15 BEST 40mm Dive Watches for Men (Expert's Picks for 2024)
Home / Blog / 15 BEST 40mm Dive Watches for Men (Expert’s Picks for 2024)


best 40mm dive watches for men

15 BEST 40mm Dive Watches for Men (Expert’s Picks for 2024)

Many enthusiasts regard the humble dive watch as the best first-time watch. Durable, simple, interesting enough, and when sized appropriately, it would fit most attire. That last part is often not the case with dive watches as they are designed to be used while diving, which means sustaining massive pressure while remaining legible. 

That said, many watch brands have taken the time to create and produce dive watches that are perfectly sized at 40mm. Big enough to fit contemporary tastes while still not being quite as big as an Omega PloProf or a Rolex Deepsea Challenge. Let’s look at the 15 best 40mm dive watches you can get your hands on today. 

About Dive Watches

Back before wearing a watch was a status symbol or something to impress your Tinder date with, watches were worn as tools to help mankind on our incredible journeys throughout time. The Speedmaster went to the moon, the Explorer went up the Everest, and the Big Pilot was worn by pilots in World War II. 

Dive watches played a massive role in the marine environment. When diving, you need to keep track of time. Why? If you consume Oxygen from a tank at a certain volume per hour, you can calculate how long you get to spend in the water. Thus, with the addition of a rotating bezel, you can mark your entry hour and use it as a reference to know when to get out. 

Other characteristics include a thicker and larger case, a durable crystal, a highly legible dial with plenty of luminescence, and for some, a link extension allowing the watch to be worn over a wetsuit. 

However, if you are engaged in deepsea diving, you would need an even more robust timepiece. The pressure would be increased dramatically, and you would also run into Helium buildup, hence why many “deepsea” diving watches have a Helium escape valve built into the case. 

The History Of Dive Watches

While there is a lot of debate about which company produced the first dive watch, most believe that Omega produced the first commercially available divers watch in 1932, called the ‘Marine’. Others think the first dive watch was the Submariner or the Fifty Fathoms. That said, most believe Omega was first. 

Turn back the crown (nice little pun for you) back to the early 1900s, and you’ll find that watches are worn by individuals who need to use them for their intended purpose. In the case of dive watches, they need to be able to do quite a few things. Survive the depths of the ocean while remaining legible but also usable. 

Innovation to create a watch that could survive the pressure of diving started with Rolex in 1926 when they purchased the patent for the “Oyster” watchcase, which featured a hermetic seal that allowed it to be airtight. Mercedes Gleitze attempted to swim across the English Channel wearing the new Rolex Oyster around her neck. Ten hours later and the watch was still sealed. 

Since then, the moniker of ‘dive watch’ has changed throughout the years from a robust tool to a flex piece or even a ‘desk diver’. But the origin of the watch will always be a tool to help mankind on their most extreme marine missions. 

Should You Buy A 40mm Dive Watch?

Before diving into the list of the best 40mm dive watches, we need to consider whether you should purchase one. The first thing you must consider is that it’s still a dive watch. These have particular features that you will need to deal with. 

Dive watches are typically a bit thicker than dress watches, typically made in steel (although this has begun to change), and they almost always have a rotating dive bezel. These features give the timepiece a pretty sporty aesthetic according to contemporary tastes, which won’t be so well received at your next black tie event. 

40mm is also quite well-sized compared to some of the bigger watches on the market. It will, of course, be too big for some, but quite a few companies make the same watch in various sizes. A 40mm sized case for a 15cm – 18cm (6 – 7 inches) wrist. 

Before you purchase a watch, it would always be best to try it on if you can. If you’re purchasing online, your best bet would be to try something on that has the same size and feel as your desired timepiece.

The 15 Best 40mm Dive Watches for Men

1. Rolex Submariner Date (ref. 116610LN)

Rolex Submariner Date (ref. 116610LN)

Let’s not beat around the bush and start with the ubiquitous dive watch – The Submariner. Ref. 116610LN is known as one of the ‘true’ Submariners since it is the most copied and well-known watch on the planet. 

This particular reference is not the newest model the Crown offers and was in production from 2010 until 2020. The 40mm stainless case featured a unidirectional black ceramic dive bezel which Rolex calls Cerachrom; hence why the ‘LN’ is included in the reference number. “Lunette Noir” is French for ‘black bezel’. 

This was the first model to be equipped with this bezel insert and has since become a mainstay in the Rolex catalog. The black dial contains highly legible hour markers with the Mercedes hands synonymous with the brand. You will also find the date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position with a Cyclops lens as well. 

