A watch isn't always just a watch. Sometimes it's a GPS, flashlight, tachymeter, or survival tool. Sometimes it's all those things in one. So whether you're just looking to tell the time or whether you want a do-it-all timepiece that can tell you when to surf, we've got a model for you.
Aulta Leeway Nylon
Newcomer Aulta was hatched by industry vets with a love of surfing. The Leeway has a Japanese quartz movement and a tough 316-L steel case, and survives plunges down to 328 feet. It makes us want to drive our woody up onto the dunes and never leave.
Szanto Pilot 4000
No solar power or tachymeter here—just basic good looks, with a seventies-feeling brown and gold face, a bronze-colored steel case, and a supple stitched-leather band. But the vintage style is matched with high-quality quartz timekeeping. Subdials count up seconds and minutes, if you like to “run track,” as it used to be called.
Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Naimakka Limited Edition
That strap is a piece of Naimakka paracord that can be pulled apart and deployed to, say, tie a splint—and then sent back to Victorinox to be rewoven. The housing is a superstrong steel I.N.O.X. case with removable bumper wraps.
Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster
This tricked-out Casio contains a GPS antenna, and it’s the first watch to use hybrid radio-GPS technology to automatically set the time anywhere on earth. Extras include a solar panel on the face to recharge the battery and an LED that can help you find your way in the dark.
Nixon Moon Raider
This jumbo-dialed (but not too heavy) tide watch is tailor-made for surfers. The screw-down crown is on the left to prevent wrist bite when paddling out, a simple high/low dial keeps you posted on tide status, and an antiglare treatment keeps it visible even in bright sun.
Luminox Recon Team Leader 8840 chronograph
The Recon pays homage to old-school navigation. Will you really use the compass rose, tachymetric scale, or map-reading ruler etched into the band? Probably not. But you’ll love the tough sapphire crystal and lightweight, carbon-reinforced polycarbonate construction. Out late? Illumination on the numbers and hands glows for 25 years.