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Just In Time For Summer: Five Divers Under $1,000
Words by Windup Watch Shop
Few kinds of watches are as universally beloved as the dive watch. For myriad reasons – durability, legibility, history, and more – the classic dive watch, for essentially its entire history, has been a smashing success. We think it’s easy to see why: diver’s watches capture a sense of adventure and (mostly) anachronistic utility that still feels cool today. Their aesthetic has never really gone out of style, and there is no arguing that a solid dive watch is exactly what a lot of enthusiasts think of when they imagine what a “nice watch” is. Like with EDC gear or sports cars, there’s a sense of enjoyment of knowing that our tools are more than up to the task. Thankfully, an entry into the dive watch game doesn’t cost an arm and a leg; in fact, here are five dive watches under $1,000 that we would strap on any day for life’s adventures. Without further ado, let’s, um, dive in.

Bulova MIL-SHIPS Dive Watch

Bulova has a rich history of making dive watches. From the cult classic “Devil Diver” and its 666 feet of water resistance to the still-in-production Oceangrapher, it’s fair to say they know what they are doing. Perhaps the most recognizable and archetypal of its designs is the MIL-SHIP, which is a modern interpretation of a 1950s prototype for the US Navy. Its blasted stainless steel 41mm case and ultra-legible and ultra-vintage dial layout is paired with a military-style NATO strap. Inside beats a reliable modern Miyota 82S0, which keeps the cost reasonable while remaining reliable. This watch is for the historically-minded collector who wants to capture the authentic look and feel of an early dive watch without extraneous bells and whistles.


Seiko Prospex Solar Sumo

To feature a dive watch article and not mention a Seiko would be unpardonable. The Japanese brand is probably best known for dive watches at virtually every price point, and the Seiko Prospex Solar Sumo represents true value under $1,000. Seiko has been progressively adding GMT functionality to watches up and down its lineup, and the fan-favorite Sumo gets the treatment here. Essentially two watches in one, the Prospex Solar Sumo flexes both dive watch capabilities (200 meters of water resistance and proper dive bezel) and flyer-style GMT operations thanks to the ultra-accurate 5K65 movement. The offset crown makes for a unique look and comfortable wearing experience, and the green and teal colors stay true to the watch’s aquatic theme.


Tissot Sideral

The Tissot Sideral was an unexpected release for the Swiss brand last year. With firm roots in the late 1960s and early 70s, the Sideral was originally known for being the world’s first fiberglass watch. Aesthetically and functionally, it was meant for regattas, and the watch was embraced by enthusiasts and sportsmen alike. The modern reissue of the Sideral stays true to its predecessor’s spirit of material innovation by featuring a unique blend of stainless and marbled forged carbon. In addition to giving the watch a futuristic look, this combination strengthens the case. The Sideral’s dial is decidedly retro-inspired, however, with the brand’s vintage logo and a multi-colored scale to mark two five-minute intervals at the top of the hour. This motif is repeated on the black bezel, which can be used to time the start of nautical racing events. With 300 meters of water resistance and the celebrated Powermatic 80 movement inside (80 hours of power reserve), the Sideral is both beauty and brains.


Vero Open Water

Vero is an American brand that brings a refreshing aesthetic to the dive watch game. Based in Portland, Oregon, the watchmaker offers a modern, minimal take on the diver’s watch in the form of the Open Water. The 40mm (47mm lug to lug) case offers vintage dive watch dimensions for a most comfortable wearing experience, and it looks as nice as it wears. The matte-finished 316L steel case stays out of the way and allows the bright yellow dial and black bezel to shine. Vero has decked out this watch with an automatic, hacking, Sellita SW200-1 caliber and 200 meters of water resistance. As far as modern dive watches are concerned – or American-made for that matter – this is a clear stand out.


Yema Superman Heritage  

Yema prides itself on attractive vintage-styled watches that harken to the brand’s mid-century roots, and the Superman Heritage 39mm is no exception. We’re looking at a 39mm wide stainless steel case (a reasonable 48mm lug to lug), domed sapphire crystal that evokes the acrylic of yesteryear, and a unique bezel locking mechanism – Yema’s own invention – that is both parts charming and useful. Inside is the ubiquitous (but ever-reliable) ETA 2824-2, and the entire package is rounded out by a vintage-style bracelet. All these blend together to form a watch that looks like it could be a new-old-stock watch straight from the 60’s. Just as Yema intended.

All of these watches, as is everything in the Windup Watch Shop, are eligible for free domestic shipping in the US!