Dive watches have certain features that sound even underwater, such as luminous hands and hour markers. As such, dive watches are versatile enough to be worn as beater watches, unlike regular watches. This article focuses explicitly on dive watches under $300.
For less than that price, you can get the best diving watch with water resistance to 200 meters, excellent luminosity, readability underwater, scratch resistance, and a unidirectional rotating bezel that helps keep track of oxygen levels.
Best Dive Watches Under $300 in 2023
1. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster BN0191-55L
Citizen is one of the leading watch manufacturers and owns many watch brands, including American watch manufacturer Bulova. Japanese watchmakers are known for making the best watches for the price.
However, recent trends indicate that brands are moving towards higher-end product lines and pricing for higher returns.
The Citizen BN0191-55L is priced well above the $300 budget. However, this list of dive watches would not be complete without this watch because of its features. Precise Japanese quartz movement that requires minimal adjustment.
The Citizen BN0191-55L follows a minimalist design with an emphasis on readability. Durable mineral crystals protect the 45mm stainless steel case. The stainless steel strap is minimalist and fits easily on the wrist.
The dual-tone design of the S dial gives the watch a unique look. As I said before, that’s a lot higher than the $300 cap. Its 200-meter water-resistance rating and robust construction allow mixed gas diving.
2. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Diver
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
With 48mm stainless steel case
It comes with Eco-Drive technology
Has a Japanese quartz movement
Japanese quartz movement with analog display
200 meters of Water-resistant
Here is the BN0151-09L quartz diving watch from Citizen. The watch is part of Citizen’s Eco-Drive line, which means it can absorb light from a natural or artificial light source and convert it into electricity. This means the watch will charge itself, and you won’t have to worry about running out of battery.
Depending on where you live or the season (e.g., if it is constantly cloudy or raining or if you are wearing a long-sleeved jacket that covers your watch), you may need to put some effort into exposing your watch. In a bit of light so you can recharge.
As a quartz watch, the BN0151-09L measures time very accurately. You will rarely need to resynchronize this watch manually. In addition to Eco-Drive technology and quartz movement, it has all the features you would expect from a dive watch: unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown, case back, lume-filled markers, and hands.
There are two versions of this watch. The BN0151-09L has a blue dial, and its volume is blue, while the BN0150L-28E is a version with a black dial. Both variants are very circular, reminiscent of the diver’s ‘canned tuna’ style, with a few protrusions in crowns, guards, and lugs.
When you buy a watch from Citizen’s Eco-drive watch line, you can be sure that your look uses eco-drive technology, has an attractive design, has an accurate quartz movement, and offers excellent value for money.
3. Invicta Men’s 13708
Invicta Men’s 13708
With 47 mm of stainless steel case
It has an automatic japanese movement
It comes with Two-tone stainless steel band
With 300M of water-resist
Premium products from Invicta. The Invicta 14708 Grand Diver is the best watch for scuba divers. Multitone design in black, silver, and rose gold finishes. It has a unidirectional bezel, a guilloche dial, and a skeleton window.
The watch has a 47 mm stainless steel case and a mineral dial window. The 13708 uses a Japanese automatic movement with an analog display. The two-tone stainless steel band also has a folding clasp and safety lock.
The Invicta 13708 is water-resistant up to 300 m (990 ft). Invicta also claims it is suitable for scuba diving to a depth of 30 meters for up to two hours. Shiny hands and indexes can be helpful in situations where there is little sunlight.
4. Casio MDV106-1AV
Casio Men’s MDV106-1AV
With black stainless Steel case
Luminous markers & hour hands
It has an anti reverse bezel
With 200M of Water-resist
Many watches in this selection offer great value for money, but none weighs as much as the Casio MDV106-1AV. You can easily spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on diving and diving-inspired watches.
In any case, Casio has all the same features found in more expensive watches, along with a quartz movement, stylish all-in-one watches for less than $300.
The Casio MDV106-1AV is reminiscent of many expensive watches from famous brands like Seiko at affordable prices, even from legendary watchmakers. You get a stylish, sporty, durable stainless steel sports eye for everyday use.
This watch features a stunning marlin logo and claims to be water-resistant to 200m/660ft. And for everyone who wants to call it a bluff, the MDV106-1AV also has a screw-down crown with a crown guard, a screw-down case back, and a unidirectional rotating bezel.
The rotating bezel clicks into place. You may need a little silicone to loosen the bezel, but it works fantastically. For less than $300, you get an accurate diving watch. Looking at the dial, you can see a very prominent date window at the 3 o’clock position.
The markers and hands are filled with lumens to aid diving at night or in dark environments. Brightness is pretty good. It lasts about 4 hours when fully charged. The hand shines brighter than the marker. Unfortunately, the tiny hands make them hard to see when they start to fade.
