7 Best Inexpensive Dive Watches (Cheap Yet Effective)

It feels like dive watches are adding more functionality by the day and the prices are skyrocketing. However, depending on your budget, you can still find cheap dive watch options if you look around. Whenever possible, try to buy a used one from someone getting out of the sport. Here’s a list of the affordable dive watches on the market. Everyone’s budget is different so we did our best to share a wide selection of lower to mid-range options.

We made a distinction between dive watch and dive computer. That’s why you’ll see a mix of modern technology and more old-school simpler options.

Our Top Pick

Descent™ G1 Solar, Rugged Dive Computer with Solar Charging Capabilities, Multiple Dive Modes, Activity Tracking, Hurricane Blue
  • Rugged dive computer and smartwatch with a solar charging…
  • Battery life: up to 25 hours in dive mode, 4 months in…
  • GPS/GLONASS/Galileo support allows divers to mark surface…

7 Best Inexpensive Dive Watches For 2023

1. Garmin Descent G1 

Best Value Dive Watch

Descent™ G1 Solar, Rugged Dive Computer with Solar Charging Capabilities, Multiple Dive Modes, Activity Tracking, Hurricane Blue
  • Rugged dive computer and smartwatch with a solar charging…
  • Battery life: up to 25 hours in dive mode, 4 months in…
  • GPS/GLONASS/Galileo support allows divers to mark surface…

We like this watch because it has most of the bells and whistles of the more expensive Garmin dive watches for hundreds of dollars less. Solar charging is a huge plus while we’re in remote locations diving, like in Baja. You can hook it up to your phone for your dive history. Not to mention it looks sexy. The only issue about this watch is that it’s on the higher end of the affordability spectrum.

It is water-resistant up to 100 meters with shock and thermal-resistant features as well. It is excellent fishing, hunting, and exercise watch with navigation functions. You can check on route info, map out your trail and plan your fishing trip with ease, thanks to its great features.

2. Pyle Dive Watch

Cheap Dive Watch

Pyle Digital Multifunction Sports Wrist Watch – Waterproof Smart Fit Classic Men Women Water Sport Swimming Fitness Gear Tracker w/ Chronograph, Countdown, Dual Time, Diving Mode – PSNKW30BK (Black)
  • 5 MODES: The Pyle Sports Multifunction Digital Watch act as…
  • WATERPROOF DESIGN: The smart sport fitness wrist tracker…
  • UNDERWATER DIVE MODE: Automatically activates once over 1.5…

This might be the best dive watch for under $100. My buddy Bret has been using this watch for years and it’s stood up surprisingly well. It’s not going to have the crazy functionality you’d expect in the mid-range and upper-end watches, but where it lacks in functions it makes up for in simplicity.

I can’t tell you how many times my fancier watch failed during a dive because of a died battery or because of a glitch. If you want to know your depth and interval and that’s it, this watch will handle it nicely.

3. Citizen Sea Dive

Best Quartz Dive Watch

Citizen Promaster Dive Eco-Drive Watch, 3-Hand Date, ISO Certified, Luminous Hands and Markers, Rotating Bezel, Black/Stainless
  • Iconic Promaster watches with advanced functions designed to…
  • 3 Hand, Date
  • Silver-Tone Stainless Steel

Key Features

  • The Light-Powered Eco-Drive feature – converts any light to energy for power reserve.
  • It does not need any batteries; it’s charged forever
  • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial for a clear and crisp display
  • It comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel, stainless steel band
  • With an adjustable buckle closure
  • With luminous hands and a convenient date display
  • One of the best budget diver watches for recreational scuba diving

The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster has a unique power cell that converts all types of light to energy to keep it working forever. It can work to 200 meters, and you can wear it while fishing, snorkeling, diving, or swimming.

The Eco-Drive Promaster comes with a generous 5-year warranty that gives you more value for your money. Works like top-notch blue dial ones.

4. Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic

Affordable Dive Watch

Tissot Men’s Seastar 660/1000 Stainless Steel Casual Watch Black T1204071704100
  • Case Size: 43.00 millimeters, Bandwidth: 21 millimeters,…
  • Swiss automatic movement, 316L stainless steel case, Index…
  • Rubber bracelet, standard buckle closure

Key Features

  • Stunning stainless steel case, mineral crystal display
  • Durable bracelet with traditional buckle closure
  • One of the best divers watches 300 meters (1000 feet) water resistance
  • With automatic movements

The Tissot Seastar is a stainless steel men’s watch that runs on Swiss automatic movement. It’s a great watch made of 316L stainless steel and a strong rubber bracelet, with water resistance up to 300 meters with 30 bar pressure.

