15 Rad Rolex Submariner Alternatives (Budget and Luxury Options)

by   |  in Accessories

There are many reasons you might be looking at Rolex Submariner alternatives. Perhaps you’re looking for an affordable substitute, or maybe you want to diversify your collection with an equally historic timepiece. In this article, we’re rounding up 12 of our favorite Rolex Submariner alternatives.

Why is the Rolex Submariner so popular? Besides being one of the most versatile and revered entry-level Rolexes, the Submariner set the standard for dive watches when it debuted in 1953. Few watches are as mechanically excellent as they are legendary.

A Rolex Submariner homage is a lower-priced alternative inspired by the original. Competitor alternatives are contending luxury watches. Counterfeits are illegally branded replicas.

Our high-end picks rival the Submariner’s icon status, and our affordable picks feature similar coveted qualities that made the Submariner so important. None, of course, are counterfeits.

 

Rolex Submariner Alternatives Under $500

Back To Top

We rounded up our favorite Rolex Submariner alternatives. We hope you enjoy our picks!

Stuhrling Depthmaster

The difference between the Stuhrling Depthmaster and the two-tone 126613LB Sub is like the difference between Jose and Ozzie Canseco — not much.

Stuhrling Depthmaster
$74.95

This watch features luminescent baton-style hands and indices, collected in a coin edge bezel and finished with a signed screw-down crown.

Shop Amazon Shop Jomashop
02/22/2023 09:50 pm GMT

New York-based Stuhrling is known for adhering to Swiss standards of watchmaking. Unsurprisingly they make some of the most effective homages out there.

The Depthmaster has the exact same design language as the two-tone Sub. It features a blue face and gold indices, baton-style hands, and a yellow gold bezel with a blue ceramic insert. Of course, this homage also features the beloved gold-tone middle bracelet link.

At 44mm, it’s slightly bigger than the Submariner. The Depthmaster also has thicker hands and rounder lugs.

It’s water-resistant at 100m and features the Japanese Miyota quartz movement, which is laser accurate. 

On top of that, Stuhrling has one of the most comprehensive two-year international warranties that I’ve seen.

The Depthmaster can easily convince passers-by that you’re rocking a Sub, and is a well-respected and great conversation piece among Sub lovers.

DETAILS of the Stuhrling Depthmaster:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter44mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width20mm

Seiko 5 SRPD71

The Seiko 5 SRPD71 is one of the descendants of the SKX, a traditional diver with all of the important specs and classic stylings.

Seiko 5 SRPD71
$239.95

Stainless steel case with a stainless steel mesh bracelet. Uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel with an inlaid blue ring. Blue dial with luminous silver-tone hands and dot hour markers. Minute markers around the outer rim. -Jomashop

Shop Amazon Shop Jomashop
02/22/2023 09:55 pm GMT

It’s updated with Seiko’s 4R movement though, which is a reliable workhorse with hacking. And since Seiko always does a great job at satisfying the horologically curious, you can watch this automatic at work via the exhibition caseback.

The applications are clean and crisp, especially for its price point, and looks great with either a NATO or different stainless steel designs.

DETAILS of the Seiko 5 SRPD71:

MovementAutomatic
Case Size42.5mm
Water Resistance100m
Band MaterialStainless steel bracelet

Orient Ray II

The Orient Ray II has similar design elements to the Seiko 5 Sport, but leans more into the fancy qualities of the Submariner. It’s smoother around the edges and is a shinier wear. 

Orient Ray II
$155.78

This diver is highly revered, garnering respect from even the snobbiest watch buyers, and is the closest to a Rolex Submariner for under $200.

Shop Amazon Shop Jomashop
02/22/2023 09:55 pm GMT

It forgoes the Seiko Sport’s speed-lines and Arabic numerals, and instead adopts the bubbly indices, longer hands, and smoother bezel of the Submariner.

I love this watch because it reminds me of a cross between a Submariner and the Omega Seamaster 300 Quartz — my two all-time favorite dive watches.

The case has the wide look of the Submariner, but the bracelet is more skeletal like the Seamaster. The center link is offset with contrasting polished edging for a complex, sophisticated look.

Similar to the Seiko 5 Sport, this is a precise Japanese automatic. It has a deeper water resistance though, at 200m.

DETAILS of the Orient Ray II:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter41mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width2mm

Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L

Fashionable dive watches often look more like they belong on a luxury yacht, rather than on a high-seas mission. The Citizen Promaster is the rugged complement to those kinds of watches.

Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L
$224.40

Beautiful round watch featuring unidirectional bezel and blue dial with date window at 4 o'clock and luminous hands/hour markers.


Shop Amazon Shop Jomashop
02/22/2023 09:56 pm GMT

It’s basically a harbor pilot transformed into a wristwatch.

The bellowed rubber strap adds aesthetic buoyancy and is reminiscent of a seafarer’s life jacket. The blue bezel doesn’t overtake the case as in most watches, giving the robust steel case substantial exposure from an aerial view. 

Its Eco-Drive power source means it’s fueled by light and doesn’t need a battery, a great environmentally friendly feature.

The Promaster is 200m water resistant and features really effective luminous hands and markers, making it the best inexpensive dive watch from Citizen in my opinion.

DETAILS of the Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter43mm
Band Material TypeRubber
Band Width19mm

Seiko Prospex Samurai Wave 

While the Stuhrling Depthmaster is the most visually similar to the Submariner in the budget category and the Seiko 5 is the most functionally similar, this Seiko Prospex has the best combination of Sub-like form and function.

Seiko Prospex Samurai Wave
$562.04

Fun and practical, this professional diving watch features a unidirectional bezel, 200m of water resistance, and Seiko’s hackable 4R35 automatic movement. The special edition wave graphic decorates the bright blue dial, which makes the SRPD23K1 as visually delightful and distinct as it is useful. 

Shop Amazon Shop eBay
02/22/2023 10:00 pm GMT

The Prospex Samurai Wave is an automatic self-winding watch, but features a hand-wind mechanism. It has a unidirectional bezel, a screw-down crown, and Seiko’s LumiBrite markers on the face. 

Seiko’s Hardlex crystal, while not as impervious as the Submariner’s sapphire, is sufficiently scratch resistant, especially for the price.

Visually, the indices are long soft-edged polygons, saving all visual numeration for the bezel. The dial and the bezel are color-matched just as traditional Submariners are. 

As all good homages though, the Seiko Prospex Samurai features design qualities unique from its inspiration. It has a cool wave blue gradient on the face of the dial, and a fun anchor-shaped hour marker that’s short and thick.

Just call this guy the Seiko Submariner!

DETAILS of the Seiko Prospex Samurai Wave:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter44mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width22mm

Invicta Gold Tone Pro Diver

Invicta is famous for meticulously understanding the design language of luxury watches and applying that artistry to budget timepieces.

Invicta Gold Tone Pro Diver
$49.90

Classically styled for the sporty gentleman, this gold-tone Invicta stainless steel men's watch travels easily between professional environs and weekend adventures. It features water resistance to 200 meters (660 feet), which is suitable for recreational diving, and a stylish unidirectional rotating bezel with black engraved elapsed time markings

Check Latest Price
02/22/2023 10:00 pm GMT

It’s no surprise that they make the best homage of the beautiful, and very flashy, yellow gold Rolex Submariner. When this timepiece came out in 2008, the watch community immediately agreed that it was one of the grandest Submariner models ever.

Even at less than $60, this Invicta Pro-Diver is that grand Submariner’s aesthetic soul mate.

I always recommend collectors buy their entry-level classics in stainless steel because they hold their value better.

But I get it. Some of us want a fashion-forward look-at-me device.

What makes this stainless steel Invicta an even better buy than the gold Submariner is that it won’t lose value. Plus stainless steel is more durable than gold.

As far as gold homages go, this might be one of the best Rolex Submariner alternatives under $200. So if you’re interested in having a piece of the Midas touch, but want to make smart buying choices, opt for this Invicta.

DETAILS of the Invicta Gold Tone Pro Diver:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter40mm
Band Material TypeGold-plated Stainless Steel
Band Width18mm

Orient Mako II

The Mako II, along with the Ray II, are Orient’s assigned Sub alternatives. They’re both on-template dives, with automatic movements and 200 meters of water resistance.

Orient Mako II
$154.99

Sharks have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years, so we thought it was time for an upgrade: most notably, the new Orient caliber F6922 and a more robust 120-click bezel – sometimes evolution needs a kick in the fin.

Check Latest Price
02/19/2023 01:25 am GMT

The Mako II is more modern, seen through the Arabic cardinals and pointed baton indices, compared to the Ray II’s more Rolex-esque hour markers.

Still, everything else is there, from the classy sword hands to the coin-edged bezel. They’re equal as timepieces, so it’s just a matter of your tastes.

DETAILS of the Orient Mako II:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter41.5mm
Band Material TypeStainless steel bracelet
Band Width22mm

Seiko SKX007

A go-to for hardcore Seiko fans and would-be modders, the SKX007 is arguably one of the most important modern heritage pieces for the brand. It’s discontinued but easy to find, and definitely often at a much higher price point than its original budget tag.

