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10 Best Dive Watches for Under $100 [2023 Full Review]

Casio Duro MDV - Banner for - Best Dive Watches for Under $100 - Image Copyright Amazon

The humble dive watch can be seen on the wrists of seasoned collectors and young teens alike. The reason why this tool watch is so popular is because it’s rather honest about what it does. You can expect a larger case, fitting with contemporary taste, a dive unidirectional bezel, where you’ll often see the subtle use of colour, and a price range much lower than whichever Perpetual Calendar that’s been on your dream list for years. 

Personally, I’m a great fan of a good diver. Great value for money and designs that are fun, what’s not to love? 

We’ll be looking at the 10 Best affordable dive watches for under $100 available at retail in 2023, and we might give an honourable mention to those pieces worth looking at on the second-hand market. But, of course, the price range isn’t the only factor at play. Quality, materials, movements used, and overall design all play huge parts in deciding on a timepiece. One of these might even end up being your first dive watch, in case your local AD is withholding ‘your’ Rolex Submariner

The Top Picks

When considering the segment, you’ll come across a host of different watches taking different approaches to the same watch genre. We’ve whittled down the competitors. The top three affordable dive watches for under $100 are the Casio MDV Duro Analog for its ability to hit all the notes while also being a cult classic. The Vostok Amphibia (just a smidge over $100) is exceptional thanks to being an affordable automatic watch with a host of different options. And in third place, we have the Timex Men’s Harborside because of its timeless design and low entry price. 

WatchSize (Diameter)Movement Case ConstructionWater Resistance Rating
Casio MDV Duro Analog44mmQuartzStainless Steel Case w/ Black Resin Band 200m 
Vostok Amphibia39mmVostok 2416Stainless Steel Case w/ Black Rubber Band 200m
Timex Men’s Harborside 42mmQuartz Silver and blue brass case 50m 
Casio Men’s GA-110 XL Series55mmQuartz Resin case and strap 200m
BERNY Automatic Mechanical Dive Watch42mmMiyota 8205Stainless Steel Case w/ Silicone Strap 200m
Invicta Pro Diver Blue Carbon Fiber Dial 47mmQuartzStainless Steel Case w/ Three- Link Bracelet 200m
Stuhrling Original Men’s Watches Dive Watch42mmQuartzStainless Steel Case w/ Three-Link Bracelet 100m
Xonix Men Sports Digital Watch WR100M44mDigitalResin case and strap 100m 
Casio Analog MWA100H-1A2V50.6mm Quartz Resin and stainless steel case, and resin strap 
Stuhrling Oceana Quartz 42mm Diver42mm Quartz Stainless steel case and three-link Bracelet 100m

10 Best Affordable Divers

#1: Casio MDV Duro Analog

  • Size: 44mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case and Strap Material: Stainless Steel Case w/ Black Resin Band 
  • Water Resistance: 200m

You’ll be able to spot the Casio MDV Duro on the wrist of a 7th grader as well as on billionaire Bill Gates. The Duro has a cult-like following thanks to its straightforward and no-nonsense approach to being a dive watch. 

Casio Duro MDV worn by Bill Gates - Illustration for Dive Watches for Under $100
Casio Duro MDV worn by Bill Gates – Source

Sporting a reasonable 44mm case size with polished steel elements matched with a resin strap, the timepiece would suit most wrists and offers a classic look. You get reliability and ease of mind thanks to the quartz movement within, and, of course, being a classic diver, you get a unidirectional rotating dive bezel that comes in various colour configurations like blue/black and red/blue. Pricing varies depending on which configuration you go for, but typically priced below $60, and whether you’re doing desk or real diving, it’s certainly the best option on this list. 

