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What is Chrono24? Diving watches and water resistance Which diving watches are the best? The history of diving watches
Seiko diving watches
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean "ETNZ Deep Black" Black Ceramic/R...
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean "ETNZ Deep Black" Black Ceramic/R...
$6,929
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
429
US
Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner 16610 Red Diamond Watch
TOP
Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner 16610 Red Diamond Watch
$7,650
Free shipping
Seller
SGA Watches & Jewelry
19
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
$10,600
Seller
Eternity Jewelry Corp dba Happy Jewelers
17
US
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 With Box and Papers
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 With Box and Papers
$18,249
Free shipping
Seller
LSM Watch
10
US
Rolex Men's Steel 40mm Submariner Date Black Dial Bezel Box Books
TOP
Rolex Men's Steel 40mm Submariner Date Black Dial Bezel Box Books
$7,369
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea PVD-DLC Custom
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea PVD-DLC Custom
$10,995
Seller
First Class Timepieces
6
US
Breitling Superocean 44 C1739112/BA77
TOP
Breitling Superocean 44 C1739112/BA77
$4,495
Free shipping
Seller
Precision Watches
71
US
Omega Planet Ocean 42mm Titanium - Blue - Unworn Condition
TOP
Omega Planet Ocean 42mm Titanium - Blue - Unworn Condition
$4,775
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
147
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
$14,800
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116613 (NEW)
Rolex Submariner Date 116613 (NEW)
$12,700
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days
TOP
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days
$4,750
Seller
Scorpio Luxury Corp
36
US
Tudor Black Bay Red Bezel
Tudor Black Bay Red Bezel
$1,950
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
34
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea James Cameron 126660 NEW
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea James Cameron 126660 NEW
$14,995
Seller
Kara's Watches
180
US
Rolex Men's Steel 40mm Submariner Date Box Books Black Dial Bezel
TOP
Rolex Men's Steel 40mm Submariner Date Box Books Black Dial Bezel
$7,687
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Mens Watch
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Mens Watch
$1,490
Seller
Jacob Time
 
US
Rolex SUBMARINER Stainless Steel Green Ceramic Watch
Rolex SUBMARINER Stainless Steel Green Ceramic Watch
$11,499
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
99
US
Rolex [99% like NEW] Sea Dweller 4000 - 2014
TOP
Rolex [99% like NEW] Sea Dweller 4000 - 2014
$11,400
Free shipping
Seller
S&A Watches
120
AT
Rolex : Submariner Date :  16610 :  Stainless Steel : black dial
Rolex : Submariner Date : 16610 : Stainless Steel : black dial
$8,030
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
286
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116613
Rolex Submariner Date 116613
$13,500
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days
TOP
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days
$4,750
Seller
Scorpio Luxury Corp
36
US
Rolex Submariner Date 50th Anniversary Kermit
Rolex Submariner Date 50th Anniversary Kermit
$13,950
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
34
US
Rolex Submariner Date 18K Yellow Gold 16618
Rolex Submariner Date 18K Yellow Gold 16618
$20,495
Seller
Kara's Watches
180
US
Rolex Submariner Date Boxes Papers Blue Dial Bezel SS/18kt Gold
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Boxes Papers Blue Dial Bezel SS/18kt Gold
$8,488
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M Blue dial 212.30.41.20.03.001
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M Blue dial 212.30.41.20.03.001
$2,935
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
227
US
Rolex SUBMARINER Stainless Steel Watch Black Ceramic Watch 116610
Rolex SUBMARINER Stainless Steel Watch Black Ceramic Watch 116610
$8,799
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
99
US
Rolex 16600 Sea Dweller SS FULL SET (30071)
Rolex 16600 Sea Dweller SS FULL SET (30071)
$9,500
Seller
European Watch Company
189
US
Omega : Seamaster Professional :  2254.50 :  Stainless Steel
Omega : Seamaster Professional : 2254.50 : Stainless Steel
$2,985
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
286
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
$15,000
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days PAM00590
TOP
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days PAM00590
$4,750
Seller
Scorpio Luxury Corp
36
US
Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT
Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT
$6,250
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
34
US
Seiko Prospex SRPC49 Ninja Turtle
Seiko Prospex SRPC49 Ninja Turtle
$999
Seller
Kara's Watches
180
US
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Stainless Steel Mens Watch
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Stainless Steel Mens Watch
$1,048
Seller
Jacob Time
 
