Mar 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm #1287024
W I S N E R !BPL Member
Just broke my trusty Timex Ironman digital and want something a little classier (I don't wear a watch running that much anymore). Can anyone recommend something simple but quality? Willing to pay ~150.
I like the Bertucci A-2T. REI will have them 20% off soon and I have a $10 dividend to throw in as well, so could pick one up for ~75. Only downside I have heard is that the hands aren't very bright at night.
Basically, looking for something simple like this…also like dive-style watches with rotating bezels. I don't want/need something Star Trek looking with 500 features.
This watch would go backpacking with me (so it should be waterproof/durable) but will also be for daily wear; something that still doesn't look bad when I'm flying my wife out to the marina in my helicopter for a night on the town.
Thanks.Mar 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm #1852719
When my Seiko diesMar 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm #1852732
Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Not Bertucci, but it tells time and looks the part.Mar 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm #1852740
My last two Timex were my last ones ever. Not what they once were.Mar 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm #1852757
Ken, which one?
My Seiko, purchased Christmas 1985, has been repaired once only for a leak but was still running fine when it leaked a drop or two. I have to put a new band on every four years or so. Otherwise been excellent. And no batteries since it is automatic. The old 150M divers watch has been great. In and out of the ocean and shower. I occasionally think I'll buy a new one. But it still keeps on ticking and so I save a few bob.Mar 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm #1852758
What's a watch? I didn't know they still made those things.Mar 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm #1852760
you probably carry a cell phone. I have one, but never carry it. It's in the car for emergency situations only. So, I still need a watch. I understand from some of my friends who are dads that the watch is making a resurgence.Mar 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm #1852762
I have a Seiko Kinetic from the early 90's. Has always kept poor time. Gains minutes every week. Really would like an analog with alarm.Mar 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm #1852773
slow for many years and the watch maker adjusted that out. But if you let the watch stop the accuracy will suffer again. Ask me how I know. Now it runs fast over a few months.Mar 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm #1852787
Konrad .BPL Member
Craig, I have a thing for watches…and field watches are my favorite.
I've been eyeing this one for a long time. I love seikos, and these are automatic watches (no battery, human kinetic energy powered)
Cheapest place I've found them is at amazon. ~$70. Also comes in OD green face and strap, or British Tan face and strap. I've been itching to pick one up for the longest time.
Here's a pic of them dressed up with a leather band. The back two are the same watch I linked above. Definitely helicopter worthy IMO.
You mentioned dive watches with rotating bezels. I've heard great things about Orient and Invicta dive watches. They look like your typical Rolex Submariner style dive watch, but priced $100-200. Great tool watches that you won't cry over when they inevitably get scratched from use.
If you like chronographs, again, check out seiko…great value, and often look a lot more expensive than they really are.
This is my daily work-beater. I got it for around $90 when they were available on amazon. I have no clue how legit the site linked below is, but I'm only listing it for reference to the pics:
Good luck!Mar 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm #1852800
David HankinsBPL Member
@hankinsohlLocale: Pacific Northwest
I was looking for an analog watch awhile ago and got this one:Mar 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm #1852805
W I S N E R !BPL Member
Thanks so far everyone.
Konrad, that Seiko looks nice.
The only thing I don't know about automatics is how long they can be left without wearing them before they go dead…then I have to buy a winder.
But I'll definitely consider one.
What has me somewhat sold on the Bertucci so far is the one-piece Ti body; no spring loaded pins for the strap so it seems pretty solid.Mar 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm #1852867
Stephen StephensBPL Member
The St. Moritz Pathfinder Ti used to be carried in the Backpacking Light store and was recommended by some of the BPL staff. You may find it worth looking at. Sorry,I don't know how to create a link or post a picture of it.Mar 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm #1852871
Jeremy and AngelaBPL Member
@requiemLocale: Northern California
Automatics should run for about 40 hours, starting from fully-wound. (Depends on the watch.) Some Jaeger LeCoultres have an 8-day reserve, but I'm guessing you don't want to be hiking with one.Mar 13, 2012 at 8:20 am #1852949
I was looking at the Momentum site and also came upon the Pathfinder II. It has what I'm looking for. All I want is to tell time and set an alarm. I think it gors for around $160.