For some, this lens ruins the look of the watch, but for others, it’s needed for legibility in a dive watch. Some even joke that “If you need to know the date while diving, you’re probably screwed”. 

Of course, since the watch has been discontinued, you can only purchase it on the second-hand market. You can expect to pay anything north of $10,000 depending on the condition and what’s included.

2. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (ref. 5008B 1130 B52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (ref. 5008B 1130 B52A)

As far as legendary dive watches go, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is, well, legendary. The original was released in 1953, and many assume it’s the first professional dive watch ever created and was used by the French, German, and Polish military.

In 2019, Blancpain launched the new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda as a tribute to the original, with limited production of 500 pieces. While 40mm is the perfect size for most people, it is the smallest in the lineup, seeing as these were and are tool watches. 

The Barakuda does feature quite a few attributes that are extremely similar to the original. Red and cream hour-marker finished with an “old radium” type Super-LumiNova, pencil-shaped hands, and the classical diamond-shaped marker at 12 o’clock on the bezel.

To keep with the essence of a true dive watch, there is a distinct lack of Cyclops on the date aperture.  Visible through the caseback is the Blancpain caliber 1151 with a pretty robust power reserve of 100 hours, thanks to the twin-barrel architecture. If you are in the market for one, you can expect to pay north of $14,500.

3. Panerai Luminor Quaranta (ref. PAM01270)

Panerai Luminor Quaranta (ref. PAM01270)

Panerai is about as subtle as a hammer. Worn by giants like Arnie, ‘Sly’ Stallone, and the Rock, these watches are usually large and bulky but still have their own unique design language you won’t find anywhere else. The Quaranta is one of their lesser-known models, a petite by Panerai standards 40mm brushed steel case. 

The ref. PAM01270 is presented with a deep blue sun-brushed dial with a clean design, a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position, and a small seconds sub-register at the 9 o’clock position. The blue dial is matched with an alligator ‘blu profondo’ strap. 

The Luminor line has been a staple in the Panerai lineup but usually features a larger case. The Quaranta offers a better wearing experience for those who have smaller wrists but still want the cushion case shape experience offered by Panerai. 

4. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date (ref. WBP2111.BA0627)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date (ref. WBP2111.BA0627)

TAG Heuer gets a bad wrap because they cover a segment of the market that is neither incredibly affordable but also not the epitome of horology. However, TAG does this perfectly. They are priced appropriately, and the Aquaracer line has been a great offering from the brand for those looking for a great value dive watch. 

The Professional 200 offers, surprise, 200m of water resistance thanks to a robust 40mm stainless case and features a dodecagon-shaped bezel. The deep blue dial is reminiscent of the ocean and is finished with horizontal banding meant to evoke the teak deck on a yacht. Despite the artistic finish, the dial remains extremely legible and is adorned with plenty of luminescence. 

The case is matched with a simple yet handsome three-link bracelet with a thin, tapered profile equipped with an extension link that allows for a far easier wearing experience. Inside the case is the reliable caliber 5, based on either the ETA 2824-2 or the Sellita SW200. 

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

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

Oris is another cult favorite among enthusiasts and collectors and is actually one of the few independent brands left in the Swiss watch market. Whereas the Aquis is perhaps the best first luxury watch for most people, the Diver Sixty-Five is a retro-inspired diver designed and built to modern standards. 

The contemporary features continue with a wearable 40mm design but also have an old-timey domed sapphire crystal. Behind said crystal, you’ll find a simple and legible dial with yellowish hour markers and hands. A rotating dive bezel and screw-down crown solidify the dive capabilities. 

The Sixty-Five is a true enthusiast’s watch. Retro style, a modern Oris 733 caliber which is based on the SW 200-1, and you have a timepiece that’ll make you smile every time you check the time. Available in various dial configurations and priced at a reasonable $2,400. 

6. Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017J1

Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017J1

Seiko is known for producing some of the most legendary dive watches of all time but also some of the best value-for-money ones as well. From the SKX to this limited-edition ref. SLA017J1, a modern re-interpretation of the famous Seiko ref. 6217 diver produced in 1965. 

The ref. 6217 was actually the first dive watch Seiko ever created, so the ref. SLA017J1 has a lot to live up to. The watch features a lot of structural and technological upgrades from the original, obviously. For starters, the 39.99mm case features a better coating compared to the vintage model to improve durability and finishing. 

The diver gains an extra 50m of water resistance totaling 200m, even though we know Seikos survive way past their listed rating. Within the case beats the high-grade caliber 8L35 equipped with a 60-hour power reserve. 

