Momentum Watches Review: Solid Timepieces That Just Work

Momentum Watches Review Featured

For many months now, I’ve been dipping my toes into microbrand watches. Some smaller brands, in my opinion, have missed the mark while some have absolutely nailed their vision. Today, we’re going to talk about a microbrand that has hit its mark.

Today, we’re going to talk about Momentum Watches, a Canadian-based company that has made a wide range of timepieces – from dive watches to dress watches.

 

For this Momentum watches review, we’ll talk about the brief history of the brand, break down the things that we love and don’t love, and review some of the best pieces this brand has to offer.

About Momentum Watches

Momentum Watches Review History

Momentum watches have been around since 1980. As mentioned earlier, Momentum watches is based in Vancouver, Canada. Actually, the company that works on the watches itself is called St. Moritz Watch Corp. However, the company designs, assembles, and services the watches under the Momentum.

The company’s main philosophy is to design and manufacture watches with casual and active but straightforward designs. The company claims that its watches feature excellent waterproof performance at a reasonable price. Most, if not all, of their watches are catered towards people with an active lifestyle.

Many of Momentum’s watches have a familiar and classic design – another thing that’s in-line with their design philosophy. This watch company isn’t looking to buck the trend but it’s a slave to trends either. Momentum focuses on making watches that have quality, functionality, and style.

Momentum Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Is it worth adding a Momentum timepiece to your collection? Here are the things that I love and appreciate about Momentum watches and some aspects that I don’t care about.

What We Love

1. No-Nonsense Design Philosophy

Sometimes, you just have to step back and appreciate what a watch company is trying to do. Momentum is not trying to revolutionize the watch industry with advanced timekeeping mechanisms and space-age construction, their main design philosophy is to make watches for the everyday people.

That’s something that I can get behind.

Momentum watches are something that you can wear and just go about your day. Even their best dive watches and high-end field timepieces have relatively traditional designs but reliable ruggedness. The features on the watches are about as basic as you can get but that’s perfectly fine.

If you are looking for a brand with a no-nonsense approach to their watches, it’s worth looking into what Momentum has to offer.

2. Rugged, Durable Timepieces

In light of Momentum’s philosophy of watches that just works, their timepieces are ultra-rugged, durable, and require little to no maintenance.

Despite not being premium, luxury pieces, many Momentum’s products are made from high-quality components like 316L steel, sapphire crystals, AR coating, and other durable materials. These are watches that can take quite a beating which is why it’s used by many professionals.

As of now, Momentum watches can be found on the wrist of law enforcement, firefighters, coast guards, and military personnel.

3. Looking Good

Momentum watches aren’t going to win any awards when it comes to fresh or innovative designs. However, that’s not to say that the watches aren’t good looking.

In fact, Momentum offers plenty of great-looking watches.

The designs of Momentum watches can be quite derivative but I have no problem wearing them on my wrist. For instance, the Momentum 1M-SP00B6B Atlas Titanium is a nice-looking field watch with a bold and legible dial. The Momentum Fieldwalker Adventure Watch is another watch that features a rock-solid design and is frankly very fashionable.

For certain, you won’t have a problem wearing Momentum watches daily.

4. Reasonable Price Tag

Perhaps the main selling point of Momentum watches is their price tags. These watches won’t cost an arm and leg but you still get a quality timekeeping tool.

The price range for Momentum watches ranges from $99-$300 which is great considering their overall quality. Because of this, Momentum is a good brand for up and coming watch collectors or if you’re in the market for a good gift watch.

There’s simply a lot of watch here for the money.

What We Don’t Love

1. Inconsistencies with Quality

While Momentum units have respectable quality, it’s worth noting that it’s still a microbrand. With that said, I found some quality issues with some Momentum watches I’ve checked.

This is especially true with entry-level models.

This is quite understandable with lower-end models because the company has to cut some corners here and there. Perhaps the most obvious solution to keep the cost down is with the movement. While the Miyota movement gets the job done, I just feel that it could be better while still keeping the cost down. There are also strap quality issues with some of the models.

In general, Momentum watches are well-built, there were just a couple of quality issues that are hard to ignore.

2. Derivative Designs

As mentioned earlier, Momentum’s timepieces are good-looking on their own. However, I must say that most of their designs are rather uninspired.

Many of their design elements look to be lifted from other brands like Seiko and Citizen. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this in general but if you’re looking for an inspired timekeeping tool, Momentum might not be the brand for you.

Don’t expect these watches to be the pinnacle of timekeeping design.

Best Momentum Watches

Of course, we can’t have a Momentum watches review without highlighting some of the best units the brand has to offer. Here are watches that best represent Momentum in my opinion.

1. Momentum Steelix Field Watch

The Momentum Steelix Field Watch is perhaps one of the most popular watches by Momentum – for good reason.

Rock-Solid Design

The Momentum Steelix Field Watch has caught my eye because it features a design that’s similar to a vintage Seiko. When I got the watch, it looks and feels like a well-constructed unit.

I also tend to gravitate towards black dialed watches so the Steelix is the first model I’ve checked for writing this Momentum watches review. With that said, the dial looks attractive with the charcoal color, bold numerals, and sword-style hands. Legibility is also excellent for this watch which is a must if you’re planning to wear it on the field.

The Steelix does feel a little bit heavy but it’s not that big of a deal once you get used to it. After several adjustments, the watch sits comfortably on my wrist. The nylon band could be better but it’s durable enough for people with an active lifestyle.

The Steelix Field Watch is one of the more impressive models by Momentum. Plus, it comes with a great price tag and is a great value for money.

2. Momentum M50 Mark II

The Momentum M50 Mark II is yet another popular piece by the brand. The M50 Mark II is touted by the company as their toughest watch, bar none. It’s a dive that’s good enough for deep-sea exploration, so take that as you will.

From Deep-Sea Diving to Beater

The Momentum M50 Mark II is a great option for a dive watch that won’t break the bank. With a water-resistance rating of 500M / 1650FT, this is a diver that you can reliably wear underwater. It’s no wonder that it has become a prime choice for law enforcement, special forces, firefighters, and EMT professionals.

One of the first things that you’ll notice about the M50 Mark II is its airtight construction. It just feels solid and appropriately rugged. Plus, the scratch-proof sapphire crystal does a great job of protecting the dial. Even if you’re not looking for a dive watch that will serve you underwater, this one makes an excellent beater watch.

For timekeeping and power, the M50 Mark II houses the Japanese Quartz Movement and 10-year battery life for precise timekeeping and longevity. The dial is also fully lumed which comes in handy for low-light conditions like under the ocean.

Overall, the M50 Mark II is very impressive as far as affordable dive watches go.

3. Momentum Atlas Titanium

Lastly, the Momentum Atlas Titanium is another successful creation by this Canadian-based watchmaker. It’s another field watch with a restrained look and a very nice feel to it.

Super Luminous Field Watch

First, the thing that I love the most about the Momentum Atlas Titanium is its size. The 38mm case  is a good size for a field watch such as this. The Atlas Titanium sits nicely on the wrist and it doesn’t hurt that it has a striking yet restrained look.

The face just screams “field watch” style and reminds me of some Hamilton watches. The dial is bold, simple, and legible – the oversized numbers made sure of that. The superluminous hands and numbers look quite nice during low-light conditions. However, the white dial version can be particularly bright.

Of course, you can’t talk about the watch without mentioning the Titanium case. The case is gray, matte-finished titanium. While it looks nice on its own, I would have preferred a brushed finish. As is, the case has like a sort of “plasticky” feel to it. However, it’s hard to complain about titanium cases especially at this price point.

Overall, the Momentum Atlas Titanium is a simple, durable, easy to wear and use field watch. It’s another Momentum watch that offers a great value proposition.

Momentum Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Momentum Watches Review Featured

Finally, we conclude this Momentum watches review with a verdict.

The watches by Momentum comes highly recommended. This particular microbrand doesn’t break any ground but it doesn’t need to. There are some issues with quality but they’re not enough to make me turn away. There’s just so much watch here for your money.

Momentum watches are stylish, functional, and offers great value. Check them out if you’re in the market for a good entry-level to mid-range watch.

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.

Deep Blue Watches Review [In-Depth Brand Review]

As you may know, microbrands are making a big splash in the watch industry. Microbrands are usually small watch companies that are fairly new in the business. However, our featured brand review for today is not exactly a new-ish company but still qualifies as a microbrand.

Today, we’re going to do a brand review of Deep Blue.

Deep Blue is a brand that’s usually referred to as the “indie diver.” This is because this microbrand is solely devoted to selling diver watches – the only one of its kind in the industry. They have been around since 2007, so they’re not exactly a new company.

For this Deep Blue watches review, we take a plunge and find out if this microbrand is a hit or miss.

History of Deep Blue Watches

Deep Blue Watches Review History

Founded in 2007, Deep Blue Watches is an American company that’s based in New York. As mentioned, Deep Blue not only specializes in dive watches but it’s the only type of watch that they manufacture.

In the past, true dive watches have strict applications – either for military or deep sea explorations. These dive watches are referred to as “tool watches.” However, these dive watches aren’t exactly the best-looking tools out there.

Although there were so-called dive watches that graced the market, many of them can’t be used by members of the armed forces or professional divers. Deep Blue Watches has presented a solution by pioneering a collection of true diver watches – looks stylish on land but can go deep in the sea.

