[VIDEO] Inside the Collection: Three Lasting Divers Under $5,000

We’ve been inundated with incredible dive watches in recent years, at a wide range of price points, but particularly under $5,000, where dive watches belong. There are three examples in particular that represent this trend, and all three have remained standard bearers in the subsequent short years since releasing. Each of these watches reveal something important about Tudor, Sinn, and Seiko, in that even when it comes to straight forward tool watches, they can still surprise us in the best of ways. We’ve written plenty about these three watches since their releases, and today we’re looking at how they’ve come to form the core of my own dive watch rotation.

Recent trends point to something of an unraveling of the typical genre labels, as well as an embrace for watches that lean toward the formal end of that equation, at minimum alongside the more tool-ish watches that have enjoyed the spotlight in the recent past. However, there’s something comforting about a classic diver, like grilled cheese and tomato soup, that always keeps people like me coming back. These are the kinds of watches that I end up reaching for more than any other on the day to day, as practical (and handsome) companions for my lifestyle. These are the watches that seem to transcend style trends that shift from era to era in the most blunt of manners. 

In this video, I walk through each of these watches and why they’ve remained in my own watchbox since their release, and how well they’ve stood up since releasing. The quirks of these watches haven’t gone stale, and each offers a unique enough personality to justify their presence alongside one another, even though they are all ostensibly straightforward capable divers. 

When these watches were released they garnered plenty of hype and attention, which quickly dissipated in subsequent release cycles and whatever the next best thing ended up being. But watches aren’t iPhones, and aren’t meant to be replaced and updated every year. These are supposed to be companions for the long term, so we’re returning to the mainstays of our own collections to talk about the experiences we’re having in these watches, everything beyond the measurements and movement specs. For all those details, hit up our reviews of each of these watches below.

Seiko SPB149

This is the Seiko that took us by surprise. It also set the stage for the Prospex dive line moving slightly up stream to make way for a new collection of Seiko 5 divers to take over the entry level space. This meant a 6R35 movement, hardened case, and an overall more polished level of fit and finish to this line of SPB divers. The SPB149 quickly caught the hearts of nearly anyone with a few Seiko divers in their drawer, and we were no exception. This is a watch that’s still as fun to wear today as it was back in 2020, and holds its own with watches much further up the food chain. Catch Zach’s full review right here.

Sinn U50

The U50 was the modern Sinn many of us had been waiting for. The stunning design language of the U1 brought down to a more manageable size. This was an immediate win in my book, and the watch still manages to impress on the wrist, and the design stands up as well as ever. Sinn’s Tegiment steel has a warm presence that makes it unique among steel divers, and even manages to stands apart from titanium. It pairs beautifully straps, but the OEM H link bracelet has earned a place in the rotation through the winter. This just might be the ultimate summer jeans and a t-shirt watch, and looks all the better with a bit of wear. See our full review of the Sinn U50 right here.

Tudor FXD

This watch may have been the biggest surprise of the bunch. When Tudor tipped their hand at a new partnership with the Marine Nationale, we all pondered what watch it might result in, but the FXD wasn’t what we had expected. This was a relatively thin Pelagos with a redesigned dial structure, a bi-directional bezel, no date, and a fixed lug bar case holding a fabric hook and loop strap. It was weird in all the right ways, and it’s still among my favorite watches to wear. This is a watch the defies the numbers, managing to wear brilliantly despite the stat sheet. The strap has held up incredibly well, even after more than 2 years of wear, and the hook and loop (not Velcro) is soft and effective, without the noise you typically associate with the material. Check out the full review of the Tudor FXD right here.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.