If you do not travel often, keeping track of the current time is second nature. For anyone who travels, time becomes very relevant, very quickly. Of course, travelling around the world puts us in different time zones, and can lead to disorientation with regard to time – and we all know about jetlag (all too well in my case).
In my travels, I’ve had more than a few watches along the way. I’ve had some good experiences, and not so good ones. Fret not, though, once more you can gain insight from my pain.
One of the most important general considerations when choosing a watch is that it is not a good idea to travel with an extremely expensive timepiece. Not only do customs regulations vary from country to country, causing problems, but the situation is made more hazardous because there is always the risk that the watch will be stolen (even from shredded, jack diesel juggernauts like me). Unfortunately, I can tell you firsthand, shit happens.
So let’s have a look at some watches that have served me well in my travels (stepped up from my Shark watch!)
Our starting point is a brand that is better known for its calculators and keyboards than for their watches: Casio.
The Casio G-Shock series has been serving me and many other travelers nicely for years. Mine is actually a Casio GDF100BTN-1 Burton Limited Edition model. It has 48-city world time, making it a no-brainer for a world traveler. It even has an altimeter and thermometer – boom!
What makes it so great? Well, one thing is that it has first and second place times, making it easy to keep up with people you may need to call in another time zone, for example. The G-Shock also has a long-lasting battery that can be charged with solar light, and can work for up to ten hours without solar charging. Everything most-needed is present in this watch that harkens back to the minimalist days of the G-Shock series, while adding a subtle modern flair – a major plus for travelers not wanting a flashy watch on globetrotting jaunts where such visual candy might become stolen.
So far, I’ve voiced some caution with regard to wearing a watch that might be, shall we say enviable in a strange land. But, don’t worry too much. When the time comes to show some style and panache, some of the coolest watches to be had are coming from Invicta. The brand’s offerings cost just enough to feel substantial (and be reliable), but are not so costly that you should keep them in a safe deposit box whenever you leave the country.
I’ve got an Invicta Reserve Subaqua. It has a Swiss movement, a leather strap, and no-holds-barred 52mm case, which is definitely large enough to say hello. Now, Invicta is not exactly cheap (my Subaqua was right around $300), but the brand’s real value shows in its quality. That’s really why I’m recommending them here. It is not always easy to find a good watch repair person abroad, so reliability becomes more important during travel. My Invicta has yet to let me down, and I’ve worn mine in restaurants, clubs, and museums from London to the Philippines. It’s right at home whenever the time comes to clean up and look respectable, should you be so inclined.
There are a million watches out there, but for those of us who love to travel, we have to put a little extra thought into choosing one. The key criteria: reliability, fix-ability, and replace-ability. Those things make up the bottom line when it comes to picking the ideal watch for all of us jetsetters.
What’s your timepiece of choice while traveling?