James Ede, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Author: James Ede

Pilot watches these days are either too fancy, which hurts legibility, or they are overpriced statement watches. However, this is where Hamilton’s pilot watches stand out from the crowd. They are not the hallmark of engineering and luxury, but they make reliable, easily readable, and affordable “fliegers.” 

With their sporty appeal, these pilot watches are perfect as a tool watch for pilots and aviators, while also making for nice casual wear for folks who want a bold look. Enthusiasts and collectors call them a bang for the buck, and it’s not hard to see why. 

In this review, the Exquisite Timepieces team compiled a list of the 15 best Hamilton Pilot watch models available. We will take a closer look at their increasingly beautiful designs, solid engineering, and attention to detail to help you find a favorable pick. 

About Hamilton Pilot Watches

Hamilton creates some of the most affordable luxury pilot watches – because you get the reputation, quality, and attention to detail. Sure, some uptight watch collectors think it’s the bottom barrel of the Swatch Group, but it poses a double entendre. 

Unlike exquisite, handcrafted timepieces, Hamilton watches mostly use off-the-shelf calibers and materials with automated machines. But there’s no denying they’re top-class watches with all the makings of a great Flieger. 

They are tough timepieces that draw inspiration from classic pilot models developed for military officers during the Second World War. All the fifteen models we’ll recommend in this review carry different designs, movements, case sizes, straps, and prices. But they all have durability, legibility, and functionality in common.

The caliber often has a hairspring or silicon balance spring to prevent magnetic shocks and withstand heavy vibrations. They are also equipped with aviation-themed functions such as chronographs, tachymeters, bi-directional bezels, GMT functions, and slide-rule bezels. 

While commercial aircraft have a sizeable dashboard chronometer, pilots can accurately calculate landing time, fuel consumption, and speed with a finger in case of emergency or in smaller airplanes. 

Hamilton tells a story with their pilot watches. Many of them symbolize the war times and flight records or appear in iconic Hollywood movies. If you love Hamilton, you always stay with the brand, even when you acquire more exclusive watches in your collection. 

History of Hamilton Pilot Watches

Hamilton has been a leading watchmaker since 1892 but started creating aviation watches in 1914 during World War 1. The Swiss watchmaker had a military contract to design and supply watches to the US airmail pilots. Hamilton also played a critical role in supporting the US Air Force pilots and aviators during expeditions in the 1900s.

The Swiss brand was even awarded the Army Navy-E for excellence in manufacturing for their efforts in WWII. Hamilton watches also appeared in several blockbusters and award-winning movies at the time, including Elvis Presley wearing Ventura in Blue Hawaii.

In addition, they were official timekeepers of four commercial airlines, which proves their dedication to precision in flight. Hamilton’s flagship pilot watch is the iconic Hamilton Khaki Aviation, which has had models featured on military issues and is a popular option among pilots and watch collectors today.

Most of its contemporary aviation models, though, draw inspiration from the Second World War. With a rich history and a commitment to innovation, Hamilton keeps producing exceptional pilot watches today.

The Best Hamilton Watches That Are Ready for Flight

1. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76719530)


Pricing starts at $1,230

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76719530) is modeled after pocket watches used during the World War. Notably, it resembles the Hamilton Model 23 – a popular stopwatch among WWII navigators, considering the watch’s vintage dial and chronograph style.

They both share a similar textured black dial finish, railroad minute track, gold-coated Arabic numerals, and counter at 6 o’clock. The Pilot Pioneer has a 43mm 316L satin-brushed stainless steel case with a 20mm lug width.

It’s also open case back style revealing its ETA/6498-1 mechanical movement with a 50-hour power reserve. As a true pilot watch, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer has a bidirectional bezel that can be used to track elapsed time, fuel consumption, or how long it takes to complete that surface swim.

It’s actually water-resistant to 100 meters, which is enough resistance for navigators to swim to shore in their wristwatches. Overall, it’s a sporty watch that’s specifically capable as an instrument timepiece where rugged and bold is better than clean and sleek. 

2. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic Chronograph (ref. H77906940)


Pricing starts at $1,900

Hamilton packs all the features of an analog flight computer device in this watch. The cluttered dial alone is telling in the eyes of an aviator or pilot watch enthusiast. It has three sub-dials and bold Arabic numerals.

At the three o’clock position, the sub-dial is a sub-seconds counter, a 30-minute chronograph counter is positioned at 6 o’clock, and a 12-hour chronograph counter at the 12 o’clock position. There’s also a day and date window set at 9 o’clock.

That’s not all. The Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic Chronograph (ref. H77906940) has two inner bezels with a tachymeter scale that can calculate speed over a known distance. It’s this  array of functions that makes it have multiple crowns and pushers.

For aesthetics, the dial is a sunburst cobalt blue that portrays different shades when lights hit the surface. It also has polished syringe-like hands with a touch of red on some parts of the sub-dials and markers. Additionally, it’s a large watch with a case measuring 45mm in diameter and a thickness of 14.85mm.

3. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto (ref. H64615135)


Starts from approximately $1,100

You may have spotted this watch on ex-NASA pilot Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) from the Academy Award-winning movie, Interstellar. It is a watch designed to appear robust but smaller than it seems.

Compared to larger pilot watches, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto (ref. H64615135) has a case diameter of 42mm and a case thickness of only 11.85mm thick. What’s more, it has a stellar dial. Hamilton made the conventionally small markers larger than the conventionally large ones.

Thus instead of a small day and date window, you find a large day window right about the 12 o’clock window and a relatively small date window at the 6 o’clock position. Large minute markers and silver-toned minute indices are also found on the bezel.

Now to the movement; this watch is powered by the Hamilton Caliber H-40, which can be viewed through the open case back. The movement has a power reserve of 80 hours, so you can set the watch aside for three days without worrying about its accuracy. And its 100m water resistance is perfect for everyday wear or as a tool watch.

4. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical (ref. H76419931)


Starts from approximately $800

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical (ref. H76419931) is a modern replica of a 1970s classic pilot watch, the Hamilton W10. It retains the W10’s retro-inspired design, which is evident in the simplicity of the dial’s features – clean black dial, crisp white Arabic numerals, and fauxtina lume-treated sword handset and indices. 

Unlike the W10, however, this watch features a glossy, grainy textured finish on the dial and mineral crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating.

With a 36mm x 33mm case size and a 9.95mm thickness, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical (ref. H76419931) must be one of the thinnest aviation watches. And this relatively thin watch is powered by the H-50 hand-wound movement based on the ETA 2801-2 caliber. Plus, the watch comes with a quality 18mm NATO strap.

5. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic (ref. H76645140)


Starts from approximately $1,200

Here’s a watch designed to cater to the calculation needs of pilots and aviation-inclined travelers. It can perform various calculation functions such as fuel consumption, distance, and speed, and it even has a GMT function that allows pilots to track two time zones simultaneously.

On the inside of the watch’s 42mm and 10.87mm thick case is the GMT function, a 24-hour scale, and traditional 12-hour markers. The red-tipped second hand also serves as the GMT hand allowing the wearer to tell the time quickly.

Also, the screw-down crown doesn’t just enhance water resistance. It also allows for easy and quick adjustment of the handsets and one-hour increments in the GMT function. A unique feature of this watch is the bi-directional slide-rule bezel which is suitable for various calculations, including unit, nautical miles, meters & currency conversions.

The surface of the bezel has a scratch-resistant covering with steel notches on the side to allow for easy grip and turn. Overall, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic (ref. H76645140) is an ideal travel companion that will surely give you a bang for your buck.

6. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Chrono Quartz GMT (ref. H77932160)


Starts from approximately $1,117

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Chrono Quartz GMT (ref. H77932160) is a bold, high-performance timepiece with complex aviation features. It features a sporty design with a large stainless steel case measuring 46mm in diameter and 13.75mm in thickness.

This large case has a PVD coating and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, ensuring maximum visibility. The sunburst green dial with yellow sub-dials is unique. It features a chronograph, cross-wind calculator, a 60-second counter, GMT function, large and easy-to-read Arabic numerals, luminous hands, and a date display at 3 o’clock.

The watch is also equipped with three screw-down crowns and pushers for tracking time and regulating the sub-dials.

7. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Bronze (ref. H76709530)


Starts from approximately $1,540

This watch is the same model as the first one on the list, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76719530), with minor distinctions. Like its counterpart, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Bronze comes in a case measuring 43mm in diameter but with a 0.5mm difference in thickness as this watch is only 13mm thick. 

Another distinguishing factor is the material of the case. Unlike a stainless steel case, this watch is made of bronze and titanium, making it more durable and sturdy.

Thickness and case material aside, all other features are the same; 50-hour power reserve, bi-directional bezel, brown calf leather strap, black dial, anti-reflective sapphire glass, and a movement powered by the ETA 6498-1 caliber.

8. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Chrono Quartz (ref. H76722531)


Starts from approximately $650

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Chrono Quartz (ref. H76722531) is a sleek timepiece encased in a stainless steel case. The case, which measures 44mm in diameter and 11.05mm thick, is attached to a cow leather strap and has an H-buckle.

The watch has a sleek black dial with sand-colored indices, large Arabic numerals, and luminous hands. For aviation use and to indicate its chronograph function, the Hamilton Pilot Chrono Quartz Hamilton (ref. H76722531) is designed with three sub-dials, all well situated at the dial’s center. 

At the 2 o’clock position, there is a 10-second stopwatch, a 60-minute counter at the 6 o’clock position, and a 30-minute counter at the 10 o’clock position. There is also a date window at the 4:30 position. Hamilton did an excellent job ensuring the dial wasn’t encumbered despite its large numerals and chronograph functions.

Moreover, the watch has an open case back through which you can see the Quartz movement powered by the Caliber 251.274. While it is not as impressive as an automatic movement, it does offer the advantage of affordability and requires less maintenance.

So, if you want a pilot watch that is simple and affordable yet has necessary and useful chronograph functions, try the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Chrono Quartz (ref. H76722531).

9. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph (ref. H76409530)


Starts from approximately $2,045

Here’s another aviation watch modeled after watches produced during World War II. It has similar features to other Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer models, particularly the H76719530 and the H76719530 models.

The difference, however, is in the size, chronograph function, and movement. Its case size is only 40mm instead of 43mm and is slightly thicker, measuring 14.35mm in thickness. On the matte black grainy-textured dial sits two sub-dials: a 30-seconds counter at the 3 o’clock position and a 60-second counter at the 9 o’clock.

Both sub-dials are adjusted by the two pump pushers located at either side of the large notched screw-down crown. Unlike other Hamilton pilot watches, the Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph (ref. H76409530) doesn’t have a bezel.

However, what the watch lacks in a bezel, it makes up for it in its chronograph features and powerful movement. The H-51-Si Caliber powers the watch. This movement is equipped with a 60-hour of power reserve, 4Hz frequency, kinetic chain, and anti-magnetic silicon balance spring.

10. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono (ref. H76726130)


Starts from approximately $2,295

If you think the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic (ref. H76645140) watch is complicated, you’ve not met this watch. It is a highly sophisticated, stylish, and classic watch built with features that are designed to serve pilots and aviation enthusiasts. 

True to the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter, this watch features a slide rule bezel and tachymeter for easy speed measurements. So whether you are adding, subtracting, multiplying, converting currencies and kilometers to nautical miles, or calculating speed, all you need to do is align the appropriate numbers on the bezel and flange to get a result.

Note, though, that the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono (ref. H76726130) is no mere Aviation Converter. It is also a chronograph, so the black sunburst background dial has three chronograph counters at the center with pump pushers at the side of the case for easy adjustment.

The Valjoux 7750-based H-21-Si Caliber powers the watch’s features, hence the day-date feature at 3 o’clock. And this movement is visible through the decorated open case back, allowing the wearer a glimpse of the inner workings of this Hamilton masterpiece.

11. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto (ref. H77785733)


Starts from approximately $1,320

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto (ref. H77785733) is a statement piece that combines aesthetics and specialized functionality. A beautiful blend of orange, white, and black colors on the dial, bezel, and slide rule catches the eye.

And also, its black PVD-coated 45mm stainless steel case with brushed and polished finish blends impeccably with the dial. But beautiful as the Aviation X-Wind may seem, it’s closer to a super-complication than a dressy timepiece. I’ll start with its drift angle calculator.

Hamilton installed the old-school flight computer E6B in this contemporary watch to achieve this function. Now, pilots can easily calculate cross-winds, estimate fuel burn, and measure ground speed using the inner rehaut measurements and rotating bezel on the X-wind.

Further, it features a tachymeter, 12 and 24-hour military scales, and a day/date window positioned at 9 o’clock. Like many complicated watches, it has a display case back showcasing its Caliber H-30 movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve.

12. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono Quartz (ref. H76512133)


Starts from approximately $650

The Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono Quartz (ref. H76512133) is one of the most affordable Hamilton pilot watches with impressive Flieger features and the appeal of a dress watch. 

It sports a durable 41mm stainless steel case with scratch-resistant anti-reflective sapphire crystal. And a stainless steel strap with a folding buckle. But the beauty lies beyond its dazzling silvery shell in its black dial. 

It has a beautiful arrangement of large Arabic numerals, a date window, sword hands, and two subdials (a 60 seconds counter & a 30 seconds counter) in contrasting white tones. They give it a simple black-on-white style you can wear to formal occasions or man a flight with. 

13. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Air Zermatt Auto (ref. H64625131)


Starts from approximately $987

This Pilot Day-Date edition is dedicated to Hamilton’s partnership with Air Zermatt –  a helicopter rescue service company in the Upper Valais region of Switzerland. Its design pays special attention to legibility and date-keeping. 

The dial is deep black with a highly contrasting blue and white SuperLuminova-treated hands and indicators. They not only make it “ultra-readable” but complement the silver-tone stainless steel case and bracelet.

As said earlier, Hamilton takes the “day and date” in this model’s name seriously. The date window is at 6 o’clock, and the day window sits conspicuously at 12. And it runs on an 80-hour reserve Hamilton’s H-40 automatic movement.

14. Hamilton Khaki Aviation ETO Chrono Quartz (ref. H77612933)


Starts from approximately $816

ETO here is short for Estimated Time Over, meaning that the watch can accurately calculate remaining flight time and aid on-time landings.

This classic aviator-themed watch has a complex dial and movement. It has four hands; the hour and minute sword-like hands with syringe-like tips. And two chronograph hands: the one in silver finish is the main hand that performs the conventional chronograph stopwatch function, while the rattrapante hand (the orange hand) works along with the chronograph and stops when you depress the pusher.

There are two sub-dials on its black dial: the one at the 12 o’clock position is a 60-second counter, while the striking silver subdial measures the chronograph’s progress.

The bold case is a bi-directional bezel that measures appropriate speed, desired arrival time, or flight duration. But what buffs up the case – although it’s only 13.55mm thick – are the three pushers and dual screw-down crowns.

15. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Takeoff Auto Chrono (ref. H76776733)


Starts from approximately $3,295

We saved the best for last because the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Takeoff Auto Chrono (ref. H76776733) is no mere pilot watch. It’s a timeless limited edition timepiece that tells the story of Italian pilot Dario Costa’s record tunnel flight.

The Khaki Takeoff is a “big man’s” watch size at 46mm and 15.95mm thick. And on this sizeable piece of land is an homage to the two tunnels Dario flew through. Its two yellow subdial rings signify the tunnels, and super luminova on the seconds hand and indicators up to the 43rd minute for the record flight time.

This watch is limited to 100 pieces in respect to the daring maximum height Dario’s plane could fly inside the tunnel. Hamilton put in a little twist to the case of this watch by retaining the original design of classic bullhead stopwatches.

With its crown and pushers on top, the Khaki Takeoff case becomes more comfortable and stylish. Plus it eliminates the risk of the crown jutting into your skin if you have smaller wrists since it’s relatively oversized. Additionally, the watch case is attached to a thin plate on which the calf leather strap rests.

This case can be removed and inserted back into the plate at will. When removed, you can either place it on a dash mount or turn it and admire the automatic movement of the H-31 caliber.

Ultimately, the bi-directional bezel is worthy of mention. It is pretty smooth, has a firm grip, and has a “LOCK” inscription in bright yellow at the side to guide when inserting the case into the plate. And what is most exciting is how the outer bezel rotates the inner bezel.


Hamilton has been a trusted name in the world of aviation watches for centuries, and their pilot watches remain contenders with the best. And they are more open to consumers with their competitive prices. We’ve listed the best 15 of their most stylish, functional, modern, and sophisticated fliegers.

With a range of designs and features, there is sure to be a Hamilton watch that will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. So what are you waiting for? Cruise through the 15 Best Hamilton Pilot Watches and find the perfect timepiece to take your aviation tastes to new heights.

If you are reading this, you are probably tired of heavy and bulky dive watches, and you need a sleek design. You’re in luck. The Exquisite Timepieces team scoured depths to uncover the 15 best thin dive watches.

These watches combine a relatively slim profile with a regular dive watch’s renowned durability and precision timekeeping. As a result, they are versatile and stylish dive watches. Portable enough to style formal wear and lightweight for everyday fashion without bugging your wrist.

While they all have a similar design architecture, you’ll find a variety of svelte styles for different budgets to choose from on our list. So let’s get to it.  

About Thin Dive Watches

When you think of a dive watch, you probably envision something big, bulky, and built like a tank – which is true. It’s no surprise when they are designed to survive deep-sea diving. Ideally, they feature overengineered, often oversized cases with superior durability, legibility, luminosity, and water resistance, boosting their general demand and not being restricted to divers only. 

You most likely thought, “you want all these quirks but in a streamlined and elegant case” when you embarked on the journey for thin dive watches. The good thing is there are quite a few quality timepieces that fit the category. However, you’ll be out of luck if you expect models like the ultra-thin 2.4mm Bulgari Octto Finnissimo. Thin dive watches range from around 6mm to 13mm, and most fall within the 11mm range. 

On the bright side, they are comfortable to wear for long periods and can be dressed up without getting caught under your sleeve or jacket cuff. Slim divers can serve you on formal occasions or in their element for casual or sports wear. 

Thin dive watches are no pushovers, either. Some models can be slightly tougher than regular or oversized ones. However, they suffer no compromise to structural integrity due to the slimmer profile. They also maintain essential dive watch features such as a unidirectional bezel, water resistance, and luminosity. Plus, technological advancements have allowed for the creation of thinner movements that don’t sacrifice accuracy.

Should You Buy A Thin Dive Watch?

It’s no secret that more than half of the people who buy diver watches are not divers or into sports. Most enthusiasts buy them because they love the design, which is subjective. At the same time, another set of folks uses the unidirectional bezel to time an array of activities other than underwater duration.

For what it’s worth, the closest action my dive watch sees is recording 20-minute intervals for regular breaks from work. Another thing is even bulky dive watches are designed to fit under a wetsuit. They are tool watches, so they fit perfectly under overalls if you work in an industry.

But a thin dive watch is your best bet if you want a low-profile model you can style with a dress shirt. It gives you that bold look, unmatched visibility, and functionality in a small case. Plus, they are a great choice for small wrists that struggle to wear divers without having the fit of an Omnitrix. Slim dive watches fit better and stylishly.

The Best Thin Dive Watches

We’ve compiled this list of the absolute best quality divers with cases thinner than 13mm. The selections are according to their value and respect among enthusiasts, not by size.

1. Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue (ref. M79030B-0001)


Starts from approximately $3,300

The Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue (ref. M79030B-0001) is a thin dive watch masterpiece with a vintage appeal. It has a 39mm case, slightly smaller than the conventional 40mm and 45mm, and is only 12mm thick – a perfect size for both men and women. It has a durable, corrosion-resistant case made from 316L stainless steel.

