Watches That Got The Most Wrist Time This Summer

By: The TBWS Team

Summer’s end is just around the corner. Year after year, we’ve seen the TBWS team grow into a network of valued community members that aim to bring you an alternative to the watch industry voice you interact with daily. The result is a team driven by a passion that hopes to give you something a little different when it comes to consuming watch-related content. After a few fun Slack threads, we decided to give you a closer look at the watches that got the most wrist time this summer – with a bit of a twist. This time, we’ll also be highlighting a few bizarro pieces that we haven’t touched at all this summer, before reflecting on why they’ve stayed in the box for so long. Hope everyone enjoys the read.

Jason Tricoli

The Superman watch of my summer has definitely been the Seiko Sarx055. I got married this summer and this was my wedding watch. Now it’s beauty has been infused with happy memories of that significant milestone. While I was initially drawn to the piece because of the dial, after wearing it other features have started to stand out. Both the hands and indices have razor-sharp finishing. The sapphire crystal is almost completely invisible thanks to Seiko’s superclear anti-reflective coating. The case and bracelet are titanium, which makes the watch very light and comfortable throughout the day. Finally, while it is a dressy piece, thanks to the bracelet, and slightly larger case diameter of 40.8mm, it also works in more casual settings.

My Bizzaro watch of the summer is my poor Orient Ray II. Just looking at this picture makes me want to wear it. However, it never seems to get picked during my morning ritual of indecisively starting into my watch box. A great alternative to an SKX, this watch has a hacking and hand-winding in-house movement and a beautiful blue dial. While it is hard to tell from photos, Orient did a great job matching the blue across the dial, chapter ring, and bezel insert. My only complaint is the crown is too small. It can be difficult to screw down due to the crown guards on the case. I promise to wear you again soon little one.

Mark Signorelli

For me, summer means being outdoors and hiking. Is it a surprise that the Archimede Outdoor Protect has been a fixture on my wrist during these warm months? The very name of this watch reveals its purpose. ‘Outdoor’ is obvious and ‘Protect’ refers to the hardened steel case. Full disclosure, I reviewed this same watch for TBWS last December and found perfection in its many attributes. The modest case size belies a generous and instantly readable dial. Even on a bracelet, the Outdoor Protect never feels like an encumbrance and that’s a blessing whether you’re humping a backpack, turning a wrench or dragging a saw blade across a fallen tree.

Like many watch hobbyists, I sometimes imagine a world in which I’m satisfied with just one wristwatch. It’s a nonsensical fantasy, right? For example, I never think about limiting myself to only one screwdriver, pocket knife or, heh heh, car. Still, I proclaim that, in such a fantasy world, this is my one watch…. at least until I get that Omega Planet Ocean.

What am I going to do with this watch? I wore it almost every day to the office and it was the perfect complement to a dressy, business casual environment. At moments of high intensity, I could stare at that blue teak dial and almost feel my heart rate dialing down one tick. The 60-hour power reserve took me right through the weekend and back into the working world on Monday.

Now what? I’m retired and the Aqua Terra hasn’t seen wrist time since 2018. My stress level is so low that, if I stare at that blue teak dial now, my heart rate might stall like my wife’s old Beetle. Hmmm, maybe I’ll ask if I can have my old job back.

Mike Razak

I’ve had a steady rotation this summer, as always, and more so as I do more reviews and swap with friends. But my Omega Seamaster 2254.50 is always a contender and tied for most wears this season (3!). While it’s undeniably a sports watch, it’s unassuming profile, subtle wave dial, and simple black and white color scheme make it a great watch for any occasion. In the shot I chose, I paired it with a red suede strap from Worn and Wound.


 

And then there’s my champagne/moon dial Bulova Accutron from the 1960s (I want to 1967 but I can’t remember). This watch was a very kind gift from the owner of the local watch shop where I spend a day or two a week helping out. I truly love the dial, but the lugs are 17.5 and when I first got it I jammed an 18mm mesh on it—and it’s not coming off. It’s also quite thick despite its small diameter. So combine a single strap option with a watch that sits higher on the wrist, and it’s wrist time plummets. But even if I never wear it again, it’ll never leave my watch box: Some watches are too special to get rid of.

Greg Bedrosian

For the second summer in a row the Seiko “Samurai Pepsi” has dominated time on my wrist. Aesthetically, the blue and red bezel over a black dial seems to match just about any summer kit.