Top Pick
Casio MDV 106-1AV 200M Duro Black
$74.95 $49.92
  • Comes in various colour configurations and is a cult classic
  • The Japanese Quartz movement provides accurate timekeeping
  • Price range has increased due to the popularity
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 06:27 pm GMT

#2: Vostok Amphibia

  • Size: 39mm
  • Movement: Vostok 2416
  • Case and Strap Material: Stainless Steel Case w/ Black Rubber Band   
  • Water Resistance: 200m

From a cult classic to an ever more loved model, the Vostok Amphibia. The Amphibia has been around for a long time (since 1967) and while it’s slightly more than $100 it’s also one of two automatic watches on the list. Originally, the watch was created to answer a challenge by upper suits in the Chistopol watch factory to create a watch with 200 meters of water resistance and the associated changes in pressure and temperature. You can read more about this in under 2mins through this article: The Vostok Amphibia – Reinventing the Dive Watch

Today, the Amphibia comes in various dial and strap configurations to suit your individual needs. Inside the 200m waterproof steel case beats the Miyota 8205 calibre, and most options feature a graded unidirectional rotating dive bezel as well. Some have complained these are not as ‘high quality’ as the forums would have you believe, but the Vostok Amphibian has always been about value rather than keeping up with luxury brands.

Vostok Amphibia 710059 Scuba Dude Automatic
  • Automatic timepiece
  • Various configurations available, each with a 200m water-resistance rating
  • Some complain the build quality isn’t worth the very low price
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 05:23 pm GMT

#3: Timex Men’s Harborside 

  • Size: 42mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case and Strap Material: Silver and blue brass case 
  • Water Resistance: 50m

Alright, so 50 m water resistance might not classify as a ‘true dive watch’, but if you like the classic diver style, this Timex Men’s Harborside is the one to get. A timeless design with tapered lugs and smooth crown guards, the Harborside might be more focused on appearance than diving, but again, most of us aren’t looking for the Titanic. 

A vast host of configurations are listed – some in a bi-tone finish while others take a stealthy approach with a ‘Low Lead Brass’ case. A quartz movement takes care of timekeeping duties and an anodized aluminum inlay on the rotating dive bezel allows you to track the time you spend diving (or waiting in line at Starbucks)… 

Timex TW2R64500 Harborside Tan/Blue Leather Strap
$85.00 $73.95
  • A beautiful and timeless design
  • Offered on a strap or bracelet and in different colours
  • Merely 50m of water resistance
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 05:28 pm GMT

#4: Casio Men’s GA-110 XL Series 

  • Size: 55mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case and Strap Material: Resin case and strap 
  • Water Resistance: 200m

If you think we could get through this list without mentioning a G-Shock you were sorely mistaken, my friend. The G-Shock is certainly a timepiece that lives up to the ‘iconic’ moniker we throw around in the watch world – and for good reason.  

Sporting an analogue and digital display with several features like a world-timer function, a stopwatch, and a LED light which you would actually use at 200m depth. This particular reference features a subtle black design with red accents for some added drama, if you will, for when a 55 mm case diameter wasn’t attention-grabbing enough. 

Casio GA-110 XL Series G-Shock 200M WR Shock Resistant
$120.00 $107.90
  • One of the most durable watches on the market
  • 200m of water resistance and built-in LED light make it the perfect diver
  • It’s a sizable piece at 55mm and the style isn’t ‘sleek’ by any measure
  • No steel band options
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 05:57 pm GMT

#5: BERNY Automatic Mechanical Dive Watch

  • Size: 42mm 
  • Movement: Miyota 8205
  • Case and Strap Material: Stainless Steel Case w/ Silicone Strap 
  • Water Resistance: 200m

A compression diver is a beautiful type of diver that we rarely see these days, and that’s a shame, really. The romantic idea that your bezel is protected by the crystal and seeing it react to your adjustment of the crown is just beautiful. Moreover, these configurations usually reserve a high entry point unless you opt for the Berny Automatic Mechanical Dive Watch. 

Firstly, we have another automatic movement on the list! Within 42mm steel case beats the Miyota 8205 movement, which displays time, day, and date window. Some claim if you need to know the date while diving, you’re probably screwed. Me? I like it. 

