Adam Reeder, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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25 Best compass watches for all budget ranges

Compasses have helped people for centuries to navigate their way through the world. By using the Earth’s magnetic field, a compass determines the direction in relation to the poles and helps guide the user on their way. 

They are incredibly useful for hikers, adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay on track while exploring new terrain. While wristwatches have not been around quite as long, they, too, help people navigate their daily lives.

A compass watch combines the functionality of a traditional timepiece with the added benefit of a compass. Whether you’re exploring a new city or hiking through the woods, a compass watch can give you the confidence to know exactly where (and when) you are.

Not only are compass watches practical, but they can also be a stylish addition to any watch collection. Many models come in sleek, modern designs perfect for everyday wear. Some even include additional features like altimeters, barometers, and GPS tracking to enhance their functionality.

A compass watch is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a reliable tool watch with a little extra tech. With various styles and prices available, there is a compass watch to suit almost anyone. Keep reading, and you might just find the perfect one for your needs.

History of the Compass

The compass has a rich history that spans centuries and has evolved significantly over time. The modern compass we use has its roots in ancient China. Initially, it was used as a divination tool, but it soon became a crucial navigational aid for travelers and traders.

Over time, new features were added to compasses, such as the ability to compensate for local magnetic variation and the inclusion of illuminated dials for use in low-light conditions. Today, compasses have been integrated into various devices, including watches, smartphones, and GPS systems.

Purpose of a Compass Watch

The purpose of a compass watch is to provide direction and orientation to the wearer, allowing them to easily navigate unfamiliar territory. Time and direction go hand in hand, so why not combine them in a single tool? By using the Earth’s magnetic field, a compass watch can determine the cardinal directions, enabling the wearer to know the time, where they are, where they need to go, and how to get there. 

Types of Compass Watches

Analog compass watches and digital compass watches are both useful tools for navigation and outdoor activities. The main difference between the two is how they display the compass information. Analog compass watches use a physical needle that points towards the magnetic north, while digital compass watches use a digital display to show the direction.

Ultimately, the choice between an analog and a digital compass watch comes down to personal preference and intended use. Those who prioritize simplicity and durability may prefer analog compass watches, while those who value accuracy and convenience may prefer digital compass watches.

Digital Compass Watches

Digital compass watches offer more accurate readings and additional features such as altimeters and barometers. They are also easier to use, with simple push-button controls, and can be calibrated automatically.

Analog Compass Watches

Analog compass watches have the advantage of being easier to read in bright sunlight and don’t require batteries, making them a more reliable option for outdoor activities. However, they require manual calibration and can be affected by nearby magnetic fields.

The Best Compass Watches

Bertucci DX3 Compass

Bertucci DX3 Compass

The Bertucci DX3 Compass watch is a high-performance timepiece designed for outdoor enthusiasts who demand reliability, durability, and accuracy. This watch is constructed with a solid titanium case, a solid mineral crystal, and a durable nylon band, making it tough enough to withstand even the most rugged outdoor activities.

One of the standout features of the Bertucci DX3 Compass watch is its precise and accurate Japanese quartz movement, which ensures that the timepiece keeps perfect time. The watch also features a reliable and accurate compass that is easy to read and use, making it an essential tool for navigation in the wilderness.

The watch also includes a date display, a rotating bezel for tracking elapsed time, and a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters. Additionally, the watch’s luminous hands and markers make it easy to read in low-light conditions.

You can find the Bertucci DX3 Compass for around $70.

Seiko Solar Chronograph Compass SSC081

Seiko Solar Chronograph Compass SSC081

The Seiko Solar Chronograph Compass is a great all-around option, crafted with a stainless steel case and bracelet, making it durable enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor activities.

This beautiful quartz chronograph includes a date window, 100 meters of water resistance, and a comfortable diameter of 41mm. It also uses Seiko’s patented Hardlex crystal and has the accuracy of a Seiko quartz movement. The rotating internal compass bezel ensures you’re always heading the right way. 

If you’re looking for a combination of quality, looks, and value, it’s hard to go wrong with a Seiko, no matter which model you choose. However, if you are looking for a compass watch specifically, then this is the Seiko for you.

This watch is priced at approximately $190.

Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch (ref. T2N720)

Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch (ref. T2N720)

The Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch is a fun and useful tool watch that will entice outdoor enthusiasts and gadget geeks alike. Aside from the standard functions like time, this little wrist robot can tell you the current tide conditions in your area. 

It also has a temperature sensor, a compass function, a 24-hour chronograph, and an alarm. It even comes with 100 meters of water resistance, a highly legible diameter of 45mm, and a soft silicone strap. It’s like having a personal assistant on your wrist without the annoying chitchat! 

The best part is it only costs a little under $200.

Suunto Core (ref. SS014279010)

Suunto Core (ref. SS014279010)

This watch is a sleek and modern option for those who want a no-nonsense tool for the great outdoors. In addition to having a built-in compass, the Suunto Core SS014279010 also has a barometer and altimeter. 

The barometer measures air pressure and can help you predict changes in weather conditions, while the altimeter measures altitude, which is particularly useful for hiking and mountaineering. The watch also has a thermometer, which can help determine the temperature of your surroundings.

As a multi-function digital watch, the Suunto Core also includes a stopwatch, countdown timer, and multiple alarms. It also has a backlit display, making it easy to read in low-light conditions. It’s water-resistant up to 30 meters, while the strap is made of elastomer and is designed to be comfortable and secure on the wrist. At 49.1mm, it’s not a small watch, but that makes it all the more legible.

This excellent tool watch can be yours for around $220.

Casio G-Shock Master of G Mudmaster Twin Sensor (ref. GG1000-1A8)

Casio G-Shock Master of G Mudmaster Twin Sensor (ref. GG1000-1A8)

The Casio G-Shock GG1000-1A8 Master of G Mudmaster Twin Sensor compass is a durable and versatile watch designed to withstand extreme conditions. It includes a mud-resistant shell, water resistance up to 200 meters, and a twin sensor that measures temperature and direction. It also features a countdown timer, a world time display, and a daily alarm.

The watch’s mud-resistant structure is achieved by using a specially designed case and button guards that prevent mud and debris from entering the watch. This feature is handy for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals who work in harsh environments.

It also includes a twin-sensor feature that allows the timepiece to measure both temperature and direction. If you want a watch that’s both rugged and functional, you can never go wrong when you choose a G-Shock. 

Plus, you can find it for approximately $200 if you shop around.

Orient Mechanical Sports Compass (ref. RA-AC0N02Y)

Orient Mechanical Sports Compass (ref. RA-AC0N02Y)

Orient is a part of the Citizen group, meaning that you know you’re getting good quality. The Orient RA-AC0N02Y Sports Compass has a diameter of 44mm, 200 meters of water resistance, and a rotating compass bezel. It also includes a day and date display, automatic movement, and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. 

The highly legible orange and white dial is functional, fun, and stylish. After all, just because you’re traipsing through the woods doesn’t mean you don’t want to have a little pizazz in your wardrobe.

This unique and functional timepiece will set you back about $300.

Citizen Promaster Altichron (ref. BN5058-07E)

Citizen Promaster Altichron (ref. BN5058-07E)

The Citizen Promaster BN5058-07E Altichron includes a sleek black dial, luminous hands and markers, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and Citizen’s legendary eco-drive movement. On the tech side, the watch also has an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and date display.

The altimeter measures altitude up to 10,000 meters, while the barometer measures atmospheric pressure and helps predict weather changes. The thermometer function indicates the temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.

The Citizen Promaster BN5058-07E Altichron compass watch has a diameter of 47mm, a thickness of 16.5mm, and a weight of 221g. Its water resistance rating is 200m, making it a great option for hiking, swimming, and many other outdoor activities.

You can find the Citizen Altichron for a little under $350.

96Zero Field Watch

The 96Zero Field Watch is as rugged as it is attractive. It features a 42mm case,  water resistance up to 100 meters, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that can withstand the toughest of environments.

The watch is powered by a Swiss-made quartz movement that provides precise and accurate timekeeping. The black dial with white Arabic numerals gives great visibility even in low light. It also includes a three o-clock date window, a screw-down crown, and a comfortable canvas strap.

The watch has an approximate retail price of $400.

Seiko Prospex “Land Tortoise” SRPG15K1

Seiko Prospex “Land Tortoise” SRPG15K1

Seiko has been a well-respected brand in the world of watches for decades, and their Prospex line is one of their most coveted collections. Among the many timepieces that the Prospex line boasts, the Seiko Prospex “Land Tortoise” SRPG15K1 stands out as a rugged and stylish compass watch that can do almost anything.

