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Name your top five divers!

8674 Views 48 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  Blink982
Ranking time again! If you were asked by a friend who wants to get into dive watches to recommend five watches to him to start the search, what would you choose? Regardless of price, can be a Seiko Monster or a JLC Navy Seals.

Criteria should be:

Readability (hands, lume (possibly also on bezel, layout)
Durability (waterproof, shockproof, not easy to scratch or easy to get scratches out)
Ergonomics (easy to use, e.g. big crown and easy to grasp bezel but also comfortable to wear)

I'm not an expert but I'd say to look at

Rolex Sea Dweller (both versions)
Seiko Tuna (various versions)
Omega Ploprof
Swiss Military CX 12000 ft
Citizen Ecozilla and BN0000

To make this perfectly clear; I want to know what your suggestions are, not what is right or wrong with my list. I know next to nothing about dive watches, so I would like to hear from the enthusiasts and see which watches get the nod most often. ;)


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I have to say, Till, your list is hard to beat. :-!

To clarify, I'm not a diver, so my list is based on watch collecting rather than diving criteria. Still, I think all of these will hold up to the criteria of durability, reliability, readability, comfort, etc.

Some of these I own, some I wish to own.

Citizen EcoZilla -- inexpensive, huge, and lots of fun. A great starter for the collection.

Seiko Tuna -- another legendary watch, one I hope to own someday.

Rolex Sub -- an icon. I'd recommend No-Date, clean and classic. A perfect addition to any collection.

Panerai 024 -- a dream watch for me. Great looks, another iconic design. :p Someday.

Longines Legend Diver -- a classy, dressier dive watch. Adds some versatility to the collection.

If I had to get by in life with 5 dive watches, these would be the ones. Today. Ask me again tomorrow...the list will surely change. ;-)
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And an honorable mention for the Sinn U1. Really should make the top 5.
I really think to recommend a watch, one has to have experience with it and have owned it - so many people talk about how this watch is so great and that watch is so great, but when they finally pick one up themselves, they flip it the next day. A "top" watch is a very personal preference and I would not recommend anything I haven't owned myself.

For me, I prefer dive watches with an automatic movement, good lume, an easy to read bezel, and a high quality bracelet. I've owned probably over a hundred dive watches and the following have stood out to the point where I would feel comfortable that other people spend their money on it:

1) Korsbek OE/Oceaneer
2) Zinex Trimix 46mm
3) Kobold Seal
4) DOXA 5000T
5) Orient 300M diver

My choices have less to do with what other people feel are iconic, and more of how they feel on the wrist and whether they have all the features I like. I felt like with these, I really got my money's worth on the watch.

Recently also picked up some of the new Zixen divers (DSR500,DSR1000,Trimix 44mm) and they are also rather outstanding.
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This changes every day, but today I'd mix up vintage as well as modern, in no order...

Vintage 5513 No Date Sub (classic Swiss but still attainable)
Kobold Seal, and get it DLC'ed (best-of-breed brawler)
Seiko MM300 (Japan!)
Sinn U1000 (Chrono)
And a Zixen (cause you gots to love teh microbrews)

There ya go!
With that much of experience, I'll be sure to look into all the watches on your list, Eric. So what are the criteria that you personally look for?

I thought of Panerai dive watches. I actually own one. But I wouldn't qualify mine (001) as a fully featured dive watch because it has neither minute scales nor a bezel. Even the PAM 024 lacks the minute scales. Probably a good idea to forgo the Panny in favor of the Sinn. I hadn't thought of the Sinn. Good idea.

Will look into the Longines. This is fun.

Thanks for the contributions so far.