Its blue unidirectional bezel is a classic design with 10-minute Arabic-numbered intervals to 60 minutes. The aluminum bezel is fluted for non-slippery handling with gloves or underwater. Also, its markers are Super-LumiNova treated – meaning they glow in the dark. This “glow in the dark” feature extends to the hour marker and hands on the dial.

Speaking of the dial, it’s yet another classic look, but in blue. It sports a domed dial plate, trademark round markers, and snowflake hands, which are simple yet aesthetic. You’d love the attention to detail in the finish of the Black Bay. Its case is polished down to the lugs, while the bracelet is a rough, bold, and dressy satin finish.

The Tudor Black Bay’s standout function is arguably its long-lasting 70-hour power reserve. That’s about three days’ worth of juice powered by a COSC-certified in-house movement, the MT5402.

2. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe (ref. 5000 1110 B52A)


Starts from approximately $11,500

Since introducing the original Bathyscaphe watch, Blancpain has committed to creating smaller-sized sports diving watches, and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe (ref. 5000 1110 B52A) is no exception. 

This luxury dive watch stands out for its thin profile and sleek design. It’s housed in a 43mm case of only 13.4mm thickness. And this size might not seem thin to casual wearers, but it falls in the sweet spot for professionals. 

While this Bathyscaphe might seem relatively thin compared to dress watches, it is noteworthy for a dive watch, which typically requires a thicker case to withstand the pressures of deep-sea exploration.

In addition, the slim and flat bezel enhances the watch’s thin profile with its ceramic inlay and Liquidmetal markers and numerals. The 23mm width between the horns also enhances its slim profile. 

What I admire most about this dive watch is how Blancpain kept up with typical features while trying to achieve a slim profile. As a result, the watch maintains a high water resistance (300 meters), an impeccable 120-hour power reserve, and a high resistance to shock and magnetism.

3. Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-70)


Starts from approximately $11,900

They say looks can be deceiving, and that’s exactly the case with this Glashütte Original SeaQ model. Its gigantic numeral Arabic numerals can be misleading of its actual weight and frame. But it’s only the brand’s way of prioritizing visibility for underwater and low-light environments or reading the time at an angle.

But its enormous feature goes no deeper than the numbers. The SeaQ has a polished stainless steel case, possibly one of the thinnest certified dive watches. It’s only 39.5mm and has a height of 12.15mm, which is impressive considering the watch’s 200-meter water resistance rating. A small detail I loved about this diver is the representation of its 20-bar (200 meters) water resistance on the case back with 20 waves.

You’ll also love its innovative dial design. It’s a radiant combination of large orange Arabic numerals, baton markers on a sunburst black dial, and the date window at 3 o’clock.

Regarding functionality, SeaQ has all makings of a professional dive watch. It has a fully graduated 60-minute unidirectional bezel, luminescent markers, and hands. The brushed stainless steel bracelet is nice, but you also have more dive-friendly options of rubber and synthetic straps. 

In addition, it comes with a Glashutte Original automatic caliber 39-11 with a 40-hour power reserve running at 28,000 frequency. Plus, the watch meets DIN 8306 and ISO 6425 diving standards.

4. Longines Legend Diver 36mm (ref. L3.374.4.50.6)


Starts from approximately $2,300

This watch is another small adaptation of a classic diver – the Legend Diver – as a 10th-anniversary model. As its name implies, its round measures only 36mm, 11.90mm thick, with a 19mm lug width. Give it to Longines to add class and style to their rugged tool watches, as this Diver 36 gets a Milanese (mesh) bracelet. It’s easily mistakable for a dress watch considering its skinny profile and unisex appeal.

The Longines Legend Diver 36mm (ref. L3.374.4.50.6) is remarkable for more than its sleek design, though. I love how its dial is caricature-like as it packs many functions into its portable 36mm case. For example, it has an inner bezel rather than a robust unidirectional bezel to stay thin and fashionable. And has distinct stick indices and mixed hour markers that make it even easier to read the time, despite the clutter. 

Additionally, with water resistance of up to 300 meters, the Legend Diver L3.374.4.50.6 proves you don’t need a 50mm thick case to go some distance underwater. It runs on a 45-hour power reserve in-house caliber L592.

5. Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18)


Starts from approximately $2,700

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five is another relatively thin dive watch worth taking a shot at. It’s a sleek and fashionable diver of 40mm diameter and 13mm thick. I particularly like that you can make a statement wearing this watch on any outfit, whether a suit and tie or dressing down for a beach outing.

Aside from having a low-slung profile, Oris’s (ref. 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18) watch doesn’t really strike all the right chords for me. For a watch that is 13mm thick, you’d expect it to have some high water resistance, which is not the case. The watch only has a 10 bar water resistance which is quite good if you don’t intend to submerge it in water.

6. Seiko SNE573


Starts from approximately $500

If you are not a fan of big dive watches or you have a small wrist, consider buying the Seiko SNE573 watch. It is small, only 10.6mm thick, and barely wide (38.5mm diameter). Although the watch is small, it is not uncomfortable.

The dial and bezel have legible numerals and markers with a LumiBrite coating. So, even underwater, you can tell the time clearly. It also has a very comfortable silicone rubber strap that doesn’t bite into or leave marks on your skin. Despite a small frame and entry-level price point, this Seiko SNE573 houses impressive features.

One standout feature is the solar-powered quartz movement, which is very accurate and long-lasting. When fully charged, it can last for up to 10 months. And with its 200m water resistance, you can descend with this watch into deep waters – just be sure to ascend in ten months.

7. NOVE Trident E009-02


Starts from approximately $370

Now, this definitely has to be the slimmest dive watch you’ll ever find. It is only 6.8mm thick, even though it has a relatively large 46mm case. So, if you want an extremely thin watch but with a huge face, the NOVE Trident E009-02 would be the perfect candidate for your collection. It’s lightweight and among the most affordable luxury dive watches on the market.

In addition to a slim profile, the NOVE Trident E009-02 has a unique three-level stopper bezel system. They are designed to help the bezel stay unidirectional and are easy to clean after underwater use. Note, though, that only the hour and minute hands are luminous. It may not be ideal for use in dark or low-light environments, as the hour and minute markers on the dial and bezel lack applied Superluminova.

8. Glycine Combat Sub (ref. GL0076)


Starts from approximately $1,300

Here’s another watch on our list of thin dive watches. Admittedly, the Combat Sub isn’t exceptionally thin compared to the NOVE Trident E009-02 or Seiko SNE573. But at 11mm thick, it more than paints the perfect picture of a thin dive watch. 

The case is 42mm in diameter and houses a very busy dial. Busy in the sense that there are 24-hour markers on the black dial – who cares about military time in this age? And only the 1 to 12-hour markers are visible in low-light conditions. So why include the other hour markers? If I’m a fan of military time, I’ll want to use it in the light and the dark.

But then, different strokes for different folks, right? Still, on the cluttered dial, there is a date window at the 3 o’clock position and many brand and model name engravings. The dial is a bit choked up.

My issue with the dial aside, the Glycine Combat Sub (ref. GL0076) is a high-performance watch. It has all the kicks and perks of true dive watches – a unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown, water resistance, and powerful movement.

9. Mido Ocean Star 200 (ref. M026.430.11.051.00)


Starts from approximately $1,100

The Mido Ocean Star 200 (ref. M026.430.11.051.00) is also a top contender for those in the market for a thin dive watch. It has a thin case that is 11.8mm thick and 42.50mm wide. The case has a screw-down back, crown, and 20 bar water resistance.

What strikes me most about this watch is the dial’s simplicity. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes, complicated dials can be beautiful and functional. In fact, Mido has some watches in the Ocean Star collection with insane clutter.

But the simplicity of this model is quite intriguing. It features white stick markers and skeletonized hands on a black dial and bezel. Only the 15th, 30th, and 45th minutes on the bezel are numbered. Inside the Ocean Star, 200 is a COSC-certified Mido Caliber 80 (base ETA C07.621) with an 80-hour power reserve.

10. Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 300 38mm


Starts from approximately $1,150

What’s more exciting to an enthusiast than a watch with an open case back? Probably a thin dive watch with the same case back or anyone with a worthy movement to display. Luckily, Christopher Ward’s C60 Trident Pro ticks both boxes at a price I’d like to call a steal.

This C60 Trident is an ultra-thin (11mm) and portable (38mm) masterpiece, sporting a lightweight polished stainless case and bracelet. It’s also highly customizable, with options to add an engraving or resize the bracelet for a token.

Not to mention, the bracelet is marine-grade stainless steel with micro-adjustment mechanisms (and screw links), a useful feature even top luxury watchmakers ignore.  The Trident’s dial and bezel are exceptionally stylish while staying rugged. It features a plain white dial, white markers and hands highlighted with black for contrast, and a black-on-white bezel with Arabic numerals.

One detail that particularly caught my eye was the Trident on the seconds hand. Finally, it uses an automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve, date display, and an Elaboré’ Colimaçoné’ finish.

11. Baltic Aquascaphe Black Cream


Starts from approximately $735 

Next on our list of thin dive watches is the Baltic Aquascaphe Black Cream watch. Its stainless steel case is 39mm wide and 12mm thin. The watch offers a vintage charm with a modern performance. Its retro-inspired design draws inspiration from classic dive watches. However, it incorporates modern elements that make the watch safe and stylish.

The case and bezel are covered with double-domed sapphire glass. Being one of the toughest materials in the watchmaking industry, this solid sapphire glass is poised to protect the watch from scratches and breakage. So go ahead and surf the seas, knowing that your watch can take hard hits. Avoid bumping it intentionally into things because even the strongest materials have a breaking point.

In addition to a sturdy case and glass covering, the dial is powered by the iconic automatic winding Miyota 9309 movement, which has a 42-hour power reserve. This movement also powers the unidirectional rotating bezel and its 120-minute graduation.