The Land Tortoise’s stainless steel case measures 42.7mm in diameter, making it large enough to be easily read and operated but not too big to be cumbersome on the wrist. The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, ensuring the watch looks great even after prolonged use.

It is water-resistant up to 200 meters and features a Lumibrite coating, which makes it easy to read the time in low light conditions.

You can find the Land Tortoise for around $500.

Casio Pro-Trek (ref. PRG600YB-3)

Casio Pro-Trek (ref. PRG600YB-3)

The Casio Pro-Trek PRG600YB-3 boasts a wide range of features, including a compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and world time display. With a durable construction, the watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it perfect for all types of outdoor activities.

Other notable features include a stopwatch, a countdown timer, and five daily alarms. The watch is solar-powered and has a battery life of up to seven months on a single charge. The resin band and case are both tough and comfortable, and the watch’s design is sleek and modern.

This incredible tool watch can be found for around $300, or even less if you shop around.

Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic 1200 (ref. XL.1201)

Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic 1200 (ref. XL.1201)

Designed to withstand the harshest of environments, this watch is a favorite of the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR). It features Luminox’s signature illumination technology. This means the dial is highly visible in low-light conditions, making it easy to read even in the darkest environments.

With a stainless steel case, 200 meters of water resistance, and a sapphire crystal, it’s highly resistant to scratches and can withstand extreme conditions. It also includes a unidirectional rotating bezel, Swiss quartz movement, and a date function. Add in the compass feature, and you’ll be ready to deal with anything the harsh environment can throw at you.

Depending on where you buy it from, you can find this watch for around $600.

Seiko Prospex Field Compass SRPD31K1

Seiko Prospex Field Compass SRPD31K1

One of the most prominent features of the Seiko Prospex Field Compass SRPD31K1 is its compass bezel, which can be used to navigate and orient yourself in unfamiliar surroundings. The watch also features luminous hands and markers, making it easy to read in low-light conditions.

The case is made of durable stainless steel and is water resistant up to 100 meters, allowing for worry-free use while swimming or snorkeling.

The Seiko Prospex Field Compass SRPD31K1 also has a dependable Seiko 4R36 automatic movement, a rugged khaki strap, and a robust, military-inspired design, that adds to its overall durability. It’s a versatile watch that can be worn in various situations, from hiking and camping to everyday wear.

You can get this watch for approximately $500.

BOLDR Expedition II Eiger

BOLDR Expedition II Eiger

BOLDR is a microbrand that’s been making waves in the watchmaking community lately. One of the main benefits of the BOLDR Expedition II Eiger is its durability. The watch is made from high-quality materials, including a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a stainless steel case.

It is also water-resistant to 200 meters, making it suitable for diving and other water activities. The watch features a number of useful specifications, including a Swiss-made Ronda 515.24H movement, which provides accurate timekeeping.

It has a 42mm case size and a thickness of 13.5mm, making it easy to wear and comfortable on the wrist. The watch also has a unidirectional rotating bezel, which can be used to measure elapsed time.

The Expedition II Eiger retails for $700.

Chase Durer Fighter Command  (ref. 2361WW3BR04)

With a water resistance of 300 meters, this watch is a great option for any outdoor enthusiast. What’s more, it has a sapphire crystal, a chronograph, a date function, and a compass function. The watch has a rugged but highly legible look.

The leather strap is durable and comfortable, rounding out the great features of this heavy-duty camping companion. 

Aside from the utilitarian functions of the Fighter Command, it has one of the best-looking tool watch designs you’ll find anywhere. This watch just screams durability, and it’s definitely not a shrinking violet on the wrist.

This watch has an approximate retail price of $850.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB121

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB121

This watch is a part of Seiko’s Prospex line, which is designed for those who love adventure and exploration. The Alpinist SPB121 is a perfect example of this, with its rugged and durable construction and impressive features. The watch features a stunning green dial, complemented by a stainless steel case and bracelet.

The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, which ensures that the watch remains looking great for years to come. 

The Alpinist also has a date function and a power reserve indicator, which are both incredibly useful features for anyone who wants to keep track of their watch’s performance. Add to that 200 meters of water resistance and a compass function, and you’ve got the perfect adventurer’s watch.

Plus, it doesn’t cost a fortune since you can find it for around $750.

Alpina AlpinerX (ref. AL-283LBO5AQ6)

Alpina AlpinerX (ref. AL-283LBO5AQ6)

The Alpina AlpinerX is a techie’s dream. With a range of sensors that allow the watch to track steps taken, calories burned, and altitude changes, this watch is more like a computer than a timepiece. In addition to its activity-tracking features, the AlpinerX has a range of smartwatch functions, including notifications for incoming calls and messages.

This means you can stay connected without constantly checking your phone. The watch has a sleek black dial, which is complemented by a black leather strap. Finally, it includes a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a highly accurate quartz movement, and a bright orange chapter ring for improved visibility.

And all that for a price tag of around $1,000.

Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar (ref. T121.420.47.051.00)

Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar (ref. T121.420.47.051.00)

One of the key features of this watch is its solar-powered technology, which allows it to charge using natural or artificial light. This means that the watch can function for an extended period without needing a battery replacement. 

The T-Touch Connect Solar watch also comes with various connectivity features, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing it to connect with your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can receive notifications, control your music, track your fitness goals, and even set reminders using this watch. 

It is an excellent choice for people who want to stay connected without being tied to their phones. The compass function just happens to take it to the next level. 

The T-Touch Connect Solar can be found for approximately $1,000.

Traser P68 Pathfinder (ref. 107718)

Traser P68 Pathfinder (ref. 107718)

The Traser P68 Pathfinder 107718 features a tough, black PVD-coated stainless steel case with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, making it highly resistant to wear and tear. Its black rubber strap is comfortable to wear and enhances the watch’s overall durability.

The standout feature of the Traser P68 Pathfinder 107718 is its compass bezel, which allows wearers to easily navigate their surroundings. The watch also features a date display, luminous hands and markers, and a highly accurate Swiss quartz movement. With water resistance up to 100 meters, the watch can withstand a variety of water-based activities.

In addition, the Traser P68 Pathfinder 107718 is also equipped with Traser’s innovative trigalight illumination technology, which provides exceptional visibility in low-light conditions. The watch is powered by self-illuminating tritium gas tubes, which require no external light source to function.

The P68 Pathfinder has a retail price of $1,050. 

Longines Christobal C Compass (ref. 5253)

The Longines Christobal C Compass 5253 watch is a stunning timepiece combining form and function. This watch is part of the brand’s Heritage collection and pays homage to the brand’s long-standing commitment to quality and precision.

At the heart of this watch is the L282.2 automatic movement, which provides reliable and accurate timekeeping. The case is made of stainless steel and measures 41mm in diameter. The dial is a beautiful silver color, featuring a unique compass function displayed on the outer rim. 

The compass function is activated by rotating the crown at the 2 o’clock position, and it allows the wearer to find their bearings by aligning the north-south axis on the watch with the actual north-south axis. The watch also features a date display at the 3 o’clock position, and it is water-resistant up to 30 meters. This watch is perfect for anyone who values precision, functionality, and style.

Prices on this watch vary, but you can expect to pay around $2,500 for one.

Sinn 212 KSK

Sinn 212 KSK

The Sinn 212 KSK watch is a rugged and reliable timepiece specifically designed for use by the German Special Forces Command (KSK). This watch is built to withstand the toughest conditions and is packed with features that make it an essential tool for military operations.

The case is made of high-strength titanium, which is lightweight and extremely durable. It measures 44mm in diameter and features a black PVD coating that adds to the watch’s stealthy look. The dial is also black and is designed for maximum legibility in low-light conditions, thanks to its luminous hands and indices.

The Sinn 212 KSK  is powered by the SW 300-1 automatic movement, and it also features a chronograph function, a countdown timer, and a date display. The watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters, making it suitable for diving and other aquatic activities.

You can find the Sinn 212 KSK for approximately $3,000.

Bremont Special Edition Endurance (ref. 210000036627 – 00366274)

Bremont Special Edition Endurance (ref. 210000036627 - 00366274)

The Bremont Special Edition Endurance 210000036627 – 00366274 is a stunning timepiece that pays tribute to the Shackleton Endurance expedition of 1914-1916. This watch is designed to withstand extreme conditions and is packed with features that make it an ideal companion for adventurers and explorers.

