RJ’s Top 7 Mechanical Dive Watches Under €1,000 — Tissot, Citizen, Seiko, And More…
It is becoming more and more difficult to find a mechanical divers watch under €1,000, especially from the big brands. The watch landscape changed tremendously over the past 10–15 years, and prices have increased quite a bit.
Is it still possible to find a proper mechanical dive watch with this budget? In this top 7 mechanical dive watches under €1,000, you will find my favorites.
Top 7 Mechanical Divers Under €1,000
I am not a diver by any means. I only go for the occasional swim during my holidays. The real divers in our team are Gerard, Bert, and Andreas. They have their PADI qualifications and know a thing or two about what it takes to dive with a watch. And while I do like the looks of diving watches, the specifications are just not super relevant for me.
Looking at the ISO6542 standard, it makes me wonder how many divers watches out there are really certified, or just use some elements from the ISO framework? To meet the ISO6542 standard, the watch also needs to comply with certain baselines regarding visibility, shocks, magnetism, temperature changes, etc. It is not something I wanted to get into for this article, but we will get back to that in a whole series of future articles.
For now, let’s enjoy this overview of my top 7 mechanical divers under €1000.
7. Tissot Seastar 1000
A no-nonsense diver that is water-resistant to 300 meters, has a uni-directional bezel, 12 lumed hour markers, and wide lumed hands. It is part of Tissot’s T-Sport collection and features the well-known Powermatic 80 movement. The 43mm case is 12.7mm thick and attached to a rubber strap. Tissot’s Seastar 1000 models are also available with bracelets. The blue gradient is something I fancy on the Tissot. The steel version on the rubber strap retails for €725.
6. Citizen Promaster NY0076-10EE
This 46mm titanium dive watch by Citizen is certainly not the smallest in this top 7 mechanical divers overview. But, it is ISO6542 certified, so it has all the features a divers watch should have. Inside is the 8203 caliber, a self-winding movement with a day and date feature. The uni-directional bezel has a lumed pip and a different color for the first 15 minutes on the scale. The NY0076-10EE comes with an urethane strap. The retail price for the Citizen is €400.
5. Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto
Hamilton’s Khaki Navi Scuba Auto has a 40mm diameter and available in many different colors and with different strap combinations. I choose the green Khaki Navy Scuba Auto, which looks much better in the flesh than on Hamilton’s website. The date is positioned at 4:30, so perhaps not to everyone’s taste but at least it doesn’t leave out an hour marker. In this list, it is the watch with the least amount of water resistance — only 100 meters. That said, according to the ISO6542 standard from 2018, a divers watch need only withstand diving in water at depths of at least 100 meters. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba is powered by the caliber H-10 movement, with a power reserve of 80 hours. The retail price for the Khaki Navy Scuba on the steel bracelet is €725.
4. Mido Ocean Star Tribute
Priced just within our budget, the Mido Ocean Star Tribute is a perfect fit for this top 7 mechanical divers under €1,000. I mainly know Mido for its Commander watches with mesh bracelets, which I often considered buying in my early years of watch collecting. I found them very attractive but mostly because of the bracelet.
And the same is true of this bracelet! The 40.5mm Ocean Star Tribute is a Mido I would consider today in this price range. It is driven by the Swatch Group’s Powermatic 80 movement that we also see used by other brands in Hayek’s stable. It is a pretty neat watch, with proper diving watch features: it has a 200m water-resistance, a uni-directional bezel, and lots of Super-LumiNova. The price of the Mido Ocean Star Tribute is €990.
3. Certina DS PH200M Blue
The Certain is perhaps not your typical modern diver, but I love the vintage-inspired look. The diameter of 42.8mm makes the Certina a friendly companion on the wrist. The PH200M uses a Powermatic 80 movement, providing a power reserve of 80 hours. The retail price of the Certina is €857 and for €911 you will get it on a mesh bracelet.
2. Seiko Prospex SPB103J1
The Seiko Prospex SPB103J1 reminds me of my Sumo SBDC001. That watch was my entry ticket to mechanical Seiko watches. The green Seiko Prospex SPB103J1 is my pick when it comes to a diver from the Seiko collection, under €1,000. There are more to choose from, even for half of this price, but this is the one to have in my book. It has a 45mm diameter case, it is 13mm thick, and it comes on a steel bracelet. Inside, there’s the Seiko caliber 6R35 providing a power reserve of 70 hours. The Seiko SPB103J1 has a retail price of €830.
1. IANOS AVYSSOS IA02
I love the story of the IANOS AVYSSOS (which you can read here), but besides that, it is an original looking dive watch. It is not that I don’t want a dive watch with the typical look and feel, but I just adore the design of this AVYSSOS. As you can see, it is not a small watch (44mm wide and a 54mm lug-to-lug) but it still wears quite comfortably. Powered by a Sellita SW 216-1 movement, it offers 42 hours of power reserve. One of the coolest details of this watch is the sandwich dial, in my opinion. The IANOS AVYSSOS boasts a 300-meter water resistance, which should work for most people. The price of this watch is CHF 1,000.