Audemars Piguet

Royal Oak Offshore Diver

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

A super-luxe take on the traditionally utilitarian dive watch, the £27,000 Royal Oak Offshore Diver would be an ideal choice for, say, the more adventurous jet setter.

The Offshore Diver boldly takes the original format of the classic 1970s’ Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak to new bounds.

Highlights include a unidirectional internal diver’s timing bezel, operated via the 10 o’clock crown; a quick-change ‘click and release’ strap system; and an instant-jumping date; and a sapphire caseback which proudly displays the skilfully finished and polished self-winding movement within.

We love the khaki green version complete with 'méga tapisserie' pattern, pink-gold applied hour-markers, and luminescent-coated hands.

audemarspiguet.com

Rolex

Oyster Perpetual Deepsea

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea

The Challenge version of Rolex’s Deepsea holds the record for deepest water-resistant watch ever produced with a guaranteed rating of 11,000m. It was launched two years ago in partnership with filmmaker/deep-sea explorer/Rolex brand-ambassador James Cameron, who field tested a prototype version of the Challenge by strapping it to the exterior of his submersible during his historic 10,908m dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench – Earth’s deepest known point.

Now, unless you're a Titanic-obsessed Hollywood director, the chances are you won't require anything quite so capable. But for serious divers, the 'standard' Deepsea is certainly a cut above the competition. It's guaranteed to be waterproof to a depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet), and at its launch in 2008, inaugurated the Ringlock system – a unique case architecture that allows it to withstand the pressure exerted at this extreme depth. 

At this year’s Watches & Wonders, Rolex released a new version of the Deepsea in 18ct yellow gold sporting a graduated Cerachrom bezel insert in blue ceramic as well as a blue lacquer dial bearing the name ‘DEEPSEA’ in powdered yellow.

rolex.com

Breitling

Superocean Automatic 46 Super Diver

Breitling’s Superocean range dates back to the 1950s – the heyday of ocean exploration. In 1957, the Swiss watchmaker launched two ground-breaking diving watches: a time-only diver (Ref. 1004) and a chronograph (Ref. 807). Both had an impressive 200m water resistance, as well as an avant garde design which distinguished them from more utilitarian competition.

The now legendary collection continues to evolve to this day with everything from colourful rainbow-dial editions to hardcore professional deep-sea tools.

In the latter camp comes the Superocean Automatic 46 Super Diver, a new powerhouse with a water resistance of up to (or should that be ‘down to’?) 1,000m. This feather-light titanium model comes in stealthy green or black camouflage, each paired with matching ceramic inlays.

The new model boasts a bidirectional rotating bezel with a patented safety lock, guarding against unintended adjustments – and the soft-iron inner case is specially designed to shield the watch from any unwanted magnetic interference. Choose between a colour-matched rubber strap or a sleek titanium bracelet.

See more at breitling.com

Panerai

Submersible Goldtech

Panerai Submersible Goldtech

Panerai’s Submersible Goldtech builds on the sort of gentrified military cool styling that helped (re)make Panerai into one of modern horology’s top brands.

Presented in Panerai’s trademark protected red-gold Goldtech (an alloy comprising gold, copper and platinum), the brand’s characteristic running seconds sub-dial and ‘Luminor’-style trigger crown-guard system sit at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions respectively.

While it’s arguably better suited to Saint-Tropez’s Le Club 55 than Scotland’s North Sea, there’s no doubting its sea-faring credentials.

Thanks to its high level of corrosion resistance, gold is, in fact, a technically excellent material for a dive watch. And looks mighty fine, too.

panerai.com

Tudor

Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925

With its 925 silver case, Tudor’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 is an anomaly in dive watches, not to mention modern wristwatches in general.

While historically used in pocket watches, sterling silver has seldom found use in wristwatches thanks to the industrialisation of stainless steel in the early 20th century.

The particular mix of metals used for the Fifty-Eight 925’s silver alloy is a closely guarded Tudor secret, but it's designed not to tarnish as readily as traditional silver.