With a diameter of 43mm, the dial is a beautiful blue color and features a date display at the 3 o’clock position. The hands and indices are coated with Super-LumiNova, making them easy to read in low-light conditions. It runs on the BE-93-2AE automatic movement, which features a GMT function.

One of the unique features of this watch is its strap, which is made from material taken from the sail of the Shackleton Endurance expedition. The strap is a reminder of the watch’s heritage and adds to its overall rugged and adventurous look.

The watch has a retail price of $6,395.

Breitling Endurance Pro (ref. X82310D51B1S1)

Breitling Endurance Pro (ref. X82310D51B1S1)

The Endurance Pro X82310D51B1S1 features a 44mm case made of Breitlight. This patented material is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, yet significantly harder and more scratch-resistant. The watch is also water-resistant, up to 100 meters.

It has a black dial with a red inner ring, making it highly legible. The dial features bold hour markers and hands coated with Super-LumiNova. The watch also has a unidirectional rotating bezel with engraved numerals that can be used to track elapsed time.

The Endurance Pro X82310D51B1S1 is powered by Breitling’s Caliber 82, a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz movement that is ten times more accurate than a standard quartz movement. The watch has a battery life of approximately three to four years and also features a chronograph function, a countdown timer, and a second time zone display. 

The strap has a Breitlight double-pin buckle, which ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Finally, in addition to all of those features, it includes a pulsometer.

The watch has a retail price of $3,300.

Bremont U-22

Bremont U-22

The Bremont U-22  is a tribute to the U-2 spy plane, a legendary aircraft used by the United States Air Force for reconnaissance missions. The watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters, has Super-LumiNova on the hands and indices, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a second-time zone display.

The Bremont U-22 is powered by a modified BE-36AE automatic movement, which is COSC-certified and features a 38-hour power reserve. The movement is also protected by an anti-magnetic Faraday cage, which helps to prevent interference from electronic devices and other magnetic fields.

One of the unique features of the Bremont U-22 is the incorporation of aluminum from the U-2 spy plane into the watch’s crown. This adds a touch of authenticity and history to the timepiece, making it a perfect choice for anyone.

You can find the Bremont U-22 for under $5,000 if you shop around.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere (ref. MB119286)

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere (ref. MB119286)

The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere MB119286 features a unique dial that displays two rotating globes representing the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The globes rotate in opposite directions and provide a unique way of tracking time in two different time zones simultaneously.

The watch is powered by a reliable automatic movement and has a power reserve of up to 42 hours. It’s also water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it suitable for everyday wear. The case is made from stainless steel, and the strap is made from high-quality leather, ensuring both durability and style.

The watch has a retail price of $6,300.

Breitling Emergency (ref. E76325221B1S1)

Breitling Emergency (ref. E76325221B1S1)

The Breitling Emergency E76325221B1S1 is designed to withstand the most extreme conditions. It was created with outdoor adventurers, pilots, and other professionals in mind who may find themselves in dangerous situations where they need to call for help quickly. 

It has a robust and rugged design that can withstand harsh environments. It features a black titanium case, a black dial, and a black rubber strap. The watch’s hands and markers are coated with Super-LumiNova, making them easy to read in low-light conditions. 

The watch measures 43mm in diameter and 15.8mm in thickness, making it a substantial timepiece. It has a water resistance rating of 5ATM, which means it can handle some splashing, but not swimming or diving.

The watch is equipped with an electronic chronograph, a timer, a countdown timer, a second timezone, and an alarm. It also has a built-in distress beacon that can be activated by pulling out a specialized antenna. The Emergency is powered by a rechargeable battery that can last up to two months in standby mode.

The Breitling Emergency has a retail price of $15,725.

Conclusion

A compass watch is the definition of a tool watch. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a rugged option that works well for the great outdoors. Whether you are a camper, a runner, or just someone who enjoys the occasional hike, it’s a good idea to have a compass watch in your arsenal of outdoor gear. 

While a compass is nice to have, and a watch is nice to have, combining the two just makes life easier. Hopefully, you’ve found a compass watch that matches your needs in our list, and you can get back to what you really love; enjoying the beauty of nature.

15 Best rolex explorer alternatives

Few watches have more mystique surrounding them than the Rolex Explorer. A predecessor to the Explorer, a modified Oyster Perpetual with luminescent Arabic numerals, was actually on Sir Edmund Hillary’s when he became the first person to summit Mt. Everest. How’s that for a legend? 

Since its official launch in 1953, the Explorer has been worn by all types of watch lovers. It’s been a spelunking tool for adventurers, and it was the favorite watch of James Bond Author Ian Fleming. Some even suggest, based on a few sentences in one of Fleming’s books, that the Explorer was the original watch worn by the literary version of  Bond himself.

Despite the Explorer’s adventurous roots, it’s rightly considered one of the most versatile models in the Rolex catalog. While it definitely has those steel sports chops that so many love about Rolex, it can blend in just as well as a dress watch under your cuff. 

The Explorer is a classically styled, robust, and versatile watch. That’s exactly why it’s so sought after. That’s also why it can be so difficult to get one. With waiting lists that can last for years at Rolex dealers, and the secondary market prices rising fast, you may want to consider a nice alternative to the Explorer.

About the Rolex Explorer

The Rolex Explorer has a rich and fascinating history that spans back to the early days of mountaineering expeditions. In the 1950s, Rolex collaborated with several mountaineers to create a timepiece that could withstand the harsh conditions of high-altitude climbing. The result was a watch that quickly became a favorite of adventurers and explorers around the world.

As mentioned above, the first Rolex Explorer was released in 1953, and it was an instant success among mountain climbers and explorers. It featured a sturdy Oyster case, a self-winding movement, and luminous hands and hour markers for easy readability in low-light conditions. The watch was also water-resistant, making it suitable for wet and snowy environments.

Rolex Explorer Fun Facts

One of the reasons that the Rolex Explorer has such a big following is its illustrious list of owners. Among them, aside from Sir Edmund Hillary, is Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novel series. What’s more, many claim that the first Rolex that Fleming attributed to Bond in a novel was an “Oyster Perpetual with large luminous numerals”. At the time, the only Rolex model that fit that description was the famed Explorer reference 1016, which Fleming himself had on the wrist. 

What to Look For in a Rolex Explorer Alternative

If you’re looking for a watch with a similar style and quality to the Explorer without the hefty price tag, read on. Here are some things to consider when searching for an alternative to the Rolex Explorer.

For starters, consider the movement. The Rolex Explorer uses an in-house automatic movement, which is renowned for its precision and reliability. Look for watches with a similar quality movement from reputable manufacturers like Seiko or ETA.

Secondly, examine the materials used in the watch. The Rolex Explorer uses high-quality stainless steel for its case and bracelet, with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting the dial. Look for alternatives with similar materials and craftsmanship, such as titanium or ceramic cases and sapphire crystal glass.

Thirdly, consider the design of the watch. The Rolex Explorer has a simple yet elegant design with a black dial and minimalistic hour markers. Look for watches with a similar design aesthetic and unique features that set them apart from other watches on the market.

Finally, consider the brand reputation and customer service. Look for brands with a history of producing quality watches and offering excellent customer service. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from fellow watch enthusiasts. We think the following list checks all of those boxes and more.

The Best Rolex Explorer Alternatives

1. Tudor Ranger (ref. M79950-0001)

Tudor Ranger (ref. M79950-0001)

Tudor has quite the back catalog from which to choose. The Tudor Ranger is one of the most obvious examples of this competitive advantage. Taking obvious design cues from the famed Rolex Explorer reference 1016, the Tudor Ranger is quite the rugged steel piece in its own right. 

With classic lumed 3 6, 9, and 12 Arabic indices, a signed screw-down crown offering 100 meters of water resistance, and a near-perfect 39mm diameter, the Ranger couldn’t possibly be a better Rolex Explorer alternative than it already is. What’s more, available on either a steel oyster style bracelet, a hybrid rubber and leather strap, or a classic nato strap, the watch works with just about any style.

2. Omega Railmaster (ref. 220.10.40.20.01.001)

Omega Railmaster (ref. 220.10.40.20.01.001)

The original 1957 Railmaster was developed for use by rail workers, scientists, and anyone else who worked near strong magnetic or electrical fields. It was designed to withstand up to 1,000 gauss without losing any time.

