Diver Watches: Who Are The Strongest Players?

November 21st, 2012 | 9 Comments

Ever wonder who the leading diver watch companies are? Let’s take a look at 3 of the strongest players in the diver watch world.

Rolex

Possibly the most recognized luxury watch company in the world, Rolex is certainly one of the strongest players in terms of diver watches. With its origins dating back to the early 20th century, Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf, aimed to create wristwatches that were extremely accurate at a time when pocket watches were the trend and precision wasn’t absolute.

In 1926, Rolex developed the first-ever waterproof and dustproof watch known as the “Oyster.” During the next year, Mercedes Gleitze, an English swimmer, crossed the English Channel wearing the Rolex Oyster. After the 10 hour swim, the Oyster remained intact and in perfect working order. This innovation led to the development of higher-functioning diver watches as well as the strong association between Rolex and adventurous men and women.

Rolex’s Oyster watches are still manufactured today, with only minimal changes to the design. Today’s basic Oyster model is guaranteed to be water resistant to at least 100m, but a new experimental Oyster design, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, is waterproof to 12,000m.

Perhaps the most defining and popular Rolex diver, though, is the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea. This watch, designed exclusively for extreme underwater exploration, features a Ringlock System allowing it to withstand depths up to 3,900m. The Deepsea also features a titanium caseback, a scratch-resistant Cerachrom bezel, and a super solid bracelet with an extension system.

Let’s check out the other diver watches.

Seiko

Seiko’s origins date back to 1881 as primarily a manufacturer of clocks. Like many clockmakers, the turn of the century brought about new opportunities for manufacturing, such as pocket watches, which Seiko began producing in 1895. From there, Seiko developed its first wristwatch, Laurel, in 1913.

As years passed, Seiko’s watches became more complex and innovative. In fact, the company is known for developing the world’s first quartz watch, the world’s first titanium diver watch with 600m water resistance, and the world’s first computerized diver watch called the “Scubamaster.”

Today, Seiko watches, particularly the company’s diver watches, are popular among collectors. The Seiko Monster divers and the SKX007 and 009 divers are of particular popularity because of their exceptional quality and style. Furthermore, many Seiko divers are ISO certified.

The Seiko SBDX001 Marinemaster is one of Seiko’s finest diver watches. Equipped with 300m water resistance, the Marinemaster also features a hacking and hand-winding mechanical movement with 50-hour power reserve.

A classic diver look on the Marinemaster is paired with Seiko’s Hardlex anti-reflective crystal, intense luminosity, and a brushed and polished stainless steel case. A unidirectional caseback and a screwed-down crown add to the Marinemaster’s superior diver qualities.

Omega

Last but certainly not least is Omega. Breitling may be recognized for its orbital flight, but Omega has been to the Moon 6 times, developed the very first official diver watch, produces the only certified marine chronometer wristwatch in the world, and, of course, is the watch of James Bond.

With its origins dating back to the mid-1800s, Omega was the official timekeeper of Britain’s Royal Flying Corps in 1917 and of the American Army in 1918. If you think that means Omega is known for premier accuracy and precision, then you’re right. As mentioned, Omega has been to the Moon 6 times, including the very first time in 1969, making the company the choice of NASA as well.

In 1932, Omega developed the first official diver watch, and in the same year, became the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. Omega remains so today. The Omega Seamaster collection, developed in 1948, includes the company’s signature diver watches, particularly the Planet Ocean, perhaps the most notable of Omega’s divers.

The Planet Ocean is fully equipped with 600m water resistance, a super classy diver look, and essential diver features such as a helium escape valve, screwed-down crown, and unidirectional bezel. The Planet Ocean’s appeal is further accentuated by domed sapphire crystal and an exhibition caseback.

Of course, these high-functioning diver watches come at a high price. If you’re looking for a diver that’s a bit more affordable, check out these Top 10 Diver Watches for Under $200.

Which diver watch is your favorite? Rolex, Breitling, Omega, or do you prefer a different diver watch brand? Leave us a comment below!

  1. 9 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Mike Santos on Nov 21, 2012

    I have owned a Rolex not worth the money. I have 2 Omega’s. love em.
    Now looking to get an Orient Ray and M Beast to add to my collection

  3. By Naveed Haider on Nov 21, 2012

    Right now I have the Seiko marine master, the Planet ocean, The Moon Watch, but havent been all that interested in the Rolex.

  4. By Ervin Yuzon on Nov 22, 2012

    I only have the Orient Mako right now, and I’m totally fine with that :)

  5. By Darren Smith on Nov 22, 2012

    These models reviewed are outside of my price range. I have owned some of the less expensive Seiko diver’s watches and have found them to be of exceptional quality. I also own one of the Orient Mako Divers and have been very pleased with it as well. While I certainly appreciate the differences in quality and reputation of these fine watches, there are some very good options in a lower price range, watches that look good and perform exceptionally well.

  6. By Christle Waugh on Nov 25, 2012

    I personally do not own one of these.. However my father does and loves it!

  7. By Don Tulanon on Nov 26, 2012

    Submariner Date is the king for me, but for a desk diver like myself, you can’t beat that value-cost exchange of Seiko and Orient.

  8. By Nathan M on Dec 10, 2012

    Dive watches are known for that rugged, take anything construction. I’ve worked around many people who work in harsh industries/conditions and have myself as well. I own a Submariner and say that a dive watch is not only for diving. A dive watch is for someone looking for a watch that will take anything you throw at it. Making it an everywhere, anytime timepiece.

  9. By Hector Garcia on Feb 3, 2013

    Since I work in the telecommunications field, I often need to ensure precise timing is set on my radio equipment… for this aspect I would choose the precision that omega brings to the table… true, I would have to set it correctly at least once a day, but that precision I can count when setting the timing on a satellite transceiver. not to mention surviving the plunge in the pool afterwards…

  10. By Ken DaSilva~Hill on Mar 7, 2013

    Among fellow water sports enthusiasts that I mix with, Citizen divers watches seem to be not only the most popular but almost the norm. My own Citizen diver, a 150 meter automatic from around 1970 is still going strong after almost 40 yearrs of daily wear, although it has been looked after, and well maintained as a working instrument. I feel very uncomfortable when not wearing this watch as I am totaly accustomed to the size and easy readability in all circumstances. It is very reliable! It has been in the sea umpteem times, in deserts, up mountains, through jungles and has never let me down. The bezel is scratched through years of use on boats and daily wear, but this is the only fault and of course is just cosmetic. I own other watches, and the Citizen is, like me, approaching a well earned retirement. However, trust me, for serious daily use one cannot do better than one of the three top name Japanese watches, be it Seiko, Citizen or Orient, all three ooze quality, great build standards, high quality materials and excellent well tried movements!

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