Adventure-ready multifunction watches

Multifunction Tool Watches for the 21st Century


February 4, 2014 Buying Guides By
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There are many so-called “tool watches” out there, but few truly live up to the title. 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 bristling with solar panels and environmental sensors. In fact, to call them mere “timepieces” or even “watches” is to do them an injustice. These are wrist-top computers, designed for wear during mountaineering, skiing, sailing, surfing and flying. We rounded up six of the best multifunction watches for your next adventures — just make sure the arm it’s on makes it back OK.

MORE WORKING WATCHES: Are Mechanical Tool Watches Relics? | Timekeeping Icon: Seiko 5 | 5 Affordable Complications

Jason Heaton

I’ve always been a bit of an adventure fiend, a Midwestern boy seduced by the exoticism of adventure magazines and Hemingway novels. So, I feel like I’ve arrived now that I’m writing for Gear Patrol. It justifies as “research” a lifetime of tramping about the planet, climbing mountains, diving wrecks, and having a basement that looks like your local outdoor shop. Though I lean towards the Polarfleece aesthetic, I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional urban weekend in a tweed jacket or an evening in (gasp!) a tie. I only wear mechanical watches, drive my adequately patina’d Alfa Romeo Spider right up until the snow flies, and always keep an open bottle of single malt close at hand. My sporting cred runs the gamut from velodrome bike racing to Nordic skiing. I’ve done adventure races; I golf twice a month in the summer, have summited Colorado 14ers,and have even been scuba diving everywhere from Sri Lanka to Boston Harbor. I’ve traveled extensively in Europe, the US, and Asia, somehow earned an English Literature degree and learned German, French, and Latin along the way. I have studied photography and can make a mean saag paneer. I can’t say where Gear Patrol will take me. But as someone once said: “it’s not an adventure if you know the outcome.” And that’s just the way I like it. I’m here to serve you, my fellow adventurers.

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