Today, most luxury watches are designed with this type of magnetic resistance in mind. But that doesn’t make the Railmaster any less special. It has a beautiful classic dial design, harkening back to some of the first Seamasters.

Furthermore, it has a comfortable case size of 40mm, an impressive water resistance of 150 meters, and a classic Omega steel bracelet. It also has beautifully executed Arabic 3, 6, 9, and 12 indices. You couldn’t ask for much more in a classically beautiful steel sports watch from a name that commands respect.

3. IWC Spitfire (ref. IW326801)

IWC Spitfire (ref. IW326801)

IWC has always been known for its amazing pilot watches. Gorgeous references like this Spitfire are exactly why that reputation continues to this day. The easy-to-read dial is the first thing you may notice, but there’s so much more to this watch just beneath the surface. 

IWC’s in-house caliber 32110 movement offers a beautifully finished 21-jewel mechanical work of art that produces an incredible 72 hours of power reserve. The 39mm size, convex anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and convenient date window make this one of the best everyday watches available for the price. It’s hard to go wrong with any watch from IWC; this one is a real looker.

4. Bell & Ross  BR V1-92

Bell & Ross  BR V1-92

Bell & Ross is a greatly underappreciated watch, which also makes them a great deal. This model is a great alternative to the Rolex Explorer, especially for those who want a slightly larger watch. At 41mm, it’s great for almost any sized wrist but works especially great for those who might find the Explorer a bit too diminutive at 36 or 39mm. It also has the added benefit of a rotating timing bezel, which is something you won’t find on the Explorer. 

With Super-LumiNova-coated Arabic numerals, 100 meters of water resistance, and a gorgeous black calfskin strap, you won’t be left out with this beauty on your wrist. It also has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, so don’t be afraid to take this one hiking, swimming, or anywhere else you may roam.

5. Tudor Black Bay 36 (ref. M79500-0007)

Tudor Black Bay 36 (ref. M79500-0007)

Much is made of the iconic Black Bay 58, but the Black Bay 36 is no slouch. As the name would suggest, it has a classic size of 36mm, making it the same size as the original Rolex Explorer 1016. However, the Black Bay 36 also boasts a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a signed screw-down crown offering 150 meters of water resistance, and 38 hours of power reserve. 

With a movement based on the bulletproof ETA 2824-2, this watch is just as good for daily wear as it is for international espionage. Giving it an extra boost is the fact that it shares a strong link with Rolex in both heritage and market cache.

6. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (ref. 220.10.38.20.01.001)

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (ref. 220.10.38.20.01.001)

The Aqua Terra is perhaps the most versatile watch in Omega’s entire catalog. While it retains the classic Seamaster DNA with dagger indices and 150 meters of water resistance, it gives off a more refined look that blends in at a cocktail party better than a clunky diver. 

It has an AR-coated sapphire crystal, a gorgeous display caseback, and Omega’s patented coaxial escapement, making it a high-tech stunner. The “just right” 38mm case size, coupled with the textured striped dial, make this one of the coolest watches on the market. Add the convenient date function and 55-hour power reserve, and the Seamaster Aqua Terra beats all comers.

7. Longines Conquest Automatic (ref. L3.776.4.58.6)

Longines Conquest Automatic (ref. L3.776.4.58.6)

If you’re looking for the perfect alternative to the 39mm Rolex Explorer, look no further. Longines have created a great option with many of the same characteristics as the Rolex, but with a little bit of its own personality. 

Large Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 and a date window at 3 o’clock give this watch a balanced and legible look. It also has an impressive water resistance of 300 meters, a screw-down crown with ample crown guards, and a hefty power reserve of 64 hours. The diminutive 39mm size makes for a great dress or sports watch on the go.

8. Oris Classic Date (ref. 01 733 7594 4034-07 8 20 61)

Oris Classic Date (ref. 01 733 7594 4034-07 8 20 61)

Oris is one of those watch brands that seems to be underrated by many watch collectors, but that allows for some great deals. The Oris Classic Date is a beautiful dress-style watch that also works great with a casual outfit. This silver dial beauty includes Arabic 3, 9, and 12 indices and a great size of 42mm.

The jubilee-style bracelet is flashy yet classy, and the display caseback allows you to view the gorgeous automatic movement under the sapphire crystal. This watch is pure class. While it might look a little dressier than some other options on this list, it still gives off those Explorer feels.

9. Sinn 556a

Sinn 556a

Sinn makes some great utilitarian tool watches at reasonable prices. The 556a is no exception. It has solid stainless steel construction, lumed 3, 6, 9, and 12 Arabic indices, and a supple leather strap. Few watches carry so many of the characteristics of the Rolex Explorer but with so much of its own personality. 

The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and 200 meters of water resistance make this a really rugged watch with classic styling. This one seems just as comfortable in the water as it does at 10,000 feet.

10. Ball Engineer II Ohio (ref. NM2026C-S5J-BK)

Ball Engineer II Ohio (ref. NM2026C-S5J-BK)

Ball is a brand inextricably linked to the history of railroad and railroad timing. That’s why this model is called the Engineer II. It has great looks, including a mix of dagger indices, Arabic numerals, and a day date function. It also has a water resistance of 100 meters and a diameter of 40mm, making it a great everyday watch. 

Similar to the Omega Railmaster, also on this list, the Engineer II Ohio takes some of the best features of a dive watch. It seamlessly adds them to a classic railroad timing watch to offer the perfect hybrid option.

11. Seiko Alpinist SPB117

Seiko Alpinist SPB117

The Seiko Alpinist is a highly respected model by not just Seiko aficionados but also the watch greater watch-collecting world. With its gorgeous handset and classic design, it’s definitely a great option for exploring any environment. While it’s available in multiple colorways, this black dial model gives vintage vibes with a cool and modern twist. 

While it’s a great-looking watch, this Alpinist model has some serious outdoor street cred. It’s got a screw-down crown with 200 meters of water resistance and a sapphire crystal. It also has a mineral crystal caseback allowing you to see the solid Seiko automatic movement, which boasts an impressive power reserve of 70 hours. The watch has a perfect size of 39.5mm, making it big enough for legibility, but it still offers the compact comfort of a good field watch.

12. Fortis Spacematic (ref. 623.10.18.LP.10)

Fortis Spacematic (ref. 623.10.18.LP.10)

Fortis makes a lot of really great watches. The Spacematic is one of the best. It has a straightforward design and a great engine under the hood. It has a Swiss automatic movement, 100 meters of water resistance, and hits the 40mm sweet spot of diameter. The large 12, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals make the dial attractive and easy to read. 

What’s more, the Spacematic also includes a convenient day date function, which a lot of simple watches like this one don’t usually have. Fortis gives you a lot of bang for the buck with this great Rolex Explorer alternative.

13. Smiths Everest

The original Smiths Everest is a watch closely tied to the Rolex Explorer. It’s said that Edmund Hillary carried both a Rolex and a Smiths watch to the summit of Everest. The fact that he apparently wore neither hasn’t stopped either brand from claiming to be the first watch at the summit. 

This current Everest model is a throwback to those early days of mountaineering. It has a classic size of 36mm and lumed Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9. It also includes a water resistance of 100 meters, automatic movement, and highly convenient drilled lugs. If you want a watch closely tied to the Rolex Explorer but don’t want to explore your wallet too much to buy it, then the Smiths Everest is the watch for you.

14. Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3.6.9

Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3.6.9

Nivada Grenchen, similar to Smiths, is a brand that was popular in the early 20th century and has been recently resurrected under a new ownership group. The Super Antarctic 3.6.9. shares quite a lot design-wise with the classic Rolex Explorer reference 1016. 

From the faux patina to the lumed Arabic numerals, Nivada Grenchen opted for a highly nostalgic aesthetic with this model. It includes an automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve, a diameter of 38mm, and 100 meters of water resistance. While it may look vintage, the AR-coated sapphire glass reminds you that this is a high-quality modern watch with vintage looks.

15. Lorier Falcon SIII

Lorier Falcon SIII

Lorier makes microbrand watches with the feel of a heritage brand. The Falcon SIII offers the perfect mix of vintage and modern vibes. While it takes design cues from the Rolex Explorer and other classic field watches, it updates that aesthetic with a more contemporary textured dial and all the trappings of a modern steel sports grail piece. 

It has a classic size of 36mm, a Japanese automatic movement, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, Super-LumiNova on the Arabic numerals, 100 meters of water resistance, and three micro-adjustment positions on the clasp. This little watch really packs a punch.

