8 Best Dive Watches Under $200: From the Ocean to the Bar in Style

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated:  Jan 28, 2021

Dive watches are one of the most important style staples in a man’s casual watch collection. With so many out there, trying to find one that’s both affordable and high-quality is a daunting task.

We saved you the stress and combed the watch market to round up the 8 best dive watches under $200.

Top Pick
  • Quality dive watch that’s respected by high-end watch collectors
  • Classic look that’s often compared to the Rolex Submariner
  • Functionalities are comparable to much more expensive dive watches
Best Under $100
  • Graphic dial makes for a playful aesthetic
  • Runs on an automatic movement that can also be wound
  • Pop culture street cred from its cameo in The Life Aquatic
Best Automatic
  • In-house 24-jewel automatic movement
  • Utilitarian look to match its tool capabilities
  • Useful and tactile accessory for those who prefer to use their watch over their phone
Best Chronograph
  • Ornate dress watch look at an affordable price
  • Easy chronograph capabilities
  • Well-suited to both casual and formal wear
Best 38mm
  • Bold watch that suits small and medium wrists
  • Well-liked Submariner homage with its own unique style details
  • Offered in several fun colors
Best in Low Light
  • Effective lume that’s self-powered and lasts 25 years
  • The plastic case and textured rubber strap make for a robust aesthetic
  • The matte black tone makes for a versatile casual watch
Most Unique
  • Unique, minimalist take on the traditional dive watch
  • Sleek but masculine look that comes in several color schemes
  • Large and noticeable, great for elevating casual looks
  • Get 20% off with code TAM20
Best Under $50
  • Most affordable watch in the roundup
  • Durable dive watch, with a thick and tough aesthetic
  • 120-click bezel that’s as good as pricier watches

It could be because of the Bond legacy, but today, divers are a style necessity in every man’s casual watch collection.

After all, the Rolex Submariner is the most recognized watch in the world.

You’ll be happy to know, however, that not every dive watch is the same price as a ticket to the Super Bowl.

We’ve rounded up 8 of the best dive watches under $200.

Technically, dive watches must meet two criteria:

  • They must be water resistant at 100m or more.
  • They must feature a way to manage passing time. This usually takes the form of unidirectional bezel.

Each watch on this list fills those prerequisites, and also shines best in a particular category.

So whether you’re looking specifically for an automatic, or need a brilliant lume, we’ve got you covered.

8 Best Dive Watches Under $200

Our Top Pick: Orient Mako II

1.
Orient Mako II

The Orient Mako II will check more boxes for a functionally and visually classic dive watch than any other timepiece in its price range. If you want a classic Submariner-esque automatic dive for under $200, this versatile timepiece will serve you well whether you’re in a dinner jacket or a t-shirt.

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I like to direct Rolex lovers who’d rather not spend Rolex prices to the Orient brand. They fashion some of the best mechanical timepieces out there at their price-point, and I consider the Orient Mako II on the shortlist for best affordable Submariner alternative.

The Mako II also stands on its own as an excellent dive at any price.

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The face is classically designed, with Arabic numerals for 12, 6, and 9, a date window, and a dial that is color-matched to the bezel. The bezel is just slightly smaller than the case, so you can see the coin edging from above, which is the kind of subtle attention to detail that makes Orient highly respected even among high-end watch collectors.

The sides are a polished stainless steel and the top is brushed. Some think that the three-link bracelet is large for the 41mm case; I think it matches the wide font on the bezel, and that the swooping lugs create a clean transition from the face to the strap.

The Mako II is water resistant at 200m and features an automatic, hand-winding, hacking movement at 6 beats per second.

What I Like

  • The coined edges make grabbing the unidirectional bezel easy.

  • All the quintessential dive qualities are featured, including a powerful lume, hacking, and 100m water resistance.

  • Even at 41mm, this watch wears more like a 40 because of the even case-to-bracelet ratio, making it appropriate for most wrists.

