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.

Best GPS Watch for Backpacking – Outdoor Watches

Best GPS watch for backpacking

Are you planning to go backpacking? Then you should consider getting the Garmin Fenix 5x as it stands as the best GPS watch for backpacking on the market. Aside from its accurate GPS and GLONASS function, this Garmin watch comes with impressive features for backpacking and hiking. It can also withstand water pressure up to a depth of 100 meters.

Best GPS Watch for Backpacking

Today, backpacking has become popular with people across the world. It is an easy way to enjoy the scenery, hiking, as well as learning about various terrain and cultures. But to have a stress free trip, you will surely need the best GPS watch for backpacking on your list.

The significant of GPS watch is that it tells the current time while keeping track of your movement and location. You can find many watches with impressive features, but a GPS watch with special features is best on the trail. Unlike other watches, a GPS timepiece has various features that will suit your backpacking trip. Such options include navigation tools, a map, and a rugged build.

Also, with the unpredictable weather, you will need a device to alert you of potential danger, especially when you camp alone. Hence, when going backpacking, equip yourself with a GPS watch with an altimeter, compass, and barometer.

Staying safe is essential as you head for that independent travel, sightseeing, hiking, and more. This is why you need the best GPS watch for backpacking and hiking.

Best GPS Watches for Backpacking

Suunto Traverse 

 

The Traverse looks casual and has features that make it stand out as the best GPS watch for backpacking and outdoors. It has a durable design, thereby serving as an ideal companion in the outdoors. It even has a look that allows it to doubles as a watch you can wear at home or work. Now here are the features offered by the Suunto Traverse.

Durable Build for Outdoor Use

If you are traveling on wet terrain or passing through water, there is no need to remove this item from the wrist. The Suunto Traverse offers a water resistance of 100m/330feet. It also has a rugged build and sturdy case that can keep the display from cracks, which can occur during a fall on rocky ground.

Provide Weather Information 

With the Suunto Traverse, you can determine the available hours of daylight. You can even use its storm alarm feature to know when the next thunderstorm will hit. Such features will allow you to have ample time to find shelter, especially when you are traveling in a remote location.

Ideal for Daily Use

As mentioned earlier, the Traverse performs functions that will suit your daily life. For instance, it monitors your physical activity by counting your steps and calories. It also allows you to have access to calls, messages, and notifications on your phone. Overall, these features will enable you to keep in touch with work, especially when you are on a backpacking trip.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

There are many reasons to love this watch. First, it has a durable but lightweight build. It also includes a barometer trend for incoming storms while boasting of a good battery that charges quickly.

However, it has some issues that might make you choose other watches. For one, its silicone band weakens within a few months of use.

Suunto Ambit 3

 

If you want another Suunto product with great featuresyou should consider getting the Sunnto Ambit3Apart from telling you the time, the smartwatch provides important readings and monitors your movements. It also has a build that allows it to handle the challenges of backpacking on any terrain.

Long Battery Life 

This watch offers a battery that can last for 200 hours. But when the GPS is not activated, it promises 30 days of battery life. With such features, you can use the watch on long trips, especially in locations where there is no power for a recharge.

Rugged Build 

As expected from an outdoor watch, the Suunto Ambit3 can handle regular use under harsh conditions. For instance, it has a sturdy polyamide case that holds its internal parts. It also boasts of an elastomer band that can maintain its shape after exposure to extreme temperatures. What’s even better is that a scratch-resistant crystal protects the display from knocks or impact from elements.

Great Connectivity

Are you worried about missing important calls or texts during a climb? Well, this watch can pair with your smartphone, thereby keeping you updated with any notification via the Suunto in-house app, Movescount. You can also use this feature to track and share your progress with your loved ones.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

It would be fair to see the Ambit3 as the best GPS watch for hiking with maps if you’re to consider its featuresBut it has a few issues that might make you look for suitable alternatives.

First, it provides inaccurate readings on its calorie and step counter. Next, the company forces you to visit its website before you can download your data from the watch. But if you choose to ignore these problems, the item might be ideal for any hiking and backpacking trip.

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire

 

Aside backpacking, if you are also looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, then you should consider this Garmin watch. Complete with dependable battery life, wrist-based heart monitor, and other vital sensors, the watch deserves a place on our search for the best GPS watch for backpacking.

Crisp Display 

The watch face on this GPS timepiece is suitable for use in sunlight or darkness. It consists of a full-color display that comes in high resolution. Its LED backlight also increases its readability in poorly lit environments on your backpacking route. The best part is that the screen is covered with a sapphire lens that can withstand scratches.

Wide Selection of Sensors 

If you use the Fenix 5X, you can navigate any terrain with ease. Possibly, the best hiking watch with altimeter, the accessory offers accurate elevation data for climbs. It also has a built-in barometer that can predict changes in weather, thereby providing ample time to prepare for a thunderstorm.

Sleek Design

Walking for hours with a bulky watch on your arm can be frustrating. But if you travel with this Garmin piece, its sleek and lightweight design will not add extra pressure to your wrist. Overall, it is a comfortable piece to use during hours of navigating difficult locations.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Any modern backpacker should consider getting a watch like the Fenix 5X because it stands as the best Garmin watch with GPS for many reasons. These include a clear display, portable design, and a wide range of sensors. Also, it costs less than most other GPS watches in the market.

Apple Watch Series 3

 

There are many reasons to love this Apple watch 3. These include its elegant design, top-notch sensors, and exciting speakers. It even comes for a price of less than $200. Now, let’s see the details of what this watch has to offer.

Impressive Build

Backpacking trips come with conditions that can test the limit of any watch. For this reason, this Apple Watch has a ceramic body that can handle scratches and minor knocks. It also has a band that can resist splashes and sweat.

Cellular Free Calls

Unlike most watches on our list, you can make calls with this device. You can even make these calls without pairing the timepiece with your phone. With this feature, you can make emergency calls or keep in touch with your loved ones while your smartphone stays in your backpack.

Readable Display

The watch has an OLED display that is bright and vivid. The technology conserves energy by going dim after some time. But you can switch it back on by flicking your wrist.  Furthermore, the watch is protected by tough glass, thereby making it a perfect fit for hiking rough terrain.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Apple Watch Series 3 has features that fit backpacking activities. However, its poor battery life might make you spend time looking for a socket instead of enjoying your trip.

What to Consider when Looking out For the Best GPS Watch for Backpacking

You don’t want to throw away money, which is why you need to consider some of the important things when looking out for the best GPS watch for backpacking. The best smartwatch for backpacking should have the following features and qualities.

Durable and Sturdy Build

Your new device should have a feel of comfort and should be strong enough to withstand knocks and fall. Many GPS watches are built with a sapphire glass lens to make them resistant to scratches and pressures. This characteristic makes them expensive, bulky, and heavy if you have a small wrist.

You may go for lighter watches that are easier to carry when backpacking, running or hiking. These are often less expensive but may not be able to resist cracks or scratches. They are also more comfortable on the wrist, and you can wear them without worrying too much.

Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass (ABC feature)

If you’re looking for the best smartwatch for backpacking and hiking, these three important functions must be there. They provide the information that helps you guard against bad weather and the nature of any terrain you plan to go backpacking.

Altimeter helps to measure air pressure and keeps track of highlands and lowlands. You can’t bet on its 100 percent accuracy, but it’s useful if you’re passing through mountainous areas.

Since altimeters don’t need signals to function, they are more reliable than GPS devices. You can lose signal while on GPS since altimeters use air pressure, they are not lost on the mountains.

The barometer does more than tell you the kind of weather to expect. It gives you a hint of a coming storm and can measure atmospheric pressure too.

If you want the best backpacking watch and have planned a long trip, check for the barometer feature. It is useful when it comes to keeping you safe from storms and other unexpected weather conditions.

Many GPS watches come with a compass usually built into the device. While some devices may appear basic, others have advanced features. 3D compasses work no matter the direction you bend it, but 2D functions well when placed horizontally.

Compass is all-important even if you have a reliable GPS. Turning on your GPS drains the battery, and it won’t be available for support when you need it. But for a compass or map, you don’t need battery power, which makes it a better alternative.

Strap Quality

The type of strap that comes with the GPS watch is important. Rough straps can cause discomfort and annoyance, so choose the one that is comfortable on your wrist. Get a watch with a sturdy strap, which can remain well-secured on your wrist.

Weight

Long backpacking or hiking requires you to go with a lighter load. You may not understand how heavy things can be until you’re on the move. To avoid this problem, go for modern watches which are relatively lighter and more advanced.

Battery Life

GPS works with battery power, and this makes you want to turn it off at regular intervals. When choosing the best GPS watch for hiking and backpacking, consider one with a long battery life. Most watches last between ten and twelve hours when the GPS is turned on.

Depending on the settings, some watches can stay in GPS mode for about 24 hours. Although they are more expensive, they come with special features.

A good way to reduce the consumption of power is to enable Ultra-trac. This feature helps to limit GPS readings and conserves more battery power for essential tasks only. The only issue is that your GPS will not give you an accurate reading of distance or pace.

The best way to conserve battery power is to turn off every function when not in use. If you’re not using the GPS function or other functions, turn off the watch completely until you need them. Switching on all apps, notifications, and alerts will drain your battery much faster.

Heart-Rate Monitor

If you want to lose weight or stay fit while hiking, a GPS watch with a heart-rate monitor is helpful. This feature tells you how fast or how slow your heartbeat, which can help to inform your hiking activities.

Wrist-based heart-rate monitors may feel comfortable, but they don’t give you accurate readings. Monitors closer to the chest region give a reliable reading, although they feel a little less comfortable. Since you want the best GPS watch for backpacking, a more accurate heart-rate reading is a wise choice.

GPS and GLONASS

With the advancement of technology, the best GPS watch for backpacking and hiking should come with GPS and GLONASS satellites. These features, supported by BDS (BeiDou Navigation Satellite System), can tell your exact location, speed, duration, ascent, and the distance you’ve covered. This is a great way to track your progress, especially if you’re backpacking alone.

Final Word on the Best GPS Watch For Backpacking

Backpacking is an interesting activity that can be enjoyed more when you have a GPS watch handy. With such an accessory, you can navigate any terrain and track your progress.

Fortunately, you can find these items in different styles with price tags for every budget. We also recommend that you take care of your GPS watch as this will help it perform properly for a long time.

Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus: Which Multisport GPS Watch is Right for You?

Garmin tactix charlie vs fenix 5x plus review

If you are looking for a multisport GPS watch, it’s hard to go wrong with Garmin. Some of the best GPS watches and fitness tools I’ve seen came from Garmin.

Serious fitness enthusiasts and outdoorsmen will require a premium GPS timepiece for training and while out on the field respectively. For today, we’ll take a look at two recent premium GPS watches from Garmin.

