This Year in Gear

The Top Rugged Watches of 2018


December 22, 2018 Briefings By

Given that an “adventure” doesn’t mean the same thing to all people, it would seem strange to define “adventure watch” with too narrow a meaning. After all, watches that are primed for SCUBA diving, or ones that are meant for the field, or ones that can tell the time in multiple zones simultaneously — all of these are meant to accompany their wearers in some pretty extreme situations, which is what adventure is. It’s braving the unfamiliar.

What follows are some of our favorite adventure watch stories of the year. The next time you have some of the unfamiliar on the horizon, consider strapping one of these on your wrist.

Seiko Launches a New Trio of All-Black Dive Watches
Seiko Launches a New Trio of All-Black Dive Watches

Black dials, black case coatings and vintage-inspired lume give these divers a stealthy edge.

This Hamilton Reissue Has All the Markings of a Perfect Field Watch
This Hamilton Reissue Has All the Markings of a Perfect Field Watch

It also only costs $475.

Timex Releases Another Military-Inspired Field Watch
Timex Releases Another Military-Inspired Field Watch

Featuring a classic dial, a 36mm case and two different straps options.

This Affordable Japanese Dive Watch Is Your New Gateway Into Collecting. And It’s Not a Seiko
This Affordable Japanese Dive Watch Is Your New Gateway Into Collecting. And It’s Not a Seiko

Your new summer beater has arrived.

Citizen Teamed Up With a Japanese Bagmaker to Create an Old-School Field Watch
Citizen Teamed Up With a Japanese Bagmaker to Create an Old-School Field Watch

It features a classic case and dial but a modern movement.

Mystery Ranch Teams up with Timex to Make a Stealthy Field Watch
Mystery Ranch Teams up with Timex to Make a Stealthy Field Watch

It's a Japan exclusive, but you can still get your hands on one.

Doxa Is Reissuing a Rare Dive Watch and You Can Get a $500 Discount Right Now
Doxa Is Reissuing a Rare Dive Watch and You Can Get a $500 Discount Right Now

You can get this heavy-hitting, (very) limited divers watch for under $2,000.

This Mechanical World Time Diver Is Just an Absurd Amount of Watch for $1,149
This Mechanical World Time Diver Is Just an Absurd Amount of Watch for $1,149

Another under-the-radar hit from Ball.

This American-Assembled Field Watch Is Like a Mechanical Shinola
This American-Assembled Field Watch Is Like a Mechanical Shinola

A vintage-style timepiece from an Ohio-based watchmaker.

This Affordable Diver Is Slim and Simple Enough to Be Worn With a Suit
This Affordable Diver Is Slim and Simple Enough to Be Worn With a Suit

Rocking a minimal dial, a slim bezel and a hand-winding movement.

Seiko’s Iconic Tuna Diver Goes Fully Digital
Seiko’s Iconic Tuna Diver Goes Fully Digital

That's a good thing.

G-Shock’s New Watch Blurs the Line Between City Style and Field-Ready Ruggedness
G-Shock’s New Watch Blurs the Line Between City Style and Field-Ready Ruggedness

A 52.4mm steel case and hard-wearing Cordura strap make this one tough timepiece.

A Group Of Watch Nerds Worked With Oris to Make a Beautiful Dive Watch for Charity
A Group Of Watch Nerds Worked With Oris to Make a Beautiful Dive Watch for Charity

A deep gradient red dial isn't the only reason to love this limited edition.

Alpina’s New Sub-$1,000 Travel Watch Is Built for Adventure
Alpina’s New Sub-$1,000 Travel Watch Is Built for Adventure

It boasts a travel-ready GMT complication and a 300-meter depth rating.

Bremont’s Latest Watch Is a Handsome GMT Diver
Bremont’s Latest Watch Is a Handsome GMT Diver

It also supports a good cause.

This Blacked-Out Timepiece Is How You Do A Minimalist Dive Watch The Right Way
This Blacked-Out Timepiece Is How You Do A Minimalist Dive Watch The Right Way

It features a compact, DLC-coated case, a Seiko automatic movement and a unique dial configuration.

