Home Guide Best Dive Watches Under $500 [2018 Edition]

Best Dive Watches Under $500 [2018 Edition]

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  • Are you looking for a high quality dive watch that is under $500? If so, you are at the right place. From our research, we’ve found that dive watches under 500 dollars but above 250 dollars have the best features for the price of underwater watches.

    Unlike is the case with dive watches under $200, the $500 range watches have higher quality movements and are automatic. The watches also feature sapphire crystals, retain power for longer, can be hacked in seconds, and have an overall better finish.

    After hundreds of hours of testing and reading dive watch reviews, we have come up with a list of the best dive watches that you can get for below $500 but above $250.

    Best Dive Watches Under $500 – Comparison Table

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    Editor’s Choice – Overall Winner

    When evaluating the watches on this list, we took into consideration the price, features and performance of the models. However, there are many great divers in his price range, including dozens of boutique models from micro-brands from around the world. Understandably, it would not be right to say this is the ultimate guide for the best dive watches under $500.

    If you’ve had a great experience with another dive watch that we don’t have on the list, let us know on the comment section. We might just take a look and review it!

    #1 – Seiko Samurai SRPB5x

    Specifications

    • 22mm band width
    • 12mm thick
    • 8mm case diameter
    • Seiko Hardlex crystal
    • Unidirectional diving timing bezel
    • 200m water resistance
    • Certified ISO diver’s watch
    • 23 jewels, 41 hour power reserve
    • Seiko 4R35 automatic mechanical movement

    The popular “Samurai” by Seiko, which was first in the market between 2004-2008, has been reissued as the Seiko SRPB5x. If you are wondering why the watch is known as the ‘samurai’, it was christened so by Seiko fans who felt the shape of its hands looked like samurai swords.

    The old Seiko Samurai model was popular because it was different in design from what Seiko had stuck to over the years. The watch had a waffled dial that had not been designed in any previous Seiko models. Moreover, it stood out with its angular, faceted case that was fitted with a knurled crown.

    The SRPB5x debuted in the market in 2017 as a reissue of the popular Seiko Samurai. The new watch features a refreshing new design. Unlike its predecessor, the SRPB5x’s hour hand is an arrow, which makes it easy to distinguish it from the minute hand. Moreover, the hands and the markers have been made larger and are therefore more visible. Finally, the whole dial has been upgraded to have the overall feel of the Prospex brand.

    The Seiko Samurai is decently large given its 44mm case diameter. However, don’t let the diameter fool you. The watch’s relatively think 12mm thick case and the thin lugs that go down to the edge of the bezel make it a compact diver tool.

    You can hack and hand-wind the Seiko SRPB5x, which is a nice upgrade over movement that the original Samurai had. The watch is powered by the 4R35 automatic movement, which is an upgrade of the 7s26, which came out in 2011. Some watches such as the SKX007 are still powered by the 7s26.

    What makes the Seiko SRPB5x the best dive watch under $500? For us, the diver has great features and a unique look. Moreover, coming at a price of between $300 to $400, it’s difficult to find another watch that would beat it in terms of features, style and performance.

    Variations of the Seiko SRPB5x Samurai

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    #2 – Orient Triton (Mini-OSD)

    Specifications

    • Power reserve indication
    • Date window
    • 40-hour power reserve
    • 22mm band width
    • 6mm thick
    • 51mm lug to lug
    • 4mm case diameter
    • Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
    • Unidirectional bezel with 120 clicks and ceramic shroud
    • 200m (660ft) water resistance
    • Certified JIS class 1 diver’s watch
    • Hacking and hand-winding
    • Orient Cal. 40N5A automatic mechanical movement

    Orient Watch has unveiled its mid-range watches in the market, with the Orient Triton leading the pack. The Triton is positioned between the Pro Saturation Diver and the Orient Nami.

    The Orient Triton looks remarkably similar to the Orient Pro Saturation Diver in design. This is why it was nicknamed the “Baby OSD” or the “Mini OSD” by watch enthusiasts.

    The Triton is powered by the 40N5A automatic movement, just like is the case with the Saturation Diver.

    So, what is the difference between the Triton that is about $500 and the Saturation Diver that is about $2000?

    The difference between the two watches is mainly in size and rating.

    To begin, the OSD has a 300m depth rating while the Triton manages 200m. Coming to the diameter and size, the OSD is 45.5mm in diameter and 16.6mm thick while the Triton is 43.4mm in diameter and 13.6mm thick.

    The OSD also has superior performance than the Triton. For example, the OSD can withstand helium ingress during saturation diving while the Triton cannot.

    Finally, the quality, fit and finish of the OSD is superior to that of the Triton.

