Finding proper dive watches under $100 that aren’t complete garbage is quite the chore. Invicta offers several nice looking inexpensive divers, but everything I’ve read and heard about them is that they fall apart very quickly, or are broken on arrival. I’ll be reviewing a few myself here soon to see if those rumors are true. Many other lower end manufacturers aren’t any better.
After scouring reviews and from my own personal experience, the watches below I feel comfortable recommending for actual use while diving, and will hold up to some serious abuse during any sport or just daily life.
Not all of them are actually dive watches, with analog dials and unidirectional bezels, but the selection of quality diver’s is very limited in the low end. I’ve chosen a couple of other tough sport watches to recommend, such as the Casio G-Shock, that will work great in any sport.
A lot of these are larger diameter watches, so be sure to go use the Watch Sizer to make sure they won’t be too large on your wrist.
Watches Under $100 Quick Comparison
|Model||Movement||Water Resistance||Bezel||Crystal||Case Material||Case Diameter||Thickness||Lug to Lug||Band Width||Other Features||Buy Now|
|Casio MDV106-1A||Quartz||200m / 660ft||Unidirectional||Mineral||Stainless steel||45mm||12.1mm||48.5mm||22mm||Date|
|Vostok Amphibia||Automatic||200m / 660ft||Bidirectional||Acrylic||Stainless steel||40mm||14.4mm||46mm||18mm||Date|
|Timex IQ Adventure Series Depth Gauge||Quartz||200m / 660ft||Unidirectional||Mineral||Stainless steel||46mm||19mm||?||22mm||Date, temp, depth|
|Stuhrling Aquadiver Regatta Champion||Quartz||200m / 660ft||Unidirectional||Krysterna mineral||Stainless steel||42mm||11.5mm||?||22mm||Date|
|Casio G-Shock DW9052-1B||Quartz||200m / 660ft||Stationary||Mineral||Resin / Plastic||43mm||14.7mm||48.5mm||?||Stopwatch, alarm, backlight|
#1 – Casio MDV106-1A
- Battery powered quartz – Approximately 3 year battery life
- 200m (660ft) water resistance
- Unidirectional bezel
- Mineral crystal
- 45mm case diameter
- 48.5mm lug-to-lug distance
- 12.1mm height
- 22mm band width
- 92g weight (with rubber band)
- Date window
- Luminous hands and hour markers (cheap, short lasting)
Casio MDV106-1A Review is Up!
The Casio MDV106-1A is hands down the best traditionally designed dive watch in this price range. Powered by a very accurate quartz movement, and featuring the necessary diver features of a unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown, and 200m water resistance, you can’t go wrong with the MDV106-1A if your budget is limited.
Also, it just looks pretty, especially for a watch that’s only around $40. For anything besides constant dive use, I’d replace the rubber band with a two-tone grey and black NATO strap, such as this one.
Be aware that this is a large watch, with a case size of 44mm. Apparently the specifications on Amazon’s page are wrong, they list it as much smaller, at 40mm.
#2 – Vostok Amphibia
Vostok Amphibia Review is Up!
The famed Vostok Amphibia is a classic Russian dive watch appreciated by many serious watch collectors. It’s available ludicrously cheap, $60-$80 depending on model, for a mechanical watch.
Does the Vostok Amphibia make a great dive watch?
That depends on what you’re looking for. It’s the only diver on this list that features a mechanical movement. If you’re tired of quartz watches and want to spend less than $100 on an automatic, the Amphibia would be great.
If you just want a practical watch for basic time-keeping while in the water, I’d go with the Casio MDV106-1A above. It’ll be more reliable and durable.
Be sure to check out my full review of the Vostok Amphibia here before you decide.A by-no-means comprehensive selection of Amphibia models.
|420059 – 'Scuba Dude' – logo'd diver on blue dial, bezel with red / black circles.||420270 – black dial with Arabic numerals, bezel with red / black circles.||120509 – black dial, 12, 3, 6, 9 Arabic numerals. Bezel marked with bars and 15' increments.||090660 – squarish case, black dial. First 15' on bezel marked with ticked red bar.||420374 – 'Zissou' – ships wheel and anchor on dial. Bezel marked with red and black circles.|
#3 – Timex IQ Adventure Series Depth Gauge
Timex T2N958 Review is Up!
You’ll have to keep an eye out to get the Timex Depth Gauge for under $100, but it’s definitely doable. I picked up my T2N958 with the yellow band for ~$90 (full review coming soon), but all the models are usually available on Amazon for right around the $100 level.
The Depth Gauge is a big tuna can of a watch. With a 46mm case diameter and 19mm high, it sits loud and proud on the wrist.
Not the most ‘dressy’ of divers on this list, it’s still a very practical tool/sport watch. I really like the temp and depth gauges.
I’ve taken mine on a few dives at this point, and so far my only complaint is the lack of a lume pip on the bezel. This makes it hard to read the elapsed time in the dark.
Overall, very recommended – read my full, in-depth review here!
Timex Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Variations
|Only model that comes stock with bracelet. Stainless steel case, black dial. Blue depth markers.||Black case with bright yellow strap. Black dial, depth markings in yellow.||Stainless case, black rubber strap. Bright orange dial.||Stainless case, black rubber strap. Black dial, depth markings in yellow.|
#4 – Stuhrling Aquadiver Regatta Champion (Review)
Regatta Champion Review is Up!
It’s got all the traditional diver features: 200m WR, screw-down crown, screw-lock caseback, unidirectional bezel, and easily read dial and hands.
So far I’ve got my problems with the watch (sloppy bezel for one) but none of those prevent me from recommending it, especially if you’re looking for something a bit more bright than the Casio MDV106-1A above.
Aquadiver Regatta Champion Variations
Reference # 395.33B11 395.33I117 395.33P154 395.33TT11 395.33U16
Dial Color Black Black Black Black Blue
Bezel Color Black Orange Green Red Blue
Accent Colors White & Silver Orange & White Green & White White & Rose White & Silver
#5 – Casio G-Shock DW9052-1B
While really not a diver’s watch, the famous Casio G-Shock is definitely up to the task of keeping time while on a dive, or for any other sport for that manner. Many dislike the blocky design, but that hasn’t stopped thousands and thousands of G-Shocks, in many different models, from selling for years.
Casio sells models of the G-Shock with many different functions, in a wide price range. The DW9052 is pretty basic as far as they go, with only stopwatch and alarm features, but it’s 200m water resistance and backlight will make it perfectly suitable for any outdoor activity.
So if you’re not completely committed to a more traditional dive watch design, and are just looking for a tough, all around useful sports watch, this Casio G-Shock will serve you nicely.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you found something you like! If not, be sure to check out my other price guides: