Warmer weather means travel season is right around the corner. What are your upcoming vacation plans? A relaxing beach trip? Backpacking in some foreign destination? Checking off another city on your bucket list? No matter where you go, one item you should always bring with you is a watch. While it may not be the first item to come to mind, a watch is the perfect travel companion. It’s a nice way to dress up a casual dinner outfit and it can keep you from getting timezones mixed up. Depending on what kind of travel you’re planning, here are some travel watches you should consider.
The Best Travel Watches for Your Next Trip
For Summer Adventures
Summer is the time for new experiences, and if you live in the US, there are plenty of adventures right in your backyard (figuratively speaking). Wherever in the world you end up—hiking the Grand Canyon in Arizona or rafting the Nile River—a watch on your wrist is a must.
And, the watch has to be one that can withstand the elements. Our suggestion? A Breiting Emergency. As the world’s first wristwatch to include a frequency distress beacon, the Emergency is truly a one-of-a-kind timepiece. The beacon serves to issues alerts and guides rescuers on search missions, which makes it handy to have if you plan on going off-road. It also has a chronograph, dual time zone, alarm, and luminous hands. The Emergency’s SuperQuartz movement is very accurate and dependable—this watch won’t let you down. So while the chances of anything unfortunate happening during your trip is small, it’s reassuring to know that help isn’t far away.
For a Beach Getaway
Summer days spent by the ocean with a warm breeze and a cold drink…what could be better? With long days spent in the sun, you may want to skip the watch to avoid some weird tan lines (or you might embrace them–to each their own). However, it’s a good idea to pack a watch in your beach bag. That way, you can keep track of time, take it with you during a dip, and wear it to dinner at a beach-side restaurant. The watch you need? Something durable and water resistant, but also casual enough to wear in the evening.
Our suggestion: a Rolex Submariner. It’s durable, able to withstand sand and saltwater. Also, its stainless steel bracelet and case are easy to clean. For a casual night of dinner on the beach, the Submariner is the perfect accessory.
For a Diving Exploration
Tropical adventures bring an opportunity for some serious diving excursions. Scuba diving takes a lot of practice and can only be done with the right equipment: mask, air tank, fins, regulator, and dive watch. A diver performs several useful functions underwater: keeping track of submersion time, optimum legibility, and durable construction. And while dive computers have taken over the necessary duties from the dive watch, it’s nice to have a back-up that won’t disappoint.
We suggest the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean to take with you. Over-sized, with bezel, dial, markers, and hands designed for legibility, the Planet Ocean is an ideal example of a dive watch. And, it has a water resistance of 600m, which is pretty impressive even if you’re not a serious diver. As a travel watch, the Planet Ocean’s casual style makes it pretty versatile, so even if you’re not hitting the depths, you won’t look silly sporting this one on your wrist.
For Skiing the Slopes
Winter travel = skiing. And while in the warmer months, ski destinations are few and far between, there are some resorts that are open year-round. If you’re looking to be active and in the elements, you need clothing and accessories that can handle the weather.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore would be the best travel watch to wear while skiing. The sportier, more modern version of the AP classic Royal Oak is easy to use and pretty good looking to boot. The watch’s dark colors will contrast with the white snow, and it’s a pretty large watch, which makes it easy to operate even while wearing ski gloves.
For Adventures Abroad
There’s never a bad time to visit Europe. Where else can you experience different cultures and cuisines by hopping on an hour-long train ride? If anything, a European adventure calls for practicality and versatility. And a watch definitely needs to be on your must-pack list. Europe spans seven different time zones, so it’s hard to keep track of the time from country to country. A watch that can tell time in multiple time zones (like a GMT or a worldtimer) can be helpful.
A great travel watch to bring on a European trip would be something like the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Geographic. It’s a versatile timepiece that displays everything you need. The Master Geographic displays the current date alongside a second time zone. That’s not counting the indicator at the bottom of the dial that displays the time for major cities around the world.
You deserve a vacation. No matter your destination, be sure to bring a watch along with you on your travels.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 2, 2015. We have updated it for clarity.