Funny or Die President Chris Bruss Picks the 5 Best Dive Watches for a Resort Getaway

Courtesy of Erica Hernandez
Chris Bruss (far left) at The Art of the Timepiece celebration at South Coast Plaza in Coasta Mesa, California

The exec is an affordable timepiece aficionado.

The holidays are right around the corner, and for those fortunate enough to sneak away from the office and spend a few days in a nice tropical locale, it’s time to swap out that expensive “desk diver” for a proper tool watch that you’d actually feel comfortable wearing at the beach (not to mention getting through customs without any dirty looks).

Here are five new dive and sport watches that can pick up a few scratches while you pull yourself up onto the scuba boat — these are watches that look even better with a couple of vacation battle scars.

1. RADO CAPTAIN COOK AUTOMATIC

Earlier this year, Rado unveiled the Captain Cook “Automatic” series, a slightly larger version of the Captain Cook watch that took the horology world by storm at Baselworld, the annual watch trade show, in 2017. The latest line comes in some great beach-ready colors, including this model with a deep green dial and bezel, and are available on a 1960s throwback style “beads of rice” stainless steel bracelet. $2,000 at rado.com.

2. DOXA SUB 300T “SHARKHUNTER”

Don’t sleep on this watch just because you haven’t heard of the brand. DOXA may be still be a bit under the radar, but among real dive watch enthusiasts, this is a legit manufacture of some of the coolest pieces on the market. Take, for example, this SUB 300T “Sharkhunter,” which — with a depth rating of 1,200 meters — is the super-capable type of watch that is worn by actual scuba divers (even if the deepest you’d take it is the swim-up tiki bar at the resort). The SUB 300T is available in a ton of great, vacation-y dials, including turquoise, yellow, and DOXA’s classic “professional” orange — but who can resist their black/orange combo with the nickname “Sharkhunter?” $1,890 at doxawatches.com

3. ZODIAC SUPER SEA WOLF

Enthusiasts seem to be in love with these colorful dive watches — another exciting series release from Baselworld 2019 — inspired by heritage Zodiac pieces that were so popular in the 1970s. This model comes on a cool, blue “tropic”-style watch strap, which will keep the piece feeling comfortable on your wrist to matter how high the temp and humidity get. $1,095 at zodiacwatches.com.

4. SEIKO PROSPEX SNJ027 "ARNIE"

When it comes to well-priced dive watches, there’s probably no brand on the planet with more options than Seiko. Their incredibly well-respected Prospex (“professional specs”) line offers watches that range from $300 up to $7,000 — and also come with some of the best nicknames in horology: sumo, samurai, turtle, tuna can, etc. One recent release from Seiko — with both a great price and a great nickname — is the SNJ027, aka the “Arnie.” The original version of this watch — a big chunky piece with a hybrid analog/digital dial and display — was famously worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in both Commando (1985) and Predator (1987). With a case diameter of almost 48mm, this thing definitely won’t fit under your shirt cuff once you’re back from the tropics — but because of its solar-powered movement and silicon strap, it will also feel super lightweight on the wrist. While the original Arnie was in black, for extra beach cred you may want to try the official PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) version, with its trademark red & blue bezel. $525 at seikousa.com.    

5. VICTORINOX INOX PROFESSIONAL DIVER

The INOX line of watches from Victorinox are meant to be nearly indestructible. First released in 2014, these watches were built to withstand over 100 different extreme endurance tests, including being run over by a tank and subjected to a sandstorm. Hopefully you don’t encounter anything quite so stressful on your next vacation, but at least you can breathe easy with an INOX on your wrist knowing it’s ready for any adventure you take it on. The Professional Diver, a more recent addition to the INOX line, comes in a variety of colors, bracelet/strap options and case materials (including titanium). This one pictured comes on an innovative, bright orange strap which has a length of usable survival paracord integrated into it — I guess just in case your boat captain runs out and requires your assistance with the rigging. $695 at swissarmy.com.