Seiko SKX007
$975.00

Seiko’s classic and well-loved high-value diver! It features the robust 7S36 automatic movement, and a quintessential dive design with Rolex-esque indices. Pair it with a stainless steel Oyster-style bracelet to get a Submariner homage that also stands on its own, or with an accordion rubber strap for a tool aesthetic that matches the practical look of dial.

Check Latest Price
02/19/2023 01:42 am GMT

Function-wise, it’s pretty straight-forward, though it runs a heritage Seiko movement, the 7S26. So basically, you’d be paying for the story and the history behind it.

For all intents and purposes, it’s Japan’s classic diver, a direct descendant of Seiko’s legendary first diver, the 62MAS, which started the brand’s journey into becoming the cheat code for affordable mechanicals.

DETAILS of the Seiko SKX007:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter43mm
Band Material TypeRubber strap
Band Width22mm

High-end Rolex Submariner Alternatives

Back To Top

If you’re looking for more high-end Rolex Submariner Alternatives, look no further!

Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Titanium

This variant of the Blancpain Bathyscaphe takes the classic Fifty Fathoms template, and gives it an elegant yet strong aesthetic thanks to the power of titanium. If you aren’t sure whether you want a robust tool watch or a more refined one, this guy is both.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Titanium
$6,775

"Grey titanium case and bracelet. Uni-directional rotating grey titanium bezel. Grey dial with silver-tone hands and index hour markers. Minute markers around the outer rim." –Jomashop

Shop Jomashop

Not only does titanium make it lighter, and often stronger, than stainless steel, but it gives it that cool look that sits somewhere between matte and gloss. It’s like a combination of platinum and gunmetal. 

This vibe carries on into the impeccably brushed dial and bezel, both shades of slate.

Also, the transparent caseback displays the complex 35-jewel, 227-part automatic movement.

DETAILS of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Titanium:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter43mm
Band Material TypeTitanium bracelet
Band Width22mm

Breitling Superocean Chronometer

This variant of the Breitling is much more modern that a core Sub, with an almost cut-out look like you’d find on a Tudor but far more robust. It’s a bit like a modern MilSub (though what it really is, is a contemporary re-imagining of Breitling’s 1960s Slow Motion Diver).

Breitling Superocean Chronometer
$3,295

Silver-tone stainless steel case with a black rubber strap. Uni-directional rotating black stainless steel bezel. Two-tone dial with silver-tone hands and index hour markers. Minute markers around the outer rim. -Jomashop

Shop Jomashop Shop Watches of Switzerland

It’s chic but brawny, with a generously-sized outerdial, basically the same thickness as the bezel. Every element on this watch is athletically-sized.

Since it’s Breitling though, the finishing and applications are perfect, and the details are on-point. Just look at the satin lugs and the tropical-edged rubber strap.

DETAILS of the Breitling Superocean Chronometer:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter42mm
Band Material TypeRubber strap
Band Width21mm

IWC Aquatimer Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau

The IWC Aquatimer is the alternative that looks least like the Submariner, with its fixed stainless steel bezel and flat-ended hands. It also stands well on its own beyond the Sub comparison.

IWC Aquatimer Expedition Jacques Yves-Cousteau
$4,695

Silver-tone stainless steel case with a blue rubber strap. Fixed silver-tone stainless steel bezel. Blue dial with silver-tone hands and index hour markers. Minute scale around the inner rim. -Jomashop

Shop Jomashop

Where this Aquatimer has the Submariner beat is its story. Yes, it’s unfair to pit the Sub’s fictional James Bond against real-life legend, Jacques Cousteau, but hear me out.

IWC created these editions of the Aquatimer in partnership with the Cousteau Society, in honor of the diving pioneer who invented the first diving regulator. A share of this Aquatimer’s proceeds go towards establishing marine protected areas. 

The trademark blue dial looks classy next to the subtly rugged rubber strap. If you look closely at the strap, it features a weaved basket texture that adds dimension to the simple rubber.

Finally, this diver is the real deal with 300m water resistance. Like its namesake, the Expedition Jacques Cousteau is the noble adventurer of the group.

DETAILS of the IWC Aquatimer Expedition:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter42mm
Band Material TypeRubber
Band Width22mm

Longines HydroConquest

The HydroConquest is the most practical pick on the list. It’s a reliable back-to-basics sport watch that excels on fundamental functionalities with no frills.

If you’re practical and no-frills, but still want an elegant and quality dive watch, the HydroConquest is your best bet.

Longines HydroConquest
$1,127.50

This watches features conspicuous Arabic numerals, each outlined in gold, which stands boldly in front of a stark black dial.

Shop Amazon Shop Jomashop
02/22/2023 10:09 pm GMT

Dive watches need to be legible, and the HydroConquest beats the Submariner on that front. It features conspicuous Arabic numerals, each outlined in gold, which stands boldly in front of a stark black dial.

