Casio G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: Which G-Shock is Better?

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review

Whether you’re looking for an every day carry watch or an outdoor timepiece, it’s hard to go wrong with the Casio G-Shock line. The G-Shock collection of watches are some of the toughest watches out there and are used by heavy-duty professionals such as law enforcement and firemen.

So, you’ve decided to get a G-Shock and mulling over your top selections: G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman. I’d say that it’s a good problem to have and many will agree that’s indeed a tough choice.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help.

For today’s head-to-head review, we have the G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman. Which top-tier G-Shock is right for your needs?

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: At a Glance

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review

At first look, you’ll swear that the Rangeman and Mudman are the same watch. However, there are numerous key differences that can influence you from choosing one over the other. Here’s a quick look at the specs of both watches.

Model:

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1

Case Diameter:

53 mm

53 mm

Case Thickness:

17 mm

19 mm

Weight:

93 grams

68.5 grams

Barometer and Altimeter:

Yes

Yes

Thermometer:

Yes

Yes

Digital Compass:

Yes

Yes

Solar Power:

Yes

Yes

Atomic Time:

Yes

No

Water Resistance Rating:

200 meters

200 meters

Band Material:

Resin

Resin

Band Width:

22 mm

18.2 mm

Dual Time:

Yes

Yes

Moon Phase:

No

Yes

Sunrise/Sunset Times:

Yes

No

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: Comparison Review

Design

If your main criteria for choosing your next G-Shock watch is the looks, the Rangeman and Mudman will not make it easy for you. As you can seen, both watches look nearly identical – especially with the color scheme and display.

Both watches consist of roughly three main parts: the day/date display, the time display, and the compass. But as always, the devil is in the details.

Both watches have a case diameter of 53mm, so both models are fairly large timepieces. The thickness of the case between two watches are not that different either with the Rangeman having a thickness of 18.2 millimeters while the Mudman has a thickness of 19 millimeters.

Casio G-Shock Rangeman Display
The Rangeman display

The layout of the display is also very similar between these two G-Shocks. At the top right part, you’ll see the day/date display, the top left sits the compass, and the half bottom display shows the time. On closer look, you may observe that the Rangeman has a busier display but that’s not entirely the case as all. The Rangeman appears busier because the actual display is smaller when compared to the Mudman.

Casio G-Shock Mudman Display
The Mudman display

As far as the design and display layout, both watches look similar with some differences in the detail. These watches are packed with many different functions and sensors, and the true differences will come to light as you learn how to use them.

Case and Bezel

As mentioned, both watches have similar case diameter. However, once you look closely, one of the major differences between the two will be revealed. On the Mudman, the case is made from resin while the bezel is made from aluminum. On the Rangeman, both the case and bezel are resin while the buttons are made from stainless steel.

Because of this, the Rangeman weighs more than the Mudman. The former weighs about 93 grams while the latter weighs only 68.5 grams. So at this point, if you want the more lightweight option, the Mudman is the clear choice.

However, the added weight on the Rangeman comes with benefits. Mainly, the stainless steel button covers make the watch more durable and in my opinion, more visually appealing.

Furthermore, the case of the Rangeman (55.2 × 53.5 × 18.2mm) is taller and wider when compared to the Mudman (53 × 50.8 × 18.2mm). The difference is not that significant but it’s there.

Also, if you look closer, you’ll observe some subtle differences to the shape of the cases from both watches. The Mudman case features a softer, more rounded shape which also applies to the side buttons. In general, the Mudman case looks softer and more approachable. On the other hand, the Rangeman case sports many sharp edges and straight lines. It looks more aggressive and rugged when compared to the Mudman.

Sensors

When it comes to outdoor watches, you want a unit that feature sensors. Three of the most common sensors found in outdoor watches are altimeter, barometer, and thermometer. For this particular yardstick, the Rangeman has the upper hand.

The Casio G-Shock Rangeman boasts the venerable Triple Sensor feature. This means that you have an altimeter, thermometer, and barometer right at your wrist. On the other hand, the Casio G-Shock Mudman only includes a thermometer, not the altimeter or barometer.

For outdoor junkies, the barometer is particularly important because it’s used for predicting rainfall and measuring atmospheric pressure. If you love hiking, you’ll likely need the altimeter for measuring your current altitude in elevated terrains.

For outdoor adventurers, the Rangeman’s Triple Sensor makes it the clear winner.

Durability and Water Resistance

Thanks to the signature G-Shock quality, both the Rangeman and Mudman are tough as nails.

These watches can resist temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, these watches are built to last a lifetime plus they’re shock and mud resistant. Both watches are also fitted with mineral glass windows that provide excellent scratch resistance and seven times more durable than acrylic.

It’s also worth noting that both the Rangeman and Mudman are Tough Solar watches. This means that you only need to charge these watches once – when you buy it. Basically, you’re powered for life!

In terms of water resistance, both watches have a water resistance rating of 200 meters. While these watches can be used for diving, you have to keep in mind that they are absolutely not designed for diving.

Timekeeping Features

Many collectors prefer watches with an atomic timekeeping feature. If you like atomic watches, the choice is easy because between the two watches, only the Rangeman has atomic timekeeping. This is a popular feature among enthusiasts because it adds another layer of timekeeping accuracy. In addition, during DST, the atomic watch will automatically adjust itself – point goes to the Rangeman.

For other timekeeping features, both the Rangeman and Mudman come with a top-notch 1/100th-second stopwatch. Additionally, both these watches feature World Time that’s useful for knowing the time across multiple time zones. However, since the Mudman doesn’t have atomic timekeeping, the time zones don’t automatically update. You’ll have to manually update the time every couple of months.

To Mudman’s credit, it does have a Moon Phase Calendar feature that the Rangeman lacks. If you’re a fisherman or someone who loves night fishing, the Moon Phase function is a great feature to have.

On the other hand, the Rangeman is equipped with auto sunrise/sunset data. Again, this feature should come in handy for people who love spending time in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the Mudman doesn’t offer this functionality.

Pricing

For starters, let me outright say that both watches offer tremendous value – true bangs for your hard-earned buck. If you’re choosing based on price alone, the Mudman gets your vote since it’s the less expensive model than the Rangeman.

However, if you believe that price isn’t everything, you may want to consider what the Rangeman has to offer.

The Rangeman is simply the more feature-packed option between the two timepieces, thus it’s more expensive. The G-Shock Rangeman has Triple Sensor, Atomic Timekeeping, Auto Sunrise/Sunset Data, just to name a few. Therefore, if you’re taking features into consideration, the Rangeman is certainly worth the extra dollars.

At the end of the day, the difference between the two models is about $50-$60 which is not much of a difference, really. If you’re on a tight budget, the Mudman is a great choice. However, if you have some financial wiggle room, the Rangeman with its extra features is worth the price.

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: The Verdict

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review_1

As per usual, we end this G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman head-to-head comparison with our verdict. Which Casio G-Shock is better?

As it turns out, the answer to this question is not as clear-cut as it seems. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your needs and requirements.

In terms of pure features and versatility, the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 wins hands down. With the addition of atomic timekeeping, barometer, and altimeter, all of which that the Mudman lacks, The Rangeman is a functional powerhouse. The Triple Sensor feature is just too good. If you love going outdoors or prefer atomic watches, the Rangeman is the easy choice. However, you have to keep in mind that it’s a bit more expensive than the Mudman.

On the other hand, the Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1 is undoubtedly the budget-friendly option. If you’re tight on budget but still want a reliable tough watch, the Mudman won’t fail you. It is a Tough Solar timepiece which means that battery life will never be an issue. Unfortunately, the lower price tag does come with the lack of major features (at least when compared to the Rangeman). It does come with a Moon Phase calendar which the Rangeman doesn’t have.

Overall, both are amazing watches that will serve you well, especially if you’re planning to wear them outdoors. However, if budget is not an issue, I’d say that you should for the Rangeman. The extra features and versatility are certainly worth the extra bucks.

Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner [Comparison Review]

Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner Review

When it comes to brands of luxury watches, Rolex and Omega are two of the top contenders. For many watch collectors, choosing their first luxury timepiece usually boils down to Rolex and Omega. In this case, most people are usually faced with the Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner dilemma.

The Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner is a debate that’s certainly one for the ages. Time and time again, many watch enthusiasts asked which is the best luxury timepiece between the two. It’s rather perplexing since they don’t even belong in the same category.

Today, we will be comparing the Submariner and Speedmaster. Let’s get to it.

Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner: At a Glance

For this head to head comparison, we’ll take a look at the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph (reference 311.30.42.30.01.005) and the Rolex Submariner (reference 114060).

Here are the specs for both watches:

Model: Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Rolex Submariner
Reference #: 311.30.42.30.01.005 114060
Model case: Steel, 42 mm Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel
Dial color: Black Black
Material: Steel Oystersteel
Bezel: Fixed Tachymeter Scale Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum
Winding crown: Pull / Push crown Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
Crystal: Hesalite crystal Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water Resistance: 5 bar (50 metres / 167 feet) 300 meters / 1,000 feet
Movement: Manual winding Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Caliber: Caliber Omega 1861 3130, Manufacture Rolex
Functions: Chronograph, Hour, Tachymeter, Small Seconds Sub-Dial at 9 O’Clock Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Oscillator: Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Power reserve: 48 hours 48 hours
Bracelet: Silver-ton stainless steel Oystersteel
Clasp: Deployment Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system

Size Comparison

One of the main reasons why the Speedmaster and Submariner are often compared with each other, despite not even competing for the same category, is the size.

True enough, the size is similar between the two watches. The Speedmaster has a 42 mm case while the Submariner has a 40 mm case. Although the case diameter of Speedmaster is 2mm bigger than Submariner, the lug-to-lug difference is only 1mm. Thus, as far as on-wrist appearance goes, both watches will look very similar on your wrist.

The 20mm lug width is a given standard for medium-sized models which is true for both Omega and Rolex. However, most people prefer their 22mm lug watches, so the 20mm lug size is a fairly common complaint against both Speedmaster and Submariner.

Overall, the main difference between the Speedmaster and Submariner is the thickness of the case. Omega’s timepiece comes with a 14.3mm thickness, thicker than most watches including the Submariner. The thickness is attributed to the Speedmaster’s Hesalite crystal which definitely adds to the bulk.

With that said, both Speedmaster and Submariner are very similar in size with some key differences.