For this head-to-head review, we’ll compare the Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus. Which premium multisport GPS watch is right for you? Let’s find out.

Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus: Specs Comparison

Model: Garmin Tactix Charlie Garmin Fenix 5x Plus
Lens Material: Domed Sapphire Crystal Domed Chemically Strengthened Glass or Sapphire Crystal
Bezel Material: Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) Coated Titanium Stainless Steel or Titanium
Case Material: Fiber-Reinforced Polymer With Titanium Rear Cover Fiber-Reinforced Polymer with Metal Rear Cover
Strap Material: Silicone Silicone, Leather or Titanium
Physical Size: 51 x 51 x 17.5 mm 47 x 47 x 15.8 mm

Fits wrists with the following circumference:

Silicone band: 163-249 mm

Leather band: 166-229 mm

Metal band: 166-242 mm

Display Size: 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Display Resolution: 240 x 240 pixels 240 x 240 pixels
Display Type: Sunlight-Visible, Transflective Memory-in-Pixel (MIP) Sunlight-Visible, Transflective MEMORY-In-Pixel (MIP)
Weight: 90 g 86 g

Titanium version: 76 g

Battery Life: Smartwatch mode: Up to 12 days

GPS/HR mode: Up to 20 hours

UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 35 hours

Smartwatch: Up to 12 days
GPS: Up to 18 hours
GPS and Music: Up to 8 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 42 hours
Water Rating: 10 ATM 10 ATM
Memory: 16 GB 16 GB
Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Smartphone Compatibility: Android, iPhone Android, iPhone

Garmin Tactix Charlie Review

Back in 2018, the Garmin Tactix Charlie was released – a fitness watch that has more features than you will ever need. The Tactix Bravo is a beloved fitness watch and many were looking forward to the Tactix Charlie. Based on my experience, the Tactix Charlie is a worthy update to the Bravo.

Design and Construction

This third generation Tactix watch doesn’t look that much different from the Bravo. The rugged construction is still the primary design selling point of the Tactix Charlie. The Tactix Charlie truly looks like a proper tactical watch that will not look out of place on a SWAT team’s wrists.

Fortunately, the Tactix Charlie doesn’t only look the part, it’s built to be the toughest watch in Garmin’s arsenal.

The main draw of the Charlie is the Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated titanium material. With the DLC material, the Charlie is more resistant and durable than the Fenix 5X. While the DLC delivers in terms of toughness and robustness, it’s surprisingly a lightweight material.

The Charlie also features stainless-steel buttons, black titanium rear cover, and domed sapphire lens. These top-of-the-line materials help the Tactix Charlie a true outdoors GPS watch. This is the type of watch that you can wear regardless of outside conditions. Well, after all, it’s a GPS watch that’s designed for tactical purposes.

The 1.2-inch display does a great job of making things readable, even under the bright sunlight. This is a fairly large watch with a large display. For a watch that offers a ton of functionality, I won’t have it any other way.

Comfort and Wearability

When it comes to comfort, the Tactix Charlie doesn’t disappoint.

The watch comes with an all-weather black silicone band and is QuickFit™ compatible. The band feels comfortable even when things get a little moist. However, I was disappointed that you can’t swap the band with a NATO strap out of the box. It would be neat if it did come with another type of strap.

Weighing at 90 grams, the Charlie does have a bit of weight to it which is not surprising at all. This is a feature-heavy GPS watch with tons of features, so be aware that it has some bulk and weight. However, Garmin did a great job of keeping things lightweight despite the tactical nature of the Charlie.

As for the battery life, the Charlie offers up to 12 days in Smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS/HR mode, and 35 hours in UltraTac mode. This makes the Tactix Charlie equal to Fenix 5x in battery life but slightly less than the Bravo. The addition of the optical Heart Rate Monitor is the likely culprit here.

Just to be clear, the Charlie is not a touchscreen watch. While I do like touchscreen watches, they won’t make sense for an all-weather unit like the Garmin Tactix Charlie. With a 5-button navigation, operating the watch is easy. There’s a bit of a learning curve but if you have used the Bravo before, you’ll know that they are very similar in operation.

Features and Software

This is the meat of the Garmin Tactix Charlie. This is where the majority of your big bucks go.

For navigation, you can use the built-in GPS/GLONASS and the TOPO maps or the compass. Garmin is a world-leading brand in GPS devices, so you can expect the same level of quality as the Charlie. It’s also a proper ABC watch with altimeter, barometer and a 3-axis compass.

The full-color TOPO map is easy to follow and is preloaded into the watch. You can easily map your route and receive at a glance information while you’re training or on the field. The navigation aspect of the Charlie certainly lives up to Garmin’s standard.

As an activity tracker, Charlie offers plenty of options as well. As expected, the Charlie is loaded with advanced performance monitoring capabilities to help maximize your training. The new anaerobic training effect metric is pretty neat as it gets you an in-depth insight into your training and helps pinpoint the areas that need improvement.

Of course, you can’t talk about the features of Charlie without mentioning the Wrist-Based HR. The watch comes with the Elevate wrist heart rate technology. However, the heart rate monitor is perhaps one of the lowest points of the Tactix Charlier. After multiple tests, I find the HR monitor to be quite erratic and sometimes, a bit laggy. It simply can’t compare to HR monitors with chest straps.

Garmin Fenix 5x Plus Review

The Fenix GPS multisport watches are some of the best fitness smartwatches on the market. The Fenix 5x is one of my favorite GPS watches and the Garmin Fenix 5x Plus looks to be an even better iteration.

Design and Construction

The Garmin Fenix watches are known for their big and bulky profile – the Fenix 5x Plus is no exception. Measuring at a whopping 51mm and weighing 86 grams, the Fenix 5x Plus is about 50% larger and twice as heavy as the Apple Watch Series 3.

That’s one way of saying that there’s no discreet way to wear the Fenix 5x Plus. Sure enough, you’ll get plenty of comments about how massive your watch is.

Despite its large profile, the watch still looks stylish. The black stainless steel bezel adds a sleek aesthetic to the watch. It looks good enough for daily wear. The black silicone band complements the rest of the watch and it’s easily interchangeable as well.

One of the highlights is the color sapphire display which does a great job of warding off scratches. Like the Tactix Charlie, the display is easily readable in sunlight. I’ve been wearing the watch during workouts and the display has yet to who signs of scratches.

Comfort and Wearability

The Fenix 5x Plus is about as comfortable as you can expect from a bulky watch. However, the Fenix 5x Plus is lighter than the Tactix Charlie. At 86 grams, the watch is not exactly light but Garmin deserves some props for not getting carried away with the weight.

The included silicone band is surprisingly comfortable, even after long periods of use. While training the band will accumulate moisture but I’m happy to report that comfort is not affected.

The watch does come with a sleep tracking feature but I’m not compelled to use it. While the watch is quite comfortable for a heavy-duty GPS watch, it’s not comfortable enough to sleep with it.

For the battery life, the watch will last you about 7 to 10 days with regular use. Due to the large number of features and functions (like playing music), I got about a week of heavy usage with this watch. If you are using both GPS and music, you will probably need to charge the watch by the end of the day. In this Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus comparison, the former wins in terms of battery life.

Features and Software

If you have used a Garmin multisport watch before, it will be easy for you to pick up the Fenix 5X Plus. The 5-button interface is still here and requires a bit of learning curve for new buyers.

As expected, the GPS on this watch is solid. As long as you’re in a reasonably open area, the GPS lock-on is fast and easy, thanks to the GPS, Glonass, and Galileo satellites. The watch is also loaded to the brim when it comes to metrics. In fact, the watch is packed with so many features that I find myself learning a new metric or dynamic with continued use.

On top of the usual activity tracking and navigation features, the Fenix 5X Plus also comes with GarminPay which allows you to complete purchases just by using your watch. Another highlight is the ability to store offline Spotify so you can listen to music on the go.

If contactless payment and offline music playback are high up on your list, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is an easy recommendation.

Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus: The Verdict

We conclude this Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus head-to-head with our verdict.

The Garmin Tactix Charlie and Fenix 5x Plus are very similar watches, even down to the price range. For the base models, the price is similar between the two watches. However, the Fenix 5x Plus comes with a Titanium version which is a lot more expensive.

So which high-end GPS watch is right for you?

Well, if you are looking for a watch with tactical applications, the Garmin Tactix Charlie might be more right up your alley. It’s one of the best military watches available.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more advanced watch in terms of features, the Fenix 5x Plus has the upper hand. The ability to play music offline and contactless payment are winning features in my book.

Regardless of your choice, both watches are durable, versatile, and offer everything but the kitchen sink.

Best GPS Watch for Hiking: Durable smartwatches for Hikers

Best GPS watch for Hiking

After asking many hiking lovers and spending hours looking at a large selection of smartwatches that will suit their needs, we concluded that the Garmin Tactix Bravo stands as the best GPS watch for hiking.

We chose this watch because it offers a high degree of water resistance and durability. It also has a fantastic battery life coupled with accurate GPS.

Overall, the brand offers a timepiece that will meet the needs of hikers and other outdoorsmen.

Best GPS Watch for Hiking

Are you one of those looking for the best GPS watch for hiking? Then you don’t have to worry because in this article we’ve fantastic collections for you.

As a hiker, you will agree with us that a good hiking watch without enhanced GPS seems incomplete. Yes, it does, because you surely won’t want to get lost in the wilderness without an easy way out. Hence, it will be advisable to hold onto the best GPS watch for hiking to help keep track of your route and navigate any environment without hassles.

However, don’t just buy an outdoor watch because of the GPS function only. You should also consider essential features which include heart rate monitor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, compass, and barometer. A good GPS watch with these added features will not only help you with navigation but also keep your health in check. What’s more,  it will help you plan your day and make hiking more fun.

Surely, a good hiking GPS watch should also be able to withstand tough terrain, knocks, and fall without breaking. Hence, it’s best to look out for the durability and sturdiness of the watch.

With all this being said, it is certain hiking lovers will want a watch with those qualities mentioned above. That’s why we’ve carried out thorough research for you and put together a sincere list of the best GPS watches for hiking to make your purchase a lot easier.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

 

For outdoorsmen looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is a great fit. This rugged and well-designed watch offers an impressive selection of features including color mapping and inbuilt storage for your music files.

Customizable Watch Face and Bracelet

Do you quickly get bored seeing the same watch face on your GPS smartwatch? Fortunately, the Fenix 5 Plus supports an online store where you can download attractive watch faces. You can also download data fields and widgets from this store.

Apart from the display, you can swap its original band to either leather or silicone. You can purchase a new strap and attach it to the watch’s lugs without hassles.

Top Class Battery Life

If you plan on taking 2 days hiking trip with this watch on your arm, there’s no need to take your charger along. This fact is based on the timepieces ability to run for 42 hours in GPS mode.

