The popular face of the wristwatch is constantly changing. Digital displays, which were once all the rage, fell out of favor long ago; oversized watches boomed and now seem to be over the hump; and gold has come and gone a few times over. But the greatest and perhaps most viable of today’s trends might be the resurrection of the vintage watch trade — new timepieces that pay homage to their roots and celebrate the ever-changing face of an industry from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Just add mountains
While Casio’s G-Shock series has the extreme sports category on lock down, their ProTrek line is blazing a trail in the world of outdoor adventure. In many ways, it’s about the most trustworthy, comely companion a beginning mountaineer could need.
Adventure-ready multifunction watches
Mechanical diver’s and pilot’s watches may have been indispensable instruments for explorers in decades past, but nowadays, state-of-the-art wristwatches have shifted toward lightweight, battery-powered and largely digital pieces. These are wrist-top computers, designed for wear during mountaineering, skiing, sailing, surfing and flying. We rounded up six of the best for your next adventures.
The Best by Far from the Far East
When it comes to dive watches, many immediately think of iconic Swiss watches like the Rolex Submariner and the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms. Of course, the story doesn’t stop here. In fact, there’s another country that can credibly lay claim to a long and storied history with the dive watch: Japan. If you need evidence of Japan’s dive watch prowess (or just a road map to buying yourself one), read on.
Most Japanese dive watches are the best suited for real-world use. Their simple movements have legendary durability, even if they aren’t the most accurate. Designs that forgo adornment in favor of readability and functionality win out over fancy locking bezels, helium release valves and shiny slim hands. Of course, their affordability makes them not only more accessible to divemasters that live on tip money, but also more bearable should they be lost of broken.
In short, if you want a real dive watch, look to Land of the Rising Sun. We recently did just that, procuring three of Japan’s best dive watches representing different brands, styles and price points for a real-world shootout below the waves in the Caribbean.
Born of a desire to create a watch that never breaks, the Casio G-Shock is revered by many as “the toughest watch on the planet”. But it is much more than that. The G-Shock is universally respected, avidly collected, and loved by everyone from Navy SEALS to tree-hugging tech nerds, a watch that gives new meaning to the word “durable”. But where did it come from? Let’s go back to the beginning: Casio’s head of watch design Kikuo Ibe and his “Team Tough” designers.
Shock and Awe
What do rapper Eminem, snowboarder Louie Vito, basketball player Brook Lopez and actor James Marsden have in common? They make way more money than us. Oh, and they all were at G-Shock‘s 30th Anniversary bash in NYC recently, where the Casio subset released a new slew of timepieces. We were there.
Radiator Shark Deterrent Dive Wetsuits Lame waves can be a real bummer when you want to surf. So can getting hunted, mauled, killed and eaten by a prehistoric-lookin’ fish. Turns out you can use science and art to protect yourself (as opposed to flimsy steel bars). Though they smell and track blood to find prey,…
While haute horlogerie is all about insane complications these days, even basic mechanicals are lots of fun when we get to peek under the hood. But quartz watches? They give one the feeling of an absolute black box: no clue what goes on in there.
So sure, we’d rather go mechanical, but to overlook quartz watches is to ignore unique performance and a form-follows-function vibe in some pretty cool purpose-built watches. Quartz timepieces are, by their very nature, more accurate and often more comfortable to wear than their mechanical forebears. Sometimes those traits are welcome, like when you’re swinging a golf club, marching into battle or just lifting a cold one on a hot afternoon. We take a look at a few electromechanical beasts that would add some much-needed variety to your watch box.
Jump in, the water's fine
You’ve been bequeathed plenty of hard-earned watch knowledge from Gear Patrol’s Timekeeping team. So, what’s taking you so long to get out there and buy your first real timepiece? A diving watch is a great way to start — a good one can toe the line between dress and active, suit and wetsuit, and they certainly follow the current large diameter trend. Before your wallet gets intimidated (some timepieces tend to do that), remember that you don’t have to take out a loan or hit the jackpot to get a great dive watch. Gear Patrol shows you seven great watches, all under $1,000 — many well under. Who knows, maybe strapping on a dive watch will get your dormant mojo going this summer and get your certified for the beautiful open water.
The eighth installment of our Staff Favorites series features Mr. Jonathan Gallegos. Jonathan has been described as a “strange bird” among the GP crew — though we mean it in the most affectionate sense. He certainly has an eclectic skill set: a Masters Degree in taxation paved the way for his full-time job as a tax accountant, but before all that this numbers man also figured out how to deftly craft copy, all the while bussing tables, running a “debt-laden” eBay store and toweling off tennis pros. His passions run wide and deep. Photography, cars, sports, arguing the finer points of Shiner Bock and his other favorite beers — none are spared his attention. All of these things are firmly rooted in his sometimes obscene, always diabolically funny sense of humor. He might not always be entirely tasteful, but he’s got a damn good taste in gear.
