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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone--
I hope I'm not too cliche for you, but I am, indeed, another one of those guys who is mostly into mechanical an automatic watches. But spring is coming, and I live in Salt Lake City, and the wife and I do a little bit of hiking, running, camping, perhaps kayaking on the Great Salt Lake, and other outdoor activities during the warmer months. I've tried to buy some affordable automatics to take with me, but I'm afraid they're not going to have the lume I need, nor some of the features I'd like, in an outdoors watch, so I'm dipping my toes into the digital/quartz world.

I'd like (mostly in order of importance)
- About, or less than, $100
- Something light, comfortable, and in the medium size range (~42mm). I think I like nylon more than composite or rubber, but you all might convince me otherwise. I want to be able to run with it, but I don't need fancy pedometers or multiple lap timers (I have my iPhone for that kind of running). But I do want to be able to see how long I've been running without having to fish the phone out of my pocket.
- EL, and/or otherwise good light for night (if it's bright enough to light my way from my tent to the toilet at night, all the better)
- ABC, and temperature, but only if it actually works. It'd be nice to know our altitude when climbing, and in the midst of trees and switchbacks it can even be difficult to figure out north. Recorded measurements are cool, too. But inaccurate results are worse than not having the feature at all.
- Solar, if possible.
- Moderately tough. I'm not going into battle, or going to be diving with it. Maybe submerging if I want to dunk my hands, maybe swimming shallowly. 100m WR is probably fine (though 200 would probably be better), and a case that just helps to prevent crystal scratches.
- Not hideously ugly.
- I'm open to digital, ana, or ana/digi displays.


I've looked at a few of the watches discussed in other threads, and some of them look fine.
The Casio SGW300HB ($45 on amazon) looks pretty close, but I think the fixed barometer on the front seems weird.
The Casio PAG80 looks pretty cool, but it's more than I'd want to spend.
What about Pyle watches? The Ski Master looks interesting, and there's not much on WUS about them: Amazon.com: Ski Master V Professional Ski Watch w/ Max. 20 Ski Logbook, Weather Forecast, Altimeter, Barometer, Digital Compass,Thermometer: Watches


Other thoughts? Or should I just suck it up with my phone (hoping the batteries don't run down...) and a Vostok Amfibian. :)


Thanks in advance,
Kyle.
 

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I guess the Amfibian will get the job done :-d, but since you asked.
Barometers on watches are a science in itself and probably need more than one post to explain all the different implementations of that feature between different brands. Let's say it this way: accuracy on Casio ABCs is seen as problematic by some. It's not the sensors which are inaccurate, it's the missing alti-lock (which prevents drift when staying in one place) and MSLP (mean sea level pressure). If you want solar and ABC however - Casio is your only choice.
But the Pathfinders tend to be quite expensive (sometimes too expensive for my taste) - so a G-Shock will probably be in the requested price range. The list of models is endless however. If you want a compass - take a look at the G-9300. If you want a really bright illumination that can be used to light the way at night - the "Super Illuminator" models might fit the bill, like GD-100 or my current favourite - the GD-350 (which IMO is one of the best models currently on the market), those are not solar however and might be too big for your liking. The solar ana-digis have an LED for illumination which can also be quite bright - I can use my GW-2500 to find my way to bed at night without turning on the lights - no problem, and the GW-2500 is also not too big, there's only one problem - it's no longer made.
The cheapo non-G-Shock models are also quite good however - the W-S200H for instance has a really loud alarm, is solar, 100m water resistant and small - it has an acrylic crystal which scratches easier but is more shatter resistant and the scratches can be easily buffed out.
The best for nighttime visibilty is a Traser or Luminox or any other watch with tritium tubes - there's also some rather cheap models that have tritium tubes (IMO the Luminox are overpriced) like the Humvee "Zulu" which features a steel case and Miyota movement and costs around 80US$.

cheers, Sedi :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for all of that, Sedi!

As I expected, it looks like I won't be able to get everything I want at a price I'm looking for. I'm now looking at the SGW400 series as an affordable compromise, or maybe I'll just stick with my Vostok + iPhone.

Thanks again!
 
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