What I Don’t Like

  • The small screw down crown further adds to its legitimacy as a true dive watch, but makes it difficult to screw and unscrew. 

What Other Reviewers Say

The main reaction to the Mako II among reviewers is shock. At less than $200, this watch features an aesthetic and capabilities comparable to dive watches ten times its price.

People also praised its durability, with one reviewer mentioning how he put his Mako II through the ringer, and that it kept on ticking despite the fact it looked like a battlefield artifact.

The Verdict

The Orient Mako II will check more boxes for a functionally and visually classic dive watch than any other timepiece in its price range. If you want a classic Submariner-esque automatic dive for under $200, this versatile timepiece will serve you well whether you’re in a dinner jacket or a t-shirt.

Our Top Pick
Orient Mako II

The Orient Mako II will check more boxes for a functionally and visually classic dive watch than any other timepiece in its price range. If you want a classic Submariner-esque automatic dive for under $200, this versatile timepiece will serve you well whether you’re in a dinner jacket or a t-shirt.

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Best Under $100: Vostok Amphibian Military Diver

2.
Vostok Amphibian Military Diver

Function-wise, the Vostok Amphibian is as serious as it gets for a dive watch under $100. Visually, it’s colorful and boyish. This timepiece is for grown men who need adult watches, but are young at heart.

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Vostok is known for being the former official supplier to the Russian Army, so it’s pretty wild that you can have a Defense Department-level dive watch for under $100.

The Vostok Amphibian features an automatic self-winding movement with 31 jewels. If you haven’t worn it in a long time, you can wind it with a stem, but regular use should keep this from being necessary.

It also features shock resistance and luminous hands and dots.

The face of the dial is what makes this watch unique. It features playful illustrations on a bright blue background. With so many fun qualities, the Amphibian is like your favorite childhood toy submarine repurposed into a watch appropriate for a grown man.

What I Like

  • The face is fun and lively featuring nautical graphics of an anchor and a ship steering wheel.

  • This watch is both automatic and manual.

  • With a 39mm case, it’s suitable for most wrists.

What I Don’t Like

  • The crystal is plastic and susceptible to scratches.

What Other Reviewers Say

Many reviewers remember this timepiece as the one Steve Zissou wore in The Life Aquatic. Because of its lighthearted look, many love the Amphibian as a fun watch to wear that also happens to have real functionalities, unlike a fashion watch. There were a few complaints about the weak lume and plastic crystal.

The Verdict

Function-wise, the Vostok Amphibian is as serious as it gets for a dive watch under $100. Visually, it’s colorful and boyish. This timepiece is for grown men who need adult watches, but are young at heart.

Best Under $100
Vostok Amphibian Military Diver

Function-wise, the Vostok Amphibian is as serious as it gets for a dive watch under $100. Visually, it’s colorful and boyish. This timepiece is for grown men who need adult watches, but are young at heart.

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Best Automatic: Seiko 5 SRPB81K

3.
Seiko 5 SRPB81K

If you like to play with your watch, then the Seiko 5 SRPB81K is for you. It’s a tactile accessory made for fans of tool watches and automatics, and has a robust utilitarian look.

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You can always count on Seiko to triumph on the technical front. With their deep experience fashioning watches at every price point, Seiko knows how to pack as many good things into a budget watch more than any other brand.

The Seiko 5 SRPB81K model features a 24-jewels self-winding automatic movement.

It uses caliber 4R35 which is an in-house movement released in 2011 as an upgrade to their previous premium automatic movement. It offers hacking, hand-winding functionality, and a date calendar complication at the 3-hour mark.

The SRPB81K also features an anti-shock system, a 40-hour power reserve, and is water resistant up to 100m.

Style-wise, this watch has a utilitarian look to match its tool capabilities. It has a 44mm case and a 22mm bracelet, and a digital-inspired font for the 12, 3, 6, and 9-hour mark.

The face has several layers of line markers for a busy look that isn’t overwhelming due to the neutral color palette. This is definitely the best Seiko dive watch under $200.