The company motto is “Precision Diver” which basically refers to robust and dependable timepieces that can be used by professional divers and military personnel. Deep Blue watches are designed with value and dependability in mind. They have dive models that can travel to depths of up to 3000 meters, without sacrificing accuracy and durability.

To some extent, Deep Blue Watches has helped revitalized the dive watch industry. The brand may not have the same prestige and legacy as other dive brands, it’s still a well-respected brand among collectors.

Deep Blue Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Deep Blue Watches Review_1

Should you go to the deep end by buying Deep Blue watches? We highlight the things that we love and we don’t love about this dive watch microbrand.

What We Love

High-Performance Timepieces

Deep Blue is exclusively manufacturing dive watches and they know exactly how to put out a well-designed piece. The best thing about Deep Blue dive watches is that they don’t just look the part but with the performance as well.

The best dive watch is durable and of course, can handle the great depths of the ocean. Due to their solid construction and design, some of the best Deep Blue divers can handle depths of 3,000 meters. That is a mighty impressive performance for a dive watch.

Now, I am not a professional diver myself and won’t be coming near the ocean anytime soon. However, I have been looking around and it seems that professional divers have taken a liking to Deep Blue watches. It’s feedback like this that will let you know that Deep Blue is the real deal as far as dive watches go.

Based on my experience, Deep Blue watches are yet to disappoint when it comes to durability and dependability.

Thoughtful Design Decisions

While Deep Blue didn’t exactly set the world of dive watches on fire, I do appreciate some of the design decisions that this company has made.

For instance, some of the Deep Blue models have ceramic or sapphire bezels that are comparable with some high-end luxury watches. The thing is, Deep Blue divers aren’t exactly high-end, so it’s certainly nice to see high-end features from a mid-range brand.

Another thing I love about their dive watches is the adjustable wetsuit extensions on bracelets. This goes to show that Deep Blue is truly catering to professional divers. Many watchmakers can get away with simply jacking up a timepiece’s water resistance and call it a dive watch.

These thoughtful design decisions by Deep Blue deserves a lot of respect.

Good Value

If you are looking for a robust and dependable tool watch, it’s hard to go wrong with what Deep Blue has to offer. One of Deep Blue’s core values is to provide top-notch value to customers who are willing to give them a chance.

This means providing timepieces that are accurate, durable, and have good designs. However, they are also adamant in keeping the costs of their watches on the affordable side. True enough, even the highest end model will remain below $1,000, except for the Master 2000 series.

For a dive watch, this is simply unheard of, especially considering the quality of Deep Blue watches.

Excellent Customer Support

The folks at Deep Blue stands by their products 110%. This really shows once you get in touch with their customer support.

Just for this Deep Blue watches review, I’ve contacted their support to ask some questions. I was pleasantly surprised at how responsive and helpful the support team is. I was expecting some canned response from the representative but instead, I was treated to some great solutions to my issues.

They gave me the impression that they will always tend to my needs. For lesser-known brands like Deep Blue, excellent customer service can go a long way in bolstering their reputation.

What We Don’t Love

Derivative Aesthetic

If you are in the market for a one-of-a-kind dive watch with a unique design, you won’t find it in Deep Blue.

While most Deep Blue watches feature a solid design, it’s clear that the company took some inspirations from other popular dive watches such as the Citizen’s Blue Promaster or Seiko Prospex SRP775. Deep Blue dive watches aren’t exactly a pinnacle of originality.

However, Deep Blue does offer watches that look unique such as the Deep Blue Abyss. Also, for some reason, some models can be quite difficult to read at a glance.

Just Dive Watches?

This is more of a nitpick than anything.

Deep Blue knows what they are doing and can put out quality timepieces. Thus, I was hoping that they would branch out to other types of watches. If you don’t like dive watches, Deep Blue has nothing for you.

However, this company has plenty of good-looking watches that you can avail of. You don’t have to be a professional diver or military to appreciate their collection. I know for a fact that I’ll wear my Deep Blue watches casually, and that’s fine.

Just a wishful thinking on my part.

Best Deep Blue Watches

1. Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver

You can’t have a good Deep Blue watches review without mentioning one of its most popular models, the Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver.

Solid Diver with Great Value

The Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver caught my eye because it has fairly decent specs and it’s available for less than $300 (depending on the color options).

This being a dive watch, can go to 300 meters which is already a lot if you’re planning to use it casually. However, it’s just good to know that this watch can go deep.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the Master 1,000 is a massive watch with a 44mm case and 15mm in height. It features a helium release valve at 10 o’clock and a unidirectional bezel. You just know right off the bat that this diver is not messing around.

The watch is powered by a Seiko NH 35 automatic movement which is quite pedestrian as far as automatic watches go. There’s also a date window that is not often seen with dive models. The bezel is ceramic and the lume offers incredible visibility in low-light situations.

Overall, the Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver can go deep without digging deep within your pockets.

2. Deep Blue Diver 1000 Automatic

The Deep Blue Diver 1000 Automatic is also another great recommendation for dive watches under $1,000. This model can go even deeper than the Master 1000 but not by much.

A Sporty, Stylish Diver

One thing that you’ll appreciate about this diver is that it’s available in many different colorways and bracelet types. I have the Diver 1000 Black/Red Bezel and it’s a great looking watch that I can wear daily and dressier events. Some of the unique ones are the Abalone Shell and Orange Sunray.

Again, this is a fairly large watch at a 44mm case and 15mm thickness. It comes in a 316L stainless steel case which provides a good deal of durability. While the watch is a bit on the bulky side, it surprisingly doesn’t feel larger when worn. The bulky profile does give off the impression that it’s a tool watch.

For the movement, the Diver 1000 comes with a 21.6k bph Seiko NH35. It’s stable, accurate, and helps keep the price down.

Overall, it’s a perfectly capable dive watch with a stylish flair.

3. Deep Blue Pro Sea Diver

If you’re a professional diver who’s looking for a dive watch but doesn’t want to spend too much, the Deep Blue Pro Sea Diver is worth checking out.

For the Hardcore Underwater Explorers

The Pro Sea Diver is available in many different bezel colors such as black and blue, orange, and black and green. The rotating bezel is a thing of beauty with its 120 oddly satisfying clicks. The bezel and case give the watch a gear-like look.

The plain blue dial nails the typical dive watch element and I must say that it looks even better in person. At 3 o’clock sits the date window and all the hands and markers are generously lumed.

Again, this watch is powered by the respectable 24-jewel Seiko NH36 movement with an accuracy of -20 to +40 seconds per day. It’s not the best movement but it offers consistency and accuracy with a solid power reserve.

Of course, you can’t review this watch without mentioning the 1,000-meter depth rating. That’s right, it’s a professional dive watch by all means.

Deep Blue Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Deep Blue Watches Review Featured

To end this Deep Blue watches review, we now put down our verdict.

Should you check out what Deep Blue has to offer? Only if you’re looking for a high-performance boutique dive watch that won’t break the bank. For the money, you get a lot of watch that will serve you well, even if you’re not a professional diver. If for some reason that you don’t like dive watches, Deep Blue might just not be the brand for you.

Vostok Watches Review: Is This Russian Brand Any Good?

Vostok Watches Review Amphibia Model

Microbrands excite me because they offer a wide range of watches that are not just high-quality but feature unique designs as well. As of late, I’ve been getting into microbrands and some of the best microbrand watches I’ve seen are truly stellar.

Vostok isn’t exactly your typical microbrand since it has been around since the 1940s. Based on their track record, their watches have every right to be called classics.

 

Today, we have a Vostok watches review for you. We’ll talk about the history of the brand, its pros and cons, and the best watch models.

The History of Vostok Watches

Vostok Watches Review Amphibian

The Vostok Watch Makers, Inc. was founded back in 1942. This was made possible when one of the Moscow watch-making plants of the First Moscow Watch Factory was transferred to a small town called Chistopol. It’s interesting to note that the plants only made defense equipment during the war. However, once the war as ended, the company moved on to make mechanical watches.

However, the brand name “Vostok” was only used by the company in the 1960s. It was presumed that the name “Vostok” was derived from the Vostok space program. This is interesting because other soviet watches such as Poljot and Raketa are also named after space programs.

In 1965, the company was commissioned to be the official supplier of the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union. It was also the same year when the famous Komandirskie (“Commander’s”) watch was released. It wasn’t long before the creation of Amphibia, a stainless steel diving watch.

By the year 1980, the Vostok Watch Makers company was putting out 4.5 million watches a year.

At the turn of the 21st century, Vostok has tried its hand in making luxury watches for the more affluent customers. In the year 2004, they began supplying movements to the Koliz Company of Lithuania, the makers of the Vostok Europe brand.

In 2010, Vostok filed for bankruptcy and their official site became inaccessible. However, the company was restructured and resumed making watches and movements.

Vostok Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Are Vostok watches worth your time and money? We outline what we love and don’t love about this timepiece brand.

What We Love

Great Colorful History

Vostok Watches Review Amphibia

For a relatively unknown brand (at least in the U.S.), Vostok boasts a rich history. It’s not a brand that’s born out of a crowd-funding campaign (not a dig to crowd-funded watch brands), these watchmakers have a proper history and wartime heritage.