Conclusion

While the iconic Rolex Explorer can never truly be replicated, it’s possible to find an affordable alternative that shares a bit of the Explorer’s basic identity. Ruggedness is one of the most important aspects of the Rolex Explorer’s DNA, and that’s what every watch on the list above has in spades. Everything else is window dressing, and it’s up to you to decide what other features of the watch are important to you. 

Regardless of which one you choose, you’re sure to get years of enjoyment out of every single one of these watches on our list. Maybe you should even grab more than one. After all, what’s the fun of life if you don’t spend it exploring? 

seiko sumo vs turtle

The Seiko Sumo and Turtle are two of the storied Japanese brand’s most popular dive watches.  They’re both 200-meter divers within Seiko’s Prospex line that come with oversized cases and bulletproof movements.

Even among the throngs of Rolex Submariner acolytes, the Sumo and the Turtle gain much respect for their toughness and tool-watch street cred. Though both watches differ slightly in appearance, they offer similar value for money. 

Nevertheless, the two have enough differences to merit a comparison for those trying to choose between them (why not get both?). We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Keep reading to see the similarities and differences between the Seiko Sumo and Seiko Turtle.

After all, when it comes to buying the right watch, knowledge is power. Plus, you might just learn a thing or two!

About the Seiko Sumo

Seiko Sumo

The Seiko Sumo was introduced in 2007 as an ISO-rated dive watch for the masses. The Seiko Sumo is a serious dive watch for serious divers. The Sumo’s development resulted from saturation divers complaining that their timepieces would continually become damaged at great depths because they simply didn’t have the robust case construction to handle the immense pressure. 

Seiko made developing this watch a serious mission, and in 2007, the watch was released to the public. Since that release, it has become one of the most popular dive watches in the world and one that most people can afford! Moreover, it’s almost instantly recognizable to anyone who’s a fan of dive watches.

About the Seiko Turtle

Seiko Turtle

The “Turtle”, as the Seiko Prospex has come to be called by its fans, is quite a bit older than the Sumo. The original iteration of this watch was launched in 1976 (as was I, but that’s neither here nor there). When the watch was first released, the Turtle was a popular model.

However, as the legendary Seiko SKX models began to dominate the affordable diver market, Seiko ceased production of the Turtle for several years. But in 2016 (due in part to demand from the marketplace), collectors and divers were thrilled to hear that the Turtle would be making a return. Some said it was even more exciting than the return of the McRib!

Seiko Sumo Vs. Seiko Turtle: A Clash Between Two Dive Watch Titans

To offer the most thorough comparison of these two rugged divers, we’ve broken them down to some of their most important characteristics. We’ve compared and contrasted so that you get a good idea of what each watch offers and what it doesn’t.

While we understand that choosing a timepiece often comes down to the intangibles, it still helps to know what each watch brings to the table. Read through the following analysis, and you should clearly see which of these two watches is the right pick for your needs.

Case

Case size and shape are typically the first things you’ll notice about any watch. That being said, the Seiko Sumo and the Seiko Turtle have two of the most recognizable cases in the dive watch world. The Turtle may be more iconic due to its very original case design, which does, in fact, resemble a turtle shell.

However, it’s slightly less tall than the Sumo. Both watches are intentionally chunky in every direction, and if you disrespect either, they just may bodyslam you. Both pieces also offer a case size of 45mm, though the shapes differ slightly.

The Turtle has a more rounded and fluid design, while the Sumo’s angular lugs give it a more industrial tool watch look. Another similarity between the two watches is the unidirectional rotating dive bezel. Both have aluminum bezel inserts and offer a pleasing click when rotating the bezel.

Water Resistance

This is another area where the Turtle and the Sumo are equally robust. With solid screw-down crowns and case backs, each watch offers a solid water resistance of 200 meters. Moreover, you’re likely to get even more performance out of each piece than the stated 200 meters, though you’ll probably never have to test that theory yourself. Both watches have the crown around 4 o’clock, a welcome change for many divers from the standard 3 o’clock on most pieces.

Complications

When it comes to complications, the Sumo is available with a day date function, while the Turtle is only available with a date window. While this is likely not a deal breaker for anyone whose main concern is dive readiness, it’s still a consideration for some. Other than that, both watches are standard three-hand divers without many other bells and whistles. 

Their toughness and durability are where they really earn their stripes. If you’re looking for a more complicated dive watch with extras like a helium escape valve or alarm function, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. These two watches are no-nonsense workhorses that reflect their comfortable price points.

Hands

The handsets on both watches have quite different looks and feel. The Sumo has basic tapered hour and minute hands, while the stick second hand has a small marker toward the end. On the other hand, the Turtle has a plain stick hand seconds hand, a plunger hour hand, and a highly visible arrow hand for the minutes. Both handsets have a sporty feel and are easy to read, but some may find the Turtle’s hands a bit more interesting. 

Movement

The Seiko Sumo houses the impressive Seiko 6R35 automatic movement, which boasts a semi-ridiculous power reserve of 70 hours. While the Sumo’s movement is quite a feat of engineering, the Turtle is no slouch itself. It uses another one of Seiko’s highly accurate and dependable automatic movements, the 4R36. 

It has the same beat rate as the Sumo’s movement and only has a slightly shorter power reserve. What the 4R36 does have over the 6R35 is a day date function. If this is important to you, then you’ll probably want to opt for the versatile Turtle of the simpler and utilitarian Sumo. 

Crystal

As with most standard Seiko divers, the Seiko Sumo and Seiko Turtle come with the brand’s proprietary Hardlex scratch-resistant crystal. Hardlex is made using a mixture of silicon and barium that is heated and combined before it cools and hardens.

According to Seiko, Hardlex is more scratch resistant than the standard mineral glass on most other affordable watches. While many watch collectors may prefer sapphire glass to Hardlex crystal, it’s still a decent step up from the standard mineral glass.

Strap/Bracelet

Both the Turtle and the Sumo come with standard Seiko 316L stainless steel bracelets. While these bracelets are fine for diving, many skilled divers prefer a rubber or nato strap. This is where the Turtle gains another slight advantage.

It has a rubber strap option available at purchase, which the Sumo does not. That said, you can always purchase a rubber strap afterwards for your Sumo, but doing so will be an additional cost and time requirement.

Price & Availability

Both the Seiko Sumo and Seiko Turtle are readily available online and in many stores as well. However, you can expect to pay quite different prices for each. The current models of the Seiko Turtle can be found for around $400.

The Sumo, on the other hand, will cost you a bit more. Most retailers sell the Seiko Sumo for about $700, making it more of an investment than the Turtle. These are prices for new watches. However, on the secondary market, you’re likely to find both at an even lower price, though they will be “previously loved”.

If you don’t mind getting a slightly used version of these watches, then you can probably get a great deal online.

Conclusion

Ultimately, which watch you choose will come down to personal preference. Some will prefer the aesthetics of one model over the other, while legibility and useability will be the determining factors for others. 

The Seiko Turtle and the Seiko Sumo both offer the same basic value proposition. They’re incredibly durable dive watches that won’t have you worried if you get them scratched or beaten up. While not typically mentioned in many reviews of the Turtle and the Sumo, they also make for great-looking daily beaters, even if you never set foot in the water.

Dive watches are the most popular style for most men, so you can’t go wrong with either of these on your wrist in any environment, be it wet or dry. Before choosing between these two equally impressive watches, the most important thing to remember is to be fully informed.

Know what each timepiece offers and doesn’t, and use that knowledge to make a fully informed decision. If you do that, then you’re probably not going to be disappointed in your choice, no matter which route you take.

best orange dial watches

Orange may not be one of the most common dial colors for watches, but it’s certainly one of the most interesting. Watch brands have been using orange dials for more than half a century. While the color was originally used primarily for dive watches to increase visibility, orange can be used for several different styles of watches; though, it’s generally considered more of a sports watch hue than one that’s appropriate for a dress watch.

However, that’s not necessarily a hard and fast rule. There are a handful of dressy style watches that have a pop of orange accent to add just a bit more personality to an otherwise classic look. Check out the list we’ve compiled below of orange dial watches, and you’ll likely find something that suits your style. Now orange you glad you’re reading this?

So You Have an Orange Crush?

If you’re thinking of getting yourself an orange dial watch, then there are a few things you should consider first. What you plan to use the timepiece for is perhaps the most crucial factor in choosing the best orange dial watch for you. Next is the functionality of the watch as well as your budget. Ensure all of these factors are nailed down before you make your purchase.

