The Best Titanium Dive Watches Currently Available — Top 10 From Rolex, Omega, Grand Seiko, And More
Last week, Nacho and I talked about creating a list of the best titanium dive watches out there. And wouldn’t you know it? As if we knew what was coming, this week, Rolex announced its new Deepsea Challenge. This 50mm fully titanium beast of a watch is Rolex’s first fully titanium non-prototype timepiece. It’s a total coincidence, as the watch caught us off guard just as much as it did most people. It does, however, give this list a little bit of extra newsworthy relevance. The most famous watch brand in the world has broken into the world of titanium timepieces. Is it the start of the revolution? While that doesn’t seem likely, it will be good to make a list of some of the best titanium dive watches currently out there.
As a material for luxury watches, titanium has been very divisive. Yes, there are a lot of people that love the material’s properties. But for every person that likes it, there seems to be someone that loathes it. You can even see examples of this within the Fratello team. Most of us have both stainless steel and titanium watches, so we have the chance to experience wearing both. But even so, the opinions greatly differ on the preferred material.
Titanium has a greater purpose
However, we all agree that titanium is the perfect material in certain circumstances for practicality’s sake. Great examples are the Omega X-33 models for space travel, in which every ounce of weight is vital. But for those with less ambitious plans, diving will be the perfect territory for titanium timepieces. A titanium watch offers great practical advantages if you are a serious diver, not a desk diver. But as most owners of luxury watches are in the latter category (including me), the practical need is less prevalent.
There is one big “issue” that many people have with titanium as a luxury material, and that is its lighter weight. For some reason, if we are to take a luxury watch seriously, many of us need it to have a certain heft. Lightweight materials are traditionally associated with cheap watches, especially plastic and rubber. But with titanium, ceramic, forged carbon, and the like, we’re seeing an increase in the use of lightweight luxury materials. Brands like Grand Seiko have shown that titanium can also be finished meticulously. And with Rolex jumping on the titanium train, it will be interesting to see if the overall opinion on the material, or lightweight materials in general, will change. But first, let’s focus on the best current titanium dive watches.
Rolex Deepsea Challenge
Let’s start the list with the Rolex Deepsea Challenge. If we’re talking about serious divers’ tools, the Deepsea Challenge boasts an impressive list of specs that blows all the competitors out of the (wait for it…) water. This beast comes with a 50mm Grade 5 titanium case that is 23mm thick and sports a 9.5mm-thick sapphire crystal. The watch is also water-resistant to a whopping 11,000 meters. It comes equipped with a helium-escape valve and a full-titanium bracelet but forgoes the date window that we know from the 44mm Deepsea. Rolex powers this watch with its caliber 3230, featuring 70 hours of power reserve and praiseworthy accuracy of ±2 seconds per day. The new Deepsea Challange costs €25,590. Yes, it’s a lot of money for a bonkers timepiece. But it’s also Rolex’s first series-production fully titanium watch, which might be even more revolutionary than the list of specs the watch boasts.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 6000M Ultra Deep
The second watch on this list is also an obvious one. In the race to create new titanium dive watches that boast record-breaking specs, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 6000M Ultra Deep was introduced to much praise earlier this year. The watch comes with a 45.5mm titanium case that features beautiful manta lugs, is 18.12mm thick, and has a lug-to-lug of 56mm. So it’s definitely smaller than the new Rolex Deepsea Challenge. Thanks to four patents pending for the case construction, Omega managed to achieve a water resistance of 6,000 meters. Inside the case, the brand uses its METAS-certified caliber 8912, which has a 60-hour power reserve and provides an average accuracy of -0/+5 seconds per day. For a price of €13,000, this Planet Ocean 6000M Ultra Deep can be yours. But in all honesty, the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition might be a more popular and wearable option from Omega.
Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200M
If there is one brand that deserves multiple spots on this list, it’s Citizen. The brand released the first titanium watch with the X8 Titanium Chronometer in 1970 and made its own SuperTitanium as the standard material used for many of its dive watches. For this list, we picked the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200M, the perfect combination of new materials and vintage-inspired charm. The watch is based on the original Citizen Challenge Diver 150M from 1977 with an update to a 41mm Super Titanium case. Combine the great style and the automatic caliber 9051 with an accuracy of +20/-10 seconds per day, and you end up with a seriously cool watch. At €750 on a bracelet and €650 on a rubber strap, this new Promaster Mechanical Diver 200M has been part of some of the year’s best lists that we have compiled. But let this watch trigger you to check out more of the great titanium pieces that Citizen produces that are a testament to its heritage in titanium divers.
Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium
Another great budget-friendly option is the Baltic Aquascaphe Titanium. We are used to Baltic watches punching way above their weight class, and this Aquascaphe Titanium is no different. It’s why we also featured it in our list of best watches released this year under €1,000. The Aquascaphe Titanium features a 41mm titanium case that is 13.6mm thick. To be more precise, the brand made the bezel slightly larger than the 39mm bezel of the regular Aquascaphe. The bezel comes fitted with a lumed, brushed ceramic inlay. You can choose between the black version and a beautiful blue version. Aside from the different dial and bezel colors, both watches also differ in the color of the lume. The black version features green-glowing lume, and the blue version has blue-glowing lume. Baltic powers the Aquascaphe Titanium with the automatic Miyota 9039 caliber, delivering 42 hours of power reserve. Priced at €710 excluding VAT, this is one of the greatest options out there for an affordable titanium diver.