Design

This category is one of the hardest ones to decide on because frankly, both the Omega Speedmaster and Rolex Submariner are two of the best-looking watches out there. Both watches feature robust and timeless designs.

If you are an avid reader of WatchIdeas, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Rolex Submariner. It’s my first luxury dive watch and it’s my go-to if I can’t decide which piece to wear. It’s hard to go wrong with Submariner’s classic black dial, making it a very recognizable timepiece. The Submariner features the beloved dive watch look with the hardware to boot.

On the other hand, we have the Omega Speedmaster with its lunar inspired design. Referred to as the Moonwatch, this iconic piece was worn on the moon. It features a classic chronograph look that makes the watch very versatile. Indeed, you can either dress up or down with the Speedmaster.

Both watches feature a black dial but with some key differences. The Submariner’s dial has this sunburst look that glistens when exposed to sunlight. On the flip side, the Speedmaster comes with a matte and grainy dial that tends to soak up light.

At the end of the day, both watches are a masterclass in watch design. For pure looks alone, it’s no wonder that many people are indecisive about these two luxury watches.

Bezel

The bezels on these watches are different in many ways, especially with the material used and the displayed information.

The Rolex Submariner features the heavy-duty Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel insert. This gives the Submariner its legendary durability and excellent scratch resistance. Unfortunately, the bezel is quite prone to shatter. On the bezel, you can see the 60 minutes graduation. It’s also worth noting that the bezel has unidirectional rotation.

On the other hand, the Speedmaster comes with a stainless steel and anodized aluminum bezel. As you can see, the Speedmaster is the less refined between these two watches, at least as far as bezels go. However, the bezel is surprisingly slim especially when the face is much larger than it is. The 500 unit tachymeter is a nice touch but not many users are taking advantage of this feature. Fortunately, the bezel’s pushers have a ‘satisfying’ click to them which I’m a big fan of.

Bracelet / Strap

The Sub and Speedy share a few similarities when it comes to their bracelets. For instance, both watches feature screwed-down links, 20mm width, and the same length. The Sub, however, has slightly curved downward links that help with comfort. On the Omega, the links are straight flat.

The Sub’s Oystersteel bracelet delivers in terms of comfort, fit, and adjustability. The Submariner’s iconic bracelet is here and it will serve you well for a long time. However, when it comes to pure versatility, the Speedmaster has the upper hand.

The Speedmaster bracelet’s strength is that it offers plenty of customization options. Swapping bracelets for the Speedy is a cinch. Therefore, if you want to dress up, you can simply use the stainless steel bracelet. For less dressier and sporty events, the Speedmaster package also includes a NATO strap. Frankly, it’s one of the best NATO straps I’ve used, and that’s saying a lot.

Timekeeping

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the Submariner and Speedmaster is the movement. Let me start by saying that both watches feature solid timekeeping features and movements. However, one comes with an in-house movement and the other does not.

Rolex 3130 Movement
Rolex 3130 Movement

First, the Sub is powered by the venerable 3130 movement. This movement is your standard 3-hand automatic movement (hours, minutes, and seconds). I’ve had my Sub for as long as I can remember and I’ve yet to experience any issue with timekeeping. Of course, the movement is “Contrôle officiel Suisse des Chronomètres” (COSC) certified with -+2 sec/day precision. It’s a solid and reliable movement and there’s not much to say about it.

Omega 1861 Movement
Omega Speedmaster Professional

On the other corner, the Speedmaster is fitted with Omega’s caliber 1861. It’s a manual winding movement that has its fair share of charm. The 1861 movement is essentially the downgraded version of the caliber 1863, and contains a plastic piece. Since it’s a hand-wound movement, you have to manually wind the watch which can be a chore for some people.

Overall, both the Speedy and Sub keep time very well. These pieces are the cream of the crop when it comes to luxury timekeeping. If you’re more into in-house movements, the Rolex Submariner has the advantage. Alternatively, if you want a classic movement with a storied history, the Speedmaster’s movement is highly recommended.

Pricing and Value

Another big difference between the Speedmaster and Submariner is the price.

The Submariner is the pricier watch and it’s about 40% more expensive than Omega’s Moonwatch. That is if you can even manage to get the Submariner at market price. In reality, the Rolex Submariner is often sold out and authorized dealers put a significant mark-up to the price.

If budget is an issue, then the Omega Speedmaster is the obvious choice here – that is if we’re talking about pure pricing alone. However, when you talk about resell value, it’s not as straightforward as it seems.

For resale value, the Submariner wins hands down. If you buy a Submariner now, especially with this reference number, you can trust that its selling price will only increase in value. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said with the Speedmaster. Despite the rich history of the Speedy, you can easily get it for retail price or at least very close to it.

To sum it up, the Speedmaster is your best bet if you’re in a budget. The amount of watch that you can get for the price is simply staggering. However, if you care about the resell value of the watch, the Submariner is the obvious choice.

Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner: The Verdict

Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner Review

Both the Speedmaster and Submariner are both stellar timepieces that you can probably wear forever. They are not at all similar watches except for the size, they’re not even in the same category. However, the Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Submariner debate is a popular one for good reason.

If you want a less expensive model, the Speedmaster is a hard one to pass. In comparison, the Submariner is nearly twice as expensive. However, the Submariner boasts better resell and many of its elements are leagues better than the Speedmaster.

All in all, it’s hard to go wrong with either watch and I would heartily recommend them to newcomers in watch collecting.

Best Solar Atomic Watch [A Quick Buying Guide]

Best Solar Atomic Watch Review

If you don’t like the inconvenience of changing your watch battery every now and then, you should opt to add a solar-powered watch to your collection. If you want to take it up a notch, why not choose a timepiece with atomic timekeeping?

The best thing about atomic watches is that you have access to accurate time at all times. Atomic watches are set to universal time and receive radio calibration signals for accurate timekeeping. This means that an atomic watch never needs to be adjusted as it’s perfectly synchronized with the US atomic clock in Colorado.

For today, we’ve made a list of the best solar atomic watch that you can get from the market. We’ve tested many solar atomic watches and these are the best of the bunch.

Best Solar Atomic Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

Solar powered, Quartz movement, Protective mineral crystal dial window, Mb6 atomic timekeeping, auto LED, 5 Daily Alarms, Water resistant to 660 feet

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T

Tough Solar Power, Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, 200M Water Resistant, Tide Graph, Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow, Countdown Timer, Battery level indicator, Power saving function

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono

42 mm titanium case, Antireflective sapphire dial window, Japanese quartz movement with analog display, Titanium link bracelet, Atomic Timekeeping, Perpetual calendar

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Casio G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar

Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Tough Solar Power, Shock Resistant, 200M Water Resistant, Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow, World Time, 31 times zones, Solar rechargeable battery

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura

Radio-controlled, World time function, Japanese-quartz Movement, 44.5mm case diameter, Water resistant to 100m (330ft), Push Button Foldover Clasp With Safety

★ ★ ★ ★

Citizen Eco-Drive JY8035-04E Navihawk

Light-powered watch, Multi-function chronographs, 48 millimeter stainless steel case, Anti-Reflective Mineral Crystal, Polyurethane band, Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft)

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Solar Atomic Watch

1. Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

For many of our regular readers, the Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is no stranger. After all, it has been featured as one of the best G-Shock models especially for heavy-duty professions like EMT workers. As you can see, it’s also a Solar Atomic watch.

A Masterpiece of an Atomic Watch

The G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is a fan-favorite as far as Casio’s Master of G Series goes and it’s not hard to see why.

The watch comes with the famous Triple Sensor feature which includes a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, and, thermometer. Combined with the watch’s excellent toughness, you have yourself a timepiece that will help guide yourself in places you’ve never gone before.

In terms of form factor, the GW9400 Rangeman features an irregular shape, even among other G-Shock models. However, it does feel great while wearing and sits nicely on the wrist. I’ve had this watch for the longest time and it only has very minor scuffs with no noticeable scratches. With such a performance, it’s not a surprise if this piece lasts for a good decade.

As far as battery life goes, I can only recall a few times that it needed to be recharged. Even then, I only needed to leave the watch for several hours and it will be charged. Lastly, the atomic timekeeping updates every night so it’s never an issue for me.

2. Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T

A fair warning to those who don’t like Casio watches: this list will feature a lot of them. With that said, the Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T is always a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts and active people. Plus, it’s an amazing solar atomic watch.

Feature-Rich Atomic Solar Watch

People who like their watches that come with everything under the sun will appreciate the Pro Trek PRW2500T. It’s simply packed with features that it can get overwhelming for some. This Pro Trek version is the improved iteration of the plastic PRW2500. The model featured is made from stainless steel and titanium.

The Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping will ensure that your watch is very precise. It even comes with an auto-calendar feature that’s pre-programmed until 2099. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to worry about the time and date with the Pro Trek PRW2500T.

The Pro Trek PRW2500T is geared towards outdoor use so it also has the famed Triple Sensor feature. From what we have tested, the compass, altimeter, and barometer work at a functional level. The watch display allows you to get multiple information at a glance. However, it can get a little too busy for people.

Overall, the Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T is the best solar atomic watch in the Pro Trek series.

3. Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono

On this list of the best solar atomic watch, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono might just be the best-looking. However, it’s way more than just a classy, handsome watch.

High-Specced Atomic Timekeeping

Citizen’s Eco-Drive series features some of the best solar-powered watches money can buy. Among the impressive collection of watches, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono stands out by having a great set of features and incredible design.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the lightweight profile of the watch. Thanks to the titanium case and band, the Titanium Perpetual Chrono feels just right despite being a fairly large watch. Besides, the watch is eye-catching but it’s not overdone or flashy. The dial looks cluttered at first but you’ll quickly appreciate just how well-done the layout is.

For some people, the design of the AT4010-50E Titanium is easily the main selling point. However, if you care about superior battery life, the Eco-Drive technology should drive the point home. With Eco-Drive, the watch is powered by light and not necessarily solar energy. Of course, this is an atomic watch which means that it employs radio-controlled function in multiple timezones for max accuracy.

Ultimately, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono is not a cheap atomic solar watch but it’s highly recommended for fans of atomic timekeeping.

4. Casio G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar

If you are looking for the best solar atomic watch that won’t make a dent on your budget, the Casio G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar is an easy recommendation.

