So you fancy yourself an action man? You may not be an international explorer, boldly traversing uncharted territory and ousting indigenous peoples from their native lands. You may not be Bond, keeping your country safe from dastardly villains via an envy-inducing collection of high-tech gadgets. In fact, your idea of adventure may just be watching Bear Grylls rough it while you lounge on the couch in silk pajamas. In any case, we think you deserve to dress like your most adventurous idols, and these outdoor watches are a sure-fire step in the right direction.
Suunto Elementum Terra Steel
The Suunto Elementum Terra Steel bridges the gap between city and country. Hailing from Finland, the timepiece is inspired by urban settings but equipped with an altimeter and a barometer for any un-urban explorations. It also has a unique 3-D compass to guide your outdoor expeditions (or to the bar where your friends are waiting, because your mobile died and you’re lost without Google Maps). The corrosion-resistant stainless steel case, sapphire crystal face and solid water resistance mean these outdoor watches are ready to follow you anywhere.
Tissot T-Race Touch
Tissot’s budget T-Touch model is perfect for the man who found earlier T-Touch incarnations a bit too pricey. The Tissot T-Race Touch is designed for the sportsman and inspired by motorcycle racing (you may note some visual references to the watch’s motorsports lineage). For something with so many features, the T-Race Touch remains surprisingly uncluttered. Its lengthy list of functions includes two alarms, two timers, a compass, a tide schedule and a lap chronograph which tracks total race time along with the fastest, slowest and average lap times.
Casio G-Shock Gravity Master
There are two things that make the Casio G-Shock Gravity Master an ideal choice as an outdoor watch. The first is its Triple G Resist construction, which is designed to withstand the shock of three forces: gravitational dropping forces, centrifugal gravitational force and vibration. The second is the GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor, which is capable of receiving any one of six time calibration signals around the globe and acquiring position and time information from GPS satellites. And of course, not only is it tough and versatile, it also looks amazing.
Garmin Fenix 2
Some watches are designed for one sport specifically, but the Garmin Fenix 2 is a jack of all trades and a master of most of them. It’s built for the man who wants a single watch to track all of his athletic pursuits – or, as Garmin puts it, it’s a “full-featured training watch for multisport athletes.” The Fenix (pronounced like the bird that rises from the ashes) calculates a truly epic number of advanced fitness metrics, from heart rate, to recovery time, to the max volume of oxygen you can consume per minute.
Timex Expedition Rugged
It’s got “expedition” and “rugged” right in the name, so there’s no doubt about what you’re getting with the Timex Expedition Rugged. On the performance side of things, Timex delivers water resistance to 50 metres, an INDIGLO® Night-Light, a QuickDate feature and luminescent hands. On the style side, you’re looking at a 43mm round case in black resin with a black dial and a black synthetic strap. Value-wise, this is as good as it gets. Perfect for someone with the heart of an explorer but the bank account of a skint student.
Nixon The Lodown S
The Lodown S from Nixon is an unexpected combination of fun and functionality. Don’t be fooled by all the bright colours available – look below the surface and you’ll find this watch is a highly capable little device. Nixon crammed the Lowdown S tide watch with over fifteen years of tide information for 270 beaches for surfers, boaters, fishermen and anyone else who needs detailed info on the motion of the ocean. Other features include dual time, alarms, countdown and a chronograph.
Citizen Promaster Altichron
Take a moment to absorb everything you’re looking at here. The tricked-out Citizen Promaster Altichron is taking watchmaking to impressive new heights (not a pun on “altitude,” we promise). Although time display is of course its main function, the Promaster Altichron also measures height as high as 10,000m and depth as low as 300m below sea level. It’s also packing an electronic compass that measures geomagnetism with a built-in magnetic sensor. Direction can be displayed alongside time and even while measuring altitude.
Zodiac calls the ZMX-03 a “high-performance, all-condition chronograph timepiece.” Features include an oversized (50mm) screw-down crown and locking pushers, a heavy-duty stainless-steel case and bezel, an interchangeable stainless steel bracelet and a sapphire anti-reflective crystal. One of its most useful quirks is an LED light that flows through a recessed area between the dial and the chapter ring to illuminate the face. Its nighttime visibility is excellent, meaning this is the watch to pack for your next midnight mission.
Victorinox Maverick Sport Chrono
It’s all in the name. A maverick is a free spirit who refuses to conform to conventions, and that’s exactly who this watch is designed for. The Victorinox Maverick Sport Chrono is powered by a Swiss-made Ronda 5030D housed in a 43mm diameter stainless steel case. With a black bezel, dial and stainless steel bracelet Victorinox successfully delivers both style and practicality in one affordable timepiece.
We couldn’t conclude a list of outdoor watches for the action man without mentioning Breitling. The brand was built on the spirit of adventure, and it’s at its best in the Breitling Emergency. Not only is it chronometer-certified by the COSC, it’s also the world’s first wristwatch with a built-in dual frequency personal locator beacon. The transmitter meets the specifications of the Cospas-Sarsat international satellite system and serves both to issue alerts and to guide search and rescue operations on land, at sea and in the air.