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Name your top five divers!

8670 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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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.

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.

I looked at some of the smaller brands. Zixen does look very interesting and price-worthy.

However, Kobold seems to be on the opposite end of the scale. Boring designs (OK that's a matter of taste), standard movements, no dealer network, no prestige, no special materials, no special functions, no special depth ratings or certifications, American chauvinism so strong it makes you not want to buy the thing and prices that rival or are actually higher than Rolex, Omega and Breitling.

Unless you're totally into American produced watches or you totally love the design, I see absolutely no sound reason to buy one of those. As for American produced, patriotism is nice and all but the labor cost is still lower here than in Switzerland or Germany. The machines are most likely made there, btw. And then you don't even get a dealer network... The profit margins on those must be really sweet except that they don't have any economy of scale like the big ones because they won't sell too many.

But the Zixen I really like. When you get one with a sapphire bezel, are the markings under the sapphire lumed?

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Thanks for the detailed post, James. :)

Bedlam, at least B&R has a very unique design (love or hate), a dealer network and some prestige as well as a bigger range of models. Still not great value for money but the Kobold prices are silly now as even James said. No doubt it's a good watch in and of itself but not for that price. You can get a Sea Dweller for 6k. Jeez.

Gonna look in to the Panerai more. Doesn't it bother you that it doesn't have a minute scale?

The Fifty Fathoms is super gorgeous. Just ouch for the price.

What's the back story? The fact that they designed one watch to Seals specs? I don't know the Seals specs but I think that spec can be met at a lower price point with the same ingredients.

I see you have a Rolex and a Seamaster, too. Wouldn't the Seamaster be easily the equivalent of a Kobold? If you add the co-axial it would be even better I imagine. No 1000m rating, though, IIRC.

Like a G-Shock?

I didn't want to be so heretic, but YES!

Thanks for the informed and down-to-earth reply, James. Highly appreciated. :-!

Very good write-up. Thanks!

I'm gonna look up the lego brick hands right away. :)

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