How do you find the outdoor watch that suits you?

An outdoor watch is indispensable for anyone who likes to go out on weekends or holidays. Because the weather and conditions are always unpredictable, good preparation and equipment is important. Waterproofing, navigation, lighting, what else should you pay attention to? In this blog we have collected tips to find the perfect outdoor watch for you.

What is an outdoor watch?

An outdoor or outdoor sports watch is a watch with functionalities aimed at outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, fishing, etc. Which watch suits you best depends on what exactly you want to do with it. What should you pay attention to when purchasing an outdoor watch?

Tip 1: Prepared for bad weather: pay attention to waterproofness

If you usually only go for a long walk and have good rain gear, a watch that is 5 Bar waterproof is sufficient. But if you are more adventurous, it is wise to choose a watch that is waterproof to at least 10 Bar. After all, you don’t know whether you will unexpectedly end up in a heavy rain shower or have to wade through a stream. Some outdoor watches contain a barometer or weather forecast. This way you are always well prepared before you set off.

Casio WS-1300H-2AVEF
▴ The Casio WS-1300H-2AVEF watch contains a tide table for water sports enthusiasts

Mudmaster GWG-2000 series
▴ The Mudmaster GWG-2000 series is extremely water and mud resistant

In addition to ‘dry’ activities, if you also want to be able to canoe, surf or dive with your watch, we recommend that you look at watches that contain functions for these sports. On our pages about diving watches and water-resistant watches you will find many watches that are suitable for this.

Tip 2: Do you use the outdoor watch in the dark? Pay attention to lighting

It is important that the watch is easy to read. A high contrast between the dial, indexes, numbers and the watch itself contributes to visibility and legibility. In addition, the hands and indexes of many outdoor watches are provided with a luminous layer or luminous tubes for use in the dark. Most digital outdoor watches are equipped with LED lighting.

Luminox watch
▴ Luminox watches contain tritium tubes on the dial that glow in the dark

Garmin Tactix watch
▴ Garmin 010-02704-21 Tactix 7 Pro Ballistics with lighting

Tip 3: Consider in advance which functions you really need on your outdoor watch

How you use the outdoor watch naturally depends on the sport you are going to practice. If you are looking for a watch that mainly tells the time, but must be resistant to impacts and water, a simple waterproof plastic watch may suffice. But if you really want to use the watch for specific activities such as climbing, night walks or cycling, you will probably need more. For example, an altimeter, rangefinder or compass.

Tissot T-Touch watch
▴ The Tissot T-Touch includes an altimeter (altimeter)

Casio Pro Trek PRG-340-3ER
▴ The Casio Pro Trek PRG-340-3ER includes a digital compass and lighting

When you go out with your watch, it goes without saying that it shows the correct time. A radio controlled timepiece that synchronizes with the atomic clock can help with this.

First make a list of what you want the watch to be able to do. With the search filters on our outdoor watches page you can select the watches that contain the functions you are looking for.

Tip 4: The battery of an outdoor watch should last a long time

Good maintenance is especially important for a functional watch. An important factor is how long the watch’s battery lasts.

Quartz watches are powered by a battery. Depending on use, this battery lasts an average of 1.5 to 2 years. When the battery has been replaced and the case has been open, the watch must be tested for water resistance by the watchmaker.

A solar watch is a quartz watch that is charged by solar energy. The battery of this watch usually does not need to be replaced, which means that water resistance can be guaranteed for longer.

Photo Olympic Hiking
▴ The Olympic Hiking is a simple digital quartz watch

G-Shock Rangeman
▴ The solar G-Shock Rangeman is radio controlled and resistant to extremely low temperatures

Tip 5: Is the type and material of watch strap suitable for outdoor activities?

The choice of a particular watch strap material is very personal. Some people find sturdy steel most comfortable to wear, others prefer flexible (silicone) rubber.

Leather straps are less suitable for this type of watch because they cannot withstand moisture well. Many wearers of outdoor watches therefore choose a nylon NATO strap. This is water resistant, easily adjustable in size and comfortable to wear. Moreover, if you get caught on something, this strap will not easily come loose from the watch. The watch must have a straight strap attachment.

Some outdoor watches are also equipped with a strap made of paracord. A very sturdy material that can be used in emergency situations as a fishing line or to start a fire.

Every watch we sell naturally has a corresponding watch strap. But you can always customize the watch completely to your wishes with a different strap. We have a wide range of branded straps and universal watch straps.

Hamilton Khaki Field watch
▴ Hamilton Khaki Field watch with NATO strap

Victorinox INOX watch
▴ Victorinox INOX watch with paracord strap

Tip 6: Navigation via your watch

When you regularly trek off the beaten track, navigation is vital. In that case, choose an outdoor watch that has at least a compass and altimeter. The Outdoor watches from Casio Pro Trek and G-Shock, for example, are equipped with a triple-sensor system that includes a barometer, thermometer and altimeter.

Accurate positioning with GPS

With an outdoor watch with a (Bluetooth) smartphone connection, you can view and save all measured data with the app on your phone. Because the GPS in your phone accurately knows your location on earth, you can also easily measure the distance traveled with this watch.

But the absolute top in the outdoor segment are the specially developed smartwatches with their own GPS. Download route maps, special sports apps (e.g. for golf, equestrian sports, etc.) and save and analyze all your results. You will find many more of these multifunctional watches on our smartwatches page.

Photo Bluetooth watch
▴ Connect your watch to your smartphone via Bluetooth

Garmin smart watch
▴ Garmin smartwatches contain GPS and very extensive sports and outdoor functions

Tip 7: Outdoor watch or smartwatch? What is the best choice?

Smartwatches undoubtedly have a lot of additional advantages over outdoor watches. This way you are always connected, you have the most up-to-date route information and you can collect and read all collected data.

On the other hand, exercising outside is the perfect time to clear your head and seek silence. Really back to nature.

In the table below we have listed the most important advantages of outdoor watches and smartwatches for you

Benefits of smartwatches Advantages of outdoor watches
Internal GPS Strong and lightweight
Current (country) maps Water resistant
Accessibility and notifications Energy efficient
Collect and analyze data Simple(er) to operate
Multi-sport features Lower price

Tip 8: What does it cost? Determine your budget

We sell outdoor watches in different price ranges. How much the watch costs depends on many factors; Use of materials, movement, brand, (extra) functions.

In summary:
Take some time to determine for yourself which features you need and what your budget is. Then you can make a good choice. Can’t figure it out yourself? Our store employees and Customer Service team are ready to answer any questions you may have about outdoor watches.

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