Here’s what we’re looking for: Good looking watches that can handle some sweat, some water, and a little jostling around without buying the farm. With the warmer weather approaching many of us are heading outside to move. Both on land, & in the water. And then maybe after all that moving around we’ll go grab a beer with friends. Here are ten watches that should be able to handle all of that.
Surprisingly solid feeling for it being priced in the rickety weekender range. Nice sized crown, a nylon/leather combo strap, indiglo, a matte stainless steel case, and an impressive 100m in water resistance. And if somehow a little water does get in there, it’s not like it would cost a ton to replace. (But remember it’s 100m, so you should be good.)
Seems like the design team at Seiko is starting to veer back towards more traditional, less future-y looking designs. And that’s a good thing. Real nice feel to this 44mm case offering. Would look great on a Bond style nato strap. Also available on a rubber strap with a bit of blue on the bezel.
Wow, these things have skyrocketed in price over the last few years. Was once one of the better deals on the market, at just under $200, but is now inching close to three bills. BUT, if you like em’ big, or you’re just a big dude looking for something proportional, the Maratac large pilot still might be a good fit. It’s every one of its 46mm in diameter. 100m water resistance. No branding. Terrific onion screw-down crown at 4’oclock. Sapphire crystal. Bold & simple. They were making a mid-sized version for a while, but those seem to be discontinued.
A solar powered quartz chronograph that’s got some beef. 41 mm case that wears a little bigger. Aviation inspired dial. Great pushers and other details. Rotating inner bezel makes it a little easier to use your watch as a compass. One of the better feeling $150 watches out there. Feels solid. Wears well. Also available in a real slick looking black ion case w/ dark green canvas strap.
Powered by light, a chronograph, plenty of looks (if you like the busy-watch-face thing), and water resistant to 100m. 41 mm in diameter. Checks all the boxes for a field watch. Don’t like the chrono? Want something smaller? There’s a highly similar, 37mm chronograph-free version available for sixty bucks less.
1000 meter water resistance (helium valve and everything). ‘kay. A thousand meters is a LOT. So unless your name is Cousteau, it should withstand what you’re throwing at it (or throwing it into). Seiko automatic with a 40 hour power reserve. Sapphire crystal. Stark white, black, and silver. 46mm, so, another large one.
Two of Orient’s well loved divers. Both use in-house automatic movements, have a 200m water resistance rating, solid feeling construction, and stainless links that keep the shine to a minimum. The XL (shown above) truly is large, and is sneaking up close to 45 mm in diameter. Meanwhile, the Ray is a much more accessible 41 mm. Plenty of watch for under $150. Full review of the XL here.
According to Dave I. (who recently wrote up the Rodina Nomos homage), this thing feels like the entry level Seiko 5 “went to the gym and hit the heavy bag for a month solid.” 200 m in water resistance, dive-ready rubber strap, automatic of course, and more color than its all black 007 sibling (some might prefer the black on black of course). Available for less from other retailers
WAY up there in price, but the specs and the finishing are extremely impressive. Christopher Ward’s revamped flagship has endeared itself to plenty of new (and old) fans. 42mm in diameter. Full review here. Also available with a GMT function.