top of page
  • Writer's pictureBalance & Bridge Team

These are 9 of the Best Microbrand Dive Watches of 2024

Lorier watch
Image Courtesy of Lorier

We're back at it - thinking through the vast sea of dive watches (pun intended) and trying to consolidate the options into a core group from which to choose. Good news here; we already did the heavy lifting. At Balance & Bridge, we love microbrands and independents and in 2024, we don't think you can beat what they offer in terms of brand story, aesthetics, features, specifications, and price.


We'll skip much of the narrative around the value to be had from this realm of watchmaking, but we've addressed it here and here as well as throughout the site, if you're still interested in more reasoning behind our convictions.


 

Let's jackknife (intended again) into the deep end of our picks for 9 of the best Microbrand Dive Watches of 2024 and beyond - in alphabetical order by brand name.


 

ARDÍO Caribe


Ardio watch
Image Courtesy of Ardío

Nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania, USA, ARDIO epitomizes the essence of passion and devotion, mirroring the enthusiasm shared by its clientele. Departing from industry norms, ARDIO opted for the traditional approach, painstakingly designing each component from scratch and meticulously selecting the finest suppliers. This dedication translates into unparalleled quality at their price point, eschewing cost-cutting measures in favor of excellence. Their vision is clear: to curate exceptional, high-quality mechanical timepieces in limited quantities, all while upholding stringent quality standards and exemplary customer service. In essence, ARDIO strives to set the bar in its niche.


Their debut creation, the diver known as the Caribe, stands as a testament to their unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, a labor of love that spanned more than three years. The Caribe is a boutique, limited-edition watch designed to be a refreshing blend of traditional and modern. Classic design cues treated with a novel styling make it both familiar and unique. Premium construction with stainless steel, 200m water resistance, and anti-glare sapphire crystal protect a precision high-beat automatic Japanese Miyota 9039 movement. And the brightest lume available means you're never left in the dark.


MSRP: $525 USD

(Currently $499 at time of publishing)



 

CIRCULA DiveSport Titanium


Circula watch
Image Courtesy of Circula

For over six decades, the CIRCULA workshop in Pforzheim, Germany, has been a beacon of precision craftsmanship, nestled in one of the country's venerable horological hubs. Embracing time-honored techniques and premium materials, they specialize in crafting mechanical tool watches that exude unmatched reliability and precision, all while boasting a distinctive aesthetic that sets them apart from the rest.


Enter the DiveSport: a marvel born from a collaboration with over 1,000 watch enthusiasts. Its titanium case, meticulously sandblasted for a unique texture, offers not only style but also an exceptionally lightweight feel on the wrist. With a water resistance rating of up to 500 meters and a scratch resistance of 1,200 Vickers, this diver's companion is primed for any adventure. Modern in design yet timeless in appeal, the DiveSport transitions seamlessly from underwater exploration to everyday wear, a testament to its versatility.


MSRP: $970 USD



 

Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver


Dan Henry Watch
Image Courtesy of Dan Henry

Dan Henry's watch collection is a testament to a lifetime of treasure hunting through flea markets and local auctions. With over 30 years of experience and a collection exceeding 1,500 timepieces, Dan Henry embarked on a mission to share his passion with the world. Despite the rarity and value of his finds, Dan Henry was determined to make these treasures accessible to all. Enter his latest venture: a range of stunning watches inspired by his personal favorites, designed to be both beautiful and affordable.


The Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver features a robust stainless steel case with two screw-down crowns for the interior rotating bezel and time adjustment, complemented by a unique Scaphtopus 3D medal on the caseback. The matte black dial includes the inner rotating bezel, improved LumiNova® lume, and a black and orange minutes chapter ring. Protected by a sapphire-coated double-domed mineral crystal, the watch ensures durability and clarity. Powering these timepieces is an automatic Seiko Japan calibre NH35 movement with 24 jewels and a 41-hour power reserve. With a water resistance rating of 20ATM or 200 meters (660 feet), these watches offer style and functionality for both daily wear and underwater exploration.


