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5 Best Rolex Submariner Alternatives

Top Best Rolex Submariner Alternatives: The Rolex Submariner is an icon, a timepiece that has left an indelible mark on the watch world since its debut in 1954. Its peerless design, timeless appeal, and the prestige of being associated with the most well-known brand in the world make it a dream watch for many. However, the reality is that obtaining a Rolex Submariner is a challenging feat, often requiring luck or a hefty premium on the secondary market.

Key takeaways:

  • Explore these five alternatives that capture the essence of the Rolex Submariner without the hefty price tag.
  • From $200 to $1300, there’s a substitute for every budget, providing accessible options for watch enthusiasts.
  • Each alternative is chosen for its versatility, dive watch functionality, and adherence to key Submariner features.
  • While budget-dependent, these watches aim for Swiss-made quality, ensuring a level of prestige and reliability.
  • Whether you prefer a close homage or a distinctive take, these alternatives offer unique designs that cater to different tastes and preferences.
Rolex Submariner Alternatives

If you, like many others, find yourself yearning for the Submariner but facing the practical impossibility of owning one, fear not. We’ve compiled a list of five outstanding Rolex submariner Alternatives that capture the essence of the Submariner without breaking the bank. These watches are not mere imitations; instead, they offer unique features and designs, catering to various budgets and preferences.

Before getting into our selection, let’s establish the criteria these alternatives must meet:

  1. Readily Available: Our alternatives must be accessible, avoiding the scarcity issues faced by the Submariner.
  2. Versatile: Like the Submariner, these watches should look great in various settings, whether it’s a formal occasion, underwater adventure, or casual outing.
  3. Rotating Bezel with Insert: A crucial feature of the Submariner, our alternatives must boast a rotating bezel with a bezel insert.
  4. Dive Watch Functionality: The essence of the Submariner lies in its roots as a dive watch, and our selections should live up to this heritage.
  5. Swiss Made with Mechanical Movement: While budget constraints may affect this criterion, we aim for Swiss-made watches with mechanical movements, aligning with the Submariner’s prestige.
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Top Best Rolex Submariner Alternatives

The best alternatives to the Rolex Submariner include the Rotary Henley GMT for budget-conscious buyers, the Seiko 5 Sports for reliable performance, the Davosa Ternos for a Submariner-inspired design, the Certina DS Action Powermatic 80 for a special movement, and the premium Oris Aquis for top-notch quality and distinctive style.

Each option caters to different preferences and budgets, offering enthusiasts a range of compelling choices. Now, let’s explore the 5 Rolex Submariner Alternatives, ranging from $200 to $1300, providing options for every enthusiast.

1. Rotary Henley GMT – $285

Rotary Henley GMT
Rotary Henley GMT
Water Resistance100 meters
MovementQuartz (GMT Function)
BezelRotating with Pepsi Insert
Additional Features– Butterfly Clasp
– 24-hour GMT Function

Our most budget-friendly option, the Rotary Henley GMT, comes in at a mere $285. While technically a homage to the Rolex GMT Master II, its resemblance to the Submariner is undeniable. With features like a sapphire crystal, 100 meters water resistance, and a GMT function for tracking a second time zone, this watch offers great value for its price.

2. Seiko 5 Sports – Price Varies

Seiko 5 Sports
Seiko 5 Sports
PriceVaries (Affordable)
Water Resistance100 meters
MovementSeiko 4R36 Automatic
BezelRotating with Diver’s Scale
Additional Features– Day/Date Display
– Luminescent Hands and Markers

Seiko’s 5 Sports range has gained popularity for its impressive specs and build quality at an affordable price. The Seiko 5 serves as a compelling alternative, offering 100 meters water resistance, Seiko’s 4R36 automatic movement, and excellent luminescence. Its versatility and accessibility make it a solid choice for those seeking an affordable yet reliable Submariner substitute.

3. Davosa Ternos – $928

Davosa Ternos
Davosa Ternos
Water Resistance200 meters
MovementDavosa Dav 3021 Automatic
BezelRotating Ceramic with Luminous Marker
Additional Features– Super-Luminova BGW09 Lume
– Exhibition Case Back

For those seeking a watch that mirrors the Submariner’s design, the Davosa Ternos stands out. Priced at $928, it’s Swiss-made, boasts 200 meters water resistance, a glossy ceramic bezel insert, and uses the reliable Davosa Dav 3021 movement. The attention to detail and quality make it a compelling option for Submariner enthusiasts on a budget.