A black, white, and yellow dial is offered; each has a waffle pattern on the dial’s centre, while the inner rotating dive bezel dominates the perimeter. Above all, a 200m water resistance. Priced at just under $100, this is certainly one you might want to consider and a great option for those looking for a cost-effective automatic diver.  

BERNY Automatic Dive Watch Yellow Dial
  • The only compression diver on the list
  • Inner rotating dive bezel can be slightly safer for timing dives
  • Several colour options are available
  • The Miyota 8205 isn’t the most accurate movement on the market
  • It barely slips on the list at $99
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 06:03 pm GMT

#6: Invicta Men’s 12563 Pro Diver Blue Carbon Fiber Dial

  • Size: 47mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case and Strap Material: Stainless Steel Case w/ Three- Link Bracelet 
  • Water Resistance: 200m 

Back to classic dive configurations, we have the Pro Diver Blue Carbon Fiber Dial from Invicta. A polished steel case matched with a three-link bracelet, a graded rotating dive bezel, and an extremely legible dial finished with luminous material. Check! 

Various configurations are available, ranging from blue for those with a sporty demeanour while the black might be more subtle. The quartz movement takes care of timekeeping duties and even displays a date aperture behind a cyclops at the three o’clock position. Overall, a masculine design that won’t look out of place with jeans and a T-shirt or while in the pool. 

Invicta12559 Pro Diver Blue Carbon Fiber
  • Hits all the markers for a classic diver
  • The addition of a date function along with Cyclops improves utility
  • Even by contemporary standards, this is a very large case at 47mm
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 06:10 pm GMT

#7: Stuhrling Original Men’s Watches Dive Watch

  • Size: 42mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case and Strap Material: Stainless Steel Case w/ Three- Link Bracelet 
  • Water Resistance: 100m 

The Stuhrling Original Men’s Dive Watch is a classic configuration, but what sets it apart is the use of smooth lugs and crown guards. A blue dial is elevated with the use of bright orange on the second hand and along the 0 – 15 minute track on the unidirectional rotating dive bezel. 

The 100m water-resistant steel case is matched with a three-link bracelet with a push button deployant safety clasp. Inside the 42mm case is a highly accurate Miyota quartz movement displaying time and date, and a 100m water resistance might not be on par with other offerings on the list, but it certainly is good enough for most. 

Stuhrling Dive Watch 42 MM Case with Screw Down Crown
$195.00 $59.99
  • Bi-tone bezel allows for more accurate timing
  • Better options at this price point
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 05:44 pm GMT

#8: Xonix Men Sports Digital Watch WR100M

  • Size: 44mm 
  • Movement: Digital 
  • Case and Strap Material: Resin case and strap 
  • Water Resistance: 100m

If you prefer your divers more futuristic and leaning more towards contemporary technology, look no further than the XONIX Digital Watch. Interestingly, it’s rated at 100m water resistance which is a surprise for these kinds of pieces. 

Don’t expect a thick rotating bezel here; you get a 44m case dominated by the large dial. There are a few options available, each with a different crystal colour. The watch’s functionality is pretty admirable for the price point, as you have a stopwatch, alarm, and chiming function. Could be useful while diving – cannot claim how loud the chime is, but it might work. 

XONIX Digital Watch
  • Offers a look that fits with the contemporary liking of technology
  • Offers a chime with the alarm function
  • Not as durable or resistant as other options on the list
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 05:33 pm GMT

#9: Casio Analog MWA100H-1A2V

  • Size: 50.6mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case and Strap Material: Resin and stainless steel case, and resin strap 
  • Water Resistance: 100m

This is the last Casio on the list, I promise. That said, they’re just that good. The MWA100H-1A2V is a highly legible no-nonsense diver with a thick fixed steel bezel. Three dial configurations with different dial and hand options are available, but each has plenty of lume to help you while at depth. 

