A watch is an essential piece of equipment for any explorer, whether you are climbing up mountains, hiking through the jungle or diving around shipwrecks, a watch does more than just tell the time, it can keep you safe too. Check out our favourite mechanical watches by category for scuba diving, mountaineering, paragliding, sailing and skiing.
For most extreme sports, there are a range of strap-on computers to give you every single piece of information you could possibly need to keep you safe, but there is just one hiccup, and that’s the battery. If the battery dies on you, you end up with no information, which means if you are 30 meters under the water without knowing how much air you have left in your tank, or on the top of a mountain and oblivious to a blizzard heading your way, you are going to be in trouble. A mechanical watch is the best backup you can have. Mechanical sports watches also have the additional advantage of looking super cool too so you can wear them when you are out on the town too, impressing everyone with your adventurous style!
And if you aren’t adventurous at all and just like the adventurous look then these watches are definitely going to up your style game!
Dive deep with the Tudor Pelagos
There are so many great mechanical diving watches that it is no easy task to choose one. But there are some features you need to look for, starting with proper water resistance (200 meters is best if you are going to be doing more than just snorkelling – See Everything you need to know about water resistance for details). It is also important that the watch has a uni-directional rotating bezel so that you can monitor time spent under the water and gauge the amount of air you have left. And last but not least, legibility is key, so look for big hands and indexes and a lot of luminescence because your watch will be worthless if you can’t see it!
The Tudor Pelagos ticks all these boxes. It is a great tool watch with a water resistance of 500 meters and a unidirectional bezel in titanium with a ceramic matt blue disc and graduations in white SuperLumiNova. The blue dial contrasts perfectly with the white indexes too for easy reading. The Pelagos also features a helium release valve which is a handy gadget as helium molecules are so small they can sneak through the gasket into your watch at depth. If you don’t release this excess helium, your sapphire crystal could explode in your face, which isn’t pretty for you or your watch!
The watch comes in a 42mm titanium and steel case with a satin finish and a folding clasp with a safety catch in steel with a bracelet extension system (so you can wear it over your wetsuit) developed and patented by Tudor.
Climb to the top of a mountain with Favre-Leuba
Mountaineering is one of the most thrilling, yet dangerous sports, and you certainly can’t joke around when it comes to equipment. Favre-Leuba is the leader in the field with its Raider Bivouac 9000 that can measure altitudes of up to 9,000 meters mechanically. The red central hand indicated the altitude on the bidirectional rotating bezel. The scale is divided into 50-meter steps up to 3,000 meters. Each time the hand makes a full rotation, a small red hand on the subdial at three o’clock clocks the 3,000 meters, while the central hand continues to count, up to three times and 9,000 meters.
The Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9,000 also displays the air pressure in the same subdial at three o’clock on a scale of 1,013 to 300 hPa so explorers can gauge the current weather situation. And last but not least, there is a power reserve indicator on the dial at 12 o’clock so the explorer can see at a glance when he or she needs to wind the watch.
ParaglidING like a bird with Seiko
One handy feature on an adventure watch is a compass, especially when you are trying to find a landing spot from the air while paragliding. The Seiko Prospex Automatic has a rotating compass inner ring to help you get to where you need to be. The watch is also tough and rugged with a screw-in, see-through case back, 200-meter water resistance, a curved Hardlex crystal, Lumibrite on the hands and indexes and a 43mm stainless steel case. The design is spot on too with its black dial and beige numerals and compass points, you will look like a real dare devil!
Sail the oceans with Corum
The Corum Admiral AC-One 45 Tides is one of the most complete sailing watches with a unique automatic movement that includes a tide indicator. The movement was developed together with the Astronomic Observatory of Geneva and the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Services of the French National Navy. It indicates the time of the next high and low tides and the strength of the tides, along with the phases of the moon. The Admiral AC-One 45 Tides comes in a 45mm titanium case and a dial and matching strap in a choice or red or blue.
Ski off piste with Linde Werdelin
Linde Werdelin has totally nailed the extreme sports watch by offering a beautiful mechanical watch to which you can clip on a computerized land instrument that monitors heart rate, temperature, altitude, weather and compass readings for the best of both worlds. The collection is called the Biformeter and even if the instrument dies in freezing conditions, you still have the mechanical watch with a turning bezel so you don’t have to compromise on functionality, precision or design.
So whatever adventures you up to this summer, make sure you are equipped with the right gear and feel free to send us your pictures We would love to see what you are up to and we will publish the best ones.