In watches, as in all other matters of style, it’s okay to like what you like, whether that’s a hulking fitness tracker with enough computing power to land a space shuttle or a retro ticker that does nothing more than tell you the hours and minutes. Anyone who prefers their wristwear on the smaller side, though, will find far fewer options on the table, especially when it comes to dive watches. That makes the Tissot Seastar 1000, a classic diver’s watch measuring 36mm across the case and powered by a high-accuracy Swiss quartz movement, all the more of a standout. Its just-right size, however, isn’t the only thing that makes this watch a stellar find.
Dive watches have always been bigger than their dressier, land-going counterparts, partly because a bigger dial is easier to read underwater. But in the same way that the family sedan of the 20th century begat the three-row SUV of the 21st, watches of all kinds have been trending bigger and sportier for decades, partly to make way for more complicated designs, and partly because a lot of people just like the way they look. While this is surely a boon for folks with beefy forearms, it can be an issue for anyone who’s slender of wrist—or just prefers the look of something on the smaller side.
Dimensions aside, the Tissot Seastar 1000 is an archetypal modern dive watch, hitting all of the right points of design and functionality, from its unidirectional rotating bezel (a feature originally added to help divers time their dives) to its blocky geometric hour markers. While there are dozens of similar-looking dive watches on the market, from the Rolex Submariner—the reigning GOAT of the genre—to sketchier ones you can pick up online for $50 or less, a big part of what makes the Seastar such a great pick is the level of details and materials you get for the money.
Features like 300m water-resistance, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, SuperLuminova lume on the hands and hour markers, and an overall elevated level of finishing are all things you’d usually find on watches that cost far more, making its $395 price all the more of a win, whatever you’re packing in the forearm department.