25 Affordable Non-Homage Alternatives to the Rolex Submariner
PLEASE NOTE: That the best watch prices below are based on the lowest I could find with authorised watch dealers. Some of these watches can be found for less with grey market dealers. However do be aware that these grey market watches may no longer come with a manufacturers warranty.
The first two watches on my list come from a fairly unknown brand called Adina. Founded in 1971 by an Australian watchmaker Robert Menzies.
The factory is located in Brisbane and they produce 40,000 different types of watches as well as supplying 300 retailers across, just Australia.
The first watch on our left is the more expensive of the two, the Adina Amphibian Dive Automatic. It comes with Sapphire Crystal, an ETA 2824 movement, is 200 meters water resistant, is slim at 39.24mm and cost AU$850 which is $646, €549 or £483
The cheaper of the two on our right comes packed with almost all of the same features except it uses a Swiss Ronda 517 quartz movement instead, and it costs a lot less at $303, €257, £227.
Both of these can be picked up directly from the manufacturer, at these prices.
- Link to the Manufacturer website: www.adinawatches.com.au
Our next two watches come from a brand that needs no introduction at all, CASIO.
Though not the most catchy of names the Casio Men’s Watch on our left and the Casio Black Dial Backlight Watch on our right are both superb watches, and are by far the cheapest on this list, the Casio Men’s Watch can be found many places on the net from £39.99, that’s $53, or €45 and though it has a folded metal strap, mineral glass and a Japanese quartz movement it can be taken to depths of 200m, all of that for 39.99
The Casio Black Dial Backlight Watch on our right is marginally bigger at 45mm, has an additional date function but can only go to a depth 100m, still a very cheap watch when you can pick it up from £59.99, $80 or €68
- The cheapest on the net other than eBay and Amazon for the Casio on the left is www.jbwatches.com. The cheapest in the UK for the watch on the right other than the usual two websites is Argos: http://www.argos.co.uk/product/5447613
Next on the list is Certina. Certina is a fairly well known Swiss watchmaker, who must be celebrating its 130th anniversary this year.
Certina was established in 1888 by brothers Adolf and Alfred Kurth as a sports watch brand, so a good long standing history behind them!
Both these watches are extremely similar the DS Action on our left is the cheaper of the two at £445, $596, or €506. It has AR coated Sapphire crystal, a Swiss quartz movement, it can go to depths of 300m and measures 41mm, whereas its marginally bigger 43mm brother on the right at £655, $876, or €744 is powered by the Swiss Powermatic 80 automatic movement that has a power reserve of upto 80 days. Not bad at all!
- The more expensive of the two Certina’s can be found at the above price from the likes of Jura watches: www.jurawatches.co.uk/ and the cheaper of the two can be found with the likes of Francis & Gaye Jewellers, also at the above price.
Now to another well known Japanese watchmaker, Citizen. Formerly the Shokosha Watch Research Institute from 1918 to 1930. It was then taken over by Japanese and Swiss investors creating Citizen, a watch for the citizen.
These two watches are both from the Promaster Diver range, they have AR coated mineral crystal, Citizens highly renowned Eco-Drive quartz movement and can go to depths of 200m a piece.
The large one on our left measuring 45mm can be found on the inter-web for as little as £240, $340 or €272. The marginally smaller watch at 42mm on our right can be found from £190, $254, €215
Pretty good if you ask me!
- The Promaster with the blue bezel and dial can be purchased from www.watches.com at $316 and the other can be found at www.firstclasswatches.co.uk for £185
The next watch we are going to take a look at comes from a smaller Swiss watchmaker called Davosa, originally established by the Hasler family in 1881.
This particular watch is called the Argonautic Lumis Colour. The cheapest I could find it on the internet was £658, $881 or €748
It comes with Sapphire Crystal, an ETA 2824, is 300 meters water resistant and measures 43mm, It’s a really good looking watch and pretty impressive for the money.
- Since writing this I have found this watch for £645 at www.watchshop.com
Now we have the Glycine Combat Sub. I in fact own one of these. Glycine was founded in Bienne, Switzerland in 1914 and became famous for their Airman line of 24 hour GMT watches which were released in 1953 and they continue to make the same watch today.
Another of their designs the Glycine Combat sub pictured here has fairly recently become popular, it comes in a multitude of styles all of which have Sapphire Crystal, an ETA 2824 movement, can reach depths of 200m and measures 42mm wide. Though the retail price of these and about 90% of the watches on this list are much higher, they can all be found very cheaply online, the cheapest I could find these for was £335 from the US excluding import taxes so roughly £450, €510 and you lucky Americans it’s cheaper for you at $449.
- You can find this one with Jomashop.com for the mentioned price.
