The watch market is saturated with many different names, types, materials, and movements. Each of these can fit a certain type of person from dress watches for a more formal occasion, to tough field watches for a durable everyday carry you know might get nicked on things. Somewhere in the middle is a dive watch, with many of them at home on most occasions, sporty enough for a weekend outing, tough enough for daily wear, and with enough class to pass at a button up event.
If you’re planning on wearing a watch regularly, having it be both durable and lightweight is key to the best experience. There are many materials to choose from for a watch, some in wood, stainless steel, silver or gold… But none of them really suit both of those requirements. There is one material that will fit though: titanium (Ti).
Titanium is a very lightweight metal, while still remaining one of the strongest. It’s used in everything from prosthetics and jewelry, to F1 race cars and smartphones! Compared to steel, it is virtually equal in all strength tests, but still weighs about half as much. That would make it the perfect choice if not for the easily-scuffed surface, so a good protective coating is key.
Titanium dive watches can be found at all price points, but there are some key things to look for when looking within those tiers. For instance, if you’re looking to spend a pretty penny ($10,000+), you’re expecting the best of everything. Top quality crystal, hyper durable and attractive finish, and perfect machining. However, even looking at the sub $500 price point, you can still find some rare manufacturers putting as much tech and quality into their product as they can.
Qualities of the Best Titanium Dive Watch
Titanium watches come in all kinds of variations and price points, but if you want a piece that will keep ticking for a long time to come and look good doing so, then there’s some key materials and criteria you should look for before you spend your hard earned money.
Sapphire CrystalIf your watch body is going to take a beating, your glass should follow suit. Standard glass, mineral crystal, and plastics like lucite will all get scratched or otherwise permanently damaged with relative ease. Having a good quality sapphire glass will ensure a long life, since they are exponentially harder to damage. Bonus points if it has a good anti-reflective coating.
Matching Titanium BandOftentimes you can buy a good titanium watch body, but it will come with just a canvas, leather, or rubber strap. If given the option, always take the matching band. There’s a strong aftermarket for strap alternatives if you ever want to change it up, but no other metal band will work as well on your watch as one that was designed for it.
Quality MovementHaving a great case, and a great crystal will do no good if the movement powering your watch gives out. Finding out reviews on movements is only a google search away, so it will never be hard to see if your powerplant is one that should last.
Protective CoatingTitanium is extremely durable and light, but easily gathers surface scuffs and scratches. There are some great coatings you can buy aftermarket to protect your investment, or you can go the safer route and get a watch that comes protected from the manufacturer! All of our watches are coated with the proprietary Ultrahex Coating, a smooth bead blasted look that will withstand the test of time.
Make Sure the Watch Lume is Bright!
There are many types of lume that manufacturers will use on their watches, and all in varying amounts based on the models. A key feature of an everyday utility watch is always having the ability to see the time, no matter how bright or dark it is. The rule is usually better quality lume is going to grow bright for a long time, and the more of it used in the watch will increase the duration of the glow.
As mentioned earlier, looking into reviews can help you understand the brightness and duration of the shine in your watch. Make sure that it will suit your use case. If you need to be able to see it at 2am, prepare to spend more on the watch, or hunt down one of the few manufacturers that are more generous with their materials.
Does the Watch Crown Screw Down?
There are many methods employed by manufacturers to help water and pressure seal your watch. Some use elaborate latching mechanisms or multiple gaskets alone. The most mechanical solution, and arguably the most secure, is the screw down crown.
It is as simple as it sounds. Most commonly the crown is able to pop out with just a pull to go into adjusting the time, date, or other complications, but with a screw down crown, you must first unscrew it like a nut from a bolt before it will release to be adjusted. This mechanism when paired with a long lasting single gasket will be more effective than most methods you will find on the market, without being needlessly expensive.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all crowns are created equally. Some screw down crowns can feel rough when being unscrewed, as if sand is trapped in the threads. This is especially common in low quality titanium watches due to the nature of how the manufacturing process goes on.
Finding the Best Titanium Dive Watch for Your Adventures
Searching for your perfect watch may be difficult, but getting one that suits your style, and can handle your life is a wonderful thing, and when treated well, they can be an heirloom to give your children. There is no one size fits all answer to “what is the perfect watch” but looking for these qualities will give you a much better chance, as well as help narrow down your search to only the best for the price. If you’re looking for a titanium dive watch under the $500 price point, check out our Endeavor collection, which is one of the few that will check all the boxes mentioned earlier at that price point.