David's Survivorman watch is awesome, but I don't have $350 for a watch.Mar 13, 2012 at 9:13 am #1852966
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
I was on the watch hunt for a new watch a couple of weeks ago my trusty timex watches just don't last longer than 2 years . I was looking at the Bertucci watch line because it had pinless design I hate when a watch pin pops out. SIerra trading post was have awesome deals on the Bertucci line plus 40 to 45 % off the watch . Then I read reviews all the problems people had with the brand on several websites.
I was also looking at the Maratac nato watch bands they also had links to the Marathon watches that the military use the field watches and it had a solid stainless steel pins and field replaceable batteries. Cool watch I wish I could own but it just to expensive for me.
But in the back of my mind was this Casio watch with heart beat monitor I purchased 1982 in Okinawa,Japan for running. It packed away in box but I would here the alarm beep every morning till last year I never replaced the the battery on the watch.
I personal don't like paying lots of money for watches,So I picked up Casio Forester Aw-80 ani-digi color: Brown watch with a 10 year battery If I get 10 years out of the watch I will be happy. My Local Kohl's is having a great sale right now on all watches I picked up my casio watch for $22.50. They also have Seikos on sale also.
I replaced the watch band with a nylon Maratac Mil series 16mm watch band I purchased from broad arrow because their shipping was $5.00 cheaper than Countrycom .
Have fun on your watch hunt,
Ps: Is that a Variflex or Nash Skateboard your on in your Avatar photo? I am just old skateboarder also.Mar 13, 2012 at 10:23 am #1853003
I don't like one watch for everything. The watch band on a hiking and running watch gets soaked in sweat leaving the salt deposits behind and the band gets rather stiff if it is made from leather or nylon. Also leather bands don't last as long as nylon. I hate the newer plastic or rubber bands… to sweaty.
Here are the watches I have used in the picture.
Left is my military issued watch. You have to wind it every day. I retired it after 20 years, because I got tired of winding it. It is over 40 years old and still keeps perfect time. I also retired it because it is a collector's item and is becoming more valuable each year. It is made by Benrus and has a 17 jewel movement. Also there are small numbers are the military time marks, e.g. 3 or 15.
The center watch is the first Victronix Swiss Army Watch. I got it because it has a battery and date function. But the luminous parts (need to shine a light on it for a while) is very small — only on the hands; whereas the military watch has luminous points on all the numbers too. I like the face of the Swiss Army watch the best. Very clean and easy to read. I retired it after 20 years, because it was also becoming a collector item and I did not want to break it… but like the military watch it has held up over time.
The watch on the right is what I wear now. Notice the band is getting icky for city use. I got this because it has an Indiglo button to light it up at night. It works well. The housing is made from some sort of resin, but it has held up so far. I think some of the actual US military spec watches today are resin, so they are pretty tough.
If this breaks I will get a military style watch with tritium for night use. Tritium is a radioactive material that will be bright at night. No button or internal light needed. Tritium has a half-life of about 10 years, so it should be bright enough to read for 20 years or so. On a quality tritium watch, the tritium vials can be renewed once they get too dim. Tritium is the same material the military uses in their compasses. A Traser P5900 can be gotten for around $120. The housing is made from resin. It does not have a rotating dial. A good tritium watch with a metal housing will be way outside your budget.
If you get a watch with spring bars, get a NATO style band. If one bar breaks or comes out, the watch will still stay on your wrist. A NATO band is one long band that threads over the spring bars and under the watch case.
So what would I do if I were you? I would get two watches. Probably a Timex Expedition for hiking and running. And a good dress watch… gives your wife something to buy you for Xmas or birthday. My main dress watch is a Seiko my dad gave me when I graduated from high school, so that has held up too.