What I Like

  • The 120-click bezel makes a beautifully crisp sound and is easy to use because each number sticks up above the edge of the bezel.

  • The Arabic numerals are bold and shiny for a super legible face.

  • The winding automatic movement is hackable which is convenient when you just want to quickly wind up your watch.

What I Don’t Like

  • The second hand is so thin that you can barely see it unless the light is hitting the face just right.

  • The Arabic numerals aren’t luminescent.

What Other Reviewers Say

The general consensus is how effective a tool watch this Seiko is. The timer is so fun and easy to use that people actually opt to use their watches over their phones.

There were a few reviewers who didn’t classify this watch as a diver because the bracelet lacked a dive extension, but with 100m of water resistance this Seiko 5 model is more than enough for most guys.

The Verdict

If you like to play with your watch, then the Seiko 5 SRPB81K is for you. It’s a tactile accessory made for fans of tool watches and automatics, and has a robust utilitarian look.

Best Automatic
Seiko 5 SRPB81K

If you like to play with your watch, then the Seiko 5 SRPB81K is for you. It’s a tactile accessory made for fans of tool watches and automatics, and has a robust utilitarian look.

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Best Chronograph: Bulova 98B333

4.
Bulova 98B333

The Bulova 98B333 can be a statement piece when paired with short sleeves, or an accent piece noticeably peeking out from beneath your dinner jacket. This watch is for you if you’re looking for something fancy, or if you want to elevate casual looks with something that still has tool functionalities.

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I advise watch collectors who are interested in core collections and entry-level pieces to invest in sport watches. They never go out of style and they hold their value. So where do you go if you want to buy a dress watch that looks good but won’t break the bank? My answer is always Bulova.

The Bulova 98B333 features chronograph capabilities, a unidirectional hatchet bangle, a deployment clasp, and, of course it’s also water resistant at 100 meters.

But boy does this tool look great with a tuxedo.

The chronograph face is elevated with layers of red and silver detailing, from the gem-like hour markers to the ceremonious monument hands.

The bracelet has a similar multidimensional aesthetic, made up of five links which alternate between polished and brushed.

With a case size of 45mm, this statement Bulova is a man’s version of a diamond necklace.

What I Like

  • The dressy look makes this sport watch appropriate for work or for black-tie occasions.

  • The several links on the bracelet make sizing down gradual and easy to accommodate different wrist sizes.

  • The large size ensures it has a presence with properly tailored long-sleeve shirts and jackets.

What I Don’t Like

  • The ornate face is beautiful but not particularly legible.

What Reviewers Say

Many reviewers were shocked at the price, since the Bulova 98B333 looks so stately. Several were also surprised to see how well this watch handled being exposed to water. Since it looks so fancy, people forget about its dive watch capabilities.

The Verdict

The Bulova 98B333 can be a statement piece when paired with short sleeves, or an accent piece noticeably peeking out from beneath your dinner jacket. This watch is for you if you’re looking for something fancy, or if you want to elevate casual looks with something that still has tool functionalities.

Best Chronograph
Bulova 98B333

The Bulova 98B333 can be a statement piece when paired with short sleeves, or an accent piece noticeably peeking out from beneath your dinner jacket. This watch is for you if you’re looking for something fancy, or if you want to elevate casual looks with something that still has tool functionalities.

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Best 38mm: Invicta Pro Diver

5.
Invicta 8932OB Pro Diver

If you’re looking for an affordable dive watch for a smaller wrist, this 38mm Invicta Pro Diver checks all the same boxes that bigger classic dive watches do. It also comes in a variety of colors and at this price, I encourage you to have fun with that.

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Invicta is a sort of homage factory. Unsurprisingly, it’s a controversial brand in the world of Internet watch forums.

The Invicta Pro Diver is the exception, a well-liked diver that takes its cue from the Rolex Submariner.

Invicta will sometimes take a luxury brand’s watch design and make it bigger and bolder. This Pro Diver instead has a 38mm case, a much less flashy approach. On its 18mm band, it wears slightly large, but it’s not at all loud.

