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The Best Budget Dive Watch - and it's not a Seiko!

Posted on February 09 2021

Best Budget Divers Watch

We all want value for money when buying a watch - and the less expensive the watch the more important this becomes.

Nobody wants a cheap watch that looks and feels cheap. If you’re shopping for a dive watch you need it to be water-resistant and legible. If it’s not, it’s useless.

Luckily, at the ultra-affordable end of the market, there are some incredible deals to be found.

Even after years of selling and collecting watches, there’s always another bargain watch that I need to get my hands on. Watches like the Casio Duro still excite me.

This is the best low-budget dive watch.

Casio Marlin MDV-106 Watch

Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1A

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 12mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Quartz movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


This Casio watch has a cult following. It looks great and it’s very affordable. I’ve seen people online claim to have picked it up for less than $50. Yes, that’s for a legitimate divers watch.

Do you know what caught my attention though?

This is a watch that Bill Gates often wears. Forget value for money for a second. This is the watch that one of the world’s richest men chooses to wear. Out of all the watches on the market, Bill Gates chose this one.

What makes this watch so special?

Despite it being a watch seen on a billionaires wrist, it’s the price that differentiates this watch. You get a lot for your money.

  • 200M Water Resistance
  • Screw-down crown
  • Rotating Bezel with Aluminium Insert
  • Waterproof rubber Strap

It’s a tough daily beater watch that has a simple and clean dive aesthetic. Even at this price-point Casio have included a couple of nice touches. There’s a sunburst dial, for example, and the Marlin graphic on both the dial and case back.

The Marlin icon has been a mainstay of Casio’s sports watches since the 1980s and you’ll sometimes hear this model referred to as the Marlin. Its official name Duro is from the Italian word for durability.

That gives you an indication of the watches inspiration.

The polished case is 44m, so this is on the larger side, but not a dealbreaker. And the rubber strap wouldn’t be my first choice. The rubber is practical for watersports, but you can greatly improve the watches appearance by simply changing the strap.

Conclusion


If I were to sum up the Casio Duro I’d say that it punches above its weight. This is a true dive watch - with all the required functionality - that costs less than a meal out.

Understandably, there’s a lot of chat online about this budget watch. It’s cheaper than both the Vostok Amphibia and Invicta Pro Diver - two other affordable divers. It looks great too - there’s nothing unique - just the basics dove very well.

You’ll not find a quality diver cheaper than the Casio Duro.


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