Seiko makes some amazing (and relatively affordable) dive watches. Here are 9 of our favorites.
When most people think about quality dive watches, Swiss companies like Rolex, Omega and Breitling come to mind.
Those are great choices, but their popularity and quality have made them very expensive and sometimes hard to find for the average buyer.
Sure, there are budget Swiss brands that make divers, but what about something more unique? Seiko is a brand that has been making timepieces of all kinds for decades, and their watch selection is hard to beat.
The company makes their own movements, has some innovative features and are constructed to a quality level not often seen in reasonably priced timepieces.
Seiko divers are among the best on the market at any price, and there are dozens of special and limited-edition models that add interesting colors and designs to the company’s catalog.
The best thing about Seiko watches is that there is a model for nearly any budget, no matter how small.
The company makes some of the most affordable watches of any type, and on the premium end their products compete with some of the biggest names in Swiss watchmaking.
Fortunately, even the cheapest Seiko watches are quite high quality, and all are very durable. The company’s dive watches are known for being accurate and tough as nails, but there are so many models that it can be difficult to choose one that works best for your needs.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best Seiko dive watches you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
The Best Seiko Dive Watches for Men
Here are some of the best Seiko dive watches available today…
Here’s a truly legendary watch.
The Legend: SKX 007
The SKX007 is one of the most versatile and wearable watches of any kind, anywhere on earth. It works on a rubber strap, a leather band, a Jubilee bracelet or a standard oyster-style bracelet, and the best part is that it only costs a couple hundred bucks brand new.
The SKX comes in black with a black dial and bezel, but there’s a depth and richness to the timepiece’s appearance that helps it punch well above its $300 price tag.
It’s tough as nails, too, sporting a 660ft water resistance depth, Seiko’s rugged Hardlex crystal, and an automatic movement. Not too shabby for a budget watch.
If you like the look of the 007, but want something smaller, check out the SKX013.
Seiko’s Prospex line is broad and includes several models with professional-grade construction.
The Turtle is a great example of this, as many of the models in the line are very affordable and feature high end technologies that are usually only found on much more expensive watches.
Turtles feature an offset crown at four o’clock to prevent the watch from digging into the wearer’s hand, and several come with rich and colorful dials.
Some our favorite models are:
The SRPD21K1 is a true classic.
Also known as the “Great White” for its textured blue dial that looks like ocean waves.
The Green Turtle Limited Edition.
This watch was only sold in Japan, but is available from several retailers online
The PADI Turtle. This watch is part of the Professional Association of Dive Instructors’ partnership with Seiko that has turned out several watches.
This one is quite attractive with its “Pepsi” red and blue bezel
The “Blue Lagoon” Turtle. This is a limited edition watch with a deep blue dial and a blue bezel.
Also in the Prospex line is the Samurai dive watch. This shape is a bit more traditional, with the crown at 3 o’clock, but the Samurai watches are typically a bit less expensive and less capable than their Turtle cousins.
Of course, we can’t talk about Seiko Prospex without mentioning the Tuna. The Tuna watches are beefy, very capable and very popular watches that have a wide range of prices and styles.
The most compelling designs in the Tuna line are the SBDY053 Diver, which is also known as the “Ice Frost Baby Tuna”. It has a beautiful snowflake-inspired dial that really pops in all light conditions.
On the other end of the color spectrum, Seiko makes an orange sunburst dial Tuna, the SBDC075. Another distinctive design is the Gundam 40th SBDX029 Red Zaku II Tuna, which has a deep red dial and 1000m water resistance.
Seiko Prospex Sea Diver SLA021J1
At 43.8mm in diameter, the Seiko Prospex Sea Diver SLA021J1 is currently available from Seiko’s catalog and is weighty on the wrist, a quality that many dive watch collectors feel adds to its solidity and its quality-like feel.
Its stainless steel case has received a super hard coating, topped with a stainless steel black-colored bezel. The Lumibrite on the watch’s hands and hour markers glow richly at night.
Scratching the surface of this watch would not be easy. The watch is crafted from one monobloc piece of steel, which keeps the watch in one piece for saturation diving and other daring underwater pursuits.
Formerly known as the Marinemaster, the origins of this Seiko dive watch are as solid as the design of the case itself.
With an accuracy of +15 to -10 seconds per day, this Seiko Prospex Sea dive watch provides a 50-hour power reserve courtesy of its 8L35 movement with both automatic and manual winding capability.
To complete its look, the watch is finished with a tough piece of anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass and comes fitted on a robust stainless steel bracelet, further increasing its versatility as a timepiece.
