You can tell a lot about a product by the name put on it, and dive watch brands are no exception.
There are dive watch brands that have been around for over one hundred years, while new ones pop up what seems like every day. Deciphering if the name of a time-tested brand is worth it can be difficult. On the flip side, do the fresh eyes of a new company bring new innovation to the diving community that is worth looking into? Well, depending on what you’re going for, you could easily sway either way. So, we’ve put together a few of our favorite dive watch brands. From their certifications to innovations and philosophies, each of these dive watch brands is a little different. So, take a moment to think about what you’re truly hoping for. Then, see if any of these dive watch brands might fit the bill.
In 1881, young entrepreneur Kintaro Hattori opened his first watch repair shop. This dream quickly turned into a watch factory. He always wanted to stay one step ahead of the game, so he produced Japan’s first wristwatch in 1913. In Christmas of 1969, his company, Seiko, produced the first ever Quartz powered watch. This watch was over one hundred times more accurate in seconds per month than any other watch on the market. It also ran for a full year without needing to be wound, which was unheard of at the time. With all of these innovations over the years, it’s no surprise that it is one of the best dive watch brands today.
In 1965, a professional diver requested a dive watch to be made when he found no other watches up to the task at hand. Seiko responded by crafting the Seiko Divers 150m and never stopped innovating since that day. The Seiko Prospex is their most well-known watch for divers. Their watches have been brought on Antarctic expeditions and scaled Mount Everest. In May of 1983, two Seiko dive watches, rated to 600 meters, were brought down to a depth of 1062 meters. They continued to work perfectly. So, Seiko has earned the title of the best dive watch brands because of their unrivaled consistency and a lifetime of quality.
There is an undeniable beauty about mechanical watches. Their attention to detail and craftsmanship is stunning and they simply can’t be beaten. Oris understands this. This is why they have been making strictly mechanical watches for over one hundred years in Switzerland. You’ll be able to know a genuine Oris watch by the signature red rotor inside. This stands for quality and independence, two cornerstones of the company.
Oris is one of the most well-loved dive watch brands. French professional diver, environmentalist, and documentary maker Jérôme Delafosse wears The Oris Divers Sixty-Five. He has helped them develop the key features that any experienced diver would desire. Freedive world record holder Carlos Coste has helped Oris develop the Limited Edition IV. It can meet even the most demanding conditions. Oris is known not only for being one of the best dive watch brands, but also for their entry into aviation, motorsports, and fashion. So, whatever specific watch you’re looking for, Oris has worked with professionals in the field to create the best of the best.
Citizen is set apart among dive watch brands for its global outlook. Desiring to be an upstanding citizen of this world, they have been working on the betterment of the industry for over one hundred years. Their simple yet revolutionary Eco-Dive watch technology is an example of this. The Eco-Dive technology harnesses both natural and artificial light to power the timepiece. The need, and therefore disposal, of watch batteries, is virtually eliminated by this alternative power source. Through this simple but brilliant switch, a plethora of harmful chemicals found in most watch batteries are kept out of landfills. This is just one aspect of why we love Citizen and consider them one of the most innovative dive watch brands.
Two main partnerships show off Citizen’s status as well. They are the official watch of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars. Only the highest quality and most genuine items are found in and around Disney's name. So, we know they’ve done their research well by choosing Citizen. Of course, you can’t go wrong with superheroes or Luke Skywalker wearing a Citizen watch either. But, in the real world, North and South Pole expedition leader Eric Larsen has been repping Citizen in the harshest conditions. He uses the Citizen Promaster Altichron and Tough to keep track of time when his life is on the line. So, for the most environmentally friendly of all our dive watch brands, look to Citizen. They are truly loved all around the world.
In 1961, an instructor for blind flight and former World War II pilot began a watch company ready to revolutionize the timekeeping world. Helmut Sinn began creating navigational clocks and pilot chronographs but soon began testing his watches in more unique conditions. In 1985, the Sinn 140 S made it to outer space. This showed that the mechanics would work just as well in weightless conditions. Sinn continues to manufacture watches worn in space to this day after having many more successful trips to space. But, it’s not just above the earth that Sinn does well, but in the deep as well. Sinn's unique technologies and features that they build into each watch are why they are one of the best dive watch brands today.
From their dehumidifying technology to an anti-fog innovation, their watches are always on the cutting edge of getting you deeper without compromising on visibility, usability, or accuracy. In 2005, they were the first of all dive watch brands to comply with the Germanischer Lloyd of Hamburg, now DNV GL Group. This stands for compliance with European standards for diving equipment. Through this, you can truly see their devotion to both the safety and lifestyle of divers. As for who wears this dive watch brand, it has made it to the poles on Polar explorer Arved Fuchs wrist. He relies on the robustness of the U2 diving watch for his intense expeditions. As of 2015, Germany’s commando frogman force KSM will be wearing the UX S Combat Swimmer at all times. This again shows Sinn’s devotion to high standards and only making the best watches on the planet.
Our final dive watch brand has only been around since 2014. Having each of their watches born from Kickstarter, you can see how the diving community has rallied behind this new company over the years. Founder Elshan Tang wanted to make sure everyone had access to a spectacular mechanical diving watch without needing to pay for luxury brands. Their first three models, the Helmsman, Chroma, and Abyss gained 273%, 350%, and 650% funding, respectively. This clearly shows that they are making a head-first plunge into the best dive watch brands world.
One of the signature looks of Zelos is the bronze face. A stunning choice for style, Zelos dive watches are made to go from the ocean to the office without batting an eye. The overall look of all Zelos watches brings a freshness that most dive watch brands don’t have these days. So, if you’re looking for a brand that steps out in style but still has spectacular quality and features, Zelos is your pick.
We love these dive watch brands for being true to their chosen mission and philosophy.
Citizen is developing a way to keep chemicals out of our environment and landfills. Zelos is bringing a much-needed facelift and approachable luxury to the dive watch market. Sinn delivers the best of the best dive watches as proven through those who wear their watches. The master craftsmanship of a mechanical watch is the centerpiece of Oris' mission. Lastly, Seiko has been breaking their own records since they began, and I think we can all appreciate that drive. This all being said, the best dive brands we know of today are all here. We hope you can agree.
Related Article: Best Dive Watches: 6 Stellar Options for Underwater Excursions