US
Rolex Submariner Date Blue dial 116613LB
Rolex Submariner Date Blue dial 116613LB
$12,595
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
227
US
Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm Stainless Steel Watch PAM00631
Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm Stainless Steel Watch PAM00631
$4,999
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
99
US
Rolex 116613LB Submariner Ceramic Blue Dial 18K / SS (29928)
Rolex 116613LB Submariner Ceramic Blue Dial 18K / SS (29928)
$12,500
Seller
European Watch Company
189
US
Rolex : Submariner :  14060M :  Stainless Steel : black dial
Rolex : Submariner : 14060M : Stainless Steel : black dial
$5,765
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
286
US
Rolex Submariner Date
Rolex Submariner Date
$12,000
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two
$11,800
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea James Cameron
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea James Cameron
$11,500
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
34
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black 600 M Chrono NEW
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black 600 M Chrono NEW
$7,945
Seller
Kara's Watches
180
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre MASTER COMPRESSOR Geographic 146.8.83/1 Mens...
Jaeger-LeCoultre MASTER COMPRESSOR Geographic 146.8.83/1 Mens...
$6,600
Seller
New York Jewelers
 
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M Black dial 212.30.41.20.01.003
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M Black dial 212.30.41.20.01.003
$2,935
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
227
US
Rolex Submariner Steel & 18K Yellow Gold Blue Ceramic Watch
Rolex Submariner Steel & 18K Yellow Gold Blue Ceramic Watch
$10,899
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
99
US
Omega 233.32.41.21.01.001 Omega Seamaster 300M Limited Edition...
Omega 233.32.41.21.01.001 Omega Seamaster 300M Limited Edition...
$10,500
Seller
European Watch Company
189
US
Rolex : Submariner Date :  16610 :  Stainless Steel : black...
Rolex : Submariner Date : 16610 : Stainless Steel : black...
$7,060
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
286
US
Rolex Submariner Date
Rolex Submariner Date
$13,550
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
$23,500
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Rolex Submariner 18k Yellow Gold Black Dial/Bezel Mens Dive...
Rolex Submariner 18k Yellow Gold Black Dial/Bezel Mens Dive...
$18,950
Seller
Jewels in Time
67
US
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM NEW
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM NEW
$3,445
Seller
Kara's Watches
180
US
Omega Men's Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2561.80 Blue...
Omega Men's Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2561.80 Blue...
$1,450
Seller
Collectors Coins of Lynbrook LLC
14
US
Omega Seamaster 300 233.32.41.21.01.002 Master Co-Axial 41m
Omega Seamaster 300 233.32.41.21.01.002 Master Co-Axial 41m
$4,185
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
227
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Stainless Steel Watch 126600
Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Stainless Steel Watch 126600
$13,499
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
99
US
Rolex 5513 Vintage Submariner 5513 "Meters First" SS VERY NICE...
Rolex 5513 Vintage Submariner 5513 "Meters First" SS VERY NICE...
$17,900
Seller
European Watch Company
189
US
Tudor : Heritage Black Bay :  79220R :  Stainless Steel
Tudor : Heritage Black Bay : 79220R : Stainless Steel
$2,780
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
286
US
Omega Seamaster 300m, Ref 25.31.8000, Mens, Automatic, Blue Dial
Omega Seamaster 300m, Ref 25.31.8000, Mens, Automatic, Blue Dial
$2,395
Free shipping
Seller
Estates Consignments
83
US
IWC Aquatimer Automatic
IWC Aquatimer Automatic
$5,100
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 111 Stainless Steel 44mm Mens...
Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 111 Stainless Steel 44mm Mens...
$4,995
Seller
Jewels in Time
67
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Sea-Dweller 126600 SD43 NEW
Rolex Sea-Dweller Sea-Dweller 126600 SD43 NEW
$13,895
Seller
Kara's Watches
180
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Dualmatic Master Compressor GMT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Dualmatic Master Compressor GMT
$5,700
Seller
New York Jewelers
 