About Orange Dial Watches

Though it’s hard to know what was the first ever orange dial watch, the Swiss brand Doxa is widely considered one of the first major watch brands to use a bright orange dial on their timepieces. As alluded to earlier, the first orange dial watches were designed to be highly legible, and style was less of a concern. However, throughout the years, there have been a number of watches that have incorporated orange onto the dial for reasons other than strict legibility.

Should You Buy an Orange Dial Watch?

Most orange dial watches are intentionally bold designs. Some are bold to increase legibility; others are bold for the sheer fun of it. There are also a few models that just offer a slight pop of color to spruce up an otherwise ordinary dial. One thing is for sure; you probably don’t want to buy an orange dial watch if you’re afraid of a little attention. 

Orange dial watches garner looks because they’re so rare. Also, if you’re looking for something with extra bright legibility, whether it’s for diving or other low-light situations, then an orange dial watch might be the perfect choice for you. 

Review the following list, and you’ll be sure to pick an orange dial watch that works for you (see what I did there?).

1. Tag Heuer Aquaracer Orange (ref. WBP201F.BA0632)

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Orange (ref. WBP201F.BA0632)

Tag Heuer is one of the most well-known luxury watch brands for a reason. They’ve been making high-quality watches of all sorts since 1860. In the 20th century, they made their name as a giant in the motor racing and sports watch industries. The Aquaracer is a great dive watch that you can depend on. 

With a size of 43mm, a Tag Heuer Caliber 5 automatic movement with over 40 hours of power reserve, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a screw-down crown with 300 meters of water resistance, this amazing dive watch will make you wonder why you never owned one before.

2. Doxa Sub 1500T Orange Diver (ref. 883.10.351.10)

Doxa Sub 1500T Orange Diver (ref. 883.10.351.10)

This cushion-cased beauty from Doxa has some serious diving chops. Rated at 1500 meters of water resistance, there are few places that this watch can’t go under the sea. It has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a professional-grade diver, including an ample diameter of 45mm, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, helium escape valve, and even a dive suit extension. So grab your gear and get in the water ASAP!

3. Breitling Superocean 36 (ref. A18316D7101S1)

Breitling Superocean 36 (ref. A18316D7101S1)

This slightly vintage-inspired Breitling Superocean 36 makes a real statement on the wrist. For starters, the diminutive 36mm case size is a reminder of the more modestly sized watches of the past. It also has gorgeous applied dagger indices and Arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock.

The bright orange dial and matching silicone branded strap more than make up for the wrist presence surrendered by the smaller case. It has a sapphire crystal, a Breitling automatic movement, a unidirectional rotating bezel, and an impressive 200 meters of water resistance.

4. Oris ProPilot X (ref. 01 400 7778 7158-07 7 20 01TLC)

Oris ProPilot X (ref. 01 400 7778 7158-07 7 20 01TLC)

Pilot’s watches may not be the first thing you think of when you hear orange dial, but from now on, they may just be top of your mind. This beautifully muted orange dial Oris ProPilot is pure style.

It has the classic ProPilot design, including a lightweight titanium case and bracelet, the caliber 400 Oris automatic movement with a mind-boggling 120-hour power reserve, 100 meters of water resistance, and a comfortable case size of 39mm. The beautiful bracelet also has a foldover clasp, ensuring a safe and secure fit on your wrist.

5. Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 Orange Dial

Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 Orange Dial

You can never really go wrong with Rolex, and this bright orange Oysterdate Precision is the perfect evidence of that. With a small size of 34mm, it’s lightweight and comfortable. It has a Rolex hand-wound movement and date window, and it’s made from Rolex’s solid 904L stainless steel

Keep in mind that this is a slightly older watch than many on the list. That means that the advertised water resistance may not be quite up to the standard of the others. But who needs to go in the ocean when you’re strolling around the land with a sweet Rolex strapped to your wrist?

6. Nomos Glashütte Club Campus (ref. 710)

Nomos Glashütte Club Campus (ref. 710)

As one of the premier watch brands in the famed Glashütte region of Germany, Nomos has built an excellent reputation for quality and refined style. The Club Campus model also adds a bit of flare to that description with its gorgeous muted orange dial variant. 

It has a classic diameter of 36mm, a clean and simple sub seconds dial, a beautiful gray velour leather strap, a domed sapphire crystal, and a lumed combination of Arabic and Roman numerals. This brand’s eye for design is always impressive, and the Club Campus is a perfect example of that. For being orange, this watch is just peachy!

7. Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire Orange (ref. S60-40ADA3-S00O0-B0)

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire Orange (ref. S60-40ADA3-S00O0-B0)

Christopher Ward offers watches of all different stripes at a reasonable price. This C60 model is inspired by the sun. It has a deep orange color sapphire dial that allows you to see straight into the movement.

It also has a sapphire crystal covering the dial, a Sellita automatic movement, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a 40mm diameter, and 600 meters of water resistance. The 38 hours of power reserve will help you be sure to always be on time, even when you’ve taken a day off from diving.

8. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Orange

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Orange

If there’s one thing that nobody does better than Bell & Ross, it’s exciting and out-of-the-ordinary designs. This interesting angular watch offers an eye-catching square case design with four screws at the corners. But it’s not just about the looks.

The BR 03-92 also has 300 meters of water resistance, a solid flexible rubber bracelet, a reasonable 42mm diameter, a screw-down crown, and an AR-coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. This watch is sure to garner plenty of envious glances, both in and out of the water.

9. Longines Dolcevita Orange Dial (ref. L5.512.4.92.2)

Longines Dolcevita Orange Dial (ref. L5.512.4.92.2)

While most watches on this list tend to be in the sports watch realm, Longines has a far different offering. The Dolcevita is a rectangular dress watch series that fits in almost as well with jeans and a t-shirt as it does under a suit.

This orange dial variant has a small seconds sundial, a simple, clean dial design, a highly accurate quartz movement, and a diminutive width of just 23mm. This one can also serve as a unisex model, fitting both men and women in either a casual or formal setting. 

10. Seiko Orange Monster SKX781

Seiko Orange Monster SKX781

Seiko is one of the most well-respected watch brands on earth. Solid dive watches like the SKX781 are just one reason why that won’t likely be changing any time soon. It has a sturdy and attractive stainless steel diving bezel that rotates unidirectionally and a bright and highly visible orange dial. 

The handset and applied indices have ample lume, and the rubber bracelet is sturdy and comfortable. It also has a virtually bulletproof Seiko automatic movement, a screw-down crown, and a respectable 200 meters of water resistance. This one does live up to its name. It’s a monster!

11. Doxa Sub 200 (ref. 799.10.351.21)

Doxa Sub 200 (ref. 799.10.351.21)

The Doxa Sub 200 really is one of the best-looking classic dive watches you’ll find anywhere. Based on some of their famed dive watches from decades earlier, the Sub 200 has 200 meters of water resistance, a size of 42mm, making it both unassuming and legible, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. 

The supple waterproof silicone strap matches the orange of the dial, and the date window at 3 o’clock will keep you diving on time. Add to that the screw-down crown for added water resistance, and you have yourself a tangerine dream!

12. Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK005K1

Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK005K1

Did you think we could finish this list without at least one more offering from Seiko? We think not. The SSK005K1 is yet another workhorse dive watch from the legendary Japanese brand. This one has attractive round indices with a large inverted triangle at the 12 o’clock position. All have a lot of lume, and they look great next to the slightly reflective orange dial. 

The watch has an automatic Seiko movement with a GMT function. That means you can track a second time zone without doing calculations in your head. It also has a 24-hour rotating bezel and a Hardlex crystal. It also has an amazing jubilee-style bracelet for a little extra pizazz.

13. Citizen Automatic NJ0128-80

Citizen Automatic NJ0128-80

Citizen is another Japanese brand that offers solid watches at a reasonable price. This orange dial and bezel watch show why they’ve become so popular. It includes 100 meters of water resistance, a size of 43mm, a legible date window, and stainless steel construction. The screw down crown ensures the highest level of pressurization and water resistance. This one gives you a lot of orange bang for your buck.

14. Seiko Turtle “Nemo” SRPC95K1

Seiko Turtle "Nemo" SRPC95K1

Seiko Prospex watches were developed with ocean exploration in mind, and this watch will definitely make you want to explore. It has a day date function, navy and orange unidirectional dive bezel, applied indices, a screw-down crown, and 200 meters of water resistance.

