8 of the best Black Dive Watches for every budget
James Elliott2 September 2021 | 7 min read
If you’re looking for a dive watch, the chances are that you’ll come across a lot of black models. In fact, the vast majority of dive watches have a black dial and are by far the most popular colour dive watch on the market.
In this article, we’re going to pull out eight of our favourite black dial dive watches to give you an insight into the best models to buy at all price points. We’ll compare each watch on its specs, design, price and diving credentials to help you make your next dive watch purchase.
But, before we get into that. Let’s start by understanding why black is such a popular colour for dive watches.
Why is black so popular for dive watches?
Type ‘dive watch’ into Google, and the majority of the results will show a very similar look and feel. Large black dials with big rotating bezels and large white/silver lume covered markings.
It’s a pretty standard formula no matter which brand you end up going for. But why is the black dial so popular?
- Readability. Especially when diving to depths of 50m+, conditions start to get dark and colour fades away. For this reason, having a black dial with contrasted white markings makes dive watches easy to read. Ultimately, when you’re keeping track of your time underwater, there’s nothing more important than being able to read your watch, so dive fans don’t risk it with bright coloured dials.
- Style. Many people wear dive watches even when they’re not in the water, and black dial watches are great for matching with anything. Black dive watches are very stylish and look great on the wrist even when you’re on dry land.
Compared with other popular watch colours such as white, a black dial is just so much better for a dive watch which is why it’s so popular with watch fans.
8 Black dive watches to check out: budget, mid-range, and luxury
Budget dive watches in black ($50 – $300)
To get us started, we’ve pulled out an entry-level black dial diver from a classic watch brand in Casio. If you’re looking for a quintessential dive watch on a budget, this is definitely the watch for you.
This 44m piece combines all the ingredients of a good dive watch. A slick black dial, big hands and hour markers, loads of lume, and a uni-directional, notch edged bezel. It also comes with a black rubber strap that’s comfortable on the wrist and looks great.
Additional features such as a mineral crystal, 200m of water resistance and a date window make it a great all-rounder for taking diving too. To top it all off, at just $70, it’s super cheap and a great way to get your hands on a simple and stylish black dive watch for well under $100.
For those looking for a cheap watch that not only looks great but delivers an automatic movement, we’d recommend the Orient Mako II. At Watch & Bullion, we love Orient as they nail creating high-quality watches for a budget price.
The Mako II is relatively small for a diver at just 41mm, which will appeal to those with smaller wrists. The black dial is paired with a combination of large numbers and arrow tip markers, with the dial also featuring a day/date window.
The real selling point of this watch is the movement, with the Mako II sporting a Cal.F6922 automatic movement delivering 40 hours of power reserve. 200m of water resistance, a mineral crystal and a uni-directional bezel round of the $130 package. For that price, you won’t find a better automatic dive watch anywhere on the market!
Read also: Mako II vs Ray II
The last of our budget black dive watches comes from the excellent Citizen Promaster range. If you haven’t come across the range before, Citizen has created many great dive watches that look great and offer supreme dive performance on a budget.
This model specifically (BN0150-28E) has a true diver’s look and feel to it, with the large 44m case, black dial and circular hour markers matched with a luminous orange minutes hand.
Citizen’s Eco-Drive movement harnesses the power of light to help you keep accurate time for longer and is an excellent addition to this dive watch. 200m of water resistance, a strong mineral crystal, a screw-down crown and a rubber strap also contribute to a $280 watch that’s perfect for serious divers on a budget.
Mid range dive watches in black ($500 – $1k)
As we move into the mid-range price bracket, we start to see the quality of the watches increase. The Seiko Prospex range is another great collection of diving watches that appeal to those looking to do some serious diving.
The SNJ027 ‘Tuna’ model combines the universally popular ‘Pepsi’ bezel with the classic black dial and highly lumed up hands and markings. This watch also features an integrated digital display, making it even easier to keep track of your time underwater.
Talking of being underwater, the PADI approval gives divers the confidence that this watch is certified by diving instructors all the way down to 200m. Those looking for a great black dive watch will love this model from Seiko and can get their hands on their very own Tuna for just $335.
We stay with Seiko’s Prospex range for our fifth pick of black dive watches, this time pulling out the SRPB55 Black Ion model.
This is a dive watch for those who want to look stylish on dry land and in the water. The 44mm piece looks dark and mysterious with its black and gold finish but remains a very functional dive watch despite its good looks.
200m of water resistance and a Hardlex crystal ensure the automatic movement inside the watch is well protected and that the 41 hours of power reserve can keep delivering hour-after-hour.
If you like the look on the Seiko Prospex Black Ion, you can get your hands on your own for around $380. For that, you’re getting a very classy but highly functional black dive watch with a powerful automatic movement and high-quality construction – what’s not to like?
The last of our mid-range picks comes from the Swiss brand Hamilton. Their Khaki range is super popular, sporting a range of models across the dress, field and dive watch genres. The Navy Scuba is their dive offering, and boy does it offer up a lot.
With this watch, you’re into the dive/dress watch hybrid territory. Whilst you get all the components of a great dive watch, the dial is smart and clean enough to look great on the wrist for any occasion.
The watch is 40 mm in size and sports a sapphire crystal, automatic Swiss movement, rotating bezel and 100m of water resistance. It may not be the most powerful diver on the market, but it’s a very stylish and high-quality watch from one of the leading mid-range Swiss brands.
If you like what you see, the Hamilton Navy Scuba will set you back around $600. At that price, you’re getting a great black dial dive watch that’s oozing with class and sophistication.
Luxury dive watches in black ($1k+)
Now we’re getting serious as we move on to our two luxury picks. Tudor is well known for being Rolex’s sister company and does a fantastic job of emulating many of the characteristics that make Rolex so great.
The Black Bay is Tudor’s leading dive watch range, with loads of different models out there to suit different tastes. The standard Black Bay below comes in at 41mm and combines a black dial with gold features to create a really classy watch.
Naturally, a watch at this level is packed with top specs. The movement is a certified chronometer, so you know you’re getting super-accurate timekeeping. That engineering is protected by a sapphire crystal and is rated to 200m – perfect for most divers!
If you’d like to get your hands on a real piece of Swiss luxury, the Black Bay is setting you back around $3,600. For that price, you really are getting something special that’ll not only impress your friends but perform superbly through any dive.
To finish up, we’ve picked out one of the most loved and sought after dive watches of all time, the Omega Seamaster.
The back ceramic dial is instantly recognisable thanks to Omega’s wave patterning, with the mixture of circular and rectangular markings and the hollowed hands creating a timeless design. The large bezel is super easy to read and feels great through every click.
This watch isn’t just great to look at but performs well during a dive too. With 300m of water resistance, it’s an excellent watch for taking to the depths, with the helium escape valve delivering exceptional underwater performance.
We’d recommend looking into the history and specs of the Omega Seamaster in a little more detail as it truly is a fantastic watch. At around $4,900 brand new, it’s a big investment, but one we think is well worth it. If you’re comparing black dive watches, there aren’t many better than the Omega Seamaster.
Black dive watches are one of the most popular types of watches on the market. Whether you’re heading to the depths of the seas or just want something that looks great on the wrist, the good news is there are loads to choose from.
Our eight picks really are just a drop in the ocean, so take a look around online to find the black dive watch that’s perfect for you!