The Best Watches Made to Weather Intense Conditions
A human being is the only animal capable of conceptualizing his own existence and non-existence. Perhaps it is this awareness that makes him want to explore the meaning of it; unlike other animals . We take up adventure with the sole purpose of enjoyment or passion for a cause and often not for sustenance. It is for that feeling of being alive that we run, dive under water, climb mountains or participate in rescue missions putting limb & life at risk.
Time has different meanings for different people depending on the context. For someone running a marathon, every millisecond counts. To an explorer going around the world across oceans, even days don’t count. The time-pieces worn on the wrist by people reflect the specific requirements they have for it and their relationship with time.
While style trends, fashion and appearance are important to most people, adventurers, explorers, athletes or people working in extreme weather conditions seek watches with properties unique to their conditions without really compromising on the appearance.
Let us explore a few brands which have found patronage among the discerning users in these spheres.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
The first mention of an extreme watch is certainly reserved for Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea that has an impressive water resistance level of 3900 meters. It is also slimmer because of its unique case construction. The specifications of Sea-Dweller are three pressure-absorbing elements: a 5.5 mm thick sapphire crystal, a 3.28 mm thick back made of grade 5 titanium, and an inner ring made of Biodur-108 steel. It has a 44mm stainless steel case and uses titanium to secure the Rolex Ringlock system. Deepsea D-Blue features a helium escape valve for saturation divers. A Fliplock dive extension clasp design allows for easy fitting over a diving suit or any thick coat. Another appealing feature of the model is the Rolex Glidelock sliding-increment adjustment system.
- Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
This is a model that is synonymous to deep dives. It is water-resistant up to 600 meters and has a helium escape valve. The watch can function wonderfully even in very cold climates. Omega uses specially designed lubricating oil which functions without freezing all the way down at -67° F. A newer version Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer even survived a laboratory test that took it to -94° F. This model has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a black dial with a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The black ceramic unidirectional rotating divers’ bezel is mounted on a 45.5 mm stainless steel case on a stainless steel bracelet.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss
Pic courtesy: ablogtowatch
This model from Omega is an extreme watch that doesn’t compromise on its elegance and is claimed to be the first truly anti-magnetic watch. The subtle black-yellow color alternations of the dial along with the delicate teak deck imprint gives the model a unique grace not seen in the usual dive models. The Omega-exclusive automatic caliber 8508 co-axial chronometer offers it the high antimagnetic resilience the watch is famous for. It also comes with a 150 meter water resistance.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Titanium
The claim to fame for this Omega comes from the fact that it has been used by astronauts in all of NASA’s six lunar missions. On July 21st 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon along with them went the Speedmaster too. It is made from solid titanium, comes with an in-house automatic movement, and has an easy-to-read tachymeter bezel. In the 50th anniversary limited edition model of the same, the bezel on the 42mm case is in Moonshine gold, which is also tarnish and fade resistant than conventional yellow gold. The makers have used the same alloy in the markers and hands, the Omega logo and in the depiction of Buzz Aldrin climbing down the ladder of the lunar craft onto the lunar surface, in the 9 o'clock subdial. Indeed an otherworldly piece of art!
TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36
Pic courtesy: celebritywatches
This model boasts of an Advanced Dynamic Absorber System as its key feature. The dial movement inside is suspended at all four corners within the square case. Four plastic buffers protect the movement against shocks and vibrations in the frequency range of one to 10 Hz. The contrast between the round dial and orange shock absorbers makes it look very trendy. The watch claims to have the ability to survive even a 20 meter fall with its shock absorber system. It is a big watch from a thickness perspective more than the diameter. The TAG Heuer Monaco 24 model is powered by the Calibre 36 movement which is considered as one of the best Chronograph movements’ world over.
The Breitling Emergency is meant for users working in the world’s remotest places in very unfriendly environments. It is the first watch equipped with a dual-frequency locator beacon and comes with a rechargeable battery and integrated antenna system. It can transmit on two separate frequencies and can signal for help wherever and whenever you are in trouble on land, air or sea. It is a great watch to have while in search and rescue missions. The bezel is satin-brushed and the case is made of titanium which conceals a thermo compressed quartz movement. The watch face shows time in both analogue and 12/24 hour digital display.
Casio has been a popular brand in the tough watches segment which stays at reasonable price points too with its various models.
Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1V Watch
Oddly enough, one of the toughest watches ever made is the Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1V which is one of the most affordable in the category too. It had earned a Guinness world record for its durability, making it officially the toughest watch on Earth. In fact it is so enduring that it went down in history with a TV commercial that showed a hockey player taking a slap-shot at the G-Shock which was later proved on camera to be possible. The very affordable watch priced at less than 50 dollars has a reliable quartz movement, digital face and is excellent value for money. It has a case made of resin, has a resin band and an EL backlight display and afterglow. It is shock resistant and is water resistant up to 200 meters.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000
G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-100 is a Casio model made of steel and resin which is renowned for its utility in unfavorable situations. The watch is designed with a series of gaskets and pipes, which completely seal the buttons and the crown that controls the watch and keeps off dirt and moisture. This too is one of the most shock resistant watches in the market and is immune to electric shocks, vibrations and even gravity resistance. In test conditions it can withstand extreme temperature shock of up to -80° F and still function. The watch is bulky but durable and extremely light and is water resistant up to 200 meters.
Seiko Prospex SBBN031 ‘Tuna’ Watch
Seiko has many popular dive watches in their collection but Prospex SBBN031 ‘Tuna’ watch is one of the most sought after models. It has a thick case resembling a tuna can and is made of ultra-thick stainless steel and has an anti-magnetic housing protecting its quartz movement. It can withstand depths up to 300 meters. It is a tool watch which is robust and sturdy. The diameter is 48 mm, thickness is 14.7 mm and weighs about 189 grams. On top of the case it has a double domed Hardlex crystal which magnifies the dial and improves legibility. It has luminous markings for low-light visibility, and a matching link band. While not a very sleek model it is certainly a rugged durable wrist wear.
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