Top 10 Best Waterproof Watches for Men

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Picture this scenario: you’re at a party and there’s a big tub of ice that’s full of tasty drinks. You plunge your hand in to grab one, and as you do, the realization smacks that you’ve just put your watch under water! Uh-oh. These things are waterproof, aren’t they? Or…wait. They’re water resistant, right? I can shower with my watch on, can’t I? What about swimming? Well it’s good that you have so many questions, because we’re going to, A) provide the simple overview of the whole waterproof thing and, B) we’re going to show you our Top 10 Best Waterproof Watches for Men. Some great looking pieces that, yes, you can get wet — to a greater or lesser extent (stay tuned).

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

The big news with waterproof watches is this: there are no waterproof watches. Water resistant watches, yes. Waterproof, no. This isn’t a matter of semantics, or even marketing. It’s a fact that’s established by the ISO — the International Organization for Standardization. ISO is the global, United Nations-recognized organization that sets standards for trade, and has been adopted by 163 member countries. In this case, ISO 22810 establishes that the word “waterproof” can’t be used when talking about watches. “Water resistant” is the accepted standard.

A Deep Subject

Okay, great: now that we know water resistant is what we’re looking for, it’s time to dive into the details of just how water resistant is that watch? When it comes to getting wet, watches are rated using “atmospheres” as the rating scale. It’s simple – the deeper the water, the more ATM. If you’re 10 meters under water, you’re at one ATM. If you’re under 100 meters (328 feet) of water, you’re at 10 ATM. When a watch is rated at 10 ATM, that means it can withstand the pressure exerted at 100 meters deep. These guidelines are an amalgamation of all sorts of references, because individual watch manufacturers…gearhead websites…reference materials — they all differ in their recommendations. Taking them all into account, here’s our handy breakdown for your watch wearing needs:

1 ATM – don’t get it wet

3 ATM – water splashes, light rain are okay

5 ATM – you showered with the watch on: you’re cool

10 ATM – you can wear your watch while swimming

20 ATM – go ahead and snorkel or surf

30 ATM – diver’s watch needed (but you probably knew that)

So if you want a “waterproof” watch — a watch that you don’t have to worry about getting it wet — just make sure you match your WP (wet propensity) with your W (watch). Are you going to be doing any deepwater scuba diving? No. So you don’t need a diver’s watch. Are you training for Ironman, and you’ll be swimming? Yes, so make sure your watch is at least 10 ATM. Are you allergic to water? Go ahead and forget about the whole waterproof/water resistant thing, get yourself something in Hello Kitty, and get help for that allergy!

One Last Word…About Marketing

Now that you got the guidelines, you’ll see that the manufacturers will often veer outside the swim lanes and say that their watch is “waterproof” or that their 3 ATM watch is okay for swimming. That’s when you, the consumer, need to make the decision. As for the look? We’re here to help!


1. Seiko SKX007 Diver’s Watch

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For this piece, we think it’s sufficient to say “It’s great looking. You can wear it scuba diving. It’s a great price. Get it.” All simply true, but we have a few more things to say about the Seiko Men’s SKX007. For starters, it is almost the quintessential diver’s watch look. The black rubber band, the stainless steel case, the black dial with easy-to-see white, luminescent (glow-in-the-dark) hour and minute marks. Water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet), the Seiko is rock solid in performance, fantastic in appearance, and almost too good to be true in price. In fact, Jack Forster, editor-in-chief at the great watch website, Hodinkee, says this beauty is “…a rebuke to over-priced, over-decorated ‘luxury’ dive watches everywhere – and a perennially fantastic value proposition.” If you want to notch it up with Seiko a bit, this version (called “The Turtle”) is a great value. Of course, they’re both automatic, so the watch stays powered as long as you do (i.e., your movement winds it).

Price: $191.50

Buy the Seiko SKX007 Diver’s Watch here.


Pros:

  • Superior quality
  • Almost crazy low price
  • Automatic movement

Cons:

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  • A bigger case might be nice

Find more Seiko SKX007 Diver’s Watch information and reviews here.