4. Certina DS Action Powermatic 80 – $1,127 

Certina DS Action Powermatic
Certina DS Action Powermatic
Water Resistance300 meters
MovementPowermatic 80.111 Automatic
BezelUnidirectional with Diver’s Extension
Additional Features– 80-Hour Power Reserve
– Exhibition Case Back

The Certina DS Action Powermatic 80 introduces a key feature: an 80-hour power reserve, double that of many other mechanical movements in this price range. Priced at $1,127, it’s Swiss-made, offers 300 meters water resistance, and features a diver’s extension on the clasp. If you appreciate special movements and want something slightly more sporty, the Certina DS Action is worth considering.

5. Oris Aquis – $1,301

Oris Aquis
Oris Aquis
Water Resistance300 meters
MovementOris Caliber RS-733 (Modified SW-200-1)
BezelRotating Ceramic with Luminous Marker
Additional Features– 38-Hour Power Reserve
– Exhibition Case Back with Custom Rotor

At the higher end of our selection, the Oris Aquis showcases exceptional build quality and design. Priced at $1,301, it matches the Submariner in water resistance (300 meters) and diameter (43mm). The Oris Aquis features the RS-733 movement, a modified Salita SW-200-1, with an orange custom rotor visible through the exhibition case back. Its unique design and premium materials make it a serious contender for those seeking both quality and style.

FAQs on Rolex Submariner Alternatives

Why consider alternatives to the Rolex Submariner?

The Rolex Submariner is a highly sought-after watch, but its limited availability and high price tag can make it challenging to obtain. Exploring alternatives allows enthusiasts to find timepieces with similar features and aesthetics at more accessible price points.

Are these alternatives just imitations of the Rolex Submariner?

No, the listed alternatives are not mere imitations but watches with their own unique designs and features. While they share some similarities with the Submariner, each alternative brings its own characteristics to the table.

How do these alternatives meet the criteria set for Submariner substitutes?

The alternatives are chosen based on specific criteria: availability, versatility, a rotating bezel with insert, dive watch functionality, and Swiss-made status with a mechanical movement. Each watch fulfills these criteria to varying degrees, providing options for different preferences.

Can I use these watches for diving like the Rolex Submariner?

Yes, most of the listed alternatives, such as the Davosa Ternos, Certina DS Action Powermatic 80, and Oris Aquis, have significant water resistance (ranging from 100 to 300 meters) and are suitable for diving activities.

How do these alternatives compare in terms of price?

The alternatives cover a wide price range, from $285 for the Rotary Henley GMT to $1301 for the Oris Aquis. This allows enthusiasts with different budgets to find a suitable Submariner alternative.

Do these watches come with warranties?

Warranty policies vary by brand and retailer. It’s advisable to check with the specific manufacturer or authorized dealer to understand the warranty coverage for each alternative.

Are these alternatives considered good investments?

While luxury watches, in general, can retain or appreciate in value, it’s essential to note that the primary purpose of these alternatives is to offer style and functionality. Consider them as valuable additions to your collection rather than strict financial investments.

Can I replace the bracelet or strap on these watches?

Yes, most watches come with interchangeable straps or bracelets. Check the specifications for each alternative to confirm compatibility and explore various styling options.

How do these alternatives compare to the Rolex Submariner in terms of size and weight?

Each alternative varies in size and weight, so it’s crucial to consider personal preferences. For example, the Certina DS Action Powermatic 80 is slightly larger at 43mm in diameter, providing a bold wrist presence, while the Seiko 5 Sports offers a more compact option. Try to handle the watches in person or check detailed specifications to determine the best fit for your wrist.


While the Rolex Submariner remains an elusive dream for many, these alternatives offer a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re drawn to the budget-friendly Rotary Henley GMT or the premium Oris Aquis, each watch on this list captures the spirit of the Submariner in its own distinctive way.

Consider your priorities and budget carefully, and you might find the perfect Submariner alternative that suits your style and wrist.

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