Seiko Prospex Solar SSC017
This makes it on our list of top dive watches from Seiko because of its eco-friendly design, its striking blue, and its black colorway. We also like that it’s a dive watch and a chronograph complication all rolled into one.
Sometimes referred to as the “Air Diver”, this Seiko Prospex watch is a 43mm stainless steel model with a 200-meter water-resistant rating and an ISO 6425 certification. The first 15 minutes of dive time on the bezel are etched out in blue to match the hand of the 6 o’clock sub-counter displaying the running seconds feature.
You can enjoy sub-second intervals at 9 o’clock, a 24-hour counter at 3 o’clock, and a date aperture nestled between the 4 and 5 o’clock locations.
What’s more, the quartz solar-charging movement is a hassle-free arrangement that offers an impressive 6-month power reserve with even more astonishing accuracy.
Seiko Prospex Samurai Save the Ocean Great White Special Edition SRPD23K1
One of the key characteristics of the Seiko Samurai watch has always been its angular-shaped case design which looks as though it has been sliced by a samurai sword.
The Seiko Prospex Samurai Save The Ocean Great White watch is a special edition timepiece that makes our list of top picks for the best Seiko dive watches since it is perfect for shallow diving.
You don’t have to be a professional diver to enjoy the many benefits of this dive watch. Its confident 43.8mm case crafted from stainless steel offers 200-meter water resistance and is topped with a unidirectional rotating bezel that frames an ocean-colored blue dial.
Its second hand is inspired by the tail of a Great White Shark whilst the 8 o’clock location reveals the discreet image of a shark’s dorsal fin.
The 60-minute scale on the bezel is unidirectional and has the first 15 minutes marked out for enhanced legibility. It will rotate only in the counter-clockwise direction to eradicate the risk of accidentally extending dive time.
The MarineMaster watches are more expensive and more capable than their Prospex counterparts. Several of the watches in the line are very chunky and heavy, so they’re not for every buyer, but even with the higher price point there’s plenty of value to be had in the lineup.
Notable models from the MarineMaster line include:
This is still technically a Prospex watch, but it’s labeled and sold as a MarineMaster.
As an MM300 watch, it features 300m water resistance, a magnetic field-resistant case, a screw-down crown and a ceramic bezel
This limited edition watch features a Hi-Beat movement and all of the same capabilities that make Seiko MarineMasters so special.
There’s 300m water resistance, a sapphire crystal, a screw-down crown and a ceramic bezel. That’s on top of the revered caliber 8L55 movement.
Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15
The Seiko Sea Urchin Mini Sumo watch is a great dive watch for smaller wrist sizes because it comes in an unimposing 41mm diameter. The Seiko Sumo is available in various designs, all of which boast a chunky, beefy exterior whilst remaining compact.
This Seiko Sea Urchin watch features a Pepsi dive bezel with a crisp 60-minute scale set against rich red and blue tones.
The watch features a Hardlex glass front and is equipped with an impressive 200 meters of water resistance, as well as a tough stainless steel case and a screw-down crown and caseback.
This Seiko dive watch secures to the wrist with a stainless steel link bracelet and a folding clasp. Another variation includes the SNZF15J2 reference with a deep blue rubber strap. Both models feature luminous hour markers and hands, a lollipop-style central second hand, and a clear day-date window located at 3 o’clock.
The Seiko Sea Urchin Mini Sumo watch is also powered by the 7S36 caliber movement.
This movement provides a useful 41-hour power reserve and is protected in Seiko’s innovative Diashock technology — an anti-shock system comprising a spring-loaded mechanism that was developed in 1956 to protect the movement’s balance wheel pivot from damage.
Of course, no list would be complete without looking at a few options from Grand Seiko…
Though it’s technically its own brand, the Seiko dive watch conversation wouldn’t be complete without discussing Grand Seiko, too.
The high-end cousin to “normal” Seiko, Grand Seiko makes timepieces of all types, including dive watches, that feature more advanced mechanical movements, more highly-finished case designs and better bracelets. Be prepared to pay a hefty premium for Grand Seiko watches.
This may be a turnoff for some buyers, as the increased price does not net an instantly recognizable premium brand name, but don’t be fooled. Grand Seiko makes some of the best watches of any type on the market today.
Some of the best dive options from Grand Seiko include:
Grand Sieko SBGA231
The Spring Drive 200m Diver Watch features Grand Seiko’s innovative spring drive movement cased completely in titanium.
The sapphire crystal has been given an anti-reflective coating for better visibility underwater
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000
This one serious dive watch. The Hi-Beat 36000 features Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9S85 movement, which has a power reserve of 55 hours and 36,000 vibrations per hour.