12. Sinn U50 (ref. 1050.010)


Starts from approximately $3,500

Sinn U50 (ref. 1050.010) is a mid-sized version of the highly durable U1 watch. It offers nearly all the benefits of the U1 version but in a 41mm case instead of the 44mm. The U50 combines the rugged durability and water resistance of the U1 with the sleek and slim profile of a dress watch – its case is only 11.15mm thick. 

But don’t be fooled by the aesthetics and slim profile. The U50 is a super functional instrument watch and one of the most rugged dive watches ever made. The case is made of submarine steel, an antimagnetic material that’s highly resistant to seawater corrosion and “tegimented” to prevent scratches.

And unlike conventional luxury dive watches, the U50 has a remarkable 500-meter depth capacity. It’s powered by an efficient Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 25 jewels and 28,800 running frequency.

Its dial and bezel have an eye-catching toolsy aesthetic. The contrast of orange and white markers on its matte black dial is an ode to legibility in and out of water. It’s an even more striking beauty when the dial’s luminescent applications come to life in the dark.

The only gripe is that it uses a leather band, which can be an advantage if you get the U50 for casual and formal dressing. However, you’d need to buy a Sinn rubber replacement for diving purposes. 

13. Orion Calamity Void


Starts from approximately $1,650

The Orion Calamity Void is a thin dive watch (11.3mm) with a bold face. It’s only 39.5mm but has a double-domed anti-reflective coating and shielding lug design that covers the crown. So while it may appear large, it can fit small wrist sizes and dress cloths.

The dial also accentuates its bold and masculine appeal. The black-on-black combination with the bezel, sharp white hour markers, and hands, and oversized orange seconds hand are far from a calamity. However, it has a high-gloss finish that shines on its satin-brushed case and bracelet, making it a choice evening watch. 

Furthermore, the Calamity has a 200-meter water resistance rating) and an exhibition case back. It displays the automatic Sellita SW300 movement with Geneva stripes and a gold Orion logo. Overall, the Orion Calamity Void is a mystifying combination of the hardiness of dive watches in a thin and stylish frame capable of dressy wear. 

14. Formex Reef Automatic Chronometer


Starts from approximately $2,100

This watch is a bad boy in every sense. It’s a true diver by design, with a case similar to an old diving helmet. While the case is 42mm across, it’s only 11.4mm thick and built with the toughest materials all around.

The Reef’s case uses the same 316L stainless steel as our number 1 pick, the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue. And features a scratch-resistant zirconium oxide ceramic bezel with 3D graduations of 60 minutes. It’s the only watch on the list with a 3D effect engraving on the bezel.

The exceptional bezel glows in the dark with its Rehault-syle baton markers on its sunray-finished dial. You can take this beauty down to 300m, which is also impressive since most thin dive watches only have the standard 200m water resistance or less.

However, a patented micro-adjustment system sets the Formex Reef Automatic Chronometer apart from the crowd. This rubber strap has a patent clasp that allows seamless adjustment and safe lock in all conditions.

The Reef also has a stainless steel bracelet with screw links for easy adjustment to any wrist size. Further, inside the 11mm thin dive watch is a COSC-certified movement. It’s a Sellita SW300-1 with 56 hours of power reserve.

15. Ole Mathiesen Navy Diver 40 (ref. OM12.40A1.NA)


Starts from approximately $2,500

At just 10mm thick, the Ole Mathiesen Navy Diver 40 (ref. OM12.40A1.NA) is one of the thinnest dive watches on the market. But some of its features are less impressive than other thin dive watches on the list. Particularly, the 12-bar water resistance rating is too low. There are thinner watches with higher water resistance. So don’t attempt submerging this watch into deep waters. 

Despite its low water resistance, it is still one of the best thin dive watches on the market. The black dial is accented with white luminous indices allowing easy readability. And the case also has a tough crystal made from scratch-proof convex sapphire.


There are plenty of options if you’re in the market to own your first stylish and functional thin dive watch or add to your collection. But options start to shrink when you have a size, thickness, and design in mind. Otherwise, getting lost in a sea of slim dive watches is easy, and buying all or nothing is possible.

Regardless of the size or features you prioritize, you’ll find that these 15 models are the best options for your budget. Hopefully, this list informs you of the best thin dive watch for your style or points you to suitable alternatives.

In the world of luxury timepieces, some watches become instant classics, while others may go unnoticed until it’s too late. The Cartier Calibre de Diver was one such timepiece that didn’t really catch on with the watch crowd after its release but will give any diver today a run for its money. 

This post scopes the Calibre de Diver in-depth, including its history, features, models, and alternatives. Unfortunately, we can’t say why Cartier exed the line, but fortunately, we can say it’s not because it was ugly or overpriced. 

It’s a classy and rare collection with features that scream luxury, sophistication, and elegance. You can still grab one or find similar options after this review.

About the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver

Cartier was primarily known for creating elegant and sophisticated watches and jewelry. However, it expanded its offerings to include more practical watches suitable for adventurers and explorers. 

One of the earliest examples of Cartier’s foray into rugged watches was the Santos, created in 1904 for the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. It was designed to be easy to read in flight and featured a sturdy, square case that could withstand the rigors of aviation. The Calibre de Cartier Diver line only recently joined the Cartier family in 2013.

It meets the rigorous ISO 642 standards for water resistance, legibility, and durability. This Diver is water-resistant up to 300 meters and features a unidirectional rotating bezel to measure elapsed time underwater. Despite its practical design, the Calibre de Cartier Diver maintains the elegance and finesse symbolic of the Cartier brand.

The watch has a sporty rubber strap, a bold Roman-numeral dial with luminous markings, and a polished stainless steel svelte case. Additionally, its 1904 MC automatic movement has a twin-barrel mechanism and a power reserve of 48 hours.

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Models

The Calibre de Cartier Diver collection has over five (5) models. All of which share the same features with minor design variations. Some of the most popular models in the collection include:

The Calibre de Cartier Blue WSCA0010

The Calibre de Cartier Blue WSCA0010

This model features a blue dial with a matte finish and Super-LumiNova indicators. The blue unidirectional bezel is made of ceramic and also has Super-LumiNova markings to read time spent underwater. 

Like its counterparts, the case is made of stainless steel and is 42mm. It also features the Cartier Calibre 1904 MC automatic movement and a water resistance of 300 meters. However, its black strap either comes in leather or rubber.

Calibre de Cartier Diver Rose Gold W7100036

Calibre de Cartier Diver Rose Gold W7100036

This model is a two-toned dressy diver with a rose gold and stainless steel blend on the bracelet and case. The 18K rose gold unidirectional bezel, and the dial has markers and hands that are Super-LumiNova treated. So are the hands of its silver opaline dial.

Calibre de Cartier Diver Black W7100056

Calibre de Cartier Diver Black W7100056

This is the most popular model in the Cartier Diver line. The dial of this watch is black and has a stamped snail pattern with luminous indications and a black rubber strap. It also has steel markers that have been ADLC-coated.

And like the others, the case is 42mm stainless steel, has the Cartier Calibre 1904 MC automatic movement, and is 300-meter water-resistant. Other Calibre de Cartier watch models include:

  • The Calibre de Cartier Diver W7100057 with black dial and silver steel bracelet
  • The WSCA0011 model with blue dial and blue rubber strap
  • The WSCA0006 model

ISO Standards and Cartier Tests

Dive watches have become a popular tool among water sports enthusiasts, sports watch lovers, and watch collectors. But, as popular as these watches are, many skip what puts the “dive” in the dive watch. 

Did you know any watch that doesn’t meet the ISO 6425 standards can’t be called a diver?

Even if it has 400 meters of water resistance, it must be certified. Basically, ISO 6425 outlines the official physical requirements of dive watches, including water resistance, pressure resistance, magnetism, shock resistance, legibility in the dark, rotating bezel, and resistance to external forces. 

However, the most crucial requirement is the “overpressure test.” This test requires submerging the watch in 125 percent of its rated depth before leaving the factory. This is not a basic water-resistant test because not all water-resistant watches are dive-friendly. And if your timepiece isn’t adequately tested or doesn’t meet the standard, you might be walking around with a shock-conducting watch.

While Cartier might not have a legendary dive watchmaking experience, it does take these requirements seriously. It performs several tests to ensure that the Calibre de Cartier Diver line meets these standards. Watches in this line undergo a water resistance test at 375 meters or 125 percent of its rated depth. 

Additionally, it undergoes a pressure change test, sand in the bezel test, a temperature change test, a magnetic field test, and a pressure on the case, strap, and crown test. Plus, the brand’s dive watches are made to pass a condensation test to ensure that no water penetrates the case.

The watch is also tested for underwater visibility to ensure that the luminescent treated hands, markers, and numerals are readable 10 inches away from the face in the dark. Overall, Calibre de Cartier watches are solid and true watches that stand out in the crowd and meet the ISO 6425 standards.

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056

The devil, they say, is in the details, so let’s take a closer look at the defining features of the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056, from the intricate details on the dial to the high-quality materials used in its construction.


The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056 has a slim and lightweight case. Only 11mm thick and 111 grams, it’s svelte compared to the robust profile of most dive watch cases. 


It’s high-quality stainless steel with a fine brushed finish across its surfaces. But possess a light-reflecting polished finish along the bevel and lugs. 

Furthermore, its solid case back is locked airtight with eight small screws and has the emblem of authenticity inscribed – Diver’s watch. It’s only legal or seen on watches that satisfy ISO 6425 standards. 

This means the watch is true to its name and can handle a depth of 300m. Most won’t take their Cartier diver anywhere near the deep sea, but it’s refreshing to know it’s competent.


The crown guard – a vital water resistance feature – stands out. It is pretty large, and the blue gem gives it a mythical look. So much so that it adds 3mm to the watch’s size, over 45mm as opposed to the 42mm diameter of the case. But the crown guard is not the only factor increasing the watch’s diameter. The bezel and band are also quite enormous.