US
Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial 41mm233.30.41.21.01.001
Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial 41mm233.30.41.21.01.001
$4,195
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
227
US
Panerai Luminor Chronograph Daylight Watch PAM00196
Panerai Luminor Chronograph Daylight Watch PAM00196
$8,499
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
99
US
Rolex 5512 Vintage Meters First Matte Dial Submariner SS / SS...
Rolex 5512 Vintage Meters First Matte Dial Submariner SS / SS...
$23,500
Seller
European Watch Company
189
US
Rolex : Sea-Dweller :  16600 :  Stainless Steel : black dial
Rolex : Sea-Dweller : 16600 : Stainless Steel : black dial
$6,175
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
286
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean   2218.50
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2218.50
$4,935
Seller
PreOwned Watch Shop
23
US
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Diving Watches: For Wet Environments

You don't have to be a diver to appreciate a diving watch's water resistance, robustness, and sporty looks. Models like the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster have been top-selling luxury watches for years.

Top 5 Diving Watch Features

  • Water-resistant to at least 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
  • Unidirectional bezel with minute and five-minute markers
  • Luminous hands and indices that can be read underwater
  • Indicator that the watch is running in total darkness (e.g. luminous second hand)
  • Closed strap can withstand 40 kg (88 lbs) of weight for one minute

Water Resistant to at Least 200 m

At first, diving watches were special instruments made specifically for divers. Since their development, however, they've earned an established place in everyday life. Their functionality, technology, and water resistance are all strong arguments for buying this kind of watch. To be considered a diving watch, a watch has to meet the standards set forth by ISO 6425 or DIN 8306. Water resistance to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) is the minimum requirement.

To keep the water at bay, diving watches have screw-down case backs and crowns. Chronographs – a.k.a. watches with a stopwatch function – also feature screw-down push-pieces. Together with rubber O-rings, these screw-down pieces ensure that the watch is hermetically sealed.

Diving watches often feature a helium escape valve, which is required for saturation diving. This valve releases the helium that enters the watch, thus avoiding any potential damage.

An essential part of any complete, modern diving watch is a unidirectional bezel with minute and five-minute markers.

They help you to keep track of your dive time so you know when you need to resurface. Since you can only rotate the bezel counterclockwise, it's impossible to accidentally stay underwater longer than intended.

These watches have to be readable underwater and in the dark. Therefore, they feature luminous hands and indices. A common solution for making sure the wearer knows their watch is functioning in the dark is to outfit the watch with a luminous second hand. Standards for diving watches also include high levels of shock resistance as well as protection against magnetic fields and changes in temperature. Altogether, diving watches have to meet around 20 different criteria.

How much do diving watches cost?

Model Price (approx.) Water resistant to Features
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph Gold 22,800 USD 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft) Chronograph function, gold case
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ref. 5015-1130-52 11,300 USD 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) Date display
Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 116610 9,700 USD 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) Date display
Panerai Luminor Submersible 6,200 USD 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) Date, small seconds dial
Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive 3,700 USD 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft) Date, power reserve indicator, Spring Drive
Sinn U212 2,600 USD 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,281 ft) Case made of submarine steel

The Best and Most Popular Diving Watches and Their Prices

The most difficult part of buying a diving watch is choosing which one you want. Nearly every high-quality manufacturer offers this type of watch.

It is difficult to say which diving watch is the best. That said, the most famous is clearly the Rolex Submariner. It is both a status symbol and investment all in one. You can purchase the Submariner in stainless steel, white or yellow gold, or as a bicolor model. You can also choose from models with or without a date display. Depending on the edition, prices range from 7,000 to 29,200 USD. However, well-maintained vintage models from the 50s or early 60s can easily cost up to 92,300 USD.

Similar to the Submariner, Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms has enjoyed its legendary reputation for decades.