The large diameter of 50.6mm might throw some people off but only adds to the legibility. Matched with a resin strap the watch is fairly wearable and has a somewhat integrated look. It looks extremely well-finished, contrasting with the brushed case and polished bezel. The eagle-eyed will notice the screws in the bezel, similar to what you’d see in high horology – only this one won’t cost you a downpayment on a home. 

Casio Illuminator Heavy Duty Metal Bezel MWA100H-1A2V Silver-Tone
$42.95 $28.93
  • Screw-down steel bezel offers extreme toughness
  • Time-only dial increases legibility
  • Quite large at 50.6mm
  • No steel band options
Shop Now on Amazon
12/07/2023 05:38 pm GMT

#10: Stuhrling Oceana Quartz 42mm Diver

  • Size: 42mm
  • Movement: Quartz 
  • Case and Strap Material: Stainless steel case and three-link Bracelet 
  • Water Resistance: 100m 

Last on the list is about as classic as they get. Steel case, steel bracelet, and a steel rotating bezel. There are a few different options available, ranging from a grey bezel to bi-tone versions. All the bezels are all-grained with a sandblasted texture. A Mercedes handset and a polished three-link bracelet dial up the dressiness of the piece, allowing the wearer to sport this in the pool or at the office. To top it all off, you have 100m of water resistance to keep your quartz movement safe. 

Stührling Oceana Quartz 42mm Diver
$95 - Offer Price
  • Perfectly sized for a diver
  • Can be dressed up depending on which configuration you go for
  • While 100m of water resistance is great, others on the list offer more
Shop Now on Stührling

How to Choose the Right Diver? 

Before clicking that buy button, there are several factors to consider. Some of these are more important than others. However, their importance depends on you. If you prefer aesthetics over utility, you might look at something like the Timex. If you want to go anywhere and everywhere with your diver, then a G-Shock is the perfect watch for you.

Maximum Depth

Maximum depth (or depth rating) is, surprise, what usually sets divers apart from other timepieces. While other watches may be catching up, a diver is supposed to be able to go further and for longer. 

That said, most of us rarely ever reach the depth our watches can do. How many folks do you know that actually go diving? For most of us, a 100m rating is perfectly fine. Factors like a screw-down will increase this rating and bring its own robust nature to the design.


This is probably the factor most people look at first and foremost. Divers tend to be large and robust in nature, and who can blame ‘em? They’re supposed to withstand the depths of the ocean, and based on what I saw on National Geographic, everything down there tends to be large. 

Ocean Ramsey with shark in She Is The Ocean trailer
American diver Ocean Ramsey swimming with shark – Source

A larger size is due to a thicker case, more gaskets, and a large crystal. This size also helps the wearer see what’s on the watch at depth. It’s pretty dark down there, so a highly legible dial (and bezel) is needed. 

When considering divers, take note that, more often than not, a lot of the size will be taken up by the bezel. Unlike a pilot’s watch that has a thin bezel, these usually need to help you time your dives. Thus, they are thicker and can rotate. This does take real estate from the dial, and you might be surprised when seeing the watch in person that the dial is quite small. 


Unlike what you might see in a Rolex or Audemars catalogue, divers were usually only made from steel. Utilitarianism was the only way to go, and that meant you needed steel. Nobody cares about your flashy precious metal at 300m below sea level. 

Fast forward a couple of years, and we have the introduction of various different configurations. No longer are you reserved for black and blue or simple steel construction. You have bi-tone options, different dial colours, and (in higher-end pieces) some options made from solid gold. Boujiee. 

For most of us, steel is perfectly good. Some more robust pieces might have rubber inlays on the bezel and strap, while others are completely made from rubber. This is more of a design and taste factor – at this price point. The conversation changes slightly once you start comparing steel vs titanium or bronze. Also, if you can, get a sapphire crystal, but if you can’t, don’t let purists bully you.  


As mentioned, these timepieces were made to be used. I often refer to these as ‘the Land Cruisers’ of the watch world. Hear me out. They’re large, made from steel, have massive buttons, and have a cult-like following. More modern options are more luxurious, but a truck version is always nearby to help you trek across Africa or through a river. 

