The Best Automatic Dive Watches for Under £1,000
If you are a watch enthusiast, there is a good chance that, at some point in time, you are going to have owned or at the very least longed for a diving watch. The dive watch has garnered an almost universal appeal; it doesn’t matter whether you are a fully-fledged master of the depths or absent of the intent to dip so much as a toe in the water.
Inherently, the concept of the dive watch is to provide functionality and utility above all else. They offer the user a tool which can be used to time dives and measure decompression intervals; usually with a graduated rotating bezel or sliding scale. A dive watch must also be robust, water resistant, of course, and highly legible in murky waters.
Advancements in technology mean that today’s professional divers have access to sophisticated dive computers. However, traditional automatic divers’ watches are still widely used and continue to command the respect they deserve. In actual fact, one of our manufacturers supplies the Italian diving police force with automatic dive watches to this day; the timepieces must be up to task.
For the ‘desk-divers’ among us, divers’ watches are simply a great amalgamation of style and sportiness; in addition to their hardiness, they can be truly beautiful. We at Page & Cooper are delighted to offer some truly unique and intriguing diver’s watches at really compelling price points; today we want to focus on a few of the very best dive watches for under £1,000.
And what better place to start than with Squale; a specialist Swiss manufacturer with an illustrious history. Originally conceived by the Von Büren family, who designed and manufactured cases for many prestigious watch marques, Squale’s original Master watch won accolades as the trusted companion for world record-holding divers of the 1960s and 70s.
The very same DNA exists today in the Squale ’50 Atmos’ 1521; a tremendously accomplished 500m dive watch, offering simply unrivalled bang for buck. Constructed out of an ergonomic 40mm stainless steel case that hugs the wrist perfectly, the 1521 is available in a variety of case finishes and colours.
The Blue Ocean and Satinato Blue colours evoke the rippling water of Mediterranean shores; the former, shimmering with a sun ray blue dial, and the latter, pairing a bead-blasted case finish with a matte textured blue dial. I don’t think I have ever come across a better summer watch, and particularly in the United Kingdom these colours really brighten up those grey, rainy days.
Inside is the excellent ETA calibre 2824-2, set up by one of Squale’s small team of dedicated watchmakers; who craft everything with meticulous care and attention. A precise sixty minute uni-directional bezel is designed to be operable with a diver’s gloved thumb.
If your budget permits, upgrade to the Squalematic ’60 Atmos’ 1621. This affords the wearer a slightly larger case, which is water resistant to 600m, a beautiful domed sapphire crystal, and refinements such as applied baton hour markers on the dial. The Squalematic really pushes the limits of contemporary watchmaking.
Let’s move on to Marathon, whose range of dive watches are crafted in the Swiss district of La Chaux-de-Fonds, and tested to adhere to the strict tolerances of their Military clients.
At 36mm in diameter, the Medium range is just perfect for individuals with smaller wrists; with its Automatic and high-torque Quartz options. Impressively for a watch of such modest proportions, the Medium models retain a water resistance of 300m, and a full set of tritium tube markers on the dial. These are also present on the TSAR and GSAR models which are elevated in diameter to 41mm. Unlike luminescent paint compounds, the Tritium tubes will continue to glow regardless of whether they’re exposed to ultraviolet light.
One of my favourite features of these models is their versatility when paired with different strap options. Whilst at home on a Nylon or Leather NATO, Marathon’s 20mm brushed stainless steel metal bracelet is one of the very nicest I have ever tried; performing amazingly well, regardless of whether it is paired with your suit or your wetsuit.
There are dive watches for all tastes and budgets, but we hope you have enjoyed this foray into our favourite dive watches for under £1,000. If you need any more help navigating the range, please contact us, and we’ll make the water crystal clear.