Best Dive Watches Under $500 by Extropian

Best watches
Dive watch
Summer watches
Travel watches
Under $500
Swiss Watch Company (SWC)
Best Dive Watches Under $500 by Extropian

With summer just around the corner, lots of us are looking forward to some water sports. So, what better time to look at some of the great Dive watches on the market right now. And don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank to score one of these beauties – we’re keeping our selection at less than $500 without sacrificing the specs you’d expect from a decent diver!

Aerotec – Forte ti Dive ($399)

Founded in 2016, Aerotec has built a reputation producing affordable retro-vintage mechanical tool watches. Inspired by the Iconic Porsche Design Ocean 200 from the ‘70s, the Forte is a highly distinctive package whose slim profile and unusual bezel really make it stand out from most other divers. Featuring a bead-blasted Titanium case, screw-down crown, sand-textured dial, and the brand’s signature caseback with a small sapphire window, this is a versatile watch with lots of personality. This is one to wear every day, not just when you’re in the water!

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Borealis – Bull Shark V2 ($325)

Although inspired by a classic vintage Diver, the Rolex 6538 from 1953 (which is no longer in production), the Bull Shark is no mere homage, but a terrific watch in its own right. The finishing is first rate, with a satin brushed Stainless-steel case and polished chamfer on the sides giving its subtle curves a surprisingly elegant look. It also features a 120-click bezel with high-gloss ceramic insert and fully-lumed markers, a double-domed sapphire crystal, and a range of dial and handset options. Oh yes, it’s also water resistant to 300m just in case you were wondering!

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HELM – Khuraburi ($300)

HELM’s watches all share a bold, clear, modernist design that sets them apart from a lot of the retro/homage watches on the market today. The Nereide is no exception, featuring a very distinctive dial with bold, chunky indices and thick sword hands (all fully-lumed for maximum legibility at any depth). And, of course, it has everything you’d expect from a quality Diver, including a 316L Stainless-steel (or grade 2 Titanium) case and bracelet, a screw-down crown and caseback, sapphire crystals, 300m water resistance, and 40-hour power reserve. Let’s be honest, these are great specs for something in this price range!

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Lorier – Neptune Series IV ($499)

New York-based Lorier has established a solid reputation for creating versatile timepieces blending a classic vintage-inspired aesthetic with the best in modern engineering. The Neptune is their signature Diver, making a nod to the iconic watches worn by mid-century icons like James Bond and Jacques Cousteau with its classic dimensions, dial design, gilt details, flat link bracelet, and Hesalite crystal. But it’s not all about how good it looks. It also boasts a 316L marine-grade Stainless-steel case, a 120-click bezel, screw-down crown, and 200m water resistance.

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RZE – Endeavour ($459)

RZE specializes in Titanium tool watches with a modern, minimalist aesthetic, and the Endeavour is a perfect example. The 120-click bezel has black painted markers, a lumed triangle marker at the 12 o’clock, and a ridged edge to provide a firm grip. The dial is sand-textured, with applied Stainless-steel indices for the hour markers and printed white markers for the minutes, along with two-tone lume for maximum legibility. With 200m water-resistance, top grade sapphire crystals, and VITON gaskets for the seal, this is a dive watch that’s built to last!

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Swiss Watch Co. – Diver Mk II ($495)

Although based in Nevada, all SWC’s are made in Switzerland, including the Diver MkII. With a hefty 44m case, a bulky crown nestled in crown guards, a dial featuring large lume plots (filled with 20 layers of SuperLuminova), and oversized hands this is a watch with a lot of presence. But it’s all very well proportioned, and the finishing on the case and bracelet are excellent, as is the textured bezel which adds a lot of character to the finished piece. Add 300m water resistance, an integrated diver’s buckle on the bracelet, and some cool dial colors, and you have a winning package!

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Venezianico – Nereide ($495)

Venezianico’s signature model, The Nereide is a rugged package designed to stand up to any challenge. With 200m water resistance and a modern, refined 316L stainless-steel case, it comes in a choice of colorful dial and bezel options, and features an engraved caseback depicting the Venetian submarine after which it’s named. There are also some very cool limited editions to choose from, such as a black mother-of-pearl dial or a sleek forged carbon dial and bezel combo with a subtly reshaped case and rubber strap. And don’t forget to take a look at the GMT version, or the very-cool-indeed Ultraleggero with its distinctive skeletonized dial which both reveals the watch’s movement and allows for greater lightness and less bulk in the case structure.

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Zelos – Hammerhead V3 300m Ti ($429)

Based in Singapore, Zelos has built a strong reputation for the original sense of design and unique materials it brings to its highly distinctive range of tool watches. One of their best, The Hammerhead V3 is an unapologetically modern-looking Diver, with angular lines on the case and bracelet, and a range of bold dial options including a hammered texture with a red fumé finish. Its chunky design is matched by great specs including a grade 2 Titanium case, 300m water resistance, and double-domed sapphire crystal.

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Well, we hope that little selection has whetted your appetite, but if you didn’t find your ideal diver here, don’t despair – there’ll be another list coming soon. In the meantime, check out Extropian’s database to find out more about anything on this list!

Created the 2023-07-07

Modified the 2024-04-06

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