Fluted Unidirectional Bezel

Speaking of the bezel, it is made of black ADLC and has a unidirectional design to prevent timing mistakes underwater. You don’t want to be halfway through your dive and realize you accidentally reset the dive time backward.


The sapphire crystal is stunning. In addition, it’s scratch-resistant, so you do not have to worry about bumping it against an underwater rock or hard surface. Additionally, it’s anti-reflective, which means you can read the time clearly from different angles.


The Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056 black dial is a brilliant work of art. It has many fascinating features that will get you all tingly and excited.

Date Display 

For one, let’s talk big date. Its unique two-digit date display is both beautiful and functional. Located at 3 o’clock with a calligraphic III Roman numeral crown is its bean-shaped date window.

A triangle indicator puts the current date in the crosshair for easy reading. It also shows the date before and after, which is a minor, but important attention to detail to stay organized


Cartier uses classic sword hands for the hour, minute, and seconds hands. Speaking of which, there’s a standalone seconds window at rocked in at 6 o’clock. Another super cool feature of this watch is the glow-in-the-dark feature. All three hands, the small-second chapter ring, the XII numeral, and the baton hour markers are all treated with Super-LumiNova. 


While this Diver can stay bright for up to 18 hours, its lume strength winds down pretty fast. It doesn’t matter, though, because, with low juice, you may not be able to read the in the dark seas, but it’ll glow enough on your wrist in a dark room. Only the inverted triangle on the bezel glows, so the other markings aren’t visible in the dark.

Authenticity Badge 

Counterfeiters rarely get luxury watch designs right. But what’s most exciting is the style in which the Cartier name is engraved in microprint in the X numeral as an anti-counterfeiting feature, which is a major way to know that you’re wearing an original watch.

Movement: Caliber 1904 MC

All Cartier Divers use the 1904 MC movement designed in-house by prominent Swiss watchmaker Carole Forestier-Kappi. Anyone familiar with Carole’s work will expect no less than a masterpiece. 

She designed the Rotonde de Cartier Astroregulateur, which won the “Best Men’s Complication Watch” award at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. This one’s built for accuracy and durability.

Solid Engineering

It sports twin, series-coupled barrels working together to even out the energy flow as the mainsprings wind down. It also has a power reserve of 48 hours, which isn’t enhanced by the twin barrels. However, these barrels improve longevity by generating less friction-inducing force.


The 1904 MC movement has 27 jewels that run at 4Hz, 28800vph. A bidirectional rotor in the mainsprings is mounted on ceramic bearings that increase the watch’s longevity. Instead of using a standard reverse, Cartier improves shock resistance and winding efficiency by utilizing a V-shaped pawl.

Additionally, Geneva stripe finishing on the rotor and automatic winding bridge and circular graining on the main plate is a testament to Cartier’s commitment to creating high-quality timepieces. An Etcahron adjustment regulates the watch’s energy release, a flat Nivarox balance spring, and a Glucydur balance wheel.

Bracelet / Strap

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056 has a soft, thick, and supple black rubber strap that measures 120mm by 74mm. The material is finished like leather with fluted inlays to avoid irritation if it gets wet. Cartier took this rubber strap to the next level by ensuring it’s water, wear and tear, UV radiation resistant, and can withstand relatively extreme temperatures.

In short, this strap is built to last. It wears comfortably, too, with its Cartier-embossed pin buckle to fit into wetsuits without bulging. This adds more appeal to this revered Diver as a dress watch.

One thing about the Calibre de Cartier, unlike many divers, is you don’t get strap options for versatility. Although there are models with stainless steel and different rubber styles, replacement isn’t user-friendly (buy-in-store). For example, the WSCA0010 and the W7100054 come in leather and steel bracelets, respectively.

Should You Buy a Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver?

Honestly, I don’t believe that watches are made for special kinds of people – except for the costly ones. Find a watch’s features helpful or appealing, and can afford it? Go for it. In this case, the Calibre de Cartier Diver is a watch for people who appreciate quality, style, and adventure.

As the name implies, this timepiece is a “Diver” watch that satisfies all ISO standards for dive watches. It is made for people who love exploring the outdoors, climbing mountains, or diving deep into the ocean’s depths. So if you’re looking to play Jacques Cousteau for a second, consider buying this watch.

But the Calibre de Cartier Diver isn’t just for underwater explorers or thrill-seekers. It’s also a classy watch for casual and formal outings. 

It’s perfect for playing dress up at the office, a fancy gathering, a boat or yacht cruise, and even the movies. Consider it a tiny piece of luxury on your wrist, adding that extra touch of class to your already sophisticated outfit.

However, tech-savvy folks might not be enthused by this watch because it doesn’t necessarily have all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch. But it’s still a watch with technology, and you might find the engineering intriguing.

Is the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Discontinued?

Yes. Cartier unexpectedly discontinued the Calibre de Cartier line in 2018. Nevertheless, the incredible collection highlighted the brand’s stellar craftsmanship and ingenuity. Unfortunately, the reason for the discontinuance is uncertain. Is it possible that Cartier didn’t want to appear too sporty, or the initial sale didn’t blossom as much as they expected?

Well, the brand is constantly evolving and developing new products. So it is possible that sometime in the future, they will rebrand and revive the collection as a vintage classic. But for now, the collection is only available on the second-hand market.

Alternatives To the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver

The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver line has impressive models in different colors and bracelet variations. But then, not everyone will be intrigued by this collection. So here are some alternatives with similarities and liberating differences.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

If you think the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver, ref. W7100056 is big, you haven’t met the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. This rugged watch is much bigger, with a case size of 45mm and 15mm thick. The case, made of titanium, has a matte finish and an exhibition case back.

It is durable and corrosion-resistant, which fortifies it for underwater use. The dial of this Blancpain watch is equally impressive. Its hour, minute, and seconds hands and markers are all luminescent, aiding nighttime visibility.

The date window is also conveniently placed at 4:30, and unlike that of the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver, it is not obtrusive. What I love most about the dial is the two-toned sunburst finish. So, depending on the direction of the light, the dial often transitions from blue to black.

Similarly, the unidirectional bezel is quite pleasant since it is easy to grip and luminescent. But that’s not the craziest part. Now imagine having a mechanical watch that can run independently for six days without winding. Yeah, that’s right.

This watch has an impressive 120 power reserve thanks to the watchmaker’s in-house movement – the Caliber 1315.  The Caliber 1315 movement features three series-coupled mainspring barrels and a silicon balance spring which mitigates shocks and has high resistance to magnetic fields.

Its numerous screws and the crown screw are also shock resistant and enhance stability. Additionally, the Caliber 1315 also has a secure date protection mechanism that guards against harm to the date wheel if a manual adjustment is made while the movement is already changing the date.

Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-33)

Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-33)

Here’s another alternative to the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver that meets ISO 6425 and DIN 8306 standards. It’s a classic watch with a vintage-inspired look that’s hard to resist. But what’s cool about this timepiece is its size – the case size and diameter are 39.5mm and 12.50mm, respectively, which should fit a wide range of wrist sizes.

One amazing feature of the Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-33) is the simplicity of its features. The time window, which doubles as the 3 o’clock marker, is lodged plainly on the dial. It has no enormous crown guard, exhibition case back, or helium escape valve. 

All of its features are legible, usable, and functional. From the unidirectional black bezel to the gold and luminous white hour, minutes, and seconds markers and hands, and even down to the screw-down crown, you’ll find a need for every feature.

The only part of this watch that might seem a bit extra is the sword hour, arrow minute, and lollipop seconds markers. Like why so extra? What happened to regular hands? But it’s all part of the aesthetics, which extends to the ceramic bezel, black dial with an infusion of colorful numerals, and a half-barrel profile case.

Under the hood, the SeaQ is powered by the Glashütte Original’s self-winding movement – Caliber 39-11. It is a highly accurate and reliable upgrade to the 1978 Spezichron Caliber 11-26. However, this watch doesn’t have a strong power reserve like the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver watch – it only has a power reserve of up to 40 hours. Its water resistance is also limited to 200 meters.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (ref. 1183-126-3/42)

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (ref. 1183-126-3/42)

The Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (ref. 1183-126-3/42) is an exceptional timepiece with precision, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. It boasts a 43mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 13.85mm. The silver dial’s wave pattern adorned with Roman numerals and silver steel epitomizes elegance with authority. 

It has a dressy circular-themed design. The case is round, and so are the windows for the date and small seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position and the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock.

In addition, extended lugs complement Marine’s rubber straps and deployment clasp for a stylish casual look. Unlike Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver watches, it has an exhibition case back that showcases the movement and Ulysse’s signature anchor motif.

The movement is an in-house UN-118 caliber developed by Ulysse Nardin and is particularly well-embellished with 50 jewels. It’s also a COSC-certified chronometer which means it’s not only a tough diver but an accurate timekeeper. The UN-118 caliber also boasts an impressive 60-hour power reserve, a silicon escapement, and a balance spring. 

The watch is thus shock-resistant and has anti-magnetic properties. Plus, the movement is equipped with Ulysse Nardin’s proprietary time zone setting, allowing you to adjust the local time easily without affecting the watch’s accuracy.

However, as functional as the Marine is, there are deeper dive watches. For example, it only has a water resistance of 100 meters and lacks a bezel for tracking elapsed time.


And there you have it! Another endearing masterpiece of horology from the world-renowned luxury jewelers. The Cartier Diver’s Watch is a fantastic creation that captures the essence of adventurous and luxury fashion. It’s not a Santos or Tank but doesn’t foray with its slim, sleek, yet hulking profile. 

Maybe the Calibre de Diver was a failed experiment or a statement innovation to show Cartier is more than a luxury design. You’d be wrong in either case because you’re still interested after a decade of decommissioning, and it’s a solid watch. 

But again, if, for some reason, say, the price or scarcity, you would like options, our list of alternative timepieces has relatively identical features and is worth looking into. 