It is considered the world's first diving watch because it was not only water resistant but also developed specifically to meet the needs of divers. Here you will find an equally wide variety of timepieces. You can purchase a simple three-hand model in stainless steel starting around 4,700 USD. For a gold chronograph, however, you will need about 26,900 USD.

The Omega Seamaster and the Breitling Superocean have also been established names in the world of diving watches for around 60 years.

Both come in a number of different models with an equally diverse range of prices, spanning from about 1,200 USD for basic models to around 35,000 USD for intricate gold or platinum editions.

The Best Alternatives from Germany, Italy and Japan

Diving watches don't just come from Switzerland. Models from German manufacturer Sinn also have an excellent reputation. Professional divers are especially fond of the watches in the 'U' series, which are made of submarine steel and are relatively affordable at 2,000 to 3,400 USD.

This is also true of watches from the trusted Japanese brand Seiko. Their Prospex collection offers a wide selection of sturdy diving watches with great value for money. Some models even sell for under 600 USD. That being said, those with Seiko's unparalleled Spring Drive can cost over 3,500 USD.

The Luminor from Italian luxury watch manufacturer Panerai enjoys cult status. This company has been developing watches for underwater use since the 1930s. Their angular pillow shape and large crown protector make them hard to ignore. In the beginning, these watches were reserved exclusively for the Italian Navy. Eventually, they would become available to the general public. The only true diving watch in the Panerai family is the Luminor Submersible, as it is the only watch to feature a diving bezel. Every other timepiece in their catalog lacks this feature. Be prepared to spend between 5,800 and 7,000 USD for a Luminor.

What does water resistance mean?

Water resistance is so much more than just a luxurious extra. If moisture finds its way into a watch case, it almost always causes damage, regardless of the type of watch. Water washes away the lubrication and causes corrosion in mechanical watches. Quartz watches are just as sensitive; they require energy from a battery or solar cells which will likely stop working if they come into contact with water.

When it comes to diving watches, the depth indicated for the water resistance is often misunderstood. This number actually refers to the amount of pressure a watch can handle, which is the same pressure experienced at the indicated depth. A watch that is water resistant to 30 m (98 ft) can survive three bar of pressure. Such watches should only come into contact with splashes and light rain at most. You should even be careful while washing your hands, as the water pressure from a faucet can exceed three bar. This also applies to swimming, surfing, and rafting. These activities put a watch's water resistance to the test and should only be undertaken with watches water resistant to at least 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft).

The water resistance of a diving watch should be checked regularly. This applies especially to pre-owned watches, whose water resistance can no longer be guaranteed. Now that diving computers exist, most divers use water-resistant watches as a backup. However, it's still essential that the watch is in good condition for diving.

The History of Diving Watches

Which was the first diving watch? There are many answers to this tricky question. Rolex patented their idea for a watch with a screw-down crown and case back and sealed gaskets in 1926. When Mercedes Gleitze attempted to swim the English Channel in October 1927, she was accompanied by a Rolex Oyster. Rolex's advertising stunt worked, as the watch withstood multiple hours underwater.

The first watch that was specially developed for use underwater was the Omega Marine. Its rectangular case was made of two differently sized parts which were fit together. This design improved water resistance. In 1937, the Omega Marine became the first watch to receive an official certificate of water resistance. It was confirmed to be water resistant to 135 m (443 ft).

Diving watch technology improved in the 1950s and increased the water resistance limit to 200 m (656 ft). The Rolex Submariner and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms premiered in 1953. Their designs and looks still influence the characteristics of diving watches to this day. The original versions of both watches featured a rotatable bezel so that divers could keep track of their dive time. It's still disputed today whether the Submariner or the Fifty Fathoms should be considered the first "real" diving watch. In 1957, these two watches gained some competition when the Superocean from Breitling and the Seamaster 300 from Omega were introduced.

The demand for diving watches increased with the rise of offshore construction of things such as pipelines and offshore platforms. The military also requested water-resistant watches for their maritime forces. Later, that demand increased due to recreational diving, a sport now enjoyed by millions. Diving watches have since found a new use as solid sports watches and status symbols, which could make them desirable collector's items in the future.

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