MSRP: $290 USD



 

HÉRON Marinor


Heron watch
Image: Balance & Bridge

Héron Watches embodies the essence of adventure and exploration, rooted in the breathtaking landscapes of Canada. Drawing inspiration from the country's rugged terrain and natural beauty, each timepiece is meticulously crafted to reflect functionality, durability, and versatility. Héron's tool watches are engineered to excel in the harshest conditions, from ocean depths to mountain peaks, using only the finest materials and proven technology. Central to their ethos is a profound respect for customers and their unique journeys. Recognizing that adventure takes many forms, their watches are designed to adapt seamlessly to any pursuit, whether it's urban exploration, wilderness trekking, or simply embracing life's adventures. With a Héron watch on your wrist, you'll have a steadfast companion for every step of your journey.


The Héron Marinor in Caribbean Blue is a timepiece that embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration. Designed in Canada, and known for its stunning natural beauty, this watch draws inspiration from the country's rugged terrain and pristine waters. The Marinor Caribbean Blue features a striking blue/green dial reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea, evoking a sense of tranquility and adventure. With its durable construction and reliable performance, this watch is built to withstand the toughest conditions, making it the perfect companion for any journey, whether it's diving into the depths of the ocean or exploring new horizons on land. With the Marinor Caribbean Blue on your wrist, you'll be ready to embark on your next adventure in style.


MSRP: $620



 

IANOS Mihanikos


Ianos watch
Image Courtesy of Ianos

Ianos is on a mission to revive ancient tales through watchmaking, honoring its ancestors' achievements while infusing archaic technologies with modernity and affordability. Their goal is to restore the timeless principles of symmetry, proportion, and harmony to modern watch design by reimagining vintage timepieces for the 21st century. Through this process, Ianos creates Swiss-made watches of exceptional quality, bridging the past and present for future generations.


The Mihanikos, Ianos' second diver, continues the narrative initiated by the Avyssos. Inspired by the commercialization and industrialization of the sponge diving industry, it embodies the stark reality of rapid progress and its toll on a once serene island. Unlike its predecessor, the Mihanikos adopts a rugged and utilitarian design, reflecting the necessities of seafloor exploitation rather than the elegance of traditional diving techniques. This design is one of the most captivating and original designs on this list - and we're here for it. With its roots deeply embedded in generations-old diving history, it encapsulates tales of hardship, courage, and perseverance in the face of adversity—a narrative worth preserving.


MSRP: ~ $1700 USD



 

LORIER Neptune


Lorier watch
Image Courtesy of Lorier

At Lorier, their watches epitomize exceptional design rooted in the accessible elegance of mid-20th-century timepieces. Lorier prioritizes performance over prestige, crafting robust watches with reliable components designed for everyday wear. Their goal is to create timepieces that not only look and feel like they belong to a specific era but also serve their intended purpose—be it diving, exploration, racing, or piloting. Each Lorier watch is a testament to the belief that owning a watch should mark the beginning of a journey, not the end of a hunt, with appearances that match the stories they can tell.


The Neptune, Lorier's flagship diver, pays homage to midcentury icons like James Bond and Jacques Cousteau. Designed with a nod to 1957, it features classic proportions, gilt accents, puffy lume plots, and a flat link bracelet, all topped by a bubbly Hesalite dome. In this iteration, we've incorporated owner feedback from previous generations, making subtle yet impactful enhancements. These include a luminous acrylic bezel insert, offering improved durability over Bakelite rings of the 1950s, along with refinements like shortened lugs, thinner bracelet links, repositioned lug holes for a snug fit with 2-piece straps, and more distinct hour and minute hands.


MSRP: $499



 

SCURFA Diver One


Scurfa watch
Image Courtesy of Scurfa

Paul Scurfield, a passionate watch enthusiast and professional saturation diver, recognized the need for affordable yet high-quality timepieces among divers and support staff. With the value of vintage Rolex diving watches skyrocketing, many found themselves without a suitable option for their demanding workplace environments. In response, Scurfield sought to bridge this gap by crafting a line of affordable watches constructed with premium materials and built to exacting standards, ensuring both functionality and durability for wear in hostile conditions.


Introducing the Diver One: meticulously crafted with a surgical-grade stainless steel case, aluminum bezel, and sapphire crystal, this timepiece seamlessly merges functionality with style while featuring 500m of water resistance. Boasting large markers and luminous highlights, it excels as a fully functional dive watch for extreme depths while doubling as a fashionable accessory for everyday wear. The culmination of over a decade of real-world wearing experience, this new iteration has been rigorously tested in extreme environments to ensure exceptional performance. With its blend of durability, functionality, and timeless design, we're confident you'll be delighted with the results.


