When climbing or hiking, mountain biking or camping, a watch needs to be sturdy and able to withstand scratches and impacts. Outdoors, far away from work, the pressures of everyday schedules quickly fall away. In this feature from the WatchTime archives, we highlight six watches designed to rediscover that lost time.
BALL WATCH ENGINEER HYDROCARBON DEVGRU ($2,199)
Hands gripping the wheel of the offroad vehicle as you race down the bumpy, rocky slope, your watch will need to withstand all sorts of rattles and shocks. Ball Watch secures the Engineer Hydrocarbon DEVGRU with a wide range of protective mechanisms in and on the case. the greatest point of weakness on a case – the crown – is surrounded by an unusual crown guard designed to protect the automatic ETA 2836 movement from damage. Ball Watch uses a patented anti-shock escapement system, and the hairspring is given a protective metal ring. Even the top crystal and the black dial are protected. The bezel of this 42-mm stainless-steel case extends slightly above the sapphire crystal to protect it from breakage. The case itself can withstand a fall from a height of 1.5 meters without damage – one-and-a-half times greater than the distance required by shock absorber standards. With water resistance of up to 100 meters and a rubber strap, the Engineer may easily take a plunge, even if your vehicle may not.
SINN EZM 12 ($3,340)
Sinn calls its sturdy watches “Einsatzmesser,” or “mission timers,” also known as “EZM.” their functions are tailored to each watch’s specific application. The EZM 12 watch was designed for air rescue, with a bezel that can be removed using a special tool so the entire watch can be cleaned and disinfected after use. there’s an easy-to-use pulsometer track on the dial, which can be used to measure your heart rate or anyone else’s on your team. The EZM 12 features a 44-mm bead-blasted steel case that prevents distracting reflections. Sinn’s Tegiment coating protects the case from scratches by rocks or almost anything else. With a pressure resistance of up to 200 meters, the EZM 12 can stay on your wrist even during a refreshing dip in a mountain stream. Sinn guarantees its function within a temperature range of -45 to +80 degrees c (-49 to +176 degrees F) – a practical feature when climbing icy mountain peaks in summer temperatures.
TAG HEUER AQUARACER 300M KHAKI ($2,800)
Pitching a tent in the middle of the woods, starting a campfire without a match – that’s roughing it. And to avoid waking any slumbering bears, it might be good to wear muted colors. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Khaki is unobtrusive, entirely decked out in natural khaki color. Water resistant to a depth of 300 meters, it can accompany scouts on expeditions in and under water. The fabric strap provides a secure fit on the wrist and can be completely removed if needed. The case measures 43 mm across and is made of black PVD-coated titanium. This material is especially lightweight but very sturdy and resilient. TAG Heuer combines it with another hard, scratch-resistant material in the form of a green anodized aluminum bezel. The watch is powered by an automatic ETA 2824 movement, which can help the wearer remember to turn the steaks on the grill promptly.
ORIS BIG CROWN PROPILOT CHRONOGRAPH ($3,400)
Excursions into nature are fun until the weather turns nasty. That’s when a chronograph with a telemeter track can come in handy. It’s a way to measure your distance from threatening thunderclouds and lightning. Registering the time on the track between seeing lightning and hearing thunder allows you to determine the distance. The Big Crown ProPilot Chronograph from Oris provides this helpful feature. It’s powered by an automatic Sellita SW500 movement, housed in a 44-mm stainless-steel case. A grooved case edge and a fabric strap in black or green provide a sporty look. After the day’s excursion is done, you can change the look with an easy-to-attach leather strap.
FORMEX AS 1100, MODEL 8199 ($1,585)
Extreme sports like offroad racing and freestyle mountain biking are attracting more and more thrill seekers. An outdoor watch for these activities needs to be carefully designed to withstand shocks and impacts. Formex has created a special, patented shock-absorbing case — made of titanium, measuring 46.5 mm in diameter, and easily recognizable by its four-cornered design — for the 8199 chronograph. The suspension system is designed for greater wearing comfort and to protect its automatic ETA Valjoux 7750 movement from vibration and impacts. This technology has an inherently technical and sporty look, with a black PVD finish on the case and a black carbon fiber dial. All-white dial elements and highlighted hands ensure excellent legibility. The chronograph hands stand out in bright red. The model 8199 in the AS 1100 collection is limited to 999 pieces. A rubber strap holds the watch securely in place, even during the most daring mountain bike maneuvers.
DAMASKO DA 43 BLACK (1,440 euros)
A Damasko watch will look like new even after the most strenuous hike – probably much better than its wearer! For its timepieces, Damasko uses exclusive cold-hardened, nickel-free stainless steel. This metal is about four times harder than conventional stainless steel due to its special heat treatment. The 42-mm case also has a black Damest coating that makes scratching it virtually impossible. In combination with a screw-down crown, crown guard and threaded caseback, the DA 43 Black is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters. It runs on an automatic ETA 2836 that shows the time, date and day of the week. The movement is protected against magnetic fields thanks to a soft iron inner lining. The entire surface of the dial is coated with Super-LumiNova so it is perfectly legible at all times.