The Seiko SKX009 & SKX007 are some of the most popular dive watches in the world. Widely recognized as one of the best affordable automatic dive watches on the market, the Seiko SKX had a near cult-like following. That is… Before their production were officially discontinued in 2019.
Since their discontinuation, Seiko has since launched over 30+ new Seiko 5 Sports models, like the SRPD73 I bought, thinking it would live up to its predecessor, but unfortunately, it just misses the mark.
With that said, there are still quite a few awesome alternatives to the Seiko SKX that have a screw-down crown, 200+ meters of water resistance, and are under $500.
Here are some of my recommendations for the best Seiko SKX alternatives:
My #1 pick for the best modern Seiko SKX replacement is the Orient Kamasu.
Like Seiko, Orient is a reputable Japanese brand that is known for making great quality, highly affordable watches. Like the Seiko SKX, the Kamasu’s automatic movement is made in-house, and is very well made. As stated, it’s an automatic, so it doesn’t need any batteries to run. It’s simply charged on your wrist through the motion of wearing it.
Its movement also has hacking and hand winding, important and modern upgrades over the older SKX’s 7S26 movement that didn’t have either.
Another upgrade the Kamasu adds is a sapphire crystal that is nearly scratchproof. Compared to the hardlex crystal of the SKX, sapphire is much stronger and higher quality. This makes the Kamasu a great choice for an everyday watch, as you don’t need to worry as much about visible wear and tear.
The Kamasu also features a screw-down crown, 200 meters of water resistance, and a variety of colored dials including blue-green, blue, red, and black. They all come in stainless steel bracelet variations.
When it comes to full-featured affordable dive watches, the Orient Kamasu is hard to beat for the price.
Seiko Prospex x PADI Turtle SRPA21 & Mini Turtle SRPC41K1
Ah, the Seiko Turtle, and Mini Turtle. Another offering in Seiko’s lineup of dive watches – this time under their “Prospex” lineup of watches designed for professional use.
Both the Turtle and Mini Turtle are ISO certified, meaning they stand up to the same set of rigorous specifications that made the Seiko SKX a professional diver’s watch.
Of course, they also have 200 meters of water resistance and automatic in-house Seiko movements. Additionally, they both feature hacking and hand winding, an upgrade over the Seiko SKX. Of course, they both also feature screw-down crowns.
The main difference between these two watches are dimensions and overall aesthetic.
The Seiko PADI Turtle SRPA21 is a much beefier watch, coming in at 44mm in diameter, even larger than the SKX. The Mini turtle, on the other hand, at 42mm in diameter, is similar to the SKX on paper, but it’s smaller lug to lug width makes it wear just a hair smaller than the SKX does.
Both of these models also feature bold hour markers that add some dimension over the slightly dated looking SKX design.
All in all, the Seiko Turtle SRPA21 & Mini Turtle SRPC41 offer a similar set of specifications in water resistance, and ISO certification, as the Seiko SKX. Whether you choose the Turtle or Mini Turtle will be up to your personal preference, and wrist size, as there aren’t many functional differences between the two, aside from dimensions and aesthetic. Choose the SRPA21 Turtle if you have larger wrists, and SRPC41 Mini Turtle if you have smaller wrists, or simply prefer a slightly smaller watch.
Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive
Citizen is yet another affordable Japanese brand that makes extremely high quality watches for the money.
The Citizen Promaster is a dive watch with 200m WR rating, and a screw-down crown, so you can swim or dive in this watch without having to worry about water damage.
Its design isn’t the most sleek or elegant. Instead, it screams “tool watch” through and through – with its bold and varied hour markers and hand set. In fact, the minute hand is painted orange, which helps tell the time at a quick glance, and also adds a pop of color.
The dive bezel is a bit unusual looking, because the texture on the sides is inconsistent throughout, but the notches are so deep, it helps you get a very solid and comfortable grip when turning it to set the time. Typically, dive bezels are used for measuring the time left a diver would have before they’d run out of oxygen in their tank, but you can use it for timing just about anything, up to 1 hour.
The Promaster Eco-Drive’s movement is Citizen’s own eco-drive technology that is essentially a solar powered battery, so you don’t need to worry about swapping batteries every couple of years – just give it a bit of sunlight to charge.
The date wheel and crown are placed at the 4:00 position. The SKX’s crown also at at 4:00, and I personally found it to wear very comfortably, as it didn’t dig into my wrist the way watches with a crown at 3:00 usually do.
If you want a functional dive watch that looks and wears like a tool watch, as it’s intended to be, check out the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Professional Diver
From the same brand that makes the legendary Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox also makes a professional dive watch that is just as awesome as the SKX.
The I.N.O.X. Pro Diver is a swiss made diver that has 200 meters of water resistance, and an ISO certification, so it is rated as a true professional dive watch, just like the SKX. Its movement also features antimagnetic properties, so you don’t have to worry about potentially damaging your movement with magnetism, especially if you tend to work around them in your day-to-day.