The black dial has a no-nonsense approach to diving which means high legibility along with plenty of lume – even the date aperture lacks the Cyclops we see in many other divers to stay true to the original. 

7. Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (ref. H82335131)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (ref. H82335131)

Hamilton is known as the first place you go if you’d like a value-for-money tool or military spec watch made to Swiss watch standards. The Khaki is one of the watches the brand is known best for, and while the Navy Scuba perhaps doesn’t garner as much attention as the rest of the lineup, it’s still a great option. 

Measuring 40mm in width and a quite thin profile of 12.95mm the timepiece has a very wearable profile. The black dial features a 24-hour dial to improve legibility and utility, and this effect is doubled down with a red top on the seconds hand. The nice thing about the Navy Scuba is that it comes in all different dial and bezel configurations, including but not limited to all black, all blue, and a combination of blue and white. 

Within the brushed steel case beats the caliber H-10 with a robust 80-hour power reserve. Priced appropriately at CHF 795, the Scuba offers a great entry-level watch for those looking to get into either the Swiss market or the massive world of dive watches. 

8. Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600

Christopher Ward is a British watchmaker that has made waves in the industry, especially in the tool and dive watch segments. The Trident has been the classic dive watch they offer, and this Mark 3 edition combines everything CW has learned over the years to produce a more robust yet usable tool. 

The 40mm light-catcher™ case, and more aggressive bevels compared to the Mk 1 and 2, give the timepiece immense dimension and appeal when considering the price south of $1000. Another upgrade featured on the Mk 3 was the addition of full lume on the ceramic bezel adding to the utility of the dive watch. 

The Trident Pro 600 offers, surprise, a rather impressive 600m water resistance rating, something we don’t typically see at this price point. The movement within is a third-party movement, the Sellita SW200-1, a Swiss automatic movement equipped with a 38-hour power reserve. 

9. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac finds its watchmaking origin in 1882, but the original Sea Wolf only started production in 1953. The original was somewhat of a legend but measured merely 34mm in size, a lot smaller than what modern tastes prefer. The modern Sea Wolf was introduced only in 2015, and the ref. ZO9287 presented here stays incredibly true to the original philosophy. 

The size has been increased to 40mm to improve water resistance and fit contemporary tastes, the former being 200m. The dial and bezel color combination creates a beautiful yet subtle contrast, from a light blue dive bezel to a deep blue dial. 

The dial features large square hour markers matched with a similar design language used on the hands, and the minute hand having a similar color to the bezel creates a nice touch. Legibility is boosted with the exceptional use of C3 Super Luminova. The movement within is the STP (Swiss Technology Production) 3-13, a movement based on the ETA 2824-2 and features a reliable 44-hour power reserve. 

10. Monta Oceanking

Monta Oceanking

Monta is not a brand you hear about every day, but the Oceanking is certainly here to make a case for itself. It presents itself as a rather precise dive watch. Despite being a 40mm diver, the 49mm lug-to-lug makes it wear more like a 42mm watch. 

Behind the sapphire crystal lies the glossy black dial with a crisp white test. The “OCEANKING” scripture is finished in red, creating a nice sporty pop of color. On closer inspection, you can see that each hour marker the extra bits of detail, like how each is beveled at its tip as it meets the dial, and each is filled with a considerable amount of lume. 

This is matched with the sword hands that feature a similar finish and attention to detail, like the seconds hand that features a spear tip – something you don’t see much of. The 60-minute track dive bezel has a glossy black finish and is equipped with a 60-click system; in fact, Monta has a patent on their bezel mechanism.

11. Bremont S300 Kaimu

Bremont S300 Kaimu

Bremont is a British watch company that has been at the forefront of bringing British watchmaking back to the heights it used to be. Their weapon of choice seems to revolve around tool and military-inspired watches. Where some divers have a no-nonsense approach to utility only, the Kaimu presents itself with a rather interesting story as well as matching aesthetics. 

The name Kaimu refers to Kaimu Beach in Hawaii, a beach that is unlike the norm. In early June 1990, the Kilauea volcano erupted and covered a lot of the island and beach areas with a deep black Basaltic lava. This color scheme was used on the S300 Kaimu dial and bezel. 

The inner dial is raised and features a matte-applied tapestry finish. The outer dial is actually metal and has rose gold plated applied indexes. The rehaut also has a pop of gold for added contrast displaying the minute track. Rose gold plated hands filled with Super-LumiNova complete the overall philosophy of this dive watch, having some class to go with the utility. 