It’s pretty clear that our staff is passionate about gear, and as we strive to bring you the best of the best, we also want to take the time to share our own personal favorites. These are the goods we personally own: our essentials. Over the next few months, we’ll bring you each of our writers’ 10 personal favorites. By the look of things, the selection will run a wide gamut, from heirloom pieces to the most practical of gear that can be easily procured — a gear fingerprint, of sorts. Last but not least, each will share one “holy grail” item that still remains the stuff of dreams, out of reach, but hopefully only temporarily so. This week, we check out the goods of Bradley Hasemeyer, GP’s Auto Correspondent and Behind The Wheel host.
Look Like a Local
It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to Whistler for early spring powder turns or Fort Lander for the summer climbing festival; mountain style is a little different than your garden variety runway fare. Put the moonboots and sweat pants down. You’re not fooling anyone. We’ve put together a few indispensable mountain style standards, chock full of storied, quality brands, to help you blend in with the locals — unless you’re heading to any ski resort in Montana. In that case, it’s time to stock up on Wrangler and Carhartt.
Phone? What phone?
Let’s face it. As convenient as smartphones are, sometimes it’s just not convenient (or tasteful) to break it out. The Casio G-Shock Bluetooth Low Energy Smart Watch ($180) helps you stay in touch without looking like a complete ignoramus at your friend’s birthday dinner. Utilizing Bluetooth v4.0 (Bluetooth low energy technology), the watch connects with…
Fly by night
We have yet to see a G-Shock watch that looks as if it couldn’t withstand a few strikes from a jackhammer. The Casio G-Shock Aviation Series GWA1000D-1A ($600) is no exception. This time, it’s geared for pilots and other such world-travelers who need a multi-function watch as formidable as they are. The GWA1000D-1A (who names…
The Official Watch of the Screaming Chicken
You like the size and heft of Casio’s G-Shock line, and you also like the stealthy law-enforcement/military look of many of their models. But now you want something with a bit more flash, while maintaining that serious black look. You also happen to really like the paint scheme off the Pontiac Firebird from Smokey and…
It might as well be an app
Hardcore adventurers, or guys who just beat the hell out of their watches, know that the Casio Pathfinder is unparalleled for the outdoor enthusiast. Their latest brute, the solar powered Casio ProTrek PRW5000Y ($480), comes with a trio of sensors that measure altitude, barometric pressure, temperature, and directions. A clever method of display, the watch…
The Gent's G-Shock
The EQWM1100DC has vaulted straight to the top of our list of favorite Casio’s with its corner-office-to-north-face design. Part of Casio’s Edifice Black Label Collection, the Solar Atomic chronograph features an intricate movement with each hand running on its own gear, precision 1/1000-second mechanical accuracy, LSI Mission-Drive with 5 independent motors driving all watch functions,…
1,000fps In Your Pocket
When it comes to point & shoot cameras, small does not necessarily equate to good. The same goes for price. The Casio EX-FH100 ($349), a replacement for last year’s popular EX-FC100, features a wide-angle 24mm 10x optical zoom f3.2-5.7, 10 megapixel high sensitivity backlit sensor, 3″ LCD, 40 fps continuous shooting @ 9 megapixels, and…
Forget The Fancy, Go Tough
No tourbillons here. The G-Shock Frogman GWF1000 ($560) is the definition of a wristbeast. Released in late 2009, we finally got a chance to get our hands on glad to declare that it’s a gear o’beauty. That is, assuming your idea of beauty is a solar-powered, atomic-timekeeping, dive-timing son of a bitch. The self-adjusting G-Shock…
By Gear Patrol Reader Josh Wood Is it our imagination or are we overwhelmed with iPhones and the constant bombardment of trendy smartphones? Yes – we know, Steve Jobs has reinvented the wheel and it seems like everyone wants to take it for a spin. The problem is, we can’t really take it for a…
Once You Go Black...
With enough black on black to make even Gear Patrol contributor Anthony look twice, the Casio G-Shock Gulfman Black has no shortage of darkness and bad-assery. The Gulfman Black inherits the features of the original Gulfman including: mineral glass, rust resistant stainless steel case, resin strap & bezel, day-date-month readout, 200 meter water resistance, solar…
Casio has rolled out a new watch to commemorate the US Open of Surfing – the largest ocean front sporting exposition. The watch combines: G-Shock technology 200 meter water resistance Afterglow backlight Countdown timer Stopwatch White resin case we’re a little obsessed with What this means to you: Sure, it’s a watch designed specifically for…
This digital camera features the Casio EXILIM Engine 2.0, making it easy to capture focused shots of moving subjects. Dual image stabilization provides smooth stills and video, even at high zoom settings. Oh, and the black is exclusive to Best Buy. Features: 7.2-megapixel CCD captures high-resolution images up to 3072 x 2304 pixels 7x optical/4x…