Of course, it comes with a screw-down crown, further assisting the 200-meter water resistance rating of this watch, and the crown is protected by crown guards that are very large, but not obtrusive when using the crown to set the time.
The design is a bit more industrial and modern than many of the older divers, like the SKX, we’ve seen. The bezel is stainless steel and has no aluminum or ceramic insert, and looks a lot like the Omega Seamaster in many ways. On the inner chapter ring lies hour markers for military time, and the watch is very legible, thanks to its simple and clean design.
Coming in at 45mm in diameter, the INOX Pro Diver might wear a bit large for some, but might be just what the Dr. ordered for those who prefer a slightly larger dive watch. A larger dive watch also tends to be more legible and easy to read at a glance, thanks to its larger features, handset, and hour markers, so always keep that in mind when making your purchase. This might be a bit less important in your day to day at an office job, but becomes more important as your watch becomes more crucial to your role; such as for professional divers.
Overall, if you want a very well-built dive watch from a reputable swiss brand, check out the Victorinox INOX Pro Diver.
The Orient Neptune (aka the “Triton”) is simply one of the best affordable dive watches currently on the market. Taking many of the elements that we know and love from dive watches like the Seiko SKX, such as its 200 meters of water resistance, screw-down crown at the 4:00 position, and overall legibility, the Orient Neptune over-delivers with a few additional features.
The addition of a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and power reserve complication is a bit rare to see at such an affordable price point. Orient really took the extra effort to build the Neptune as a premium dive watch, but conveniently priced it affordably, under $500, making it a great value proposition.
Consider the Orient Neptune if you like the durability and functionality of the Seiko SKX, but want just a few more features, for a complete package.
The Vostok Amphibia is a slightly unconventional and quirky looking dive watch, with its wide variety of unique dial colors and insignia combinations. You’ll often find Amphibias with militaristic graphics such as tanks, warships, planes, scuba divers, etc. on the dial. This makes it a bit less conventional, but all the more fun to wear.
Like most watches on this list, it has a 200 meters water resistance rating and a screw-down crown that is admittedly a bit wobbly – an intentional design queue. Supposedly it helps the durability when hand-winding the automatic movement in a hurry, but it does feel a bit unsettling when handling it.
With that said, the Vostok Amphibia feels like owning a vintage watch, with its domed crystal and unique dial choices, which is why I love it.
Most Amphibia models come in under $100 and make a great purchase for your first dive watch. Consider the Vostok Amphibia if you want a fun and unique dive watch that’s just as durable and water-resistant as the Seiko SKX.
Casio MDV106 Duro
Casio makes great affordable watches that are some of the cheapest you can buy and still have solid build quality.
Their MDV106 Duro is an extremely affordable dive watch with 200 meters of water resistance and a screw-down crown – rare features to find in such an affordable diver.
It’s also relatively simple and handsome looking, taking some basic design cues like rectangular hour markers at 3, 6, and 9 o clock, with rounded hour markers inbetween. It has bold and legible sword hands, and a slight sunburst dial that makes the watch look a bit more interesting than typical matte dive watch dials.
Overall, the build quality, fit, and finish of the MDV106 Duro is surprisingly good for the price, considering you can usually find it for under $100.
It’s a very functional dive watch with a true 200 meters water resistance rating that you can swim or dive in without issue. It has a relatively classic design that looks good in most situations, and maybe most importantly, at under $100, it’s so affordable that it won’t sting your wallet too much. Take the extra money and spend it on a few strap options.
The Casio MDV106 Duro makes a great option if you want an extremely budget-friendly alternative to the Seiko SKX that you can swim or dive in, without giving it a second thought. Check out the full MDV106 Duro review here.
If you’ve ever looked into watch mods, you’ve likely come across the endless variety of Seiko SKX mods and third party mod parts on the market. In fact, the SKX was one of the most popular watches to mod, ever, thanks to its popularity, affordability, and compatibility with a wide range of parts from different manufacturers.
Marc from Long Island watches took this idea and took it to the next level, by creating a series of watches directly based on the Seiko SKX and all of the best mod parts available to it.
He calls them the Islander Watch, and they’re essentially the Seiko SKX with just about every mod upgrade you could want.
He adds a ceramic dive bezel insert which is much more scratch-resistant than the stock aluminum insert and also has a bit of an extra shine. He swaps the Seiko hardlex crystal with a much more scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and even swaps the dial out for one with boldly embossed hour markers. He’s also swapped the movement with a Seiko 4R36 which adds hacking and hand-winding over the SKX’s 7S26 movement, a much welcome upgrade.
Of course, we still retain just about the same exact dimensions, as I believe he uses the same case as the SKX as a base. It has a screw-down crown at 4:00 position, which is a bit more comfortable than the traditional crown positioned at 3:00. Also, included is a hefty solid stainless steel bracelet that is far superior to the stock SKX jingly jubilee bracelet. While the Seiko logo and branding is also replaced with Marc’s own Islander logo, the watch still has a lot of the same Seiko SKX DNA we’ve come to know and love.
