Toolwatches for divers: 5 affordable alternatives to the Rolex Submariner


by Nils Rau

scroll

September 06. 2019 - by Nils Rau

The Rolex Submariner is the undisputed reference among diving watches since its launch in 1953. There’s no doubt that this classic is hard to replace, but it comes with a hefty price tag. No fear, we have found 5 worthy alternatives for every budget! Read ahead to find out which ones.


Submariner: Searching for perfect alternatives

One thing is obvious: diving watches must first and foremost be waterproof and pressure-resistant. However, there are other criteria that make a diver's watch a perfect tool watch for water. These include, in particular, optimum readability, which must be guaranteed even in the dark, as well as the possibility of measuring a typical diving time under water - whether using a traditional diving bezel with 60-minute display or a timer.

If you are looking for the perfect alternative to the Rolex Submariner, other aspects play a role in addition to the classic criteria for a diver's watch, such as the sporty, elegant design of the model. Therefore, it should be a watch made of stainless steel that is just as versatile as the Submariner: decades ago, when precious metal dress watches had no place with formal suits, Rolex advertised that the Submariner as a tool watch not only cuts a perfect figure under water, but also for noble Black Tie occasions. 

5,000 Euro: the second sound barrier

Since it is about budget alternatives, it is clear that a financial limit also plays a role. The list price for the Rolex Submariner Date is currently 8,200 Euro, for the variant without date 6,800 Euro. We have opted for the magic limit of 5,000 euros: For many watch lovers, this is the second sound barrier after reaching a four-figure sum.

Let’s get started.

1. Oris Aquis Date

Like the Rolex Submariner Date, the Oris Aquis Date offers the essential requirements of a diver's watch, a date display and a sporty, elegant exterior that looks great with both a diver's suit and fine thread. Both watches offer a water resistance of up to 300 meters. Like Rolex, Hölsteiner Oris SA, founded in 1904, is an independent watch manufacturer that dates back over 100 years. Both the style of the Aquis and the authentic brand history make the watch a worthy alternative. The price also fits: 

List price for the Oris Aquis Date is €1850.

CHRONEXT Price: €1290

Shop the Oris Aquis Date

2. Tudor Black Bay

For decades, Tudor, as a sister company of Rolex founded by Hans Wilsdorf, was an inexpensive Rolex alternative, as the watches were identical to the Rolex models except for the brand marking, the movement (Tudor was equipped with ETA movements) and a few small details. In 2010, Tudor made its breakthrough with the launch of the Heritage collection, in particular the Tudor Heritage Chronograph. Launched in 2012, the Black Bay is an official homage to the Submariner, which differs from the Submariner primarily in its lovingly vintage details and has firmly established itself as an independent model in the watch world. It has all the features a diver's watch must have: A sophisticated manufacturer’s caliber from Tudor and a historically authentic relationship with the Submariner. The price of the classic Black Bay Ref. 79230N is €3480 Euro. CHRONEXT price: €2950. 

Shop the Tudor Black Bay

3. Omega Seamaster Diver 300 m

When big brands are compared, Rolex and Omega often have a duel. What the Submariner is for Rolex is the Seamaster for Omega. James Bond also wore both brands - formerly Rolex, now Omega. Both companies are flawless luxury manufacturers who have created legendary classics and who continue to combine innovative watchmaking with uncompromisingly reliable timepieces. Both the Submariner and the Seamaster have largely similar specifications: Both are great brand classics, have a comparable diameter and offer a modern manufacturer’s movement as well as a diving depth of 300 meters. The Omega Seamaster is only about half as expensive at €4800, but it is just as big an original as the Submariner. CHRONEXT price: €3850

Shop the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

4. Sinn U1 S E

Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH was founded in 1961 by the former professional pilot Helmut Sinn. Just from the name, one can already guess the intention of the German manufacturer: Sinn builds authentic toolwatches for pilots and divers that offer the best possible functions under adverse conditions. The U1 is the classic diver's watch in the Frankfurt company's portfolio. Throughout its history, both Sinn and Rolex have produced watches specifically for certain professional divers: Rolex for the French diving company COMEX, Sinn for the German elite unit GSG9. When it comes to authenticity, the U1 is a perfect alternative to the Submariner. The U1 S E comes with a black PVD case and a harmonious vintage lume. Case and rotating ring of the watch are made of seawater-resistant German submarine steel, the model is pressure-resistant to 1,000 meters diving depth. The price is 2.330 Euro with the silicone bracelet.