1.) Rolex Sea-Dweller
2.) Rolex 5513
3.) Omega PloPorf 1200m
4.) Doxa (any of them, but I'd go for the 600 T-graph)
5.) IWC Aquatimer 3536
Bali'Hai Q- For when you need a grab & go quartz, great price

Felca Seascoper 3- For that "Yes i finally found it" moment

Blancpain 50 Fathoms- For an Icon that is not a Submarriner

Omega SMP- For when you need a chrono that works under water (Bond, white face)

Jenny Caribbean- My 1st girl friend was called Jenny

In reserve can i have an AP Royal Oak

They might not be the most reliable, accurate, durable.... but they are cool
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1. Seiko SKX007
2. Seiko Orange Monster

Those two should set the hook in deep, and then after the addiction has reached full rage, I'd recommend:

3. Doxa
4. Rolex Submariner
5. Omega PO

Kind of a goofy list, I know, but I love all those.
Still have:

1)Sinn UX
2)UTS 1000m
3)Omega PO

Wish I still had:

4)Anonimo Professionale
5)Breitling Seawolf
Out of the one's that I've owned, I've taken quite a few on actual casual dives and in my opinion, here are 5 divers that I like for different reasons:

1. Citizen Autozilla - functional, super tough duratect finish, robust movement, great lume, all around good dive watch.

2. Seiko Marinemaster 300m - no-frills, reliable, easy to read at a glance real-world dive watch (not too fancy but still composed of high-grade components)

3. G-shock Frogman (or any g-shock for that matter) - can handle anything, newer solar-powered are pretty much maintenance-free, functional.

4. IWC Aquatimer 2000 titanium.

5. Linde Werdelin Oktopus - because it's my recent acquisition, and I love the industrial design.

For divers that I don't own or haven't owned, my top 2 favorite would be:

1. Chopard LUC Pro-One - great movement and beautiful watch.
2. Omega Ploprof - Full of personality.
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UTS 1000m
Bremont Supermarine 500m
DWatch Stingray
Orient 300m
Sinn U1
Watches that I have owned ...

1. Omega Planet Ocean - Lume, bexel grip and smoothness, depth rating, visibility (AR)

2. Rolex SD - bezel grip,and smoothness, depth rating, then lume.

3. DOXA 750 - bezel grip (super), lume, depth
Oooh. Plenty of homework for me. Thanks!

I tried on the PO the other day. I admit it will certainly score high according to the criteria I myself set up but it did nothing for me. Besides being too big for me (and I can pull of a 44mm Panny with no problems) the design didn't do anything for me; and orange is my favorite color. It was really strange. Like the first time I drove a Porsche 911. I came in with high hopes and was very disappointed. Now I know better.

Aquatimer 2000 ti is a gorgeous watch. I guess that would rate pretty high, too.

To many choices. So it's good to see that there are some that show up again and again among the faves. That helps to narrow things down.

Top 5 that i have at this moment

16613 Rolex Submariner
Kobold Seal
Breitling SeaWolf in steel
Breitling SuperOcean
Omega SeaMaster Bond

honorable mention
Schaumburg COSC Aquamatic
JSAR auto Mod

For Quartz
Citizen EcoZilla
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1- Rolex Sub
2- Omega SMP
3- Zinex Trimix
4- Seiko Tuna
5- Casio Frogman
If I could only keep/have five dive watches, it would be something like this (caveat, as someone else said, this could change if you asked me tomorrow):

1.) Rolex Sub (probably older Sub LV with black bezel because I am loving the extra lume over the Sub No Date)
2.) Omega SMP 2254
3.) Doxa 600t Pro
4.) Kobold Soarway Diver (SS with blue dial)
5.) Omega Ploprof 600m (the vintage one)

Honorable mention to the Blancpain FF Sport, PAM 25 and the new vintage IWC Aquatimer for that last spot.

The first four are all extremely comfortable, are ok for work and look great with bracelet, rubber and Nato, and I get a couple fun colors in there as well. The Ploprof, well it is just so cool and would be my fun weekends out to dinner watch (but I could also substitute the BP or PAM for that one and be perfectly happy).

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In addition to your criteria, I'm going to add the nebulous notion of "contribution to Dive Watch landscape". I have no personal experience with any of these except the monster - not posing to appear otherwise. [Edit]In hindsight, I guess these watches aren't really superlative with respect to your utilitarian criteria. Nonetheless, they are my "Top-five divers" and IMO would "get the nod" from the majority of dive watch enthusiasts.

1.) Omega SMP 2254.50

2.) Seiko Orange Monster

3.) Panerai Luminor 111 (Despite the lack of dive bezel)

4.) DOXA SUB 1200T Professional

5.) Blancpain Fifty Fathoms


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1. Doxa 750
2. Orient Star 300 m
3. Seiko Tune
4. Doxa 800
5. Seiko MM 300
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