The 6 Best Watches of Summer 2012

Wenger Aerograph Cockpit Chrono (Courtesy of Wenger)
Wenger Aerograph Cockpit Chrono

Wenger Aerograph Cockpit Chrono Watch

Wenger goes for a coalition mindset with this NATO Green model. (It’s also available in black.) The stainless-steel body and thick rubber strap give the Cockpit a reassuringly hefty—but not too heavy—feel. And because it’s waterproof to 100 meters, it’s up for just about any adventure.

Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide-Temp-Compass Watch

Timex Intelligence Quartz Tide-Temp-Compass
Timex Intelligence Quartz Tide-Temp-Compass (Courtesy of Timex)

Timex’s new, remarkably well-priced Intelligent Quartz collection brings digital functionality to classic analog quartz design. This one comes with a tide tracker, temperature sensor, and magnetic compass. And, of course, we love that glacier blue Indiglo glow.

Jorg Gray JG5100-31 Watch

Jorg Gray JG5100-31
Jorg Gray JG5100-31 (Courtesy of Jorg Gray)

Not everyone needs a rugged watch. For travel among more civilized company, this water-resistant model with date and 24-hour subdials was our favorite. The simple face is easy to read, and you almost forget you’re wearing the thing: the case seamlessly segues into the most comfortably soft rubber strap we’ve come across.

Luminox Recon Point Man Watch

Luminox Recon Point Man
Luminox Recon Point Man (Courtesy of Luminox)

Designed with hiking and orienteering in mind, the water-resistant Point Man, a collaboration between Luminox and Swiss military instructors, includes a tachy-meter, which allows you to measure how fast you’re walking. Like all Luminox watches, its face continuously glows—no need to press a button after dark—and, like all analog watches, can be used as a rudimentary compass.

Suunto Ambit Watch

Suunto Ambit
Suunto Ambit (Courtesy of Suunto)

Quite simply, this is one of the most useful watches we’ve ever tested. In addition to onboard GPS and a fancy compass, the Ambit uses an accelerometer for even greater accuracy—you’ll feel as though you’ve got an Olympic timekeeper following you into the mountains. Besides being an amazing pace setter, it also displays altitude, barometric pressure, and (with the addition of a $50 strap) heart rate.

The compass in most watches requires you to hold the device level to get an accurate reading. The one in Suunto's Ambit is 3-D, automatically compensating for tilt and allowing you to orient yourself regardless of the angle of your wrist.

MTM Silencer Watch

MTM Silencer
MTM Silencer (Courtesy of MTM)

MTM makes watches for the military. You can tell: the one-piece steel case is tough as nails and has four light modes, one of which will strobe for eight hours if you need to signal for help. And we love the way the four-month battery recharges electromagnetically—all you need to do is place the Silencer atop its charging pad.

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