Sturdy and Easy to Read Display

This smartwatch sports a bright, high-resolution display that is readable in direct sunlight. For night-time use, you can see the read the screen because of its LED backlighting. A piece of high strength domed sapphire crystal covers the watch face.

Dedicated Storage for Music Files

Fenix plus 5 has storage that supports as much as 500 songs which you can play during your hiking activities. You can also pair Bluetooth earphones to the watch for a better listening experience. The timepiece also supports Music streaming from selected sites.

Opinion and Drawbacks

When it comes to hiking watches, the Fenix 5 Plus can rival any watch on the market. After all, it has exciting features such as internal storage for your music files and an incredible battery. But since it disconnects easily from iPhones, you might need to check out other options.

Suunto Traverse Alpha

 

Although it has fantastic features for hunting and fishing, the Suunto Traverse Alpha stands as an excellent tool for all outdoor activities, including hiking. It even has features that can accommodate everyday use. As expected from a hiking GPS smartwatch, the Suunto Traverse Alpha can withstand extreme environments while performing functions that will assist you during your camping trips.

Portable Design

This smartwatch is a round-faced timepiece with a bulky build. However, the Traverse Alpha is lightweight and comfortable enough to wear.

The face is protected with scratch-resistant sapphire glass while a stainless steel bezel surrounds the screen. Furthermore, a silicon/nylon strap secures the watch on your wrist. Looking at these features, you will discover that this timepiece is a sturdy device, which makes it one of the best watches for hiking. For added durability, the watch is also water-resistant to a maximum a depth of 100m.

Impressive Battery Life

The battery life on this device depends on how you use the watch. The battery can last for 14 days with the GPS off while with the GPS activated mode offers a battery life 100 hours.

You can even know when the rechargeable battery is low via a blinking battery icon on the watch face. With a USB compatible wall charger, you can fully recharge the cell within a few hours.

GPS Functionality

With its GPS features, you can avoid getting lost as it keeps track of your past/ current locations. The function also comes in handy during fishing or hunting because it helps users choose the best locations for chasing their prey.

Dependable Activity Tracker

This smartwatch can measure your daily steps and calories burned during the day. You can easily view this on the display screen.

Opinions and Drawback

Overall, the watch is a worthy investment because it has a good battery life, easy to charge, and very durable. However, there is no way to edit the watch settings without an internet connection.

Click here to find our comparison of the Suunto Traverse Alpha with the Garmin Fenix 5.

Garmin Tactix Bravo

 

If you are looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, then you should try out the Garmin Tactix Bravo. This watch is built with rugged and durable materials, and it comes with a price that makes it an affordable GPS watch for hiking. Add this watch to your hiking gear, and you have yourself an accurate GPS timepiece that will match any activity and style.

Durability You Can Trust

The Garmin Tactix Bravo comes with parts that can withstand knocks and scratches encountered during outdoor activities. First, it has a bezel with a black diamond coating for protection against scratches. It also has a screwed case back, and buttons made from black PVD coated stainless steel.

A sturdy black nylon strap secures the watch on your wrist. It is sturdy enough to resist wear and tear. The strap is also comfortable to wear on your wrist.

Readable Watch Face

As expected from one of the best GPS watches for hiking and outdoors, this item has a face that is uncluttered and protected by shatter-proof sapphire crystal. This part of the watch consists of a Garmin Chroma Display which allows you to use the smartwatch in sunlight and low light environments. You can even read the information on the screen with a pair of night-vision goggles.

Water Resistance

One of the exciting features of this item is its water resistance. From the caseback to its strap, this watch can withstand moisture at even depths of up to 100 meters. With such specs, the smartwatch is ideal for use during a rainstorm or light swimming.

Extended Battery Life

A rechargeable battery powers this durable GPS watch for hiking. When fully charged, the timepiece can run up to 3 weeks in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS mode and 50 hours in Ultra Trac battery saver. If you consider these features, there is no need to worry about a recharge, especially in remote locations without power.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Garmin Tactix Bravo is a watch that is worth adding to your camping list as it is durable and affordable. It’s also lightweight and promises a superb battery life. However, its compass and GPS sensors provide inaccurate readings after a short period.

Suunto Ambit3 Peak

 

The Suunto Ambit3 Peak has features that can rival the function found on even the best outdoor watches for hiking. Apart from offering essential timekeeping, the watch tracks your movements and gives accurate readings. Overall, the product can be seen as the best cheap GPS watch for hiking.

Accurate Readings

The watch has a barometer that can predict potential weather changes and accurately measure altitudes at any location. With the former function, you can quickly seek shelter or set up camp before a storm hits. The watch also keeps track of sunsets and sunrise so you will know the hours of daylight left.

Tough Build

Since this item is an outdoor watch, it is built to withstand numerous uses under harsh conditions. First, it has an elastomer band that can retain its shape after exposure to extreme cold or higher temperatures. Next, a robust polyamide case houses its working parts while a piece of scratch-resistant crystal covers its display.

Comfortable to Wear

Most durable watches are bulky and uncomfortable; however, this timepiece does not follow this trend. Fortunately, its wrist strap is breathable and flexible while the watch itself is light. Looking at such features, you can wear this product for an extended period without feeling any pressure on your arm.

Impressive Connectivity

You can pair your smartphone with this timepiece, thereby allowing you to sync your activities quickly. The option also allows you to receive text and calls via your watch and the Suunto in-built Movescount.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Concerning this watch, you will discover that it has tons of features and a build that will rival most flagship watches. But it has some downsides that might make you consider other options. First, it does not with a crisp display, while its battery cannot endure long hours without a recharge.

Amazfit Stratos

 

Here comes one of the most affordable GPS watch for hiking on our list. Amazfit Stratos black smartwatch is a multisport and triathlon GPS watch that comes at an affordable price. Although it falls within a low budget, it has features that can compete with flagship devices that perform similar functions.

Sleek Design

Out of the box, the watch has an attractive look that consists of a ceramic bezel, carbon fiber case, and a robust touch screen display. It also comes with a durable silicone strap which can be replaced with a bracelet of your choice. These features make the watch an excellent item for outdoor trips or everyday use.

Always On Display

The timepiece has an always-on display which you can read in direct sunlight or dark environments. Here, protection is offered by 2.5D Corning Gorilla glass, so there is no need to worry about scratches.

Activity Monitoring

One of the exciting highlights of this product is its collection of sensors. This highlight includes a heart rate monitor, pedometer, and compass, which can be used to track all aspects of your daily fitness. Such features will appeal to people who wish to stay motivated during physical activities.

Dependable Connectivity

The watch also supports WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, which helps you receive notifications for emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media apps. This feature helps you stay updated even if your phone is in your pocket or close distance.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Stratos is a high-quality watch designed with athletes in mind. However, it takes it a step further with adding a compass and GPS, which will interest any outdoorsman. It also has a design that ensures comfort and ease of use.

However, the battery does not last for a long time while the watch itself does not have a setting for the font or screen.

Suunto 9 GPS Watch

 

Suunto 9 is a multisport GPS timepiece designed for hikers who need the best watch on the field. It’s smart reminders, and extended battery life enables this smartwatch to run for long periods. In summary, the Suunto 9 is made to endure the harshest conditions and training.

Great Battery Life

One of the exciting features of this product is its rechargeable battery that has a maximum life of 14 days. But if the mobile notifications and 24/7 activity trackers are ON, it lasts for seven days while in training mode the watch runs for at least 25 hours. When the battery becomes low, an integrated smart system helps conserve the remaining energy.

Sturdy Build for Tough Conditions

Durability is one of the essential things of any Suunto product. For instance, the watch has a case built from glass fiber reinforced polyamide and a stainless steel bezel. It also uses a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect its touch display.

Water Resistance

The Suunto 9 promises a water resistance at a maximum depth of 100m. With this feature in mind, you can use the watch for light swimming or hiking in a thunderstorm.

Comfortable Bracelet

A 24mm silicone bracelet holds the watch against your wrist. With this bracelet, you can wear the watch on long hiking trips without any discomfort to your wrist.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The battery life and smart management technology presents Suunto 9 as one of the best GPS watches for hiking and running. But its software has bugs that might make the watch perform less than expected.

Wrap Up

All timepieces mentioned in this article are the best GPS watches for hiking that you can find in any store. Ultimately, the best watch for you will depend on your specific needs.

If you want an affordable smartwatch that comes with limited functions that can compete with expensive models, you should go for the Amazfit Stratos.  For those looking a smartwatch that has a reliable app, the Suunto Ambit3 Peak serves as the best option.

But if you are willing to spend extra cash on a rugged watch that comes with excellent features, then your best bet is the Garmin Fenix 5 plus.

Best Microbrand Watches: Fantastic Timepieces from Smaller Brands

These days, you’ll see a lot of smaller brands or “microbrands” put out by people who are passionate about the art of watchmaking.

These brands are not run by massive companies but instead by a single individual or a small team. If you want to learn more about microbrands, it’s highly recommended to check out our previous writeup about the best microbrand dive watches.

For today’s post, we take a look at the best microbrand watches that you can find in the market today.

Best Microbrand Watches

Key Features

Our Rating

Halios Seaforth 41mm steel-cased watch, 200m water resistance, Domed sapphire crystal, C3 SuperLuminova, GMT bezel, Miyota 90S5 movement, Beveled lugs ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Aevig Corvid Bauhaus influence, Bold mono spaced numbers, Swiss STP 1-11 movement, Water resistance up to 200 meters, Swiss Luminova, Pullup oiled leather strap ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Pantor Seahorse Miyota 9015 Japanese automatic movement, 316L stainless steel with brushed finish, Sapphire crystal, Swiss C3 SuperLumiNova, 24mm with 15pcs links separately and 6 step micro adjustment, 40 hours power reserve ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Farer Cobb 316L high grade stainless steel, Brushed bezel with polished edge, Matte night-sky blue dial, Super-LumiNova infill, Solid bronze straight crown, Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal, 10ATM water resistance ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Marchand Legacy High quality Japan Miyota 9015 movement, Carbon fiber dial, High grade stainless steel, 42mm diameter, 10 ATM (100M) water resistant ★ ★ ★ ★
Oak & Oscar Humboldt 40mm diameter, Stainless steel, Super-LumiNova BGW9 lume, Multiple bracelet options, Double-domed sapphire crystal with AR coating, Comes with a waxed canvas travel wallet ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Microbrand Watches

1. Halios Seaforth

Best Microbrand Watches Halios Seaforth

Halios is a brand that I have recently discovered and I must say that I am very impressed. This microbrand is known for its dive watches and its most famous offering is the Halios Seaforth.

