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Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active

Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active ABTW Editors' Lists

There is perhaps no greater disservice that can be done to a perfectly capable watch, than to force it to live a life of sad monotony as it ticks and hums away sheltered beneath the safety of a shirt cuff. After all, we see it year after year – brands bragging about absurd water-resistance specs, blast-proof materials, and enough shock resistance to survive an unrestricted climb in an F-16. Really, if you’re tuned into watch marketing, you’ve seen it all. So why is it that so many collectors start experiencing symptoms like nausea and chest pain the moment their shiny new toys get dinged for the first time? Now, unless we’re talking about something like the Breguet Classique 7787 (I might actually faint if I scratched that watch), I stopped caring years ago. These things are meant to be used, fun to use, and at least to me, these are some of the top choices for watches to wear while actually being active – in no particular order.

Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active ABTW Editors' Lists

Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT SUN023

We all know that the most solid choice for a rugged watch is usually a diver and there are plenty to choose from these days. Seiko have been pioneering dive watch technologies since the 1960s and in many ways, the Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT SUN023 is the culmination of several Seiko innovations. With a beefy shrouded case, care-free Kinetic movement, true GMT functionality, and the kind of lume that keeps you up at night, I find this to be the perfect active travel companion. I wouldn’t think twice about knocking this thing around and the black shroud protecting the case makes this one of the coolest iterations within Seiko’s “Tuna” family of watches.


Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active ABTW Editors' Lists

Fitbit Ionic Smart Watch

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t totally warmed up to the new wave of “smart” wearables, but when Fitbit announced the latest Ionic, I started listening. I’ve been contemplating fitness trackers for a while, so why not go for a smartwatch from the industry leader in fitness tracking devices? Battery life (the real Achilles’ heel for smartwatches) is also impressive at four days or 10 hours if you’re using the GPS feature heavily. The aluminum case is a sturdy choice, internal media storage for music is ideal (streaming always seemed annoying to me on these devices), and 50m of water-resistance plus swim-tracking functions make the Ionic perfect for active individuals seeking a serious upgrade from Fitbit’s main line-up of fitness trackers.

Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active ABTW Editors' Lists

Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20

Even though Casio’s Pro Trek series of watches can sometimes live within the shadows of the more popular G-Shock collections, they’re still worth considering if you want something rugged and outdoorsy. Casio’s latest Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 is what some would call the ultimate hiking watch. Perhaps its most notable feature is its ability to directly store area maps internally, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about a weak signal when you’re on the move. And, it wouldn’t be complete with out the typical and useful set of altimeter, barometer, and compass features. A true upgrade from the previous WSD-F10, the Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 offers serious features in a package that’s familiar to fans of the brand.

Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active ABTW Editors' Lists

Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2029-01E

Introduced in 1985, the original Aqualand was the first watch with a built-in digital depth meter. Since then, Citizen has gone on to release several different versions and reissues like this Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2029-01E. The concept is still the same – a burly dive watch that does what it must no matter what conditions it may face. Today, with the widespread use of dive computers, however, the depth gauge feature may seem a bit novel. But, the Citizen signature here is Eco-Drive – and you can’t go wrong with Eco-Drive. With the ability to hold a full charge for up to six months after drawing power from both natural and artificial light sources, a Citizen like this is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a durable watch with significant wrist presence.


Ten Watches To Wear While Actually Being Active ABTW Editors' Lists

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman

Although Hamilton is clearly known for their line of budget-friendly field watches, I’ve always felt that those models were simply missing something. Personally, I just find Hamilton to be more interesting whenever I dig up some of their weirder and modern-looking options. That’s pretty much the case here with the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman, a diver that has already fallen into relative obscurity since its introduction at Baselworld 2016. But why is it special when searching for an active lifestyle timepiece? Well, sometimes you just don’t want to go with quartz or fully digital options and the Navy Frogman serves up something a little more interesting than your average $200 SKX. The 46mm case is easy to wear, the integrated rubber strap supports a balanced fit, and the touch of red looks cool enough to land the watch a spot on your next fishing trip.

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Comments

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  • Mikita

    Hamilton Frogman, Seiko Tuna and Ball Hydrocarbon for me.

  • ProJ

    Fine choices for normal activity. For extreme activity I would take a solar powered atomic synced Casio over anything else really, coz I need a light, tough and reliable watch that doesn’t need to be charged daily.

