As you might be aware, there are some seriously cool watches out there geared up for every eventuality. The problem is, you still might not be able to bring yourself to test their specs out for yourself. You know, logically, that it can cope. You can’t emotionally bring yourself to try. The same goes for daily wear. If you know you’re going to be smacking into the occasional rock, you might understandably not want to take your Ulysse Nardin with you.
Well never fear, for not every watch designed for extreme conditions is meant to come back unscathed – they just need to keep ticking until you reach the top. It’s also good to know that, if the worst should happen and your watch goes tumbling down to sea level, you don’t need to choose between replacing it and financing your next expedition. Here then are some of the best daily beaters around.
Boldr Supply Co Expedition Rushmore, $599
Looks mountain ready – and it is. The 41mm stainless steel case is bulky enough to survive more than a knock or two and the Sellita automatic movement will keep ticking through most eventualities. The crowns are screw-down to stop moisture getting in and the cool, green rubber strap will stay comfortable in any condition. It’s built to last. Available at boldrsupply.co
Alpina Alpinerx Special Edition Freeride World Tour, £795
If you’re keeping active enough to need a beater watch you might well be the sort to want to track all that exercise. This special edition of Alpina’s flagship connected watch is designed for use on the slopes, providing your phone with everything from barometer readings to UV warnings. Thanks to its rugged construction the watch itself can survive more than a wipeout or two as well. It won’t make you a downhill champion, but it’ll definitely help. Available at alpinawatches.com
Seiko Prospex Street Series, £370
Prospex was always going to be on this list. The icon of rugged durability is a quintessential beater, the kind of watch you know is going to survive whatever life throws at it. This latest edition however gives the diver a more urban overhaul with a cool navy/black colourway and a subtle camouflage pattern across the dial. It’s one of the few daily wear, DGAF watches that doubles as a street style statement. You have to love Seiko. Available at seikowatches.com
Doxa Sub 1200T, £1,820
Referencing the legendary SUB 300T Conquistador, the first diving watch with a helium escape valve available outside of military specialist corps, this piece has a legacy to keep up. Given that it can reach depths of 1,200 metres though, it’s doing pretty well in that regard. If you don’t mind a bright flash of orange (to go with your all-weather gear, maybe) the latest SUB has a lot of retro charm. And hey, if it can survive that far down, it can survive anything. Available at doxawatches.com
Victorinox Inox Carbon, £689
You really don’t need to worry about damaging Victorinox’s extremely durable, space-tested carbon creation. In fact, give it a go. It’s unlikely anything short of a tank will make a dent – and even then, this is Victorinox. They’ve survived worse. The mountain link is obvious thanks to the paracord strap and the quartz movement’s only fear is running out of battery in a couple of years’ time. The material by the way can survive shuttle re-entry temperatures. Just saying. Available at victorinox.com