Another reason for this watch’s popularity is that it’s built with a detailed understanding of luxury watch design, but doesn’t try to be a clone.  Its aesthetic is generally tighter than the Submariner, with longer lugs closer to the face and a crown flush against the side, perfect for its small size.

And of course, this Invicta is water resistant at 200m, features a unidirectional bezel, and runs on an automatic movement.

What I Like

  • The bezel is easy to use because it isn’t as grippy as the bezel on most dives.

  • It’s an effective homage that doesn’t try to be anything else, further indicated by the fact Invicta branding is all over this watch (face, back, clasp, side).

  • The Invicta Pro Dive is offered in a wide variety of colors and tones.

What I Don’t Like

  • The hollow end links give the bracelet a loose and jingly wear.

  • While it stays safely under the $200 range, the price of this watch fluctuates a lot and often.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Invicta Pro Diver is a popular watch, with several reviewers even buying multiple pieces in different color variations.

Since Invicta prices do fluctuate a lot, would-be buyers are always on edge trying to get the best deal possible.

This smaller 38mm version had a few men with bigger wrists complaining about the size.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for an affordable dive watch for a smaller wrist, this 38mm Invicta Pro Diver checks all the same boxes that bigger classic dive watches do. It also comes in a variety of colors and at this price, I encourage you to have fun with that.

Best 38mm
Invicta 8932OB Pro Diver

If you’re looking for an affordable dive watch for a smaller wrist, this 38mm Invicta Pro Diver checks all the same boxes that bigger classic dive watches do. It also comes in a variety of colors and at this price, I encourage you to have fun with that.

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Best in Low Light: Luminox A.0201.BO

6.
Luminox A.0201.BO

The Luminox Black Carbon-Reinforced diver is a rugged everyday watch. With its low-key all-black aesthetic, it goes with any look from super casual to smart casual. It’s especially legible in low lighting because of its effective lume.

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Luminox is known for their use of tritium inserts, a chemical insert that provides effective and long-lasting luminescence.

The Luminox Black Carbon-Reinforced diver features that very same Swiss self-powered illumination system. The glow doesn’t need to be activated by a button and lasts a whopping 25 years. Luminox even claims it glows 100 times brighter than most luminous watches.

Design-wise, the 43mm plastic case and the textured rubber strap have a robust, chunky look. Since the entire watch is matte and black though, it’s still quite understated.

It’s water resistant at 100m and features an accurate Swiss quartz movement.

What I Like

  • The crown is easy to pull out and push in despite how small it is.

  • The lume is the most effective I’ve seen on a watch at this price point.

  • The all-black look is an understated and versatile style.

What I Don’t Like

  • The bezel has a bit of play and sounds like an old school typewriter.

What Reviewers Say

Many reviewers were surprised at how comfortable and light this watch is despite its chunkiness. In fact, many mentioned how they almost never take it off.

Almost every review praised the bright luminescence.

The Verdict

The Luminox A.0201.BO Black Carbon-Reinforced diver is a rugged everyday watch. With its low-key all-black aesthetic, it goes with any look from super casual to smart casual. It’s especially legible in low lighting because of its effective lume.

Best in Low Light
Luminox A.0201.BO

The Luminox Black Carbon-Reinforced diver is a rugged everyday watch. With its low-key all-black aesthetic, it goes with any look from super casual to smart casual. It’s especially legible in low lighting because of its effective lume.

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Most Unique: Vincero Vessel

7.
Vincero Vessel
(Get 20% off with code TAM20)

The Vessel puts a unique Vincero spin on classic dive watches. Rated at 200m water resistance and outfitted with a sapphire crystal, the Vessel marks a big leap in Vincero’s overall build quality.

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Founded as recently as 2014, Vincero is a relatively new brand. The design for their diver line, the Vincero Vessel, is one of the most unique takes I’ve seen on the classic dive watch.

It’s a stripped down design that takes quintessential dive elements, such as the unidirectional bezel, off of the case and onto its compact face.