Unlike most of the high-end picks, the HydroConquest is built with an accurate quartz movement. At under a grand, this watch sits somewhere in between the budget and luxury categories.

​​On the design front, two major highlights include the beautiful mixing of brushed and polished surfaces, and more unassumingly, the engraving of Longine’s legendary logo on the back of the case.

DETAILS of the Longines HydroConquest:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter41mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width21mm

Omega Seamaster Professional 300, Quartz

First, the legend behind the watch: Most watch lovers remember the event that I call “the great 007 switch of ’95.” This was when James Bond wore this very Seamaster after years and generations of sporting a Submariner. By 2005, the Omega was even name-dropped in Casino Royale

Omega Seamaster Professional 300 Quartz
$3,150.00

The beautiful Seamaster 300 is made out of stainless steel, features a sapphire crystal, and is water-resistant at 300m.

Check Latest Price
02/22/2023 10:10 pm GMT

Culturally, the Seamaster is the closest caliber rival to the Rolex Submariner. And truly, there aren’t many quartz watches that are as fabled as this one.

Why the switch? Bond producers were privy to the Seamaster’s real-world relationship with the British Navy. Moreover, this model caught the eye of many in Hollywood. It ignited the Seamaster renaissance after a low-point in the 80s when the line focused less on being a tool watch and more on being a fashion watch.

So, in addition to being a cultural icon, the Seamaster is historically important and a turning point for Omega as a brand.

I think that the Seamaster has the crispest rotating bezel sound in the dive watch world — we dive watch nerds are obsessed with bezel sounds. And of course, it’s made out of stainless steel, features a sapphire crystal, and is water-resistant at 300m. 

The iconic wave pattern on its face and skeletal hands make this Seamaster instantly recognizable.

Definitely my favorite quartz watch of all time!

DETAILS of the Omega Seamaster Professional 300, Quartz:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter41mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width20mm

Omega Seamaster Professional 300, Automatic

This Seamaster is kind of a bonus entry.

It’s in the same family as the prior mentioned quartz version. However, if you are an automatic fanatic, and I know many of you are, you’ll prefer this version of the Seamaster.

Omega Seamaster Pro 300 Automatic
$4,390.00

This watch features the Omega calibre 8800, an in-house movement that contains a whopping 35 jewels. It’s self-winding with a co-axial escapement and the rotor is winding in both directions.

Shop Amazon Shop Jomashop
02/22/2023 10:09 pm GMT

While the quartz version competes with the Submariner in legend and history, the automatic rivals the Submariner in its functions.

It features the Omega calibre 8800, an in-house movement that contains a whopping 35 jewels. It’s self-winding with a co-axial escapement and the rotor is winding in both directions.

This version pops more visually, with a fun bright blue strap, wider bezel numbers, and a bolder wave pattern on its blue face.

DETAILS of the Omega Seamaster Professional 300, Automatic:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter42mm
Band Material TypeRubber
Band Width20mm

Omega Seamaster 300 Trilogy

In 2017, Omega released their Trilogy set, reissues of the first versions of iconic models. It included this Seamaster 300, based on the original 1957 version. 

Omega Seamaster 300 Trilogy
$6,999.99

Reference 233.32.41.21.01.002 pays homage to the original Seamaster 300 from 1957 with similar broad arrow hands and a striking black tropical dial topped with Superluminova hour markers in a warm hue resembling natural patina. –Bob's Watches

Shop Amazon Shop Bob's Watches
02/22/2023 10:17 pm GMT

Ever since then, this broad-arrow original has been used as the foundation for several modern variants. Even the most recent Bond watches are based on this model, so it’s safe to say the vintage-reminiscent, tropical-and-black palette and flush indices are co-reigning with the wave dial as the most relevant Omega dive designs.

Naturally, it runs on a super durable Master Chronometer movement. Many would argue this watch is as iconic as a core Sub.

DETAILS of the Omega Seamaster 300 Trilogy:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter39mm
Band Material TypeStainless steel bracelet
Band Width22mm

Rolex Submariner Alternatives Wrap Up

Back To Top

We hope you enjoyed this roundup!

Do you love the Submariner’s innovative features, but would rather not indulge in the high price point? Our affordable picks have you covered!

Are you a luxury diver collector with enough Submariners to last a lifetime? Our high-end picks have unique strengths that make each an honorable rival.

Which of the Rolex Submariner Alternatives is your favorite? Hit us up on Instagram DMs.

What’s changed?
02/13/2023Updated recommendations and added a few more models
01/24/2021Added / Updated links and text
11/05/2020Original publish date