It’s utterly repairable if you go to the band, and there are no issues with the included bar. But it’s easy to replace, and since you’ve already saved a lot of money by purchasing this watch, you can save a few extra bucks for a better band.
There are better watches for the money. But if we’re strictly talking about which eye offers the best value for money, the Casio MDV106-1AV could be the best watch. Watch snobs may scoff at this cheap entry-level model, but we must admit that this is a model to watch out for.
5. Orient Ray II
ORIENT Men’s Japanese Automatic
Automatic watch with hacking movement
41.5mm case without crown
Rotate the crown counterclockwise to change the date
Rotate the crown clockwise to change the day.
The Orient Ray II is powered by Orient’s unique Caliber F6922 movement, a highly accurate movement featuring hand-wound and hacked seconds. With that, your timekeeping will be almost exact.
Your arm movements drive this movement throughout the day, but it can also be wound manually. When the crown is pulled, the secondhand does not move, making resynchronizing easier.
For under $300, the Ray II has the features you’d expect from a more expensive watch, such as the hack mentioned above, manual winding, a 120-click unidirectional bezel, a screw-down crown, a case back, and an easy-to-read high-contrast dial.
A bright, reliable lume-filled marker and hand. Its 200m water resistance rating suits most water sports, such as swimming, snorkeling, and recreational diving.
Finally, the finish and fit of the Orient Ray II are excellent. It is polished and finely brushed for a luxurious look. The bezel and index perfectly align with the day and date windows at the 3 o’clock position.
The watch face is elegant, with an embossed logo and a stainless steel frame around the date window. The Ray II has a rugged yet luxurious design that can be worn casually or to the office.
6. Stauer Evergreen
If you’re tired of looking at the usual black and dark blue dials and bezels, there’s a watch to catch your eye. That’s Stauer Evergreen. This watch features a vivid green dial and bezel reminiscent of a Rolex homage.
The Stauer Evergreen case, bezel, and band are all stainless steel. A reinforced mineral crystal protects the dial, and the bezel is unidirectional with clearly labeled minute markers. This watch is water-resistant to 200 meters thanks to its durable crystal, threaded crown, and case back.
If you look at the dial, you can see the date window with indexes and hands when illuminated and with a magnified Cyclops lens. The Precision 2115 movement powers all this.
Overall, the Stauer Evergreen is a solid watch with minor drawbacks. First of all, I recommend replacing the bracelet because it feels cheap. Next, the lumens aren’t that bright underwater, so night diving isn’t a problem. The bezel will also get some play after a while.
But Stauer Evergreen is impressive. We love bold color schemes and styles. It is undoubtedly a watch that will turn your head and lead you to a natural conversation. It looks like it’s worth five digits, but it’s reasonably priced under $300 and has solid timekeeping and diving capabilities.
7. Wenger Seaforce 3H
Wenger Seaforce 3H
With the Swiss made quartz
It has Swiss quartz movement
43mm case diameter
200m of water resist
The Wenger Sea Force 3H is a Swiss quartz watch with several black and chrome variants, but what stands out is the watch with its blue dial. It is simply the perfect shade of blue.
Most dive watches have a royal light blue dial and bezel, but this watch has a lighter shade of aqua blue that looks great in any lighting. Also, the dial is clean with a slight horizontal texture and simple pointed-tipped needles.
Markers, hands, and bezel pips are lume filled. Sea Force 3H uses a coated sapphire crystal to provide superior scratch resistance to mineral or Hardlex crystals. The durability of this watch is not everything.
The stainless steel case of the Wenger Sea Force 3H looks much more durable than other watches in its price range. There is also a stainless steel case, which appears to be made of much harder steel that won’t scratch or scratch easily.
As you would expect from any esteemed dive watch, the Sea Force 3H features a unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown, and screw-down case-back, making it water-resistant to 200 meters. The height has concentric grooves and looks great on its own.
However, the grooves have more stylistic advantages as they don’t significantly affect grip when loosening or tightening the crown.
The watch also has various strap options, so you can choose the perfect one that looks good and fits your wrist perfectly. However, it is clear that specific options such as black silicone rubber or steel bracelets are more popular and can therefore be more expensive.
The included band is thicker rubber, very flexible, and fits large wrists. Overall, the Wenger Sea Force 3H is sleek, affordable, and Swiss-made.
Everything you need for a dive watch comes with a sapphire crystal, a screw-down crown, a screw-down case back, a superb quartz movement, and a stunning dial. Furthermore, the look is just beautiful and is available cheaply.
8. Seiko 5 Sports SRP601J1
Founded in 1881, Seiko presented the world’s first quartz wristwatch and the first quartz watch with a chronograph complication. Seiko has a history of making the best automatic and quartz watches.
The Seiko SRP601 is a watch aimed at the diving community, with some notions and perks on its sleeve. Hardlex mineral crystal protects the 45mm stainless steel case.
