If you’re starting a watch collection a dive watch is a great option. They’re tough, they can handle water, and they’re great for everyday wear. This makes them one of the most versatile watch types. But what makes a dive watch?
The Nitty Gritty: International Organization for Standardization
Well, the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, has strict requirements to claim a watch is an ISO dive watch. Some of the requirements are a minimum water resistance of 100 meters, a time preselecting device, like a unidirectional bezel, legibility in the dark, which is most commonly seen as luminescence on the hands, dial, and bezel, shock resistance, thermal shock resistance, magnetic resistance, and these are just a few of the requirements.
However, here’s where things get really interesting. The Rolex Submariner is not an ISO certified dive watch. In fact, none of the watches seen here are ISO certified dive watches. So what gives? Well, Rolex, along with the other brands, have built such a name for themselves that they don’t need the ISO certification to validate their claims. And for what it’s worth this particular ISO standard wasn’t in place until 1996. Long after Rolex introduced the Submariner.
So now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about some of our recommendations for a dive watch. And even though we’re talking about dive watches, that doesn’t mean you have to be a diver. Because of their robust design and legibility, they make great everyday watches. Here are some of our favorites.
Rolex Submariner 116610
The Rolex Submariner. This is the Gold Standard when it comes to dive watches. Its simple styling and design make it a perfect choice for anyone, and since it’s been around for over 60 years there are plenty of models to choose from.
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage AB2010
The Breitling SuperOcean Heritage. The Heritage is a nice twist on the original SuperOcean and creates a more subtle design. Cool features like the steel mesh bracelet and a prominent crown make it a great option.
OMEGA Seamaster 300m 184.108.40.206.03.001
OMEGA Seamaster 300m Co-Axial. This is a refined update to the original with a more reserved design. The ceramic bezel a 5-link bracelet are a perfect mix of new tech and classic styling.
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 PAM 732
The Panerai Luminor, and specifically this limited-edition PAM 732. This is a great take on their Luminor design. The sandwich dial, blue text, and red seconds hand add a nice pop of color to austere design. And throw in that case back engraving and you have something a little more unique.
IWC Aquatimer GST 2000 IW3536-02
The IWC Aquatimer. A great example of the Aquatimer styling mixed with classic tool watch. We love the integrated case and the locking bezel mechanism.
Which to Choose?
As you can see the dive watch can come in many different shapes and sizes and is a great place to start your collection. They’re nearly indestructible, are water resistance and have great legibility. These reasons, among others, are why we think the dive watch is one of the best choices for everyday wear.