The result is a minimalist case, with the unifying design details exclusively on the dial. The indices and hands, for example, are lined with the same color stainless steel that the brushed case is made out of.

The Vessel is a bulky, masculine wear at 44mm. While it’s definitely a sleek watch, it’s too big to fit under a sleeve and should be reserved for casual and smart casual situations.

It’s water resistant at 200m and comes in a variety of colors.

While the Vincero Vessel retails for over $200, you can use the code TAM20 for a 20% discount to get you under the mark. Vincero also offers a two-year warranty and free world-wide shipping.

What I Like

  • The bold but minimal design is unique and makes this watch stand out.

  • The bulky wear gives it a strong and versatile look that’s clean but masculine.

  • The sleek stainless steel and sophisticated dial designs elevate everyday casual looks.

What I Don’t Like

  • The dial protection is a mineral crystal, which isn’t as scratch resistant as a full sapphire.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers agree that the Vessel is beautifully designed, and unlike any traditional dive watch. Few reviewers mentioned that the top crown is a bit loose, which means you shouldn’t use this watch to actually time dives.

The Verdict

The sleek and simple design of the Vincero Vessel makes it a dynamic addition to any watch collection. I wouldn’t recommend diving with it, but it’s an undeniably cool look.

Most Unique
Vincero Vessel
(Get 20% off with code TAM20)

The Vessel puts a unique Vincero spin on classic dive watches. Rated at 200m water resistance and outfitted with a sapphire crystal, the Vessel marks a big leap in Vincero’s overall build quality.

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Best Under $50: Casio MDV106 Duro

8.
Casio MDV106-1AV 200M Duro

The Casio Duro has a classic dive look, and though it costs as little as a fashion watch, this diver features real tool qualities. If budget and style are your main concerns, this watch answers to both while giving you real functionality to boot.

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As the most affordable watch in the roundup, the Casio MDV106 Duro really hits way above its price tag. It first came out in 2011 as a back-to-basics descendant of previous Casio divers.

It features a decent lume and is water resistant at 200m. Both of these qualities are difficult to find in dive watches three times the price of the Duro.

It’s a sturdy and rugged watch, with a 44mm case and bulky resin strap. It wears thick, but it isn’t overbearing.

The Duro features a Japanese Quartz movement, and archetypical dive features like a coin edge bezel with an aluminum insert, and a mix of polished and brushed surfaces.

What I Like

  • The rugged, casual look is masculine and adventurous looking.

  • Despite how affordable it is, the Duro has a better 120-click bezel than some pricier watches.

  • It’s as high quality as a watch can be at this price.

What I Don’t Like

  • It takes a full 360-degree rotation of the crown to go from one day to the next on the face date.

What Other Reviewers Say

I’m shocked to see how many divers reviewed this watch. At $50, you’d think this was more of a “dive style” watch rather than a true diver, but it really does punch above its weight.

The Verdict

The Casio Duro has a classic dive look, and though it costs as little as a fashion watch, this diver features real tool qualities. If budget and style are your main concerns, this watch answers to both while giving you real functionality to boot.

Best Under $50
Casio MDV106-1AV 200M Duro

The Casio Duro has a classic dive look, and though it costs as little as a fashion watch, this diver features real tool qualities. If budget and style are your main concerns, this watch answers to both while giving you real functionality to boot.

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Bonus – Best Microbrand Dive Watch Under $200: Pantor Nautilus

Bonus
Pantor Nautilus

For a microbrand, the materials, finish, and design features of the Pantor Nautilus can really compete with the dives coming from bigger companies. Moreover, the Nautilus definitely costs less than comparable watches from an important brand. If you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades watch, this is your guy.

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Pantor focuses on making sure every design maximizes the efficiency of the watch at hand. With the Nautilus, they’ve built a dive watch that does just that at a very attractive price point.

Every single diver prerequisite has been stuffed into this watch including a 120-click rotating bezel, 200m water resistance, a screw down crown, and a 316L stainless steel case.