More importantly, the form is matched both in functionality and ruggedness. On any summer day I could find myself on any combination of adventures; early morning cycling rides, a paddle-boarding in the Adirondacks, a baseball game, or sunset cocktails on Chapin Beach. The Samurai has even made a few casual appearances at the office. This watch has never felt out of place or let me down.

The silicone strap is the way to go. A little dish soap scrub and it’s as good as new. I’ve been claiming that I can’t be “out-summered”. This watch is a big reason why.

My limited edition, blue panda dialed, Speedmaster CK2998 barely left the watch box this summer. It was a tough pill to swallow. I’m so lucky to own this watch. I know that it’s special. How did this happen?

A chronograph with exposed pumpers and a leather strap is never a good idea when you’re constantly in and around water. Summer is super casual. The CK2998 dresses up better than it dresses down.

The Speedmaster CK2998 hung around a few times during the anniversary of Apollo 11. But that was about it. Thanks to social media, I was reminded, repeatedly, that it’s not a Moonwatch. I even started doing hypothetical financial chess moves to see how I could horse-trade my CK2998 into a Moonwatch and “something else”. I had so much horological equity tied up in one watch that I wasn’t wearing. It was a hard realization for me to come to terms with. At one point, I felt completely lost. It was a low valley on my collecting journey.

Wow, this is getting way too depressing. I’m just going to put on my Seiko and head over to the pool instead. I’m over it. Problem solved.

Baird Brown

I have a fairly large affordable watch collection (as all of my 162 followers on my Instagram know) made up of newer watches and watches that I have somehow managed to bring back from the shores of the River Styx. I usually keep them all in rotation during the week, assigning different styles of watches to different days, so when I was tasked with picking my 2019 summer watch, I had to do some thinking outside the box. Basically, what I chose as my summer watch was the watch that occupied most of my time in the last few months, and hasn’t left my wrist since I, miraculously, brought it back to life. I am, of course, talking about my 1978 Seiko 6119-7090.

I’m usually long-winded, but I promise I’ll keep this story short. Back in the beginning of the year, I was inspired by a watch my boss bought. He found a beautiful 1950’s Omega with a silver dial and knew exactly who to show it to. I loved it. I wanted one for myself. However, I tend to be broke and, while you can find nice vintage watches on eBay for low prices, only the Gods know what you’ll actually get. Instead, I figured I’d find another project watch to tinker on and found the Seiko 6119-7090 for a low price and an indication that it worked but probably needed an overhaul. Perfect. However, when it arrived, that was not the case.

To make a long story short, the watch didn’t run. And while the case, dial, and hands were in good shape, the movement looked like someone had just poured a quart of Pennzoil in it and called it a day. I began the teardown and realized that not only would parts need to be replaced, but they were also missing. This is when I learned that the 6119 doesn’t just have parts lining the streets for purchase. I spent months finding parts to fix problems, only to have another arise, and find parts for that issue. After a new mainspring, cap jewels, diashock, and diafix springs, a few parts for the push button day-date mechanism, and about three total teardowns and rebuilds, you could not have anticipated the excitement when I dropped the balance in the last time, and it began to beat! Some time with a timegrapher and a little touch up on the case and crystal, and this has become one of the nicest vintage watches I have. Does it hack or hand wind? Nope. Lume? Definitely not. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Does it run like a top and look “sharper than hell” on its whiskey ostrich strap? God yes. All that searching on forums and eBay international and the frustration of having to build and rebuild it three times really paid off in the end. It hasn’t left my wrist since.

This was a tough decision and one I made with a heavy heart. So heavy in fact, that I’m wearing it as I write this to let it know that I still have feelings for it. As I stated before, I have my watches in rotation. Sometimes it’s a daily rotation and sometimes it’s weekly, but considering I have a slew of dive watches, the dive watch comes up heavily in rotation. When tasked with this assignment, I had to really think about that rotation. I had to really sit and think about the watch that missed out the most on that rotation. Then it hit, and like Fredo in the Godfather Part II, it “broke my heart.” It’s the Christopher Ward Trident Pro 600 MKII.