It’s a special edition watch and incorporates the iconic and durable Seiko turtle case that is sturdy and solid. This watch’s nickname is “The Nemo”, and one look at the orange stunner will have you understand why.

15. Edox Skydiver Neptunian Orange

Edox is a brand that’s known for making well-built and durable watches. This one has a beautiful gradient orange dial and a well-finished dive bezel. The handset is well-designed and easy to read, and the rubber bracelet is flexible and comfortable.

It has a substantial size at 44mm, a mind-blowing 1000 meters of water resistance, and it’s as cool looking as all get out! If you want a slightly more substantial orange dial watch on your wrist, grab this one while it’s still available.

Conclusion

Choosing a watch is never a simple, straightforward task, especially for those with the collecting bug. But if you can take our advice, you’ll surely be on the right track. No matter which orange dial watch you choose, be sure that it meets or exceeds all of your most basic criteria. Above all, just enjoy whatever you choose. Wearing an orange dial watch should be a fun experience, so just don’t get yourself bogged down in all the juicy details.

best mechanical watches

Mechanical watches are timepieces that utilize non-electronic means of keeping the time. Just about any watch that isn’t quartz (save for Grand Seiko, but more on that later) is considered a mechanical watch. While the original mechanical watches were all hand-wound, the technology eventually advanced to the point where self-winding or automatic watches became the standard. 

While mechanical watches aren’t necessarily the most high-tech timepieces on the market, there’s just something special about that analog feel you get with a traditional mechanical watch. That’s why the luxury watch market is mostly comprised of mechanical watches rather than quartz watches.

What Is a Mechanical Watch?

Mechanical watches utilize a mainspring which is wound to release that energy in short bursts, using gears to keep accurate time. Even though the first mechanical watches had to be wound by hand in order to keep time, the development of automatic watches allowed for a rotor that spins using the movement of your hand to continuously wind the mainspring.

There’s beauty, and some might even say romance, to the inner and outer workings of a mechanical watch. A mechanical watch releases energy in small quick bursts, which allows the second hand to sweep somewhat smoothly across the dial. This is a pleasing sight to most watch collectors and something that a quartz watch simply can’t replicate.

In the late 1960’s Japanese watchmakers developed the quartz movement, which allowed for a battery to send an electrical signal through a quartz crystal, which would regulate the time. It was more accurate than most mechanical watches and never needed to be wound. 

The main disadvantage to quartz was that you had to continually change the battery. However, to some watch collectors, quartz is too clinical and cold. They prefer the mechanical heartbeat of a hand-wound or automatic watch, and quartz just can’t scratch that itch.

The most obvious external difference between a mechanical watch and a quartz watch is the second hand. As stated above, mechanical watches tend to have a smooth sweep of the second hand

On the other hand, quartz watches tick one second at a time, which is manifested in a slowly ticking second hand across the dial. While it doesn’t have an impact on the accuracy of the watch, it’s something that’s just not as pleasing to many collectors as that smooth mechanical sweep.

Types of Mechanical Watches

Hand-wound mechanical watches are just as they sound, wound by hand. These were the first mechanical watches that were available. Every day or two, a hand-wound mechanical watch must have its crown rotated.

This builds up the energy in the mainspring, which gets released throughout the day, allowing the timepiece to keep accurate time. Later, watchmakers and engineers developed the automatic movement. While this movement works in essentially the same way as a hand-wound one, there’s a single difference.

Rather than requiring the crown to be rotated, the watch has an internal weighted rotor. The rotor spins around whenever the user walks or moves their hands, winding the mainspring. This allows for a more user-friendly and less labor-intensive experience for the wearer.

The Best Mechanical Watches

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 20 best mechanical watches at every price level. Because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the joy of having a mechanical watch on your wrist just because of the cost. Read on to see the best options at every price point, and you’re sure to find at least one that meets your needs.

Seiko SRPD55

Seiko SRPD55

Seiko is known for having high-quality watches at nearly every price point, so it’s fitting that we start our list with this classic Seiko option. The SRPD55 comes from the vaunted Seiko 5 collection of steel sports watches. It has a diameter of 42.5mm, making it both comfortable and legible. 

It also includes an automatic Seiko movement with a 41-hour power reserve, a unidirectional rotating dive bezel, and a tri-fold clasp. To top it off, the SRPD utilizes Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite lume and Hardlex crystal, offering a whole lot of bang for your buck. Wear this beauty out in the water, and you’ll likely garner as much respect as those wearing a Rolex Submariner. 

This watch is priced at $295.

Seagull 1963

Seagull 1963

Seagull is a brand with an interesting history. Initially conceptualized by the Chinese government in the mid-20th century, Seagull was first created to create high-quality watches for the Chinese military. This model, ref. 6345G-2901 is a reimagining of their original 1963 hand-wound chronograph manufactured for the Chinese Air Force. 

The movement is a Seagull ST21, based on the classic Venus hand-wound movement. When Swiss company Venus needed to sell all their old movement-making equipment, the Chinese government purchased it and installed it in their factory.

The watch comes with a classically-sized 38mm case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, 21,600 VPH, and a 45-hour power reserve when fully wound. This is an affordable watch with looks, heritage, and functionality, all for less than $400.

This watch is priced at approximately $400.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

When it comes to legendary field watches, few models are more respected than the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical. This particular model, ref. H69439931 comes with a traditional case size of 38mm, the Hamilton H-50 hand-wound movement, and availability on a steel bracelet or fabric nato strap. 

This watch is all about braving the great outdoors and getting home safely. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical has a loyal following, even among those who collect watches in the tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a dependable workhorse and one with real heritage and history. And it comes at a great price to boot, so what are you waiting for?

This watch is priced at $575.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Blue Dial

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Blue Dial

The Tissot PRX, ref. T137.407.11.041.00 is a watch that was released using inspiration from one of their earlier models from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Utilizing a slim integrated bracelet and modern case design, the PRX quickly became a “must-have” throughout the greater watch community. 

It utilizes Tissot’s famed Powermatic 80 automatic movement that boasts a whopping 80-hour power reserve. The case measures 40mm in diameter and includes a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a display case back, and a beautiful textured dial.

If you want to be in with the cool watch crowd but don’t want to spend thousands, then the PRX is the way to go. It also comes in a black and a gorgeous deep green dial variant. 

This watch is priced at $675.

Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko is a giant in the world of watches at almost every level. This solid diver that can be found for less than $1000 is the perfect example of why the Japanese brand is so revered. It has a perfect diameter of 40.5mm, 200m of water resistance, a 24-jewel Seiko automatic movement, and a full 70 hours of power reserve. Unlike many other Seiko divers, this one comes with a solid sapphire crystal rather than Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex, making it even more durable for those long days in the water.

This watch is priced at $575.

Longines Flagship Heritage 

Longines Flagship Heritage

Longines is a legacy Swiss brand that offers something for just about anyone in the watch world. With their Flagship Heritage models, they went back to their roots and delivered a classic dress watch.

Offered in silver and black dial models, this (ref.L47954782) 38.5mm stunner has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a small seconds function, a 6 o’clock date window, and an automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve. This gorgeous watch is perfect for a night out on the town or a day at the office. 

This watch is priced at $1200.

Oris Aquis Caliber 400

Oris Aquis Caliber 400

Oris creates some of the best mid-range dive watches on the market. The foundation of their dive watch line, with good reason, is the Aquis Caliber 400 (ref. 01 400 7763 4135.) Available in a few different colors, the Aquis Caliber 400 comes in a sturdy 43.5mm case.

It’s also available in a slightly less expensive option, with a third-party movement. This one has all the bells and whistles of a luxury dive watch, including a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a self-winding automatic movement, and a gorgeous ceramic bezel insert.

But the Aquis isn’t just another pretty face (although it has that too). You get a depth rating of 300 meters, so this is a real diver that can take a whole lot of wear and tear in the water.

This watch is priced at $3700.

Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400

Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400

While Oris may be best known for their dive watches, their pilot watches are almost as popular. The Pro Pilot X is a gorgeous line incorporating Oris’ heritage of pilot’s watches with modern design and materials. The beautiful textured outer bezel gives the watch dimension, while the dial is all about refinement and simplicity, also offering a date window at 6 o’clock. 

The case and the bracelet are both made from lightweight titanium, making this one of the most comfortable watches you’ll ever own. It also has a power reserve of 120 hours, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a screw-down crown which helps the watch offer a water resistance of 100 meters. While this blue variation (ref.  01 400 7778 7155-07 7 20 01TLC) is lovely, it also comes in gray or bright salmon colors.

