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Customer Discussions > Watches forum

What's the toughest watch?

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Showing 1-25 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2012 9:14:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2012 9:14:55 AM PDT
Stone Dog says:
I ask the question: What is the toughest watch or watches? I am not referring to long-term dependability, but to the ability to absorb the most punishment in the form of impacts, bumps, dings or to quote John Cameron Swayze "takes a licking and keeps on ticking." I used to see or hear the phrase "shock resistant" more often (or so it seems to me) than I do anymore.

Secondarily, what is it that makes a watch tough?

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 9:39:38 AM PDT
Casio G-Shock enjoys an excellent reputation. It seems to be the watch of choice in the US military right now.

What makes it tough - the outer casing and the movement mounts, what cushions the inside bits from slamming around. Of course, decent manufacturing standards throughout the watch make a big difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 10:56:43 AM PDT
Ditto, but it also makes a difference as to whether it is quartz or mechanical. Mechanical, then many good brands of diving watches are exceptionally rugged. LP

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 3:33:47 PM PDT
GRiM says:
The G-Shocks are definitely tough cookies. Of course, it helps that they are mostly solid state without a lot of fiddly mechanical bits inside.

For a mechanical, maybe Sinn? In addition to Van's points, a thick crystal, soft iron core for anti-magnetic properties...

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 3:39:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2012 3:41:51 PM PDT
GRiM says:
On this subject, I was recently reading a review of Luminox watches and the reviewer pointed out that Luminox's FAQ advises against wearing their watches while playing contact sports, diving, or experiencing significant temperature shifts (such as going into cold water). That seems like an odd caution for a company that brands some of its watches as Navy SEALs timepieces.

Refer to the second paragraph under the "What does water resistant mean" FAQ:

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 7:02:49 PM PDT
Damasko is another option for someone looking for a hard use mechanical watch. Some interesting innovations in materials, but not quite in the same league with Sinn.

Damasko and Sinn raise the issue of magnetic resistance, hence the soft iron shell around the movement. Usually not an issue, but for machinery operators (like tank crews in WWII), it can be.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 9:15:04 PM PDT
I remember when I did the initial tests for becoming a SEAL on Guam. Wore my Seiko 150M WR Seiko. Did just fine. It does seem strange that a watch that purports itself to be SEAL tough is only suitable for dish washing.

For those that do not know the story. No, I did not become a SEAL. They wanted me to extend my service 19 months and I just wanted out at that time; something that I have long regretted. LP

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 9:19:30 PM PDT
GRiM says:
Didn't know that, LP. Their loss is our gain - they probably would've beaten some sense into you and you wouldn't spend all your time posting on watch forums. ;-)

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 9:47:52 PM PDT
Stone Dog says:
So...the digital G-shock seems to be the only choice for those "shocked" by too many digits to the left of the decimal point as seems to be the case for the Sinn and the Damasko, right?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 11:27:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2012 11:30:14 PM PDT
GRiM says:
JAG, I don't think I'd say it's the "only" choice. For example, in looking at the Luminox I came across this Armourlite which seems pretty robust and doesn't have as many zeros in the price as the Sinn:

ISOBrite T100 Super Bright 200m Dive Watch By ArmourLite

For that matter, I've abused my $150 Seiko perpetual titanium quite a bit, and it's held up just fine.

But the G-Shock is very tough - probably hard to find anything tougher, certainly in that price range. Also, there are ana-digital versions of the G-Shock (basic timekeeping is analog, with digital functions):

Casio Men's G300-3AV G-Shock Analog-Digital Black Street Rider Watch

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 11:38:03 PM PDT
GRiM says:
JAG, also, extensive discussion here:

The G-Shock does seem to be the consensus view there as well, although there are a number of votes for Damasko (and a few others).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 7:18:47 AM PDT
That ArmourLite is one cool watch, GRiM. Had never seen one of those before. Reminds me a bit of the DOXA. Must admit that I like the size, too (should come as no surprise, lol). Good find, bud. LP

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 8:02:09 AM PDT
GRiM says:
My oldest son wants an Armourlite. Oddly, my wife is inclined to let him have one for his birthday, whereas she wouldn't let me get a watch with tritium. I suppose there are two possibilities:

1) She sees a tremendous commercial opportunity if the radiation turns him into a superhero and she can be his manager; or
2) She just didn't want me to get another watch.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 8:53:29 AM PDT
Stone Dog says:
The Armourlite watch does look interesting. As an aside, one review mentioned the lack of a screw-down crown though the water-resistance is stated to be 200m. Is a screw-down crown necessary or are there other methods used by manufacturers to accomplish the same task of keeping moisture out?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 9:37:21 AM PDT
David Wolfe says:
JAG may appreciate this discussion of different methods of water resistance, comparing screwdown to non-screwdown on WUS:

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 9:51:39 AM PDT
JAG, REACTOR makes an LP, weapons grade watch too. Heavy as heck, a little more expensive than G-Shock, but not in the Sinn/Damasko range. My teenage son, who has broken several watches in days, has been able to wear one of these for a couple of years now. And the Seiko Orange Monster stands up to a lot.

