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- Best Overall: Casio Men's Black Analog Anti Reverse Bezel Watch at Amazon "Looks great, lasts long, and won't empty your wallet."
- Best Budget: Casio Men's Sport Analog Dive Watch at Amazon "Besides the fact that you can take a casual dip with it, it's also a stylish and durable item."
- Best Smartwatch: Garmin Vivoactive 3 at Amazon "Besides using it as a fitness tracker and payment device, you can customize the Vivoactive with a number of apps."
- Best Fitness Tracker: Huawei Band 2 Pro All-in-One Activity Tracker at Amazon "The fitness tracker performs similarly to more high-priced smart watches and trackers, but at a quarter of the price."
- Best Shock Resistance: Casio G-Shock Sport Watch at Amazon "If you move around a lot, it's worth investing in a shock-resistant watch that can endure your rough and rowdy travels."
- Best Tactical: Luminox's Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch at Amazon "This watch is tough, with a carbon-reinforced polyester 10 mm thick case, and a scratch resistant mineral crystal face."
- Best Solar: Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch With Date at Amazon "You can safely take it on recreational dives without worrying about it malfunctioning."
- Best for Deep Diving: Nixon 51-30 Watch at Amazon "Besides being a functional timekeeper when you're splashing around, it's also incredibly handsome."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Casio Men's Black Analog Anti Reverse Bezel Watch
For decades now, Japanese brand Casio has been making watches that look great, last long, and won't empty your wallet. At a great value, you can get this high-quality timepiece with classic dive functionality. This watch can endure up to 200-meter dives effortlessly, which means that you can use it for water activities that go beyond just a few splashes. The anti-reverse bezel ensures that the watch does not malfunction when you go for a dip in the water. The three-hand analog display is classically stylish and easy to read with a black and white face with mineral glass protection. The stainless steel case and black resin band also add to the watch's aesthetic and overall durability. To change the time, all you have to do is to unscrew the crown. You won't need to touch it more than twice a year for daylight savings — otherwise, the time should remain accurate.
Best Budget: Casio Men's Sport Analog Dive Watch
Casio's Sport Analog Dive Watch is so affordable that you may be hesitant about its quality. Still, Casio is world-renowned for its inexpensive, well-crafted watches, and this product is no exception. The Analog Dive is not the greatest pick for scuba diving, but it's still suitable for most water activities with its 100-meter water resistance. It's appropriate for most recreational water sports, such as swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and sailing.
Besides the fact that you can take a casual dip with it, it's also a stylish and durable item. The mineral glass-covered face is a sizable 44.6 mm and sports easy-to-read indexes. The black resin band is tough, but also changeable should you damage it or want to switch the color. As a time teller, the watch is excellent, using Japanese quartz movement with precise accuracy.
Best Smartwatch: Garmin Vivoactive 3
Our favorite water-resistant smartwatch is Garmin's sleek Vivoactive 3, which is rated with 5 ATM, or 50 meters of resistance. While it is not as water resistant as other watches on this list, you'll still be able to take it swimming or on a hike in the rain. It even includes swim tracking as one of its fitness features. If you need to pay for something, Garmin Pay allows you to pay wherever tap payments are acceptable. Besides using it as a fitness tracker and payment device, you can customize the Vivoactive with a number of apps. As Garmin is a notorious GPS brand, the Vivoactive 3 also has a reliable, built-in GPS. The battery life is excellent, lasting up to 7 days.
Most of the watches on this list are some variation of black. But if you're feeling colorful, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is available in a handful of different color combinations including black with slate, black with stainless, white with rose gold, white with stainless, black, and granite blue.
Best Fitness Tracker: Huawei Band 2 Pro All-in-One Activity Tracker
Huawei's smart wristband is comparable to Garmin's Vivoactive device, coming with 5 ATM water resistance and the ability to synchronize with a smartphone. As a fitness tracker, it allows you to keep tabs on sports, heart rate, and sleep patterns. The smart assistant feature allows you to stay connected and check notifications for calls and messages in real time. The colors include black, blue, and red.
The fitness tracker performs similarly to more high-priced smart watches and trackers, but at a quarter of the price. While it has a GPS, it doesn't have a barometric altimeter to tell you your elevation status, which may be important for bikers or hikers. According to reviewers, the screen is also dim and black until you turn it on, whereas Garmin's will still be readable most of the time. The build is also narrow, which can be difficult to read.
Best Shock Resistance: Casio G-Shock Sport Watch
If you move around a lot, it's worth investing in a shock-resistant watch that can endure your rough and rowdy travels. G-Shock is notorious for shock resistance in the watch world, withstanding mechanical shock and vibration. Besides this feature, it's also water resistant to 660 feet, appropriate for everything from surfing to diving. It includes a countdown timer, 1/100 second stopwatch, and hourly time signal. The digital watch also includes a useful backlight for easy viewing in the dark as well as a daily timer. It also has a secure buckle clasp and mineral dial window. While the watch is straightforward and basic, it's by no means flimsy or cheap.
Since its inception in 1983, the watch has been through many looks, and there is a whole range of colors and designs that you can choose from. This model also comes with a black resin band and face with your choice of accent color.
Best Tactical: Luminox's Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch
Water resistant at 200 meters, Luminox's Evo Navy Seal Blackout is a choice pick for sports lovers to use in rugged conditions. As the name suggests, the design is all black, including the case, flexible rubber strap, dial, and hour markers. It tells military time, as you'll be able to see the GMT scale on the outer and inner rim of the watch. Besides time, you will also see a small date display at the 3 o'clock position. This watch is tough. It has a carbon-reinforced polyester 10 mm thick case, scratch resistant mineral crystal face, and protected crown (the piece that lets you wind it). It features a tang clasp that you can use to secure it on your hand.
Best Solar: Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch With Date
Citizen's Eco-Drive Promaster Diver runs on light, so it doesn't need a battery. The watch converts both natural and artificial light into solar energy to charge, only requiring a few minutes of light each day. And of course, it also has a 200-meter water resistance rating, so you can safely take it on recreational dives without worrying about it malfunctioning.
The watch features a stainless steel case, dark blue polyurethane strap, and dark blue dial. The PU band material is great, as it will not attract unseemly water spots and is easy to clean. It's also fairly sturdy, coming with an anti-reflective mineral dial window. When it gets dark, you can rely on the luminous hand and hour markers to always know the time. It's accurate, relying on Japanese quartz movement. Besides the hour of the day, there's also a date window by the 4 o'clock marker.
Best for Deep Diving: Nixon 51-30 Watch
The Nixon Chrono Analog Display Watch is water resistant to 984 feet, which is the most of all the watches on this list. Even most professional divers will likely never go down that far, but the number is reassuring if you worry about the possibility of malfunctioning. Besides being a functional timekeeper when you're splashing around, it's also incredibly handsome. It has a large 51mm face in a brushed stainless steel case and easy-to-view numbers. The dial has six hands, which track both 12- and 24-hour formats. You'll also get a view of the date window as an added bonus by the 9 o'clock marker. The watch uses Miyota Japanese quartz for accurate time-telling.
There are a few minor, but considerable things to keep in mind about this watch. Unlike a lightweight plastic or rubber watch, the 51-30's stainless steel body has some heft to it. The time markings in the outer rim are also small, so they are slightly harder to read. Otherwise, the watch is a great find for water enthusiasts who prefer a luxurious to a sporty aesthetic.