Big Value Dive Watch

Halios and its flagship Seaforth diver watch have risen to fame on the internet. The brand is basically a one-man operation of Jason Lim out of Vancouver, Canada. It’s a passion project that attracted a lot of attention from the watch community.

It’s a good thing that Lim had an impeccable taste.

The Seaforth is a 41mm steel-cased watch that offers 200m of water resistance and protected with a domed sapphire crystal. If you are a fan of svelte minimal aesthetic, the Halios Seaforth warrants a well-deserved look from you.

Most of the heavy lifting is done by the dial and bezel. The combination of the brushed finish and expanding polished bevel on the lug adds up to an elegant but somehow still casual timepiece. The dial is a bit on the low-key side but that depends on your choice of dial.

The baton indices and matching hands are fitted with C3 SuperLuminova and are outlined in bold black. The dial really does have an undeniable charm that just puts a smile on my face.

The Halios Seaforth is an excellent dive watch that’s under $1,000. It’s a big value proposition that dive watch fans can’t afford to miss.

2. Aevig Corvid

Best Microbrand Watches Aevig Corvid

Aevig Corvid is another brand that recently came to my attention. If you are looking for a rugged field watch that offers no fuss, the Aevig Corvid comes highly recommended.

A Field Watch for Urban Warriors

Aevig has plenty of eye-catching timepieces in their stable but it’s the Aevig Corvid that really drawn my attention. Aevig describes the Corvid as a “no nonsense easy to read field watch” and I can only nod in agreement.

The Corvid is housed in a 40mm case which can be quite small by current standards. However, the watch has plenty of heft and its combined dimensions give the watch a substantial feel. The case is made from 316L stainless steel and it gets the job done of providing a solid feel to the watch.

I was not expecting much from the caseback but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a basic caseback but it has a block design which adds a great deal of character to the piece.

Of course, you can’t talk about this watch without mentioning the face. The dial reminds me of a vintage instrument panel found in early fighter planes. The dial features a metallic champagne color which adds more to the vintage look.

Moreover, the indices are all straight lines and topped with yellow orange circles for the hour hands. The dial looks clean and legible, and reminds me the best pilot watches out there. However, I was really thrown off with how the numbers are oriented.

Overall, the Aevig Corvid is elegant, simple, and offers good functionality.

3. Pantor Seahorse

Pantor is perhaps the oldest microbrand in this list. However, their track record continues to impress. The Pantor Seahorse is one of the best microband watches for the savvy diver.

A Dive Watch That Won’t Break the Bank

The Seahorse was released back in 2013 by the Hong Kong-based Pantor brand.

Just by looking at it, it’s quite clear that the Seahorse looks are inspired by the legendary Rolex Submariner. The watch’s face is in matte and is populated with circular and shield-shaped hour markers. The dial stands out for its simplicity and legibility. The overall design looks like it’s the illegitimate child of the Seiko Turtle.

The case is made from 316L surgical grade stainless steel with a brushed finish. One of the best design elements of the Seahorse is the recessed crown. This reminds me of the Girard-Perregaux Seahawk but with a less exaggerated approach.

Pro divers who are looking for an affordable dive watch that simply works will have a lot to like about the Seahorse. It is waterproof up to 1,000 meters and it even has extras like the automatic helium valve at 9H. The dial markers are lumed and they are sufficiently illuminated even when you are underwater.

The watch is powered by the reliable Miyota 9015 automatic movement which also helps in keeping the cost down. It’s hard to go wrong with a dive watch that offers great value and functionality.

4. Farer Cobb

Best Microbrand Watches Farer Cobb

Farer is a British microbrand company that offers Swiss-made timepieces. Even the most jaded watch snob has found it difficult to ignore what Farer has to offer. When it comes to the Farer lineup, the Farer Cobb mechanical watch is one of the standouts.

Microbrand Watch Luxury

Without a doubt, the Farer Cobb caught my eye because of its colorful aesthetic. When it comes to luxury watches, a healthy dose of colors would be viewed as experimental or avant-garde. It’s really not the case with Farer – a brand that doesn’t shy away from colors.

The Cobb is a watch with a striking blue dial. The shade is somewhat of a midnight blue which simply looks elegant. Then, your eyes move on to the subdials which are now aqua. Afterward, you notice the other colors like the yellow, red, and burnt orange.

Initially, this sounds like a mess on paper but Farer managed to nail all the design elements and colors without looking too garish. The execution is simply on-point.

The Cobb is a mechanical timepiece which happens to be a big step for the brand. The watch is powered with the ETA caliber 2894-2 movement which is more than a competent addition.

Lately, Farer has been knocking it out of the park with their offerings and the Cobb might just be my absolute favorite.

5. Marchand Legacy

Previously, microbrands mostly turned to crowdfunding platforms in order to have the money to get their passion project going. Most microbrands were funded via Kickstarter and that applies to the Marchand Watch Company. The Marchand Legacy is one of the many babies of crowdfunding.

Designed by Racers for Racers

Just by looking at the Marchand Legacy, you’ll know that it’s a racing-inspired watch. As if the iconic racing checkered flag on its face is not the biggest tell.

For starters, the case is made from high-grade stainless steel and the bezel is knurled but can’t be adjusted. It comes with a screw-down crown which is quite a surprise. The Legacy has a waterproof rating of 10ATM – not exactly a dive watch but it should be fine against the occasional splash.

The watch is powered by the Miyota 9015 movement which provides reliable timekeeping. In addition, the strap is also very high-quality and reminds me of a svelte leather racing car seat.

Last but not the least, the dial is obviously the star here and it’s interesting to note that it’s constructed with layers. The skeletonized minute hand is one of the most unique design elements of the Legacy. Of course, you can see that the center of the dial features a checkered flag in various colors.

To put it simply, the Marchand Legacy will have your hearts racing.

6. Oak & Oscar Humboldt

Best Microbrand Watches Oak & Oscar Humboldt

During the explosion of the microbrands, Chicago-based Oak & Oscar is one of the companies that made the watch folks stop and notice. The Oak & Oscar Humboldt is perhaps the best timepiece from the company and is worth including in this list of the best microbrand watches.

A Daily-Driver With a Story to Tell

Firstly, the Oak & Oscar Humboldt is a 40mm millimeter piece which means that it has medium thickness. I prefer to go with 42mm but for some reason, the Humboldt felt just right on the wrist.

The watch has a 20ATM water resistance rating which is a nice touch considering that it’s not even a dive watch. The rotating bezel is bi-directional and comes in handy for tracking an additional timezone. The dial is protected by a double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

The dial is actually a two-layer sandwich design which is an Oak & Oscar thing. Whether you get the watch in a blue or grey dial, you’ll end up with great-looking watch that you can wear almost everywhere. Night time use becomes possible with the Super-LumiNova BGW9 illumination. Also, the date window is located at the 6H which is another signature design element by the company.

Overall, the Humboldt is a distinct yet familiar effort from Oak & Oscar.

Microbrands Are Here to Stay

Thus, we’ve come to the end of our roundup of the best microbrand watches in the market.

Ultimately, the rise of microbrands excites many watch lovers.

As you can see, even independent companies can put out timepieces that are mind-blowingly good. Now, we’re not stuck with popular brands for our watch-collecting needs. After all, having more options is always a good thing.

Best Glow in the Dark Watches: Luminous Watches That Never Go Dark

Best glow in the dark watches

After carrying out thorough research and testing many luminous timepieces in low light condition, we concluded that the Luminox Men’s 3001 is the best glow in dark watches. This watch offers a high level of brightness than most watches on the market. You can even read the markings as far as 10ft in poor light. It’s also highly durable and comes with great features.

 

Glow watches are some of the ideal accessories to have around. These timepieces offer a feature that is not on most regular watches. It allows you to read the dials at night, in poorly lit rooms or during a dive in the darkest depths of the sea.

However, luminous watches come in different forms. Some have dials with lume paint. Others include LED technology and embedded gas capsules that glow in the dark. Overall, all timepieces perform the same function with different features.

As expected, some luminous watches perform better and even glow brighter than others. Some also have stronger builds, offer better water resistance than other luminous timepieces.

With this being said, choosing the best glow in the dark watches might be pretty hard since there are many options from various brands. But in this article, we will reveal to you some of the best glow in the dark watches on the market.

Best Glow in the Dark Watches

Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision Watch

 

Over the years, innovation on timepiece technology have continued to spring up, and Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision watch is no exception. Thanks to its night vision features, you can read the watch with ease during the day and in the dark. If you’re looking for a durable timepiece that looks elegant to complement your wears, this is one of the best bet.

Elegant Timepiece with Comprehensive Lighting Features

Unlike most glow watches, this watch uses a LED lighting system to illuminate itself at night. All you need do is to push a button on the watch case to activate Victorinox night vision secret power. Two quick pushes activate the extended white light mode at the 12 o’clock position. Pressing down the button 3 times quickly make the LED light to strobe for 150 pulses per minutes, you can deactivate this pulse and extended light by pressing down the button once.

The Victorinox Swiss watch has a black dial accented with a white Arabic numeral marker and luminescent hands. A date window replaces the 6 o’clock marker while it has a well highlighted Victorinox Swiss Army Logo at the 12 O’clock position. The watch face is surrounded by Black PVD bezel, and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the watch face.

This Night Vision watch has a perfect size 42mm stainless steel case with a durable leather strap. Top of it all, it features a Red light locator at the 6 o’clock position. This LED locator blinks once every 10 seconds and Flashes 3 times (in every 10 seconds) when the battery is low.

Opinion and drawbacks

Why this watch is a great choice is that you’re not just getting one of the best glows in dark watches but an elegant timepiece. Also, you don’t have to take it off for short periods of recreational swimming. However, be ready to change the battery every 4-6 months on regular use.

Overall, this is a beautiful looking watch for casual wear, although you might find it quite heavy on the wrist.

 

Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch

 

The Luminox Men’s 3001  is a reliable option for those looking for the best glow in the dark watches and outdoor timepiece. This Navy seal dive watch boast of a unique illumination system that you can expect from any glow timepieces. It offers the latest timepiece technology, which is why it is on high demand by most US armed forces.

Bright Illumination System

The main attraction of this timepiece is its ruggedness and sturdy construction. If you’re heading for a night job anywhere near water bodies, the Luminox 3001 watch will help you plan your day. It has a dial marker and hands that glow with extreme brightness in the dark. This illumination comes as no surprise as it features a self-powered micro gas light embedded in the watch face.

This navy seal dive watch is water resistant up to 200 meters which makes it one of the best dive watches on the market. For extra durability, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal also protects its watch face while it has a caseback screw crown that prevents water from getting into the watch.

With its black 43 mm stainless steel case, this watch is comfortable enough on small and large size wrist. The Luminox Men’s 3001 feature a black dial with a white large hour hand (and second hand). The dial face is highlighted with white Arabic numeral markers with a date window at 3 o’clock.

