Affordable Dive Watches: Five Under S$4,000Written by Melissa Kong
Iffy about putting your gold 'dive watch' to the test? Here are some that you can take out to sea for a reasonable dime.
TISSOT SEASTAR 1000 POWERMATIC 80 – S$1,380
Not one to be left out of the game, Tissot has jumped on the trendwagon with details like a bright blue dial and ceramic unidirectional bezel. Equipped with a helium escape valve and water resistance up to 300m, the watch also features a transparent caseback and solid stainless steel bracelet with user-friendly safety and diver extension so you can secure it over your dry- or wetsuit. The most impressive feature, though, is its Powermatic 80 automatic movement. Debuted in 2013, the movement is unassuming workhorse offering up to 80 hours of power reserve along with an innovative laser-set escapement that requires no manual adjustment.
HAMILTON KHAKI NAVY FROGMAN 46MM Ref. H77805335 – S$2,050
You know you’re a pretty big deal if the American military relied on your timekeepers in both major World Wars. So when Hamilton relaunched its Khaki Navy Frogman this year, we took notice. The 46mm version has serious dive cred with a titanium case, helium escape valve, crown lock, 80 hours of power reserve and water resistance up to 1,000m. The red unidirectional bezel provides a striking contrast to the black dial and applied indices coated in Super-LumiNova.
ORIS DIVERS SIXTY-FIVE Ref. 01 733 7720 4055 TS – S$2,750
Inspired by one of Oris’ first diver’s watches from 1965, the 2016 version harks back to the diving era of the 1960s where famous names like Jacques Cousteau and Hans Hass made huge advancements in the field of underwater exploration. Retro details like a vintage-style aged leather strap, thin bezel with 60-minute scale, slim case and domed sapphire crystal give the watch a distinctive look. At 42mm, this model is also the largest in the collection, giving the ticker a masculine vibe.
LONGINES LEGEND DIVER WATCH Ref. L3.618.104.22.168 – S$3,200
The dressiest of the lot, this Longines Legend Diver Watch certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the office. Instead of a sportier rotating bezel, an internal turning flange helps you keep track of your dive times and keeps the look classy and unfussy. A polished black lacquered dial allows greater legibility of the Super-LumiNova coated hands and hour markers while a coordinated black synthetic strap ties the look together. The self-winding Calibre L633 powers the watch and provides 38 hours of power reserve.
TAG HEUER AQUARACER 300M 43MM Ref. WAY208B.FC6382 – S$3,800
Adhering to classic Aquaracer design codes, the latest addition to the family maintains its dodecagonal shape with six studs, screw-down crown and unidirectional rotating bezel. This year, the timepiece features Grade 2 titanium with black titanium carbide coating, materials employed for their hardness and also seen in the TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 36 RS Caliper Automatic Chronograph. A blue nylon strap complements the blue indices and engraved numerals on the bezel.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".