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The 7 Best Affordable Turquoise Dial Watches (Buyers Guide)

Posted on August 17 2021

Turquoise Watches

Turquoise is little used on watches. But when it is, the results can be stunning.

Rolex has a beautiful turquoise version of the Oyster Perpetual and Breitling does a SuperOcean in a similar colour.

But for the most part, you won't come across many turquoise dials.

That's a shame because it's a vibrant colour. It's associated with good fortune. And turquoise stones are used as talisman's and to decorate holy buildings.

In the watch world, turquoise is mostly used on dive watches.

That makes sense. Beautiful seas are often a mix of pale greens and blues. As you'll see, watches with turquoise dials sometimes reference the sea.

So let's dig in and explore the world of affordable turquoise dial watches.

Seiko Presage Frozen Margarita Watch

Frozen Margarita. What a name for a watch. And the inspiration? This dressy Seiko model was inspired by a rooftop bar.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I'm usually writing about the military history of a watch or the unique story of a watches development.

With this Seiko it's different. It's a handsome dress watch with a very distinctive turquoise textured dial.

I can't help thinking that this should be enough. It doesn't need a story.

That dial is all that I need to point out to sell this watch. Turquoise dials aren't popular, textured ones even less so. And as you'll see, most of the watches that are turquoise are divers.

So that puts the Seiko Frozen Margarita in a small group.

I love it.

But it's not going to be for everyone. Seiko seems to have acknowledged this by producing this piece as a limited edition.

At 38.5mm, this is a good size for a smart watch. With no bezel or crown guards, and slim lugs, this is a modest, refined model.

But it all comes down to the dial for me. That's what makes this watch a winner. My only negative would be that the neat numerals can get a little lost on the colourful and intricate background.

But at a little over £500, there is a lot of watch for the money here. It has a Seiko in-house automatic movement and this is visible through the exhibition back. The glass is Seiko's Hardlex crystal and a retro-looking mesh bracelet finishes off the watch beautifully.

You'll either love this watch or you won't.

Seiko Frozen Margarita SRPE49J1

  • 38.5mm Diameter
  • 11.8mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Hardlex Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance


Doxa Sub 200 Watch

Doxa is well-known for its pioneering orange dial dive watches.

When designing their early divers they did something very simple. They took prototype watches, with different colour dials, to the local lake. They went diving and noted which colour was the most legible underwater.

So don't be surprised by the colourful dials used on this Swiss manufacturers watches. It's part of their DNA.

Their Sub 300 model is best with an orange dial and was popularised by Jacque Cousteau. It has a hefty cushion case and a hefty price tag.

This Sub 200 is a smaller, less expensive model. But it has an equally stunning vintage-inspired design. It's available in a few colour schemes, with the turquoise variation being the most eye-catching.

It has a strong retro aesthetic. This is reinforced by the lack of crown guards and the boxed sapphire crystal. As you'd expect it is a legitimate diver and has 200m of water resistance.

It's a comfortable watch and wears smaller than the 42mm wide case would suggest.

And as a Swiss-made piece, it has a Swiss ETA movement.

If you want a Swiss watch, with a lashing of retro appeal, this would be a great place to start. And it's more affordable than other Doxa dive watches.

Doxa Sub 200 Aquamarine

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 14mm Thick
  • 19mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Automatic Movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


Stuhrling Maritimer Dive Watch

The Maritimer from American brand Stuhrling is a contrast to the Doxa. Instead of an automatic watch from a Swiss heritage brand, this is a quartz model from a young upstart.

It's modern, colourful and very practical. Importantly, it's very affordable.

It has the same size case as the Sub 200, but that is all that the two dive watches have in common.

Like the Seiko, the dial is the distinguishing feature of this watch. It's a deeper turquoise and has a beautiful sunburst effect. The plain markers are complemented by similarly styled hands. The date window is neatly positioned at 6 o'clock and finishes off the dial nicely.

The rubber strap could be an issue. I'm not a fan. But they are practical if you will be taking the watch into the sea. If not, a leather strap would work great here.

This is a budget watch.

Stuhrling claims to have sold 15m watches in their short history and they're proud of their Chinese manufacturing facilities.

This model reflects that. It's an affordable quartz model that does the basics well. It doesn't have the innovation of a Doxa, but it doesn't have the price tag either.

Stuhrling Maritimer 935.04

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


Bulova Devil Diver Watch

This is an iconic watch with a retro surfing aesthetic. It's functional, colourful and has a nice backstory.

In the 1970s, American manufacturer Bulova pushed the water resistance limits of dive watches. They made theirs rated to 666ft.

The watch that they created was jokingly referred to as the Devil Diver. It was a rugged dive watch, with a heavy-duty cushion case.

This current watch is described by Bulova as a tribute to that 1970s Oceonographer model.

It is a slightly modern twist on the original Devil Diver. It’s the same chunky workhorse and has the same colour and flair. This variation features a turquoise dial and bezel.

It's a faithful reissue that includes a box sapphire crystal. Unlike the Doxa, this watch features a cyclops lens over the date window. The hour markers also have lume-filled tubes.

Both are the lume and the cyclops window are nice features that catch the eye.