The company’s heyday was back in the 1960s and ’70s. Back in the days of the USSR, Vostok watches are some of the best timepieces that you can get.

Considering its rich history and being one of the most notable Russian brands, it’s a shame that it’s not more popular. But I guess that it’s good that they are still producing watches up to this day.

Original Designs

While the brand didn’t exactly spark a watch revolution, some of Vostok’s original designs are still respected.

A good example of this is the venerable Vostok Amphibia. The traditional way to build a dive watch is to manufacture the case, crown, and crystal – all with a static water resistance rating. The Amphibia’s design is different because the watch’s resistance actually improves as the pressure around it increases.

Central to this innovative design is Vostok’s caseback. Instead of the usual screw down caseback, Vostok utilizes a bayonet-style caseback with a threaded locking ring. Along with the large gasket, the watch can handle greater pressures as the depth increases.

For a more comprehensive explanation of Vostok’s design methodology, I highly recommend that you check out this post.

Daily Beater

Upon closer inspection, you can see that Vostok watches’ construction is different. The most obvious indicator of this is the crown. However, Vostok watches boast a solid feel that is comparable to some of the toughest G-Shock watches.

With that said, Vostok watches are excellent for daily wear. These are timepieces that you can wear without a care in the world – respectable beater watches indeed.

This brings us to the next point.

Budget-Friendly

When it comes to value for money, Vostok watches are hard to beat. Many people are calling them the G-shock of automatic watches.

And I tend to agree.

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this Vostok watches review, these timepieces are tough and rugged. For instance, my Amphibia has been with me for a long while and it’s still alive and kicking. Sure, it has plenty of wear-and-tear signs but it never stopped working.

It’s a good thing that Vostok timepieces won’t cost you an arm and leg. They’re not the best-looking watches out there but they’re high-performance and comfortable. Good value proposition.

What We Don’t Love

Quality Control Issues

When you purchase a Vostok watch and expect Rolex-esque quality control, you’re bound to be disappointed.

Despite the solid construction, many users are reporting about quality issues. For instance, one unit had a malfunctioning movement or downright inaccurate. Thus, you end up with a paperweight unless you have it serviced.

These inconsistencies seem to be quite common with all models of Vostok watches. If you can get a unit with a functioning movement, you’re in for a treat.

Not So Intuitive Design Elements

While Vostok had some pretty interesting design choices, not all of them is a home run.

One thing that I noted was the winding mechanism. I guess I was just spoiled with luxury watches but the winding mechanism of Vostok seems unintuitive and awkward. The crown is not that better too because it feels wobbly at times. Again, this can be attributed to the fact that Vostok watches have different construction than conventional watches.

Some of the design and construction elements do take a lot of getting used to.

Lack of Variety

If you love a brand that offers a wide range of watch models and designs, Vostok is not the brand for you.

At the top of my head, I can only name the Amphibian and Komandirskie when it comes to Vostok watches. Although both models offer many different iterations, the level of variety that I am looking for is just not there. I just wish that Vostok made more watches since they do cater to an interesting niche.

However, one can argue that having only a few models is a boon since choice paralysis becomes a non-issue. Coupled with Vostok watches’ affordable price tag, the level of entry for the brand is fairly low.

Best Vostok Watches

1. Vostok Amphibia Zissou

Movie and pop culture enthusiasts will recognize the Vostok Amphibia Zissou because it was worn by Bill Murray and the rest of Team Zissou in the quirky 2004 movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. For the uninitiated, the movie follows the story of the washed-up oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray).

Like the character Zissou, the Vostok Amphibia Zissou is a wonderfully quirky and budget-friendly dive watch. When I pulled it out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised at how good-looking it is. However, I was also taken aback at how small it is.

The nautical-themed dial is a winner in my book. The dial features a playful look without looking tacky. However, it does look flat and lacking in texture but that’s to be expected for a budget dive watch. The dial also features luminous markings but frankly, they’re quite poor.

The Vostok Amphibia Zissou is an excellent starting watch if you want to get your first mechanical model. I replaced mine with a NATO strap and it looks amazing.

2. Vostok Komandirskie

The Vostok Komandirskie (Командирские = “Commander”) is the shy big brother of the Vostok Amphibian. While it’s not as popular as the Amphibian, the Vostok Komandirskie boasts an interesting history and is well-loved by Russian watch collectors.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Komandirskie is its 24h dial. Instead of the usual 1-12 Arabic numerals, the dial features 2-24 numerals which is a unique design choice. In fact, this is the only watch I’ve seen that comes with a 24-hour dial.

Needless to say, it takes a lot of getting used to.

If you can get past the 24-hour dial, you have a pretty rugged and functional wristwatch. It does have some weird or downright unintuitive quirks like the bezel. Instead of the usual clicking action like with most watch bezels, the Komandirskie’s bezel rotates freely. I am just so used to the tactile feel of conventional bezels. Plus, it’s easy to adjust the bezel by accident.

Again, the Vostok Komandirskie is an excellent beater watch. Mine looks properly used with scratches and dings but still looks great.

3. Vostok Amphibia “Scuba Dude”

 

The Vostok Amphibia Scuba Dude is not exactly a new model for this list. However, it’s also different from the other Amphibia model featured earlier.

The main selling point of the Vostok Amphibia Scuba Dude is that it’s available in many different case designs. I got mine in Amphibia Blue and it came with the “420” case. It’s basically a round polished steel case with shortened lugs but no crown-guards. There’s also other case variants like the 090, 710, and the 110.

There’s quite a bit of thickness to the case and some may find it a bit tall as well. This seems to be the case if you opt for the NATO strap.

In addition, the design of the dial is also quirky but less so when compared to the Amphibia Zissou. The off-beat, retro-infused aesthetic is certainly something that many collectors will appreciate.

Being a dive watch, the Amphibia Scuba Dude can perform in depths of over 200 meters. With a sub $100 price, this watch is a steal.

Vostok Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

We end this Vostok watches review with our recommendation.

If you are looking for a luxury watch that nails every aspect of the design and features, then Vostok watches isn’t up your alley. However, if you’re in the market for a cheap but durable watch with an interesting history, you should check out what Vostok has to offer.

Ultimately, Vostok is just a solid watch brand and their watches should be worthy additions to any collection.

Stuhrling Watch Review: An In-Depth Look at the Stuhrling Regatta Champion

Stuhrling Watch Review_Featured

Stuhrling is a brand that I have always been interested in. The brand offers a wide range of timepieces and many of them are unique or interesting to look at, to say the least. However, I tend to gravitate towards traditional-looking timepieces which is why for this Stuhrling watch review, I’ve decided to take an in-depth look at the Regatta Champion.

The Stuhrling Original Regatta Champion is a marine-themed dive watch which is something that I tend to like. Many dive watches just try too hard so they end up having too many elements with their designs.

The Stuhrling Original Regatta Champion begs to differ which is a breath of fresh air. Is this dive watch worth adding to your collection?

Let’s find out!

Stuhrling Watch Review: The Regatta Champion at a Glance

Model:

Regatta Champion 395 Quartz 42mm Diver

Reference #:

395.33U16

Collection:

Aquadiver

Case material:

316L Surgical Grade Steel Case

Case diameter:

42 mm

Case height:

11.47 mm

Crystal:

Krysterna Crystal

Crown:

Screw Down Fluted Crown

Water resistance:

20 ATM Water Resistant (200 meters/660 feet)

Dial:

Deep-Sea Royal Blue Dial

Movement:

Swiss Quartz Movement, Ronda 515

Bracelet:

Stainless Steel Link Bracelet

Bracelet width:

22 mm

Features:

Skeletonized Luminous Sword Hands

Individually Applied Luminous Arabic Numerals – 3,6,9, and 12; and Stick

Indices at All Other Points

Stainless Steel Unidirectional Ratcheting Bezel

Screw Down Case Back with Stührling Wings Logo

Push Button Deployant with Safety Clasp

First Impressions

The Stuhrling Original Regatta Champion came in a glossy white box with a printed Stuhrling logo in gold. This is not exactly a luxury watch, so I was expecting the packaging to be in the so-so category but its surprisingly well-done.

Inside the packaging box is the actual watch box in orange. The orange box contains the watch, manual, certificate card, and an orange micro-fiber cloth. The micro-fiber cloth is a nice touch for cleaning the watch. As for the watch, it was covered with a shrink-wrapped clear plastic.

As for the look of the actual watch, the Regatta Champion certainly looks better than the pictures. The blue dial looks great with a couple of noteworthy high-quality design elements. One of the first things I’ve noticed about the dial is that the Arabic numerals are a bit too large.

The polished steel case looks fairly standard but the reflective polish does throw me off. The shape of the case is simple but with a highly angular shape. Despite the good-looking design, it’s fairly obvious that the manufacturers had to cut some corners with materials and construction.

Overall, my first impressions of the Regatta Champion lean on the positive side.

The Case

As mentioned, the case of the Regatta Champion looks decent enough. However, the almost mirror-like polish is something that I don’t enjoy. But it’s worth noting that other parts of the case such as the top of the lugs are less reflective.

On the right side of the case, you’ll see two short crown guard. The guards slope slightly downwards and the ends are smoothly rounded. The lugs from the top and bottom of the case also slope downwards, with some sharp corners. This enables the Stuhrling Original Regatta Champion to provide a comfortable fit even on smaller wrists.

