As a follow-up to our recent guide to mid-range Seiko dive watches, we’re back with another helpful article. This time, though, we’re looking at diving tools from the Swatch Group below €1,500.

A quick look at the Swatch Group shows a staggering 18 different brands in the portfolio. From Swatch itself up to Breguet, this massive company offers something for every budget. The heart of the lineup, though, brings some serious value to prospective buyers with a lot of pricing overlap. This is especially true when it comes to mechanical divers below €1,500. We often talk Seiko when it comes to great value in this sporty sector, but don’t count out the Swiss. Swatch Group has upped its game over the past five years and we’re going to show you our favorites. The awesome thing here is that there are different case materials, movements, and even silicon hairsprings involved!

Swatch Group divers

Let’s set some ground rules for this guide to the Swatch Group Divers. As mentioned, we are keeping the price limit to €1,500 and every entrant must be mechanical. That rules out pieces from brands such as Omega, Rado, and Union. Also, some brands offer more than one option that fits our criteria. By and large, we will keep it to the most popular model in order to keep this list manageable. This is Swatch Group after all and that means we could be here all day! Lastly, I used German market prices at the time of writing.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto — the most affordable Swatch Group diver

Our first Swatch Group diver comes from Hamilton in the form of the Khaki Navy Scuba Auto. Detractors will be quick to point out the scant 100 meters of water resistance, but the watch comes equipped with a screw-down crown and screw-in solid case back. A sapphire crystal and external bi-color dive bezel round out the package on this wearable 40mm stainless watch. Hamilton uses the H-10 automatic, which is a heavily modified ETA 2824-2 with 80 hours of power reserve. Here, there’s a date window at 4:30 that looks pretty good in my opinion against the 24-hour dial with applied indices and logo. Buyers can choose from all sorts of colors like the green one that Ben reviewed to blue and black with various bezels. These start at just €658 on a nylon strap and climb to just €707 on either a bracelet or rubber. Visit Hamilton for more information.

Mike’s take: It’s hard to dislike the lowest cost mechanical Swatch Group diver. There’s nothing revolutionary going on here in terms of styling, but that makes it incredibly wearable. Sure, the water resistance is low and the movement is decidedly old-tech versus some of the other watches we’ll see, but this is a classy entry-level buy. Best of all, you won’t feel like you’re wearing a cheap watch despite the wallet-friendly price.

Tissot Seastar 1000

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic

The next Swatch Group diver barely costs more than the Hamilton we just discussed, but it packs loads of value for your few extra Euros. The Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic is a high-content 43mm stainless diver. This bold piece comes in a dizzying array of dial colors and case finishes.

There’s a PVD gold model, PVD black, and even bi-color. For your perusal, there are different types of bracelets and rubber straps. But what really impresses is the ceramic unidirectional dive bezel and screw-in display back. You can behold the Powermatic 80 with optional silicon hairspring and standard 80-hour power reserve. Tissot adds its date window at 6 o’clock which looks nice against the gradient dials with applied indices and bold luminous hands. The lowest cost models start at €677 on rubber and head up to €833 with the silicon hairspring and on the bracelet. Visit Tissot for more details.

Mike’s take: The Tissot isn’t the smallest Swatch Group diver, but it’s a really clean good-looking design. I like that Tissot uses a case design that’s not evocative of a Submariner or something else. It’s fairly unique looking and offers proper diving chops along with a really cool movement. The addition of an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring at this price is just awesome. Balazs gave us a nice write-up on the normal 1000.


Mido Ocean Star Tribute

Things get a bit tricky with the next Swatch Group brand because there are several divers on offer that meet our criteria. Mido makes no less than three dive watches under the Ocean Star banner. There’s a chronometer rated Diver 600 that exceeds our €1,500 threshold and there’s the volume model 200 in 42.5mm that comes in loads of colors and case materials such as stainless, PVD gold, and even titanium.

For my money, though, I prefer the slightly retro Ocean Star Tribute. This watch retails for €990 and comes in a chalky blue or black with contrasting orange seconds hand. The 40.5mm steel diver is good down to 200 meters, comes with both a sweet looking beads of rice bracelet and strap while using the Powermatic 80 movement. Head to Mido for more information.

Mike’s take: I think this is one of the best looking affordable divers on the market and it’s from a brand no one really cared about just a few years ago. Swatch Group has put a lot of effort into Mido and this is the payoff. The blue Ocean Star Tribute is just lovely and even though the aluminum bezels look positively Rolex, they’re fine. This is just a sweet looking watch. The case, if you’re wondering, is shared with the limited edition Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 that Tomas recently reviewed.