Unlike other glow watches on our list, the Men’s 3001 feature a unidirectional rotating bezel inscribed with 5-minutes Arabic numerals. Surely, most scuba divers will find the bezel useful since it helps to account for elapsed time. The big plus is that it features a Swiss quartz movement to provide you with accurate time anytime and any day.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This watch comes with everything you’re looking for in a glow watches. Also, since it is water resistant to a great depth and can handle knock and falls, it is a suitable timepiece for military and construction workers.

However, the strap on this watch is not very durable. The pins that hold the strap usually come off within a short period. Also, the movement on this watch malfunctions more often.

Overall, you will find this watch very useful since you don’t need to press a button for it to illuminate. What’s more, it doesn’t need solar energy or lithium-ion battery to keep it running.

Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW-6000Y-1ACR Watch

 

Casio’s Pro Trek PRW 6000Y comes with solar-powered features, and it also offers you accurate timekeeping. With this being said, this sports watch serves as an ideal timepiece for outdoor use at any location.

Accurate Timepiece with LED Display

Like most attractive timepieces, the PRW-6000Y has a slim profile with lightweight features. With this in mind, you can wear the watch for a long period without feeling any pressure on your wrist.

The item offers an analog dial, but it also has a smaller dial for special features such as a thermometer, barometer, compass, and an altimeter. The dial also houses a digital display. Furthermore, the Casio provides LED lighting for the face and digital display for easy reading in poorly lit environments.

Since it boasts of a resin band and sapphire dial window, the watch can withstand years of regular use. Its sturdy resin band ensures the timepiece does not fall off your wrist during any physical activity. It also offers water resistant to a maximum depth of 100m, which makes it suitable for a short swim.

There is no need for battery replacements since the watch is solar powered. You can also use the watch for extended periods without exposure to light. If you want to conserve its battery, you can activate “the power saver” mode.

Opinions and Drawback

This timepiece performs impressively, and it serves as an ideal item for everyday use. It also has a sturdy build while making your wrist comfortable at the same time. You also use it in the dark without straining your eyes.

But it might be hard to operate without using its manual while its compass does not give accurate readings.

Marathon Military Navigator Pilot Watch

 

If you are looking for the best glow in the dark watch, it wouldn’t be out of place if you consider a robust military watch. This watch comes with features that enable easy reading under poor lighting.

Budget-friendly Luminous Watch

The Marathon Military Navigator Pilot is a portable watch designed with strict military standards. It can serve as an ideal accessory to wear for any occasion because it is light in weight and feels comfortable enough on the wrist. The analog dial on this watch consists of a simple background with markers and a date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock position.

One of the attractive features of this product is its self-contained gas tubes which are placed on each of the marker and hands. These tubes promise full blown brightness for 25 years. As a result, it’s possible to view its watching face anytime and any day for as long as you use.

Durability is taken seriously on the Military Navigator Pilot watch as a strong fiber shell case houses its internal parts. Furthermore, a hardened acrylic crystal covers its dial while a waterproof nylon strap graces the lugs of the timepiece. Overall, all features mentioned on this watch can withstand a depth of 60m under water.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Since the Military Navigator Pilot is portable and light in weight, you will feel comfortable wearing this watch throughout the day. It even combines toughness with ever glowing gas filled markers in a simple package. Overall, the watch serves as a worthy investment.

Like all items on our review, this timepiece has some downsides which might make you consider other options. First, its case is not as durable as the type we would expect from a military watch. Also, the bezel cannot withstand regular falls, thereby falling off after some time.

 

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Navihawk Watch

 

With its atomic technology and luminous markers, the Citizen Navihawk watch offers you easy reading under any condition. It also provides better features that can rival top-tier timepieces that glow in the dark.

Bold Watch with Bright Markers

Citizen Navihawk is a regular sized luminous watch. It comes with a 43mm stainless steel case back. Surprisingly, its bulky look will go well with any outfit in your closet.

The dial has a dark background covered with orange accents, multifunction chronographs and digital displays which complements its rugged look. It also offers a digital backlight display coupled with luminous markers on the watch face. This means you can read any details on the watch without having to worry about poor lighting.

Anti-reflective mineral glass covers the large dial, allowing you to read the watch from all angles easily. A stainless steel bezel surrounds the watch window, thereby offering added security. What’s more, it has a comfortable polyurethane band with a fold-over-buckle which holds the watch firmly on your wrist.

If you have plans to go for a swim in the ocean, there is no need to take off the watch. After all, it promises water resistance at 200m. However, it should not be used during scuba diving.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Citizen Navihawk watch has specs that would interest those looking for an excellent luminous watch. It features luminescent hands and a backlit display which ensures readability in low lighting. Luckily, it uses solar power to enable these functions.

But this fantastic timepiece has some minor issues. First, the band is too large, especially if you have a smaller wrist while the watch could be hard to set.

TAG Heuer Men’s WAZ1110.BA0875  Watch

 

In this review article, we plan on listing only 5 watches, but we can’t just end it without the TAG Heuer Men’s WAZ1110.BA0875 watch. This luxury watch comes with great features that can rival many expensive luminous and dive watches above $1000. If you’re looking for a timepiece suitable for professional marine activities, it’s best you invest your money into this timepiece. You won’t regret it, sincerely.

Luxury and Durability at Its Peak

This watch has a 41mm stainless steel case and link bracelet with fold-over-clasp to secure the watch to your wrist. It is water resistant up to a depth of 200 meters, which makes it great for professional marine activity. This analog display watch uses a Quartz movement to provide you with accurate time anytime.

This TAG Heuer Men’s watch looks elegant at first glance, and it has a black dial surrounded by a uni-directional ion-plated bezel. You can also use the uni-directional bezel to account for the elapsed time during a dive underwater. Furthermore, the dial has a luminous hand and hour markers that allow you to read the watch in the dark.

There is a calendar window at the 3 o’clock position to keep you iinformed on the current date. Furthermore, a synthetic sapphire glass covers the dial window to protect it from fall and knocks. One exciting part is that for every purchase, you get a decent 2-year warranty.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This luxury watch offers fantastic features to allow you to see the timepiece at night. It is also extremely durable to withstand tough condition.

One thing you might not find comfortable is that the watch face is pretty small, making it look a bit silly on large arms. Also, it comes as the most expensive timepiece on this list.

Final Thought and Recommendation on the Best Glow in Dark Watches

For a roundup,  if you’re looking for the best glow in the dark watches, it is not a good idea to go for only the luminescent in the watch. You should also consider the durability, water resistance, and the way it fits on your wrist.

However, if you’re on a low budget, the Marathon Military Navigator Pilot would be an excellent choice. But if you spend most of your time engaged in outdoor activities, theCasio Men’s ProTek will serve you better. For those that don’t want to spend extra cash on batteries, it’s best to go for Citizen Navihawk Watch.

Finally, for lovers of luxury and expensive timepieces, the TAG Heuer Men’s will be the best option for you.

Best Tactical Smartwatch: Tactical Timepieces Just Got a Lot Smarter

Best Tactical Smartwatch Featured_0

What makes a smartwatch “tactical”? Does it need to have tactical features? Does it need to be stealthy?

In reality, there is no single true definition that makes a smartwatch tactical. There are many timepieces that are used by professionals in the tactical field. These watches are rugged, reliable, highly legible, and have the right set features.

If you are in the market for the best tactical smartwatch, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we round up some of the best tactical smartwatches that you can get for your money.

Best Tactical Smartwatches

Key Features

Our Rating

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 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Fenix 5X Full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, Routable cycling maps, Training Status and Training Effect readouts, PVD-coated stainless steel bezel, Advanced GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, Chroma Display with LED backlighting, Advanced Running Dynamics ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Suunto Core All Black Military Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Weather Trend graph, Storm alarm, Sunrise and sunset times, 100 feet water resistance, Rotating bezel, Replaceable straps, Digital thermometer ★ ★ ★ ★
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Innovative rotating steel bezel, Text, call and get notifications, Samsung Pay enabled, Military-grade performance, Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, Wireless charger, Built-in S Health app ★ ★ ★ ★
TicWatch Pro 2-30 days of battery life on a single charge, AMOLED display, Google Assistant, Power saving FSTN LCD display, GPS tracker, heart-rate monitor, step counter, Google Pay enabled ★ ★ ★ ★
Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A ★ ★ ★ ½

Best Tactical Smartwatch

1. Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Suunto Traverse Alpha has been getting a lot of love among outdoor lovers and for good reason. While many of its features are focused around outdoor adventures, it’s a rugged, feature-rich smartwatch that will serve you well in the field.

A Dynamic, Outdoor Tactical Smartwatch

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is one of our top picks as the best tactical smartwatch due to its ruggedness and reliability. The Traverse Alpha is housed composite case with a fixed knurled steel bezel. On top of that, the watch is protected by sapphire crystal lens and comes with a water-resistant nylon wrist strap.

This combination of features adds up to a very durable watch that can withstand even the harshest of elements. Whether you’re rock climbing or serving in law enforcement, this watch’s durability will not fail you.

This smartwatch comes with GPS and GLONASS technology, navigation becomes a non-issue. You can even set built-in shortcuts for saving your current position as a point of interest or POI. The watch itself is very easy to use and it’s made even more intuitive if you download the Movescount app.

The look of the watch just screams “tactical” with its woodland aesthetic. The display offers two options: black-on-white or white-on-black contrasts. The display is not in your face and you can even set it to show in red backlight so it works with night vision goggles.

It’s seriously one of the best tactical, outdoor smartwatches that money can buy.

2. Garmin Fenix 5X

If you are a tactical professional who’s looking for a top-of-the-line navigation smartwatch, the Garmin Fenix 5X is certainly worth the look. After all, it’s from a company that’s synonymous with stellar GPS navigation systems.

Hefty and Handsome

As mentioned, the Garmin Fenix 5X is a top-tier navigation companion. This multisport GPS watch comes with all sorts of advanced navigation features such as full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, routable cycling maps, and many others.

The GPS and GLONASS sensors work exceptionally well which is no surprise since this watch is a Garmin product after all. Even when you’re in the most challenging tactical environment, the GPS along with features like the 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter should come in handy.

Aside from offering excellent navigation features, the Fenix 5X is also a top-notch training companion. If you are obsessed with tracking your performance stats, the Fenix 5X is a no-brainer as it offers some of the of most advanced performance metrics I’ve seen.

The enhanced readouts for Training Status and Training Effect will allow you to see the benefits of your workout. There’s the feature called VO2 max estimator that just pumps out the stats such as running speed, heart rate variability, beats per minute, and more. You can even access more data if you have the compatible heart rate chest strap such as the HRM-Run.

It’s perhaps the most expensive tactical / fitness smartwatch on this list but it really is worth the investment.