Grand Seiko SLGA015
Another brand that cannot be left off this list is Grand Seiko. Besides creating a significant number of its watches in titanium, Grand Seiko has also shown time and time again how to properly finish the material to make it look stunning. The latest titanium diver that the brand added to the line-up is the SLGA015, which is part of the brand’s Evolution 9 collection. What I love about the Evolution 9 collection is the exploration of modern case designs. Grand Seiko has several titanium divers in its Sport collection, but this is the next step in terms of case design mixed with some familiar elements of the previous models. The watch is made of high-intensity titanium and features a substantial case that is 43.8mm wide and 13.8mm thick with a lug-to-lug of 51.5mm and 200 meters of water resistance. This size is actually not much smaller than SBGA463 in the Sport collection. Inside the case, however, Grand Seiko equipped the watch with its new 9RA5 Spring Drive movement with a whopping five days of power reserve and an accuracy of ±0.5 seconds per day. I love the combination of the case shape and the spectacular dial inspired by the Kuroshio Current, aka the Black Stream. At €11,800, this is nothing short of an impressive timepiece.
Tudor Pelagos 39
Next up is a great modern hit from Tudor, the Pelagos. But which one? All of the Pelagos models are made of titanium and deserve a spot on this list, depending on your preferences. We picked the Tudor Pelagos 39 because it is a very welcome addition to the lineup. The regular Pelagos, the LHD, and the FXD all feature a 42mm titanium case. The slightly smaller Pelagos 39, however, will hit the sweet spot for a lot of watch fans. As Lex described perfectly, the Pelagos has the charm of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and combines it with the ruggedness of the other Pelagos models. It boasts a 39mm case that is 11.8mm thick, has a 47mm lug-to-lug, and is water-resistant to 200 meters. Inside the Grade 2 titanium case, you will find Tudor’s COSC-certified manufacture caliber MT5400 with a 70-hour power reserve. You can get it on the bracelet for €4,170 with an extra rubber strap. But as Lex’s article showed, it is a true strap monster that looks amazing.
Seiko Prospex S23635J1
The Seiko “Tuna” watches are among the most legendary pieces in the watch universe. This is not only because of their incredible legacy as professional tool watches for divers but also their design, which has become iconic among watch fans. Granted, the design is an acquired taste, but at the Fratello offices, we have a huge soft spot for the Tuna models. In July of last year, Seiko released its Prospex 1986 Quartz Diver’s 35th Anniversary Limited Edition, otherwise known as the Prospex S23635J1. This beast of a watch comes with a titanium inner case and a zirconia ceramic outer protective case. The case measures an impressive 49.9mm wide and 16.3mm thick. It is also water-resistant to 1,000 meters. Inside that case, Seiko uses its quartz caliber 7C46, which displays hours, minutes, and central seconds along with the day and date indications. The Seiko Prospex S23635J1 has the chops and the looks for a real diver and is not for your average desk-diving watch. As Lex stated, the watch is an impressive beast that can be yours for €2,700.
Certina DS Action Diver Titanium
Earlier this year, Certina introduced its updated DS Action Diver line. Lex did a video review for the stainless steel DS Action Diver that he liked quite a bit. Another option in the range is the updated titanium model that looks amazing and offers great value for the money at €1,170. This DS Action Diver Titanium is the follow-up to the previous model that Balazs reviewed in 2019. In essence, the set of specs remains the same, but the aesthetics got a very welcome vintage-inspired update. This DS Action Diver features a 43mm titanium case that is 13.10mm thick and water-resistant to 300 meters. The watch comes with a black ceramic bezel inlay with cream-colored numerals. The dial follows the same color pattern, making for a great-looking timepiece. Inside the case, Certina used the Swatch Group’s shared Powermatic 80.611 movement that boasts 80 hours of power reserve. This new Certina DS Action Diver Titanium is another great affordable release from a brand that excels in the “bang for the buck” segment.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium Limited Edition
Okay, okay, I said currently available watches, but just look at Zodiac’s Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium Limited Edition and tell me that it doesn’t deserve a spot on this list! And knowing Zodiac, I’m sure we’ll see a different, equally colorful version of this stunner in due time. This special version of the Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver was created to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the brand. It comes with a titanium case that measures 42mm in diameter and 14.3mm thick with water resistance to 300 meters. Inside the titanium case, you will find a COSC-certified chronometer-grade Sellita SW200-1. But for me, it’s all about the colors, as it is with so many Zodiac releases. The pale green, orange, and black colorway looks stunning. Add the Jubilee-style bracelet, and the result is a hit. The watch was for sale for €2,480 but sold out not too long ago. Let’s hope we will see more titanium releases from Zodiac soon.
Atelier Holgur Frømand
The last watch on this list was unveiled last week and certainly got you, the Fratelli, talking. This new Atelier Holgur Frømand combines great style with a set of serious diving specs and an impressive movement. The Frømand features a 40mm Grade 5 titanium case that is 13.5mm thick and water-resistant to 300 meters. I personally love the angular case design with its “integrated strap bars.” The black DLC 120-click unidirectional dive bezel is also a well-designed feature. The bezel features a count-up diving scale executed in white that lights up in the dark thanks to the use of Super-LumiNova. The base shape of the bezel is round, but the faceted edges provide grip as well as add a present-day design twist to it. If you turn the watch around, you are greeted by the Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200 caliber. The automatic movement consists of 198 parts, operates at 21,600vph, has 33 jewels, and delivers 86 hours of power reserve. At CHF 8,850 excluding local taxes, this is a costly first release for Atelier Holgur. I can’t wait to find out if it delivers on all its promises in a future hands-on. For now, it looks very promising.
Let’s hear from you
There you have it — our list of the best ten titanium dive watches currently available (well, with one slight exception that you’ll have to find secondhand). But with a lot of impressive releases, there are so many great watches that could have been on this list, from the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M 007 Edition and the Sinn T1 to the Oris Aquis Titanium Date and the Panerai Luminor Marina TuttoGrigio. That’s why I am passing the question to you…
What is your favorite titanium diver that is currently available? Let us know in the comments section.