Keep exploring and stay exquisite!

best gucci dive watches

Gucci is a luxury fashion house front runner in pop culture, known for its stylish contemporary designs and iconic logo. Their watches are no exception if you’re looking for fashionable luxury dive watches, and surprisingly on an affordable budget. 

The Gucci Dive collection models are also functional. They are designed to withstand underwater exploration with durable and eco-friendly materials, water resistance, and luminous parts – and in style.

This guide will look at the top 10 Gucci dive watches available today. We’ve also included a range of styles and features to suit different preferences and needs. From classic designs to socially-acceptable bio-based models, these watches offer something for everyone.

As a plus, we’ve included a short history of Gucci dive watches and a brief overview of the collection. You’ll surely find a Gucci that suits your style and budget. Let’s dive in and explore the 10 Best Gucci Dive Watches.

Classic and Eco-Based Gucci Dive Watches

The Gucci Dive Watch is the star luxury watchmaker’s collection of sporty timepieces with classic and contemporary styles. They each have a water resistance of 200 meters (660 feet), making them suitable for aquatic sports like swimming, snorkeling, and water sports. These watches are relatively affordable as they fall under $2,000.

Gucci Dive Watches come in two major designs: bio-based and classic. The bio-based designs were launched as part of Gucci’s efforts to reduce their environmental impact. These divers used sustainable materials like rubber, fabric, and steel straps. 

In addition, authentic classic Gucci dive watches carry stunning dials – with the brand’s symbolic heads – snake, bee, or tiger, luminous hands and indexes, a date indicator, a unidirectional rotating bezel, and solid case backs. The hands have an elegant movement across the dial, thanks to the Swiss Quartz movement they run on.

The Bio-based designs are similar except for a skeleton dial design and open case back. Gucci did a pretty good job of making open case backs look good on a quartz movement. Remember, they are made of eco-friendly and biodegradable materials, such as bio-based plastic and recycled steel.

History Of Gucci Dive Watches

For decades, Gucci, an Italian high-end fashion brand, has established itself as a reputable designer. Riding on this reputation, the brand ventured into the watchmaking business in 1972. However, it only thrived as a watchmaker once it collaborated with Swiss engineers in the 1990s.

The Gucci Dive watch was first introduced in 2013 as a limited edition wristwatch powered by a Girard-Perregaux movement. The limited edition was high-priced and sold for around $8,600. In 2015, the company, as a pre-BaselWorld introduction, added the Dive line permanently to its watch collection after it attracted the interest of collectors and watch buffs. This time, however, it was easily accessible and affordable.

The Best Gucci Dive Watches

1. Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Rubber Strap (Style ‎633001 I16X0 1000)

Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Rubber Strap (Style ‎633001 I16X0 1000)

First on our list is the Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Rubber Strap (Style ‎633001 I16X0 1000). 

It’s a classic black diver with an elegant design to brave waves and occasions. The watch features a black stainless steel case with PVD coating, a matte black dial, Rolex-like indexes, and a big date at 6.

Its black rubber strap is a masterpiece for a sporty watch, providing comfort and durability. But the Gucci engraving across the band transforms it into a luxury everyday watch. It’s adjustable between 140mm to 200mm to fit small and larger wrist sizes. 

Further, this Gucci dive watch has an artistic connection between the lugs and strap. The strap has metal ends that connect to the lugs in a simple but sophisticated interlocking. Plus, its oversized clasp with Gucci engraving adds a luxurious touch to the watch. The watch is sensationally water resistant to 200 meters with a screw-down crown and quartz movement.

Starts from approximately: $1,600

2. Gucci Dive Watch 40mm Silver Dial Steel Bracelet (Style 663937 I1600 1108, also available on a white rubber strap)

Gucci Dive Watch 40mm Silver Dial Steel Bracelet (Style 663937 I1600 1108, also available on a white rubber strap)

Well, here’s another classic watch in the Gucci Dive line. It’s a fancy dive watch with an impressive silver dial and a stylish link bracelet. It’s an astonishing dial with a guilloche-type finish and multi-icon indexes. 

The renowned Bee icon, which signifies love and community, sits at 12 o’clock and on the case back. Then a vibrant mix of stars, circles, triangles, and a date indicator at 6 o’clock comes to life in the dark. 

The bracelet is made of durable steel with a polished finish that highlights the contemporary design of the watch. It adjusts 110mm to 195mm, perfect for wrist sizes under 8 inches. The unidirectional rotating bezel is both adds functional and stylish. It’s numbered in 5-minute increments to 60 minutes with bolder fonts at the four cardinal hours.

A scratch-resistant sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating is included in the 40mm case for enhanced protection. The case is also water-resistant and can withstand a depth of 660 feet.

This watch also has a white rubber strap add-on but with a different reference number (Style ‎663938 I16X0 8526). It has the same features as the steel bracelet model except for a white rubber strap and a more limited adjustment range of (150mm to 195mm).

Starts from approximately: $1,600 (note that the white rubber strap version of the watch goes for $1,450)

3. Gucci Dive Watch Bio-Based 40mm White Transparent (Style 704332 I16H0 9880)

Gucci Dive Watch Bio-Based 40mm White Transparent (Style 704332 I16H0 9880)

A relatively affordable eco-friendly dive watch with an open case back, who can say no to that?  Well, this is definitely one Gucci Dive model that you do not want to say no to, especially if you are an environmentalist. It is the perfect accessory for anyone who wants to make a statement while positively impacting the planet. 

Its 40mm case is made of steel and bio-based plastic. The biodegradable rubber strap has a unique translucent aesthetic and a bold silver Gucci-embossed butterfly clasp. Aside from its eco-friendly appeal, the watch is a testament to beautiful horology.

The skeleton dial with shapely index icons and open case back shows an attention to detail in craftsmanship. This Gucci Dive watch has an icy aura that will turn heads – at 40mm; you can rock it under a suit and stay dapper. 

Starts from approximately: $1,850

4. Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Silver Snake (Style 559810 I1600 1402)

Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Silver Snake (Style 559810 I1600 1402)

The Gucci Snake is a symbol of luxury, fashion, and style in pop culture. Dive Watch 45mm Dial Silver Snake model on your wrist speaks this truth. 

The snake motif slithers through the dial over the dial and rests its head beneath the iconic Gucci logo at 13 o’clock. It’s the symbolic icon of Gucci’s House: the Kingsnake. But framed with a 45mm case, edgy lug-to-lug, oversized screw-down crown, and a colored bezel, it’s a sporty luxury watch.

That’s not all. The steel bracelet is classy and graceful, and very comfortable to wear. It is designed with room for adjustment from 146mm to 221mm.

The Gucci Dive Style 559810 I1600 1402 watch sports an anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass and highly legible round indexes like other classic Dive designs. And as expected, it is water resistant for up to 20 meters, and it features the precision and reliability of the Swiss Quartz movement.

Starts from approximately: $1,700

5. Gucci Dive Watch 40mm Green Dial Nylon Strap (Style ‎663954 I18M0 6421)

Gucci Dive Watch 40mm Green Dial Nylon Strap (Style ‎663954 I18M0 6421)

If you want a contemporary designer watch that stands out in the crowd, this Gucci Dive Watch Style ‎663954 I18M0 6421 does it remarkably. It’s logo-clad from the dial to the case, bezel, and strap down to the crown in the Italian designer’s popular green and red.

A striking green dial adds a touch of personality but is particularly beautified with the bee and star indexes. Also, its red and green nylon strap complements the unidirectional bezel of the same color. 

Wearing for extended periods for wrists sizes between 150mm to 200mm is comfortable. As part of Gucci’s efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of designer houses, the nylon strap is constructed from ECONYL, recycled polyester from waste materials like fishing nets.

Essentially, it’s not a barrage of colors but an artistically put-together Gucci designer watch with quartz movement. At its finest, this watch is a uniform for a Gucci fanboy and has the appeal of a luxury water sports watch.

Starts from approximately: €1,250

6. Gucci Dive Watch Bio-Based 40mm Aquamarine (Style ‎704337 I16H0 4009)

Gucci Dive Watch Bio-Based 40mm Aquamarine (Style ‎704337 I16H0 4009)

This is another one of Gucci’s colorful bio-based Dive models with an open case back and a skeleton dial. This means you can see the movements, oscillating weights, and discs front and back. 

This eco-friendly model has a blend of steel and aquamarine plastic case and a green aquamarine plastic strap. The material is produced from the same components sea shells are made from. 

As with the other Dive watches, it’s emblematic and comfortable for sweaty or water activities. The strap also adjusts from 150mm to 200mm, and the 40mm case gives you versatility as it can fit under arm cuffs comfortably for a dressy pairing. 

The Gucci Dive Aquamarine should be a staple in you have a daring fashion sense that combines bold colors.

Starts from approximately: £1,650

7. Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Yellow Gold Snake (Style ‎559817 I8610 8757)

Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Yellow Gold Snake (Style ‎559817 I8610 8757)

The Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Yellow Gold Snake (Style ‎559817 I8610 8757) is the watch you watch when you want to make a statement – and boy, does it make a statement. 

The snake motif from Gucci’s House Kingsnake is covered in yellow gold, as well as the PVD case. Its black dial also joins the party with yellow gold applied hands and indexes with golden egg – Gucci GG logo – at 12 o’clock. 

Its golden case and clasp accentuate the brand-name embossed rubber strap for a sporty but classy look. It’s more suitable for casual and semi-formal wear because of its 45mm case and large bezel. But it will slay under large coat cuffs or dressy outfits.

The Gucci Yellow Snake is one of the most affordable gold-plated timepieces from a major luxury brand. It’s not flashy, but it sure emphasizes the good life. 

Starts from approximately: $1,750

8. Gucci Dive Watch 40mm White Dial Feline Head (Style ‎559821 I8610 8504)

Gucci Dive Watch 40mm White Dial Feline Head (Style ‎559821 I8610 8504)

Nothing screams “doyenne” or “feminine domination” louder than this watch. It is simply the epitome of luxury, elegance, grace, and sophistication.