This watch is priced at $4300.

Tudor Black Bay 58

Tudor Black Bay 58

What can we say about the Tudor Black Bay 58 (ref.M79030N-0001) that hasn’t already been said? It has a diameter of 39mm, a sapphire crystal, snowflake hands, a 70-hour power reserve, and a screw-down crown with 200 meters of water resistance.

The design of the case and the dial go back to the days of vintage Rolex and Tudor divers, and the smaller case size takes those similarities even further. 

The watch’s name was derived from the first-ever Tudor dive watch. It’s an example of how going back to what made a brand great in the first place can take them even further. The Tudor Black Bay 58 just might be the perfect dive watch for anyone. 

This watch is priced at $4300.

IWC Mark XX

IWC Mark XX

IWC made a name for themselves by creating legendary pilot’s watches. The famed Schaffhausen watchmaker has created some of the most iconic timepieces of the past century, and the Mark XX (ref. IW328204) lives up to that standard.

IWC is one of the most underappreciated brands in the Swiss watch market, especially in terms of its value proposition. With its straightforward pilot dial design and gorgeous blue color, this watch is just as impressive at a fancy dinner party as it is in the cockpit.

It has a moderate width of 40mm but a surprisingly svelte height of just 10.8mm, making it fit perfectly under a cuff. The three o’clock date window and automatic movement with 120 hours of power reserve make this model fly out of boutiques, so get one while you still can.

This watch is priced at $3950.

Grand Seiko SBGA211

Grand Seiko SBGA211

Grand Seiko is all about beauty and precision. The SBGA211 offers all that and more. Starting with perhaps the best thing about this watch, it’s powered by Seiko’s patented Spring Drive movement. The Spring Drive is a mechanical movement that uses a quartz crystal to regulate timekeeping. 

This means it has the best of both worlds, combining the romance of mechanical watchmaking with the technical superiority of quartz technology. That gives it an accuracy of plus or minus one second per day.

It also has a power reserve display and one of the most stunning textured dials you’ll find anywhere. Add to that a lightweight titanium case and 100 meters of water resistance, and you might never need to own another watch again.

This watch is priced at $6200.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

The Omega Seamaster range offers a real dive watch for real divers. That’s not to say that everyone else can’t enjoy it just as much. This gorgeous blue dial watch (ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001) has the signature Seamaster wave pattern, a 42mm case size, the Omega caliber 8800 movement, with George Daniels’ famed coaxial escapement, and 300 meters of water resistance. 

On top of all that, the AR-coated sapphire crystal will stay pristine for years, and the comfortable steel bracelet will make you forget that you’re even wearing a watch, even in the harsh sea elements. In addition to the standard Seamaster Diver 300M, the Seamaster Aqua Terra is a great alternative for those who want all of the technical benefits of a dive watch but prefer a more simple and dressy look. After all, the Seamaster Diver 300M and the Aqua Terra were good enough for James Bond, so they should be good enough for you!

This watch is priced at $5600.

Omega Speedmaster Professional

Omega Speedmaster Professional

We love this watch to the moon and back, as did the astronauts. The Speedmaster Professional (ref. 310.30.42.50.01.002) is one of the most widely recognized watches in the world, mainly because it left this world on a rocket ship.

The iconic chronograph is one of the most robust and accurate timepieces available on the market. The standard Speedmaster Professional model has a hand-wound in-house chronograph movement and a diameter of 42mm but wears closer to 40mm or 41mm because of the tachymeter that runs around the outside. 

The dial is monochromatic and highly legible, making for the perfect tool watch for all of your timekeeping needs. If you’re a history buff and appreciate beautiful watches, then the Speedmaster Professional has everything you’ll ever want in a watch.

For those who really want to own a piece of history, the famed Omega 321 movement Speedmaster might be worth buying. This is the same as the standard Speedmaster Professional, but the movement is almost identical to the one that was in the very first Speedmaster “moon watch”.

This watch is priced at $7600.

Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date

Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date

Glashütte Original is a German watch brand that’s known for its classic styling and impressive attention to detail. The Sixties Panorama Date (ref. 2-39-47-06-02-04) is a great dress or casual watch, depending on how you style it. The bright blue sunburst dial is joyful and bold, and the vintage-style roman numerals and stick indices are pure class. 

The watch features a diameter of 42mm, a beautifully branded tang buckle clasp, 40 hours of power reserve, and a domed sapphire crystal. It also includes a convenient date window just above the six o’clock position, a function that most people use even more than they ever expected.

This watch is priced at $8000.

Rolex GMT Master II

Rolex GMT Master II

Rolex is perhaps the most widely-known watch brand in the world. And the GMT Master II (ref. 126710BLRO) is just one of the reasons that the brand is so popular. GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time. This watch allows you to track three time zones simultaneously, using an additional GMT hour hand and a rotating 24-hour bezel. 

The 100 meters of water resistance and convenient 40mm size make it a great everyday watch. The iconic red and blue “Pepsi” bezel makes this watch an absolute stunner that’s sure to inspire plenty of second looks. It’s one of the most iconic watches of all time and one that watch connoisseurs love all over the world.

This watch has an MSRP of $10700.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

If Rolex is the most famous watch brand in the world, then the Daytona (ref. 116500LN) just might be the most famous watch in the world. This gorgeous slim chronograph has been worn on the wrist of racing legends and movie stars alike. In the case of the “Paul Newman” Daytona, those two people are one and the same.

The watch has a diminutive profile at 40mm but a huge historical presence. The tri-compax design is appealing to the eye but not too flashy.

It has 100 meters of water resistance due to the screw-down crown and pushers, an uncommon feature for chronographs. The black and silver monochromatic design is stunning in the light, and the watch goes with almost any type of dress, casual to formal.

This watch has an MSRP of $14800.

Hublot Big Bang Black Magic

Hublot Big Bang Black Magic

Hublot has gained popularity in recent years for its bold design language and sense of fun. The Big Bang Black Magic (301.CM.130.RX) has plenty of both. With a substantial size of 44mm, this watch makes a statement. The black riveted bezel and rubber strap complement the functional and highly legible chronograph dial. 

It has an automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and 100 meters of water resistance. This watch is tough and durable, and it looks the part. 

This watch is priced at approximately $16000.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas

Vacheron Constantin Overseas

Vacheron Constantin is one of the “Holy Trinity”, as it’s called in watchmaking. It’s a legacy brand respected for its attention to detail and beautiful dials. When looking at this Overseas model (ref. 4500V/110A-B128), it’s no surprise.

The bright blue dial mimics the color of the ocean at different times of day, and the 41mm case size is perfect for everyday use. The watch has a water resistance of 150 meters and an AR-coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, so it’s much more than just another pretty face. 

This watch has an MSRP of $22500.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Another “Holy Trinity” brand, Audemars Piguet, has a virtual gold mine when it comes to their Royal Oak model (ref. 15202). Designed by legendary watch designer Gerald Genta, this 1970s-era sports model has captured the imagination of watch lovers the world over. It has a diameter of 39mm but wears much larger. 

The stylish integrated bracelet design has been copied by hundreds of other watch brands, and with good reason. It’s a stunning look on the wrist and one that is not easily ignored. The dial is no slouch, either. The gray-blue color with the “Petite Tapisserie” texture is subtle but confident. It also has an in-house automatic movement with 40 hours of power reserve and a respectable 50 meters of water resistance. 

This watch has an MSRP of $33200.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Patek Philippe is perhaps the most revered watchmaker of all time. Their watches offer timeless style and undeniable quality. The Nautilus (ref. 5711), similar to the AP Royal Oak, is a classic 1970s sports watch design that will likely never go out of style. 

The geometrically shaped case and striped dial design are instantly recognizable, and it has real sports watch pedigree as well. The steel construction, automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve, sapphire crystal, and 100 meters of water resistance make the Nautilus a giant among watches.

This watch has an MSRP of $34800.

Conclusion

Mechanical watches are a true beauty to observe due to their intricate moving parts. Thankfully, there are several options for watch enthusiasts to enjoy these engineering marvels across all budgets

I hope this list of the 20 best mechanical watches sparked an interest in starting your own mechanical watch collection. If you do, consider shopping at Exquisite Timepieces. We have a huge selection of affordable and luxury mechanical watches, and our team of experts is always available to help you choose the best one!

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