3. Suunto Core All Black Military

Blacked out watches are ideal for the men and women in the tactical field. The Suunto Core All Black Military is a blacked out watch that provides the much-needed stealthiness along with features that many won’t mind having.

Tactical Look, Fit, and Feel

The Suunto Core All Black Military watch is the best tactical smartwatch mainly because of its looks. One look at the watch and you know that it’s a timepiece for tactical applications. However, it is stylish enough that you won’t mind wearing it on a daily basis.

The all black finish does a great job of tying the design elements altogether.

The Suunto Core All Black Military is not just a good-looking watch, it’s also a great outdoor companion with the relevant bells and whistles. For starters, it’s an ABC watch which means that it comes with an altimeter (for determining current elevation), barometer (weather forecast), and a compass. There’s also sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations.

When it comes to ruggedness, the Suunto Core All Black Military won’t disappoint. The rotating bezel is made from knurled anodized aluminum but unfortunately, it’s not very good in warding off scratches. However, the scratches do add a bit of personality to the watch but that’s just me.

The watch feels solid but never clunky. In fact, the Suunto Core All Black Military is a lightweight watch and feels good on the wrist.

The Core All Black Military is yet another Suunto classic.

4. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung is known for their excellent electronic products but not exactly for their smartwatches. This is why the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier was such a nice surprise for me.

Tactical Smartwatch for Android Users

There are actually two Gear S3 models – the Classic and the Frontier. Since we are rounding up the best tactical smartwatch we went with the Frontier model which features a sportier design.

The watch comes with a silicone strap which is more ideal for more rugged applications. It’s easy to slip on and offers just the right amount of comfort which is good if you’re wearing the watch for hours. However, the strap is a dirt magnet. If you’re not a fan of the strap, you can replace it with any 22mm watch band.

The best thing about the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is the innovative rotating bezel. Rotating the bezel makes a satisfying sound that I can’t get enough of. The bezel is used for navigating the UI which is nothing short of amazing. Quickly scrolling through the menus is just a delightful experience.

The Gear S3 Frontier is also packed with useful features. The built-in GPS should come in handy for tracking your activity and staying on top of your training. When paired with your smartphone, the watch can nearly eliminate the need for having a mobile device. You can read texts, emails, alerts, and even make hands-free calls.

The Gear S3 Frontier is a bit on the expensive side but it’s certainly a better tactical timepiece than the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

5. TicWatch Pro

There’s a good chance that you haven’t heard of Mobvoi or Ticwatch products before. Mobvoi is a Chinese company and is responsible for our next tactical smartwatch, the TicWatch Pro.

Battery Life That Impresses

Don’t let the fact that the TicWatch Pro is a Chinese-made smartwatch deter you from checking it out.

For starters, the TicWatch Pro is actually a high-end offering by Mobvoi. It features a fairly high-end design (which frankly looks like the Gear S3 Frontier) and a revolutionary dual-screen technology. The top-layer display looks more like a traditional watch screen but doesn’t look that high-end.

The second layer, on the other hand, is an OLED smart screen which looks more premium. The OLED screen looks brighter and more impactful. From this screen, you’ll be able to access most of the Wear OS features like GPS tracker, step counter, heart-rate monitor, apps, and more.

But what makes the TicWatch Pro a good tactical smartwatch is its impressive battery life. The watch features two modes of operation: Smart and Essential modes. The Essential Mode basically turns your watch into a low-tech timepiece which can give you as many as 30 days of battery life.

The TicWatch Pro will just keep on ticking even when you’re out in the field for extended periods of time.

6. Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A

Casio actually has a smartwatch offering and it’s a pretty good one. The Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A features the signature Casio toughness and it just got smarter.

Casio Toughness With Military Standards

The Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A is one of the toughest smartwatches that you can get. Whether it’s outdoors or the city, it’s a lifestyle wearable that delivers the goods.

To start, the Pro-Trek WSD-F20A is a big watch with a width of 53mm. On smaller wrists, the watch might be too heavy and uncomfortable. Despite the size, the watch is surprisingly comfortable. It doesn’t get itchy or sweaty even after wearing it for hours.

The Pro-Trek WSD-F20A’s design is a winner in my book. The bold design really fits the outdoor lifestyle. There’s the standard black version if you’re looking for something more “stealthy.”

The watch also features two screens and one is a beautiful OLED display. It runs on Wear OS which can be quite buggy but it gets the job done. However, the battery life is slightly disappointing which can last for only 6 to 8 hours on a single charge.

The watch is marketed as an outdoor timepiece but it’s a good option for tactical applications. Unfortunately, the price tag is a bit on the expensive side.

Tactical Watches Just Got Smarter

That wraps up our roundup of the best tactical smartwatch. Hopefully, this buyer’s guide has helped you find a watch that best fits your tactical needs.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches: Lesser Known Divers That You Need to Know

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Featured

When most people think about dive watches or just watches in general, they usually think of large, popular brands such as Rolex, Omega, Casio, Seiko, and many others.

We have already made several guides and reviews about the best dive watches available, so for today, we’ll do something a little bit different.

Today, we’re going to set out eyes on the best microbrand dive watches. Before we start with the round-up, I think it’s best that we first define what exactly is a microbrand watch.

What is a Microbrand Watch?

By definition, a microbrand is basically a small, independent brand. For microbrand watches, they are tiny-fledgling businesses that are generally run by watchmakers and craftsmen.

There are “larger” microbrands out there but they are mostly small-person companies that work with third-party manufacturers to bring their creations to life. There are microbrands that actually create their in-house movements but those are quite rare in the scene.

Microbrand designs are not exactly commercial but most of them are quite creative and can spark the interest of collectors who are looking for something exclusive and rare. The growth of crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter has made it possible for small companies to get their designs and ideas funded.

Some examples of early microbrand watches are the Timefactor’s Dreadnought or the OCEAN7 LM-1. However, it’s worth noting that most of the brands included in this list have expressed some distaste at the “microbrand” terminology.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches

Best Microbrand Dive Watches

Key Features

Our Rating

Farer Aqua Compressor Leven 316L high grade stainless steel, Satin sunray brushed top, Silver sunray dial, Oversized polished black steel hour hand, off-white Super-LumiNova, Natural black rubber strap, 30ATM water resistant, 2.2mm double curved sapphire crystal glass front, Solid bronze tapered crown for movement ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Pantor Seahorse Miyota 9015 Japanese automatic movement, 316L stainless steel with brushed finish, Sapphire crystal, Swiss C3 SuperLumiNova, 24mm with 15pcs links separately and 6 step micro adjustment, 40 hours power reserve ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Spinnaker Bradner Japan NH35 Automatic Movement with 3 Hands with Date, Stainless Steel, Waterproof Genuine Leather Strap, Tang Buckle, 18 ATM Water Resistance, 41 hours of power reserve, Swiss Super-LumiNova ★ ★ ★ ★
Vostok Amphibia 200 m (20 Bar) Water Resistant, Luminous hands and dots, Official supplier of watches for the Defense Department of the Soviet Union ★ ★ ★ ★
Unimatic U1-EM Aluminium black bezel, Super-luminova lumed dot, Black matte stealth outline dial, Horween Cordovan Shell strap, Unimatic two piece design, NH35A automatic movement tuned to 21600bph, 41h power reserve, Brushed SS signed custom buckle ★ ★ ★ ★

1. Farer Aqua Compressor Leven

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Farer Leven

Farer is a British company that has unveiled its first few models back in 2015. All of Farer’s timepieces and are notable for their 60’s inspired designs with a touch of the tropical. The Farer Aqua Compressor Leven is one of the three dive watches that the brand offers.

Modern Classic with a Colorful Touch

The 60’s aesthetic of the Leven is very apparent with its super-smooth silver sunray dial that adds a timeless elegance to the watch. The Leven features a steel cushion case with both brushed and polished elements. The polished ring is quite subtle but it looks great and is a testament to Farer’s attention to detail.

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the Leven is its dial. From the burnt orange minute hands to the baton’s square color blocks teal edge, there’s a surprising pop of colors present in the dial. At the same time, the watch looks like a mature, classic dive model and will only look out of place for dressier formal outfits.

As for many dive watches, the legibility on this watch is top notch. The minute markings and hands are treated with the Super-LumiNova illumination which not only looks great but functional as well. The split color bezel is a nice touch with a 20-minute detailed scale for decompression times.

This dive watch boasts a 30ATM water resistance. The Leven provides a great balance of sophistication and playfulness.

2. Pantor Seahorse

The Pantor Seahorse is one of the more affordable dive watches in this list. Pantor is a microbrand that somehow went under my radar, and I’m sure on many people’s radar as well. Pantor is a company based from Hong Kong and it has a pretty solid dive watch under its belt.

Earned Its Place in the Microbrand Dive Watch World

The Pantor Seahorse is one of the first models that was released by this microbrand, way back in 2013. However, it’s good to know that Pantor is still in the business of manufacturing watches.

Anyway, the Pantor Seahorse is not exactly an original design and it’s clearly inspired by the Rolex Submariner. With that said, the Seahorse is a good-looking watch with a simple and clean dial. The large markers are popping out and great for legibility. The case reminds me a bit of the Seiko Turtle case design but it still looks unique on its own.

The Seahorse is waterproof to 1000 meters which means that even pro divers can use this watch underwater. The automatic helium valve at 9H is also a nice touch. The watch is powered by the ever-present Miyota 9015 automatic movement. It’s not the most superior movement out there but it gets the job done.

Best of all, the Pantor Seahorse is offered at a fairly affordable price.

3. Spinnaker Bradner

 

 

When it comes to quirky microbrands, Spinnaker definitely comes to mind. It’s a budget-friendly brand but it still manages to churn out timepieces with out-of-the-box designs. The Spinnaker Bradner is one of the best microbrand dive watches when it comes to sheer quirkiness and whimsy.

Wetsuit-Inspired Dive Watch

While researching the Spinnaker Bradner, I found out that the inspiration for the watch is a wetsuit – then it all suddenly made sense. The watch was named after Hugh Bradner, the inventor of the neoprene wetsuit.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Spinnaker Bradner_1

This 42mm dive watch comes with a stainless steel case with a 20mm strap. Despite the size and build of the Bradner, it’s a fairly light watch. However, the comfort level could definitely use some improvement. With that out of the way, the case itself looks aesthetically pleasing.

Of course, you can’t talk about the Bradner without mentioning its dial. The dial just oozes with personality, thanks to the wetsuit-inspired bi-directional rotating inner-bezel. Adjusting the bezel is quite the delight as it doesn’t jump or click, just smooth all the way through. However, I think the hour indicators and hands are not matching up to the bezel, stylistically speaking.

The Bradner is far from perfect but for the sub $500 tag price, I am more than willing to forgive its gripes.

