why was the original Samurai so popular? It broke many of the design trends that Seiko had set for its diver’s over the decades. The angular, faceted case fitted with a knurled crown and waffled dial was very different from anything that came before it.

Seiko brought back the Samurai in 2017 with the SRPB5x series, and has given it a very nice refresh. The hands are now larger and more visible, with the hour hand changed to an arrow to make it more easily distinguished from the minute hand. The markers have been sized up a bit too, and the whole dial brought into line with the overall feel of the Prospex brand.