Duro lume
Casio Duro MDV Lume – Source

Legibility plays a huge role when it comes to diving. Just like the Land Cruiser has large buttons which you can operate with gloves on, you should be able to read and use your diver in the darker environment several hundred feet underwater.

Strap and Clasp Options 

I’ve spoken to a few divers, and while most use computers on their wrists while underwater, those that do sport a diver watch all have one thing to say, how it sits on the wrist matters. 

These folks are wearing thick suits and moving around in an environment in which you can barely see. The ability to wear the watch over a diving suit is a great plus, however, is only needed by those who actually go diving. What’s more important to us regular folk is the clasp. Each of us has our own preference for style and usability, but a clasp offering several micro-adjustments will beat one that does not each and every day of the week. 

Mechanical vs Quartz vs Digital

You may have noticed me going on about how nice it is to see a mechanical movement ‘at this pricepoint’ early on, and you might have wondered what exactly I meant. As I was getting into watches initially, I could never understand what the fuss was all about, but as time went on, I started seeing the benefits and drawbacks each movement type offers. 


A mechanical movement is a movement in a watch that is not powered by electricity. It is rather powered by movement or kinetic energy that is converted and then stored inside a tightly wound balance wheel. This balance wheel will then slowly wind down, providing the energy needed for the watch to work. 

Automatic Self winding mechanical movement from Rolex
Self-winding mechanical (Automatic) movement from Rolex – Source

There are two main types, namely self-winding and manually wound. The former uses a rotor on the back of the movement to convert the natural movement of your arm into stored energy. These are far more common in the horology world than the alternative, which is a manually wound movement, which requires you to wind the watch with the use of the screw-down crown in the case of a diver. The winding winds the balance wheel and then releases the energy in a timely fashion. 

Russian Manual finished watch movement
Manual Wind Example – Source


  • You have unlimited energy as long as you can move or wind the watch 
  • Sometimes, these movements are displayed through the sapphire caseback and can be beautiful to behold 
  • Offers a smooth running seconds hand (a novelty, really) 
  • Buys into the ‘romantic’ idea of watches (another novelty) 


  • Are not nearly as accurate as quartz movements, as some mechanical movements might be off by +- 30 seconds per day 
  • Require a service every few years, which can be expensive 
  • Are prone to wear and tear, especially if you bang the watch a lot 
  • Has a power reserve that is dwarfed by the battery life of a quartz option 
  • Incredibly expensive to produce in the first place 


Quartz movements have been around since the 70s, and essentially, these work with electricity. A current is produced by a battery that oscillates (vibrates) a quartz crystal at 32768 times per second. A microchip circuit converts this oscillation to regular electric pulses, one per second. This energy is then converted into mechanical energy by a miniature electric stepping motor that drives the hands.

Miyota caliber 6S21 quartz chronograph movement
Miyota calibre 6S21 quartz chronograph movement

These are far more common in the world because they are multiple times cheaper to produce and are also far more accurate than mechanical movements. Lastly, instead of a smooth seconds hand motion, you get the tick-tock we are all familiar with. 


  • Offer an affordable price compared to mechanical movements (Tens of dollars vs hundreds of dollars) 
  • Typically, more accurate over a month than a mechanical movement is over a day 
  • Slightly more resistant to impact compared to a mechanical movement 
  • Does not require a service and the battery life is typically rated at a few years 
  • Certain companies have combined this technology with solar energy, providing a quartz watch that charges its battery with sunlight 


  • If you run out of battery, you are left without time until you replace it 
  • Some folks ‘look down’ on these movements 
  • Are still prone to wear and tear if you smash the watch too much

Digital Movements 

Last on the list is also the version you probably see every single day. While many assume the Apple Watch or some other sports watch is the first to offer digital timekeeping on your wrist, the technology goes back to the 70s with the Hamilton Pulsar. To learn more about Hamilton check out our article titled: Everything You Need To Know About Hamilton Watches

Screenshot 2023 06 19 at 20.09.08
The Pulsar Time Computer, 1970 – Source

As the name suggests, a digital watch displayed the time and other functions through an LCD screen. These types of watches do hold a massive market share in the industry, however, many collectors do not view these as ‘real watches’. 