Bulova is now owned by Japanese giants Citizen, so the Devil Diver is powered by a Miyota automatic movement. And it's a real dive watch. It has 200M of water resistance.

Like the Doxa, Bulova has history. This turquoise model is from that back catalogue and harks back to an earlier era. If you want that history, this watch could be the answer.

Bulova Oceanographer Devil Diver 98B322

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 15mm Thick
  • 19mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


Certina DS Action turquoise watch

Certina is an entry-level Swiss brand that offers an affordable way to buy a Swiss-made mechanical watch.

This model is from their dive collection, although it only vaguely looks like a dive watch. I'd put it in the same category as Omega's Aqua Terra (Certina and Omega have the same owners, so that makes sense).

Aside from the handsome turquoise dial, this watch is still an interesting piece.

It has some of the features that you'd expect from a watch designed for water use. The crown screws down and it has 200M of water resistance. But it looks too elegant to be a diver and there is no diving bezel.

Instead of a dive watch's sporting vibe, this watch has a refined aesthetic. The hands and markers have strong, clean lines while the case is smoothly curved.

So it has the look of a smart-casual piece, but also the specs of Certina's DS system. It refers to Double Security - the watch is both water and shock-resistant.

And of course, it has a Swiss automatic movement with an 80-hour power reserve.

It's 41mm wide and 12mm thick. That's comfortable and in keeping with a modern dress watch. There is both a day and date window - again as you'd expect.

As with the other watches on my list, the dial is the centrepiece of this watch. The plain markers and orange accents work well and allow this watch to be colourful without feeling lighthearted.

If you're shopping for a Swiss-made turquoise watch, Certina is a realistic entry-level option.

Certina DS Action Powermatic 80 C032.430.11.091.00

  • 41mm Diameter
  • 12mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Automatic Movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


Zodiac Super Seawolf Aquamarine Dream

Zodiac has a great history when it comes to diving watches. And one thing stands out - their bold use of colour.

Rolex introduced their iconic Submariner watch at the 1954 Basel watch fair. At the same fair, a year earlier, Blancpain had launched the Fifty Fathoms. Zodiac had also displayed its diver, the Sea Wolf.

Both Blancpain and Rolex would remain as large popular brands. But Zodiac would disappear. American murderer, the ‘Zodiac Killer’, hadn't helped when he referenced the company.

But in 2001 fashion brand Fossil bought the Zodiac name. Zodiac watches were back in production. And central to their current range is the Sea Wolf collection.

Zodiac Sea Wolf watches are recreations and reissues of the brands own vintage watches. And colour is central to the collection.

This turquoise model is a limited edition piece and features the colour on the dial, bezel and strap. This really is a turquoise watch.

The colours are described as a mixture of "aquamarine, subtle turquoise, and seafoam green".

It's a quirky piece, with real vintage charm. It's fun too. On the case back, in sloppy handwriting, it has the wording "I'd rather be swimming".

The Aquamarine Dream is comfortably sized and built for diving. Both the watch and the automatic movement are Swiss-made honouring the brand's history and Fossil's quest for quality.

If you want to go all-in with turquoise, what better way than with Zodiac's limited edition watch?

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Aquamarine Dream

  • 40mm Diameter
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Automatic Movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 


Vostok Amphibia 710059

The final turquoise watch that I'd like to highlight is a legend.

The original Vostok Amphibia was created for the Soviet military.

It was designed to be cheap, durable and low on maintenance.

In a country where queuing for hours to get bread was the norm, it wasn’t easy to get your watch repaired. The solution? Design a mechanical watch that didn’t break. And that’s what we have here - a bomb-proof automatic watch that was built to last.

Until the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, we didn’t have easy access to Russian watches. We do now, and the Vostok Amphibia is one of my favourites.

It’s quirky and mid-sized and powered by a tough Vostok in-house movement.

It’s also a legitimate dive watch - remember, that was its main function. It has 200M water resistance and a screw-down crown.

There have been endless variations of the Amphibia - a great selection of cases and dials. This cushion case dial is a classic and it's paired with a turquoise version of the 'Scuba dude' dial.

To perform at depths and in tough weather, the designers had to cut a few corners to stay within budget. So this watch doesn't have the flair or build quality of the Doxa or Zodiac.

Instead, the Amphibia looks like it was built in the Soviet Union.

In this utilitarian environment, function always trumped aesthetics. This was the home of brutalist architecture and the Vostok has a similar vibe. The rear of the case has various markings in the Cyrillic alphabet which is a nice touch.

If you want an absolute bargain of a watch that you won’t see on anyone else wrists, start with this model.

Vostok Amphibia 710059

  • 41mm Diameter
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Russian Automatic Movement
  • Acrylic Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 


Conclusion


Turquoise is a bold colour for watches.

Although it is a colour associated with the sea, it's not widely used in watch design. And when it is, it's most often used on dive watches to reference that link.

Despite this, there are some excellent turquoise dial watches out there. But it takes a little digging to find them.

I've done that work for you and put together a list of the seven best.

My list includes a spartan Russian watch, a Chinese-made quartz model and some higher quality Swiss pieces.

There should be something for everyone here. A selection of styles, specs and price points.

If you know of some other affordable turquoise watches, let me know. Pop the details in the comments below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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