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Top 5 Dive Watches Of 2023
Words by Windup Watch Shop

Of all the archetypes in the big wide watch world, the dive watch and its staying power is unparalleled for collectors, enthusiasts, and the watch-buying public at large. The reasons for this are many but at the most basic level, dive watches are just easy to live with; they are usually robust and durable, have interesting features like bezels and waterproof cases, and just look cool. From both storytelling and product specifications standpoints, they are readily understood and appreciated. As we wrap up the year, here are a few dive watch releases that have stood out to us. All of them can be found right here in the Windup Watch Shop, and all can serve as lifelong companions. In no particular order, here are your Top 5 Dive Watches of 2023…

Oris Aquis Pro 4000 Meter

Oris, with the Aquis Pro 4000, has brought the ever-escalating “dive watch arms race” to a new, more accessible, market segment. This is a surprising, but welcome, move from a brand that has been building incredible watches and providing value at a price point that has been left void as other brands continue to raise their prices across the board. The Aquis Pro 4000 is an unsuspectingly wearable watch thanks to its titanium case and comfortable rubber strap, and it also features a novel bezel locking system and an easy-to-use strap length adjustment system. Ultra-deep dive watches are a category of their own, and wearing this Oris is signaling that the overkill has always been part of the fun.

Bulova Oceangrapher GMT

Shifting gears to an even more modest price point, we meet the Bulova Oceangrapher GMT. This is a watch that we have covered quite extensively here in the Shop Chronicles – and for good reason. At right around a grand (or even less with promotions), you can get your hands on a proper dive and GMT watch from a respected brand in the game. The Oceangrapher is particularly appreciated for its cohesive case and dial design, thought-out bracelet, and full-fledged functionality. And thanks to the Miyota 9075 movement inside, this watch offers a traveler’s GMT in a form factor that works from plane to pool. It’s an example of a fun piece that can turn “one watch for whatever life throws at you” from an idea into a reality. 

Citizen Promaster Dive Fujitsubo

Now we encounter a somewhat slept-on release from 2023: the Citizen Promaster Dive Fujitsubo. Here we have a watch that, in many ways, was destined to fly under the radar. In some regards, it is the platonic ideal of what an affordable Japanese-built dive watch ought to be: unfussy 41mm case, 200m of water resistance, no-nonsense dial, and workhorse Citizen 9051 automatic movement inside. The Fujitsubo, or “barnacle” in Japanese, is the kind of watch that could conceivably get an enthusiast into dive watches for the first time or be the choice of a seasoned collector to enjoy as a genuinely satisfying daily beater. Either way, it’s got our attention and continues to hold it.

Tissot Sideral

Tissot, Tissot, Tissot. This beloved Swiss firm seems to have found a new stride in recent years by setting the watch world on fire with the PRX line – not to mention the classy and well-executed Heritage watches. Alongside these celebrated releases, however, is another nostalgic blast from the 1970s in the form of the reintroduction of the Sideral. With roots in boat racing, the Sideral models of 2023 are the preppy-yet-funky response to the practical-yet-somewhat-staid styling of most dive watches. It is the most compact of all the watches on this list yet offers more water resistance than any of them save the Oris. Oh, and it has colored lume.

Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Laser Tag

Pardon us for tooting our own horn, but it would be a lie to say that we aren’t proud of the Limited Edition we’ve created with Zodiac this year. The Super Sea Wolf Laser Tag is more than just a wacky one-off; it’s about buying into the idea that watches conjure nostalgia and are meant to be fun. The Sea Wolf has a rich history of its own and remains a capable dive watch, and this special edition builds on that with a new character and vibe. The case, strap, and dial all contain luminescent elements that are revealed in light, darkness, and blacklight. Both the “Infrared” and “Ultraviolet” versions capture a time and feeling that many can relate to, and for that we are glad.