Going on an Adventure? Take One of These Watches

Going on an Adventure? Take One of These Watches

Before we begin, let’s just clear the air and let it be known that over at Chilao, we are watch nuts! We might even be obsessed. And we’re not talking about dressy luxury timepieces (which are great too), we’re talking about tool watches. These watches are purpose built for professionals whose reliance on accurate timekeeping could mean the difference between life and death. It makes us feel tough saying that…you know?

So, we called on a couple of our watch buddies (they’re both kinda big deals in the watch world…just sayin’) and asked them this question: You’re going on an adventure where you will encounter all of nature's elements. What watch are you taking and why? Here are the answers.


Eric Wind (Owner of windvintage.com - IG @ericmwind)

I would take a Rolex Explorer II – it’s a tough mechanical watch that should work for years without issue, but I also find having the 24-hour hand is helpful. You point the hour hand toward the sun in order to get the location of north in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere you can do the same to get the location of south, which is helpful in case things get hairy! You can do the same with the Rolex GMT-Master, but the Explorer II’s metal bezel makes it a little bit tougher for harsh and rocky environments.


Josh Hendizadeh (Head of Redbar LA - IG @tropicalpatina)

The watch I’d be taking if I’m going on an adventure is my IWC chronograph! It has the day and date function which is useful for an adventure and of a course a chronograph! Additionally, it’s a modern watch which makes for good robust fun! I think that a good adventure watch should be water resistant, useful and beautiful! I really love the IWC as one of the best modern chronographs, especially at its price points. Its automatic movement also will win points when going out in the woods as I don’t need to wind it.

The adventure watch I would have if money was no issue and I could get at retail, is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164A! I think this is the very best sports watch on the market and by far one of my all-time grails. It’s useful, beautiful and rare, and it has all the makings of a great adventure watch. The travel time function is ingenious with its pushers on the side of the case. The watch is water resistant and comfortable as well. It is truly amazing that as a haute horology manufacturer, Patek makes a beautiful sports watch with functional features, hence for my pick if money was no issue!


Matt Ghattas (Co-Founder of Chilao)

Engineered to withstand the harsh conditions encountered by divers operating in extreme depths, dive watches are among the most rugged, adventure ready watches out there. My favorite of all dive watches is the Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600, so it’s my pick for the perfect adventure watch. Eclipsed by the fandom of its little brother, the Rolex Submariner, the Sea-Dweller flies under the radar. With a depth rating of 1220 meters or 4000 feet, it can handle depths four times deeper than the Sub. Not that your adventure is taking you that far down, but surely a watch built for those extremes can handle any adventure you find yourself lucky enough to be on. Crown guards, thicker sapphire crystal, screw down crown, and a unidirectional aluminum timing bezel that looks cooler the more it’s used are some of the features that make it the perfect adventure companion. With its highly legible black dial, luminous hour markers, and date window without magnification, this tool is also unassuming (especially when paired with a nato strap). I think that’s an important point to note, a good adventure watch shouldn’t draw any unwanted attention to you, particularly when traveling in unfamiliar areas. So, whether you find yourself in the mountains, desert, or crossing oceans, the Sea-Dweller is ready for action.


David Ventre (Co-Founder of Chilao)

My adventure watch would have to be my Tudor Pelagos FXD. When I think “adventure watch,” I find myself asking the question, “what would elite military operators be wearing?” A watch that could withstand just about anything thrown at it, right? I’m a big fan of the Rolex Mil Sub with its fixed spring bars, but the Tudor Pelagos FXD has the strap slots cut into the case making it even stronger and much less likely for thr wearer to lose the watch if it takes a big hit. Then we look at the FXD being titanium and fully brushed (looks nice and tough), having plenty of water resistance (love a screw down crown), and the fact that is was developed in collaboration with a specialist unit of the French Navy. Come on now...it begs to be taken on an adventure.

I wanted to throw in an honorable mention for something a little more budget friendly. Another amazing option would be the Seiko Turtle. I’m partial to the 6309 model that has military history and that I personally own. A good example can be picked up around $1,000, but you can also pick up a new Seiko Turtle for about $500 that keeps the classic look with an updated movement and materials. This watch is tough as nails and you just cannot go wrong with a Seiko (they’re pretty much respected by all)!


Let us know what you think of our adventure watch picks. Agree? Disagree? Have a question or better suggestion? We want to hear about it!

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