The bracelet bars that hold the bracelet feels a bit flimsy and frankly, low-quality. I was worried that they might break while trying to change the bracelet. I thought about changing the bars but there’s not enough clearance between the case and the bar which makes it difficult to install thick bars.

The case back is also disappointing. The case back design looks to be printed instead of being engraved. It feels like the design will come off with continued use. So far, the case back design holds up but my confidence for it to last is low.

The actual design is also uninspired and needlessly busy.

The Crown

As far as watch operation goes, you only have the stainless steel screw-down crown.

The crown is just the right size and it’s easy to grip. The crown guards are positioned just right and it makes it easier to grasp and operate the crown. The engraved coin edge also provides good friction for the fingers. The end of the crown has a small “S” engraving which adds a much-needed detail to the watch.

The crown has two positions of operation. The first pull is used to set the date of the watch. The second pull is used for adjusting the hands.

The Dial

The main selling point of the watch for me is the marine dial. With how the dial looks alone, it’s easy to think that the Regatta Champion costs more than it is.

The minimalistic design of the dial certainly does the watch plenty of favors. At the 12 o’clock position is the “STUHRLING ORIGINAL” text while at the center button, you’ll see the ‘PROFESSIONAL DIVER 200 METERS’ text. I have always been a fan of watches with minimal texts, so plus points for the Regatta Champion.

The markers are applied which adds a good deal of texture to the dial. The markers are also outlined with chrome around the edges. The 12, 3, 6, and 9 hour markers are printed in Arabic numbers while the other markers are represented by trapezoids.

The hands are lumed which comes in handy if you’re going to use this watch for diving. But the seconds hand is not lumed which is a weird design flaw for a dive watch. The lumed hands are decent but I just wish the illumination is brighter.

There’s also the date window located between the 4 and 5 markers. However, the date window is very small which makes it hard to read the numbers inside.

Overall, the dial’s design is very impressive (with the exception of the date window) and does a great job of making the watch look high-end.

The Bracelet

The next stop for this Stuhrling watch review is the bracelet.

The bracelet is also polished stainless steel in the center link which I don’t really care for. It looks like your standard three-link bracelet in most watches. Unfortunately, I gave up trying to make the bracelet fit since I was unable to find the right tools to adjust it.

Therefore, I opted to swap the three-link steel bracelet with NATO and leather straps. And oh boy, it made the Regatta Champion experience a lot better for me.

By swapping the bracelet with something else, the Regatta Champion gained a whole lot more personality. The quality of the steel bracelet is really not that great which is acceptable for a budget timepiece. Luckily, I decided to change things up by swapping the bracelet.

On a side note, swapping the bracelet was not easy especially when there’s not much space between the bars and the case. My advice, choose a thinner strap like the AUTULET NATO Watch Band.

The Movement

Stuhrling Watch Review Ronda 515 Movement

The Stuhrling Original Regatta Champion is powered by the Swiss Quartz Movement Ronda 515. Being a cost-effective dive watch, Stuhrling would have just slapped a generic quartz movement here and I would have been fine.

It’s a good thing that Stuhrling opted to include a fairly reliable movement, the Ronda 515. The 515 is truly a workhorse movement and based on past experiences, I have nothing to worry about. In addition, on top of being reliable, the Ronda 515 also boasts decent accuracy for daily timekeeping.

The only downside is that the durability and battery life of the 515 is lesser when compared to a newer movement like the 715.

The Regatta Champion’s timekeeping is solid and reliable, thanks to the Ronda 515 movement.

Pricing

One can argue that the best part about the Stuhrling Regatta Champion is the price. By all accounts, the Regatta Champion is a slightly above average dive watch that excels in design more than anything.

Performance-wise, I haven’t tested the Regatta Champion for diving so I can’t really comment on that. However, it does offer a 20 ATM Water Resistant rating which should be more than enough for most divers. As for the timekeeping aspect, the watch delivers the accuracy and reliability aspect which all I ever need for a budget watch such as this.

For less than $100, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dive watch this good-looking. On the flip side, if you’re going to use this for diving, even the sub-$100 price might not be worth it.

There are plenty of durability, construction, and quality issues with this watch, making it hard to recommend for heavy-duty activities such as diving. Plus, the lume is lacking in brightness which is a problem when you’re underwater.

For a beater watch, on the other hand, I highly recommend it for the price.

Should You Get the Stuhrling Regatta Champion Dive Watch?

Stuhrling Watch Review_Featured

As per usual, we conclude this Stuhrling watch review with our verdict. Is the Stuhrling Regatta Champion Dive Watch worth buying?

Well, it really depends on you.

If you are planning to dive with this watch, then I struggle to recommend this diving watch. Although it has the waterproof factor, it has some issues that could affect your diving experience. For instance, the quality of the watch is not that great. Second, the lumed hands and markers are not bright enough for underwater excursions.

On the flip side, I highly recommend the Stuhrling Regatta Champion Dive Watch for casual use. The dial is bold, clean, and minimalistic – just the way I like my watches. The blue dial is stunning and is joined with some very exciting design elements.

If you can get past the quality issues, the Stuhrling Regatta Champion is worth looking into.

Best Heart Rate Monitor for Rowing: Reliable Watches and Chest strap Heart Rate Monitor

best heart rate monitor for rowing

We have carried extensive research on various fitness sensor devices, and we select the WAHOO Tickr as the best heart rate monitor for rowing.

We chose this device because it has massive onboard storage and offers accurate stats. It even works with Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. Generally, this chest based monitor enables you to track your performance during your rowing workouts. What’s more, it is very affordable for those looking for a budget-friendly heart monitor.

 

Best Heart Rate Monitor for Rowing

Rowing workout helps to enhance your total body, but having a heart rate monitor handy is a big plus. Doing this workout indoors as well as on the water helps to burn more calories due to the constant movement of your body. However, without a heart rate monitor, you could end up hurting your health in the long run.

Using the best heart rate monitor for rowing will help keep your health in check and allow you to know the intensity of your workout. It also enables you to improve your performance, and know when to adjust your training.

Today, there are many heart rate monitor on the market, but it can be pretty challenging to get a good and reliable model that provides an accurate rating. Luckily, we have tried out numerous models that work great. With this experience, we’ve put together a sincere list of best heart rate monitor for rowing on the market.

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire Edition

 

When it comes to the best smartwatches for rowing, the Garmin Fenix 5s is certainly a top contender. This watch comes with great features that will keep your heart rate in check and provide calories burned information. One exciting part is that it works independently, which means you don’t need to connect to any data collector.

Sturdy Construction

If durability is your outmost concern when looking for the best heart rate monitor for rowing, then the Fenix 5s is a perfect choice. This smartwatch is made of superior quality material that can withstand tough condition when rowing like knocks and falls.

It has a sturdy built that features 52mm stainless steel case while a scratch-resistant sapphire glass covers the display screen. In addition to its durability, the watch is also water-resistant to 100 meters. Hence, it is a perfect choice for on-the-water rowers.

Quality Band

As you should know, there seems to be a lot of movement of the hand when rowing. For this reason, you will need a device that won’t come off easily. The Fenix 5 has a high-quality silicon band that will stay secure and comfortable on your wrist.

One exciting part is that the band is interchangeable. Hence, you can easily replace its original band with a leather or metal strap to suit your training outfit.

Clear display and Features

Since it’s best to get a device that provides you with easy reading and bright display, this watch has an LCD screen. The display also has a transflective technology that makes the watch face looks brighter under direct sunlight.

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry when working out at night. It features a backlight for easy reading in low light condition.

Accurate Sensor

Garmin heart rate smartwatches have never failed to provide users with accurate and precise reading. The Fenix 5 features a highly efficient sensor that can accurately monitor your heart rate. Not only that, but this smartwatch also provides reliable calories burned information.

It stands as one of the best heart rate monitors without chest strap as you don’t need to wear anything around your upper body. What’s more is that the sensor can also count your step, monitor your sleep, and let you know the intensity of your workout.

Opinion and Drawbacks

With all mentioned above, the Garmin Fenix 5 is undoubtedly a great watch for rowers due to its durable parts, accurate sensor, and other impressive features. However, it stands as the most expensive option on our list of best heart rate monitor for rowing. But we consider the quality material and impressive features, it worth the price.

Another downside is that the watch is quite heavy, which make it a lesser comfortable option for rowers.

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

 

The Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor can be seen as the best heart rate monitor for rowing because of its comfort, accuracy, and flexibility. It also offers excellent battery life and onboard storage, which makes it ideal for rowers who do not work out with their smartphones. Also, if you to consider other models on this brand, the H10 stands as the best Polar heart rate monitor for rowing due to its impressive features.

Dedicated App for Heart Rate Monitoring

The H10 works with popular third-party apps such as Cardio Mapper, Endomondo, and Runtastic. However, it has a dedicated app – the Polar Beat offers features that will benefit the indoor or outdoor rower.

This app helps you hit and sustain your peak heart rate during sessions by displaying your heart rate zones. It allows you to view your performance and its duration when rowing, and share your data via Bluetooth with compatible devices.

Long-Lasting Battery

The battery on this chest monitor is replaceable and lasts for 400 hours. This helps you use the strap for long periods without carrying the extra weight of a charger around. Additional batteries are sold separately and can be purchased at your local retail store.