Click here to access to our exclusive article for the Spinnaker Bradner Review.

4. Vostok Amphibia

Vostok is a lesser-known brand that’s hailed from Russia. While Vostok is not the biggest brand out there, it has managed to create several iconic timepieces. The Vostok Amphibia offers cheap thrills outside the traditional charms of the Swiss cantons.

A Lesser-Known Classic

The Vostok Amphibia is currently available in many different case styles and bracelets. The watch is named “Amphibia” because it looks like a watch that is both suitable for land and water.

The Amphibia’s design for water resistance is quite interesting because the resistance is improved as the surrounding pressure increases. Central to this interesting design is the caseback system. The watch uses a bayonet style caseback. At increased pressure, the case back is pushed towards the rubber gasket which improves the resistance of the watch.

Truly a watch that’s worthy of the Soviet defense department.

The quirky design of the dial is another feature that attracted me to the Amphibia. The off-beat, retro-infused charm is certainly hard to deny. The lume of the watch is not really that special but it functions as intended. With that said, the legibility of the watch is not that great which can be polarizing for many collectors.

The Vostok Amphibia is crude and simple, and can be yours at a ridiculously low price.

5. Unimatic U1-EM

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Unimatic U1-EM

Unimatic is an Italian watchmaker that’s known for their beautiful, minimalist dive watches. Most of their designs are limited edition runs, so you’d better be fast on your feet. If you are looking for something stealthy and minimalistic, the Unimatic U1-EM should be right down your alley.

Stealthy, Minimalistic Dive Watch

The Unimatic U1-EM is a thing of beauty and its minimalistic design just adds a great deal to its overall look. The black matte stealth outline dial with thick indices look simple but packs a lot of character. However you look at it, the Unimatic U1-EM looks unique and it seems like a deconstructed dive watch.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Featured

The case is also a standout with the brand’s signature minimal aluminium black bezel. The sharpness is definitely there and the brushing looks absolutely well done. The domed crystal sapphire with interior AR coating is simply eye-catching and offers a sleek vintage touch.

On the other hand, the luxurious Made in Italy Horween Cordovan Shell strap certainly helps in making the watch feel premium. I can wear it all day and I have experienced no discomfort while using the watch. The watch houses the Automatic calibre Seiko NH35A 21600bph which is a decent movement and very cost-efficient.

The Unimatic U1-EM offers a very compelling package in terms of design, function, and value.

The Rise of Microbrand Watches

This wraps up our buyer’s guide of the best microbrand dive watches.

The microbrand scene is definitely catching on and it’s becoming a wild west as more companies join in on the fun. Overall, this list should be a good starting point for collectors who are looking to start a microbrand watch collection.

Best Inexpensive Dive Watch: Cool Underwater Dive Watch Under $400

Best Inexpensive Dive watch

There are vast numbers of dive watches from various brands. However, our favorite and the best inexpensive dive watch goes to the NEYMAR Men’s Diver Watch. This watch offers a higher level of water resistance, hardened sapphire crystal, bright luminous markers, and indicators. Besides that, it can withstand 1000meters of water pressure.

What’s The Best Inexpensive Dive Watch in 2019?

Most people own dive watches, even if they are not professional divers. Usually, these timepieces look bulky and bold as they have to handle the stress related to watersports. However, they look elegant and can complement a wet suit, casual and formal wear.

A good dive watch also provides an accurate reading of time and depth. Most of them have bright dials which glow in the dark, and they have parts made from durable materials.

Since there are many dive watches with various qualities and high prices, getting an affordable dive timepiece might be difficult. Hence, to make things pretty easy for you, we’ve provided a genuine list of the best inexpensive dive watch in 2019.

Invicta Men’s 8928OB Pro Diver Gold Automatic Watch

 

For countless years, Invicta has offered products which combine elegance with high performance. The Invicta Men’s 8928OB Automatic watch is no exception to the brand’s quality watches. It features as one of the best in the Brand’s Pro Diver series and has excellent qualities that make the watch perfect for divers.

Elegant Case and Bracelet

Unlike other Invicta products which come in a single color, the Invicta 8928OB features a 13mm thick steel case in gold and silver tones. Behind the case lies a transparent skeleton case that displays the watch’s movement.

The timepiece has a 21cm long silver stainless steel strap. Furthermore, the bracelet has a clasp buckle which allows the watch to fit securely on the wrist.

Both the strap and bracelet are evenly polished, thus giving the watch a stylish look.

Attractive Display

A beautiful face graces the front of the watch. This face has a simple matte black or silver dial on a vibrant blue background. Under various lighting or viewing angles, the tint of the face could change.

Luminous Dials

Since it’s a diving watch, this Invicta dive watch has hands which offer a bright green glow when in deep or murky waters. It even has an electric blue dial which you can view in low or bright light.

Accurate Movement

With this timepiece, there is no need for batteries or regular windings. The reason is that the watch offers an authentic Japanese Automatic Movement and works with kinetic energy generated when you swing your arms.

Opinions and Drawbacks

This Invicta watch is a great timepiece but one if its downside is that it sometimes counts slowly or faster. That’s the time seconds is either a little forward or backward.

Orient Mako II Dive Watch

 

The Orient Mako II Dive Watch comes as an improved successor to the Mako I. It also stands as an ideal option for buyers looking for a cheap but durable dive timepiece. With this in mind, Orient has become popular with amateur and seasoned divers.

Sturdy Bezel

Unlike most watches, the Mako II has a 120 click sloping aluminum bezel. This feature makes the timepiece look elegant while making it blend with the case and crystal. It also makes it easier to operate.

Since its bezel is made from aluminum, it can withstand wear and tear for an extended period. It also makes the watch lighter than models with steel bezels.

Sturdy Steel Case

As expected, the Mako II offers a better case than the Mako I. Surrounded by rounded edges – its case blends with the polished end links of the stainless steel strap. Overall, it creates a look that fits with a wet suit or formal attire and offers water resistance of up to 200meters.

Tough Clasp

Although Mako II is a budget watch, it has a sturdy clasp. This part comes with double locking and push-button features. Overall, it prevents the timepiece from unexpected openings during dives or a swim.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Orient Mako II is an affordable, elegant, and durable watch. However, it looks smaller than regular dive watches and has a tight bezel. Furthermore, it has a crown which does not unscrew easily.

Seiko Men’s SSC017 Dive Watch

 

Known in some circles as the Air Diver, the Seiko Prospex Solar Dive Watch has an impressive design which makes it stand out as a great contender in our list. It also comes with functions that make it suitable for diving and other water activities.

Solar Recharge

There is no need to wind the watch since the timepiece uses solar power to recharge its battery. A full charge offers six months of battery life.

Water Resistance

An average watch has a resistance of 100 meters, but the SSC017 offers an impressive 200m or 20 ATM. With this water-resistant rating, this makes the watch suitable for most aquatic activities. It also has a firm pusher and crown that can withstand leaks during scuba diving.

Classic Stainless Steel Case

This timepiece can handle shocks and scratches with its 43mm stainless steel case. It also has a 13 mm thickness. Overall, the case gives the watch a bulky look, which is wearable.

It has three sub-dials and luminous markers covered with a sheet of durable Hardlex material.

Extendable Bracelet

A polished and brushed stainless steel strap secures the Seiko SSC017 on any wrist size. It also has a dive extension which allows a diver increases its length when worn with a wet suit.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Seiko SSC017 is an impressive diving watch with great functions. However, it has a few downsides. First, the blue paint peels within a short time. It does charge under cloudy weather. Finally, it’s not a full-scale chronograph since it does not have a tachymeter scale.

Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch

 

The Luminox Men’s 3001 is a timepiece designed to work great in dark environments. This Luminox Navy SEAL Series watch is resistant to water, which makes it great for water sports. Here are the highlights of this fantastic timepiece.

Reinforced Carbon Case and Water-resistant

The durable case is made from a carbon strengthened with polymers. Also, it includes a unidirectional polymer bezel. Behind the watch, a PVD stainless case held down by tight stainless screws keeps water out.

This dive watch has a water resistance of up to 200m (600ft). This makes it a viable option for swimming and scuba diving.

Micro Gas Lights

Unlike most diving watches, the Luminox does not use bright paint in the dark. Instead, it works with micro gas lights embedded on the hands and indicators on the watch face. Furthermore, there’s no need to recharge the lights or push any button before they come on.

Adjustable Rubber Strap

The Luminox watch has a silicon type 23mm wide rubber bracelet with a double locking buckle. This material can withstand hours of water exposure while making the user feel comfortable. It also fits all wrist sizes.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Luminox Navy Seal Watch can rival any dive watch in the market, but it has some issues. For one, the watch is pretty too bulky on the wrist and its strap is held with a weak pin. Overall, this timepiece is a great product and will be worth spending your cash on.

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch

 

The Citizen BN0150-28E is a part of the Citizen Promaster Sea Collection range of professional diving watches. It also comes with a design that will fit for scuba diving and everyday use.

Impressive Battery

The watch has a lithium-ion battery which you can recharge with artificial or natural light. Besides, the battery can last for as long as 20 years and does not require changing.

Strong Bezel

A stainless steel bezel surrounds the watch face of the BN0150-28E. You can turn in a single direction. When underwater, it’s harder to rotate which prevents it from moving accidentally. Besides, the bezel has a mechanism which produces an audible click when turned.

Slim Case

The product has a stainless steel case that has a thickness of 12mm and a diameter of 43mm. These dimensions present the Citizen eco-drive master watch as a slim item. With such a profile, it can easily avoid bumps against rocks or coral in the water.

Elegant Watch Face

The watch face includes an attractive black dial. This simple background allows you to view the silver hour indicators and hands easily. Since the hands feature luminous paint, you can use the timepiece under low light condition.

Opinion and Drawback

We praise the watch for its excellent design, size, and functions. However, the watch face looks crowded while the band feels thin when worn. Also, the product does not come with an instruction manual on how to operate the watch.

NEYMAR Men’s 1000m Diver Watch – Best Inexpensive Watch for Scuba Diving

 

The Neymar men’s diver watch stands as the final watch on our list of the best inexpensive dive watch. This product offers elegance and high performance when used for aquatic sports and regular use.

Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal

A sheet of anti-reflective sapphire crystal covers the watch face of the NEYMAR Diver watch. Since the material is almost as hard as diamond, it can withstand shocks and scratches better than mineral glass models.

Impressive Water Resistance Level

Most dive watches offer water resistance within 100 -200m. However, the NEYMAR watch promises resistance to 1000m  of water pressure, which makes it an ideal option for scuba diving.

Helium Escape Valve

On the right edge of the case lies a helium escape valve. With this valve, you can expel helium gas that might slip into the watch case during deep sea diving.

