A lot of people are completely obsessed with orange dive watches, and for good reason. They offer a very bright alternative to the mass of black and white dialed watches available, and visually pop off of the wrist.
Why are bright orange dials so popular on dive watches?
Orange faced dive watches have been a classic look since the 1960’s, when DOXA first released their SUB diver aimed at both professional and recreational divers.
They chose orange after testing various bright colors at depth to see what offered the best contrast between the dial and the luminous tritium paint used on the hands.
Ever since it’s release, the DOXA SUB has been ‘the orange diver’, which is why their latest watch, the SUB6000T released beginning of this year, is number one on this list.
Can’t afford the DOXA?
Don’t worry, neither can I. I’ve included plenty of mid-range and entry-level watches further down the list, such as the Seiko ‘Orange Monster’ or Orient ‘Orange Mako’.
These are extremely popular and well made watches, and will definitely satisfy your need for an orange dial.
The Best Orange Dive Watches
#1 – DOXA SUB6000T
- Alternance 10 automatic movement, modified and decorated by DOXA
- 42 hours power reserve
- Satin brushed stainless steel case
- 1800m (6000ft) water resistance
- 45mm diameter
- 47mm lug to lug
- 15mm thick
- Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal
- Helium release valve
- Unidirectional bezel with engraved no decompression limits
- Stainless steel bracelet
You can’t talk about orange faced divers without talking about DOXA SUB’s.
The orange faced DOXA SUB was first released in 1966, and has been copied by other companies ever since.
They picked orange for their dials after testing a variety of colors at depth for the best contrast between dial and hands.
The dial isn’t one only innovation from DOXA. They also integrated the NAVY no-decompression time tables into the timing bezel of the watch, allowing a diver to quickly and easily see how long they could stay down at the current depth.
If you’d like more history on the DOXA SUB, check out this article.
Be aware they’ve only kept the orange dial on the ‘Professional’ line of divers. Most of DOXA’s watches are also available in a black dial ‘Sharkhunter’ and blue dialed ‘Caribbean’.
If your budget allows, and you’re feeling the orange, you simply can’t go wrong with any of the DOXA SUBS.
#2 – Seiko SRP309 ‘Orange Monster’
What got updated with the new version? Mostly the movement. Instead of the older, more basic 7S26 found in the SKX781, the SRP309 features the 4R36. The 4R36 is more accurate and has the ability to hand wind as well as hacking seconds.
Used to be you could find the older SKX781 for cheap, but after a bit of searching it seems they’re actually more expensive than the newer model these days.
Anyways, the ‘Orange Monster’ is an extremely popular watch, and marks many peoples first mechanical watch purchase.
#3 – Orient FEM65001MW ‘Orange Mako’
The Orient Mako is an extremely popular entry-level mechanical diver. It’s a gorgeous watch, and the only common grievance among watch fans is the extra date pusher button at 2 o’clock.
The black dialed version makes on appearance on my list of best watches under $200, and the orange dialed Mako is just as nice.
The bright orange dial combined with the rather fashionable looking case and bracelet may be jarring to some, but personally I’m in love.
#4 – Luminox 3059.SET
Made of a durable carbon reinforced polycarbonate, Luminox watches can handle anything you could throw at them. Originally designed for use by the Navy Seals, you can trust that they’ve been put through the ringer.
Unlike most other dive watches that have a luminous paint that must be charged to glow, the 3059.SET has what Luminox calls ‘Night Vision Tubes’. Basically tritium illumination, they glow constantly for at least 25 years.
I think the black case and orange dial, combined with the blue glow in the dark markings, make for an awesome looking watch.
#5 – Seiko SNE109
- Seiko solar quartz movement
- Stainless steel case
- 200m (660ft) water resistance
- 42mm diameter
- 49mm lug to lug
- 14mm thick
- 20mm lug width
- Hardlex crystal
- Unidirectional bezel
- Rubber band
The SNE109’s sibling, the black dialed SNE107, also made it on my list of best dive watches available for under $200.
The bright orange dial combined with the silver bezel, case, and black rubber band are very sharp looking indeed.
Powered by the sun, the Seiko SNE109 will never need a battery change.
I like the SNE109 as a workhorse ‘tool diver’. It’s definitely not a dress watch, but will look right at place anywhere in the outdoors.