- Automatic vs. quartz
- Benefits of automatic dive watches
- Limitations of automatic dive watches
- What to look for an automatic dive watch under 500
- Top 5 Automatic Dive Watches Under 500
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
Every diver should have a trusty watch. This timepiece is essential since divers have to time their plunge and watch over their air supply. Although you can purchase just about any dive watch, automatic types offer more convenience. You no longer have to change batteries, not to mention that the watch will last for years. Here, we scouted for the best automatic dive watch under 500, so you can have the right balance of quality and value.
|DIVE WATCH||BRAND||EXPERT RATING||CHECK PRICE|
|Citizen Promaster Professional |
|Orient Japanese Automatic|
|Invicta Pro Diver |
|Seiko Automatic |
|Seiko Prospex Special |
Edition Diver’s Watch
Automatic vs. quartz
When it comes to dive watches, the common options are quartz and automatic. While both offer great movement, many divers prefer automatic options instead.
Quartz movements work by using power from batteries. While it’s reliable, it has limitations, much so when the power starts to run out.
On the other hand, automatic watches use the motion on the wearer’s wrist. Whenever the watch moves, the caliber winds the mainspring automatically. With this, you no longer have to change batteries. Still, you’d have to adjust the watch, depending on the lost seconds a day.
As long as you’re wearing the automatic watch, it will continue ticking. Still, we’re not discounting the quartz movement’s benefits as it’s one of the leading movements in the wristwatch industry.
Benefits of automatic dive watches
Unlike other dive watches, automatic types have a lot of benefits. Here are some of the reasons why automatic watches are excellent options.
*It doesn’t need batteries
The best thing about automatic dive watches is that they will work without batteries. This will save you from the hassle of discovering that your watch is dead minutes before a dive. If you wear it regularly, you wouldn’t need to wind it repeatedly.
The thing with manually winded timepieces is that it has a smooth movement, instead of a ticking one. This makes it more stylish to wear.
*It lasts a lifetime
Automatic watches are made to last for decades. In fact, many automatic watches last longer than quartz. Even if automatic watches stopped for long, it has more chance of restarting as compared to quartz that was not used for a long time.
Limitations of automatic dive watches
Just like any watch, automatic watches have their downsides. The following are some of the disadvantages of this movement:
*Manual winding is needed
If you store it for long, you’d need a watch winder to set the right time. It can be expensive, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you wear the watch regularly.
*It can be expensive
Many people shy away from automatic watches because of their price. It’s more expensive than other options.
What to look for an automatic dive watch under 500
Are you scouting for an automatic dive watch under 500? Before you put your money in a timepiece, make sure that you have considered the following points:
-Check the water-resistance/depth rating
The first thing you have to check on automatic dive watches is their depth rating. Your choice of the watch should have water resistance that can endure the depth of your dive. Usually, watches depth ratings are measured in three methods: atmospheres (ATM), meters, bars.
Basically, ATM and bars are the same things. To convert it to meters, multiply the ATM or bar value by 10. With that, a dive watch with 20 ATMs can be worn to underwater environments of up to 200 meters.
The rule of thumb for watches is that they should have at least 10 ATM to be used on actual dives. It would help if you are looking for the ISO 6425 certification. This is a standard in dive watches on which each timepiece should have at least 100 meters of depth rating as well as a unidirectional bezel with minute markings.
To know more about ISO 6425, here’s a complete guide from the International Organization for Standardization.
-Invest in hardened glass
Next, you should check the material of the watch glass. The best dive watches sport hardened glass that can endure pressure and impact. A sapphire coating will also boost the durability of the watch against outdoor elements.
You can also consider acrylic mineral glass, which is pretty much resistant to cracks. However, it can sustain scratches through regular use. Take note that acrylic crystals can be very scratchy over the years.
-Opt for a rotating bezel
Dive watches should have a rotating bezel to allow a diver to time a specific activity underwater. It’s a very important component, which is very useful during ascent and checking the remaining oxygen of the diver.
Look for bezels with minute markings, which is ideal in timing how long an oxygen tank will last. Also, check for watches with 120 positions instead of the typical 60. A 120-position bezel will give better and more fluid rotation. And if possible, opt for ceramic bezel since it lasts long.
-Check the lume type
Lume or luminescence is very important, so you can read your dive watch when underwater lighting is poor. It’s very important if you’re cave diving or going to deep lengths. You have three options in choosing the lume of your automatic dive watch under 500:
This is the most common technology used on dive watches. It absorbs photons that will be projected into light energy. Major dive timepiece brands utilize this technology.
Tritium, on the other hand, can hold glow longer than photoluminescence. It can last for up to 20 years.
Radium-filled watches were phased out because of radium’s threat to human health. Avoid getting a watch with this substance.
Once you’ve chosen the right materials for the watch, you should check the strap that comes with it. The most common is rubber and silicone since it doesn’t absorb moisture, and it dries fast. Also, rubber straps are very lightweight and more comfortable to wear.
Some dive watches also have metal straps, which is the sturdiest option. However, you should ensure that the material is corrosion-resistant so you can take it on many dives.
Leather is out of the picture if you’re shopping for dive watches.
This isn’t a big factor, but it will add value to your purchase if you get one aesthetic design. This way, you can also wear your dive watch as a casual watch.
Top 5 Automatic Dive Watches Under 500
OUR #1 CHOICE
Orient Japanese Automatic Diving Watch
If you’re looking for a dive watch with a metal strap, you should consider the Orient Japanese Automatic Diving Watch. It has a 41 mm case depth and a mineral crystal glass that can endure harsh elements. Originally, it comes with a 60-point bezel, but you can opt for the 120-point upgrade for better precision.
Moreover, this dive watch is rated 200 meters suitable for general and professional marine use. It uses a Japanese-automatic movement, which provides accurate time while in and out of the water.
The strap of this watch is made of stainless steel, which can resist rusting. It has a push-button foldover enclosure that keeps the watch intact on your wrist.
This automatic dive watch under 500 also comes with a day-date calendar feature on its silvery build. Overall, it weighs 7 ounces, which is very lightweight for divers and swimmers.
And since it’s a steel watch, it looks well on a suit. You can wear it around and still feel stylish when you’re not diving.
Invicta Pro Diver Automatic Watch
Another chrome favorite of ours is the Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Watch. It uses the Japanese automatic movement on its analog display. Also, it comes with a unidirectional bezel as well as luminous hands. Aside from that, it has a magnified date window located at three o’clock.
The 40 mm stainless steel case has a mineral dial window that can endure most elements underwater. Aside from that, it has a foldover clasp as well as a safety closure to keep the watch on your wrist.
We also like its exhibition case back, which is an added flair on its 200-meter depth rating. It also has screw-down crowns that prevent water from getting into the watch mechanism.
Overall, this dive watch has a 14 mm thick case and a stainless steel band. It’s also more lightweight than the previous watch from Orient. It’s a solid watch that looks more expensive than its actual price. If you decide to use this for casual wear, you can retrofit the watch with a leather strap.
Seiko Automatic Diving Watch
If you’re looking for a sturdy dive watch, we recommend the Seiko Automatic Diving Watch. It uses the Japanese automatic movement that works without a battery. It also has a Hardlex crystal cover that resists cracks.
Its case is 42 mm in diameter with a 13 mm depth. This is rated for 200 meters or 20 bars, which is more than enough for most recreational and even professional diving. It has luminous features, making it ideal for conditions with poor lighting. To add to its functionality, this dive watch has a day-month calendar.
This Seiko dive watch’s bezel is unidirectional, though it’s only available in the 60-point option.
As for the strap, this Seiko watch sports a rubber material that dries fast after a dive. It also makes the watch very lightweight at just 3.17 ounces.
This is a stylish watch that you can wear for casual purposes, aside from diving. However, it doesn’t look good on a suit due to its rubber band.
However, for those with thin wrists, this dive watch may seem a little bit. Still, it’s a trusty automatic dive watch under 500.
Seiko Prospex Special Edition Diver’s Watch
If you can’t get enough Seiko watches, we recommend that you try the Seiko Prospex. It uses a Japanese automatic or hand winding movement. It has a hackable second hand, which boosts its functionality.
Aside from that, this watch has a stainless steel case and a Hardlex mineral crystal face. Aside from its three hands, it also has a day-date calendar display.
It has a rubber strap with a buckle clasp enclosure. Its case is slightly bigger than other dive watches we reviewed here, with a diameter of 44.5 mm. Still, it has a standard 13 mm depth and a water resistance of up to 200 meters.
The band of this watch is slightly thicker at 22 mm for a snug fit. It comes in a limited edition blue color that looks chic both as a dive and casual watch.
Overall, it’s worth every dollar if you’re looking for a high-quality dive watch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Seiko dive watches good?
A: Seiko is one of the leading watch brands. They make durable casual, formal, and dive watches. Above, we reviewed two of the best Seiko diving watches you can consider for your next plunge.
Q: Do divers really use dive watches?
A: Yes, dive watches aren’t just aesthetic accessories. Divers use this to time their dive and calculate how much air is remaining in their tanks. Without dive watches, divers may overstay underwater and experience complications.
Q: Is $500 enough to find a decent dive watch?
A: Above, we’ve reviewed 5 of the best automatic dive watch under 500. These are affordable options that are not short of features and functionality.
Q: Can I wear dive watches as casual watches?
A: Yes, dive watches can be worn as a casual wristwatch if you’re not diving. It’s a very versatile piece that can be used as an all-around watch.
Q: Are dive watches suitable for all dives?
A: You should check the dive watch’s depth rating to know if it’s suitable for your dive. Usually, a dive watch with an excellent depth rating can endure most dives, be it on the open sea, ocean, lakes, and so on.
An automatic dive watch under 500 will save you money in the long run. It doesn’t use batteries and requires minimal maintenance, especially if you use it continuously. Just make sure that you choose one that suits your needs and aesthetic preferences.