MSRP: $250



 

SQUALE Master Titanium


Squale watch
Image Courtesy of Squale

In the realm of dive watches, Squale stands as an enduring symbol of Swiss craftsmanship and innovation. Founded in 1946 by Charles von Buren, a passionate watchmaker with a penchant for precision engineering, Squale quickly gained recognition for its robust timepieces designed for professional divers. Over the decades, Squale watches have accompanied explorers to the depths of the ocean, earning a reputation for reliability and performance. Today, Squale continues to honor its rich heritage while pushing the boundaries of dive watch design, ensuring its place among the pantheon of legendary microbrands.

Introducing the Squale Master Titanium, a pinnacle of Swiss craftsmanship and dive watch excellence. Meticulously crafted from lightweight and durable titanium, this timepiece embodies the brand's legacy of precision engineering and innovation. Designed for professional divers and enthusiasts alike, the Master Titanium boasts a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic, complemented by exceptional performance and reliability. With its robust construction, luminous markers, and water resistance of up to 600 meters, this watch is not only a tool for exploration but also a statement of style and adventure. Experience the epitome of dive watch mastery with the Squale Master Titanium.


MSRP: $2359 USD



 

VENEZIANICO Nereide Avventurina


Venezianico watch
Image Courtesy of Venezianico

In late 2017, Venezianico emerged from the creative minds of brothers Alberto and Alessandro Morelli, as they pursued their studies at Ca' Foscari University. Fueled by their love for watches and design, they embarked on a mission to create timepieces that not only showcased their passion for watchmaking but also encapsulated the essence of Venice, their beloved hometown. With meticulous attention to detail and a deep appreciation for craftsmanship, Venezianico set out to craft watches that would not only tell time but also tell a story—a story of tradition, elegance, and the timeless charm of Venice.


The Nereide Avventurina by Venezianico is a captivating masterpiece that epitomizes the essence of Italian luxury and craftsmanship. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this timepiece is adorned with a stunning aventurine dial, reminiscent of the starry night sky over the Venetian lagoon. The Nereide Avventurina exudes sophistication and elegance, with its polished stainless steel case and intricate detailing. Powered by a precise Swiss automatic movement, this watch offers both beauty and performance. Designed to evoke the timeless charm of Venice, the Nereide Avventurina is the quintessential everyday diver. It can make an impression in the office and can also accompany you to 200m below water later that day. Meet us in Italy?


MSRP: $950 USD



 

Our Encore Pick with A Bonus GMT Complication For Truly Attacking all Situations


ZELOS Mako 300M GMT


Zelos watch
Image Courtesy of Zelos

Enter the world of Zelos, a brand born from the vision of Elshan Tang in 2014, fueled by a lifelong passion for watches. From his early days collecting luxury timepieces to trading them as an unofficial business, Elshan grew weary of the same old designs and brands. Determined to make a difference, Zelos emerged, named after the Greek deity of zeal and passion. With a commitment to crafting distinctive timepieces that tell unique stories, Zelos continues to push the boundaries of watchmaking. Masterfully designed in Singapore and celebrated worldwide for original styles and remarkable value, Zelos remains dedicated to innovation and boldly redefining the conventions of the industry.


Introducing the Zelos Mako 300M GMT, a stunning testament to innovation and craftsmanship in the world of microbrand watches. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this timepiece embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration. The dials of the Mako GMT add a captivating visual element that sets it apart from traditional dive watches. Beneath the surface, the Mako 300M GMT boasts impressive technical specifications, including a robust 300-meter water resistance and a GMT function for tracking multiple time zones. Designed to accompany you on your most daring expeditions, the Mako 300M GMT is the culmination of what's available when you combine daring design, first-class materials, and incredible value.


MSRP: $629



 

That's a pretty good list if we do say so ourselves. Covering all ends of the pricing spectrum and hopefully, some new brands, as well as some familiar faces. Given the endless wormhole that can be watch shopping, we're hoping that the list can cut out potential hours of searching, while also preventing the paradox of choice. We truly believe that these are some of the best microbrand dive watches of 2024 and hope you check each one out.


Which is your favorite?

  • 0%ARDÍO

  • 0%CIRCULA

  • 0%DAN HENRY

  • 0%HÉRON


As always, thanks for stopping by.


Balance & Bridge

Commentaires


SUBSCRIBE FOR ARTICLE UPDATES AND BREAKING NEWS

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page