The best waterproof watches for men don’t just add a dash of nautical style to your wardrobe—they come in handy when you least expect it. As anyone who’s seen those dreaded beads of condensation on the underside of their watch crystal knows all too well, getting just a drop of water inside your watch can be a serious bummer, and lead to an expensive repair bill or, worst case scenario, a dead watch. Fortunately, the world’s most elite watchmakers have spent the better part of a century coming up with new ways to keep the delicate inner workings of your timepiece dry, whether you’re snorkeling in the Caribbean or washing dishes at home.
4 Impenetrable Tickers at (Almost) Every Price
The first thing to understand about the depth ratings on watches is that no watch is truly waterproof, and eventually, with enough depth and pressure, some water will get into all of them (yes, that includes record-setting tickers like the Rolex Deepsea Challenge and Omega Seamaster Ultra Deep). In the 1960s, following a blanket ban on the term “waterproof” by the Federal Trade Commission, brands switched to water-resistance ratings instead, and have been using them ever since.
In 2024, the best waterproof watches come in a huge array of sizes, styles and capabilities, from rugged quartz sports watches to professional-grade divers with automatic movements. If you’re looking for a stylish timepiece that’ll stand up to more than the occasional splash at the bathroom sink, any of the selects below will do the job with aplomb.
The Best Waterproof Watches Under $200
The watches below pack a surprising amount of durability and functionality for the price. The entry-level, however, is also the place where you’ll find a lot of watches that might look waterproof, but really aren’t. If a watch says it’s water-resistant to 50 meters you’d think that ought to be plenty, since that’s well past the depth limit for recreational scuba divers. What this means in practical terms, however, is that your watch is splash-proof, but not a great choice for the beach (or any other occasion when it might be submerged). Instead, look for something with a depth rating of 100 meters or more, which will leave you free to jackknife and cannonball with abandon.
The Best Waterproof Watches Under $500
At this price, you’ll find lots of solid-quality quartz timepieces with water-resistance ratings of 100m or more, and even a few decent mechanical ones. This category not only offers more aesthetic options, but also more choices rated to 200 meters, which is the safe minimum for any timepiece that’s likely to be used for actual diving or snorkeling. If you do plan on exploring coral reefs or swimming with whale sharks, look for a watch with a screw-down crown, which is one of the most reliable ways to keep H2O away from the movement.
The Best Waterproof Dive Watches Under $1,000
These tickers all have three things in common: great water resistance, above-average durability, and classic dive watch looks. In this range, you can also expect to find higher-quality automatic movements, 316L stainless steel cases (the alloy of choice for luxury tool watches of all kinds), scratch-proof sapphire crystals and other hallmarks of top-shelf tickers. While it’s easy to get sidelined by maximum water-resistance specs, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a 200 meter watch with a good-quality Swiss or Japanese movement.
The size of a diver’s watch also tends to increase in line with its price, so expect to find lots of big, bulky and utilitarian cases in this category, an attribute that makes them more of a weekend accessory than a weekday one—particularly if you wear a dress shirt to work.
The Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers
The watches in this category do a lot more than keep tabs on your steps and heart rate. Whether you’re training for a triathlon, taking your annual polar bear dip, or working up a sweat on the elliptical, the best waterproof fitness trackers won’t let a bit of moisture get between you and your essential metrics. These bad boys—some of which boast water-resistance ratings of 200 meters—are designed to stand up to your sweatiest workouts and then some.