Best Value Solar Atomic Timepiece

I’ve bought the G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar because I needed an atomic watch for daily use. This watch piece fits the bill due to its low price and that it’s a G-Shock. With that said, the GW2310-1 is impressive right out of the box.

This sub-$100 watch looks the way as you might expect. Its analog display isn’t exactly modern or timeless but it’s more than a functional watch with enough features to offer. However, many people should find the sporty design appealing.

Of course, it’s an atomic watch and I’m happy to report that it delivers in accuracy. The GW2310-1 is radio controlled and syncs daily with Colorado’s Cesium-133 atomic clock. The auto calibration works great, even after many years of use.

In terms of toughness, the GW2310-1 gets the job done. The watch is impact and shock resistant, and even comes with a 200M water resistance rating. Also, the battery life is excellent and can last up to 10 months with a full charge.

Ultimately, the GW2310-1 is a solid atomic solar watch that comes at a good price. Don’t sleep on this one!

5. Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura

Seiko is known for its tough and reliable watches plus the craftsmanship is hard to deny. The Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura is a fine member of Seiko’s lineup and it’s one of the best solar atomic watches that you can get.

Good-Looking Yet Heavy Watch

For starters, the Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura is a beast of a watch – it’s quite large and a bit on the heavy side. Despite the heavy weight, the Coutura feels weighty but not overly so. Also, despite the weighty profile, the watch feels comfortable to wear which is a nice surprise.

One of the best things about this watch is the striking blue dial. For starters, it’s a very eye-catching dial especially with its unique design and layout. Reading the time is easy and the sub-dials are very legible as well. My only complaint about the dial is that the date window is too small.

Of course, this is an atomic watch so accuracy is never an issue. With Radio Sync, the watch will automatically sync every night so you don’t have to set it anymore. The only time that you’ll need to set this watch is when you travel to a different time zone.

In conclusion, the Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura is a great atomic solar watch with a unique design.

6. Citizen Eco-Drive JY8035-04E Navihawk

The Citizen Eco-Drive JY8035-04E Navihawk is an atomic solar watch for someone who wants it all. As you can see from the dial, it’s a watch that doesn’t leave anything to the imagination.

A Solid Atomic Watch With a Crazy Dial

The JY8035-04E Navihawk is not for minimalist fans. It’s an unapologetic sports watch that aims to give you all the information you need. In addition, the display is analog but there are digital readouts as well. It’s not the easiest watch to use and there’s a learning curve.

The Atomic Timekeeping feature means that you don’t have to set the watch ever again. I’ve been using this watch for years and the atomic feature works like a charm.

This watch is simply oozing with quality and craftsmanship. However, the band leaves a lot to be desired. In retrospect, I just wish that it’s more durable since mine broke after only months of use.

To sum it up, the JY8035-04E Navihawk is the spy watch that you’ve always wanted. In conclusion, the watch has some flaws but it’s still a solid atomic solar watch.

Atomic Timekeeping Done Right

That wraps up our list of the best solar atomic watch. Hopefully, we have helped you find an atomic watch that best fits your needs.

Best Survival Watch: Timepieces for Dire Situations

Best Survival Watch Traverse Alpha

Aside from the most hardcore bushcrafters and survivalists, most people would rather steer clear of survival situations. Of course, a smart outdoorsman is always prepared for the worst. With that said, one of the most important gear that you should have for dire situations is a survival watch.

Technically, a regular tough analog watch can be used to survive in the wild. However, if you want the best survival watch, you want a model that offers the bells and whistles along with the toughness. Think GPS/GLONASS capabilities, TOPO maps, and ABC features.

Today, we made the best survival watch list to help you choose the best timepiece for survival situations.

Best Survival Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Receives time calibration radio signals, Manual receive function, Triple Sensor, Solar-Powered Movement, Low Temperature Resistant

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Suunto Traverse Alpha

Rugged, knurled stainless steel bezel, Water repellent nylon strap, Location-based moon Phase calendar, Automatic shot detection technology, Compatible with Suunto Movescount App, GPS & GLONASS via SIRFStarV chip

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Timex Expedition Classic

Adjustable black 18mm resin strap, Integrated mini compass, 100 hour chronograph, Acrylic lens, Indiglo light-up watch dial, Water-resistant to 100m (330 ft), 24-hour countdown timer

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Garmin Instinct

Constructed to U. S. Military standard, Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, Smart notifications, TrackBack feature

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon

I.N.O.X. Carbon, Black dial, black Para cord strap, Carbon case with triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, Swiss-quartz Movement, Water resistant 200m (660ft)

★ ★ ★ ★

Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor

Solar-Powered, ABC features, Triple Sensor, EL Backlit, World Time, 6-Months battery life on full charge, 51-mm stainless steel case, Quartz movement with digital display, Resin band, Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft)

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Survival Watch

1. Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

Casio’s G-Shock line is legendary for heavy-duty toughness and great value proposition. Literally, any G-Shock can be used for survival situations. However, if you want the best survival watch from the G-Shock line, the Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is a sure bet.

Survival of the Toughest

The GW9400 Rangeman was tested and designed to withstand even the most challenging conditions.

It comes with the Triple Sensor feature which is basically the compass, altimeter, thermometer and barometer. This enables you to receive real-time feedback and information about your surroundings. There’s also a sunrise/sunset timing which is a plus during dire situations.

As mentioned, the GW9400 Rangeman has set the standard when it comes to toughness. It features insane shock-resistance and respectable water resistance. All of the sensors are properly protected as well to ensure top-notch durability. Plus, it comes with a 10-year battery life which is always a welcome benefit.

The GW9400 Rangeman is also a solar watch which means that battery life will never become an issue down the line. It’s no wonder that this watch is favored not just by survivalists but also outdoorsmen, law enforcement, military personnel, and more.

2. Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Suunto Traverse Alpha isn’t quite a smartwatch but it might as well be. If you are looking for a survival watch with comprehensive features, the Traverse Alpha is more than a solid choice.

Feature-Packed Survival Tool

For starters, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is specially designed for outdoor use. It features a rugged, knurled stainless steel bezel which can take a lot of punishment. The nylon strap is durable and water resistant as well. The premium scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass does a great job of protecting the face.

When you’re in a dicey situation, you’ll appreciate the Traverse Alpha’s GPS/GLONASS navigation. This allows you to keep your bearings and prevent you from losing your way. Another impressive feature is the customizable, night-vision-goggle-compatible red backlight which allows you to read the watch without blowing your cover.

The watch also comes with a barometric pressure graph and storm alarms so you can stay on top of weather changes. In a survival scenario, being able to predict the weather can be a lifesaver. The battery life can only last up to 14 days but it should be more than enough to get you out of a pinch.

Overall, the Traverse Alpha is one of my favorite outdoor gear. It just delivers no all fronts especially with features and durability.

3. Timex Expedition Classic

The best survival watch doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles. In many cases, you’ll be fine with a timepiece that has excellent reliability. The Timex Expedition Classic definitely fits the bill.

The Budget-Friendly Survival Watch

While the Expedition Classic isn’t as feature-packed as the rest of the selections on this list, it has enough basic features to help you survive in the wild. It features an integrated mini compass which is handy for navigation. It’s not the most advanced compass but it gets the job done.

It comes with an adjustable resin strap which is surprisingly tough enough even for the most rigid applications. For timekeeping, it has 100-hour chronograph, lap and split times, 24-hour countdown timer, month, day & date calendar, 24-hour military time mode, and 2 time zones. The functions are all basic but it’s hard to complain, especially at this price point.

As for the price point, it’s a sub-$50 watch so it’s an excellent choice if budget is an issue. Or perhaps, you can buy multiple units for varying applications. However, don’t expect to replace it soon since this watch is one tough customer.

Overall, the Timex Expedition Classic is tough, super comfortable, lightweight, and highly durable. It’s just a reliable timepiece that won’t break the bank.

4. Garmin Instinct

There’s a big overlap between an outdoor watch and a survival watch. Garmin Instinct is primarily designed for outdoor applications, making it an excellent choice for bushcrafters, preppers, and survivalists.

From Outdoor Adventures to Survival Scenarios

The Garmin Instinct outdoor watch is like a smartwatch for people who don’t like smartwatches. Most smartwatches won’t fair well outdoors but the opposite can be said when Garmin is on the case.

The Instinct is designed to withstand the toughest outdoor conditions. It’s constructed to U. S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance, so this one won’t die on you as you brave the elements. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it features a proper tactical look.

This watch excels in navigation. It supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellites and the Instinct can connect to these satellites quite quick. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with built-in TOPO maps but you do get other navigation features such as a compass and the ability to upload routes.

Another excellent survival feature is the TracBack function. It allows you to take the same route back to the starting point. You don’t have to worry about getting lost as you scout locations and collect rations.

Ultimately, the Garmin Instinct isn’t exactly a smartwatch but it’s a highly reliable survival tool.

5. Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon

Sometimes, the best survival watch just needs to be reliable. Something that will help you keep time reliably as things go south. In this case, the Swiss-made Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon comes highly recommended.

Unparalleled Toughness and Reliability

When compared to other entries on this list, the I.N.O.X. Carbon looks woefully under-equipped. You won’t find any on-board sensors and navigational features here. However, it’s still an amazing timepiece for surviving dicey situations, and that’s mainly due to its toughness and reliability.

In fact, the watch part is quite basic in itself. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good watch for survival scenarios. The watch features a standard three-hand dial and a date window. Again, fairly standard stuff and this one won’t help you navigate any environment. But it more than makes up for its inherent durability.

This watch is a military-grade unit that will get you through the field with little to no problem. The carbon composite case ensures that this watch won’t break even under pressure. It’s literally tough enough to survive being run over by a truck or tank for that matter. Victorinox claims that it has subjected the watch to over 130 and durability tests.

From military folks to hardcore survivalists, the Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon is a tough one to pass.

6. Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor

Casio’s Pathfinder line is another great contender for the best survival watch that money can buy. Personally, you can just fill this list with Casio timepieces and be done with it. The Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor is reliable, durable, and keeps good time.

Built to Last

Casio’s tough solar units are almost always reliable. The Pathfinder boasts the venerable Triple Sensor feature which means that it comes with a thermometer, barometer, altimeter and compass. With these features, you’ll have more fighting chance when surviving in the wild.

As for the reliability, the Pathfinder Triple Sensor has a water resistance rating of 100 meters (330 feet). Unlike many so-called water-resistant watches, the buttons on this watch will keep working even when submerged underwater. This adds a good deal of longevity to the timepiece.

