Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

The Summer Edition, 5 Accessible Sports Watches of 2019

Versatile watches for the holiday season… without having to flog a kidney!

| By Xavier Markl | 4 min read |
Seiko Prospex special edition Twilight Blue SPB097J1 Europe and USA

Summertime and the livin’ is easy… As the holiday season is fast approaching, it’s all about making your style cool and effortless, but also having watches that can survive adventures (a splash of mojito, perhaps?). To help you out, we have rounded up 5 watches that will make great daily beaters for sunny days, without breaking the bank.

Note: this selection is based on a consensus among the MONOCHROME team. It reflects our preferences among watches unveiled in 2019. If there are other watches you’d love to mention, feel free to share these in the comment section at the end of this article.

Seiko Prospex “Twilight Blue” SPB097J1

A modern interpretation of a 1968 Seiko Diver (the high-beat reference 6159-7001), the Seiko Prospex 200m has been released in a special edition for the USA and Europe with a cool colour combo. Dubbed “Twilight Blue”, it features a sunburst blue dial paired with a black orange rotating bezel. The 44mm steel case is water-resistant to 200m. The watch is worn on a 3-link steel bracelet with folding clasp and diving extension. A silicone strap with pin buckle is also included in the box. A robust watch that can take a beating and is colourful enough for summer attire!

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Seiko Prospex special edition Twilight Blue SPB097J1 Europe and USA

Quick facts: 44mm steel case with unidirectional rotating bezel – 200m water-resistance – automatic 6R15 calibre with hours, minutes, seconds and date – steel bracelet and silicone strap (both included) – EUR 1,

Oris Aquis Clean Ocean Limited Edition

As its name suggests, the Aquis Clean Ocean is an iteration of the successful Oris dive watch, released to advocate the need to care for and protect our oceans (for the occasion, the brand has teamed up with Pacific Garbage Screening). At 39.5mm in diameter, the steel case is the smaller version of this watch (thus the best of them all, in our opinion) and is water-resistant to 300m. The medallion on the caseback is made of recycled PET. Inside is the automatic calibre Oris 733 based on the tried-and-tested Sellita SW200. This blue dial Aquis makes it a perfect watch for the holiday season.

Quick facts: 39.5mm steel case with unidirectional rotating bezel – 300m water-resistance – automatic Oris 733 calibre (base Sellita SW200) with hours, minutes, seconds and date – steel bracelet with folding clasp – limited edition of 2,000 pieces – CHF 2,

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer

Although it is not presented as a dive watch, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is the aquatic version of the brand’s modern sports watch – slightly inspired by the glorious 1970s luxury sports watches. Crafted from steel, this 43mm fortified Aikon is fitted with a unidirectional rotating bezel and is now water-resistant to 300m. The watch is powered by the ML115 calibre based on the Sellita SW200. The strap and bracelet can all be swapped in and out in seconds, with no tool required. A solid example of a good-looking, resilient watch with a reasonable price tag.

Quick facts: 43mm steel case with unidirectional rotating bezel – 300m water-resistance – automatic ML115 calibre (base Sellita SW200) with hours, minutes, seconds and date – interchangeable rubber strap or steel bracelet – CHF 1,850 on rubber strap, CHF 1,990 on bracelet –

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 2019

A no-nonsense field watch, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical watch inspired by a mid-20th-century model. 38mm in diameter, it now comes in different versions for 2019 (previously in sandblasted non-coated steel), all fit with military dials and steel or PVD-coated steel cases. The watch is powered by the hand-wound calibre H-50 with a healthy 80-hour power reserve – replacing the ETA 2801-2 and its 42-hour power reserve. Last but not least, it offers superb value for money as it retails from EUR 445 only. Hard to beat, really.

Quick facts: 38mm steel or PVD-coated steel case – 50m water-resistance – automatic H-50 calibre with hours, minutes and seconds –leather or textile NATO straps – from EUR

Delma Cayman Automatic

Delma has been crafting dive watches for 50 years now. Its latest creation in the category, the Cayman, is a retro-style dive watch. 42mm in diameter, its steel case features a unidirectional rotating bezel and is water-resistant to 500m. Several dial/bezel colour combinations are available, including black, blue or this cool burgundy version. The automatic movement inside is the reliable ETA 2824. And at less than a thousand euros, it is one great value proposition watch with serious diving pedigree.

Quick facts: 42mm steel case with unidirectional rotating bezel – 500m water-resistance – automatic ETA 2824 calibre with hours, minutes, seconds and date – Milanese mesh bracelet or leather strap – CHF 990 on strap, CHF 1,150 on steel bracelet –

4 responses

  1. Sadly, my skinny wrists cannot accommodate 44mm Seiko divers. Really liked a similar PADI edition SBDC071 but tried it on when I was in Japan earlier in the year and realized that my limit for the 6R15 powered Seiko divers were the 42mm variants. Welp 🙁

  2. Same problem here. I’m NOT buying so many watches because of this problem, including the Seiko unfortunately.

  3. Seiko really annoy me with this. However, I own a (Baby)Tuna and it is a bit of an enigma. My wrists are only about 7.5″ but it seems to fit me more neatly than my Oris F1 at 42 due to the lugless design and scalloped case. So many factors determine whether a watch fits properly but the simple fact is, far too many watches are made far too large these days, for absolutely no reason.
    Longines have even start employing the ludicrous strategy of extra-long, straight lugs to try to make normal watch wear much larger! A few months ago at work, I realised that I hadn’t wound my Hamilton KFM, so I took it off my wrist. My 20 year old colleague was absolutely astonished. He had never seen this act before. I told him I was winding it. “You mean charging it?” he said.

    But on a more positive note, that Delma looks great!

  4. Yeah, it’s almost always the lug-to-lug measurement that dictates wearability. I have no problems with the lugless Seiko’s MM1000 or various 50mm Casio G-Shock/ProTrek models that have those “wings” underneath the strap. Sure, they appear large and won’t fit under a sleeve, but they don’t move about on the wrist. Chunky but not ungainly. Contrast that with many Type 20/21 pilot chronographs or Longines vintage-style divers that are around 42-44mm in case diameter but have lugs that add 10mm or more across the wrist. Those things just end up wobbling about too much, making even Panerais Luminors seem tame in comparison.

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