Next up is another brand we all know well, Hamilton. The Hamilton Watch Company was first established in 1892 and produced its first watch the following year. It was acquired by the Swatch Group in 1984 and continues to be one of Swatch Groups most favoured brands alongside the likes of Omega.
The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba is a pretty fine looking 40mm watch, it has sapphire crystal glass, an ETA 2824 movement, can be taken to depths of 100m and can be picked up from as little as £630, $843, or €715. Do ensure to shop around if you like this one, also some retailers will price match if you find it out of stock cheaper elsewhere.
- Francis & Gaye Jewellers have this for £607.50
- UPDATE: The cheapest I have found this now is via grey market dealers selling on Chrono24.co.uk is for £500 including shipping!!
Now from a little, fairly unknown in the grand scheme of things french watchmaker who though fairly unknown was established in 1867 by Emmanuel Lipmann comes the Lip Marinier Black Sapphire and I have to say I think I have fallen in love with this watch.
It’s a very charming and understated 1960s-esc divers watch, it is the slimmest on the list at 39mm just beating the the first two watches on the list the Adina by .24mm. The watch uses the Automatic Miyota 820A which is a decent movement, it is water resistant to 200m and it only costs £396, $528 or €449
- Watchmakers website: https://www.lip.fr/en/men-watches/
My next choice comes from a newer Swiss watch brand founded in 1989 by Barry Cohen. Luminox, famous for their everlasting luminescence which took the hearts of those in over 30 countries within just a few years of its release.
The Luminox Navy Seals Colormark Series is a cool looking watch, in many ways it looks like what the late 1980s early 1990s Tag Heuer Formula 1 watches should have evolved into today.
The watch measures 44mm comes with Sapphire Crystal Glass, a Swiss Quartz usually ETA or Ronda movement, and can be taken to depths of 200m. It costs £405, $542 or €460.
- lots of places have this one and I’m afraid it may well be the last in the line for this specific model, however there are still many of them available online for the price above and a few corkers such as this last one for $259.97: https://www.amazon.com/Luminox-Colormark-Black-Steel-Watch/dp/B004PBKEHE
Next we go to another member of the Swatch Groups family, Mido, founded in 1918 by George Schaeren the company has a long and interesting history. But I won’t bore you with that here today at least. We’ve got too many watches to get through.
The Mido Ocean Star Captain is another automatic watch on the list that uses the mighty Caliber 80 with an 80 hour power reserve, it has AR coated Sapphire Crystal, measures 42.5mm, can be taken down to 200m and cost £648, $866, €734.
- www.jomashop.com as of today (14th June) have reduced their prices on this watch by 40% you can pick one of these models between $558 to $624
Now going ‘back’, across the pond to Japan, to another well renowned watchmaker Orient, founded in 1901 initially as the Yoshida Watch Shop, wholesaling watches. The extremely admired Japanese brand which was acquired by Seiko Group in April 2007 continues to make many newer versions of their ever loved classics.
These two watches are the second cheapest on the list and they happen to both be automatics too!
The Orient Mako II on the left can be found on Amazon from £130, $174 or €147 and the Mako XL which is admittedly a little bit of a homage-esc watch (sorry) I know I titled this non-homage but it had to be added as you can find these from as little as £96, $122, €109 they are both very fine watches and great bang for the buck! They have mineral crystal glass, they both use the Orient automatic Caliber F6922, they’re water resistant to 200m, the more expensive on the left measures 41mm and the other 44.5mm
You can probably see where this is going, back over to Switzerland again in this table tennis of predominantly Japanese vs Swiss watches, to another brand, Roamer.
Founded in Solothurn, Switzerland, in 1888 by Fritz Meyer another interesting factory with a long interesting history.
Among there splendid array of modern and re-born classics I found the following, the Roamer Searock Pro, a Swiss automatic watch with the usual ETA 2824 movement, it has AR coated Sapphire Crystal glass, measures 44.5mm and can go to depths of upto 200 meters. This is an extremely smart looking divers watch and it can be found online for £632, $844, €716.
- Best prices for these are on eBay! However if you you don’t mind the look of their blue bezel, white dial version of the watch you can pick that one up from Browns Family Jewellers in the UK for £405!!: https://www.brownsfamilyjewellers.co.uk/roamer-of-switzerland-searock-pro-p40052
Guess what? Yeah you guessed it! Back to Japan ‘again’, this time to none other than Seiko.
Founded 137 years ago almost to the day in 1881 by Kin-taro Hattori as the K. Hattori watch and Jewelry shop. In 1892 the factory started producing clocks under the name Seikosha, the name Seiko itself wasn’t used until 1927.
