Editor’s Note: We originally included the Olivier Bronze Diver as the third competitor in our Face Off. It’s now come to our attention that Olivier has either folded or just stopped filling orders completely. Please do not order watches from their website. We will look to add a third watch to this article as soon as possible. Thanks for reading and sorry for the confusion.
The market for entry-level dive watches is one that is constantly growing each and every day, largely due to a company known as Miyota. This Japanese based subsidiary of Citizen, makes various reliable and robust movements, that can be easily accommodated by a variety of watches. While these movements might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, they make a terrific addition to any great modern dive watch design, and help make tool watches approachable and affordable.
In today’s Face Off, we’re pitting three Miyota-powered divers against each other. Check it out!
Helson Spear Diver ($599)
Based out of Hong Kong, Helson produces some of the best, reasonably priced tool watches on the market today. With the combination of their iconic, vintage-inspired designs and tough construction, their watches have always been highly regarded by dive watch enthusiasts. The Spear Diver’s 316L surgical grade steel case certainly feels robust and substantial, and it’s versatile and timeless design is one you’ll surely never grow tired of.
Assessment: The Spear Diver from Helson is somewhat of a modern take of the Seiko 6105, with its similar dial design and bezel layout. One thing we especially like is the luminous “frame” markers, that are just outlines instead of solid indices. It’s an interesting design that we don’t think has ever been done before, which reflects the creative and innovative minds behind this piece. A standard lumed version is also available, for those who prefer a traditional look.
Deep Blue Juggernaut 2 ($499)
Juggernaut is certainly the correct name for such a watch, as it comes in at 46mm wide, and a whopping 18mm thick — small wrists beware! Having said that, this watch gets you a lot of bang for your buck, and has a great technical design as well. Powered by Miyota’s 9015, this wrist beast lives up to its maker’s name with a water resistance of 1000m, well into what we consider the “deep blue”.
Assessment: This watch is a real diver’s watch. If you’re looking for something that can really take a beating, and was truly designed with purpose, then this is it. The Juggernaut II comes in a hair under $500; it’s not often you find this kind of quality for less money.
Aevig Huldra Retro Diver ($535)
Aevig is a relatively young brand started just a few years ago in the Netherlands. They’ve got all bases covered, as they also produce field watches, super-compressors, and racing chronographs. The Huldra’s retro aesthetic cues are sure to please any lover of vintage timepieces, and modern enthusiasts alike.
Assessment: Aevig certainly made a good decision when it came to the Huldra’s cushion case. Not only does it give it a great vintage vibe, but it also sits quite nicely on the wrist. The three different color options (Blue, Orange, and Black) also provide some extra choices, and the financially daunting possibility that you might just have to buy a second one! Thankfully the Huldra comes in at just over $530 USD.
Conclusion: In the end, you really can’t go wrong with any of these watches. That being said, each one of these watches represents a different take on the dive watch, with their own unique benefits. We love the Aevig’s reminiscent, vintage design, and an included stainless steel bracelet, all at an excellent price of roughly $530 USD.
If a true diver’s watch (that you could actually take diving) is what you’re after, then the Juggernaut II from Deep Blue is your best bet. With its impressive 1000m water resistance rating, high-grade luminous bezel and dial, and even a helium escape valve, this watch certainly packs a punch.by