A watch says a lot about the man who wears it. From the Rolex Submariner to the Casio Databank, they are a part of both our culture and our identity. While the average guy can survive without so much as a scratch on their prized timepiece, us outdoorsy types know that this is simply not realistic.
If you’re looking for a watch that can survive the elements, there are a number of options available to you. Some models help you thrive in challenging environments, with features such as GPS or fitness tracking built in. Others allow you to have that super stylish “outdoor executive” look, without having to worry about dings and scratches. Either way, they are tough as nails.
Greatest Watches for Outdoor Guys
These are the best choices for any outdoorsman, whether you’re scaling mountains or heading out for a weekend hike.
Casio G-Shock G-Steel Black Ion
Casio a trusted name for toughness into something you can wear to any classy event. When picture a G-Shock watch, the image that first comes to mind is a neon, rubberized watch. For athletics, the design made sense. But if you’re looking for something a little more premium, then the G-Steel line is for you.
The entire watch is ion coated which makes for an incredibly striking visual appearance. It’s shock resistant, the face doesn’t scratch, and can be fully submerged in water down to 300 meters. You’ll never have to worry about changing batteries again, as the face is actually a solar panel! This keeps up to five alarms active at all times, and allows you to track the tide cycle. If both style and reliability are your priorities, the G-Shock G-Steel will not disappoint!
Swiss watchmakers are known around the world for producing some of the highest quality movements on the market. The people that own Swiss timepieces respect quality, precision, and luxury. Unfortunately, durability isn’t always one of the main selling points.
Victorinox’s “Swiss Army Watch” is the exception. You get that same luxurious look, with a level of durability that is rarely found in this style. With a sapphire dial window, stainless steel construction, and water resistance down to 330 feet, it’s obvious that this one’s is built to a much higher standard. The Tachymeter is very helpful for measuring average speed.
But, for us, the most notable feature is the clasp. With a button release, there is no chance of it accidentally falling off while you’re out in the wilderness. This highlights the attention to detail that went into making this watch, making it clear that it was designed with your needs in mind.
Suunto Traverse Alpha
The Suunto Traverse Alpha is the smartest watch on the list. Nothing says “outdoorsman” more than blacked-out steel and thick-stitch nylon. Suunto has fused the technical with the tactical in this unique timepiece that is unlike anything you’ve come across before.
With a simple LCD display, a knurled steel bezel, and a simple three-button control scheme, there doesn’t appear to be anything particularly noteworthy about this watch. But under the hood is a powerful chipset that unlocks all kinds of high tech functionality. In fact, it’s a hunter’s best friend with auto Shot Location Marking. Fisherman will also love the moon phase calendar and sunrise- and set times. Point of interest and navigation is made extremely simple.
It also syncs with your phone via Bluetooth and uploads your GPS coordinates! You can map out your path, and revisit it to mark your favorite spots. You can use it to navigate a predetermined route, located landmarks, or refer to topographic maps through the included app. You’ll be kept up to date with weather, and use the moon phase to located the best fishing spots.
Sure, this isn’t the only smart watch on the market. In fact, we’ve reviewed some more options here. But which other one can offer you water resistance down to 100 meters? How about a 14 day battery life? If you want a watch that will enhance your outdoor experience, this is the one for you.
Casio Pathfinder ProTrek PAG240 Stainless Steel with Titanium Strap
From looks alone, you can tell that this Casio Pathfinder ProTrek means business. The bracelet is made from titanium, while the face is stainless steel. From the moment you try it on, you’ll know that there is no question about it’s durability. But that’s not why you’d buy this watch. You’d buy it because it’s the best tool to help you navigate those difficult hikes. If you’re climbing mountains, the altimeter will help you track your height. If you’re camping, the barometer and thermometer will help you predict the weather. For navigation, the compass will come in handy.
Sure, some people would just look at their phones. But when cellphone reception is spotty, you need something more reliable. And that’s where the Pathfinder comes in.
Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 Watch
Not looking to spend an arm and a leg? Timex’s Expedition Series is the cheap and cheerful alternative to premium watches. They’ve got one feature: telling time. But the battery lasts for years, the band won’t fray or snap, and the numerals glow in the dark. For telling time and looking great while doing it, this field watch is the simplest option out there – and one of the most reliable, too.
There are 14 different color combinations available, each of which are waterproof down to 50 meters. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it’s significantly more durable than most budget minded models. Where simplicity is concerned, you can’t go wrong with the Timex Scout.
How to Pick the Best Timepiece For You
There are many factors in choosing the right watch. Finding the one that’s right for you requires that you understand your priorities. Overall, these products can be broken down into three main categories. All perfect for outdoorsmen.
Every item on this list is more durable than your standard models. But there are a few that stand out. The Casio G-Shock G-Steel and Victorinox Men’s 241652 prioritized durability above all else. Both of these are enhanced versions of simpler models, designed for those of you who are going to push the limit.
Some of these watches are not only designed to survive your next expedition, but to improve it. The Suunto Traverse Alpha will help you track your GPS location, plan your route, and keep tabs on the local environment. It does require that you’re synced up with your cellphone via Bluetooth. If that’s not possible, then the Casio Pathfinder will provide you with an altimeter, barometer, and a plethora of other navigational sensors – no LTE required!
What if you just want to tell time in style? The Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 is very affordable and is still much more durable than competing models. Whether you just want to leave your “nicer” watch at home, or pick up something that will last many years – the Timex Scout 40 is perfect.
Here are some videos for the products mentioned above. Note: Watches of this caliber usually have tons of color and strap options. In some cases below, the product has either a different strap or color scheme than the exact one we reviewed above.