In a nutshell: A high-end watch that retails for just under $100 and includes a wide array of outdoor features like a temperature reference, altimeter and barometer along with standard digital day and time duties. Works well for surfing.
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 August, 2017 - Scenes of under-the-lip paddleins at Teahupo’o or hitting the Australian desert for some dry-reef bombs is not how most of us experience surfing. The reality is that most of us will be motoring up to a crowded carpark to find a few waves before work, school or any other variety of pedestrian obligations. So while the surf media will sell you on images of the right board shorts to take you deep into the jungles of Indonesia, most of us need a different set of tools for our unglamorous, but hopefully daily sessions.
Most of us don’t want to show up late to work with salty hair and water draining out of our sinus cavities. Tardiness leads to dirty looks, lost wages or passive aggressive coworker notes. To solve the problem of getting back to reality on time after a surf we took a look at the right tool for this job - a timepiece.
Surfersvillage has recently expanded our product reviews beyond board shorts, wetsuits, cameras and surfboards to include the growing timepiece market. While we have reviewed the Rip Curl GPS watch we will now focus our attention on the Armitron Adventure division’s digital day and date watch. We’ll look at some of its features, test it out in the water and see how well it works for those pre-work sessions (or any other surfing you do that requires keeping track of time).
Widely known in the 1980s for sponsoring American athletes like Larry Bird and Jerry Rice, Armitron is leaving the courts and ball sports for the great outdoors with their adventure division. While not specifically a surf-watch, the watch we tested was designed for use in and around the water.
The digital day and date watch we tested has features that some of us will find extraneous and unnecessary and others will find useful. We won’t go into a review of the standard watch features, as 99% of the watches on the market offer the same time, date, alarm and timer capabilities. instead we’ll take a look at the things that set it apart, mainly the barometer, altimeter and changeable world zones.
Users of this watch can check the barometric pressure by pressing and holding the top right function button. The barometer on the watch will then display current readings. By keeping an eye on these readings you can tell when the weather will change shortly, as a severe drop in the barometer means that rain is on the way.
The altimeter function activates by holding the bottom right button for a couple seconds. Once engaged the watch will display the current temperature at the top of the dial and below that a larger number reading your current elevation. While these are functions are available through apps on most smartphones, you can’t wear your smartphone surfing.
We liked the easy-to-set global time function. Based on the set time, the hour is automatically adjusted to display the local time in one of the 28 selected cities.
The watch is water resistant, however it’s advised not to push the function buttons when submerged. But we pushed the buttons when waiting between sets and didn’t experience any fog-up of the lens or damage to the watch.
Stuff we liked
We liked the large buttons which made it super-easy to navigate between things like the world clock times, barometer, altimeter and thermometer. We usually don’t like a whole lot of features on a timepiece, but these are practical and helpful when choosing a surf watch. These high-end features are typically found in watches with a higher price point. We liked the price, as this watch is a good deal at $95.
Stuff that could be improved
The watch looks great, but it is a very large watch. Not the size preference for this reviewer. If you like smaller, unobtrusive watches this wouldn’t be the best choice for you. However, if you like the ease of reading the display and accessing the large buttons and don’t have your reading glasses handy in the lineup, this is the call.