It’s a digital display that may turn off some people. However, the display is crisp and clean, and you’ll know the information that you need with just a quick glance. This is one of the most important aspects of a survival watch, at-a-glance readability.

Overall, the Pathfinder Triple Sensor is a great watch that you can use for both outdoor and survival applications.

Be Prepared for the Worst

That wraps up our list of the best survival watch that will bail you out of a sticky situation. Just to be clear, these watches won’t directly save your life when facing a survival scenario. However, they are certainly nice to have as additional tools to help keep you level-headed and safe.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Which Solar Watch is Superior?

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Matchup

Seiko and Citizen are two of the biggest brands from Asia, and it’s safe to say, even the world. With the rise of battery-powered quartz watches, both brands have been leading the market and these two companies have a lot in common.

Many customers are finding themselves choosing between a Seiko or Citizen watch – and that’s a good problem to have. Both manufacturers have excellent track records.

For this comparison review, we’ll try to answer the question, which is better? Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: At a Glance

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Review

This review is essentially a head-to-head between two major watch lines. Here’s a quick specs comparison of Seiko Solar and Citizen Eco-Drive.

Seiko Solar Citizen Eco Drive
Movement Solar, Quartz, Automatic Solar, Quartz, Automatic
Display Analog Analog
Water-Resistance Yes, 330 feet Yes, 660 feet
Power Reserve About 10 years Second battery lasts up to 20 years
GPS Watch Yes Yes
Chronograph (and Tachymeter) watch Yes Yes
Atomic Timekeeping Yes Yes

Seiko vs Citizen: Brand Comparison

As you all know, both brands originated from Japan and have been enjoying a good deal of popularity in the market.

Now, according to our research of the market, Citizen has the upper hand when it comes to reach and sales volume. Citizen has a wider market presence and that can be said with their sales as well.

On the other hand, Seiko is also a popular brand but less so when compared to Citizen. In my experience, Seiko watches are not as widely available as Citizen, even when you’re shopping from major watch retailers. Therefore, many customers have to buy straight from Seiko or from a specialty store.

In comparison, Citizen watches are virtually everywhere. You can find plenty of Citizen models on Amazon and most major retailers. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is one of the main reasons for the brand’s popularity. Eco-Drive watches are known for their reliability which resonates well with customers.

As far as the solar watch community goes, Citizen seems to be the more popular brand between the two.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Solar Technology

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology

Obviously, the appeal of both watch lines lies with their solar-powered technology. Seiko uses the Solar designation while Citizen uses the Eco-Drive technology.

It’s worth noting that Seiko manufactures more mechanical watches than Citizen. Under Seiko’s Quartz collection is where you’ll find the brand’s solar-powered watches with the technology that’s simply called Seiko Solar. On the flip side, Citizen specializes more in quartz timepieces where you can find the Eco-Drive collection. The Eco-Drive technology was well-received and in fact, it has won the Gold prize at the “Eco Mark Award 2014”.

As we look closer, we’ve discovered that the solar technologies from the two brands are fairly similar. We’re trying to find a distinguishing feature between Solar and Eco-Drive to no avail. Some folks even believe that they’re essentially the same solar movements with some subtle differences.

So which solar technology is better? Well, it’s really hard to say.

Seiko uses its Solar technology to quite a handful of models. From the Seiko SNE481 Dress Watch to the Seiko RECRAFT Series, there’s a good selection of Seiko Solar models to choose from. However, it’s not a technology that Seiko uses across its collections.

On the other hand, Citizen outfits a wide range of its watches in Eco-Drive solar technology, even the bestselling ones. Thus, there’s a good chance that you’ll get an Eco-Drive watch if you invest in a Citizen piece. Also, Citizen has the advantage since they’ve been working with solar technology longer than Seiko.

In contrast, Seiko seems to be more committed to developing mechanical watches and their own Kinetic technology. If you want a mechanical/self-winding watch, Seiko is your best bet.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Style and Design

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology_1

This one is a bit trickier to compare.

However, if you’re going to observe the offerings from both brands, you’ll see that Seiko leans more towards the tried and true classic designs. A good example of this is the Seiko SNE102 Stainless Steel Solar Watch that has all the makings of a classic leather watch. However, Seiko Solar watches have a variety to them as well. Take for instance, the Seiko Solar Chronograph Silvertone Watch which is a nice-looking chronograph.

On the flip side, Citizen seems to push the limits more when it comes to design. One of my favorite Citizen watches is the Citizen BM8180-03E which is slick-looking field watch. However, Citizen Eco-Drive watches have models with bolder designs such as the Citizen AW1148-09E Drive.

Both brands offer stylish and great-looking watches. If you want something more of a classic look, Seiko is the way to go. However, for more design selections, Citizen can offer you more.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Construction, Durability and Water Resistance

Again, this is a category that’s difficult to argue concerning both brands. Both brands offer reliable and robust timepieces at a reasonable price. For the most part, both collections use the same type of case which is stainless steel. The cases are either brushed or polished.

On the back side, both watches are fitted with stainless steel as well. Stainless steel is durable and significantly helps with water resistance. Both Citizen and Seiko watches also use the screw-down lock style which improves water resistance even more.

Although Seiko Solar watches are water-resistant, they have some glaring limitations. For the most part, Solar watches have a water resistance rating of 100 meters. This makes Seiko Solar watches to be technically dive-ready. In comparison, some Eco-Drive models can go down to 200 meters underwater or 660 feet.

It’s worth noting that Seiko has a different line of solar watches for divers. Therefore, although some of their watches have water resistance, not all of them can be used for diving. As for the case of Citizen, they have Eco-Drive models that span both dive and outdoor watches.

Best Seiko Solar Watches

1. Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch

As mentioned, this is one of my favorite Seiko watches ever. The Seiko SNE331 Solar Dress Watch is a military-inspired timepiece but still works wonderfully as an all-around watch.

The large indices and the stencil-like numerals really perk up the dial. The thick luminous hands go very well with the handsome black dial. It’s a 43-mm stainless steel watch, so there’s a bit of heft to it. The hardlex crystal does a great job of protecting the dial.

Overall, it’s a stylish and rugged solar-powered watch that will last you a long while.

2. Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch

The Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch is a beautiful dress watch with the signature Seiko reliability.

This is one of the more popular Seiko Solar models and for good reason. The two-tone design adds a good deal of class without looking tacky. The combination of gold hands and indices against the shimmering charcoal dial is so well done.

Of course, the best thing about this dress watch is that it’s solar-powered. With a straight 35 hours charge, it’s supposedly going to give you 10 months of battery life – that’s quite amazing. For a dress watch, it’s also tough and robust enough for daily wear.

The Seiko SNE042 is holding up well and a great introduction to Seiko Solar watches.

3. Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series

If you want to check out a chronograph Solar from this brand, the Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series is an excellent candidate.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the SSC667 is its vintage design which is a throwback to the 70s. Aside from the 70s-inspired design, I applaud Seiko for putting a good effort into creating the dial. There are various layers to the dial which creates depth. The applied markers also add the much-needed texture to the face.

The SSC667 is a utilitarian watch where every design element is deliberate. The NATO strap adds another layer o personality to the timepiece. It’s definitely one of the better Seiko chronographs that you can get.

Best Citizen Eco-Drive Watches

1. Citizen AW1150-07E Eco-DRV AR 2.0

The Citizen AW1150-07E Eco-DRV AR 2.0 is a big, black, and bold timepiece with a modern appeal. Citizen doesn’t shy away from edgier designs and this one is my favorite.

It’s a 44mm stainless steel watch but it never feels too large, even on smaller wrists. The main selling point of the AW1150-07E is its looks. The dial just looks amazing and can be worn pretty much everywhere. I’ve received many compliments wearing it.

Overall, the AW1150-07E is one of the finer Eco-Drive watches available.

2. Citizen BM8180-03E

The Citizen BM8180-03E is a trooper of a watch. It feels very rugged but still lightweight. From the military-inspired design to the quality construction, the Citizen BM8180-03E succeeds in the utilitarian sense.

The dial looks simple and straight to the point – just the way I like it. The lume is fairly decent but I wish it was better since the watch is designed for outdoor applications. The strap is a bit stiff at first but it was eventually broken in and became a lot more flexible.

Ultimately, the BM8180-03E is a fan favorite and it’s easy to see why.

3. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty diver with a great price, the Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver is an easy recommendation.

The BN0151-09L is an updated version of the classic Citizen dive watch. This dive watch has a water resistance rating of WR200/20Bar/666ft, so it’s something that scuba divers can actually use. Despite being a tool watch, the BN0151-09L Promaster is light and comfortable.

Overall, the BN0151-09L is a rock-solid dive watch and offers amazing value.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Final Thoughts

As you can see, this Seiko vs Citizen matchup is a tricky one. This is mainly because both brands are very similar.

If you are looking for a solar-powered watch with a more classic look, Seiko Solar should have something for you. On the other hand, Citizen Eco-Drive watches are more adventurous when it comes to design. When it comes to solar power technology, Citizen edges out Seiko because the former has more watches that have the feature. Plus, Citizen has been working with solar technology far longer than Seiko.

Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with their brand.

Rolex Air King 5500 Review: The Forgotten Vintage King

The Rolex Air King is truly the vintage Rolex for the purists. While the Air King is not as popular as the Submariner, GMT-Master, and Day-Date, it’s one of the older collections of Rolex with a rich history. The history of Rolex Air-King dates back in 1945 during World War II.

What made the Air King such an iconic timepiece is the simplicity of the dial and precise timekeeping.

We have already reviewed the Rolex Air King Ref. 116900 which is the closest you can get to a Rolex sports watch. Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Rolex Air King 5500.

For this Rolex Air King 5500 review, we find out if this vintage model is worth adding to your collection.

Rolex Air King 5500 Review: At a Glance

Model:

Rolex Air King

Reference no.

5500

Model case:

Stainless steel w/ polished bezel (34mm)

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Smooth

Winding crown:

Waterproof screw-down crown

Crystal:

Acrylic crystal

Movement:

Automatic 1520 movement

Water resistance

10 ATM

Power reserve:

40 hours

Bracelet:

Stainless steel Jubilee w/ Fliplock clasp

Clasp:

Fold clasp

Dial:

Silver Index w/ Tritium hands and lume plots

First Impressions

The Air King collection has always fascinated me due to its storied history. The Air King was introduced alongside names like Air Lion, Air Giant, and Air Tiger – all of which have flamed out. Rolex originally made the Air King as another spin to the Oyster Perpetual to honor the RAF Pilots who served during WW2.

