That old cliché “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” doesn’t tend to hold up well in the lightning fast era of the 21st century but, in this case, the Rolex Submariner is the exception that proves the rule.
Maintaining its iconic black dial, black rotating bezel, bold markers and Oyster case, the Submariner’s aesthetic has barely changed since its release in 1953. In fact, it’s pretty much credited with establishing this look as an easy go-to for watch newbies and collectors alike.
That being said, there’s always room for variety for the forward-thinking buyer and that’s why we’ve put together this list of 15 watches that look like the Rolex Submariner for under $1000 (most are actually under $500).
There Are Dive Watches… and then there are Dive Watches
Much like the original Rolex Daytona, the Submariner was not an instant success from the get-go. It began life as a serious dive watch for serious divers, a new tack for the brand which had focussed primarily on luxury watches until then.
After celebrity endorsements from the likes of Robert Redford, Sean Connery, and Roger Moore, the Submariner began catching the eyes of watch lovers who had never dived deeper than their bathtubs. Still, the Submariner has always doubled down on its utility and durability.
You don’t think so? Well, just look at the Submariner Steve McQueen gave to stuntman Loren James with an inscription that read ‘To Loren, the best damn stuntman in the world. Steve.’
This Submariner reportedly survived the bush fire that tore through Los Angeles in 2016 and destroyed James’ home and all of his Hollywood memorabilia.
Submariners are serious tool watches to this day but even some of its similarly-priced alternatives just wouldn’t make the cut for pro divers. Features like screw-in crowns and backs are necessary for anything more than snorkelling, no matter what the water resistance.
This is a vital piece of information to bear in mind, or else you could end up spending a lot of money on a watch that’ll look like the Antikythera mechanism in no time.
For that reason, in this list of watches that look like the Rolex Submariner, we’ll let you know which watches can really bear the brunt of the murky depths and which just look damn good on your wrist.
15 Of Our Favourite Rolex Submariner Lookalikes
- Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Automatic
Hamilton makes some of the most stylish watches out there and this one, though perhaps a little more brash than their usual fare, is right up there. It sits close to the wrist for a dive watch, especially considering it’s got an automatic movement with an 80-hour power reserve! The contrast of bold colors with the smooth satin bracelet will catch the eye once and then have it darting back again and again to get a better look.
So, What Is The Best Submariner Lookalike?
Well, it kind of depends why you’re in the market for a dive watch in the first place.
If you’re looking for a watch that could really be put through its paces in the water and catch people’s eyes on a night out then I wouldn’t look any further than the Longines Hydroconquest Automatic.
The sheer build quality and mechanics of this watch put it ahead of the curve in this list and more than justify its heftier price. What’s more, it’s just a beautiful timepiece that you can dress up or down, making it a versatile addition to any wardrobe.
If, as many people are, you are more interested in dive watches for their ruggedness and you want a watch that you can wear while doing any kind of sport and just forget about it, then I’ll send you right back to the start of the list with the Casio Duro.
Everything about the Duro screams resilience, from the chunky strap to the solid crown protectors. Even though, at that price, you probably wouldn’t mind if it didn’t last too long anyway. What I like most about it is the legibility of the dial, bezel and even the small date window at 3 o’clock.
We hope that this list has helped you find the right Submariner alternative for you. Get in touch with B on Instagram to let him know which one you’ve gone for!
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to spend a little more to get a little more then don’t miss our accompanying article 12 Watches The look Like The Rolex Submariner For Under $10,000.