High Degree of Accuracy

This strap stands as one of the most accurate heart rate monitors from the Polar brand. It gains this status because it provides excellent ECG measurements, thereby making it a top choice for all activities, including rowing.

Comfortable Build

This product has a slim profile that does not add pressure to your torso, thus allowing you to perform rowing strokes with ease. It also does not chaff your sink during your workout sessions.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Accuracy and comfort are some of the exciting features on this device. However, like most items on our list, it has some issues. First, you will make some payments before you can fully unlock the features on the app. Next, the product lags during a Gymlink connection.

Garmin Chest Strap, HRM

 

Do you need a durable heart rate monitor for rowing? Then you should check out this heart rate monitor from Garmin. Although the Garmin HRM-Tri Chest strap is mainly designed for triathletes, it would be a worthy investment for both professional and amateur outdoor rowers.

Lightweight and Portable Design

The Garmin Chest Strap HRM is a small and lightweight heart rate monitor. It comes with a thick pod with soft edges, thereby allowing you to move rowing strokes comfortably. Furthermore, its strap has seams that will not chafe your skin when you are emerging or using an actual boat.

Water Resistance

You can use the strap for either indoor workout or on the water rowing. The reason is that it is water-resistant to 5 ATM, which means it can handle splashes from the oars or a short dip in the water.

Impressive Battery Life

This HRM strap runs on batteries that will for last for 10 months, depending on its use. Furthermore, these batteries are not rechargeable. However, you can purchase a replacement from retailers.

Data Storage

As expected from a rival to the best heart rate monitor for rowing, the Garmin HRM-Tri delivers up to date heart rate data. It provides 20 hours worth of heart rate information during training sessions and sends it to a data collector.

When combined with the Garmin watch and its app, you can use this data to create training sessions and workout plans on your indoor rowing machine. You can also view your heart rate graphs to track your performance on open water or at the gym.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This heart rate monitor stands as an excellent fitness accessory because of its design, data storage abilities, and water resistance. However, finding an ideal replacement for its batteries can be difficult.

Wahoo TICKR

 

The Wahoo TICKR is a classic chest strap that accurately monitors your heart rate during workouts and forwards it to connected devices. It also comes with technology that counts steps and records related information. These features make it stand as the best heart rate monitor for concept 2 rower.

Ideal Protection against Moisture

It has a sensor with a water-resistance rating of IPX7. Thus, it can handle sweat and splashes that comes when engaging in rowing exercise. You can even wash it by hand without damaging the unit. However, it’s not ideal for swimming.

Dual Connectivity and Multi App Support

This device works with both Bluetooth and ANT+. With this said, it is compatible with any rowing machine model. The strap also connects well with any smartphone.

On your phone, you can use the TICKR via third-party apps, including iCardio. You can also access other information such as reps for strength training with the Wahoo’s dedicated apps like RunFit, and 7 Minute Workout.

Massive Internal Storage

If you feel uncomfortable using your phone on a rowing session, you can leave it behind because the chest monitor offers onboard storage. With this feature, you can save 16 hours’ worth of data which you can forward to your phone and app.

Practical Design

This device has a sensor made from plastic while an elastic band with button fasteners holds the device to your chest. Generally, these features allow you to wear the chest monitor quickly without feeling uncomfortable.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Wahoo TICKR’s compatibility with various watches makes it an ideal option for the rowing enthusiast. But it does not have extra features while the app requires an upgrade.

Garmin Forerunner 35

 

Unlike most devices on this list, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is a GPS Smartwatch with an inbuilt heart rate monitor. It also offers an activity tracker and notifications for your smartphone.

Unique Apps for Rowing Stats

Garmin offers the Connect IQ store where you can download third-party apps that focus on rowing workouts. These apps include the Rowing Stroke Connect IQ app (that measures strokes per min without the sensors), the Rowing Dashboard (for heart rate and stroke stats), and the Rowing Cockpit. You can use these apps to check your performance and set up workout sessions.

Battery Life

The watch can run for nine days in watch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode. When it becomes low, you can recharge your battery with its portable clip-on USB charger after your workouts.

Sturdy Build with Practical Display

If you want a GPS watch that can handle the pressures of rigorous rowing sessions, you should consider this Garmin product. It comes in a bulky case with its sensors on the back panel while a moisture-resistant band secures the watch on your wrist.

This display uses sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel while the hard strengthened glass offers protection to its watch face. Such technology enables you to view your heart rate data in direct sunlight or low light, especially during outdoor rowing.

Water Resistance

Splashes or occasional dunk in the water does not affect the performance of the Garmin Forerunner 35 as it is water-resistant to5O meters. But we advise that you avoid exposing this device to water for long periods.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This item is an excellent choice for outdoor or indoor rowing since it has dedicated apps for such activities. However, it might provide less accurate stats than chest based heart monitors while its connectivity is based on Bluetooth only.

Wrap Up of the Best Heart Rate Monitor for Rowing

For a roundup, heart rate monitor is essential for rowers as it helps to keep track of their fitness. There are many great options listed above, but the models you should choose all depend on how comfortable you want it to be when rowing and your budget.

If you want one of the best heart rate monitors without a chest strap, then the Fenix 5s is a perfect choice. But if you’re looking for the best affordable heart rate monitor, the Wahoo Tickr is the most budget-friendly option for you.

For those that still want the best chest based heart rate monitor, we suggest that you opt for the Polar H10. The reason is that it is comfortable, affordable, provides accurate heart monitoring, and can connect with any ANT devices.

If there are other things you’re looking in a heart rate monitor, you could check out other models on our list. They also come with great features that will be of great benefit when rowing.

Best G-Shock Watch for Police: Tough Watches for Law Enforcement

Best G-Shock Watch for Police

A career in law enforcement is one of the most unpredictable jobs out there. It’s a tough job being a policeman or policewoman thus, you need a watch that can withstand the rough and tumble nature of your profession.

When it comes to tough watches for law enforcement, it’s hard to go wrong with a G-Shock. Besides offering unparalleled value, Casio G-Shocks and legendary for their toughness.

So today, we’ll round up some of the best G-Shock watch for police and other law enforcement professionals. We have been testing several G-Shock models for many weeks now and here are the best ones we’ve come up with.

Best Police Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock Black Out Basic Series DW6900BB Shock Resistant, 200 Meter Water Resistant, 12 and 24 Hour ( Military Time) Formats, EL Backlight with Afterglow, 1/100 Second Stopwatch ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 Solar powered, Quartz movement, Protective mineral crystal dial window, Mb6 atomic timekeeping, auto LED, 5 Daily Alarms, Water resistant to 660 feet ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Military Series Stopwatch, Countdown timer, Full auto-calendar, Features both analog and digital movement, Shock resistant, 10-year battery life ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5 Shock Resistant, Neobrite, Mineral Glass, Mud Resistant, 200-Meter Water Resistance, Led Backlight (super Illuminator), Digital Compass, Thermometer, World Time, Stopwatch, Quartz ★ ★ ★ ★
Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GA-1100 Bidirectional calibration digital compass with magnetic declination correction, Neobrite and Super Illuminator LED backlight, Shock resistant and water resistant to 200 meters, Hand-Shift feature ★ ★ ★ ★
Casio G-Shock Quartz Resin GA-700-7ACR Resin, Shock Resistant, 200m Water Resistance, Led Light (super Illuminator), World Time, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, 5 Daily Alarms, Hourly Time Signal, Hand Shift Feature ★ ★ ★ ★

Best G-Shock Watch for Police

1. Casio G-Shock Black Out Basic Series DW6900BB

G-Shock watches are quite popular with members of law enforcement and this is far from surprising. G-Shocks deliver in terms of durability, reliability, and value proposition. The Casio G-Shock Black Out Basic Series DW6900BB is a watch that embodies such virtues.

Black Out Excellence

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Casio G-Shock Black Out Basic Series DW6900BB is the successful fusion of analog and digital displays. It’s not anything mindblowing but it works and highly functional.

The main reason why it’s such a hit with police officers is its top-notch shock resistance. Casio did a great job of creating a watch that suits the day-to-day activities of police. After many weeks, the watch received a great deal of exposure to moisture and impacts. However, it still has to show signs of visible damage. The face also wards off scratches rather well.

The negative display is the main concern for many users which is understandable. However, the main purpose of the watch is to be tactical and stealthy – the black out design fulfills that promise wonderfully. In a pitch dark situation, you won’t be able to read the watch at all. Fortunately, the electroluminescent (EL) backlighting is excellent.

It’s a highly recommended timepiece for officers and it will serve you well day or night.

2. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

The Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 is one of our top picks for the best military watches. Naturally, it’s no surprise that it will find its way on this list.

Unparalleled Toughness and Feature-Packed

The Rangeman GW-9400 is perhaps the most popular model in Casio’s Master of G Series, and it’s more than well-deserved.

While this watch isn’t nearly as stealthy as the previous model, the Rangeman GW-9400 more than makes up for its toughness. It features an aggressively bulky performance but that’s quite expected from a tough watch like this. From law enforcement duties to outdoor activities, this G-Shock has got you covered. Thanks to its superior construction and top-notch durability.

Seriously, mine is still going strong after many years.