The Air King is not exactly a popular model among enthusiasts and collectors but there are still many budding enthusiasts that do want it. Since this timepiece continues to fly under most people’s radar, even the most vintage Air Kings are sold at reasonable prices.

This is what made me decide to give the Air-King a well-deserved spin. It has a great history and good price, it’s hard to pass up on that.

One of the first things I’ve noticed about the Rolex Air King 5500 is the size. Clocking in at 34 mm, the Air King is a petite watch which is fairly common during its era. One look at the Air King and you’ll see that it’s a very vintage piece. It features a very simple and clean look and time-only design.

The design just doesn’t get any more classic than this.

The elegant silver dial is one of the standout design elements here, and the gentle sunburst effect of the dial does a great job of wrapping up the whole look. Aside from the vintage aesthetic, the Air King 5500 is, for the lack of a better word, typical. I know that it’s a classic and it deserves respect but I can’t help but feel merely “whelmed.”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a very well-made timepiece with a timeless look and provides just what you can expect from Rolex. It just gives me the impression that it’s a piece that’s best for collection purposes.

Design

The Rolex Air King 5500 is the definition of timeless elegance. You can tell that Rolex made a watch exactly how they want it.

The 5500 boasts the hallmark traits of a Rolex without a single overdone feature. The minimalist good looks make the Air King such a versatile timepiece. Regardless of the purpose, whether it’s daily wear or something dressier, this is a watch that will never go out of style.

As mentioned, the main selling point of the watch is its elegant silver dial. The sunburst effect in the middle of the dial sure adds a lot to my enjoyment of the watch. The sharp, applied indices are elegantly detailed and are topped with small lume plots along the edge of the face. This is a common Rolex design element during that era.

The hands aren’t particularly mindblowing and look like your typical baton hands. The half part of the hands is fitted with lume but not all the way through. The lume is cut short before right before the tip, making the end look like a pencil.

The Air King 5500 is available in many different variants and dial colors which is always a good thing.

Construction and Wearability

The Air King 5500 is a stainless steel marvel. Despite being a vintage timepiece, it feels solid and robust which gives me a lot of confidence. After all, this is a watch designed to honor World War II pilots.

For the case, the 5500 utilizes the iconic Oyster case and screw down crown. According to its official specs, the watch can withstand depths of 50 meters which is pretty good for a watch of its age. In addition, a domed, acrylic crystal protects the dial. It’s not exactly sapphire crystal but you have to keep in mind that the Air King is supposedly and entry-level model.

Like with most Rolex timepieces, the Air King 5500 is fitted with the classic Oyster bracelet. However, since Air King’s production spans decades, a few different Oyster bracelets may be used depending on the production date.

With that said, the Rolex Air King 5500 offers a surprising comfort which can only be attributed to Rolex’s excellent construction philosophy. The Oystersteel bracelet and clasp work just as expected. It’s not as fancy as some of the more modern Oyster versions but there’s really nothing to complain here.

If you’re looking to wear the 5500 daily, you’re in a good company. The Air King might be vintage but it’s not fragile.

Timekeeping

Rolex Air King 5500 Review 1520 Movement

Because of past U.S. import laws that are designed to protect domestic watch companies, the movement inside the Air King 5500 varied. There are two caliber movements found inside the 5500: the 1520 and 1530.

The caliber 1530 features 17, 25, or 26 jewels while the caliber 1520 had either 17 or 26 jewels. Unfortunately, the U.S. and Canada markets have the shorter end of the stick with downgraded movements. One notable example of this is that the 1520 came with the “Precision” text in the dial while with the 1530, Rolex used the “Super Precision” labeling.

However, both movements aren’t exactly the cream of the crop. Both are also not COSC certified. While wearing the Air King 5500, you can actually hear the movement rattling around. Despite that, both the 1530 and 1520 movements are robust and easy to service.

On an interesting note, the most sought out version of the 5500 is the one that features the words Air-King and “Super Precision” in red. There’s also the rare Dominos Air-King 5500 which was used to incentivize franchises that have fulfilled their sales goals. It’s a very interesting collaboration for sure.

Pricing

Of course, for this Rolex Air King 5500 review, we find out if this watch is worth the money.

The production of the old Air King was halted back in 2014. The new Air King Reference 116900 is a different kind of timepiece and marketed as an entry-level Rolex. Therefore, if you’re going to buy the old version of the Rolex Air King, you’re stuck with resellers and used models.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Rolex Air King 5500 isn’t the most popular Rolex watch out there. For this reason, it’s easy to find a relatively affordable Air King 5500 over the web. I’ve had mine for a little bit over $3,000 which is not bad at all for a vintage Rolex.

There are 5500 variants with different bracelets and dial colors that can go a bit higher in price. However, I’ve yet to see an Air King that went over $4,000 except for the Rolex Air King 5500 Dominos version.

For the price, you get a classic Rolex with a rich history. It’s also quite robust and versatile.

Should You Get the Rolex Air King 5500?

We end this Rolex Air King 5500 review with our verdict.

I’ve had the Air King 5500 for quite a while now and I’m honestly very fond of it. Sure, it’s not exactly a watch that goes into my regular rotation but I understand what Rolex is trying to accomplish here. In some parts, the 5500 is outdated and it doesn’t even have a mechanical movement for the avid horologist. However, its classic good looks can hold its own, all things considered.

Obviously, the best aspect of the Air King 5500 is the price. It’s a good Rolex to consider if you want a watch that won’t break the bank. However, I simply can’t recommend the Air King 5500 for new collectors and Rolex first-timers. Rolex has plenty of amazing watches under its belt and the 5500 is not even close to a contender.

If you want an entry-level Rolex, the Air King 116900 might be the better option. Rolex had fun with the 116900 and it has more features. It’s a polarizing watch but it’s a good first watch for any budding collector, as far as entry-level Rolex watches go.

Overall, the Air King 5500 is not without its charm. This collection has some pretty interesting variants that are difficult to find – royal logos, jeweler stamps, and company logos come to mind. The Rolex Air King 5500 offers a solid value proposition for anyone who’s looking to dive into vintage Rolex.

Zelos Watches Review [In-Depth Microbrand Review]

Zelos Watches Review

If you’re a regular reader of Watch Ideas, you’ll know that I’ve been dipping my toes in microbrand watches. Whether it’s the over-fatigue from pricey luxury brands or just looking for something new, microbrand watches are worth checking out due to some very interesting timepieces.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Singaporean-based watch brand, Zelos. This brand has gotten my attention because unlike many microbrands, Zelos is not a brand that only knows how to make Submariner-inspired pieces that are dime a dozen these days.

For this Zelos watches review, we’ll talk about the brand’s origin, the pros and cons, and the best timepieces this brand has to offer.

About Zelos Watches

Zelos Watches Review

Like many humble beginnings of microbrands, Zelos Watches was made possible because of Kickstarter. Zelos launched 3 models on Kickstarter and each model comes with increasing success. The Zelos was founded in 2014 by a former mechanical engineer, Elshan Tang. He’s a watch collector himself and is always fascinated with watch movements and unique designs.

As mentioned, Zelos launched its first three models via Kickstarter. The first model, the Helmsman, has managed to get 273% of the goal funding. Next, the Zelos Chroma garnered 350% of the targeted funding. Lastly, the Abyss managed to acquire 650% of the funding which is nothing short of amazing.

One of the most notable things about Zelos is that it produces watches from non-standard materials such as bronze, titanium, meteorite discs, and more. Zelos also aims to provide timepieces with unique designs and construction with a price that won’t break a bank.

While the onslaught of microbrands might be sudden and prolific, Zelos is one of the few brands that really do stand out.

Zelos Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Are Zelos watches worth the investment? We enumerate the things that we love and we don’t love about this Singaporean-based microbrand.

What We Love

Remarkable Designs

Like I’ve said earlier, Zelos is not a brand that just tries to make Submariner-inspired timepieces. If that’s the case, I’m fairly certain that Zelos will remain a deeply obscured brand.

Zelos’ rise in popularity can be attributed to the brand’s non-traditional designs. For instance, despite the several conventions that a dive watch must adhere to, Zelos has found a way to stay unconventional. Sure, some Zelos watches that look conventional in design but for the most part, the brand did a good job of separating itself from the rest, design-wise.

Zelos’ use of non-traditional materials such as bronze, titanium, and Damascus has significantly cemented the brand’s design identity. For example, the use of a bezel crown made some of Zelos’ dive watches look like a vintage diving helmet. Another example is the Zelos Hammerhead which comes in five colorways that promote the 70’s-inspired diver aesthetic.

Another thing that stands out for me is Zelos’ attention to detail. Some of their models are brimming with intricate details, and a few to the point that it’s almost overdone. From here, you can really appreciate the watchmakers’ passion for horology.

Zelos has managed to shake up the world of microbrands due to its ever-evolving watch designs, and I’m in for the ride.

Diver Durability

When it comes to dive watches, durability comes with the territory. After, a dive watch is designed to withstand the harsh and grueling conditions of deep-sea diving. However, there are watch companies out there thinking that adding water resistance to their products automatically makes them a good dive watch.

Zelos is doing a great job of making dive watches that can actually be worn by professional divers. First, the brand uses high-quality materials for their watches. Thus, even if you’re not planning to dive anytime soon, you still have a watch that will serve you in a long time.

The level of construction in Zelos watches is worth mentioning as well. There are some models with some clunky components but in general, most Zelos watches offer the much-needed ruggedness and durability. The Zelos watches that I own feel weighty and secure. Overall, you just feel like they’re a reliable timekeeping tool.

Excellent Value

Initially, I was interested in Zelos due to their watches’ strong and unique designs. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that their watches are offered at reasonable prices. Many of their popular models are available for less than a grand and some lower-end models are available for about $300 or less.

Considering that many other independent watchmakers put out more expensive models with less quality, I believe that Zelos provides a great bang for any collector’s buck. To keep the price reasonable, Zelos had to cut some corners, most specifically with the watch movements. However, the actual quality of the materials and craftsmanship is definitely up there.