Anyway the watch we see here is the Seiko Prospex Kinetic Divers and it’s a powerhouse of a watch, measuring 45mm and uses Seikos excellent Kinetic quartz movement. This watch has the signature Hardlex Glass which, which still scratches like mineral, it can be taken to 200m and can be found online from the likes of ebay from £303, $405, €343, not bad at all.
Swiss Military Hanowa
Now sticking with Switzerland for the remaining 7 watches we have next a watch brand by from the Hanowa watch company the Swiss Military Hanowa, not to be confused with Victorinox Swiss Army.
The Hanowa company was established by Hans Noll and his wife Elizabeth Wirz in 1963. In 1990 the company setup the Swiss Military Hanowa brand to increase it’s exposure overseas, however it took 25 years before the Swiss confederation granted official licence to the company to use Swiss Military in there name.
Anyway this happens to be the 2nd cheapest Swiss watch on my list. At £169, $226, or €192 The Nautila is a pretty decent watch especially when you consider that you are getting a swiss watch for less money than the Citizen Promaster Diver
It uses a Swiss quartz I’m guessing Ronda movement, measures 44mm in diameter, has AR coated Sapphire Crystal and can go down to 100M
- www.swiss-knife.com currently have this watch at €191.85
Now we zoom across to another trusted member of the Swatch Group family, Tissot,
Founded in 1853 by father and son team Charles-Felicien and Charles-Emile Tissot Tissot is another great watchmaker with a great history, the real watches to look at for are the rare 1930s range which came from their merger with Omega forming Tissot-Omega, but we are not here to discuss those watches, so let’s talk at this beauty instead the Tissot Seastar 1000.
This beautiful uncomplicated watch is pretty magnificent, it has Sapphire Crystal Glass, it’s yet another powered by the swiss powermatic 80, with 80 hours worth of power reserve, it measures 43mm and it can go to depths of 300m.
Pretty damn good when you think you can get all of this from as little as £565, $755, €640.
- Google this one as there are different prices, many lower from different retailers in different countries. It maybe cheaper to import this one including import duties and shipping costs!
Now the next two watches can also be found online vastly cheaper than their recommended retail prices.
Victorinox founded in 1884 by Karl Elsener was one of the two main suppliers of Swiss Army knives to the Swiss army, their biggest and only rival was Wenger. Victorinox Swiss Army didn’t start to actually make watches until 105 years later in 1989, so the same year in fact that Luminox started producing their watches.
Here we have two quite different watches within there Maverick range, on our left is the Maverik Sport, it has sapphire crystal, a Swiss quartz movement, it measures 43mm, its water resistant to 100m and can be picked up from as little as £250, $335, €284
The Maverik Automatic has similar specs however uses an ETA 2824-2 and can be found for £620, $831, €704.
Both very interesting watches, visually I prefer the cheaper of the two.
Seeing that we had one of the official suppliers of Swiss army knives to the Swiss army it would be rude not to have the other! Though it was acquired by their main competitor Victorinox Swiss Army group back in 2005, Wenger has remained untouched and continues to be run independently of Victorinox.
Wenger was established in 1893 by Paul Boechat they didn’t make watches until 1988, so a year earlier than Victorinox. They must have loved that!
This watch we have pictured here is the Wenger Seaforce and it is the cheapest Swiss watch on the list by just £3, but hey it is still the cheapest.
For the equivalent of a night out with some friends £166, $223, €189 you will get a fairly decent 43mm watch that can be taken to 200m, it has Sapphire coated mineral glass and a Swiss quartz movement. What more do you need? Don’t answer that.
- You can buy these directly from Wenger at these prices: www.wenger.ch
And finally, two watches from a brand call Zeno-Watch Basel. Founded in 1868 by Jules Godat the company which was then called Godat & co started out producing small pocket watches. In 1922 the Zeno-Watch name was introduced along with a line of aviation watches.
The company is one of the very few completely independent Swiss watch Manufacturers remaining.
The awesome looking watch on our left is the not so awesomely named Diver Look 3, however despite its name it is a eye catching timepiece, it’s only let down other than its name is that it uses Mineral Crystal glass, but that aside this 43mm watch, has an ETA 2824, can go to depths of up to 100m and costs £552, $738, €626.
The slightly better name Professional Diver XL does exceed our 800ish limit if you are based in the US so apologies however it is still a great watch for the money in my opinion, this 46mm beast is water resistant to 330m, it has sapphire crystal glass and an ETA 2824, and it can be yours from £673, $900, €763.
- Both of these watches and many others can be bought directly from Zeno-Watch Basel at these prices: https://www.zeno-watch.ch/category/collection/sport/
Thank you for reading! I will be updating this page every so often with all the latest corresponding information and cheapest prices I can find!