Summer vacation, summer holidays, ‘les vacances’, call them what you will, this is the time of year known in business circles as the silly season. In America it may be the done thing not to take the leave granted to you, but in Europe you take every day you are given with relish and even try to add on a few more. In the weeks building up to a summer vacation, which is usually to an exotic, or perhaps not so exotic beach resort, it is traditional for women to find the perfect excuse to add a series of new summer outfits to an already creaking overly crammed wardrobe.
For men, especially those that are watch wired, it’s time to start giving earnest thought to which piece to take with you. OK, in the real world, you know, the one outside of Watchuseek, this is going to come as a shock, but a lot of guys won’t even be wearing a watch to go on vacation. It wouldn’t even cross their minds, with sublime insouciance they’ll just glance occasionally at their mobile phone. But real Watchuseekers worry about such things, and it’s for them that this advice is handed down.
It may seem a little controversial, but my advice is to leave your best watches at home, being gently shaken, but not stirred by your Buben & Zorweg watch winder inside your exorbitantly expensive watch safe. Do you really want to expose your best watches to the remarkable talents of Mediterranean pickpockets who can remove your wallet and your watch in one swift and surreptitious movement? Of course you don’t. Do you really want to test the sapphire crystal of your Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Chronometer against shards of razor sharp Australian coral? Definitely not.
What you need are low cost and reliable old faithfuls that perform all the tasks of watches worth thousands of dollars, and yet should they be lost, damaged or stolen can be easily and quickly replaced. Here then are recommendations for a care free vacation with a range of watches psychologically and horologically up for the job in hand.
The new G-SHOCK GA-100CF with its all-black case and comfortable resin wristband comes with a sporty camo pattern in either black and grey shades with silver or navy accents for a clean, timeless look, or the original green/brown design clashed with dazzling gold for a special twist that turns the minimalist design into an eye-catching statement. A great holiday watch, tough, 200 meters water resistant with all the usual G-Shock extras such as Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, World Time, Speed Display, Automatic Calendar, the list goes on. Great value at around €100.
SEIKO Second Generation Orange Monster
The new generation Seiko Orange Monster with its shark’s teeth indices is really the only watch you need. It’s got good looks, lots of heft, a secure fold-over clasp bracelet and built-in Seiko reliability from an excellent Seiko caliber 4R36 hacking automatic movement, 200 meters of water resistance and sufficient lume to read your seat number in the gloom of the cinema where you take the kids when it’s raining. Whether diving or fine dining, this watch looks the part and retails in the UK for around €232, but it can be had for significantly less in the Far East.
SEIKO Pepsi Diver
Another reliable all in one solution for your vacation. There are more variations of the Seiko Pepsi Diver than there are fish in the sea, but the end result is always the same; a good looking watch perfect for the rough and tumble of a beach holiday. The Pepsi bezel refers to the 24 hour bezel on Rolex GMT watches. Ironically, this watch was not originally conceived as a diver but for pilots. They originally marked the bezel with minute markers from 1-15 and then 5 minute markers for the rest for use as a countdown bezel.
Nixon, the California surfer dude brand, have built their reputation on cool watches for beach boys. The Re-Run has nostalgic 80s Casio-esque styling and features an all-digital calendar, dual time, alarm, countdown and light. It’s water resistant to 30 meters so while you won’t go shark caging wearing this watch, at under €80, you’ve got a reliable timekeeper to ensure you’re on time for that sun, sea and casino Orlando getaway.
CWC SBS Diver
This is a military tried and tested watch originally designed for the Royal Marines SBS – Special Boat Services. They put in a request for black dial watches while on a mission in Hong Kong. They wanted to order just 120 of them but the Cabot Watch Company (CWC) said they couldn’t run such a small order. So in the end they shipped out the required numbers to the SBS boys and put the remainder up for sale to the general public. The ones available to the general public do not have an issue number. Built with Swiss components, the watch features a black case that will not peel or crack. Water resistant to 300 meters, it comes with a day and date function, battery low indicator, luminous markers, one-way time elapse rotating bezel and a precise quartz movement. Easily tough enough for any vacation and only €395.
Larsson & Jennings Chain Metal Gold
Larsson and Jennings is an Anglo Swedish brand that specializes in crisp, clean dress watches; a good addition to any trip because even on a beach holiday, you are not always on the beach. The CM | Gold features a classic 40mm polished gold plated 316L case and bezel housing a white dial detailed with gold hands and indexes. The watch runs on a Ronda 762 quartz movement and retails for just €225.
If you insist upon having a quality Swiss diver on your wrist throughout your vacation, look no further than the gorgeous Clerc Hydroscaph. These pictures were taken by Clerc photographer Chris Leidy in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. They packed him off with not one, but five Hydroscaphs, The Hydroscaph is built for a demanding life of travel, underwater exploration and a talking point at the resort buffet table.
CWC SBS Diver picture courtesy of 100percent-rolex.blogspot.co.uk
Pepsi Diver pic courtesy of Reno on Watchuseek Affordable Watches Forum