However, it’s more than just a watch that can take a beating. The Rangeman GW-9400 is packed with features as well. The most noteworthy one is the Tripe Sensor feature which is essentially a trio of features: compass, thermometer, and altimeter-barometer. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll find a lot to love about this watch.

Also, the watch is solar-powered so as long as you are wearing it regularly, you don’t have to worry about replacing the batteries.

The GW-9400 is an excellent tough watch with plenty of features to offer.

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

From the name, you can easily tell that the Casio G-Shock GA 100-1A1 Military Series is a watch that’s made for the toughest of jobs and activities. It’s doesn’t hurt that it looks great as well.

Rugged, Functional, and Tactical

The GA 100-1A1 Military Series comes in an all-black color scheme and I must say that I’m a fan. The watched is designed for military and outdoors-oriented activities which mean that it’s a great fit for members of law enforcement.

The watch boasts a clever mix of digital and analog displays. Due to its color scheme, the main concern for this watch has got to be its legibility. That is, in fact, a valid concern since it’s quite hard to read the watch under low-light conditions. Luckily, it does have a LED light that illuminates the top part of the face.

Many said that the illumination is weak but for me, it’s the perfect solution for a timepiece geared towards tactical activities. It provides enough illumination so you can read the display while still being discreet.

On top of being a tough and tactical watch, the GA 100-1A1 offers other timekeeping features such as daily alarms, world time, stopwatch, countdown, and many more. The water resistance rating of 200 meters is also a nice touch.

Ultimately, it’s a perfectly capable tactical watch that comes at a great watch.

4. Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5

The Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5 is a premium pick for this list of the best G-Shock watch for police. The price is more than warranted because it’s a highly utilitarian watch that will please even the most jaded extreme outdoorsman.

More Than Just For a Muddy Situation

For starters, you don’t have to wear or feel the Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5 to know that it’s a tough as nails timepiece. It’s exactly as tough as it looks. The purpose-built design resulted in a bulky profile which is quite expected from G-Shock models.

The sizable bulky is surprisingly soft but don’t think that it will dent or peel easily. The rugged construction and overall aesthetic make it seem like a military watch but it’s more than capable to meet the needs of a police officer. For instance, the shock resistance of the Mudmaster is second to none and yes, it is mud-resistant as well.

The watch is equipped with Casio’s Twin Sensor which means a digital compass and thermometer. The dial features analog timekeeping and a digital day/date panel. This enables you to easily check the time easily, especially when the legibility is on-point.

Navigating the menu and features is a breeze, even for a new G-Shock user. The layout of the buttons are excellent and you can operate them with confidence.

The Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5 commands a higher price tag but it’s more than worth it.

5. Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GA-1100

The Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GA-1100 is an aviation watch. However, its set of features and toughness make it a good candidate for the best G-Shock watch for police.

Looks the Part

The Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GA-1100 is more of a fun pick. I was looking for a watch with a color scheme similar to a police siren and I ended up with this timepiece.

The blue and red color scheme is certainly not for everyone but I think the design is well-done and not cheesy. The combination of blue and red works so well and it resulted in a good-looking watch.

Aside from the police siren color scheme, I was very impressed with the legibility of the watch. Despite the fairly busy dial, I had no trouble reading the face and accessing the features. Additionally, the Gravitymaster GA-1100 is equipped with an impressive backlight. This thing just comes alive at night.

As mentioned, the Gravitymaster GA-1100 is a pilot watch and it comes with a bidirectional calibration digital compass with magnetic declination correction. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to test the said feature properly.

The Gravitymaster GA-1100 might be a fun pick but it’s tough and reliable like the best of them.

6. Casio G-Shock Quartz Resin GA-700-7ACR

Last but not least, we have the Casio G-Shock Quartz Resin GA-700-7ACR. If you want a subtle or stealthy timepiece, this watch is not for you. This timepiece is all about bold designs and standing out – and I’m all for it.

For Those Who Want to Stand Out

Not every police officer wants to keep things on the low. For those who just want to stand out, the GA-700-7ACR is a no-brainer.

First, it hard to miss the bold approach to the dial. The dial features both analog and digital displays which I’m a big fan of. The lighting feature is referred to as “super illuminator” which I’m inclined to agree. Even the darkest of nights don’t stand a chance against the GA-700-7ACR’s illumination.

However, the boldest aspect of this timepiece is the strap. I’ve opted for the white colorway strap since it reminded me of my first G-Shock. Needless to say, the strap just makes the watch a true head-turner. While wearing it casually, I usually get compliments from people.

It’s not the most stealthy G-Shock out there but who says police officers can’t be bold and stylish?

Best G-Shocks for Law Enforcement

This wraps up our list of the best G-Shock watch for police officers and other members of law enforcement. I had a difficult time putting up this list since there are so many great G-Shocks in the market. Hopefully, this list has helped you out.

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: A Showdown of Two Very Similar Rolexes

Rolex GMT vs Submariner_Feat

When it comes to Rolex luxury sports watches, the Rolex GMT and Submariner are two of the most well-known models from Rolex’s lineup.

Many friends and loved ones have asked me about which Rolex timepieces to buy and many inquiries are about the Rolex GMT vs Submariner. At first glance, it’s easy to think that the GMT Master and Submariner is basically the same watch.

However, the devil is always in the details.

So for today’s head-to-head comparison, we are taking a closer look at the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex GMT Master II, and how they stack up against each other.

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: Specs Comparison

For this head-to-head comparison, we’ll review the Rolex GMT Master II reference 116710 and the Rolex Submariner reference 116610.

But first, let us take a look at the key specs for both the GMT Master II and Submariner.

Model: Rolex GMT Master II Rolex Submariner
Reference #: 116710 116610
Model case: Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel
Dial color: Black Black
Oyster architecture: Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown
Material: Oystersteel Oystersteel
Bezel: Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel. Two-colour brown and black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum
Winding crown: Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water Resistance: 100 meters / 330 feet 300 meters / 1,000 feet
Movement: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Caliber: 3285, Manufacture Rolex 3135, Manufacture Rolex
Functions: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. 24-hour display. Second time zone with independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. Instantaneous date. Stop-seconds for precise time setting Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Oscillator: Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Power reserve: 70 hours 48 hours
Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links Oystersteel
Clasp: Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: Head-to-Head Review

Design

In terms of design, no one will blame you if you think that both watches look very similar.

Both timepieces are housed in the 40mm diameter which is often referred to as the “super case.” The case features thicker lugs and crown guards which give off a bolder and chunkier appearance. Of course, both cases are done in 904L stainless steel (with the GMT receiving it a year later than the Submariner).

Both watches also come with the signature Oyster bracelet. However, the style of clasp and the polish are done differently on each of the watches. If you look closely, the GMT Master II bracelet’s center link features a high-gloss polish while the Submariner received a brushed satin finish for its bracelet.

Being a dive watch, Submariner gets the folding Oysterlock safety clasp with the proprietary Glidelock extension system. On the other hand, the GMT’s Oyster bracelet comes with a simple folding Oysterlock safety clasp with the Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link.

The bezel design is one of the key differences between the GMT Master II and Submariner. The Submariner is fitted with a 60-minute scale bezel which is used as a dive timer. On the flip side, the GMT Master features a 24-hour bezel for use in combination with the GMT hand.

Other models of the GMT also adds a splash of color which makes it more interesting for more people. I particularly enjoy the GMT model with the iconic Pepsi bezel. The Submariner has retained its iconic black dial over the years. However, the Submariner does have other color options like the vibrant green “The Hulk” Submariner.

Movement

Aside from a number of cosmetic differences, one of the most major differences between the GMT Master II and Submariner are their movements.

Rolex 3135 Movement

The reference 116610 Submariner is powered by the venerable Caliber 3135 movement which remained unchanged since 1988. The Caliber 3135 is a standard 3-hand automatic movement (hours, minutes, and seconds) with a date complication. Nothing much to say here but it’s a workhorse movement that gets the job done.

Rolex 3186 Movement

On the other hand, the reference 116710 GMT-Master II is fitted with the in-house Caliber 3186 movement. It also comes with a date complication and the hour hand can be adjusted independently. Like with all GMT Master models, the GMT Master II has a 4th GMT hand. This allows you to adjust the hour hand separately from the GMT hand.

As a result, GMT owners can simultaneously reference three time zones when used in combination with the watch’s rotating 24-hour bezel.

Both movements are COSC certified and run at +/- 2 seconds per day. In addition, both movements are equipped with Parachrom Bleu hairspring which protects the movement from magnetic fields and shocks. It’s also worth noting that the aesthetic of both movements is also fairly similar.

The power reserve of the GMT is far superior to the Submariner. The former boasts a 70-hour power reserve while the latter offers 48 hours of power reserve. This should not be an issue for most people but should you go on a weekend without wearing a watch, the difference in power reserve should show itself.

Functionality

When it comes to buying Rolex watches, you’re not really looking at your options with functionality in mind. As you can see, both the GMT and Submariner have their own uses.

However, just how do they stack up when it comes to day to day use?

For overall functionality, I reckon that the GMT Master II has the upper hand over the Submariner. The GMT function is just so robust and flexible that I can see myself using it more in daily life. From timing something while on the kitchen to deciding whether it’s time to call a loved one from another country, the GMT Master II can handle these tasks with little to no problem.