  • Marius

    Citizen, Seiko, Fitbit, Hamilton, Marathon, Ball… These “timepieces” are aimed at rather unsophisticated “gentlemen.” The type of individuals who eat bread and French fries at the same time, and who wear black sandals (flip-flops I believe is the term used by the proletariat) with white socks.

    The refined and classy gentlemen looking for an activity watch have only two options really.

    Those interested in polo, golf, or cricket will obviously opt for the sports watch par excellence, namely the unmistakable Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso. The Tribute to 1931 would be my preferred reference. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37023f8ac77efe8f3a9bb3ba7c1363ed890071868092bbbf381177dc252e74eb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0824909d2b4135532ebbaefec82ecb37b5dffd326774921ad6b78bd9d17d4074.jpg
    Conversely, the refined individuals looking at more active hobbies, such as skiing, falconry, or yachting will surely choose the magnificent Jaeger LeCoultre Extreme Lab 2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3a7a599e96901784b9bdcaddafc442e08faf53d60d54fe782ab0f76a16dd35f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04205229d044b1bb3dc7fa05abf84bd24c34b82793b1d4991504f81b4458ddd4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/021378d3aad482918238f3a5453877b5093cd7dc343ce9782f56fd59f13eef30.jpg
    Best of all is the fact that these two refined timepieces can be purchased — both of them — for just under $60,000 brand-new, or $35,000 pre-owned. That’s fantastic news because even poor people earning a meager $200,000/year will be able to afford these two excellent watches.

    • Mikita

      Would you recommend Piaget Polo for polo and VC Overseas for yachting?

      • IG

        …and Jacob&Co. Astronomia Sky Celestial Panorama for astronomy?

        • Mikita

          Yes. And Sinn for us, sinners.

        • Mikita

          And Gentlemen Warfare – what is it for?

          • Gokart Mozart

            To persuade people in the USof A to but guns.

            Mr President has one. He wants it to be known as the Presidents Watch from now on. The hammer is too small too do any real damage.

      • Ross Diljohn

        I Piguet a lot. Any suggestions?

        • Mikita

          Pequignet. And I never finish what I start – what brand suits me most?

          • SuperStrapper

            I might suggest Undone.

            Maybe you can help me. I roll a lot of Xs. Is there a brand for me?

          • Mikita

            Yazole?

      • Or a Rolex Submariner for driving around in submarines. Or a Ball Trainmaster for the daily commute on the train. Or a Rolex Explorer for proctologists (and I’ll stop there).

    • BNABOD

      That JLC received a complimentary Biverization upgrade and that alone is quite scary

    • Michael Peñate

      I think it might be time for a guest post by Marius.

  • Tea Hound

    Anything by Janice Trading because if it gets smashed up, the world becomes slightly better.

  • Yan Fin

    Apple watch seems too tough for this crowd of GShocks and Marathons.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Don’t forget the awesome battery life of 2 hours if you actually use it to tell the time.

      • Yan Fin

        Well, I don’t think it matters. Who is expected to survive more than 2 hours in wilderness? However, the image of bitten apple would for sure scare any predator.

  • TheChuphta

    9 Ugly-Ass Watches to Wear at the Height of Your Midlife Crisis (And a Marathon GSAR so you can pretend the 5k Fun Run is BUD/S Training)

  • David Williams

    A good range of “lifestyle indicators”, perhaps – and reassuringly robust – but I offer a caveat. The increasingly outrageous depth and shock capabilities promoted by eager marketeers should be seen alongside the fact that such watches will be worn by soft and fragile carbon-based life forms – who would perish in many of the imagined scenarios. Be safe out there!

  • Ross Diljohn

    Prices can range from the bargain to the ridiculous for active watches so the only thing to do is to figure out your Use it,Abuse it,Lose it tolerance and go from there…which generally means G Shock or some old beater that for whatever reason just refuses to die even if you want it to so you can have an excuse to tell your wife you need a new watch.

  • IG

    I carry a pocket sundial on mountain hiking trips.

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/SKoAAOSwr~lYrpE8/s-l300.jpg

    • Mikita

      You use it as a bear trap?

  • Do watches always have to be Analog? You forgot the excellent Suunto line of sports and active watched: The Traverse with GPS tracking or the Element with watch, barometer, compass.