I also appreciate that he managed to sell these at an affordable price point that even beats modding the SKX yourself when you consider the price of all mod parts individually.
Overall, the Islander watch is essentially the ultimate upgrade to the Seiko SKX that improves just about every aspect that I had an issue with on the original.
Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPC93
Sharp and geometric is not for everybody, but if you love the idea of a watch that looks like it’s been sliced and diced by a sharp katana in the design room, the Seiko Samurai may be for you.
Another diver as part of Seiko’s Prospex series, the Samurai is an extremely robust and durable dive watch built with purpose. With 200 meters of water resistance, and a screw-down crown at 3:00 that is almost obnoxiously large at a glance, but extremely smooth and satisfying to use in its operation. It’s one of those things that may bother you at first, considering how much of a visual presence it consumes… But once you start using it, and seeing how easy it is to set the time, and hand-wind this watch, the crown becomes a no brainer that you miss when you go back to wearing other watches.
Everything on this watch is sharp and geometric. You definitely don’t find and sleek curves or rounded edges, and the brushing all over the case and bracelet gives the watch a very modern industrial design.
The hour markers and hands are very bold and legible. This is a watch that you can easily read at a distance, even if you’re someone who has terrible eyesight… *Squints wearing my glasses while typing this*.
Seiko offers a ton of unique and original designs, even at the ‘affordable’ price point – and the Samurai is the perfect representation of how much Seiko is willing to experiment with their designs.
Orient Mako II & Ray II
The Orient Mako II and Ray II are essentially the younger siblings of the previously mentioned Orient Kamasu.
They are slightly less featured – as they lose the sapphire crystal of the Kamasu, in exchange for a mineral crystal that is a bit more prone to scratches. The diving bezel is also a bit thinner, and thus, harder to grip and turn. A minor inconvenience.
If you can overlook these two issues, you have yourself two divers that are VERY affordable – even more so than the already affordable Kamasu. Often priced under $200, you can sometimes find it for less than half the cost of the Kamasu if you do some digging and price matching.
The Orient Mako II and Ray II both feature in-house Orient movements with hacking and hand winding, 200 meters of water resistance, and a screw-down crown.
You’ll find very minor differences between the two – mainly in the aesthetics of the dial. The Mako has hour markers that alternate between Arabic numerals and a geometric pointer, while the Orient Ray has round hour markers, and looks a bit more like your traditional dive watch, just like the Seiko SKX.
Overall, if you want a VERY cheap and affordable dive watch with everything you NEED (200m water resistance, screw-down crown, cool points) and none of the extra upgrades that are nice to have, but unnecessary, the Orient Mako and Ray are great entry-level dive watches for just about anybody.
Steinhart Ocean 39
The Steinhart Ocean 39 is a watch that I owned and loved very dearly, and have previously reviewed on the blog.
It’s a very close homage of the Rolex Submariner, possibly the most popular watch in the world, which could be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective.
But what really sold me on the Ocean 39 was simply the build quality. It’s a dive watch with 300 meters of water resistance, screw-down crown, swiss ETA2824 movement, solid bracelet, sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel insert… The list goes on.
Basically, it has the specs of a watch that cost $1,000 or more, yet it’s priced at less than $500.
Ultimately, its lack of originality and the fact that it so closely imitated the Rolex Submariner is the one thing that eventually convinced me to sell it… But I’ll admit, I still miss it, and think about it all the time. Quite possibly the one that got away.
Consider the Steinhart Ocean 39 if you want a well-built dive watch that closely homages the Rolex Submariner, one of the most popular watches in the world.
Seiko Prospex Monster
It seems just a few years ago, it was the Seiko Monster that was highly regarded as one of the best affordable dive watches, right after the Seiko SKX. Ah, how quick we are to forget the loves from our past, eh?
Regardless, the Seiko Monster is still nothing to scoff at. Although a bit brash and maybe unusual, it’s still a solid watch for the money. 200m water resistance, screw-down crown, LARGE dive bezel that’s a joy to use, and it’s also a part of Seiko’s Prospex line of pro divers, so you know it’s built for toughness.
While the aggressive design of the monster might not be for everyone, for those of you who want something a little more attention-grabbing that still has the durability and specs of a solid dive watch – check out the Seiko Monster.
The Seiko SKX has simply been a staple in many watch collector’s collections since its release in 1996. Thanks to a few professionally rated features – like an ISO 6425 certification, making it a “true” professional diver watch, 200 meters of water resistance, and a tool-watch design that simply favored functionality over fashion.
Then consider the price point. For around $250 (at the time it was readily available, before its discontinuation) its specifications met or exceeded dive watches that even cost thousands of dollars more.
Finding a watch with as reputable of a brand as Seiko is difficult enough, plus finding a dive watch that has a reliable 200 meters of water resistance, all for under $500 is no easy feat, but hopefully, some of these options on this list will help you choose a proper replacement to the beloved Seiko SKX.