The watch uses the Seiko 24 Jewels self-winding movement. The black rubber strap provides extreme comfort while snug in hand. Another unique feature of this dive watch is hackable secondhand (Calibre 4R36).
The dial has a day and date display with Spanish support. Luminous Hands and Well Crafter markers improve visibility in the dark.
This watch has a sliding bezel and is water-resistant up to 100 meters. You can get the Seiko SRP601 for around $300. The Seiko SRP601 is a well-made watch capable of withstanding most or all water sports.
9. Invicta Men’s 10640
Invicta is known for offering dive watches that pay homage to budgets that seem to be worth ten times their actual price. For this reason, you either love them or hate them. Love them for their low price or call them abhorrently cheap counterfeits.
Whatever you think, Invicta’s 10640 dive watch is a watch to watch out for. One of the main selling points of this watch is its pearlescent quality when sunlight is reflected due to the vivid brilliance used on the dial.
Typically, lumens only apply to hands and markers. In the case of the 10640, the entire dial is covered in lumens for a majestic glow. It lasts so long that it will shine all night long. The bright light of this watch is truly a sight to behold, and you will be admired and admired every time you wear it.
Its brightness can even be a downside. When I go camping, I feel like sleeping in a tent with a light on when I sleep with on. Although they call themselves “Grand Diver,” these watches are part of Invicta’s Pro Diver line. Equipped with the Seiko automatic movement NH35A, it is accurate and has a power reserve of 40 hours.
The Invicta Men’s 10640 is the most durable dive watch for under $300. There is no sapphire crystal, but it is made like a tank. The stainless steel case and bracelet feel indestructible.
This watch has the most resounding water resistance rating of 300m/984ft. You can see the movement in action with a screw-down crown, unidirectional rotating bezel, and display case back.
Overall, the Invicta 10640 is a truly unique watch that offers excellent value for what it has to offer. Fully covered with lumens and a dial that can shine all night, you can use it reliably in any environment.
It’s also durable with a 300m/984ft depth rating, so you can take it wherever you want, worry-free. This watch is large and works reliably. The Invicta 10640 can’t go wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
How deep can you dive with a dive watch?
The dive watch must have a depth rating of at least 100m. If the eye is not ISO certified, only use the 100m watch for snorkeling, swimming, or other water activities near the surface. If you plan to be freediving, purchase a freediving watch instead of a diving watch.
If you plan to dive, we recommend an ISO-certified diver to a depth of at least 200m. ISO-certified watches are rated to withstand water pressures 25% higher than their rated capacity, so you can be sure they won’t penetrate deep water. If your watch is not ISO certified, you will dive at risk.
Difference between a low-end dive watch and a high-end dive watch
There is a big difference between a low-end dive watch and a high-end watch. But is the difference huge enough to justify spending a price difference of 10x, 20x, and sometimes 50x? If you’re on a tight budget, the answer is NO. This is not one of those cases where spending more money on a luxury product is a better way.
The reason is that dive watches were a luxury worn only by the wealthy for decades. Even today, people wear it to express their high social status. What you pay for a luxury watch isn’t the cost of its features; it’s the cost of its condition and iconic appearance.
So comparing a $1,000 watch to a $10,000 watch isn’t that much of a difference in functionality. There are also dive watches for less than $300. These watches cost much more than their weight and can be compared to more expensive watches.
What you can expect from a luxury watch is better materials, superior craftsmanship, a much higher depth rating (e.g., 1000m), more precise movements, and, of course, the look of envy you get from others.
In the reliability section, we mentioned crystals, lumens, and bracelets, areas where mid-range watches often compromise to keep their costs low. However, they can serve an entry-level watch well enough and can be a necessary stepping stone before you decide to invest in a more expensive product.
How do I care for my dive watch?
Knowing that your dive watch is ISO certified and capable of withstanding water pressures of 200 meters, you can feel that your dive watch will not be destroyed. Unfortunately, that’s not true.
For example, a dive watch is waterproof, but you shouldn’t shower. Moisture, high heat, and soap can damage your watch without water entering it.
It would be best to use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe your dive watch occasionally or a soft toothbrush to brush off any dust. Avoid using chemicals as they can corrode the watch case.
Follow the maintenance instructions described in the manual with your watch. We recommend you send your watch for service once every 1-3 years.
When your watch is repaired, our technicians will test it to ensure it is still water-resistant at its rated depth and all components are in perfect working order. Of course, you must do your part to ensure your dive watch lasts as long as possible.
Choosing the best dive watch under the $300 list above is the hardest part. All watches on this list are rated for water resistance of at least 100 meters, but we recommend no longer than 30 meters. Water resistance to 100 meters does not mean this watch can survive long periods in such depths. Most of the abovementioned ones are ISO-certified diving watches and, therefore, technically usable for diving.