  • IG

    What do you wear when drinking vodka?

  • R Ramki

    Good list but too many nonWIS watches

    Here is my list
    Seiko 007, Hamilton kakhi field, Sinn 103, Ball fireman, Tissot T Touch expert, Damasko DA36, Breitling Aerospace, Bremont Airco, Tudor Ranger

    and for them fancier folk

    JLC Reverso, Blancpain Bathyscaphe, Rolex Explorer 2, IWC pilot

    • Mikita

      Bremont? I can see others as purpose built (Seiko, Sinn..) or luxury pieces (JLC, Blancpain), but almost $4,000 for simple ETA-based 3-hander? Sinn or Damasko do it better at 1/3 price.

  • Yeahh where is the tissot t touch…
    Btw That victorinox inox with that band is an abomination

  • Mikita

    I also love awesome vodka, when drink I most awesome

  • Mikita

    Do careful it can break your vodka put same bag

  • DanW94

    Do you know Jari Curry?

    • Mikita

      And Kyösti Salmon?

  • TrevorXM

    Overall a pretty poorly thought out list.

    That Seiko is the WORST of the “tuna” line. Certainly the most uncomfortable and ungainly. Buy the classic model instead.

    Then it goes to an aluminium bodied fitness box and calls it “sturdy”? You smack that on anything and the screen is going to crack and the body will be dented and scuffed to hell. Same is true for most of the non-watch sub-par wrist phones on the list.

    A few interesting choices. The Hamilton does seem like a fishing trip kind of watch somehow. So that’s a good call. And the Marathon is the real deal.

    But why aren’t the Rolex Explorer(s) on here? Or even the Submariner or Sea Dweller? These should be used as they were originally designed — adventure/action watches. I see there’s a whole list of good ones below, so that’s all I’ll contribute.

    • Mountainous Man

      Agreed. If you’re wearing a sporty Rolex or Tudor and not using it for these things, you’ve missed the point.

      • Gokart Mozart

        That will be 99.9% of all Rolex owners then.

        • Bozzor

          It wasn’t always like that: generations ago, Rolex was not a luxury status symbol, but a professional tool that offered an incredible level of performance that was targeted at pilots, engineers, divers, special forces and people who needed the best accuracy and toughness without any compromises: luxury was Patek Phillipe, Vacheron Constantin etc. But a combination of brilliant marketing over many years and the quartz crisis making excellent accuracy accessible to just about everyone took Rolex up a level in the public mindset. Nowadays, Rolexes are pampered by most, and the G Shocks are the ones taking the beatings…

        • Rupert Muller

          You know, that’s exactly what I thought, too. But then Rolex published a study that included 15’000 (!) watch wearers. I was very surprised when I read that 52 % of all Rolex wearers actually do wear their watch while playing sports:

          “The means to this end was a global survey of more than 15,000 luxury watch wearers, the main findings of which are as follows: the “statistical wearer” straps his watch to his left wrist (82.5%), every day (62%) or at least every day of the working week (30%), for an average of twelve and a half hours. Meaning the watch almost never stops. He is inclined to wear his watch when playing sport (52%), regardless of what type of sport this is. The study also revealed that watches are worn at an average altitude of 126 metres and are not exposed to magnetic fields greater than 1,200 Gauss.”

          https://journal.hautehorlogerie.org/en/serious-business-at-rolex-1/

          • Gokart Mozart

            That is interesting, and I am glad that they did the test, and I appreciate that 15,000 respondents is a large number. I am not taking anything away from the survey.
            However in the sphere of Rolex that is very small. That will be less than 2% of the number of Rolexs sold in a year. If you multiply that for just 5 years, ie they contacted people who had bought a rolex in the last 5 years that would fall to less than 1/2 a percent of the people who have bought a rolex just in the last 5 years.
            Also to hazard a guess most of the people who would have been targeted about the survey or who would have responded to the survey would have been people who owned more than 1 rolex, or who have an interest in horology and watches. Not the majority of Rolex owners in my opinion.
            Interesting that more than 50% do sports especially as I assume the survey would include females. Shame it does not give more of a breakdown. eg how much is swimming, and how much is sports where there is not specific forces on the watch eg cycling, running etc as opposed to tennis, squash etc.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    I’m sensing a future comment about how the Seiko SNX is better than every watch on this list and not on this list.
    These are right pumkins.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    They don’t have pumkins in Denmark, BILL?

