At this price point, you simply have to make some compromises. You can have something stylish and high quality, but it could lack the ISO rating. Or, it could have the top ratings, but the materials and the looks would have some compromises. We present our top picks where we think you can get something from every corner.
Reason to buy
Orient Mako II
In house movement
Mathey-Tissot Rolly Vintage H900AN
Rolex Submariner you can afford
Phoibos PX002B 300M
Sapphire crystal glass
Stuhrling Forti 3958
Seiko 5 SNZF17
Great classic design
Green dial and vintage look
Orient Ray II
In house movement
Invicta Pro Diver 22340
AVIATOR Special Ops
Citizen Promaster BN0150
Eco drive movement
Ok, you have $200 ready for your next watch, and you want it to be best dive watch for the price? Orient Mako II is your piece.
Featuring an in-house automatic (mechanic) movement, made by one of the biggest and most renowned companies in Japan. Most popular Orient watch and one of the most popular diver entry-level watches. Water-resistance is at 200 meters with a comfy dial size of 41mm.
This piece is my personal recommendation for its tremendous value, priced at only 130 dollars.
You might have never heard of this brand, but it is actually a very old swiss watchmaker that has been around for 134 years. This particular model is heavily inspired by the famous Rolex submariner, so nobody can argue against its style and design.
If you want a piece of swiss luxury for only 140 bucks though, you will sacrifice that professional diver potential, as this one can only go to the pool with you. Also, do not expect a swiss automatic movement in this one, as just the movements are double the price of the watch. But, the Swiss quartz in this one is on the other hand more accurate than any mechanical will ever be, so that's a plus in its own right.
Very similar to its sibling from Phoibos family, PX002C (read our review here), this Chinese made watch is trying to dazzle us with its features. For less than $200 you get a sapphire crystal glass, Super Luminova lume, 120 position bezel and 300m water resistance. All that is packed in a watch with a shiny blue dial, that goes great together with a business suit.
Definitely one of the most interesting desk divers you can buy!
This watch follows the Stuhrling company headline: "Time to get noticed". Black and yellow colour combo on the dial and NATO strap is a perfect choice if you are tired of stainless steel designs. Great watch for someone looking for a sporty design to go with his casual wear.
Looking for something classic, reliable and not too expensive? Then you should take a better look at this Seiko, it has everything you need. Black dial and stainless steel bracelet give the watch a classic look, and Seiko's own components (caliber and glass) are a guarantee for reliability. Interesting watch, very close to its big brother Seiko SSC017
If you are searching for a gift for someone who is not prone for extravagant dress code - with this watch you cannot go wrong.
If you are not very good at starting conversations with strangers, Stauer Evergreen can be your saviour. With it's size and flashy green dial and bezel, it will stand out no matter whate else you are wearing. It's easily noticed, so you just have to prepare your line when someone asks you about your watch.
If one brand appears twice on the "best of..." list, it should mean something. Alongside the history of Orient as the watchmaker, they deserve respect as one of the rare manufacturers still producing the movement for their wtaches. Regarding the visible part of the watch, it has a dark blue dial with a black bezel rounding it. It is a great choice for the people that are looking for exclusivity even in this lower price level.
Maybe you are looking for something with classy and authoritative appearance. Invicta is well known as a watchmaker within this dive watch price category. Due to its size, it will not fit people with smaller wrist, as 50mm case will look like a mini power plane on your hand. A definitive plus in Invita 22340 favour is the price - in most cases you can find it for below $70.
Invicta's competitor in the lower price range, Aviator works under the motto "Not only for Divers". With a cool pepsi coloured bezel and a decent silicone strap, it can be a great gift for some "Top Gun" fan. Definitely worth your attention