Sure, a smartphone is good enough for such tasks but there’s just something satisfying about looking down on your wrist to tell the time. With that said, jet-lagged travelers and jet-setters will have a lot to love about the GMT functions of the GMT Master II.

As for the Rolex Submariner, I can also time things but that’s about it. If I am a professional diver or someone who’s always near the water, the possibilities for the Submariner certainly do open up. After all, the Sub can handle depths to 300 meters. The Submariner’s water-resistance does add a great deal of ruggedness to the watch.

But alas, I’ll never come close to 300 meters of depth which means that the Submariner’s greatest asset is now moot. However, you really can’t underestimate the ruggedness and reliability of the Submariner for everyday use.

This feels like I’m grasping for straws here but the GMT Master II certainly has the upper hand when it comes to pure timepiece functionality.

Pricing

Looking at the price of the Submariner Date and the GMT Master II, they are about in the same price range. The GMT Master II is the pricier between the two but the price difference won’t be much of an issue – at least to an avid Rolex collector.

However, if the budget is tight and every dollar matters, the Submariner Date is the no-brainer option. It might be the less expensive watch between the two, it’s certainly not the inferior model. You will be getting your hands on a legendary timepiece that’s literally timeless. If you want, you may even opt for the more affordable standard Rolex Submariner, if you think you won’t miss the date aperture.

There’s more watch here than you can shake a stick at.

However, for pure functionality alone, the Rolex GMT Master II is hands down the better value for the money. This is especially true if you are always traveling abroad or simply want a watch with a GMT feature.

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: The Verdict

Rolex GMT vs Submariner_Feat

This concludes our Rolex GMT vs Submariner head-to-head review, so what’s the verdict?

From the design to the specs and features, you could swear that the Rolex GMT Master II and Rolex Submariner are essentially the same watch. However, as you can see, there are numerous key differences that set apart one from the other.

If you are giving me the choice between the Rolex Submariner or GMT Master II, I’ll have to give it to the GMT. Give me the Pepsi-bezeled GMT and all bets are off.

Don’t get me wrong though.

If you are an avid reader of WatchIdeas, you’ll know that I am the biggest fan of the Submariner. However, in this particular head-to-head comparison, the GMT edges out the black-dialed Rolex classic.

It is just that I think I’ll be able to use the GMT Master II in the spirit it was intended when compared to the Submariner. There’s just more watch that the GMT can offer more than the Sub. However, when it comes to the price, it’s really hard to go wrong with the Submariner and you won’t be missing much.

If you’re someone who’s having this conundrum, I’d say that it’s a good problem to have – but it’s also a very tricky choice. One has a GMT feature and a more complex movement while the other offers superior water resistance and ruggedness.

It’s really up to you to decide where you think your money is worth.

Rolex Explorer 2 Review: A True Utilitarian Rolex Timepiece

When you are looking for a watch that you can wear under the toughest conditions, you are probably not looking for a Rolex. However, if you are in the market for one of the toughest luxury watches available, today’s Rolex Explorer 2 review is for you.

After all, it’s a timepiece that’s designed for cave divers and spelunkers. Although not many of you will be using this watch for exploring dark caves, it’s still a watch that’s rich in history.

Among the Rolex collection, the Rolex Explorer II has always been some sort of oddity. It’s not as popular as the Submariner or Datejust but it’s still going strong even after 45 years of production.

With that said, let’s take an in-depth look at the Explorer II ref. 216570 a.k.a. the Polar.

Rolex Explorer 2 Review: At a Glance

The Rolex Explorer II is a relatively quirky offering that added plenty of character to the Swiss luxury brand’s stable. Before we go to a detailed Rolex Explorer II review, let’s first check out its key specs and features.

Model:

Rolex Explorer II

Reference no.

216570

Model case:

Oyster, 42 mm, Oystersteel

Oyster architecture:

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

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Fixed, 24-hour graduated

Winding crown:

Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system

Crystal:

Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water-resistance: Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet

Movement:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Caliber:

3187, Manufacture Rolex

Precision:

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Functions:

Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. 24-hour display. Second time zone with independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. Instantaneous date. Stop-seconds for precise time setting

Oscillator:

Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring

Winding:

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Power reserve:

48 hours

Bracelet:

Oyster, flat three-piece links

Clasp:

Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link

Dial:

White, Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence

Certification:

Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)

First Impression

Take note that the 216570 White Dial is the new and improved version of the Rolex Explorer II 16570. There are actually two dial versions of the 216570: white and black (pictured below). While I am a big fan of black dials, I went with the white dial since it somehow looks better than the black version.

My first impression is that the watch maintains most of the essence of classic Rolex timepieces but has been reworked to appeal to contemporary collectors. Perhaps the most obvious change is the 42mm case diameter. In comparison, the original Rolex Explorer 214270 was only 39mm.

It’s one of the largest models in the Rolex catalog.

Purists and traditionalists will surely prefer the smaller 39mm but as an outdoor tool watch, the size increase is more than welcome.

The white maxi dial is another standout with its boldness and superior legibility – perhaps it’s boldest among other Rolex sports watches. The glossy white dial has markers with black surrounds. It is an instantly striking dial with somehow more of the signature Rolex attention to detail.

The construction looks to be on-point and while I’m not too keen on wearing it to explore cave systems, it feels like it would serve me well even if I choose to. It looks and feels like a true tool watch and noticeably less luxurious.

The Polar White Dial

The Polar white dial is a masterclass in contrast. The Chromalight markers and hands sit perfectly against the white background, and the bright orange 24-hour GMT hand adds a perfect contrast to everything that’s going on.

In case you don’t know, the 24-hour hand enables the user to keep the time for two different time zones. In addition, it will also let you know if it’s day or night, very useful when you are down in a cave.

Rolex Explorer 2 Review Chromalight
Rolex Explorer II Chromalight

As mentioned, the Rolex Explorer II features top-notch legibility. After all, it’s a watch designed for very low-light environments or at night. Based on my tests, the proprietary Chromalight coating does a great job of providing long-lasting readability.

Plus, it looks amazing when the blue luminescent coating is activated.

The black surround around the oversized markers and stubby hands is another great detail that completes the overall look of the Explorer II. I have always been a fan of the Cyclops lens so it’s a nice cherry on top as far as the dial goes.

The Rolex Explorer 2 is bigger and bolder which is what you want for a heavy-duty tool watch.

The Robust Case

The Rolex Explorer II was first released back in 1971, and since then it has gone through numerous makeovers over the four decades. It was designed for extreme resistance and this is mainly due to its robust case.

Of course, there’s the 904L stainless steel that makes the case which measures 42mm in diameter and a thickness of 13mm. While I don’t have the largest wrist, the 42mm diameter is more preferable to me than the 39mm of the previous Explorer.

For reference, the Yacht-Master II is 43mm and the Sea-Dweller Deepsea is 44mm.

Just like with the previous generations of Explorer, the watch is fitted with Rolex’s signature twinlock screw-down crown. This adds a fair bit of waterproofness to the watch and should be able to handle a few splashes. Just make sure you don’t wear the Explorer II for diving.

In classic Rolex style, the watch features sapphire crystal on the front and a solid case back on the back. The 24-hour bezel is made with fixed stainless steel with a satin brush finish. However, the bezel is more prone to scratches. I would have loved it more if it instead had ceramic inserts like on the Rolex Submariner.

However, the brushed finish of the bezel does look great.

The Oystersteel Bracelet

The Explorer II uses the signature Oyster bracelet made in 904L steel with three links. Looking closely, you’ll see that the center links of the bracelet lack polish. This is, of course, a conscious design choice for a more “tool-like” look. However, the sides are polished which adds an interesting twist to the bracelet’s aesthetic.

As you might expect, the bracelet’s construction feels very solid and it comes with the Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink system. This enables the user to extend or shorten the last link by 5mm increments which is useful for achieving a great fit.

While the Glidelock fine-adjustment extension found on watches like the Submariner is the superior system, the Easylink is useful for adjusting the short and long positions. This allows you to easily adjust the bracelet in case of weather changes.

Timekeeping

Rolex Explorer 2 Review 3187 Movement
Explorer II’s 3187 Caliber Movement

Of course, you can’t have a Rolex Explorer 2 review without talking about the movement. With that said, the Explorer 2 is powered by the automatic in-house calibre 3187.

The movement features a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring with a 48-hour power reserve. For the price, I was expecting a better power reserve than 48 hours. Having to reset the watch after two days of not wearing it does get old pretty quick.

The blue Parachrom hairspring provides the much-needed resistance against magnetic fields. Plus, it adds a good deal of durability to the watch which is crucial for the type of environments the model is designed for. Even with extreme temperature changes, the Explorer II will remain ticking accurately.

The 3187 won’t blow anyone’s mind when it comes to aesthetic but that’s no big deal since you’re getting a robust solid steel caseback anyway.

Like with all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 3187 is a certified Swiss chronometer with -2/+2 sec/day precision performed after casing.

Pricing

The Explorer II 216570 Polar is about on the same price range as the Rolex Submariner. However, if you can get a pre-owned Explorer II, expect to pay a little more than a no-date Submariner and a little less than a date Submariner.