The watch has been tested for saturation diving and is rated down to 600m
As with any timepiece, it’s important to understand what you’re buying and to make sure that the watch will work for you.
Dive watches can be an especially awkward watch purchase because of their size, weight and sometimes bright colors, which can make it hard to find one that is just right.
Seiko makes watches of all sizes and that span several price points, so you won’t have to look far to find one that fits your wrist and your budget.
Grand Seiko Mechanical Hi-Beat Diver’s SBGH291
Certified to ISO 6425 standards and powered by a mechanical Hi-Beat movement, the Grand Seiko Mechanical Hi-Beat Diver’s watch is crafted from high-intensity titanium for a lightweight and ultra-strong feel on the wrist.
Its classic black diving dial is presented in Lumibrite-coated hour markers and hands and features a date window at 3 o’clock.
The case of this Grand Seiko dive watch is executed with the company’s distinctive Zaratsu polishing, yet the external features of the watch are not the only technically impressive parts.
Under the hood of this expertly developed 200-meter water-resistant dive watch is Seiko’s Hi-Beat movement, performing at a rate of 36,000 vibrations per hour and delivering a power reserve of 55 hours.
The watch secures with a titanium bracelet with a three-fold clasp and a secure lock-and-push-button release mechanism, as well as a slide adjuster.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Seiko dive watches.
Are Seiko Watches as Good as Rolex?
Grand Seiko is the other half of Seiko’s two exclusive watchmaking studios and offers a range of higher-priced diving watches such as the Grand Seiko Spring Drive divers watch, complete with a unique caliber that combines the high precision of a quartz movement with the motive force of a mainspring.
Other advantages include Grand Seiko’s exclusive Zaratsu polishing that cannot be found in lower-end Seiko watches or, indeed, a Rolex dive watch, as well as Lumibrite coatings on the hands and hour markers of the bezel.
Rolex, on the other hand, first put itself on the map for producing quality diving instruments around the same time, back in the 1950s.
It did this by using the unique Rolex Oyster case which began production in 1926, making it one of the world’s first dust-proof and water-proof cases.
Gradually modifications were introduced such as a self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor, not to mention an improved water-resistant rating and the addition of the most recent Triplock triple waterproofness crown-protecting device.
The company also has its own material foundry and is a Swiss-based brand, which many watch connoisseurs still consider the most important factor in owning a luxury watch.
One advantage Japanese brand Seiko has over Rolex is its vast array of different styles, designs, and features to enjoy throughout its extensive dive watch collection. The Prospex line is where you can find the highly-collectable Seiko Tuna and Seiko Turtle dive watches, both of which enjoy an enormous fan base.
For a much more affordable price than Rolex’s offerings, you can be guaranteed a unidirectional rotating bezel, luminous hands and indices, and a minimum water resistance of 200 meters in a Seiko dive watch — all of which are also features of the Rolex Submariner.
Is the Seiko Prospex Diver a Good Watch?
The Seiko Prospex Diver is an incredibly popular dive watch tool. The collection is home to some of the most iconic designs that Seiko has ever produced, namely the Seiko Tuna, Seiko Samurai, and the Seiko Turtle.
Seiko Prospex Dive watches make such great companions because they offer a reliable and robust case construction crafted from either stainless steel or titanium, and a highly accurate Japanese-made movement produced in-house at Seiko that will never falter.
Some of the top dive watches from the Seiko Prospex collection promise a water resistance of up to 1000 meters
Are Seiko Dive Watches Durable?
As well as their easy-to-use designs, long-lasting movements, and affordable prices, Seiko dive watches are also incredibly durable. This is due to the design of the Seiko dive watch’s case, promising impressive water resistance and air tightness.
Over the decades, many Seiko watches have been tested beyond endurance and pushed to their limits, surviving some of the most extreme conditions having been trialed under unimaginably tight tolerances.
Since 1966, Seiko diver watches have been exposed to extremely cold conditions. For instance, they’ve been utilized by the Antarctic Team Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.
They’ve also accompanied explorers and ascended Mount Everest, fully earning their integrity.
In 1983, two Seiko Professional Divers 600M watches were mounted to a research submersible used by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMET). They both superseded their water-resistant ratings, surviving depths of over 1000 meters as opposed to their expected 600-meter water-resistant capabilities.
One other feature that makes a Seiko dive watch such a popular choice when it comes to durability, is the brand’s unique glass case design. The feature is incorporated into models like the Professional 600M and proves up to ten times more impermeable to helium gas than other standard dive watches.
Seiko was also the first to offer a dive watch in titanium and produced the world’s first outer frame protector structure to ensure resistance against shock.