We’ve discussed sport watches and dive watches in fairly great detail, but this time we’re going to focus on great watches that are ideal for summer living at the beach.
Whether you spend your summers at a historic family cabin in Cape Cod or on the wet and wild beaches of Miami, these watches are sure to keep up with you wherever you are. Some are water resistant, others are not, but what they have in common is they’re all perfect for the casual summer months when your biggest concern is ‘do I want one or two marshmallows in my smore?’
Daniel Wellington Classic Canterbury – $195
NATO straps are all the rage come summer and this watch is based around the strap with inspiration from the American flag. A perfect 4th of July fashion statement, Daniel Wellington has amassed a following by the preppy crowds and southern gentlemen. Normally I am strongly against gold plating and tone, but a summer watch isn’t intended to last generations. For $195 you’ll be happy if it lasts a couple of seasons with daily wear. Let’s face it; you may work at a desk year round but come summer holidays you’re on a boat, frolicking in the sand and chopping wood for the bonfire at night. This is not the time to wear a Patek Philippe, no matter how good it might look.
This incredibly thin, minimalistic face is a perfect testament to the classic preppy fashions we know and love in the summer months. Pair it with your Raybans and Kiel James Patrick anchor bracelet and you’ll be ready to go. Plus, all the straps are interchangeable so you can easily throw it on a black leather strap to make it the perfect dress watch for dinner at the club. Click here to buy one.
Timex Weekender Central Park – Approx. $30+
Another classic look that you won’t mind playing tennis with, the Timex Weekender is designed for just that: weekends. From canvas to repp style straps, the Weekender is a great daily wear watch for the summer and one you really won’t care if it gets scratched. Click here to get yours today.
Bell & Ross Vintage – Approx. $2500
If you’re looking for a simple but distinctive timepiece, the vintage line by Bell & Ross is worth consideration. By no means an exemplary watch, it’s still good enough to hang with the Rolex crowds at the country club, but one that tells a story in a sea of Submariners. Inspired by aviation, the Bell & Ross will help you stand out but give you the piece of mind of having a well crafted watch that’s ideal for a more casual appearance. Click here for yours.
NOMOS Tangente – Approx. $2200
You may remember the Tangente from my in-depth review last year. If you’re looking for a classic dress watch that works well at the club clam bake but without the worry of wearing a $50,000 Vacheron Constantin, the Tangente might be a suitable choice. Well respected in the world of horology, NOMOS is an exceptional company that produces fine timepieces at a low price point. If you’re hell bent on bringing a luxury timepiece to the cabin consider this one.
Breitling Superocean 42 Abyss – Approx. $2500+
If you spend your time diving and you want to leave the $10,000 Rolex at home, consider this relatively inexpensive dive watch from Breitling. With a depth range of 5000ft, this is a watch that can take a beating. Backed by the iconic aviation name it’s a sure fire way to keep a luxury sports watch on your wrist without the fear of losing it or damaging it playing football in the sand. Click here to buy one in black.
Casio G-Shock – Approx. $30+
No one wants to pack the house to go to the beach and if you rent a cabin or only use your summer home for a few months of the year, chances are you’re forgetting your alarm clock and other devices at home. Granted you could use your smartphone but on the chance you decide to do a canoe trip or camp outside, no one wants to risk damage or have the battery die when you need to be up early in the morning. With a Casio G-Shock you’re basically getting a workhorse of a digital watch for the price of a few Big Mac meals at McDonalds. Water resistant, shock resistant and able to help you time CPR on the kid that got bit by the shark, the G-Shock is a watch with every function you could possibly need on vacation. Click here to get one.
Seiko Prospex SSC017 Solar Chronograph Diver – Approx. $375
Seiko watches are well liked by the casual watch wearer and the connoisseur alike. While I wouldn’t go diving with this watch, it is a great chronograph for the beach in a fun summer color scheme. The best part though is that it’s a solar watch and so long as you’re spending time in the sun, you’ll never have to worry about the battery dying on you. For under $200 this is a steal of a watch and one that will give you just about everything you look for in a classically inspired dive watch that I probably wouldn’t swim past the first buoy with. Click here to get one from Amazon.
Rolex Datejust – Approx. $6000+
If you’re dead-set on having to fit in at the club, we all know that the most common watch worn is a Rolex. While I don’t recommend spending over $5000 on a watch you’re wearing in the worst possible elements, if you’re going to wear any Rolex to the annual summer kickoff, the Datejust is a great pick. It may not be a $10,000+ Submariner or Daytona but it’s a Rolex and it’s well made. It’s also smaller than many of its counterparts and beats the sleeve test we often look for when wearing a blazer or sports jacket. Leave the gold Submariner at home and bring its smaller brother. Just don’t go diving in it.
Nautica Men’s N14555G NST Chronograph Watch – $90
Another low priced prize, Nautica is well known for its nautically inspired apparel and accessories. Well made and worth every penny, this under $100 watch is a great pick for someone seeking a basic diving watch that’s ideal for getting banged up repairing the deck stairs at your cottage. Don’t be afraid to play rough with this watch. Click here to buy it.
It’s never a wise idea to spend thousands of dollars on a watch that’s going to be exposed to harsh environments. Factor in outdoor activities, sand, water and other joys of summer and wearing a $10,000 dive watch seems like a great waste of money. Don’t get me wrong, if you read my articles, you know I love some of the finest timepieces in the world, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to wear a Breguet to the beach. Sure, it never hurts to pack a few timepieces, one of which could be more expensive, but be sure to only wear the finer watches for limited times during the right occasion. Leave it off the wrist if you don’t know your plans or are going to be active in unknown elements that may not favor that watch. What’s your favorite watch to wear during the summer? Do you have a beach watch that only sees the light of day at the cabin?