With the amount of quality that goes into Zelos watches, they can easily go into a few thousand when sold by a more prestigious brand. Even the accessories such as leather straps are cost-effective. With Zelos, you just know that you’re getting your money’s worth and more.

Great Selection

Unlike many indie watch brands these days, Zelos offers a healthy number of watch collections.

For the most part, Zelos specializes in making high-quality dive watches. Its dive watch collection is impressive, from the old Helmsman series to the bigger and badder Great White collection, you’ll have no shortage in terms of choices.

As of this writing, there are 12 different collections in Zelos’ active lineup of watches. Each of the collection offers about 7-8 watches on average, with many different colorways and bezel designs. The wide variety of Zelos watches is something all watch collectors can appreciate.

What We Don’t Love

Movements Could Be Better

Zelos mainly uses ETA or Miyota movements for their watches. This is hardly a surprise considering that Zelos watches are less expensive than similar models. If Zelos starts using complex mechanical movements for their watches, the prices will skyrocket.

This isn’t exactly a bad thing but if you’re looking for something intricate and complex, you won’t find it with Zelos watches. They do use some noteworthy ETA movements such as the ETA 6498 but they’re not exactly common.

Zelos Watches are Big

Zelos only makes big watches.

If you’re looking for a 40mm dive watch, Zelos is not the brand for you. The brand aims to provide heavy-duty tool watches and making them big and bulky comes with the territory. Customers with smaller wrists will find these watches too unwieldy.

Fortunately, there’s a smaller dive watch called the Zelos Mako Diver which comes at 40mm with a lug-to-lug length of 46mm. It’s still pretty big but it’s a good option for those who are looking for something smaller.

Availability Issues

Making this Zelos watches review has been a challenge, mainly because their watches are not exactly easily available. Even places like Amazon only sells a few Zelos models. If you like Zelos watches and you want to buy one, you might out of luck.

Aside from brick and mortar stores located in Singapore and Hong Kong, there are only a few dealership websites that sell Zelos watches. Even the official Zelos websites have very limited stocks and most models are sold out. If you’re in the U.S., you can try your luck in places like the TheMicrobrandStore.

Best Zelos Watches

1. Zelos Swordfish

Named as one of the fastest fishes in the ocean, the Zelos Swordfish is a great introductory watch for would-be Zelos enthusiasts. Like many Zelos dive watches, the Swordfish is an intriguing model with robust specs.

For your information, there are two different versions of Swordfish. One comes with the NH35 movement, a proven Seiko movement and the one that comes with the ETA 2892 movement. The only significant difference between the two is that the ETA variant features a date complication.

The Zelos Swordfish impresses with its solid feel, excellent dial details, and ease of wear. The Swordfish dial features amazing details and a brushed surface. It’s just an interesting diver with a high-level presentation.

Most Zelos Swordfish watches are available for around $300+ except for the meteorite versions that can go up to $800.

2. Zelos Abyss 2

Zelos Watches Review Abyss 2

The Zelos Abyss 2 is a tank of a diver. This timepiece is cased in bronze, features a twin-crown, and powered with a Swiss automatic movement. As its namesake implies, the Abyss 2 is a bronze sea-monster that’s capable of going down to 3,000 meters of pressure.

The Abyss 2’s water resistance is completely ridiculous and unnecessary, yet it’s an awesome flagship feature. Under 3,000 meters of depth, you’ll definitely find yourself in the ocean’s dark abyss. You are probably asking, why? Zelos watchmakers will probably answer, “why not?” Zelos engineered the Abyss 2 because they can and it’s a badass thing to do.

As you might expect, the Abyss 2 is a massive solid block of metal at 51.5mm lug to lug length and 19mm thickness. It uses marine-grade CUSN8 bronze and it generates a beautiful patina over time.

It’s a proper sea-monster of a watch.

3. Zelos Skyraider

Zelos Watches Review Skyraider

The Zelos Skyraider is one of the latest offerings from this microbrand. The Skyraider is interesting because it’s a highly legible Flieger watch and is a tribute to the A-1 Skyraider, a propeller plane by the U.S. Air Force during WW2.

The Skyraider comes in two different models: CUSN8 bronze or GR5 titanium. The warm patina of the bronze model elicits a warm feeling while the titanium gives off a contemporary, lightweight feel. I love the Skyraider’s dial with its detailed engravements and beautiful, clean lines. You can also get a version with skeletonized dial that reveals the inner components and the handwound ETA 6498 movement.

Overall, the Skyraider is a fairly unique Flieger watch with a refreshing twist.

Zelos Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Zelos Watches Review Helmsman

As per usual, we end this Zelos watches review with a verdict.

Are Zelos watches worth checking out? That’s a big yes! Zelos has done a great job of separating itself from other indie watch companies. The brand features some truly interesting and bold designs.

In particular, I love the dive watches from Zelos because they truly look and feel like diving tools but features impeccable style.

In terms of value, Zelos also doesn’t disappoint. The most expensive Zelos will only cost you around $2000 which is not bad at all, considering the actual quality of the watches.

If you’re looking to get into microbrands, Zelos watches are a great starting point.

Stuhrling Original Watch Review [In-depth Review]

Stuhrling original watch review

In this Stuhrling original watch review, we discuss its history, build, and the best Stuhrling watches on the market. After testing the selected timepieces of this brand, we picked the Stuhrling Original Skeleton watch as our favorite. We love this watch because of its unique dial and elegant build. Also, it is a self-winding watch, which means you can power it by moving your wrist.

 

Most people love or need watches. After all, they tell us the time and date while some serve as elegant accessories. Sadly, many timepieces, especially from popular brands, are expensive, thereby exceeding most budgets.

Luckily, some micro brands have created pieces that are accurate and elegant. You can even get these timepieces at affordable prices. One such brand is Stuhrling.

Stuhrling combines luxury and functionality while offering its watches at budget prices. Now let’s use this Stuhrling original watch review to know more about the company and its range of products. But first, how did Stuhrling start its journey? 

Short Story behind The Stuhrling Original Watch Brand

Stuhrling was named after Max Stuhrling, a 19th-century master watchmaker that lived in Switzerland. Even if it has seemingly European roots, the watch company is based in America. It was officially launched in 1999 by Chaim Fischer in New York.

In 2002, Max Stuhrling IV (Stuhrling’s great-grandson) and George J von Burg created the company’s online store. Here, they sold pieces that were fashionable, precise, and affordable to many customers. Today, the brand continues to maintain the tradition of offering watches that can meet the budget of most people.

Now, let’s head into the Stuhrling watch review in detail and see what the company has to offer.

Stuhrling Original Watch Review: Pros and Cons

Here we are going to tell you about the things that make stuhrling original watch standout and the downsides about the brand.

What We Like About Stuhrling Original Watch

Unique Design

After going through our Stuhrling watch review, you will notice that its watches have impressive designs. Some have details that they might be seen as works of art. They can even be center stage of your overall outfit.

Fortunately, the watches are priced so that you can choose based on the design without worrying about its other features.

Affordable

If you want to own a Stuhrling timepiece, there is no need to spend a fortune. You can even have access to a wide selection of designs and features. For instance, you can go for its dive inspired or skeleton watch for a few dollars.

What’s even better is that you can pick up a real Tourbillon watch at an affordable price. Tourbillion watches are quality timepieces to add to your watch collection. However, the Swiss models cost as much as several thousand dollars, which might wipe out your savings.

A Stuhrling Tourbillon watches costs as low as a few hundred dollars, thereby giving you a chance to enjoy this unique piece. It also comes with a design that can rival similar features on watches from expensive brands.

Replaceable Bracelets

As mentioned earlier on our Stuhrling watch review, these timepieces have durable bands. But do you know that you can replace these bracelets as soon as they wear out or become boring?

What’s even better is that you can swap the current one without the help of a jeweler. You can do this by prying out the existing strap, push in the pins for the latest one.

What We Didn’t Like about Stuhrling Original Watch Review

Questionable Quality

Even if the Stuhrling has incredible designs and affordable price tags, some watch snobs doubt the quality offered by these pieces. Instead, they would prefer choosing timepieces from older brands like Citizen, Seiko, or Casio.

Warranty Does Not Cover International Orders

If you make an order from outside the United States, you will need to pay $40 to have a replacement for a defective watch. Since this warranty claim involves payment, most international consumers might not pay much interest even after reading a good stuhrling original watch review.

Inaccurate Measurements

If you purchase an automatic Stuhrling watch, you might discover that it does not offer accurate timekeeping. Instead, it is a few seconds off the correct time, and most time, you need to reset it regularly, which results in lost time.

These problems are caused by wear and tear. Surprisingly, watches from other brands also have similar issues.

Stuhrling Original Watch Build

Every part of a Stuhrling watch promises years of use under any condition. They also made with materials that are tough but appealing to the eye. Furthermore, they are rigorously tested to check their durability and ability to offer accurate timekeeping.

Stuhrling Original Watch Dials

If you look closely at the dial on a Stuhrling watch, you will notice a mix of traditional watch design and modern technology. In summary, you have a classic watch that stands as an artistic masterpiece.

When Stuhrling creates the dial on its watches, it uses at least 40 separate operations. Here, enhanced machines are used to produce unique effects. In the end, the dial looks polished while having anti-rust features.

Furthermore, its watchmakers coat the hour markers and hands with a luminous finish. Typically, this task is carried out by hand. After this operation, each dial is carefully looked at and tested.

Stuhrling Original Watches Cases

A watch case on any Stuhrling Original has two vital functions. First, it protects the internal parts from potential damage. Next, it makes the watch look attractive and elegant.

The watch cases are made to handle any level of rough use. They are also made from sturdy stainless steel that can even resist magnetism. Some are coated in 23 karats rose gold while other works with 23k worth of yellow gold.

To apply a perfect finish to a watch featured in a Stuhrling watch review, the watchmakers will need to perform 15 separate operations (by hand). Finally, the product passes through a series of tests.

Stuhrling Original Watches Movements

Movements help your watch measure time, thereby making it a vital feature on any timepiece. It is also important that these movements are precise timekeeping. If you own a Stuhrling watch, it probably runs on an automatic movement.

Here, it has at least 30 checkpoints, while at least 150 hands assembled parts make up the self-winding calibers. Apart from automatic movements, some Stuhrling watches have quartz movements. Like the mechanical models, these timepieces measure the time correctly without any problems.

What Are The Prices Of Stuhrling Original Watches? 

