There's plenty of luxury dive watches on the market right now, so we've picked out three of our luxury favourites...
I think it's fair to say that dive watches are the most popular watch category on the market today. Even though most of us who own them aren't actually divers, there's just something about the nature of a dive watch that has an inherent appeal. For me, it's the fact that modern dive watches blend great aesthetics with impressive specifications. They can be both smart enough to wear to the office, and tough enough to take hiking.
Now there’s a lot of choice out there, and it can be hard to pick out which watches offer good value for money. So, we thought would be a good idea to partner up with our friends over at Fraser Hart and give you our pick of three of the best luxury dive watches on the market.
Anyway, if you’ll excuse the terrible pun, let’s dive right in! (Sorry… I couldn’t resist.)
The Longines Legend Diver
First up is the Longines Legend Diver. This watch has been a staple of Longines’ catalogue for many years now. It's available in a number of different dial colours, and even a bronze cased option too. It might not be the first watch you think of when it comes to dive watches, but this made our list for a few reasons. Namely, the design is incredibly unique and striking. It takes inspiration from a vintage Longines super compressor, and whilst Longines aren't the only people to take inspiration from the super compressors, the Legend Diver has a truly unique look.
Some specific details I absolutely love include the open 6 and 9 on the dial, the cross hatching of the twin crowns, and the frogman on the case back of the watch. All of which are some beautiful touches that are taken from the vintage dive watch that inspired it.
The 42mm case wears very well, despite its size and the lugs have a lovely downward curve meaning it hugs the wrist very nicely. And at just 12.7mm thick, it doesn't wear too tall either. The mesh bracelet is very well made, and the clasp is excellent, but you should be aware that it only has 3 micro-adjustment positions.
Looking at the specifications the Legend Diver has everything you'd expect from a true dive watch. It has a domed sapphire crystal with several layers of anti-reflective coating, a healthy 300m water resistance, and though there isn't that much lume on the dial, what is there is nice and bright. So, don’t worry, there shouldn't be any problems when it comes to legibility in the dark.
The Legend Diver uses a Longines L888 automatic movement, which has a very impressive 72-hour power reserve. This means you can take your watch off Friday night, and it will still be running on Monday morning.
The Longines Legend Diver is £1,960 on this mesh bracelet but you can also get it for £1,750 on a leather strap.
The Tudor Pelagos Left Hand Drive
Our next choice is perfect for anyone looking for an out and out tool watch. And it's the Tudor Pelagos Left Hand Drive. Where Tudor’s Black Bay line takes inspiration from the brand’s vintage pieces, the Pelagos offers a very contemporary take on a dive watch.
With the exception of a steel case back, the case and bracelet are titanium, and as a result the watch is ridiculously light. At 42mm wide and 14.45mm thick, the case is on the larger side, but that only lends itself to the toolish aesthetic of the watch. And despite its size, you’re not that aware of the watch on your wrist because it is so light.
As you might have noticed, the watch takes its name from the fact that the crown is actually on the left side of the watch. The practical reason for this is that if you are left-handed, you can wear the watch on your right hand and set the time without taking the watch off. But it's also good if you want to wear the watch on your left hand and not have the crown dig into the back of it. One thing to be aware of with the screw down crown is that the threads aren't reversed, so rather that screwing the crown away from you to tighten it, you actually have to screw it towards you.
The dial is really easy to read with a matte black base, light cream chunky hour markers and that iconic Tudor snowflake handset. The raised chapter ring that those hour markers cut into adds a fantastic bit of depth without cluttering up the watch, and I think it keeps the straightforward design interesting.
Naturally the Pelagos has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, along with some great lume that's really easy to read in the dark. It's also water resistant to an impressive 500m and comes with a helium escape valve.
The rotating bezel has a matte ceramic insert that’s in keeping with the functional aesthetic of the watch, and it also has a very crisp action to it. One of the neatest features about the Pelagos is that the bracelet has a spring-loaded micro adjustment, so it is incredibly quick and easy to adjust on the fly.
Powering the Pelagos is the Tudor calibre MT5612. This 26-jewel automatic movement has a whopping 70-hour power reserve and an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring. It's also a certified chronometer, so it will be accurate within an average rate of -4/+6 seconds per day.
All in all, the Pelagos has every feature you could conceivably want from a dive watch and the fact it is titanium is the icing on the cake. So, with the retail price of £3,440 and a 5-year warranty the Tudor Pelagos really is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a thoroughbred dive watch.
The Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m
Our final pick is the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m. This model has been around since 1993, and it was famously worn by Pierce Brosnan during his tenure as James Bond. The model has changed a lot over the years, but this current edition is the best yet.
Why is that? Well, chiefly because this Seamaster has a newer movement than its predecessors, in the form of the Omega Calibre 8800. This 35-jewel automatic movement has a respectable 55-hour power reserve, is resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss, and it’s a certified chronometer. On top of all that the movement has a co-axial escapement. This type of escapement has reduced friction over a standard lever escapement. The end result being that it provides improved accuracy and longer service intervals.
The Seamaster’s dial is made from the same blue ceramic as the bezel insert and features a laser-etched wave pattern. The use of ceramic gives the watch a very contemporary feel and the shade of blue chosen is wonderfully rich and vibrant. Combined with the stark white lume of the hands and markers, the end result is a watch that is not just really legible, but also oozes refinement.
Just like the Tudor, the Seamaster has a quick micro-adjustment system built into the clasp. Which again, is great to see on a high-end watch like this. However, one thing to be aware of this that the clasp is a bit on the chunky side.
As the name suggests, the Seamaster Diver 300m is water-resistant to, well, 300m. And it also comes with a helium escape valve. And, again as you’d expect to see, it has a domed sapphire crystal that has an anti‑reflective treatment on both sides.
The Seamaster retails for £4,450, which makes it the most expensive of the three watches, but it justifies that cost with an exceptionally high build quality. The finishing on the Seamaster is exceptionally good, and I think Omega have done a great job with this one of blending both form and function.
So, there we have it. Three watches that we think are excellent choices for anyone looking for a luxury dive watch! You can of course purchase these watches from Fraser Hart, and thank you to them for letting us film at one of their stores. Don’t forget to visit their website here.