Originally Posted by Terrytori
Any and all suggestions for rough, waterproof, under $600 timepieces
welcome and appreciated.
Disclaimer, I have not read through the whole thread so this may be a repeat. But here goes: The Seiko SKX series dive watches. For $200 or less, it's the most serious, legit, real use dive watch bargain in the world. Personnaly I do no like their standard stainless band and prefer the harder to find "Oyster" style--think Rolex Jubilee vs. Rolex Submariner. I personally like running mine with a "zulu" band, the one-piece nylon bands that run about $20. For $220 or less, that's a real deal bargain.
This is not my watch, but add 16-years of use and a badly faded "Pepsi" ring and that's what is on my wrist right now:
I got that one after the summer of '98 because I wanted a day feature as my job then (as now) didn't run on a normal schedule. My older Seiko dive watch is like above without the day marker and I got it at the MCRD in San Diego summer '94. That watch is one work scared mo'fo', but it's running like a tank. Neither watch has ever been down for service.
After that, I have what I believe to be the best bargain in the "I'd own a Submariner if I could afford one" category of watches. It's the Invicta 9937OB. This is the old style 9937OB with the "old bezel," get it--OB--which is the same as coin edge that Rolex uses AND the saphire crystals front and rear. I got it on a sale at World of Watches, delivered, for $200. 304L stainless, saphire crystals, Swiss movement (not assembled is Switzerland, however, so it's not "Swiss made"), and the most classic dive watch style ever for $200?! A bargain! These "old" 9937OBs are hard to get now, I'd say expect $300+. This watch did go in for service after a year, costing me $100 at the local Rolex certified watchsmith. The bezel has a nice, thich black ring that is scratch/ding resistant--a nice quality touch--and looks near new after 4+ years of almost daily wear. (Again, not my picture)
Funny, the knock-around watches haven't gone down once in well over a decades use where the "good," Swiss watch needed it's but wiped. Kind of like old Jeeps and new cars, I guess. Still, for daily wear, the Invicta 9937OB ("Fauxlex"), for days where I expect to knock the watch around (or when I don't know what day it is!), the Seikos.
Still, without a doubt, those are what I'd put up as the best two bargain watches going in the working/dive category.