A ceramic insert on the bezel, a screw-down crown allowing for 300m of water resistance, and an elegantly finished three-link bracelet. What more could you want? 

12. Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko Prospex SPB143

From a diver that’s quite focused on aesthetics to one that is solely focused on utility, we have another Seiko Prospex, this time the ref. SPB143. Priced at $1,200, this Prospex offers great value due to its simple yet durable design. The 40.5mm brushed steel case features a ‘super hard coating’ to resist bumps and scratches when you’re in the deep. 

The screw-down crown might allow for 200m of water resistance but does not have crown guards, which does create a vintage-like silhouette. Both the dial and the unidirectional dive bezel are finished in black, the bezel being slightly darker. The grey-black dial has one function, and that is certainly legibility.

Large hour markers are filled with copious amounts of LumiBrite (luminescence), and the date aperture does not feature a cyclops, doubling down on the watch’s vintage theme. The movement within is the caliber 6R35, a workhorse automatic movement in the Seiko catalog. With a power reserve of 70 hours, what more could you ask for from a daily driver?

13. Dan Henry 1970

Dan Henry 1970

Dan Henry is a new company on the block eager to make vintage-inspired watches made to appeal to real enthusiasts. Take this 1970 automatic diver, for instance. Only a few companies still make a compressor-style diver, and Dan Henry hit it out of the park with this one. 

Unlike any of the other watches mentioned, the bezel on the 1970 is actually on the inside of the sapphire case and can be turned using the auxiliary crown located at the 2 o’clock position. The lower crown will be used to adjust the time. A design feature commonly used in the early days of dive watches but has given way to the ‘external’ bezel we see so often today. 

The 1970 comes in various configurations ranging from black and orange to white or even light blue. All of these can either come as a ‘date’ or ‘no date’ powered by the Seiko Caliber NH35, a self-winding movement with a 41-hour power reserve. 

Overall, the design of the 1970 is a good combination of fun and utility. The use of colors for both aesthetic and legibility purposes is done brilliantly; it’s only a shame they were limited to only 1970 pieces. 

14. Helm Komodo 03AR3 

From a watch that can almost be seen as fun to one with a much more serious approach. The Helm Komodo is named after the Komodo island, which is where the Komodo dragon resides, and boy, does this watch have a lot in common with them. 

The ISO 6425 compliant Komodo is built from steel and features a thick and large unidirectional bezel. This makes the watch’s dial a lot smaller, which could make reading the time underwater a lot easier, especially when you consider the not-so-subtle use of red on the hands.

The robust 40mm case is 15.5mm thick, which contributes to the 300m water resistance rating.  At full weight, the watch is also a hefty 215 grams, which is quite heavy considering its size. This is partly thanks to the stainless steel bezel and single-link bracelet.

However, with a standard 20mm lug width, you have a lot of freedom to exchange the bracelet for any rubber strap before your next dive. Powering this rugged diver is the tried and tested Seiko caliber NH35. It features hacking and manual winding capabilities and is equipped with a 40-hour power reserve. 

15. Zelos Swordfish 40mm Ti Salmo

Zelos Swordfish 40mm Ti Salmo

Salmon dials are quite hot right now, with various higher horology brands using the color in everything from integrated sports watches to perpetual calendars. But what if you only had $429 to spend on your diver? Well, the Zelos Swordfish Ti Salmon appears to be a great option.

The ‘salmon sunburst’ dial is laid out with legibility in mind and features large hour markers filled with luminescence and equally robust and luminous hands. You’ll find a 120-click bezel with a ceramic insert on a titanium case and bracelet. Within the 40mm case beats the Seiko caliber NH35 with a power reserve of 40 hours.

The Swordfish also offers 200m of water resistance, which is certainly not the most on this list but still enough for 99.9% of the planet. With a price that low, it’s hard to beat this automatic titanium diver that has a ceramic bezel and a dial color you don’t see all that often. 


There is probably a diver for each and every person on the planet; if you look hard enough, of course. For most people, a 40mm would be the perfect fit. Divers are supposed to be a bit bulkier, to carry some heft, to have an “I’m here to do my job” attitude. That said, you needn’t go for a 50mm monster anymore, as any of the divers on this list can do their job and then some.

Some of them even have some style and precious metals to go along with the utility. It’s a nice touch. It makes you feel special, whether you’re 100 feet under or merely desk-diving on a Monday morning. Damn, I have a meeting in five. I could probably use my bezel to time how long it’ll take… 

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

as seen on
To Top