Editor’s note: To grab all sorts of goodies, head here for more #menswear shopping picks.
We’re back today with another edition of The Style Guide, and we’re “diving” in (literally) to a crucial area for spring and summer (and heck, year-round) style — the best men’s dive watches to buy now. Why is it so critical and helpful to own a great stainless steel dive watch, particularly during the warmer months? As we’ve talked about time and again here, versatility in the #menswear world is paramount, especially when shopping on a budget. Now, make no mistake — it pays to have an arsenal of versatile watches, including a stylish casual watch (think less rugged, more laidback). However, a tough dive watch — a style favored notably by James Bond — can be the accessory equivalent of a reliable pair of slim tan chinos. That is, you can wear it with nearly any outfit, from a classic pocket tee and dark denim to a tailored suit for a summer wedding (that’s especially true if it leans dressier in nature), to a pair of chino shorts and white sneakers. And although there are rugged rubber-strap watches out there made specifically for diving, a stainless steel timepiece is the more versatile of the two options — lucky for all of us, there are plenty of options to be had that’ll work during summer when you head to the beach, and thereafter when you head to the bar. Functionality is key, but we won’t get into the specifics of debating watch movements (at least today). So settle in, pop open a new browser window (multi-tasking), and read on to find out more about the best men’s dive watches to buy now. (P.S. Check out my Instagram page for more tips on how to style a stainless steel dive watch).
#1. Invicta 8926 Pro Diver — $69.26
Watch number one here has long been a Style Guide favorite — check out this 2013 review of the Invicta Pro Diver, for starters. And while it doesn’t have the flash, name recognition or acclaim of the watch it’s patterned after (that would be the legendary Rolex Submariner), the Invicta 8926 Pro Diver is just as noteworthy for its combination of durability and style. That gets you major points over at Style Guide HQ, as my personal watch is still going strong. Now, it’s not fit for full-on deep-sea diving per se, but it’s water-resistant to 660 feet — that’s pretty far down. Plus the 40mm case diameter is a very nice size for most of us, and the styling potential is on-point.
#2. Orient Mako II Dive Watch — $325
Whereas the Invicta Pro Diver is an affordable diver, the Orient Mako II jumps into another price range while still remaining in reach if you save up. It’s from the brand’s most popular collection of watches, and for good reason — it’s no frills yet comes equipped with a handy and functional diving bezel, plus a 41.5mm case diameter that’s not too large on an average-sized wrist. The 40-hour power reserve is quite handy, and it again comes with a 660-foot water resistance built in. It’s right in the sweet spot in terms of both casual and refined style, so pair it up with a slim polo and sneakers with ease.
#3. Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch — $133.16
Seiko, like the aforementioned brands on this list, continues to provide on-point styling potential and quality at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Its Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch is but another timepiece that gets it right on multiple fronts, including a unique case design that eschews numerals in favor of dressier markings. Yet, you still get the functionality of a dive watch — the 43mm case diameter and 100-meter water resistance help see to that. It’s a nice mix of sporty and casual, so you can definitely rock it with a slim blue chambray shirt and grey chinos to the office, and wear it out on the weekends to a patio bar crawl. This particular model tends to sell out quickly, so get on it while it’s there.
#4. Stuhrling Aquadiver 664 — $71.69
Have you noticed that Amazon is a great place to find affordable dive watches? If not, I’d definitely recommend you take a look at it (if you hadn’t guessed that from the above recommendations). Stuhrling is an underrated brand that’s also a Style Guide favorite, including the Stuhrling Classic Ascot Agent Watch on the dressier side. The Stuhrling Aquadiver 664 features a smaller, more refined 39mm case diameter, so it leans a little crisper in both look and feel (if ever you were looking for a cost-effective dive watch to wear with a suit, this is it). It’s also made with diving in mind — the water resistance is 660 feet — so use it as you please on the water or on land.
#5. Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono — $900
Now, just because Shinola found itself in hot water recently with the FTC doesn’t mean that its watches should be sworn off entirely. The Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono in particular is a super-premium, super-durable and super-stylish take on the dive watch, with plenty of sporty style built right in. The 47mm case diameter is positively monstrous, so it might not be a good fit for everyone. However, it’s a bit different than the classic dive watch, with thinner links, a dressier look and feel and a water-resistant rating of less than 100 meters. So, wear it reliably and across a variety of occasions, but take care of it. Does that defeat the purpose of a dive watch? If you’re looking for versatile style out of an investment-worthy piece, certainly not.
It’s always tough to narrow down any product category in these Online Shopping Picks to just five options — if you want to go up in price, might I suggest a rugged watch built for the field from Filson, among other options. If you get stuck in your shopping search, the folks at Dappered always offer great picks for stylish men’s watches. And if you’re really in a spending mood, why not spring for a classic timepiece like the Rolex Submariner? Ahh, yes — that price. At any rate, sticking with one of the affordable picks above should have you set in matters of style and saving. That’s a win-win at any time of day, right?