I’ve had this watch since it was new. I remember when it hit the internet and everyone was gaga for it. Back then, my collection was smaller and trading up or selling some I didn’t wear to make the money for a big purchase wasn’t in the cards. Hell, I had just bought a 300M MK I! It took me a while, but I saved up and made that big (to me) 1K purchase and for a long time, it was the top dog in the box. Now, before this gets too out of hand, let me state that I still like this watch a lot, and I still think the quality of the watch you get is exceptional. With that said, a lot has happened in five years; I’ve bought other similarly priced divers, and, quite possibly, my tastes have changed somewhat. Also, Christopher Ward is one of those brands that reminds me of a Supercar. They are incredible when they come out, they automatically depreciate by 20% when you sit in it, and if you drive it, it depreciates by almost 50%. I know you shouldn’t care about the resale value when watch collecting, but that hurts. Plus, CW has changed the logo ten times, and with the release of the MKIII (that subsequently took the watch in almost a different direction), the MKII is just like a Ferrari 360 Modena sitting on a lot next to the 488 Pista. Yeah, it’s now only 70K, but for that money, the competition has caught up to it. And so, it will sit.

I still like this watch a lot. If I was going to do it again, I would have bought one used. It was still my first big purchase and holds a place in my heart, but what was once worn almost every single “Fancy Friday” is now looked over quite a bit for offerings from Mido, Alpina, and even my old Seiko SKX007. Sadly, CW’s customer service also hurts the watch. It’s not great, and I’ve had my own issues with them in the past. It’s different for everyone, sure, but as of this writing, if you buy one, you very well could be on your own. It’s still a great watch with great functionality and excellent build quality for what you pay for. It’s not currently on my chopping block, but the thought has crossed my mind especially since they released the MKIII in a 40mm. But I’ll hang onto it for a while. Maybe it will come back in the winter. Maybe I’ll take it out on a cool day when the leaves have turned and wear it out like a collector might drive that 360 Modena just because he hasn’t had it out in a while. We’ll see.

Skip Rose

Summer, a time to get into the great outdoors and enjoy life. A nice hike in the woods or a day at the beach, relaxing while the waves lap the shore are in order. That’s not summer in Florida. Florida summers are a time to hunker down inside with the A/C cranked up to 11. Eyeglasses fog up as you step outside. There’s no such thing as too much Gold Bond powder. Despite all efforts to avoid it, we do have to set foot outside and need a watch that’s ready to face a time of great… moisture.

The hardy watch that graces my wrist the most during this time of trial is the Seiko SRP777, aka the Turtle, paired with a variety of water-friendly straps. While the more water vulnerable side of the collection stays safely in watch boxes waiting for the heat to break, the Turtle’s water resistance makes it the perfect choice. The drilled lugs allow for easy strap swaps to ward off wrist boredom. Steel bracelets, NATO and rubber straps in a rainbow of colors all work well with the neutral black dial. I can’t claim that I don’t occasionally look over my vintage lovelies and leather-strapped beauties, itching to slip them onto my wrist. Their time will come. Until then, I’ll just grab my Turtle and get on with it.

Of the unworn, what tempted me the most? What sat in the box, drawing my gaze most often, begging me for wrist time? Look at my stunning textured dial and case it says. My sliding clasp bracelet is so comfy and disappears on the wrist it says. You know you want to… C’mon, DO IT! That would be my vintage Seiko King Quartz reference 5856-5000. It has survived in beautiful running condition since it’s birth in May 1977. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be the one that sends it to a watery grave in a surprise Florida downpour. Dammit, is it November yet?

Damon Bailey

I’d been on the hunt for a Seiko diver that flirted with their upper echelon line-up, but wanted to retain the spirit of an SKX009. With their release of this 6159 Prospex complete with a Pepsi bezel, there was little room for push back. Powered by a 6R15, outfitted with a sapphire crystal, and with a quality finish you’d expect to pay near the four-figure mark, this eBay find was my go-to “quality knock around.”
Mike P. already reviewed its fraternal twin, the SBDC061, and there’s even been coverage on the latest green dial variant. This JDM release cruised under the press radar but I feel it will have no problem appealing to nostalgia enthusiasts Instagram-wide. It’s 44mm, and while that may sound large, the good people at Seiko left several buckle holes available for me to cinch down beyond the size needed for my 6.25” wrist.

I ended up with this one because as a teenager, I was told, “always date up.” Its design represented the class I hoped to become. Unfortunately, this never really happened. My choice of work makes me prone to bumps and bruises and if what I’m wearing can’t afford a shiner or two, it remains a safe queen.

Aside from that, two major factors make this an absolutely terrible summer watch:
1) Annihilating this crocodile leather strap with my corrosive, Coppertone-riddled wrist sweat would be a crime (especially after it was probably fed prime cuts and massaged on the daily prior to its death).

2) This thing’s just too shiny to wear in the California sun. If I’m nervous to glance at my watch on a clear day out of fear of burning my eyes out, I’d rather opt for a matte dial. This one’s better suited for the board room.


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