On second thought, the watch you should be wearing on those helicopter trips is a Rolex Black Submariner Oyster Bracelet Mens Watch. I found one on sale for $9,949 if you are interested.Mar 13, 2012 at 11:26 am #1853039
These look interesting, but their practicality probably depends on how likely you are to have a clear sky and your required precision. ;)Mar 13, 2012 at 11:40 am #1853058
@jrozesLocale: Pacific Wonderland
I've had an A2T "Vintage" model for a couple years now and I'm very happy with it. It's durable, easy to read, accurate, and has a five-year battery. It's not self-luminous, but with light-adjusted eyes, I have no problem reading it throughout the night. I also appreciate the offset winder, which doesn't dig into your hand when you hyperextend your wrist. Mine weighs 1.98 ounces with the nylon strap.Mar 13, 2012 at 11:58 am #1853070
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
@ Nick Gatel:
The Timex watch on the right… does it come with an alarm? How about a countdown alarm? And finally, is it loud enough to wake up an average sleeper? Vague, I know, but I prefer louder alarms. Thanks in advance.Mar 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm #1853126
Yes to everything, except I don't know how loud the alarm is. Never have used it, plus I am hard of hearing so it would do me no good :)
I have to tell you, this is a really nice watch and can be purchased on Amazon for $32. I have had it for a couple years, maybe more. The features and benefits can be researched here.
Normally I buy expensive watches, or get them as a "requested" gift. My wife bought me a Seiko, that cost a fortune… but I find I am reluctant to wear it except when we go to formal functions; I am afraid I might lose it. She also bought me a really cool Casio Pathfinder Solar watch with about 10,000 functions; 9,990 of which I can't figure out how to use.
On backpacking trips I almost always take the Timex. Only weights 35 g (1.2 oz). The Indiglo light works great.Mar 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm #1853130
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
The problems I see with most watches are:
The pins – they can break or fall out under load, like getting the strap caught on something
The strap – it gets sweaty and lumpy and wears out or is huge and lumpy and heavy
The buckle – clumsy lumpy things which either tear a hole or can pop open easily
My solution is to remove all the band and pins, drill a hole on the pin arms for a loop of strong cord (you can just enlargen the pin holes), and hang the watch around my neck inside my shirt or put it in my pocket tied to the fabric. Very much like a nurses watch.
The fewer 'functions' the better, unless I go for a watch/altimeter, which is very good. Most of the other stuff is just pointless. OK, the altimeter bit usually means a digital watch, not an analog.
CheersMar 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm #1853135
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Thanks, Nick.Mar 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm #1853197
You make some good points. But I like a watch that is easy to look at while walking, which is on the wrist. Especially in poor weather. I look at my watch a couple times an hour to match my progress against the map.
Some things about good quality military spec watches:
Pins – not spring loaded. The holes are drilled completely through the housing and you need a friggin' tool to drive them out :)
Staps – yes, I agree. My oldest watch is only 16mm wide and a thin quality NATA strap really holds up and is super light. Even if you could break the pin, the strap is double-looped under the watch, so unlikely you could loose. Double-D keepers keep the excess strap in place, and all metal parts do not touch the wrist, including the base of the watch. The buckle is really secure with this kind of strap.
So this kind of watch set-up might be a solution for many folks.
I have tried several times to hike without a watch, but find I am much more efficient with it. Plus, without a watch I once got home a day late and missed work — didn't know what day it was :(
Vietnam era military watch with updated NATO band. The military spec for this watch is W-3818B. Watch was issued in 1970.Mar 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm #1853464
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Well, I probably look at my watch once an hour – I pull it out of my pocket while I am walking and look at it, and then put it back. That seems to work fine for me, especially as my hands are not filled with trekking poles.
Btw – a benefit of having my watch in my pocket rather than on my wrist: I never damage the glass cover. I think scratches on the glass while scrambling was what started me off on this.
Solid through-pins – yes, good. Rarely on consumer watches though.
> missed work — didn't know what day it was
That must have been a 'good walk'!
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