A Vintage French Dive Watch Is Reborn — and It Costs Less Than You Think
A Vintage French Dive Watch Is Reborn — and It Costs Less Than You Think

It's basically a one-for-one remake of the original.

Weiss Updates and Refines Its Entry-Level Field Watch
Weiss Updates and Refines Its Entry-Level Field Watch

Featuring a smaller case and a compact hand-wound movement the brand says is finished and assembled in the United States from Swiss parts.

These Stealthy New Dive Watches From Unimatic Look Fantastic
These Stealthy New Dive Watches From Unimatic Look Fantastic

These four new U1 dive watches from Italian micro-brand Unimatic are stealthy, beautiful, and almost guaranteed to sell out quickly.

This Dive Watch Proves Bronze Cases and Blue Dials Belong Together
This Dive Watch Proves Bronze Cases and Blue Dials Belong Together

A handsome, well-finished watch that's still water-resistant to 300 meters.

Zodiac’s Super Sea Wolf 68 Is A Celebration Of Dive Watch Heritage
Zodiac’s Super Sea Wolf 68 Is A Celebration Of Dive Watch Heritage

This new watch from Zodiac brings a classic 1960s diver firmly into the 21st century.

A Fan-Favorite DOXA Dive Watch Makes a Return and You Can Get It at a Discount
A Fan-Favorite DOXA Dive Watch Makes a Return and You Can Get It at a Discount

DOXA's fast-selling Aqua-Lung reissue is making a return with an understated dial color. Get in on the pre-order and you can save $400.

A New Take on Omega’s Underrated Field Watch Is Inspired By Your Pants
A New Take on Omega’s Underrated Field Watch Is Inspired By Your Pants

Featuring a dial and strap inspired by the texture of denim.

This Diver-Inspired Collab From Timex Is Highly Affordable
This Diver-Inspired Collab From Timex Is Highly Affordable

A 43mm watch designed with sneaker brand Greats.

This Thin Bronze Diver Is an Incredible Value for the Money
This Thin Bronze Diver Is an Incredible Value for the Money

It even features a chronometer-grade movement with a 5-day power reserve.

This Kickstarter Watch Company Offers a Feature-Filled Diver at A Reasonable Price
This Kickstarter Watch Company Offers a Feature-Filled Diver at A Reasonable Price

And a dial inspired by a sea urchin skeleton. Really.

The Rado Tradition Captain Cook MKIII Is An Automatic Diver in Titanium
The Rado Tradition Captain Cook MKIII Is An Automatic Diver in Titanium

An updated take on a vintage model with modern proportions and a titanium case.

Ball’s Tough New Field Watch Has an Absurd Amount of Lume
Ball’s Tough New Field Watch Has an Absurd Amount of Lume

Whole lotta lume.

Ball Introduces Yet Another Watch That Looks Like It Could Withstand A Nuclear Strike
Ball Introduces Yet Another Watch That Looks Like It Could Withstand A Nuclear Strike

There are purpose-built tool watches, and then there are Ball watches. This is the latter.

Timex’s Aluminum Field Watch Now Comes in Four Conspicuous Colorways
Timex’s Aluminum Field Watch Now Comes in Four Conspicuous Colorways

Eschew the drab field watch look for bright neon.

An Experimental Watchmaker Releases a Funky Chronometer Dive Watch
An Experimental Watchmaker Releases a Funky Chronometer Dive Watch

Featuring a movement with silicon parts and unique design details.

Shinola Releases Three New Dive Watches With Mechanical Movements
Shinola Releases Three New Dive Watches With Mechanical Movements

Based on a limited edition watch from last year, these new dive watches feature handsome looks and automatic movements at a lower price tag.

Zodiac’s New Dive Watches Boldly Embrace Color
Zodiac’s New Dive Watches Boldly Embrace Color

Sweet as candy.

Montblanc’s Summit 2 is a Case Study in How to Meld Luxury With Tech
Montblanc’s Summit 2 is a Case Study in How to Meld Luxury With Tech

The Swiss watchmaker uses the design codes of their oldest watch on the smartest and most modern timepiece they've ever produced.

This Year in Gear

Just like that, 2018 has come and gone. Take a look back at the best of what the past 365 days had to offer in This Year in Gear

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