I don’t wear a wrist watch — years of working and hobbies in which items on the wrist or hands is dangerous killed that habit. However, I still kept a digital watch because I need the time, stopwatch, and timer functions. I stumbled onto this kids’ watch for $12. It has all the features you would expect from a digital watch: time, alarm, timer, illumination, and water resistance to 50m.
My first one lasted 4 years before the spring on the clip failed. The timekeeping functions still works fine, so its now my gym watch. I replaced it with the identical model. I wear it on my belt loop most days, if I am out hiking with a pack I clip it onto the shoulder strap. As for the broken one, I will either carry it or use a silicone band to keep it on my water bottle.
It seems to usually be found online for about $20 which still puts it a half to a third of similar watches. It may not be stylish, but it is a nice durable utilitarian watch.
I have owned a Skagen watch for almost a decade. I grew up on bulky cheap utilitarian watches (which I still own & use while doing work around the house or while camping) and always thought that most fancy watches were boring, heavy and identical. Until I picked up a Skagen.
Skagen watches are sleek, durable and completely different from anything else on the market. The case of my watch is less than 8mm thick. It doesn’t even feel like I’m wearing a watch. They come in various colors, metals & different dial designs. The titanium band coupled with the thinness of their watches is what really sets them apart.
The titanium band takes a little getting used to. It doesn’t flex or grab your arm hair like your grandfather’s watch. Instead you set the length for the clasp by sliding the catch mechanism and locking it in place via a slick hidden lock under the latch. Once you get the length set, you’ll never have to readjust a thing.
Occasionally when I forget to grab my cheap watch, I have snagged and torn the titanium band apart (like separating links of chain mail). For $30 Skagen has sent me a new band pretty quickly. Once, I dropped my watch on it’s face and destroyed the glass. Again for a $30 repair fee, instead of replacing the glass, they sent me a brand new watch. When they say lifetime warranty, they back it up.
If you’re looking for a slick thin timepiece, check out Skagen. You’ll receive more compliments & questions about where to buy one than you can shake your old Casio at.
I’ve owned a Casio Pathfinder Solar Atomic series watch for about 5 years. The best things about it: 1) it’s solar powered (I don’t like replacing batteries) and 2) it’s linked to an atomic clock.
I only have to change the time zone when I travel, which can be done at the push of a button.
It’s waterproof and does the things most digital watches do (alarms, stopwatch, etc.). It also has a compass, barometer, altimeter, and thermometer, all of which get used when I go backpacking. The compass gets used the most. The barometer is good for predicting weather changes.
I have one small gripe about this watch. It recently needed to be repaired because it displayed “OPEN” on the front. A metal plate inside had shifted. I was able to fix it easily with a PH000 screwdriver.
Its a very tough watch that has been through a lot. After 5 years I still enjoy it immensely.
[Alastair Ong reviewed the similar Protrek Solar Watch in 2008. -- Mark Frauenfelder]