Buying Guide – 8 of the Best New Tool-Watches Built For Adventures
It’s now time for our Year-End buying guides to gather 8 of the toughest watches launched in 2017. We have picked tool watches of various types, not excessively priced, but designed to hold up to outdoor activities, or constructed to tolerances for specific purposes. Perfect gifts for adventure seekers or simply for a rugged cool look for an afternoon trip into town.
Alpina Alpiner 4 Automatic
Alpina has a long association with the sports watch. The brand added new versions to the Alpiner 4 automatic designed for rough outdoor usage. In keeping with the founding ethos of the Alpiner collection, all new models are anti-magnetic, shock resistant, water-resistant and stain-resistant. One of our favourite versions is the model with the flange in contrasting red and the 12-hour scale on the rotating bezel that can be used as a second time-zone display. More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 44 mm steel case – water resistant to 100m – automatic movement AL-525 (base Sellita SW200) with hours, minutes, seconds and date. Leather strap with pin buckle – EUR 1,195. For more information, visit www.alpinawatches.com
Bell & Ross Vintage BR V1-92 Military
The Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Military is a handsome, utilitarian watch with vintage inspiration. The well-proportioned stainless steel case features a domed sapphire crystal, a solid caseback and houses an automatic movement displaying hours, minutes, seconds and the date. 38.5 mm in diameter, with a slim profile, it is elegant and wears comfortably. More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 38.5 mm steel case – water resistant to 100m – automatic movement BR CAL.302 (base Sellita SW200) with hours, minutes, seconds and date. Leather strap with pin buckle – EUR 1,990. For more information, visit www.bellross.com
Anonimo celebrated their 20th anniversary this year. Combining Swiss precision with rugged Italian sports chic, the brand has unveiled a range of coloured Nautilo watches worn on Nato straps. The 44mm barrel-shaped case of the Nautilo Nato is crafted from steel. Rated water resistant to 20 ATM / 200m, the case body is DLC coated and the case band is fluted. A worthy pick if you are looking for a relaxed, distinctive yet perfectly functional design. More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 44.4 mm steel case with titanium caseback – water resistant to 200m – automatic movement (base Sellita SW200) with hours, minutes, seconds and date. NATO strap – EUR 1,990. For more information, visit www.anonimo.com
Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture
The Eterna KonTiki Manufacture Bronze is a limited edition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the KonTiki expedition of Thor Heyerdahl. This cool, stylish dive watch is equipped with a 44mm bronze case with a dark grey ceramic rotating bezel. It is powered by the in-house Eterna calibre 3902A.
Quick facts: 44 mm bronze case – water resistant to 200m – automatic movement calibre Eterna 3902A with hours, minutes and seconds. Leather strap with pin buckle – EUR 2,690 – limited edition of 300 pieces. For more information, visit www.eterna.com
Tudor Pelagos LHD
The lefty version of the rugged, professional dive watch was launched at the end of last year and it rocks. Its 42mm steel/titanium case is water resistant to 500m and features a helium relief valve. Like the regular Pelagos, it is powered by the in-house automatic calibre MT5612‑LHD. The cream colour of the signature hour markers and snowflake hands and the red model name add that extra touch. More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 42 mm steel/titanium case – water resistant to 500m – automatic movement calibre Tudor MT5612‑LHD (COSC) with hours, minutes, seconds and date. Titanium bracelet with security folding buckle – CHF 4,200. For more information, visit www.tudorwatch.com
Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer
Unveiled at Baselworld 2017, the Railmaster Master Chronometer is a no-nonsense sporty (yet elegant) three-hander powered by the calibre 8806 with Coaxial escapement and coming with the Master Chronometer certification (watch our video here). The fully brushed 40mm steel case features lyre lugs, a flat bezel, a large dial opening, a screw-down crown and a closed case back. It is available on strap or on a steel bracelet. More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 40 mm steel case – water resistant to 150m – automatic movement calibre 8806 (Master Chronometer) with hours, minutes and seconds. Fabric strap with pin buckle – CHF 4,500. For more information, visit www.omegawatches.com
Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000
Inspired by the brand’s rich history, the modern Bivouac is far from being a mere reproduction of the 1960s eponymous watch. The 2017 Favre-Leuba Bivouac is capable of measuring altitudes with a range of 9,000 meters (that is to say anywhere on Earth). Its massive 48mm titanium case protects a hand-wound movement with a sophisticated in-house module. The large red centre hand allows displaying altitudes of 3,000m per full rotation, allowing for precise measurement. The subsidiary dial is used to keep track of altitudes for up to 9,000m, with the “death zone” enlightened in red (the death zone, in mountaineering, refers to altitudes above a certain point where there is not enough oxygen). More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 48 mm titanium case – water resistant to 30m – hand-wound movement with hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve indicator and altitude/air pressure indicator. Antelope leather strap with pin buckle – CHF 7,500. For more information, visit www.favre-leuba.com
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver elevates the Japanese maker’s expertise in crafting superb diving watches to the Grand Seiko superlative standards. Designed for saturation diving to a depth of 600m, it features a titanium case, exceptional anti-magnetism and a hi-beat movement. At EUR 12,100, it is not cheap but what a great dive watch. More details about this watch in our article here.