Super Easy Screwdown Crown

It has a large screw-down crown at the figure 3 hour mark of the timepiece.  Guards protect the crown from knocks and bumps. Its crown is easy to grip and wind.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Neymar watch is sturdy enough to withstand water pressure at 1000m.  It also has a weak bracelet clip.

Overall, the Neymar Diver watch features great functions and it comes at an affordable price. It even competes against many top brands such as Seiko.

What to Look Out For When Buying a Dive Watch

What gets most buyers confused is what a dive watch need to have and what to look out for in a dive watch. Not all watches that present itself as a dive watch can work great when it goes deep down underwater.   Here are important things to consider when buying a dive watch.

Water-resistant

At this point, using the ISO term would not be a good idea. Because as for ISO, a good dive watch should be resistant to 100 meters of water pressure. But many watchmakers don’t agree to that. They believe a perfect dive watch should have a water resistant to 200 meters. The reason is due to added pressure movement underwater and the degradation time of the gaskets. It’s not about being waterproof but how long can it withstand such water pressure. Hence, it’s best to be on a safer side.

Luminescence

This makes the watch more readable even in low light condition. The lume paint is coated on the hands and dial markers to absorb light, and it glows during low light or night dives. A perfect watch for Diver should have lume painted on the 5 minutes dial markers, 60 minutes bezels, hour hands, minutes and seconds.

Rotating Uni-directional Timing Bezel

This is a significant factor to consider because this helps divers account for elapsed time. The rotational bezel should move the counter at clockwise direction and not the other way around. So that if there is a change in movement during a dive underwater, it gives a reduce time rather than more.

Also, most dive watches have an external bezel but there some exception like the Bulova Snorkel with an internal bezel.

Movement Type

There are different types of movement, which includes quartz, mechanical, automatic, and digital. Quartz movement is known for its accurate time while the mechanical movement is very popular due to its correct alignment of gears, level of quality and craftsmanship. Watches with mechanical automatic movement is also great as it works with the aid of kinetic energy generated when the wrist is in motion. However, the one to choose depends on your personal preference.

Final Word on the Best Inexpensive Dive Watch

For a roundup, getting one of the best inexpensive dive watches will pay off since it will serve your need and last longer. Having read through the reviews of our best-selected watches and buying guide, you will ind it pretty easy to get the right one.

These dive watches are not only great for underwater but they can also complement your everyday casual and formal outfit.

However, as we’ve said from the start, the Neymar dive watch still stands out as our top pick. It might require a higher budget, but it certainly worth the price. But if you want a watch that can glow more at night for easy reading, then consider getting the Luminox dive watch.

Best Police Watch: For Members of the Law Enforcement

Best Police Watch

The people in law enforcement are involved in a rough and tumble job. Thus, it’s not surprising for police officers to have their personal items subjected to significant abuse.

With that said, it’s easy to recommend a cheap watch for members of the police force. After all, why invest in a watch that costs a lot when it’s going to break in a few months?

Well, there are many timepieces that can handle the rough nature of a police officer’s job. The best police watch is not just the toughest but it offers features that make their job a little easier.

For today’s list, we round up some of the best watches for members of law enforcement. I have been testing several watches for a few weeks now and these models are the cream of the crop.

Best Police Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock DW6900BB Black Out Basic Series Shock Resistant, 200 Meter Water Resistant, 12 and 24 Hour ( Military Time) Formats, Full auto-calendar, EL Backlight with Afterglow, Multi-function Alarm, 1/100 Second Stopwatch Measuring capacity ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series Swiss quartz movement, Durable mineral crystal, Pc carbon reinforced case, Water resistant to 660 feet (200 M), Case diameter: 45 mm ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver Unidirectional bezel, Blue dial with a date window at 4 o’clock, Eco-Drive technology, 48 mm stainless steel case, Molded polyurethane band with buckle closure, Water resistant: WR200/20Bar/666ft ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Military Series Stopwatch, Countdown timer, Full auto-calendar, Designed to resist mechanical shock and vibration, 10-meter free-fall endurance, 10-year battery life ★ ★ ★ ★
Seiko 5 Automatic 37 mm stainless steel case, Hardlex mineral dial window, Precise 21-jewel automatic movement with analog display, 40 hours of power reserve ★ ★ ★ ★
Timex Expedition Gallatin Rugged resin outdoor construction, Lightweight, Easy-Set Quick-Date, Green Double Layer Nylon Slip-Thru Strap, Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial, Water resistant to 50m (165ft) ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Police Watch

1. Casio G-Shock DW6900BB Black Out Basic Series

Honestly, we could easily fill this list of the best police watch with G-Shocks and call it a day. G-Shocks are fairly popular with members of law enforcement and it’s not hard to see why. One of the best models of the bunch is the Casio G-Shock DW6900BB Black Out Basic Series.

Stealthy and Tactical

The G-Shock DW6900BB model does a great job of mixing digital and analog displays.

Perhaps the most standout feature of this G-Shock is its superior shock resistance. Casio has engineered a timepiece that suits that lifestyle of a police officer. Over the past several, this watch has received several impacts and exposure to moisture like you wouldn’t believe. The face is quite scratch-resistant as well.

The digital display is negative LCD which means that white font is used against a black background. My main concern with negative displays is legibility but I didn’t have such a problem with the DW6900BB. The electroluminescent (EL) backlighting works well for low light conditions.

The Black Out profile allows you to check the watch without giving away your position. This is, of course, a boon for officers during night operations.

The G-Shock DW6900BB watch is the very definition of a beater watch. It’s a heavy-duty timepiece with enough features to get you going.

2. Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series

I am quite a fan of Luminox, particularly of the 3050 Series. The Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series is already in our list of the best military watches, so it’s no surprise that it’s found its way here.

Navy Seal Pedigree

Police officers need a watch that will survive the rough and tough nature of their profession. However, the watch needs to be lightweight enough so they will not be weighed down.

It’s a good thing that the Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark is the Polycarbonate carbon reinforced case and the durable mineral crystal that protects the watch from scratches.

This all adds up to a tough as nails watch but still manages to be lightweight.

A tough watch doesn’t have to be ugly, and I believe Luminox agrees. The Luminox 3051.BO is a beautiful watch and its black matte finish really adds a tactical feel to it. Unlike the previous watch, this timepiece boasts excellent luminosity. Whether you’re in darkness or underwater, you’ll have no problem reading the watch. Thanks to the tritium in the hands and markers.

We’ve highlighted the Black Out model since it’s the most stealthy and tactical in the 3050 series. It’s not the most affordable watch in this list but it’s sure worth the asking price.

3. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

Why would I recommend a dive model in a list of the best police watch? Well, the best dive watches are some of the toughest timekeeping tools out there. Besides, the Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver is more than just a tough dive watch.

Low Maintenance Timepiece

Cops prefer a watch that they can just wear and forget – something that they can wear on a daily basis without worries. The Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver might be a dive model but it’s an excellent watch for everyday wear.

For a diver, the BN0151-09L Promaster is a lightweight watch. It’s easy to forget that you have it on as you about your duty. It has a thickness of about 12mm which is quite slim. You have the option of using the stock strap or the NATO, the latter will make the watch stand up more.

The Eco-Drive technology means that you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries.

The dial is perhaps my favorite part of the BN0151-09L Promaster. It just oozes with cleanliness and all the design elements are well-arranged. The date window is located at 4 o’clock which is a nice break in tradition.

The watch is made of stainless steel. If you’re not a fan of brushed brass or plastic chassis, this is the best police watch for you. The steel construction adds a great deal of solidity to the watch. Based on my tests, it did well to repel most impacts.

4. Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Military Series

Due to their inherent toughness and tactical features, there will be an overlap between police and military watches. Although the Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Military Series is a watch that’s designed for military specifications, it’s also a solid choice for police officers.

Best Police Watch for the Money

The Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Military Series is a classic tactical timepiece from Casio’s uber popular G-Shock line.

Just from the look of the watch, you’ll know that it’s a tactical timekeeping tool. Like the previous G-Shock watch, this one comes with both analog and digital displays. The black matte finish is beautiful and adds a great deal to the watch’s sturdy look.

The black colorway means that you wear it outside of law enforcement duty. Like most G-Shocks, the GA 100-1A1 excels in durability, making it an ideal watch for hardworking officers of the law. The 10-year battery life also means that you’ll be wearing this watch for a long time.

However, the watch is far from perfect. For instance, it’s a fairly large watch which might turn off some people. The biggest drawback to this watch is definitely the legibility. The all-black face makes it harder to read in low light conditions and the LED light is not bright enough to illuminate the whole face.

Despite the shortcomings, the watch more than makes up for it with its excellent price point and overall reliability.

5. Seiko 5 Automatic

If you want the best police watch, you don’t have to settle with just the G-Shocks. The Seiko 5 Automatic looks and performs like a high-end watch but without the exorbitant price.

The Value Proposition

One look at the Seiko 5 and you’ll see that it’s an aviation-inspired timepiece.

The watch features a matte finish on the front and sides. The watch exudes an elegant military aesthetic and reminds me of some of the best pilot watches I’ve seen.

For this watch, legibility is the name of the game. There’s a lot going on with the dial but it’s not overly cramped or busy. Each of the white hour and minute hand is applied with Seiko’s LumiBrite paint so you won’t have problems using this watch at night. The clean white lines not only adds to the legibility but also prevents the watch from looking generic.

It might be an elegant-looking timepiece but the Seiko 5 is a tough one. The Hardlex crystal does a great job of keeping scratches and bumps at bay. Plus, it features a fair water resistance rating.

Officers who are in the market for an aviation-inspired watch without the absurd price tag should check the Seiko 5 out.

6. Timex Expedition Gallatin

When it comes to tough watches, it’s hard to go wrong with Timex’s offering. The Expedition line is known for its excellent durability, reliability, and low price. The Timex Expedition Gallatin is an excellent and inexpensive all-rounder watch for members of the police force.

Heavy-Duty All-Rounder Watch

The Timex Expedition Gallatin is my workhorse. This is the kind of watch you wear if you don’t want to think too much about your timepiece.

Whether you’re hitting the gym or training in the field, this watch is a reliable companion. One thing I really like about this watch is that it’s lightweight. Most of the time, you won’t even notice that it’s there.

Police officers will surely appreciate the toughness offered by the Gallatin. The mineral glass is fairly scratch-resistant and the 100m water resistance means it’s good to wear for some water sports. The nylon strap adds another layer of ruggedness to the watch but it can get a bit stinky after some use.

It’s not the most feature-rich model in this list but at this price point, it’s hard not to recommend this watch to officers who are looking for a tough, beater watch.

Officers Deserve the Best Police Watch

This concludes our buying guide for the best police watch. Our top picks are durable, discrete, and offer good value for the money – making them ideal for law enforcement needs.