Shop the Sinn U1 S E

5. Breitling SuperOcean

The Breitling SuperOcean came onto the market just four years after the Submariner in 1957. Like Rolex, Breitling is one of the top brands in the premium segment. The watches of both companies offer a characteristic charm and a high recognition value. While the latest evolution of the Rolex Submariner took place in 2008, when the white gold Submariner (Ref. 116619LB) received a wider case, a ceramic bezel, a Maxi-Dial and a new bracelet, the SuperOcean received its latest transformation at Baselworld 2019. Both the current Submariner and the latest SuperOcean are modern interpretations of a classic. The Breitling SuperOcean Automatic 44 with steel band costs €3800.

CHRONEXT price: €2960

Shop the Breitling SuperOcean Automatic 44
Nils Rau

by Nils Rau

Nils is a guest author for the CHRONEXT Journal. He currently dedicates most of his free time to wristwatches – be that talking with friends, browsing through blogs and online magazines, or keeping an eye on the timepiece stock exchange. When he is not contributing to the CHRONEXT Journal, he works as a junior lawyer in Northern Germany. His articles focus on brands, trends, as well as the philosophical questions within the world of fine watches.

Exceptional Service

Providing excellent customer service is one of our top priorities. We deliver your watch fast and with utmost attention to detail. Should you be looking for a specific model which is not in stock, we are happy to source it for you - free of any extra charges. If you would like to sell a watch, our experts will advise you on market developments and the ideal selling price for your timepiece.

Should you have any questions regarding delivery, price or history of a specific model, your personal advisor will be happy to help at any time.

+1 800-401-6677

Guaranteed Authenticity

We always guarantee a safe transaction. When you buy or sell a watch on CHRONEXT, your contract of sale is made directly with us. We take legal responsibility for every transaction and provide the highest data security standards, secure payment methods and fully insured shipment. In order to ensure the authenticity and quality of all watches sold through us, every timepiece is thoroughly checked by our watchmakers before it is ever shipped to our customers.

This is guaranteed through our Certificate which you will receive with the purchase of any watch from CHRONEXT - new or pre-owned.

Fair Prices

Only the best is good enough for our customers. This goes for prices just as well as for service and security. Luxury watches are hardly ever cheap but there are still significant differences in price levels depending on where you shop. Thanks to our vast global network of suppliers and our low fixed costs, we are able to provide competitive prices at all times.

We scan the market daily for the best offers and always keep our prices up to date. Most important however is that our competitive prices will never lead us to compromise security and quality.

Change of Shipping Country

You have changed your shipping country. When changing this setting between an EU-country and a country outside of the European Union prices shown in the shop are automatically adjusted to reflect local VAT in the shipping country in some cases.

Ok
×
CHRONEXT Boutique Berlin

Opening hours

MON - FR 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
SAT 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Boutique Friedrichstraße 71
10117 Berlin
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Boutique
×
CHRONEXT Boutique London

Opening hours

MON - FR 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SAT. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Boutique 53 Fleet St
London EC4Y 1BE
GB

Phone

+44 20 3588 0044

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Boutique
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Hamburg

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Ballindamm 39
20095 Hamburg
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Vienna

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Kohlmarkt 8-10
1010 Wien
AT

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Munich

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Maximilianstraße 2
80539 München
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Frankfurt a. M.

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Taunustor 1
60310 Frankfurt a. M.
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Cologne

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
SAT 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Lichtstraße 25
50825 Köln
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Zug

Opening hours

MON - FR 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Feldpark 9
6300 Zug
CH

Phone

+41 41 539 10 90

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Sydney

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 235 Clarence Street, Level 1
Sydney NSW 2000
AU

Phone

+61 3 9071 1811

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Maastricht

Opening hours

TUE - SAT 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge Stokstraat 24-26
6211 GD Maastricht
NL

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Melbourne

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 330 Collins Street, Level 14
Melbourne VIC 3000
AU

Phone

+61 3 9071 1811

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Toronto

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 1 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M5J 2P1
CA

Phone

+1 416-800-2490

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Hong Kong
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Vancouver

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 333 Seymour St
Vancouver, BC V6B 5A7
CA

Phone

+1 416-800-2490

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Montreal

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 3 Place Ville Marie, Suite 400
Montreal, QC H3B 2E3
CA

Phone

+1 416-800-2490

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge List auf Sylt

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge EKZ Lister-Markt Hafenstr. 2a
25992 List auf Sylt
DE

Phone

+49 221 97580604

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Brisbane

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 307 Queen Street, Level 9
Brisbane 4000
AU

Phone

+61 3 9071 1811

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
CHRONEXT Lounge Perth

Opening hours

By appointment only

Address

CHRONEXT Lounge 152 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
AU

Phone

+61 3 9071 1811

E-Mail

support@chronext.com
CHRONEXT Lounge
×
Thank You for Subscribing

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! You will receive an email from us shortly. Please check your inbox and confirm your registration to start receiving updates from the world of fine timepieces.

Continue shopping
Error

An error has accured while registering your e-mail for our newsletter. Please try again.

Ok