I love the turtle shell case shape and the mix of brushed and polished steel. It’s as if this watch was built by combining the best practices from every watch on this list from both a design and function perspective.

What I Like

  • The two-tone bezel is a unique eye-catching design.

  • It looks great with either the utilitarian rubber strap and a stainless steel strap.

  • This watch comes with a world-wide warranty card.

What I Don’t Like

  • The lume on the face is pretty weak.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Pantor Nautilus is one of the most popular microbrand dive watches on Amazon. The two-tone bezel versions are fan favorites, especially the blue and red variety.

The Verdict

For a microbrand, the materials, finish, and design features of the Pantor Nautilus can really compete with the dives coming from bigger companies. Moreover, the Nautilus definitely costs less than comparable watches from an important brand. If you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades watch, this is your guy.

Best Microbrand Diver Under $200
Pantor Nautilus

For a microbrand, the materials, finish, and design features of the Pantor Nautilus can really compete with the dives coming from bigger companies. Moreover, the Nautilus definitely costs less than comparable watches from an important brand. If you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades watch, this is your guy.

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Dive in!

Each of these divers really shine in their own category, so here’s an at-a-glance breakdown to help set you on the right path:

Best Overall: No matter how many times you see an Orient Mako II on a best-of list, it’ll never stop being a classic.

Orient Mako II

The Orient Mako II will check more boxes for a functionally and visually classic dive watch than any other timepiece in its price range. If you want a classic Submariner-esque automatic dive for under $200, this versatile timepiece will serve you well whether you’re in a dinner jacket or a t-shirt.

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The Seiko 5 SRPB81K, with its in-house movement, scores high on function and style as well.

Most Unique: The Vincero Vessel’s unplugged remix of the classic dive is uncommon and eye-catching. It’s a great choice for a first dive watch or as an addition to a growing collection.

Exclusive Discount Available
Vincero Vessel
(Get 20% off with code TAM20)

The Vessel puts a unique Vincero spin on classic dive watches. Rated at 200m water resistance and outfitted with a sapphire crystal, the Vessel marks a big leap in Vincero’s overall build quality.

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Best Price: The Vostok Amphibian, at less than $100, and the Casio Duro, at less than $50, are functional dives at fashion watch prices. It doesn’t hurt that they’re as stylish as fashion watches too.

Casio MDV106-1AV 200M Duro

The Casio Duro has a classic dive look, and though it costs as little as a fashion watch, this diver features real tool qualities. If budget and style are your main concerns, this watch answers to both while giving you real functionality to boot.

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Best Luminescence: It’s rare for watches in this price range to display a good lume, but the Luminox Black Carbon-Reinforced dive is an excellent exception. If you’re going to be in low lighting often, this is your watch.

Luminox A.0201.BO

The Luminox Black Carbon-Reinforced diver is a rugged everyday watch. With its low-key all-black aesthetic, it goes with any look from super casual to smart casual. It’s especially legible in low lighting because of its effective lume.

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As mentioned, the 38mm Invicta Pro Diver is great for small wrists and the Bulova 98B333 Chronograph is a dressy option for those special occasions.

The fun thing about dive watches is that they’re so diverse. As long as your latest dive is different than your last, you really can’t have too many.

FAQs

What is a dive watch?

A dive watch is a tool watch that has at least 100m of water resistance and a way to manage elapsed time.

How do you use a dive watch?

To measure elapsed time, align the zero mark on the bezel (usually indicated with a triangle) with the minute hand. This will indicate when you started timing, and make clear how much time has passed based on how far the minute hand has moved from the zero mark. 

If you want to use it to put on a 20-minute timer, you’ll first subtract 20 from 60, which is 40. You’ll then align the 40 mark on the bezel with the minute hand.

Does the watch crystal matter with a dive watch?

Dive watches need thick crystals to protect the watch face. Domed crystals help with pressure resistance. Whether the crystal is sapphire or a mineral composite doesn’t affect the watch’s imperviousness to water, just to scratches.

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