After checking this Stuhrling watches review, quality watches should be the next thing on your shopping list. If you want a timepiece from this American brand, you will find a model that fits your budget. You can even get a watch for as low as $70 especially if you shop with a coupon 

If you want to splurge, you can get a Stuhrling Original Tourbillon Limited Edition for around $4500. But if you have less cash (but still want to buy an expensive watch), you can get an automatic watch for as low as $1,000 – $1,500.

Best Stuhrling Original Watches

1. Stuhrling Original Men’s Dive Watch

 

We will begin our Stuhrling original watch review with this sturdy and attractive watch. The Stuhrling Original men’s Dive watch has even attracted the interest of watch enthusiasts, thereby earning a top spot on an Adventure Junkie rating website. Here are the reasons you should have this watch.

A Timeless and Elegant Design 

When you put on the watch on your wrist, you will love its classic but elegant design. This attractive watch comes in two colors and can fit either a formal or casual wear. It can also fit the sleeve of your diving suit with ease.

The watch has a 42mm stainless case that can handle knocks and falls. It also includes a screw-down crown that protects the watch from water damage at 660ft, while sturdy glass lies beneath the steel bezel.

To hold the watch to your arm, you will need to use the tough diver’s clasp at the end of its steel bracelet. You can also get the timepiece in two colors. However, the red and silver bezel costs more than the other model.

Another thing to consider in all Stuhrling original men’s divers watches reviews is its movement. Here the watch records time with a precision Swiss Ronda quartz movement. Since the watch includes high-end materials, the movement can work great underwater.

Overall, it is an ideal watch for diving enthusiasts. It also comes at a price that will not put a hole in your pocket.

Opinion and Drawbacks

When it comes to the Stuhrling men’s Dive watch, we can vouch for its high-quality strap and easy to read makers. But you might find the date hard to read because of its unusual positioning.

Also, the water rating is quite questionable, because it doesn’t withstand water pressure up to a depth of 100 meters. Overall, this perfect dress watch can complement your formal and casual outfits anytime and any day.

2. Stuhrling Original Men’s Skeleton Watch

 

If you are in the market for a unique but affordable men’s watch, consider investing in Stuhrling Original Skeleton watch. With its dual time feature, you can easily read the time on various timezones. It also promises a build that fits regular use for many years.

The ideal Timepiece for the Modern Gentleman

The Skeleton Watch has a polished beveled bezel that looks attractive. It also comes in several color options while securing the crystal to the steel case of the watch. When combined, you have a sturdy timepiece that fits all wrist sizes.

One of the striking features covered under any Stuhrling original skeleton watch review is its dial. Since it uses an open style, you can see the watch’s movements at a glance. 

The dial also has unique markers and hands, sub-dial, and a rotating indicator that helps you read the time.

If you love leather watches, this is your best bet as it boasts of a genuine leather band. To increase its appeal, it comes with a leather band that mimics an original alligator skin. Not only that, but it is also comfortable, durable, and has a sturdy steel buckle.

Another reason to love this item is its automatic movements. The reason is that you can power the watch by moving your arms, thereby erasing the need for batteries.

 Opinion and Drawbacks

We love this watch because of its eye-catching watch face. Surely, this timepiece could attract so much pleasant conversation at first glance due to its unique dial. However, you might not be comfortable with its movement because it is quite noisy.

3. Stuhrling Original Women’s Soiree Watch

 

Moving from a Stuhrling automatic watch review, we will look at this incredible timepiece from its women’s collection. Here, the Soiree watch has an elegant design that features durable materials. It also promises precise movements due to its use of the Japanese Quartz movement.

Elegant Timepiece at an Affordable Price

This item offers a 34mm polished stainless steel case that suits any wrist size. It also has a dazzling bezel with Swarovski crystals.

The silver-toned dial has a date window at the 3 o’clock position. It is also covered with Stuhrling’s in-house Krysterna crystal that can withstand cracks and breaks.

A stainless steel band secures the watch to your wrist. It boasts of a seven link style and ends in a fold-over clasp. So if you are looking for a luxurious piece on a Stuhrling original watch review, you can consider this piece.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This Stuhrling original women’s watch has a vibrant gone-tone color that makes it look attractive. Although the band is quite big, it is a perfect watch for a slim wrist. If you’re a lady looking for the best women’s watch under 500, you should consider this watch because of its affordable price and quality build.

Are Stuhrling Watches Worth Buying?

Stuhrling watches might not have great qualities to rival the most expensive watches, but they have their bright sides. For one, they have impressive designs that are unique to each collection. However, some watch snobs might not like its products because they include cheap Chinese parts and movements.

Fortunately, the brand has watches that work with Swiss movements. Also, if you want a watch that will serve as the ideal accessory, Stuhrling offers watches that will meet your needs. Lastly, if you are looking for a collector’s item, you can try any of its limited-edition watches or go for timepieces from high-end brands like the Patek Philippe or Rolex.

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review: A Timeless Diving Tool

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review

The Rolex Submariner is perhaps one of my most favorite watches of all time. As a dive watch, it can’t go toe-to-toe with the most advanced dive models but it gets the job done and in no way an inadequate dive companion.

When the Rolex Sea-Dweller was released back in the late 1960s, the Swiss watch company has a single-minded mission in mind: to reach deeper depths than the Submariner and survive anything underwater. Again, the Submariner was not seen to have flaws, so the release of the Sea-Dweller is more for the extension of the former’s diving utility.

Today, we have an in-depth (pun intended) Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 review for you.

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review: At a Glance

With a water-resistance that can go to thousands of meters underwater, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is a niche offering and is geared towards saturation divers. Let’s first take a look at the key specs and features of the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600.

Model:

Rolex Sea-Dweller

Reference no.

16600

Model case:

Stainless steel w/ helium escape valve (40mm) w/ rotatable timing bezel

Oyster architecture:

Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum

Winding crown:

Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system

Crystal:

Scratch-resistant sapphire
Water-resistance: Waterproof to 1,220 m (4,000 ft)

Movement:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Caliber:

3135, Manufacture Rolex

Precision:

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Winding:

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Bracelet:

Stainless steel Oyster bracelet, original Rolex

Clasp:

Stainless steel fold-over clasp with divers extension, original Rolex

Dial:

Black w/ luminous hands and hour markers

Certification:

Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)

Reviewing the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600

First Impression

Just to be clear, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 is by no means a new Rolex model. In fact, its production run ended by 2008 and it became a well-sought model as the newer Sea-Dweller was released. This is also the main reason why I’ve taken interest to this particular Sea-Dweller iteration.

As for my first impressions, I’ve quickly warmed up to the Sea-Dweller because it’s the long-lost sibling of the classic Submariner. The Submariner’s black dial design is so iconic and pleasant that the excitement came almost immediately after opening the box many years ago. With that said, the Sea-Dweller looks good and you won’t mind wearing it on a daily basis.

Right out of the box, you can tell that the Sea-Dweller 16600 is a professional tool that can take a beating. The package itself is quite special. The package includes the infamous Rolex anchor, extra dive suit links, the link changing tool for the bracelet, and a Buehlmann diving chart. It’s worth noting that the link-changing tool was exclusive to the Sea-Dweller.

One of the first things I noticed about the Sea-Dweller 16600 is the Helium escape valve (HEV) which is the signature feature of the Sea Dweller series. Other watch manufacturers have copied this system but it’s only Rolex that has done it with great success.

Design

As mentioned, the Sea Dweller 16600’s design is very similar to the Submariner, specifically to the 16610 model. They’re so similar that they might as well be the same watch. The Sea Dweller was designed for diving professionals that need a timepiece that could go a lot deeper and withstand the harshness of saturation diving.

The derivative design of the Sea Dweller is exactly why I enjoyed it the first time. The venerable black dial of the Sea Dweller is one of the main design highlights for me. The Submariner 16610 has knocked it out of the park design-wise. However, I still find myself longing for the 5513 or 14060 because of the no-date dial. The pure, clean lines are just a beauty to behold.

Fortunately, the Sea Dweller 16600 features the best of both worlds. The lack of the Cyclops lens seem a bit strange but I imagine that the lens isn’t that essential for saturation divers. The thicker, bulkier profile of the 16600 gives it an extra wrist presence.

Unfortunately, the Sea Dweller 16600 has stopped its production and its the last of the “old-style” Sea Dweller before the release of the DeepSea 116660. The design of the 16600 is just classic and timeless, but never outdated.

Construction and Wearability

Both the case and bracelet of the 16600 is made of 904L stainless steel. It doesn’t get any simple than this but still delivers in functionality. While the Sea Dweller isn’t the most popular series by Rolex, it featured some innovative construction designs.

Deep sea divers use a helium/oxygen mix in their tanks when going for a dive. Helium pressure can penetrate the crystal of the watch and can accumulate pressure due to decompression. Early deep sea divers literally saw the crystals get blown out of their watches. Rolex has addressed this issue by adding a helium escape valve into the Sea Dweller. This mechanism lets out the helium pressure once it reaches a critical point.

Along with this deep-sea diving innovation, Rolex added more to the depth rating of the watch. This timepiece features a waterproof rating of 1,220 meters (4,000 ft) which should be more than enough for most professional divers. The addition of the Triplock crown adds another layer of water resistance.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Sea Dweller has an extra thickness and weight to it. While it does have a significant wrist presence, it’s noticeably heavier as well. With that said, wearing the Sea Dweller 16600 isn’t exactly comfortable. This is clearly designed to be a tool watch, so it’s not something that you’ll want to wear daily.

Similar to the Submariner, the 16600 also features the dive suit extension link in the Oyster bracelet clap. This allows divers to adjust the size of the bracelet to make way for the suit.

Timekeeping

Rolex submariner review

You can’t call this a Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 review without talking about its timekeeping capabilities.

At the heart of the Sea Dweller 16600 is the caliber 3135 self-winding movement. For some history, the movement was first introduced in 1988 and it quickly became the main workhorse of the Rolex brand. This venerable movement has been used to power Rolex classics like the Datejust and Submariner Date. Many experts believe that the 3135 is one of the best movements made by Rolex.

The 3135 is a high-beat movement with an oscillation at 28,800 beats per hour (BPH). The movement is based on 31 jewels and comes with a date aperture that immediately changes at exactly midnight. As far as accuracy goes, the 3135 movement is legendary for its accuracy. As expected, the 3135 is also COSC certified. Based on my experience, I didn’t have any accuracy issues with the 16600.