For one, the choice of colors is indeed intriguing and well thought out. The strap, which comes in white rubber, the black dial, and the yellow gold case, give the watch a sleek and polished look.

However, the most intriguing aspect of the Gucci Style ‎559821 I8610 8504 is the brand’s use of one of its symbolic motifs – the feline head. The feline head is a three-dimensional sculpture sitting at the dial’s center that nods to the craftsmanship that goes into the watch. 

Additionally, to sustain the watch’s femininity, the case is made in a 40mm size, perfect for persons who want a look that’s neither too big nor too small. But this design can pass as a unisex timepiece. 

Starts from approximately: $1,650

9. Gucci Dive Watch Bio-Based 40mm Green Transparent (Style ‎704340 I16H0 3020)

Gucci Dive Watch Bio-Based 40mm Green Transparent (Style ‎704340 I16H0 3020)

The Gucci Dive Bio-based 40mm Green Transparent Watch (Style ‎704340 I16H0 3020) is made from bio-based materials derived from renewable resources and has a lower carbon footprint than traditional watch materials. 

The slimy green hue is also a nod to Gucci’s commitment to sustainability, as the brand strives to reduce its environmental impact in every aspect of its operations. This watch is no different from the other eco-based Gucci Dive watches, except for its leafy green color. 

It’s a stylish instrument watch, like the G-Shock, but it can also complement dress watches reasonably well. Its green translucent design gives the watch a distinctive and contemporary feel, and the 40mm case size is ideal for individuals who desire a medium-sized watch.

The green plastic strap is comfortable to wear (suitable for wrist sizes 5.9″ to 7.9″) and reinforces the watch’s eco-friendly credentials.

Starts from approximately: $1,850

10. Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Multi Color Indexes (Style ‎663940 I16X0 8489)

 Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Multi Color Indexes (Style ‎663940 I16X0 8489)

The Gucci Dive Watch 45mm Black Dial Multi Color Indexes is a fun and vibrant timepiece perfect for those who want to add a pop of color to their wardrobe. 

It’s a beautiful stainless steel silver watch that retains the typical features of the classic Dive collection on a frosted black dial. It’s good to see Gucci’s green-and-red one, the star and round indexes, and the bee replacing the GG logo at 12 o’clock.

It’s framed in a 45mm black steel case and the typical unidirectional rotating bezel for divers in 5-minute intervals written in Arabic numerals. This Gucci Dive is bulky, with an equally large link bracelet with a brush and polished finish. But its dark face transforms it into a fashionable casual timepiece. 

Like most dive watches, this watch retains 200 meters of water resistance and the Swiss Quartz movement. However, it has a slightly different wrist size as it is only suitable for wrists that are 135mm to 190mm wide.

Starts from approximately: $1,700


Gucci Dive Watches are the ideal fusion of fashion and functionality. But they’re more glorified as a statement or style piece, not their horological advancement. All the watches in the Dive collection are quartz, and Gucci fails to explain or expressly mention the technical details of their making. 

Regardless, Gucci Dive watches are still an excellent choice for recreational diving and/or fashion statement piece. Want to appear casual, stylish, elegant, powerful, and luxurious? You name it; there’s a Gucci Dive Watch that suits your purpose.

We’ve highlighted some of the best models currently on the market in our 10 Best Gucci Dive Watches list. Hopefully, this guide will connect you with your next contemporary water-resistant timepiece. All the best!

15 best open back watches for all budget ranges

Are you in the market for a new open back watch? I relate with you. I love watches that allow me to glimpse the intricate engineering of their mechanisms. 

You don’t have to break the bank to find a quality watch with an exhibition case back. But honestly, you may have to spend on the high side to find timepieces with movement construction and finish worth the display case.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best open-back watches across budget ranges, so you can find the perfect watch to suit your style. From affordable quartz watches to high-end luxury timepieces, this comprehensive guide has something for everyone. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of open-back watches and discover what makes them so special.

About Open Back Watches

Open-back watches show the watchmakers pride in the engineering of their watch. They also offer you a chance to admire or show off the movement to another watch buff. These watches reveal the tiny gears, rotors, and springs working harmoniously to keep time running.

It’s like having a miniature Rube Goldberg machine on your wrist! But open-back watches are more than just a fascinating display of engineering. They are well-thought-out designs and can be pricey if you want to experience a movement worth showing off. 

History Of Open Back Watches

Display case backs have existed for centuries, but it’s uncertain when they were first made. However, Bovet, founded in 1822, claims to be the first brand to design an exhibition case watch. Time went on (pun intended), and watchmakers began to get more creative with their designs.

In the 19th century, watchmakers, in a bid to make the case backs more transparent, started to use materials like crystal. As expected, the watches stayed expensive, and only a few could afford them.

A. Lange & Söhne did release watches with enamored outer casings and transparent inner casings displaying the movement. Only in the 20th century did these watches become popular and more accessible, particularly amongst watch geeks, collectors, and enthusiasts. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Swiss watchmakers began producing high-end luxury watches with open backs, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony.

These watches were often produced in limited quantities and featured complex movements. Today, open back watches are everywhere and available in all sizes, shapes, and prices.

The Top 15 Open Back Watches

1. Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph

Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph

If you are looking for a stylish and affordable display case watch, consider the vintage-inspired Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph. This proudly Chinese-made watch is touted as the most attainable mechanical watch.

The 38mm stainless steel case has a polished finish and is 12mm thick, which gives the watch a retro look. It’s a simple, clean dial with a blurry white background, black hour markers, and hands. Three sub-dials show the chronograph seconds, minutes, and hours.

One of the unique features of this watch is the movement. It uses a manual ST19 caliber, which is fairly accurate and reliable, with a power reserve of around 40 hours.

In terms of functionality, the Seagull 1963 Mechanical Chronograph is a basic chronograph with no additional features such as a date display or a tachymeter. In addition, there’s hearsay that its leather strap may be of lower quality. However, it packs plenty of value for its price.

Starts from approximately: $300.83

2. Seiko 5 SRPD71

Seiko 5 SRPD71

The Seiko 5 SRPD71 (also known as the SRPD71K1) is a stunning and unique timepiece. It combines a traditional style and elegance with contemporary functions. 

The watch is enclosed in a stainless steel case made of scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal that is 13.4mm thick and has a diameter of 42.5mm. It has a sturdy bracelet that makes the watch feel substantial on the wrist. 

Also, it sports a black dial with luminous hands and markers that make it simple to read in dim light. Additionally, the placement of the day/date function adds a practical touch to the overall design.

Other striking features of the Seiko 5 SRPD71 are the automatic and manual winding 4R36 caliber that provides reliable timekeeping and a 41-hour power reserve. The watch also has a 10 bar water resistance, making it suitable for swimming and other related activities.

Overall, the Seiko 5 SRPD71 is an excellent choice for sport watch lovers who also want some style and durability to go with it.

Starts from approximately: $350

3. Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (H32515555)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (H32515555)

Now here is one delightful combination of elegance and whimsy! I like to think of it as the James Bond of watches – cool, calm, and daring. Let’s start with the design. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (H32515555) has a classic look for formal occasions.

Its captivating white dial has dauphine hands and a mix of Arabic numerals and dagger indexes. It even has a big date at the 3 o’clock position, not to mention guilloche-like patterns in the middle of the dial. 

The Jazzmaster is pristine and refined with a matching 40mm stainless case.  And the Viewmatic naming is probably in reference to its exhibition-style case back that allows you to view the mechanical movement.

This Hamilton piece is powered by an H10 automatic caliber and features an 80-hour power reserve, which is unheard of at its price range.

It also has 25 jewels, but you’re only afforded a sight of its oscillating weight and parts of its wheels through its open case. Pair the Jazzmatic with its calf leather bracelet strap, and you have an elegant dress watch on a budget.

Starts from approximately: $910

4. Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase (ref. FC-712MS4H6)

Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase (ref. FC-712MS4H6)

The Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase (ref. FC-712MS4H6), or as I like to call it, the “fancy watch that tells you when to howl at the moon,” is a work of art. It’s got a sleek silver and black design that’s sure to turn heads. 

The FC-712MS4H6 boasts other satisfactory attributes, like the calf leather black strap with croc-print and a folding buckle with push buttons. The polished stainless steel case has a 42mm diameter, a thickness of 11.6mm, and a 5 bar water resistance.

This case houses a matching silver dial and automatic central rotor mechanics that can be seen through the open case back and an FC-712 caliber. The moon phase and day-indicator subdials maintain the simple look of the dial.

In all, the Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Moonphase is a watch that’s both stylish and practical. It’s perfect for the fashion-conscious werewolf who needs to keep track of lunar cycles or anyone who wants to look darn good while telling time.

Pricing: $3,172

5. NOMOS Tangente 38 (ref. 164)

NOMOS Tangente 38 (ref. 164)

The Tangente 38 is a minimalist’s dream come true, with clean lines, simple indices, and a stunningly understated dial. It’s the kind of watch that makes you feel like a savvy sophisticate just by wearing it, even if you’re just wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt.

But don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this Nomos watch is a veritable treasure trove of clever engineering. The in-house manual-winding caliber Alpha is a marvel of precision and efficiency, keeping the time with the kind of accuracy that would make an atomic clock blush.

And the sapphire crystal open back gives you a peek into the inner workings of this mechanical masterpiece and its aesthetic blend of purple, blue, gold, and silver colors. Of course, the Tangente 38 isn’t just a pretty face (with an even more beautiful back).

It’s also built to last, with a 43 hours power reserve and a round (37.50mm diameter) sturdy stainless steel case that can take a beating. And with a 30 meters water resistance, the watch is splash-proof.

Let’s not forget the little details that make the Tangente 38 so special. The slim blue steel hands, elegant markers, subtly curved lugs, and the Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan leather are a testament to the beauty of simplicity and the power of a great design.

