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Discussion Starter #1
My husband got into the local Fire Academy some months ago and he's been doing really well in class and in his clinicals as an EMT trainee. It is very likely, due to where we live, that when he gets hired he will be dealing with wildfires as well as everything else. At the academy, he was informed that the fire departments in our area specifically require that their Firefighter/EMTs wear watches with an analog second hand. I'm doing my homework and trying to find him a perfect watch for when he graduates. I don't mind spending a bit for a really good watch if it will last and he'll love it but I'm having a hard time finding the perfect watch. So I was wondering if someone could help me a bit.
I think this is what I would really want in a watch for him considering the nature of his future career:
  • Analog watch with second hand
  • Would really like it to have a 1 second chronograph
  • Some sort of way to make it light up at night or in a dark area for a period of time
  • Needs to be super rugged (he's broken two Casio Brigade G'zone phones in a year, so imagine what he'd do to a watch...)
  • Very water resistant and shock resistant
Personally, I'm a huge Casio fan but I don't think my husband could care less what brand it is. He loves having neat functions and extras though. I really like the red Casio GA100B-4A but I'm open to better suggestions. I don't know anything about watch functions or what a/b/c/t means or anything so please explain anything technical.
Thanks!
 

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Have you looked at the Casio Protrek models? I wonder if they'd be tough enough for his use.

PRW5100YT-1 - PRO TREK, Mens, Digital, Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Watch | CASIO America, Inc.
PRG550-1A1 - PRO TREK, Mens, Digital, Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Watch | CASIO America, Inc.
PAW5000-1 - PRO TREK, Mens, Digital, Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Watch | CASIO America, Inc.
PRW5100-1 - PRO TREK, Mens, Digital, Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Watch | CASIO America, Inc.

The A/B/C are altimeter (how high you are), barometer (current air pressure - might be useful when fighting fires) and compass (self-explanatory). To me those all seem like features he could potentially use in his job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions!

I didn't know thats what it stood for. I thought it was something more technical that was specific to watches. He wouldn't need an altimeter as we live below sea level and don't have any hills, much less mountains but a barometer would come in handy as would a compass.

I'd come across the Sinn Uhren EZM 7 before but I noticed that the second hand didn't glow or light up in the dark and thats a priority as he's already had to try and take a pulse and blood pressure outside while dark.

The Sinn Modell UX I had a hard time with. Its been many years since I studied German and the site didn't translate to English very well, though thats probably my fault for not trying out some other translators. But then I had a hard time finding a price anywhere online for it or even somewhere that sells it. Aside from that it looks like something my husband wouldn't be able to break though it lacks any bells and whistles aside from lighting up.

Though a little bit more money, I really like the Ball Firemans Storm Chaser DLC Glow the best of all the suggestions. It may not have the barometer and compass that the Casios do, but I'm wondering if the Casios will be tough enough to handle his abuse and I can't afford to be buying a new watch every year like his phone, especially since the watches are more expensive than his phone. I wonder the same a little about the Ball though. Does anyone have personal experience with either as far as ruggedness?
 

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The Ball can handle 5000G, they are pretty rugged as far as mechanical watches go. That said, you can only go so far with mechanical, and quartz can be made more rugged than that. In terms of night time visibility, especially of the second hand, they will be hard to beat.

Note that "Fireman" in Ball-speak refers to the guy who manages the fire in a steam locomotive - not a fire fighter.

For the tritium lume like the Ball, in quartz, and at a "disposable" price, check out Luminox and Traser watches.
 

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My dad's a volunteer fireman in our rural fire district. The district covers an interstate highway as it comes through a winding, high-elevation mountain pass, so the majority of what his department does is medical first response for road accidents, as well as wildlands fires. He wears a basic Luminox 3000 watch.

The main comment he has had about wearing a watch as a firefighter is that a bulky watch is a no-go. The internal cuffs for the fire suits are simply too tight to allow room for a large or thick watch. For example, he owns a G-Shock DW-9052 but doesn't wear it very often because it won't fit under his fire suit. The Luminox is moderately large in diameter but fairly thin due to being quartz, so it fits fine.

I would recommend something that is thin (for fit) and quartz (for cost, reliability, durability, and accuracy). Brands like Luminox or Traser offer the benefit of tritium illumination, which will remain visible without needing to be "charged" by ambient light. A watch from a brand like Citizen should also be rugged and reliable and has excellent lume. The BM8180-03E field watch, for example, has a very legible face and good lume but is small and unobtrusive to wear.

I would NOT recommend a mechanical watch as it will be less accurate and much more susceptible to damage from shocks and other rough treatment than a good quality quartz watch. They will also generally be much thicker than quartz watches, typically 12mm+ for a sports watch style, vs. <10mm for a quartz watch.

luminox3001mil-3up1.jpg

89942377.jpg

432272d1304699072-sold-citizen-at0200-05e-eco-drive-military-chronograph-excellent-condition-img.jpg
 

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I'm an EMT and fireman. I usually switch between a TSAR or a G-Shock depending on the day.

Good luck to your husband and let him know I say thanks for his public service.
 

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Whatever he wears will get beat up. And as a probie the hazing will be a bad if he wears something fancy. Just get him a cheap timex until he clears and then consider something like a traser. Whatever he wears will get beat to hell, so I would avoid expensive watches.

I've gone through field training programs with many departments in several states over the last few years. Once the superman cape comes off (and we all think we wear one for a while after certing) you tend to only want to wear whatever the dept is going to give you for free or is otherwise extremely cheap.

Now if you're looking for a watch he's going to wear off duty, my vote is for a Ball.

Btw, I would avoid a chrono. When taking a pulse or respiratory rate you want a central seconds hand that is easy to read. Just my $2.

Sent from Russia.... with love.
 

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My husband got into the local Fire Academy some months ago and he's been doing really well in class and in his clinicals as an EMT trainee. It is very likely, due to where we live, that when he gets hired he will be dealing with wildfires as well as everything else. At the academy, he was informed that the fire departments in our area specifically require that their Firefighter/EMTs wear watches with an analog second hand. I'm doing my homework and trying to find him a perfect watch for when he graduates. I don't mind spending a bit for a really good watch if it will last and he'll love it but I'm having a hard time finding the perfect watch. So I was wondering if someone could help me a bit.
I think this is what I would really want in a watch for him considering the nature of his future career:
  • Analog watch with second hand
  • Would really like it to have a 1 second chronograph
  • Some sort of way to make it light up at night or in a dark area for a period of time
  • Needs to be super rugged (he's broken two Casio Brigade G'zone phones in a year, so imagine what he'd do to a watch...)
  • Very water resistant and shock resistant
Personally, I'm a huge Casio fan but I don't think my husband could care less what brand it is. He loves having neat functions and extras though. I really like the red Casio GA100B-4A but I'm open to better suggestions. I don't know anything about watch functions or what a/b/c/t means or anything so please explain anything technical.
Thanks!
Nice guide to select the best watches for firefighters.
 

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The Inox line is worth checking out

IMG_0508.JPG
 

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The Sinn as mentioned by Mike is a superb watch. I was a patrol officer and wore the Marathon GSAR. The casio is an excellent tool watch on the cheaper side. GSHOCK also makes a superb line of watches for first responders. Please tell him congrats and stay safe.
 
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