You can wear this when you swim or snorkel; with its large hands and hour markers, you’ll be able to see it even underwater easily. This is for watch enthusiasts and is comparable to a Seiko dive watch and Invicta watches.

5. Casio G-Shock Frogman

Rugged Dive Watch

Key Features

  • It can work up to 200 meters
  • It comes with shock-resistant and magnetic-resistant features
  • Removable, changeable bands
  • Digital date and day display
  • With a very durable, adjustable rubber bracelet

The Casio G-Shock is among the best divers’ watches as it’s made from identical materials. With water-resistance features, shock-resistant, and solar-powered, it will work as long as you use it.

This versatile watch has a large digital display with an alarm, light, and different modes, even like other automatic watches.

6. RONSTAN ClearStart™ 50mm Sailing Watch

Basic Dive Watch

Ronstan ClearStart Watch 50mm Black
  • Race Mode: Multiple start sequence options – World Sailing…
  • Ronstan’ s ClearStart race timer and watches combine…
  • They feature large buttons, easy to read displays and…

Key Features

  • This is waterproof up to 50 meters
  • It can be used as an alarm, stopwatch, lap timer, and more
  • This is made from very durable silicone with a plastic case
  • Large digital display
  • You can select from different colors

Take the Ronstan ClearStart during fishing and sailing trips. It is waterproof up to 50 meters and comes with an alarm, stopwatch, and lap timer features.

The ClearStart has a large, easy-to-see digital display and is available in black, blue, and red. Thanks to its durable silicon band material among budget dive watches, it fits comfortably on your wrist.

7. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Sailhawk Quartz Watch 

Best Classic Dive Watch

Citizen Men’s Promaster Sailhawk Eco-Drive Watch, Yacht Racing Timer, Chronograph, Polyurethane Strap, Dual-Time, Analog/ Digital Times, Luminous Hands and Markers, Orange
  • The timepiece isn’t just stylish, however — it is packed…
  • Yacht Racing Timer, World Time in 30 Cities, 1/100 Second…
  • Silver-Tone Stainless Steel

Key Features

  • Steel  44mm casing and comes with a watch stand
  • Uses Eco-Drive, which converts all light sources to energy so you’ll have more than an hour of power reserve
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window and the best dive computer
  • Time-keeping features for 30 cities around the world
  • With a screw-down crown and date window
  • With unidirectional bezel
  • With split time, countdown timer, and alarm features
  • This is water-resistant up to 200 meters or 660 feet
  • You can change the bracelet to a stainless steel bracelet

The Citizen Eco-Drive is for professional water activities like swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. It is stylish and functional so you can use it as a casual wristwatch. Seiko dive watches are also versatile watches with many features.

The sapphire and mineral glass on it never run out of power forever, thanks to its efficient Eco-Drive feature.  It is comparable to the Rolex Submariner and Seiko’s best dive watches.

best inexpensive dive watch
Source: Canva Pro

Things to Consider When Buying Dive Watches

Mechanical vs. Digital vs. Quartz

Many types of affordable diving watches are mechanical watches. There are also digital watches and  Japanese quartz movement watches.

If you prefer a classic-style watch, a mechanical or a quartz-style watch is for you. But a digital watch is the best choice if you want a large display and easy-to-read watch info.

Placement & Strapping on the Wrist

Other divers’ watch models come with a rubber strap, while some come with nylon bands. The type of strap depends on your preference or which one is more comfortable for you.

Get a push-button deployment clasp or anything that fits you best.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

A waterproof watch is best for deep diving and rough water activities. In contrast, other dive watches with water-resistant features can only go a limited depth.

Water-resistant watches cannot be used for diving. The most expensive dive watches are waterproof watches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a dive watch?

Suppose you’re an angler who fishes in deep waters or indulges in underwater fishing. Soor recreational divers, need a watch to keep them informed of the water’s depth and keep track of time and other helpful information.
But you may still choose your luxury watches options from the watch industry. A deep blue nato diver option or dive computers of your choice are among the best ones, too.

Is helium buildup a problem?

Helium molecules settle and build up inside a diving watch, which can damage it. This is why some expensive divers’ watches come with a helium escape valve.
This valve protects the watch by releasing helium molecules during decompression. Meaning the material and how much your watch weighs matters.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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