Digital watches can use a quartz system as mentioned above, or they simply use AC power. Typically, not always, watches that have an array of functions and need to be plugged in to charge are of the AC variant. 


  • Essentially a computer on your wrist 
  • Some have a nice vintage feel and aesthetic to them 
  • Doesn’t require a service and are not as expensive as mechanical options 
  • Far more resistant to bumps due to fewer moving parts 
  • Battery life can be quite long, depending on the model 
  • Some have interesting complications like a step tracker and can connect to your mobile device to deliver texts and emails 


  • The battery life on some models barely makes it to the end of the day 
  • Are sometimes styled for aesthetics rather than robustness and are very prone to wear and tear on the case    
  • If the screen cracks the entire watch loses its functionality 
  • While they do not require services, some require electronic updates 


What is the minimum depth for a dive watch?

There is technically not a minimum rated depth for watches to classify as dive watches as most watch companies cannot agree on this. Some companies (and individuals) maintain that merely 10ATM is needed for a watch to classify as a diver since most folks never actually go diving and that’s more than enough for a dive in the pool. 

Others will not let go of the idea that you need at least 20ATM as well as other diver features (rotating bezel, helium escape valve, etc) before you can call your timepiece a diver. 

Can you wear a dive watch every day?

Of course. While some divers are certainly too cumbersome to be worn on a daily basis, most divers have become quite compact and offer a great wearing experience. Typically, the attributes that would keep you from wearing your Diver daily include a case that’s either too large or too thick or a bezel and crown that’s so large it becomes impractical as an everyday watch. 

Can you dive with a 200m watch?

Again, this depends. Some companies list their watches as having 200m of water resistance when it barely makes that, and they surely cannot withstand it for long. Other companies are quite humble and list 200m while they’ve proven its capable of double that. 

While the rating can be intriguing, it’s best to base how you’ll be using your watch on certifications given to the timepiece. If it’s certified by companies that test these watches as an independent company you could take the watch to the number rater. 

However, if you do a bit of digging on forums, most divers would not dive with a 200m watch. Most opt for at least 500m.

Is 50M water resistant OK for swimming?

Barely. While it’s slightly better than a 30m rating, it would not be a good idea to take a 50m watch swimming. This rating is best kept for everyday use and should be treated as water-resistant rather than waterproof. You could handle splashes here and there while washing your hands, but nothing more. You can check out our previous article titled: Water Resistance In Watchmaking: Everything You Need To Know for everything you need to know about this.

water resistance chart

Is G-Shock a dive watch?

That depends; what do you classify as a diver? If you form part of NAVY Seals units that actually use the G-Shock while doing marine missions, then sure, the G-Shock is a dive watch. It offers more than enough water resistance and robustness to withstand the pressure of diving. Furthermore, it usually offers a stopwatch function and various other tricks that come in handy while diving. 

Do divers still use dive watches?

Rarely. Divers have mostly switched to computers and other methods to track their scuba diving expeditions. This might seem sad, but the computers offer more than a dive watch could unless you only dive for fun.  

main qimg 8f491ddc649fcfb101832793cd61591e lq
Dive Computer – Source

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Ten divers priced at below $100 (sorry, around $100 – let’s not forget about the Vostok!) that’ll look great on your wrist as you sit by the pool or at your desk. The dive watch has come down from its position as a tool and can be seen as a fashion piece. That said, the utilitarian roots still matter, and for some of us who do take a dip in the pool now and then, this matters. 

Take great care when doing research on your next purchase. It’s important to consider more than just the size and style. Look at what the functionality offers and how it will blend in with your lifestyle. No need for a bulky piece if the only water you face is the shower. Then again, if you do encounter a few waves while surfing, then 50m of water-resistance won’t be enough.