I know that most people are changing to smart watches these days if they haven’t done so already. As a matter of fact the majority of people under 40 grew up using a cell phone as their main method of telling time. Personally as an employer I appreciate people that wear a watch, any kind of watch because I feel that they are conscious of time. I have noticed that the employees that always have to pull out their phone to check the time tend to be late on tasks or work a little more, they also tend to spend a fair amount of time playing with the phone, this of course is just my personal observation.
Why Do I Need a Watch?
The short answer is it very useful, while camping it helps keep track of your day, the time spent hiking, the hours left before sunset and mostly because when all the power in your cell phone, tablet, smartwatch and GPS device die, the watch will still work.
A Brief Explanation of the Different Types
The most basic is a quartz watch. It runs on a battery and is the most common. They range in price from $5 to $5000 and come in every style imaginable. The only problem with a quartz watch is that sooner or later the battery will die. Some of the better makes have low battery warnings like the seconds hand moves in two second increments instead of one. A good quartz watch like a Seiko will last five years on a battery.
The second style I will mention is the automatic watch. This is a watch that is mechanical, has no electrical parts and it’s spring winds by the movement of your wrist while wearing the watch. As long as you wear the watch, it will run. There is a simpler version that requires you to wind the watch every day but they are not that common anymore.
The last style is a solar watch. This design has a battery but it charges the battery with a solar panel built into the dial. The designs are so good now that you would be hard pressed to see the watch was solar if it didn’t say it in the packaging. The solar watches will not last forever though as a automatic would though because there is still a battery that will wear out eventually. I had a Casio that lasted 12 years.
Prices and Styles
A good automatic watch can be had for around $100. The Seiko 5 is a great automatic design that comes in many different styles and have proven themselves over years of use. The one complaint about this model is that the power reserve, that is the amount of time
the watch will keep going while not being worn is not great. Usually, they run out in under 24 hours. Hi dollar automatics will run for 5 or more days without being wound. When you get above the $1000 dollar mark your talking about a watch you pass on to your son or daughter when you retire because these watches will keep working indefinitely. I currently wear a dress watch that was made in 1912 and still works fine. The quartz watches can be had for any amount, I have a $10 SMAEL watch that looks great (but had water leak in while swimming in a pool). The Casio Mudmaster series besides being virtually indestructible displays barometric pressure/altitude, bearing, temperature readings and all the usual alarms, but the watch is huge on the wrist. To be honest, in the quartz category, the choices are endless.
For an outdoor watch I would either go with an automatic or a solar quartz. The last thing I want is a battery to die while I’m out on a 5 day trek. A few things to look for are that the hands have some luminescence on them so you can see the time at night without having to press a button and waterproof, not water resistant. Waterproof is wearing the watch while swimming, water resistant is “might get wet while washing my hands”, avoid water resistant watches. Personally I have three main watches, a dress watch, a camping watch and a “working in the car, I don’t care if it breaks” watch.
Some Places to Buy
Obviously Amazon sells watches but Jomashop also has great pricing. There is a brand on Ebay called “Parnis” that makes a lot of watches similar to famous brands and they are built pretty well. Just search “Parnis Watch” and you will have plenty of choices of automatic watches around $100. Good Luck!