Certina DS PH200M Blue

Certina DS PH200M Blue — the newest Swatch Group diver

I am going to cheat a bit with Certina because I think that of all the Swatch Group brands, these guys bring the most heat. I am not going to talk about one, but three watches! Yes, they’re that good! The first diver worth mentioning is the newest and that’s the DS PH200M Blue that Balazs recently reviewed. This one is not to be confused with the available retro (read: acrylic crystal) DS PH200M we first saw in 2018. This new Blue piece brings in a sapphire crystal, a wonderfully rounded ceramic bezel, and a display case back. This watch uses a 42.8mm stainless or black PVD case with the Powermatic 80. You’ll get 200 meters of water resistance along with a classy dial that brings in gold sword hands and an applied logo. All this starts at €857 on leather or nylon, then heads to €872 for PVD, and €911 on the mesh. There’s plenty of detail on DS PH200M on the Certina site.

Mike’s take: Certina took a great release in the 2018 DS PH200M and gave it modern materials to make it more appealing for the market. And guess what? The brand made a great looking watch that’s distinctive, classy, and capable all in one! Like Mido, the Swatch Group has been putting serious time into Certina and they’re making some of the best bang-for-buck watches out there. And honestly, I think that its divers, such as this model, are the best.

Certina DS Action Diver

Each Swatch Group brand has its big seller in the dive watch genre and for Certina, that’s the DS Action Diver. This is a 300-meter diver with a 43mm case, the Powermatic 80, and a sapphire crystal. Certina makes these in a load of colors in steel including a special edition (Balazs covered it here) to benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy for just €774 on a bracelet. The star of the bunch, however, is the DS Action Diver in titanium. This model adds a grey dial that perfectly matches the darker metal of the case and bracelet. It’s more expensive at €950, but it’s a lot of watch for the money. More can be found on the Certina site.

Mike’s take: Call me crazy, but I see this as the DS Action Diver as Swatch Group trying to offer a bargain Seamaster 300M. It doesn’t have the Lyre lugs of the Omega, but I feel there’s a resemblance there somewhere. Maybe it’s the bezel? Either way, this is a sweet watch lineup and regarding the Titanium, I’m not alone in thinking this. Balazs gave it a proper thumbs-up in his review.


Certina DS Super PH500M

Because it’s once, twice, three times a Certina… As I said, the Swatch Group has really put some work into the brand with a Turtle as its mascot. This time, though, we bring the most serious diver of this article into the fold. The DS Super PH500M is a bit of a reissue, but it is no puff piece. This sweet action diver recalls a professional dive watch from way back in 1969, but everything has been thoroughly updated for modern usage.

A 43mm stainless case houses the Powermatic 80, fronted by a sweet orange dial. All of this comes together on a rubber strap to create a proper workhorse 500-meter diver. At almost 15mm thick, this one is meant for proper exploring. The best thing is that all of this capability comes in at just €872. Our man Balazs took a look at this leviathan and came away with positive impressions. Certina has a nice page on this watch with a bit of history.

Mike’s take: I really love it when a massive company like the Swatch Group releases a bit of a passion project. Let’s face it, an orange bulky diver with a 500-meter rating on a rubber strap doesn’t define mainstream. This is precisely why I think something like the Certina DS Super PH500M is so interesting. Plus, if this price isn’t offensive to you, this is a great Summer watch in the same vein as, say, a Seiko Tuna. This one is for the professionals and the watch nerds; you have to admire that!

Longines HydroConquest — the most expensive diver here

Our final Swatch Group diver comes from one of the best selling watch brands in the world. That would be Longines and our choice is the 43mm stainless steel HydroConquest. Longines sells these by the bushel and it’s not hard to understand why. Longines boasts upgraded finishing versus its lower-cost stablemates, but the HydroConquest still comes in at a reasonable €1,433 on a bracelet or rubber strap with deployant buckle.

The brand equips this diver with a 120-click ceramic-inlaid bezel and uses the L888 (Eta-based) automatic that has 64 hours of power reserve. This watch also has 300 meters of water resistance, so it can attend parties with more expensive competitors. Longines offers this watch in loads of attractive colors with matching bezels such as olive green, blue, grey, and black. Of note is an older 44mm version with an aluminum bezel that’s still on sale for just €1,102. For our money, we’d take the newer version. More can be found here on the Longines site.

Mike’s take: I admit that the HydroConquest isn’t my favorite affordable Swatch Group diver, but it comes from a well-respected brand and brings upscale features (like the ceramic bezel inlay) and more upmarket finishing. What I also like are the new colors such as the green. Even the blue model just looks better with the ceramic bezel. You can have a look at our article here where we compare the Longines to the Tissot Seastar 1000.

Final thoughts on Swatch Group dive watches

As you can see, the Swatch Group offers a lot of dive watches under the €1,500 ceiling. These watches bring varying levels of technology and most compete really well versus Japanese watches in the same price bracket. I also think that the Group did a great job of addressing the value-laden proposals from microbrands while promising a strong dealer network and traditional reliability. Of all of these, which is your pick?

Swatch Group Divers

    Swatch Group divers under €1,500.