It’s no entry-level watch like the Rolex Air-King but it’s certainly an affordable option if you’re looking to get into the Rolex rabbit hole. Due to its not-so-massive popularity, you won’t find an Explorer II that sells for over the retail price. Basically, you can just walk up to a Rolex shop right now and later come out with the watch on hand.

This isn’t the case for other popular Rolex models like the aforementioned Submariner where the cost is driven up by demand.

As far as resale value goes, this luxury steel watch offers a rock-solid resale value. However, it’s not exactly a fly-off-the-shelves sale when compared to other popular Rolex models.

Should You Get the Rolex Explorer II?

To wrap up this Rolex Explorer 2 review, we put in the verdict if this watch is worth the investment or not.

The Explorer II is a somewhat a forgotten model that’s lost in the sea of Submariners, Day-Dates, and Daytonas. This is quite a shame especially when it’s one of the few unashamedly utilitarian Rolex timepieces.

I love the big and bold display with a throwback design to the vintage Explorer. However, Rolex made some excellent updates that make it more appealing for fans of contemporary timepieces. It looks great, especially with the Polar white dial and offers legibility for days. In terms of comfort, the watch sits comfortably on my wrist so I have no complaints.

It’s also perhaps the toughest and most robust Rolex watch that I’ve owned. More than anything, it’s a tool watch and a great one at that.

The Rolex Explorer II is not the kind of watch that I would recommend for first-time Rolex buyers but it sure is an imposing addition to any luxury watch collection.

Best Smartwatch For Cycling

best smartwatch for cycling

We’ve taken the time to research the best smartwatch for cycling and have discovered four smartwatches that would highly benefit your next cycling session. All of our selections factor in apps, sturdiness, and other qualities that make them beneficial to frequent bikers.

As for the number one slot, we’re choosing the Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch.

Keeping fit is more than just doing your daily stretches, cardio, and strength training. As a cyclist, you want to keep pushing the limits and exceeding your latest record. To do so, you might find it beneficial to use a smartwatch to track your exercises. Hence why we’ve developed a list of the best smartwatches for cycling.

Fitness smartwatches only use to be useful for tracking steps and functioned similarly to a pedometer. However, with new advancements, they can accurately track tire movements and provide feedback on your biking session. So, whether you’re using the smartwatch as a competitive cyclist or just a quick ride around the block, these best smartwatches for cycling can help.

Although, we do recommend buying a budget-friendly smartwatch if you’re just looking for basic features.

Top Pick: Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch

The Fitbit Surge is your classic smartwatch from the Fitbit brand, except made for those who want to train smarter. It’s packed with multiple tools to help you set goals and learn how to push yourself farther with your workouts. Plus, the slim yet durable design is simplistic but keeps the watch intact throughout your workout.

Fitness Tracking Pro

The watch features up to date applications that can rival most other fitness trackers. You’ll be provided GPS Tracking which lists your distance, split times, and even your pace. This can be helpful if you’re using it for multiple activities.

Besides that, it features All-Day Activity, enabling you to track total steps, distance, and calories burned. The PurePulse Heart Rate Monitor is suitable for those tracking heart rate and needs to stay in specific zones. Lastly, the SmartTrack enables you to use it with multi-sports and records all your activity.

On Display Notifications

Being always in the know with our busy lives is what makes technology so great. With the display screen, you’ll be able to get consistent updates for calls, texts, and even music. Control your soundtrack while you’re cycling and switch it up with just a flick of the finger.

On top of that, you’ll be able to monitor your sleep patterns, set the alarm, and manage any notifications on the screen from your phone. Overall, it’s an excellent system if you want full control from your wrist.

Ultra Slim Design

Lastly, the design is slim enough where it doesn’t clog up your screen or expect you to wear a heavy wristwatch. Instead, it’s lightweight, durable, and features a breathable black strap. However, if you get the urge to change it up, you can purchase your own strap and wear that one instead.

What Do We Think?

We believe that this is genuinely the best smartwatch for cycling. It provides you with multiple monitoring systems that help track all your activities throughout the day, which most others can’t do. Plus, the small and slim design looks sleek and modern. Add the fact that you can have full control over your phone and other notifications while you’re cycling, and you’ve got yourself a useful smartwatch.

Runner Up: Garmin Vivoactive HR

The Garmin Viviactive HR is our second best smartwatch for cycling. It’s been designed with a beautiful slim screen that’s high resolution and features a multitude of fitness tracking applications. Unlike others, the longer battery life and smartphone pairing make this one of the best for those on the go.

Heart Monitoring System

A healthy heart is the key to being physically fit, which is why the Vivoactive HR comes with a GPS Smartwatch featuring an elevated heart rate monitor.

By measuring the pulse on your wrist, the smartwatch will accurately display the numbers tracked without the need to use a chest strap.

Extensive Battery Life

The one major problem with smartwatches is that they tend to have short battery life and need to be recharged. While others may last one to two days, this one features an 8-day battery life if using the tracking mode and up to 13 hours in GPS mode.

Overall, it depends on what applications and features you’re going to use to determine if the battery life is worth it or not.

Built-in Sports Apps

The smartwatch comes built with specific sports apps to help you log and track your session. As the main feature, the GPS enabled cycling app enables you to track times, distance traveled, speed and calories.

Besides this, it comes with an accelerometer, GPS, golf course apps, and step tracking. As you can see, it’s best for those looking for an all-around system.

What Do We Think?

Overall, it’s an excellent smartwatch which enables you to keep track of multiple sports. However, if you’re using it for cycling, it may be a bit overwhelming.

The long battery life is a useful feature, but the fact that you can drain it quickly using other apps makes it mediocre. Either way, we find that it’s best suited for those switching up their workout routine.

Best Heart Rate Monitor: Polar A370

If you’re searching for an all-around fitness smartwatch, then you can’t go wrong with the Polar A370. It’s a 24/7 fitness watch that includes multiple features and apps to help track your overall health. That being said, if you’re trying to monitor other aspects of your life instead of just your cycling, this is the perfect fit.

Multiple Fitness & Health Trackers

Similar to other smartwatches, the Polar features multiple trackers to help your fitness journey. It includes a continuous heart rate monitor that produces a whole day worth of information.

Plus, you can use the information provided to tailor calorie-burning activities. Besides this, there’s a Sleep Plus app which can help you track sleep and give you better insights into your sleeping habits.

Personal Workout Guider

If you need a little nudge to reach your fitness goals, then you will find the workout guidance tools useful. With the unique tracking system, the watch calculates data it collects from other activities, and your heart rate to help build a better workout plan.

Anyone looking for guidance and feedback will genuinely appreciate this aspect, as it can help you meet your goals faster.

Reliable GPS Tracker

However, we want to take a look at one of the possible benefits that are also a downfall. The GPS navigation is amazingly accurate and provides you useful information for tracking speed, routes, and distances.

But, you will need to have your phone with you at all times. While this isn’t a problem for most of us, the downside is that if your phone dies or loses internet connection, then you won’t be able to access any of these features.

What Do We Think?

The Polar gives you more accurate results and tracking than any other on our list, but it’s not our best listed because it has short battery life, must be paired with your phone, and lacks on other features you may find in other fitness smartwatches.

However, it’s perfect for bikers because of the large easy to read display, the accurate tracking, and allows you to pair it with 3rd party services.

Best for Daily Activity Monitoring: Apple Watch Series 4

Our last pick is the Apple Watch Series 4, which is by far one of the best for all around daily activities. For those who find themselves always on the go, the Apple Watch is the perfect smartwatch to help them stay connected, track fitness, and improve their cycling.

New Improvements

The design has since then been upgraded from the previous model. It comes with a large display, electrical heart sensors, and a newly redesigned digital crown which provides haptic feedback. These are excellent features for those looking to monitor their heart rate and keep within specific ranges.

Proactive Health Monitor

There’s an ECG located under the smartwatches backside. This eliminates the use of chest straps or other types of heart monitoring systems. You’ll be given notifications if your heart rate is irregular, out of its reasonable bounds, or fall detection or SOS.

Ultimate Workout Partner & Activity Tracker

The ultimate workout partner is perfect for those who want to improve themselves with others. If you’re in a group, you can sync together and get notifications every time someone is closing in on you.

Besides this, you can also see up to five metrics in front of you, giving you the upper hand.

What Do We Think?

Out of all the best watch for cycling, we’d say that this is the least to please you. While it does have, it’s pros and cons, and it can’t be used for cycling.

Why? Because it’s more of a monitor daily activity fitness watch. It doesn’t feature many other useful apps or tools that could help you with your cycling session.

Our Verdict On The Best Smartwatch For Cycling

As we come to the final push of the article we should ask, is there best smartwatch for cycling? The truth is, any of the ones that we’ve listed have been useful for bikers. However, some come with extra features that you’d find helpful for other aspects throughout your day.

That being said, you should take the time to narrow the four options down to find one that would work with your daily life. If you tend to cycle once every few days, then you may not want something as accurate like the Garmin. However, if you want an all day watch, the other three listed are exactly what you’re looking for.

As a regular cyclist, you should consider as well the best heart rate monitoring for cycling as one of the basic tools for continues improvement.

Either way, being a cyclist is impressive and enables you to breathe fresh air while being outdoors passing by the scenery. Having a GPS map out your route and record your progress around town can help you adjust your workout to your liking. Overall, that’s why we believe the Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch is the best smartwatch for cycling.