    Sad

  • Good Gene 42K18

    No. Berndt died in Hong Kong. He became undone after eating too much bauhinia. He ran into the streets like a madman and was pulverized by an auto-rickshaw.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Yes. But now I’m here to find out who the hell BILL is. That is my only charge.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    I’m not into divination, scrying, or any New Age junk, BILL.

  • Marius
  • DanW94

    Alas, poor Berndt! I knew him, Teemu: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…

    • WolverBilly

      But how long does this thread reside in this space ere it rot?

  • SuperStrapper

    Nothing hurtz like your rookie season record. It’ll never be beaten. I though Matthews was going to take a run at you last year when he scored 4 in his first game, but he’s a Leaf, so ???

    • Good Gene 42K18

      Leafs always come back to earth, usually by this time of the year.

  • Marius

    I’m having a feeling of déjà vu. Didn’t ABTW already cover almost the same “watches” a few days ago by publishing the article “Seven Awesome Field Watches” (December, 06, 2017)?

    • SuperStrapper

      Next weeks ‘5 neato watches you can wear right on your wryst’ also contains the same watches, but try not to be too hard on them.

    • Good Gene 42K18

      Except they added 2 or 3 more “awesome” “watches”.

      • Marius

        BILL!

        • Good Gene 42K18

          Dinkee!
          Trevor!
          Mark Carson??

          • Marius

            Charles-Louis de Potesta?
            The Brügglers?
            Amaury Deckers?
            My real name? A. R. Mogan!

          • Mikita

            ‘Armogan’ is an old French word once used by hardy sailors of the Mediterranean to describe good sailing conditions.

            For us, this word represents a promise of movement and journeys into the unknown. A respect for the forces of nature, the environment around us. And a hint of nostalgia for a bygone age. What better word to summarize our philosophy?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/34f09236aea3ac34fd85ce8016364b4d8bbc81cec4cdf4757bf23d2f9865e382.jpg

  • SuperStrapper

    Shag sheeps sadly is happen.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Never been in a kilt ( pleated skirt ) or shagged a sheep with a pair of welly boots on.

      • Good Gene 42K18

        You take them off when you do that? For better traction? Like to feel the grass between your toes?

        • Raymond Wilkie

          You stick the back legs in the wellies……………Good grief !

          • Good Gene 42K18

            I heard that Glasgow has the highest urban sheep population in the world.
            A lot of city shaggers, I guess.

      • SuperStrapper

        I’m Scottish too Ray, it was only a wee joke.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Everything’s tickety-boo.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Raymond has Limited Attention Disorder (LADdie). Tell him there’s a kilt sale in Aberdeen and the upvote thing will be out-of-mind.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I didn’t lose any up votes on this occasion.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Yes

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Done.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Wrong guy Alden :- )

  • Good Gene 42K18

    My real name is Paul William Plooter.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Damn, your not Sophie’s brother then.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Now i’m lost.

  • Jason Mirabello

    Private conversations should be taken off line

    • SuperStrapper

      Anyone having a conversation here obviously has no need for privacy. So it’s all good.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    who’s gone now ?

  • Gokart Mozart

    If these are the watches to wear when being active I am glad I am a lazy person.

  • Larry Holmack

    My version of outdoor activity was always an early morning round of golf with my best friend before heading back to the house for a quick shower and a short drive to the off-course golf pro shop where we both worked. No smart watches with 1000’s of golf courses preloaded into the watch…just a yardage book with all my notes in it, and lots of experience from playing the course everyday! My watch of choice on the course was a simple Timex Expedition….

    • Raymond Wilkie

      You may be the only man in the world that might find a use for this ……….

      https://www.ablogtowatch.com/hublot-big-bang-unico-golf-watch/

      • Ross Diljohn

        I tried very hard to forget this watch. Thanks.

      • Mikita

        Now you have to send me the table cleaner.

      • Larry Holmack

        If I was so inclined to get a “golf” watch…it would be the Garmin Approach S60 GPS Golf Watch. For a mere $399 it would do the job. But like I said…in my days when I was able to play…I preferred having a yardage book. I actually spent a lot of time on the driving range and putting greens practicing.

        https://www.tgw.com/garmin-golf-gps-systems/garmin-approach-s60-gps-watch

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Scotland is the home of golf and unfortunately two of the courses are owned by Trump. My scorecard and small pencil is all that i need.

