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Recommend me a cheap, tough, waterproof watch

Discussion in 'Watches' started by thegrouch314, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. thegrouch314

    thegrouch314 Loaded Pockets

    Dec 10, 2015
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    I'm looking for a watch under £20 or so.
    It needs to be waterproof and be able to handle 24/7 wear. I'm not bothered about other features or whether it's analogue or digital. It'd be nice if it looked good and solar powered would be a plus.
    I know I'm not going to get anything that will last forever for that price but I'm a broke student, It just needs to see me through the 4 years until I graduate.
  2. Beneficial

    Beneficial Loaded Pockets

    Jun 21, 2011
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    MCPOWoller, 313 and jcombs like this.
  3. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

    Jan 31, 2016
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    Kev2488 likes this.
  4. Ddop10

    Ddop10 Loaded Pockets

    Aug 27, 2013
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    Casio ae1000w

    Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk
  5. Larry Larson

    Larry Larson Loaded Pockets

    May 17, 2015
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    If you'd like some a little more classic looking, I'd recommend the Timex Weekender. It's not solar and is analog dial only, but simple, classic and elegant is how I'd describe it. They start at about £20 and go up from there
  6. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

    Jul 21, 2009
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    I will have to say that I don't think it will be easy to tick all the boxes for a £20 budget - especially finding something that will survive four years of 24/7 wear. Having said that though, there are a few options available depending on your preferences for look and style.

    My recommendation would be to check out what is available to you from Casio - they are well regarded as being about the best quality you will get for anywhere near that budget, and they do have a range of watches available if you shop around - something like the W214 looks like a solid G Shock inspired design, or maybe something like the W86 for something a bit lower profile (though somewhat dated in style - something you will either love or hate). They also have a few options available for analog watches if that would be your preference in different styles.

    I know it may be a big ask when you are starting with such a low budget, but one of my favourite options for a basic watch is the Citizen BM8180, which I can see available in the UK for £60 - the extra money I would say is more than worth it, and further down the line less than £10 on a new strap can completely transform the look of it if you want to smarten it up or give yourself more options. At the same time I do appreciate that comes in rather over your original budget, but I felt it worth mentioning to give you something slightly more traditional in style, with the benefit of solar power and a slightly more robust waterproofing (100m over 30m or 50m).
  7. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Jul 9, 2009
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    Check out a Pawn Shop or several. That's where my two Eco Drive watches came from. Also got an Orient Black Mako at a Pawn Shop for much less than buying new.
  8. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

    Jun 30, 2015
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    Another vote for Casio. Besides the lower end of the G-shock 'species', there are a bunch of other Casio models which like the G-shock are in molded resin; are digital; etc.etc. But for your best performance go with the G-shock. Spend some time on the Amazon website. More choices there than virtually (no pun intended!) anywhere else.

    Happy New Year!

    Moshe ben David
  9. skukuza

    skukuza Loaded Pockets

    Jul 12, 2016
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    Casio for toughness, no doubt.
  10. Civilian

    Civilian Loaded Pockets

    Aug 27, 2014
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    For that price point you can't go wrong with a Pulsar or Timex.
  11. Cristobal

    Cristobal Loaded Pockets

    Jan 22, 2014
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    Casio W-59, the 50m water resistant variant of the F-91w, about £7:

    An other variant with a glowing back light, £15:

    You can find nato straps for £1 on ebay, to replace the casio one when it will eventually break.

    An other cool retro looking Casio, on sale:
    Last edited by Cristobal, Feb 14, 2017
    #11 Cristobal, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
    Davidka likes this.
  12. tirod

    tirod Loaded Pockets

    Sep 20, 2006
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    Waterproof isn't possible. What we really deal with outside of Dive rated watches which won't meet the price is Water Resistant. They are labeled as such because the design and manufacture are supposed to result in the rated depth of use - once. One time only. That is because they cannot guarantee it "forever," don't know if the gaskets were exposed to solvents, like in auto use, or if it was simply that one watch which didn't quite come together that day out of the hundreds made.

    Of course, there is also that one watch that did and is still in use by someone after years of scuba diving and they will swear by it. But, no, it's not Dive rated - ie actually tested to pressure, and even then Dive watches are pressure tested in air, not water.

    The link isn't a bad one, pay for as much WR rating as you can get. There is a list of what a watch with WR can do, starting with the base level "not suitable for washing hands." 50WR should survive it but it's been questionable in some cases. 100WR is shower and rain resistant, nobody will guarantee open water use but some use it that way. They are inexpensive enough its not a major loss. 200WR is what I would consider minimum for a hard use watch outdoors but there still remains that a good inexpensive Dive watch that can put up with it .

    Problem being Dive watches need servicing periodically, and thinking a WR rated watch can go just as long is pushing it. No watch retains it's water tight integrity due to seals at the crystal and back of case, under the crown, and any push buttons.

    The more openings the more places to fail, and operating buttons when wet or immersed is a great way to compromise seals. Case backs on the better watches are usually screw down but hard to find in that price range new.

    Then there is the 24/7 aspect. I've tried it, and the watches generally will get dirty and need cleaning. Fabric bands will accumulate any spilled liquids and need to be cleaned, and then there is the sweat issue with a buildup of skin cells creating a septic sump of decay. I avoid fabric bands of any kind now. Leather and silicone do ok but harder use tends to damage them and I've never got 4 years service out of them. A nice dress watch taken off, sure. A working watch that sees the backside of engines and spark plug removal, or service in the Armed Forces, not hardly. IMHO only a metal bracelet will put up with that kind of duty cycle. But - again - stuck for the price, then a watch with common lug size - like 20mm - and a divers rubber strap will do. Replacements are easy to find. If getting constantly snagged could be an issue then by all means use a one piece strap so that if one pin breaks the other saves it. Otherwise the watch will be lost.

    Most watches in the under $40 US pricing will have acrylic crystals which will scratch but also will polish out. As for the case, if it's not stainless it will wear, polymer losing it's sharper corners and a brass cased Timex just a little slower.

    Lume won't be much option but Indiglo back lighting is. That puts the most tolerant choice as a stainless cased Timex camper style with one piece strap. Takes a lickin keeps on tickin.
    My3kidsfather likes this.
  13. MCPOWoller

    MCPOWoller Loaded Pockets

    May 20, 2013
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    Cant go wrong with any of those Casio's mentioned above.