Rip Curl Ultimate Titanium World Tide Watch
BEST FOR: Surfing
Ultimate is no exaggeration here. Most tide watches come programmed with info on 200 beaches. The Titanium shows ideal tides, wave size, and wind direction for 500 (and you can input more)—15 years into the future. Titanium refers to the case, which is lightweight and impervious to corrosion.
Highgear Axis-XT Watch
BEST FOR: Hiking and Mountaineering
Sick of watches with endless functions hidden inside a labyrinth of menus accessed by too many buttons? Highgear brings back elegant simplicity with three dedicated buttons for altimeter, barometer and thermometer, and compass. While we’re not sure a watch should be counted on for weather forecasting, the altimeter and compass proved reliable. It also stores altitude logs, has timers and alarms, and is water resistant to 160 feet.
Luminox Recon Nav SPC Watch
BEST FOR: Route Finding
The Nav SPC’s carbon-reinforced case contains a tachymeter (the scale on the bezel that allows you to quickly determine how fast you’re walking) and a dive gauge, and a removable compass sits on top of the rubber strap, with scales for map reading. Will you really use all that stuff? Maybe. Is it a high-quality, sweet-looking timepiece? Affirmative.
Timex Ironman Run Trainer 2.0 Watch
BEST FOR: Running
It may not be as sturdily constructed or as intuitive to use as higher-end GPS watches costing twice as much, but we’re thrilled to see GPS technology dropping to almost $200. The new Run Trainer has a much nicer readout than the 1.0 version, with hydration reminders and vibrating alerts, plus an optional heart-rate strap ($50). What really matters, though, is accuracy, and, click for click, it was as precise as any GPS watch we’ve tested.