The Best Watches of 2018
Rugged, refined timepieces for nights out, the depths, and, yes, even space.
Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 ($375)
Luminox took the perennial favorite Navy SEAL model and gave it an update, with a less cluttered dial and the minor flourish of a red second hand. The 3500 is a remarkably tough piece of horology for such a reasonable price; the carbon-compound case is a perfect combination of lightweight and durable, and the luminescent markers will glow for up to 25 years.
Nixon Station Chrono Leather ($250)
Less rugged and waterproof than the others, the Station Chrono compensates with spartan good looks. Its teal face should speak to your outdoorsman’s green pride, and, indeed, Nixon intended this model to mimic the organic shapes of nature. The embossed minute and second subdials, soft leather band, and retro screw-bar lugs support the aesthetic.
Citizen Proximity Eco-Drive ($695)
The Proximity smartwatch doesn’t play at being a fitness tracker. It pairs with your iPhone for call, text, and e-mail alerts, yet no step counting or sleep metrics here. We like it for being smart in the other way: it’s a classically good-looking, tough watch that doesn’t broadcast its digital prowess. It just syncs quietly on its own and powers itself from natural or artificial light.
Grovemade Gold Watch 02 ($199)
With a dial made from American black walnut set into a stainless-steel case coated with 22-karat gold, the Gold Watch 02 has the fine-milled quality of an old bowling alley or chessboard. Grovemade prides itself on handcrafting each piece, and you can tell you’re getting bang for your buck. The ticker boasts precise quartz movement and a beautiful leather strap.
Victorinox INOX Titanium ($625)
Who would test a watch 20 miles up in the stratosphere? The Swiss, of course. But the new edition of the INOX Titanium, which is water-resistant to 200 meters, may be the best watch ever for wearing with a wetsuit, a three-piece suit, or a space suit. It has an understated matte finish on the titanium, echoed by subtle gray and white on the hands and markers.
Aulta Acuatico Automatic ST ($235)
We already liked the surfy vibe of Aulta’s other timepieces, so we’re really digging its first automatic dive watch. With a hard sapphire crystal, the aptly named Acuatico is a burly hunk of stainless steel that can handle a few bangs against boat hulls and survive depths down to 200 meters. Inner sliding weights wind the watch through the motion of your wrist.