The best summer job I ever had was leading young men on canoeing trips in Canada. I'd take them out for weeks, even a month at a time. Like my fellow guides, I did my best to keep it simple, old-school. We navigated by map and compass; no electronic gadgets of any kind were allowed. At the start of each trip, I'd make a point of stuffing all the kids' watches into a drybag. I remember saying things like "We'll eat when we're hungry, sleep when we're tired!" But I kept my watch permanently affixed to my wrist via The Band, those foul-smelling nylon-and-Velcro wraparound watch straps. My watch wasn't fancy, but since I didn't have a co-leader, it became my crutch, gently reminding me it was time to get up. Or giving me a better idea of how fast we were paddling. I miss a lot of things about those summers—even (and I have no explanation for this) the godawful stench emanating from that slimy watchband.
Timex Expedition E-Compass
The new Timex Expedition E-Compass ($140; timex.com) is the same staple watch that's been in their line for years--with water resistance to 100 meters--but with a new stainless-steel casing and sleeker design.