          • Larry Holmack

            I always dreamed of playing golf in Scotland someday. Too many knee operations and a very bad lower back prevent me from playing any more. My favorite golf tournament to watch each year on TV is The Open Championship….in my book, the most prestigious tournament in the world to win!
            Oh…I carried a 4 handicap for many years….my best score ever was when I was in college…shot a 6 under par 66. But that was nearly 40 years ago.

          • Larry Holmack

            Just being able to play Scotland was a dream of mine. High handicap or not…just the beauty of Scotland is worth it. I’ve played some really nice courses here in the US…several that have PGA Tour events, my favorite being the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. I got play on it in 1988 with a buddy of mine. Great course, and attending the tournament is a must if you live in the greater Phoenix, AZ area. Get there early so you can get a seat on the 16th hole…a short Par 3 that is surrounded by bleachers. It’s a huge party all 4 days!!

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Scotland, a place where you can have all the seasons in one day. We have a saying here, “Don’t like the weather ? wait 20 mins “. This means that we have some quite unique conditions that have to be taken into before you swing that club back. The climate in Arizona must be lovely in comparison. Now, back to watches…………

  • Jonathan Smith

    Really??

    • Michael Peñate

      Really.

      • Mikita

        Dialog of the year! 🙂

  • “shock resistance to survive an unrestricted climb in an F-16” either you have no idea what you’re talking about, or I don’t! Is there really that much “shocks” while ascending on a fighter jet? I’d think a regular mtb ride would be much, much shockier.

    Aluminium is everything BUT sturdy. It’ll get scratched and dented instantly.

    All we need now is the “10 watches for being active AND in the field” list.

  • FlyingMoose

    Why is the search bar covering the title of this article? Don’t you ever look at your own website on an iPhone to see if it works?

    • Michael Peñate

      Hey thanks for the feedback. We’ve been going through a redesign lately and sometimes we run into issues here and there. This should be fixed now.

      • eRZé

        The issue still persists as I’m writing this comment. (Samsung Galaxy A5 A520)

        • Michael Peñate

          Thanks for the heads up. We’re looking into it.

        • Marius

          I think I managed to find the source of your problem. It’s the Samsung phone. As you probably know, Samsung makes derelict and untrustworthy products. My advice would be to purchase my phone of choice, namely the Vertu Touch. For a meager €10,000, you can acquire a phone that won’t create any problems, and even if it does, you can easily solve them by calling your personal concierge. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f81eeb2c8ada83062454638dfeb61412424994cf3b5c67a6da599ae9a051b6c3.jpg

          • eRZé

            Thanks for the suggestion but my Samsung has great sentimental value for me. It was gifted to me by a very close acquaintance of mine the last time I was on a research trip in the Pattaya region.

    • WolverBilly

      They don’t even proof this crap. It’s a product of the internet which is a foul thing; a marketing-driven, vast sea of toxic infopoop. I come here for the comments, which are wonderfully apt.

  • Mikkel Press-Hansen

    The apple watch is not that great for active use, as the screen can’t handle shocks at all. Nick it while on a hicke and you have a 250$ bill for a new screen – happened to me.
    The G-shocks and Pro Treks from casio are great watches!

  • Yan Fin

    Is it just my browser, or ABTW allows now shopping ads for featured products?? I am having bitten fruit, Seiko, and Victorinox ads with prices inside body of this article??

  • Tea Hound
  • Stephen Scharf

    What??? No Sinn???

  • The Seiko Prospex, the Citizen, the Casio, the Marathon… one could argue that these are valid all-around action watches… something that you could wear while riding your GSA through Baja, swimming at isolated beaches on the way, then while diving when you reach Cabo, and then out at night afterwards. Most of the other watches look fragile. What is up with that twiddly lock on the Ball and the Hamilton? Like I want that on an action watch… just something to break off when I whack it against my scuba tank. If I had to pick one to wear if I were Tom Hanks in “Castaway” it would be the Prospex, followed closely by the Citizen. Either is a watch you could wear around the world, on a hard day or a fun night.