Quick facts: 46.9 mm titanium case – water resistant to 600m – automatic movement calibre 9S85 with hours, minutes, seconds and date. Titanium bracelet with security three-fold clasp – EUR 12,100. For more information, visit www.grand-seiko.com
not excessively priced, but designed to hold up to outdoor activities…EUR 12,100 Yeah right!!!
Nice line-up guy`s, thanks ! The Railmaster is still not on the Omega website, the link leads to the Lady`s watches…. Do you have a release/at AD date ?
O concur with your listing, except in the case of the B&R — the small date at 20-25 is useless and detracts from the otherwise nice dial aesthetics — the same applies to the Alpina (which, if not for the small date, would be, to my tatste, beautiful. Still to my taste, the low-keyed and elegant Omega Railmaster is tops! Thank you for showing those good watches.
I just had and sold that exact GS diver. They need to update their whole bracelet design and especially stop reusing cheap stamped clasps from their 1,000 line up in a watch they charge msrp of $9800 for!
It is surprising to me that the Grand Seiko is so large and it is considerably more expensive than a Rolex Submariner!
Nice Selection. Alpina is an awesome watch!
Sinn and Damasko?
These are THE tool watches…
I agree with Mr. Moraes about the B&R, and totally with Mr. Aross on Seiko’s cheap bracelets…
Definitely will go for the Omega—great look, great movement.
I don’t think the Railmaster has a screw down crown.
Dear Mosco1000 – As it is said in our previous article here https://monochrome-watches.com/omega-railmaster-master-chronometer-collection-baselworld-2017-price/ this Omega has a screwed crown, just like all the Aqua Terra 150 watches. It is water resistant to 150 meters and shares several specifications with the rest of the Aqua Terra collection, including this new conical crown, which is screwed.
Dear Alberto – As you can see, this selection covers a large range of watches, from an affordable EUR 1.2K Alpina to this fairly expensive Grand Seiko… Yet, specifications for this watch are impressive: polished grade 5 titanium case, which is quite difficult to make, high-beat in-house movement, great dial and hands… For sure, it is a lot of money, but this watch really is made to withstand a tough life.
Dear Ron – thanks for your comment. It is true that even us are a bit surprised concerning this Omega, which was introduced to us at Baselworld 2017… and isn’t on the brand’s website and not yet available. We have no official confirmation of the release date. It seems that the launch is slightly postponed because Omega is now focussing on the standard Aqua Terra collection.
Dear Bert – as for the size, we can’t argue, as it is mainly a choice from Seiko. As for the price, this can be partially explained by: the grade 5, polished titanium case, which is impressively finished and the high)beat movement. Certainly, this is an expensive watch, yet Grand Seiko watches are impressive in terms of quality.
Thanks Brice, i will have to wait `patiently` then….!
That Eterna is stunning!
The Eterna should have a conventional scale like 10-20-30-40-50!
I have owned and worn the GS hibeat for the last five years. extremely comfortable for everyday wear. now I have to pay aud750 for the watch to be serviced back in Japan, but I think it is worth it. Is it as good as a Rolex submariner? I think it is better made and rarer, but I am biased, as it is my watch!