2. Nixon Men’s Chrono

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Another terrific example of a simple, good looking, tough watch. The Nixon Men’s A4862069 48-20 Chrono is rated at 20 ATM, so Nixon says it’s “…suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving.” There are several cool features to this stainless steel watch: it’s a chronograph; the crown and pushers (push buttons) are on the left side of the case; the date indicator is at six o’clock; the even-numbered hours are HUGE (easy to read); and the case is finished in gun metal. As we’ve previously mentioned about Nixon in our Top 10 Best Cool Watches for Men 2017 post, the company’s from Southern California and they’ve got a squad of pretty famous wearers on their “team.”

Price: $143.34

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Buy the Nixon Men’s Chrono here.


Pros:

  • Chronograph
  • Super easy to read
  • Left side crown, pushers

Cons:

Find more Nixon Men’s Chrono information and reviews here.



3. Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout

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And in this corner, we give you what is, probably, the toughest watch of the list. The Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout is, like the name says, made for the Navy Seals. Luminox, in fact, has long been making watches for several segments of the U.S. military. As such, this great piece has 24 hour time markings on the dial. The minute markers are on the outside rim (the bezel), which is uni-directional, meaning it can be turned either way. Just a quick glance at the watch and you know why it’s called “Blackout.” For something with a little color from Luminox, this orange dial number is a great option. Again, “tough” physically (because of its black polyester, carbon reinforced case) as well as its pedigree with the Navy Seals.

Price: $198.79

Buy the Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout here.


Pros:

  • Designed for Navy Seals
  • Tonal black colorway

Cons:

Find more Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout information and reviews here.



4. Casio Men’s Sport Analog Dive Watch

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We’re plopping the Casio Dive Watch here because it’s so obviously designed with echos of the Luminox above. And, no, you do not need to adjust your vision: the price is correct. We’ll admit, the low price point did give us pause, but if you’ll note the reviews of this piece on Amazon, you’ll see that a full 84% of the 3,600+ postings are either 5- or 4-star! Also take notice of the ATM rating, which is to 100 meters. This is a good example of marketing making an odd intersection with industry standards. Casio calls it a “dive watch,” while 100 meters really isn’t within the safe-to-dive range. Nevertheless, the water resistance is here, as is the very solid, good look of this resin-cased, resin-banded piece. If you’d like something that from Casio that goes deeper (both water and dollar speaking), this Frogman digital piece has several interesting features. We also noticed among the reviews that it might be tough to set the day and date, but once achieved, it works as expected. This dive watch is such a great price, you almost can’t go wrong.

Price: $15.56

Buy the Casio Men’s Sport Analog Dive Watch here.


Pros:


Cons:

  • Day/date tough to set
  • Smaller case size (43mm)

Find more Casio Men’s Sport Analog Dive Watch information and reviews here.



5. Adidas Originals Casual

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We’re a sucker for blue, we admit it. This Adidas Originals Casual is so blue, it practically redefines the color blue. Rated to 10 ATM (100 meters), it’s not something you really want to head into the surf with. But wherever you go, it’ll likely get noticed. This piece features a plastic case and a stationary plastic bezel, while the band is silicone and, obviously, in the same blue colorway. If you prefer to go green, this version is super bright green and a bit higher price point. Bottom line with this watch is the cool, simple look.

Price: $50.20 (41 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Adidas Originals Casual here.


Pros:


Cons:

  • 100 meter water resistant

Find more Adidas Originals Casual information and reviews here.



6. Rip Curl Cambridge

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Rip Curl, the Australian surf company, says this watch — which is rated to 100 meters — is “…in general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not scuba diving.” (Another example of the swirl of water resistant/waterproof information taking different tributaries, depending on who’s doing the talking.) Speaking of swirls, the silicone band features a marble swirl. The case is made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), which is known for its toughness. And in this case, those of you who like a smaller watch will like this piece, which is just 40mm across. The dial, in silvertone sunray, is about as minimalist as you can get, which is an interesting contrast to the busy band. And to contrast this piece with another Rip Curl watch, this Tidemaster — at a significantly higher price point — is very cool because it’s got a tide indicator sub-dial. Handy for those of you who surf; possible conversation starter for you inlanders.

Price: $80

Buy the Rip Curl Cambridge here.


Pros:

  • Unique band markings
  • Clean look
  • Price
  • Text here

Cons:

  • Smaller case size (40mm)
  • 100 meter water resistance

Find more Rip Curl Cambridge information and reviews here.



7. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand

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A great looking watch with some very impressive features, the Citizen Promaster Aqualand is rated to 200 meters. You’ll know exactly how deep you are because the piece features a water depth sensor. In addition, it’s got a “rapid ascent warning alarm” that will sound if the wearer rises too fast (more than nine meters a minute — slow down!). Like our second entry on the list, the Nixon, the Promaster features two pushers (and the depth sensor) on the left side of the case. The crown, meanwhile, is at four o’clock on the traditional right side. It’s got a stainless steel case, and it is a big boy: 53mm, which is probably getting close to “wrist clock” size. (One reviewer on Amazon says that, without the pushers and crown, it comes in at 48mm, which is still formidable.) It’s also got a power reserve indicator on the left side of the dial. That power, by the way, is Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive, and it’s all about getting juiced up from light (any light). Once the piece is fully charged — which takes about a day-and-a-half if exposed to full sunlight — it’s ready to go for 11 months. That’s plenty of water time for you. While this is one of the higher priced entries on the list, it’s at a pretty massive discount from the original MSRP.

Price: $499 (47 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand here.


Pros:

  • Eco-Drive powered (light)
  • Left side pushers
  • Depth sensor
  • Huge discount

Cons:

  • Unprotected crown
  • Very large case (53mm)

Find more Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand information and reviews here.



8. Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Regatta

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Another heavy discount on a very solid entry. Stuhrling, a Brooklyn company, presents its Aquadiver Regatta with a 200 meter water resistance. It’s a very simple, somewhat classic diver’s watch look with a black matte dial and, yes, the company calls it a diver’s watch (again, remember the general standards we talked about in the intro). The uni-directional bezel is gear-edged and the screw-down crown is a feature that further strengthens the water resistance of the watch. The band is high-grade silicone and the indices (hour markers), as well as the hands, are luminescent.

Price: $64.99 (78 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Regatta here.


Pros:

  • Huge discount
  • Screw down crown

Cons:

  • Billed as diver’s watch

Find more Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Regatta information and reviews here.



9. TW Steel GrandeurDive Chronograph

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Like most of the pieces on this list, this TW Steel GrandeurDive can certainly be worn to an elegant occasion, particularly, in this case, because of the unique rose gold plated case. The 44mm case pretty dramatically offsets the black and white detailing on the watch: white lettering and hand accents, black ion-plated uni-directional bezel. The chronograph’s pushers, all on the traditional right side, operate three sub-dials displaying 60 second, 60 minute and 1/10th of a second sub-dials. If you’re looking for something a bit different than the somewhat dramatic appearance, and price, of this Dutch watch, this black GrandeurDive with red accents comes in at less than half the price.

Price: $562.50

Buy the TW Steel GrandeurDive Chronograph here.


Pros:

  • Rose gold plated case
  • Unique detailing

Cons:

Find more TW Steel GrandeurDive Chronograph information and reviews here.



10. Nautica Keywest

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In some ways, our tenth entry is a pretty simple watch. But, heck, it’s got that orange going on so it really stands out. This watch does warrant scrutiny beyond the bright color because there are some cool details. The hour markers, all silver, feature different international nautical flags and, yes, they each mean something. This piece is stainless steel with a brushed silver finish. The band, silicone orange, is complemented by the orange detailing found in and around the dial: the minute markers, the minute hand and the point end of the second hand. Nautica says this watch is “suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not diving,” but, as we’ve pointed out, the buyer needs to take all the data (see intro above) into account before determining just how wet they wanna get their new piece!

Price: $79.63

Buy the Nautica Keywest here.


Pros:

  • Colorful
  • Price
  • Flag markings

Cons:

  • Billed as snorkeling ready
  • 100 meter water resistant

Find more Nautica Keywest information and reviews here.


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