The quality of timekeeping is exactly what you can expect from a Rolex timepiece. There’s really nothing to complain about here.

Pricing

Because the production for the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 has ceased, you can’t buy this piece anymore, at least not officially from Rolex. Due to the limited nature of the 16600’s availability, expect to pay a little bit higher for a used model. For reference, the Sea Dweller 126600 can be yours for around $11,000.

At this point, the Sea Dweller 16600 has become a well-sought piece for Rolex collectors. When this model was released, it was available for the $4400 retail price tag. These days, you’d be lucky to find a 16600 that doesn’t command a price of below $6000.

With that said, the Sea Dweller 16600 is a definite collector’s item and strikes a good balance between quality and value. The thing I enjoy the most about the 16600 is that it feels like a proper sequel to the Submariner 16610. From the design to overall utility of the watch, I am happy to have gotten the 16600 even at a fairly inflated price.

If you are looking to get the classic-looking Sea Dweller, the best time to act is now. There’s no telling if the price will continue to skyrocket.

Should You Get the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600?

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review

So what’s our verdict for this Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 review?

While the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 has made a strong first impression, it rarely makes my weekly rotation. However, that’s just me having too many watches to wear. For what it’s worth, the Sea Dweller 16600 is a strong showing for Rolex. It features a timeless, clean design that you can wear almost anywhere at any time. The watch itself is a bit on the bulkier side, so there were some compromises in terms of comfort.

If you are looking for a true dive watch for deep-sea diving, you are probably better off getting a dive computer. But that’s not saying that the Sea Dweller 16600 is not a proper dive watch because it’s actually an amazing one. Its depth rating is very impressive and there are some great dive-related innovations that remains relevant up to this day.

However, the lack of availability means that you’ll be spending more than you have to and you still get a used piece.

Overall, the Sea Dweller 16600 is a hardcore Rolex for the hardcore deep-divers. Yes, the newer version is even more hardcore but visually, I think the 16600 is the superior choice here. I am in no way a diver but there’s a lot to love here even for non-dive watch fans.

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking [Quick Buyer’s Guide]

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking Featured

When it comes to fitness watches, there’s no denying that Garmin is one of the top players in the industry. As a world-leading GPS manufacturer, Garmin has made some of the best GPS watches available. Therefore, many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers consider Garmin as one of their top options.

If you are considering a Garmin watch for hiking, I say that it’s a step in the right direction. However, there are loads of options to choose from. Garmin has some of the widest portfolios of watches so it can be a little overwhelming. If you are looking for the best Garmin watch for hiking, you’ve come to the right place.

Today, we handpicked some of the best Garmin watches that you can use for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Let’s get to it.

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking

Key Features

Our Rating

Garmin Fenix 5X Full color TOPO U.S. mapping, Silicone band, Built in navigation sensors include GPS and GLONASS, Preloaded run profiles, 3 axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter 5/5
Garmin Tactix Charlie 1.2” high-resolution, sunlight-readable display, TOPO mapping plus routable map navigation, Rugged design, Tactical-specific features, Built-in navigation sensors include GPS and GLONASS 4.5/5
Garmin Instinct Constructed to U. S. Military standard, Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, Smart notifications, TrackBack feature 4.5/5
Garmin Fenix 3 HR Precision satellite navigation, Activity and sleep tracking, Heart rate monitoring, 1.2 inch Chroma colour display, LED backlight 4.5/5
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro 1.2” sunlight-readable display, Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate, Advanced training features include PacePro, Preloaded TOPO maps, Support for Garmin Pay 4/5
Garmin Epix 1.4 inch high resolution, sunlight visible color Chroma touchscreen display, 8GB internal memory, Customizable, Multi activity tracking 3.5/5

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking

1. Garmin Fenix 5X

The ever-reliable Garmin Fenix 5X is our top pick for the Garmin watch for hiking. There’s already a newer version with the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus but I will still recommend the Fenix 5X over the 5X Plus.

Loaded With Great Hiking Features

The Garmin Fenix 5X is loaded with great hiking features such as altimeter, barometer, and compass (ABC sensors). It’s also a watch that comes pre-loaded with real topo maps.

The topo maps are very useful for hiking since they display your exact location while hiking. You can also load the routes into the watch before you set out. While you’re out hiking, you can simply follow the route in real-time. It’s a real godsend particularly for tough hiking spots.

Like many GPS hiking watches, you can add waypoints using the Fenix 5X. Waypoints are basically points of interests such as trails, landmarks, camping spots, or your parking area. Once you have set a waypoint, the watch tells your exact location in relation to your set waypoint and estimated time to get there. The ABC sensors are working great and the watch even comes with storm alerts and barometric trends.

The Fenix 5X offers an impressive battery life and can last up to 24 hours in GPS mode. There’s also a feature called UltraTrac mode that extends the battery life even more.

The Fenix 5X is a powerful GPS that’s suitable for everyday wear, hiking, and other activities.

2. Garmin Tactix Charlie

The Garmin Tactix Charlie GPS watch is a successful follow-up to the popular Tactix Bravo. The Tactix Charlie is a rugged tactical watch that makes it an ideal tool for hikers.

Great Tactical Watch for Outdoor Adventurers

For starters, the Tactix Charlie is one tough GPS tool with its black DLC coated titanium bezel, black titanium rear cover, and stainless steel buttons. It’s suitably rugged and I can’t see things letting you down even under the toughest outdoor conditions.

For hiking purposes, the Tactix Charlie comes preloaded with topo and routable map navigation. With the Garmin Basecamp app, you can create waypoints on the device and later explore it to the Tactix. You can name the waypoint and even assign an icon for easy identification. The Basecamp app is the main software solution for route and waypoint planning – it’s highly recommended.

Of course, the watch also comes with other sweet hiking features such as GPS and GLONASS plus a three-axis compass, barometer, altimeter and gyroscope. The built-in altimeter is quite impressive and does a great job of monitoring ascent and descent while hiking.

As for the battery life, you got 12 days in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS mode, and up to 35 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode.

With loads of hiking-related features and excellent battery life, the Garmin Tactix Charlie is an easy recommendation for outdoor junkies.

3. Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Fenix series is the Ferrari of outdoor and sports watches but not everyone can blow $600 on a smartwatch. The Garmin Instinct is an affordable outdoor-focused timepiece for the budget-conscious hikers.

Affordable Heavy-Duty Outdoor Watch

While the Garmin Instinct offers a wide variety of activity tracking features, it excels at navigation. With that said, the Instinct supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Based on our tests, the Instinct connects to these satellite systems fairly quick.

Unlike the previous watches, the Instinct doesn’t come with built-in topo maps which is a bit of a downer. This is because the Instinct has a low-resolution, non-color display, and isn’t compatible with top maps. However, you do get other navigation features. You can upload the routes to your watch or go back to basics by using the Instinct’s compass.

Another good feature that’s worth the mention is the Backtracking feature. If you have decided to turn around on a hike, the backtracking feature allows you to navigate back to your starting point. Garmin’s navigation features are rather basic but they will save you in a pinch while you’re out in the wild.

Overall, the Garmin Instinct is less of a smartwatch but it’s a very reliable GPS watch. At this price point, it’s a great buy for any hiker.

4. Garmin Fenix 3 HR

The Garmin Fenix 3 HR might be an earlier version from the Fenix series but it has enough bells and whistles for an amazing hiking watch.

Spot-On GPS Functions

If you’re going to get the Fenix HR 3, get it for the highly-accurate GPS. The watch comes with an omnidirectional stainless steel EXO antenna that easily connects to GPS and GLONASS satellites. You get accurate and reliable tracking whenever you’re outdoors.

Like all of the watches in this list, the Fenix HR 3 features a rugged design that will serve you well in the wild. The watch also features a crisp 1.2 inch Chroma display that offers excellent visibility in daylight and dim environments. When things get darker outside, you can use the LED backlight for reading the watch.

For navigation, you can simply download the route or track into the watch, and then use it to get on course. Following the track through your watch is about as easy as it gets since the screen shows your position relative to the track.

In terms of battery performance, the Fenix HR can work up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 40 hours in UltraTrac mode. It’s a heavy-duty hiking watch with excellent GPS features and battery life.

5. Garmin Fenix 6S Pro

For my premium pick, the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is an excellent multi-sport watch that offers many features for adventure junkies.

Premium Navigation on Your Wrist

As you can see, we have another entry from Garmin’s Fenix series which is not a surprise since it’s some of the best multi-sport watches out there. The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is no different.

For hikers, the main draw here is the preloaded topo maps. There are over 2,000 topo maps here which include trails and even skip maps. The Fenix 6S Pro also supports GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite systems and based on my tests, the GPS performance is on-point. As expected, the watch also comes with built-in sensors for 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

Aside from navigation features, this watch offers a wide range of activity tracking options. Plus, it also has an HR monitor and the Pulse Ox feature to monitor your sleep and altitude acclimation at high elevations.

For the battery life, the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro offers up to 9 days in smartwatch mode, 6 hours in GPS and music mode, up to 20 days expedition GPS activity mode, and 34 days in battery saver watch mode. Pretty impressive.

6. Garmin Epix

The Garmin Epix is not the most fashionable watch (it’s not that bad, though) on this list but nevertheless, it’s a reliable GPS watch for hikers and campers.

Oldie But a Goodie

The Garmin Epix is not the latest and greatest GPS watch from Garmin but even today, it still holds up.

For navigation, the Epix offers colored maps which is a nice touch. These maps are mostly accurate but there were some issues when you’re hiking in locations with poor connection. The GPS function shows the exact location of your destination, how far you’ve hiked, and how many steps you’ve taken so far. Of course, it has a compass as well for basic navigation.

In terms of connectivity, the Epix is a bit outdated. You can connect your watch to a computer via USB cord but you need to make a Garmin Connect account first. Bluetooth is also another way to download information to your watch.

For battery life, it can go up to 50 hours which is not much when compared to similar GPS watches. You can find many watches that are more advanced than the Epix but it can hold on its own.

Found the Best Garmin Watch for Hiking Yet?

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking Featured

That wraps up our buyer’s guide of the best Garmin watch for hiking. When it comes to GPS and navigation features, it’s hard to go wrong with Garmin. We hope that this guide has helped you choose the right unit for your hiking needs.