It is the holiday season again!
We have seen lots of travelling photos in recent weeks, following the school holidays (in Singapore), or the start of the exciting summer season. Regardless, it is certainly time to take out your travel watches once again.
If you have not bought yourself a travel watch – fret not! In today’s article, we will be selecting six watches that we deem are suitable for travelling. Predominantly, these watches should be modestly priced (so as not to attract unwanted attention), and generally robust in its construction.
So, without any further ado, here are our selections.
Casio G-SHOCK GA-B2100 “CasiOak”
We begin the article with a timepiece that is considered “god-tier” by many watch influencers on social media. Cue the incredible Casio G-SHOCK GA-B2100 (picture above courtesy of Casio), also affectionately known within the scene as the “CasiOak”.
Launched in 2019, the CasiOak caught the attention of watch enthusiasts as it has an octagon bezel that is similar to the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. However, the CasiOak is not just all about the looks. This is a well-made and robust timepiece, with a host of useful functions that G-Shock watches are known for – including Bluetooth® connectivity and a solar charging system.
Even though we are staunch proponents of mechanical watches, we do believe that it is nice to have an ever-reliable G-Shock watch in a collection. This is an excellent watch for outdoor activities and travelling, and at S$239, it offers tremendous value in a hobby that is undeniably getting more expensive.
Citizen Fugu 4.0 – NY013 Series
The Citizen Promaster Series, or more frequently known as the “Fugu”, is the entry-level divers’ watch from the Japanese watch manufacturer. But do not let that fool you. The Fugu is a well-established timepiece, and it is a damn good one at its job.
First launched in 1959, the “Fugu” became a staple in Citizen’s product line-up. The watch has a strong provenance as well, in which it was notably used by the Italian Navy Seals Commando Subacqueo Incursori in the past. This is no surprise, given how solid the entire 42mm watch feels in terms of its case construction. This is extended onto its in-house Calibre 8203, a non-nonsense movement that can trace its roots back to four decades ago.
The Fugu is a no-frills timepiece. It is a darn solid watch, and one that is able to perform when it is being called upon to do so. Prices begin at US$413 (approximately S$558) onwards, and it is certainly a reliable and versatile timepiece that works well on a trip – without worrying about it looking too flashy or out of place.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm
We move on to an interesting – but slightly forgotten – mechanical timepiece that offers an excellent value proposition: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm.
This Hamilton was based on the historical military watches that were issued to the ground troops in the past. The watch remains faithful to its original aesthetics, and interestingly Hamilton had fitted the watch with faux cream luminescence to enhance the classic looks of the watch.
Notably, the watch is fitted with the ETA 2801-2 ébauche – a manual winding and dateless version of the renowned ETA 2824-2. It is a three-hand timepiece, with a decent power reserve of around 42 hours. The Hamilton is priced at S$720, and it is probably one of the most affordable mechanical Swiss-made timepieces. For a traveller who wants a great looking watch with superb horological credentials, the Hamilton might just be the perfect timepiece without breaking the bank.
Dievas Maya MK III
Dievas might not be a brand that many are familiar with, but there is certainly a strong cult-following from enthusiasts who swear by the German watch manufacturer for its well-made and solid tool watches. The Maya MK III is one of such timepieces.
The Maya MK III is the third iteration of the brand’s highly successful tactical diver’s watch. For us, what sets the Maya MK III apart from its competition is its solid built quality, which is apparent once one has handled the timepiece. It feels robust and hardy, and this is also accentuated from the DLC treatment that hardened the stainless-steel case. The movement fitted on the watch – Sellita SW200-1 – is also well-known for its reliability. This timepiece certainly ticks all the right boxes.
Priced at S$1,505 for the rubber strap version (or another S$210 more for the metal bracelet), we are hard-pressed to find another timepiece that is as well-made as the Dievas at this price point. The Maya MK III is definitely a great watch for an adventurer, and we do see this timepiece as a great travel companion especially for a diver, or even someone who simply likes the outdoors.
Sinn 105 UTC
For many seasoned collectors, Sinn is a brand that is known for its no-nonsense and robust tool watches. The Sinn 105 UTC continues to live up to the brand’s reputation.
Launched in late 2020, the 105 UTC is another capable tool watch from the Frankfurt-based manufacturer. As per its namesake, the 41mm stainless steel timepiece features a dual time zone indicator and an additional date display. Other notable touches include a bead-blasted case, as well as a bezel that is treated with the brand’s TEGIMENT technology that makes it highly-resistant to scratches.
Price for the Sinn 105 St Sa W UTC begins at S$2,920 for the strap variant, with the bracelet version coming in at a relatively affordable premium of S$370. It is definitely a great travelling companion, considering its complication and how Sinn is known to produce solid and robust watches.
Longines Spirit Zulu Time
Longines have a strong history in the development of watches with dual time zones, with the first being a pocket watch produced in 1908. More than a century later, Longines is writing a new chapter in the brand’s history of making multipurpose timepieces for pilots and adventurers – in the form of the Spirit Zulu Time.
The 42mm Zulu Time is a handsome watch, with a straightforward design that is manufactured to a satisfactory standard. Some of the more notable touches include the coloured bidirectional ceramic bezel, applied numerals, as well as an exclusive new in-house Calibre L844.4 which boasts a silicon balance-spring and three time zone capability.
At a retail price of S$4,420, Longines’ new Spirit Zulu Time offers a strong contender in the field of entry-level GMT timepieces. It is well-made, and it does its job seamlessly. This is the sort of timepiece that we believe both seasoned and new collectors will appreciate, especially if one is a frequent traveller who is looking for a reliable timepiece that does not attract any unwanted attention.
We have kept this week’s selection modest, with half of the watches below the sub-S$1,000 category. We figured that most collectors would prefer wearing something less pricey whilst travelling, and the watches that we have selected certainly fulfills that without compromising on horological merits.
Notably, not all the watches selected have a dual time zone function. We understand that this is not a necessary complication for many, unless the collector is a business traveller or someone that really needs to keep track of the home time. As such, we have deemed that it is a “nice-to-have” feature, rather than a necessity.
Finally, what are your thoughts on our selection, as well as the idea of a travelling watch? What are some of the watches that you will wear when you are overseas? Do let us know in the comments section below.