Pricing: $1,912

6. Longines Master Collection (ref. L2.673.4.78.3)

Longines Master Collection (ref. L2.673.4.78.3)

The Longines Master Collection (ref. L2.673.4.78.3) is a perfect accessory for anyone who wants to feel like a high-roller. It’s stylish, functional, and toolsy. Now, let’s talk specs. The Longines Master Collection ref. L2.673.4.78.3 has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42mm.

It’s a “barleycorn” silver-toned dial with a guilloche pattern and many markings in Arabic numerals. And its blue feuille hands give it a cool, relaxing look that calms its cluttered dial. It has standard 12-hour, 24-hour, small seconds, day-date-month indexes, and a moon phase indicator on the dial. 

This Longines Master is a complete date and timekeeping watch. It’s got a sapphire crystal open case back so that you can admire the intricate workings of its Longines caliber L678.2. Admittedly, half of the display is only the oscillating weight, so a watch critic might have some disapproving words. 

Another standout is its 64 hours of power reserve. So you can go more than two and a half days without winding it. If you love the idea of a full calendar and exhibition case watch, this Longines Master is a no-brainer.

Starts from approximately $2,300

7. Grand Seiko SBGP017

Grand Seiko SBGP017

This stunning timepiece was designed as a special anniversary edition of the 44GS. Its light blue dial and cloud-texture pattern were influenced by the sea of clouds of GS’s Shinshu studio. Now to the watch itself.

The SBGP017 is a part of Grand Seiko’s Sport Collection, so you know it’s made to withstand wear and tear. The case is made of high-strength titanium, which is both lightweight and durable. It also has a see-through sapphire crystal case back to glance at its quartz movement.

And if you thought that was impressive, wait until you hear about the diamond-cut hour markers and the date window at 3 o’clock. Further, the SBGP017 is powered by Grand Seiko’s 9F85 quartz movement, accurate to within +/- 5 seconds per year. So, if you value precision and reliability more than super-complications, this watch is for you. 

The open back shows the movement in all its glory, with a gold finish, gems, and battery on display. Ultimately, the SBG017 is a value-packed open back watch with a dial design, finishing, and durability ahead of its price range. Perfect choice if you don’t mind quartz. 

Starts from approximately: $3,800

8. Tudor Black Bay Ceramic (ref. M79210CNU-0001)

Tudor Black Bay Ceramic (ref. M79210CNU-0001)

The watch in black – the Tudor Black Bay is a classy watch any collector or enthusiast will jump at. It’s a premium dive watch with a micro-blasted black ceramic case, bezel, and hybrid leather-rubber strap. Only the white Tudor markers and hands give it a pop of color.

It’s reminiscent of a customized all-black BMW, or any all-black car for that matter. Surprisingly, the Black Bay’s dial is extremely easy to read in the dark or underwater. The case measures 41mm in diameter, making it a great size for most wrist sizes. 

Its exhibition case back offers excellent visibility of the watch’s inner workings, adding to its allure. The watch also features a screw-down crown and is water resistant up to 200m. But let’s get to the really important stuff – the movement.

Its METAS-certified MT5602 caliber, with a 70-hour power reserve and anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gausses. Of course, it’s also finished all-black with only a few contrasting gems and steel finishing. Overall, the Tudor Black Bay is a high-tech watch with fancy finishes and an exhibition case. 

Starts from approximately: $5,025

9. Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue (ref. 95.9002.9004/78.R590)

Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue (ref. 95.9002.9004/78.R590)

The Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue (ref. 95.9002.9004/78.R590) is a magnificent skeleton watch that allows you to admire the intricate details of its movement, front, back, and center. Some major sights are the blue oscillating weight, the Zenith star logo on the rotor, and the counters.

Plus, a mindblowing 36,000 frequency on its El Primero movement. Additionally, the watch has a power reserve of 50 hours. And if you’re worried about getting wet, fear not – it’s water-resistant up to 100 meters.

Despite its seemingly complicated look and prominent case, it’s a classy dress watch. Its 44mm titanium case synchronizes with the rubber strap and tones of blue from the El Primero movement. The Defy El Primero will pass for a luxury sports watch, statement piece, and night dress watch. 

Starts from approximately: $8,814

10. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 is a diver’s watch with stellar craftsmanship. The open back design is a great touch, allowing you a glimpse of its 227 components in action. Its sapphire crystal case back displays the oscillating weight, escapement, and balance wheel, all in motion.

The Fifty Fathoms 5015 in-house caliber 1315 has an impressive 120-hour power reserve. It is encased in a sizeable 45mm stainless steel case that’s comfortable to wear with its sail-canvas strap. 

It’s typically built for underwater use with a unidirectional rotating bezel, black dial, luminescent hands, and markers for legibility in low-light conditions and 300 meters of water resistance. If you love iconic watches that are bold to put their movements on display, the Fithy Fathoms is the true definition. 

Starts from approximately: $15,555

11. Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 (ref. 311.

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 (ref. 311.

This watch is the perfect trifecta of watchmaking – combining style, function, and history. The Omega Speedmaster is easily one of the most beautiful display case watches ever. It houses the Caliber 321 – early Speedmaster models worn by NASA astronauts during the Apollo missions – that would leave you staring at in awe.

It’s a hand-wound movement with 18k rose gold finished components, a Breguet balance spring, and 55 hours of power reserve. Again, this is the moon caliber on display. The face of the watch is one of simplicity and class. 

It features a sleek black dial with contrasting white minute markings on the sub-dials and bezel tachymeter. Its 39.7mm 316L corrosion-resistant stainless steel case bracelets are sturdy and complete each other for a masculine instrument watch look.

Starts from approximately: $23,900

12. Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-17-91-33)

Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-17-91-33)

At the heart of the red gold SeaQ is Glashütte Original’s Caliber 39-11 automatic movement, which boasts an impressive power reserve of up to 40 hours. This movement is built to last, with its signature three-quarter plate and Glashütte stripes adding a touch of elegance to the watch’s overall aesthetic.

The SeaQ’s blue dial with its sunburst finish, lume on the hands, and indices are top-notch features that provide excellent legibility in any lighting condition. It’s no surprise for a dive watch with its water resistance rating of 300 meters.

This is thanks to a screw-down crown, a screw-down case back, and a unidirectional rotating bezel. The SeaQ has a stainless steel case with a sizable 43.2mm diameter, giving it a sporty and masculine feel that will turn heads.

One minor critique of the SeaQ is its lack of a date function, which some users may find inconvenient. However, this omission aligns with the watch’s classic design and isn’t exactly a dealbreaker for most.

Starts from approximately: $26,524

13. Breguet Classique Chronograph 3237

Breguet Classique Chronograph 3237

Next on my list of the best open back watches if you love ornamented watches is the Breguet Classique Chronograph 3237. Before you notice the display case, its artful case and dial should catch your (or anyone’s) attention. It’s a fluted 36mm 18k yellow gold case with pump pushers that gives a discreet but bold look. 

When you look closely, you’ll appreciate Breguet even more. The roman numeral hour markers and Breguet hands are like eye candy. But the show’s real star is the silver guilloché pattern on the dial.

It gives substance to the dial’s bare center and outer rings while allowing the hour markers and counters to shine. As if that’s not enough, your eyes stay full when you turn the Breguet Classique 3237 on its back. Its in-house caliber 533.3 takes up the space with fine engineering for you to gaze at.

It has a 48-hour power reserve. And with a 36.0mm case diameter and 10mm thickness, it’s big enough to make a statement without being so big that it looks like you’re wearing a clock on your wrist.

Starts from approximately: $24,400

14. Patek Philippe Calatrava (ref. 6119G-001)

Patek Philippe Calatrava (ref. 6119G-001)

In a world of iconic dress watches, the Patek Philippe Calatrava collection is a line of A-listers. It is a true classic that embodies the timeless elegance and understated style that Patek Philippe is known for. 

The 6119G-001 displays the manually-wound in-house Caliber 30-255 PS in a full-circumference open case back. It gives you a full view of the back, with the movement’s jewels, rotor, and golden wheels with Patek Phillipe Seal in sight. 

The 30-225 has 165 parts in total and a power reserve of 65 hours. You’ll need as many hours to study the complication and geek out with your watch pals.

Moving on, the 6119G has a refreshing dial of understated luxury. It’s a charcoal gray background in a visible vertical satin finish with applied white gold stick markers and dauphine hands. 

Further, it features a 39mm 18k white gold case. It also has a stunning and meticulous hobnail guilloche bezel design. 

More impressively, the case is only 8.08mm thick, which makes it super-dressy and comfortable on any outfit. Especially when you pair it with the shiny black alligator strap with square scales.  Overall, the 6110G Calatrava is crafted to perfection.

Starts from approximately: $27,818

15. A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Platinum (ref. 425.025)

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Platinum (ref. 425.025)

The 1815 Rattrapante Platinum is a stunning 200-piece limited edition display case watch. First off, it’s powered by a manually-wound in-house chronograph movement – Caliber L101.2. So there’s a handful to exhibit in its sapphire glass case back.

More specifically, the movement has 631 individual components, running a “rattrapante” (or split-seconds) complication that times two events simultaneously. As a result, the movement has a super-complicated switching process, with two column wheels and a rattrapante clamp, which you can observe through the glass.

It delivers a power reserve of up to 58 hours before it needs to be rewound. Unsurprisingly, A. Lange & Söhne delivers an artistic dial to carry this beautiful movement. In addition, it has an argenté-finish that complements its 41mm 950 platinum case.

The blue hands, black Arabic numerals, and minute track look clean and legible on the silver dial. Impressively, the Rattrapante’s stellar movement and dial are packed into a 12.6mm thick case. Its lightweight and portability make it a go-to statement piece or casual watch for the elite.

Starts from approximately: $140,000


Display case watches are not built equal, nor are people’s tastes in watches. The best open-back watches, admittedly, only get better with the price. So, if you’re focused on the finishing and complication of the movement on display, we suggest you pick from the last 10 watches on the list. 

Ultimately, you’ll find a value-packed option whether you’re on a tight or affluent budget. If it’s on this list, it’s worth showing off. 

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