    While there is no doubt that the OSD is superior to the Triton, the latter performs exceedingly well if you are looking for an affordable dive watch. If the Orient Pro Saturation Diver is too large or above your budget, the Triton offers the best bang for your buck.

    The Triton dive watch is gorgeous and looks cool. Check the variations of the diver on Amazon.

    Variations of the Orient Triton Series

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    #3 – Bulova 98

    #4 – Seiko SRPA81

    Specifications

    • Day and date window
    • 50-hour power reserve
    • 22mm band width
    • 52mm lug-to-lug distance
    • 13mm thick
    • 7mm case diameter
    • Hardlex crystal
    • Unidirectional bezel with 120 clicks and ceramic shroud
    • 200m (660ft) water resistance
    • Certified ISO diver’s watch
    • Hacking and hand-winding
    • Seiko 4R36 automatic mechanical movement

    Are you looking for a watch with the performance and features of the SBDX014 ‘Emperor Tuna’ or Seiko SBBN031 ‘Tuna’ but aren’t ready to shell two thousand on a watch?
    If so, you need to check out the SRPA81.

    Seiko’s ‘Tuna’ divers have been popular among watch enthusiasts for decades. The latest affordable version from the ‘Tuna’ range is the Seiko Prospex SRPAxx series.

    Seiko’s affordable shrouded divers have gotten various nicknames over the years. For example, the SRP639 is commonly known as ‘Baby Tuna’ because its case was smaller than that of the Marine Master Tuna and its price was also lower.

    However, the SRPAxx series of watches do not fit the nickname of ‘Baby Tuna’. The cases of the divers in the series are of the same size as that of the higher end Tuna. Some watch enthusiasts have christened the SRPAxx divers as ‘Monster Tuna’ or ‘Shrouded Monster’.

    So, why would you want to have one of the Monster Tuna divers? First off, these watches are big, bold and tough. The divers have a lot of writs presence thanks to their 52mm case diameter. However, since they are round in shape, they look smaller when worn than you might expect. The divers look just fine even on people with 7” wrists.

    The Shrouded Tuna’s case looks classic with the surrounding iconic ceramic shroud.  The shroud also protects the bezel and the case. Just so you should know, the previous ‘Baby Tunas’ had a plastic shroud. Therefore, the ceramic shroud in the Monster Tunas is a worthy upgrade.

    The Monster Tuna divers are powered by the Seiko 4R36 automatic movement. Therefore, they are reliable time keepers. Other features of the divers include the ability to hand wind the mainspring and hack in seconds.

    If you are looking for a diver that will not disappoint you when snorkeling or deep diving, the Seiko SRPAxx Series are great options. If you would like a high end diver, a real Tuna would do.

    Variations of the Seiko SRPAxx Series

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    #5 Seiko SSC017 Prospex

    Specifications

     

    #6 – Citizen Promaster Diver BN0175-19E ‘Ecozilla’

    Specifications

    • Luminous markers and hands
    • Date window
    • Eco-Drive solar powered batteries
    • Lug-less design (you can purchase strap adapters online)
    • 5mm height
    • 48mm case diameter
    • Mineral crystal
    • Unidirectional bezel
    • Stainless steel case with black diamond-like coating
    • Helium release valve
    • 300m (980ft) water resistance
    • Certified ISP Diver’s Watch
    • Eco-Drive E168 quartz movement

    The Citizen Promaster Diver ‘Ecozilla” is similar in feel and size to the Seiko ‘Tuna’ we’ve reviewed above. However, its design is completely different. This heavy duty tool watch is a strong contender in this list of the best dive watches under 500 dollars.

    This watch is an upgrade of the original Ecozilla, the BJ8050-080E that is now quite affordable. The new Ecozilla features a DLC (diamond like coating) and other upgrades.

    The name “Ecozilla” is a play on two words ‘eco-driver’ and Godzilla. Eco-drive is Citizen’s solar-powered movement while Godzilla is a huge monster (the 90s kids know what we mean).  The two word combined signify Citizen’s biggest dive watch on the market.

    If the DLC is not your taste, there’s the stainless steel version (the BN0176-08E), which is quite a beauty.

    The Ecozilla is not usually below $500 but Amazon usually has some regular promotions where the price significantly drops (check current promo price here). You can also find the watch at eBay and other online retailers.

    One issue you may have with the Ecozilla is regarding its default rubber strap. The diver has a unique strap attachment and this means you cannot exchange the straps for the bracelets you may prefer.

    To use the standard bracelets and straps, you will need an adapter. Amazon and Suppaparts have some adapter, which can be quite expensive.

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