Not as common as G-Shock, but I suspect as durable.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 5:01:45 PM PDT
Good call on the REACTOR, Van. I had forgotten about that line, and it is tough.

JAG, the first diving watches did not have screw down crowns (Rolex, Omega, BP, etc.) Screw down crowns did not become prevalent until the 1960s, if I remember correctly. LP

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 8:54:52 PM PDT
Stone Dog says:
Thanks to all for the very interesting and helpful info!

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 12:45:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2012 12:51:21 PM PDT
cactus says:
i changed my name.
g shock is pretty much the toughest watch your going to find. especially when it comes to analog. the hands stay on and they don't slip.
there have been other brands that claim to be as tough but i have never seen evidence of any brand being tougher.
i work on watches all of the time (mostly to customize them) and i find that the g's are pretty well built- especially when you factor in the price of the most common models. the attention to detail is pretty darn good, too.
they maintain great w.r. even with the button factor. that's gotta be hard to do.
the plastic may rot after many years but it can be replaced.
later-tony (sirweldsalot)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2012 4:09:56 PM PDT
Having just read this again I must confess to making a mistake. I was thinking crown guards, not screw down crowns. The earliest divers did not have crown guards. Those came in the 60s. I'm assuming that they did have either screw down crowns from the beginning or some type of seal system. Will have to remember to look that up. Sorry for the misinformation --- was thinking crown guards, but went with screw down. LP

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 12:46:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2012 12:55:58 PM PDT
cactus says:
i.m.o., the crown seal seems to be mainly the o-ring that is on the shaft itself. having a screw-down crown adds another (and in most cases unneeded) layer of protection. with the screw down, you have 2 more seals (the cap and threads) and you also have the fact that the crown is immobilized.
the reason i say that it is possibly unneeded is because you have tons of digital divers with many case penetrations (buttons,in this case) that are free floating.
this is why when i see that someone questions the water resistance of a watch because the crown isn't screw down (extra insurance, a great plus) i have to ask "really?...why? you only have one case penetration."
crown guards? i.m.h.o. it's an obvious huge plus when you are factoring toughness.
be mindful that this whole post is nothing more than a brain fart that i am having and i love the screw down simply because of the "stay put" factor but i just don't see it as a deal killer when it comes to w.r. unless the quality of the timepiece is bad as a whole.

btw- this is my long-winded way of agreeing with you lol!
once again....just putting it out there.

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 1:38:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2012 1:40:16 PM PDT
David Wolfe says:
..I'll jump in here briefly just to agree that the G-shock is not only the toughest watch out there, but for all practical purposes, probably the best value out there overall......for around $70 bucks on a deal site, my son and I both purchased this G-shock atomic tough solar (linked below) looks good, resets up to four times a day to maintain perfect accuracy, will last for many years without a battery or maintenance, you can dive with it, or operate a jackhammer with's tough, but still looks good enough to wear with a suit....amazing.. and though my son wears his all the time, I never wear mine...I just hate digital...sorry, can't get around it....maybe if I had gotten the ana-digi model instead...but for ultimate toughness, and resistence to moving parts (like hands) falling off, you have to go full digital....very tough, very accurate, basically maintenance free.....I wanted it for my collection, but I'll never wear it very often...

Casio Men's MTG900DA-8V G-Shock MT-G Atomic Tough Solar Watch

...this one may have been a better choice for me:

Casio Men's AWG100-1A G-Shock Multi-Band Solar Atomic Analog Watch

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2012 3:29:45 PM PDT
GRiM says:
Two of my kids have that latter one, David (one has that exact model, the other a slightly different color scheme). Both are very pleased with it. And not a big investment.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2012 5:31:56 PM PDT
Hey, Cactus! Good to hear from you. The crown seal was devised primarily for an extra added protection. The threading on the crown screw can become worn if used a lot, plus it was also intended to be a safety if the watch inadvertently was submerged without the crown being fully screwed in. Crown guards are indeed a big help in maintaining the functioning of a diver. Underwater, especially when exploring ships (which I have done) and planes (which I have done), potentially tight areas, you can hit the crown with a fairly good whack and damage it. As I mentioned, crown guards did not take hold until sometime in the '60s.

Bell has just come out with an homage of their 1962 diver. They have made it somewhat larger, but retained the unguarded crown. Nice watch, but still small by my standards and while I understand the homage idea it would have been better to have the crown guarded on a 300m WR watch, IMHO.

Keep "putting it out there," bud. Take care. LP

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2012 5:41:16 PM PDT
Will agree that the G-shock is one tough watch, David. But, like you am not a great fan of them for wearing. First, too light. Second, digital.

I have used my divers to chop wood (and I mean double-bladed ax and serious striking) and have never had a hiccup with one of them. Would I do that with a Patek P.? No! In fact, dress watches, while I like the looks of many of them, scare the heck out of me, except for that Cyclos of GRiM's. That one I would love wear chopping wood (lol). LP
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Initial post:  Aug 9, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 11, 2014

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