This Black Bay was also the first to include an exhibition caseback. It’s a beauty whichever way you flip it.

tudorwatch.com

Seiko

Prospex 1965 Revival Diver’s 3-Day 300M SPB451J1

Seiko Prospex 1965 Revival Diver’s 3-Day 300M SPB451J1

A direct continuation of the brand’s inaugural diver’s watch – the 62MAS, launched back in 1965 – Seiko’s SPB451 is a handsome and well-rounded scuba watch offering.

It’s one appropriate for both the high seas and everyday terra firma alike. It boasts a relatively slimline 40mm diameter and 13mm thickness, alongside a blue dial and bezel which, appropriately, evoke the hue of the world’s oceans.

A date window has been subtly nestled between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions so as to cause minimal interruption to the dial’s overall layout and symmetry.

With a three-day power reserve, Seiko’s in-house automatic calibre 6R55 drives the watch.

seikowatches.com

Tissot

Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80

Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80

Forming a contemporary part of Tissot’s decades-established Seastar collection, the Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80 is the biggest of the current lot at 46mm.

Recalling its sub-aquatic roots, the dial has an engraved wave-like pattern. Other notable design elements include 6 o’clock centred date indication; Tissot ‘T’ shaped seconds hand with ‘lollipop’ tip; broad and generously lumed spear-tipped hour / minute hands; ceramic bezel; and a black PVD steel case.

Catering to most wrists, the current Seastar collection includes pieces that are a more diminutive 36mm. There’s a black and blue version, but this colourway is our fave.

tissotwatches.com

Oris

Aquis Depth Gauge

Aquis Depth Gauge

As its name suggests, Oris’ Aquis Depth Gauge boasts a title-worthy complication: a Boyle-Mariotte capillary depth gauge, to be exact.

Essentially, this is a conduit ringing the dial cut into the edge of the watch’s sapphire crystal. It fills with water via an aperture at 12 o’clock when submerged, compressing and decompressing the air within at a rate proportional to your current depth, which, when read against a watermark chapter ring, indicates the user’s depth. Simples.

A gasket around the crystal prevents water from entering the rest of the watch and helps ensure the watch’s impressive 50 bar / 500m water resistance rating. At 46mm, it’s big and clever.

oris.ch

Omega

Seamaster PloProf 1200m

Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m

Omega’s PloProf is something of a folk hero in the dive watch space, manufactured with input from legendary French dive company COMEX and seen on the wetsuit-clad wrist of Jacques Cousteau.

Last year, as a part of the Seamaster collection’s 75th anniversary, came a new version with sun-brush ‘Summer Blue’ dial and O-Megasteel construction.

Aside from a brighter lustre, O-Megasteel offers approximately 50% greater strength and durability than that of conventional steel.

With its 1,200m level of water resistance, monobloc case, helium escape valve, screw-crown guard system, ‘southpaw’ crown configuration and a button-released rotating bezel, the PloProf’s diver specs are loud and proud.

omegawatches.com

Bulova

Oceanographer GMT

Bulova Oceanographer GMT

Offering remarkable bang for your buck at just over a grand, the Oceanographer GMT is a strong contender for the ideal ‘go anywhere’ mechanical-watch.

In a loose throwback design which draws inspiration from Bulova’s extensive archives, the Oceanographer has been updated to include a GMT function and is watertight to a devilish depth of 666 feet.

The self-winding movement has a power reserve of 42 hours, protected by a screw-down case back. There are a number of different colourways including stainless steel with a ‘Pepsi’ bezel, and rose gold-tone stainless steel with a ‘Root Beer’ bezel.

There’s also a grey IP coated option with a full lume dial if you’re more into night diving.

bulova.com

Bell & Ross

BR 03-92 Diver White

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver White

With an atypical shape for a dive watch, the BR 03-92 transitions Bell & Ross’ hallmark cockpit-instrument-derived square case from the sky to the sea.

Measuring 42mm and realised in every material from lightweight matte-black ceramic to old-school bronze, the quadrilateral shape lends itself remarkably well to a diver’s wristwatch.

An anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal combined with high contrast Super-LumiNova filled hands and indices against no-nonsense dials mean they all boast easy legibility in any condition.

Our pick of the bunch is the Diver White, inspired by icy seas, polar oceans and frozen lakes. But there’s a matte black ceramic version if you want something moodier.

bellross.com