8 Of The Best Rolex Submariner Alternatives You Can Actually Buy

Rolex Submariner Alternatives1

Being a Rolex fan in 2022 is a tricky business. On the one hand, you probably love the quality of the Big Crown’s watchmaking, such as the 904L steel that warms to your wrist, or the immaculate sensation of unwinding a Rolex crown. On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to enjoy those things if you can’t actually buy the watches, an issue facing all Rolex watches fans today without the deepest pockets.

Offered the choice of spending large at your local Authorised Dealer, or paying the bloated sums commanded by the pre-owned market, any prudent watch lover looking for a Rolex Submariner would be smart to do one thing. Start looking for alternatives.

If the style of the Rolex Submariner is what you’re looking for, all isn’t lost. Not everyone has a spare five figures to spend above the retail price for a Submariner, or a surplus six figures to burn at your local AD, and for those folk, we’ve got some great news. If you’re looking for a Rolex Submariner alternative, there are a number of excellent options, which retain the feel and quality of the famous diver, but are more accessible and arguably more interesting. Let’s get stuck in.

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Our Favourite Rolex Submariner Alternatives

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Rolex Submariner Alternatives

It’s the watch James Bond wears, which should tell you all you need to know about the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. It’s svelte on the wrist for a modern dive watch, while also being able to handle anything you might throw at it, and presents a sleeky sporty aesthetic that is instantly recognisable as Omega. With a balanced dial thanks to the 6 o’clock date window, the high contrast white hour markers and hands are easy to read, all while keeping a low profile on the wrist.

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Water Resistance: 300m
  • Movement: Caliber Omega 8800
  • Reference number:

Longines HydroConquest

Rolex Submariner Alternatives

When it comes to excellent value for money, the Longines HydroConquest represents some of the very best. With a solidly constructed steel case and bracelet, automatic Swiss movement inside and a ceramic bezel framing your dial, it’s got everything you need all at an approachable price tag. Also available on a comfortable rubber strap, the Longines HydroConquest is a properly versatile timepiece.

  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Water Resistance: 300m
  • Movement: Caliber L888
  • Reference number: L3.781.4.56.6

Grand Seiko SBGA231

Grand Seiko SBGA231G

In true Grand Seiko style, this SBGA231 dive watch looks like the others on this list, but is actually an entirely different beast. You’ll notice the slightly darker shade of the high-intensity titanium case and bracelet, which stands apart as more comfortable (around 30% lighter) and equally robust against its stainless steel peers. Covered by sapphire crystal, the expansive dial is easy to read, with Lumibrite on the hands and hour markers, while the movement beneath the dial is an iconic Grand Seiko Spring Drive calibre.

  • Diameter: 44.2mm
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: 9R65
  • Reference number: SBGA231

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight

In our search for compelling alternatives to the Rolex Submariner, it’s only fair that we consider the smaller and arguably better-proportioned sibling, in the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. When it was first released in 2019, it took the watch world by storm, and may well have been the first modern Tudor watch with a waitlist to get one on your wrist. The last few years have seen the backlog of orders fulfilled, making it one of the most attractive heritage-inspired, yet thoroughly contemporary dive watches available today.

  • Diameter: 39mm
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: Manufacture Calibre MT5402 (COSC)
  • Reference number: M79030N-0001

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date

New in 2022, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date is about as clean as a daily diver can get. With an almost universally wearable 40mm steel case, the bracelet boasts a blend of brushed outer links and polished centre links that adds a touch of class. However, the brushed steel bezel keeps the watch grounded in a utilitarian aspect, offering a no-frills look that is perfectly complemented by the graduated black dial. If you’re after a rock-solid Swiss-made timepiece that won’t break the bank, the latest offering from TAG Heuer is very compelling.

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: Calibre 5 Automatic
  • Reference number: WBP2110.BA0627

Rado Captain Cook Automatic

Rado Captain Cook

Rado is a brand very well known for its ceramic timepieces, but what sometimes flies under the radar is that the brand also makes a fantastic diver. Inspired by the original Captain Cook that Rado first released in 1962, the modern expression of this robust design DNA arrives in an attractive 42mm case, on a handsome beads-of-rice bracelet. With a sloping ceramic bezel and bold arrow hour hands, it’s a watch that takes you back in time to when dive watches were important tools of the trade.

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: ETA caliber C07.611
  • Reference number: R32505153

Seiko SPB143

Seiko SPB143

Seiko is well-known and loved around the world for its affordable dive watches, but the Seiko SPB143 impressed even the most passionate fans of the Japanese watchmaker. With a relatively modest case size of 40.5mm, it was also kept slender measuring 13.15mm in thickness, arriving on a comfortable steel bracelet. However, it’s the mysterious grey dial that immediately captures your attention, contrasting nicely against the creamy hands and hour markers, all of which is framed by the black diving bezel. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better watch for the money.

  • Diameter: 40.5mm
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: 6R35
  • Reference number: SPB143

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Nageurs de combat Automatique

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Nageurs de combat Automatique

Rolex fans are always quick to remind that most dive watches have taken design inspiration from the vintage Rolex Submariner, and it’s hard to argue with that fact. What they don’t tell you is the Submariner was actually inspired by another watch, in the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms that was created in 1953, just a year before the first Submariner. With this unique legacy, the modern Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Nageurs de combat Automatique is a tribute to the elite force of French combat divers that used the same watches, complete with sail-canvas straps. If you’re looking for serious professional dive watches with even more historical importance than the Submariner, look no further.

  • Diameter: 45mm
  • Water Resistance: 300m
  • Movement: Caliber 1315
  • Reference number: 5015E 1130 B52A