Watches

Sure, you can keep track of time by checking your smartphone, but then you’d have to go through the trouble of pulling it out of your pocket. This can come off as rude, especially with company around. Dedicated watches are beautiful in their own right, but they help you keep track of time without depending on short-term phone battery life while always being one flick of the wrist away. 

Watches are an integral part of many everyday carry setups. Beyond their primary use of telling time, they’re also a reflection the wearer’s personality and style. These watches have rich historical appeal as they were made for and worn in the field by infantry, Special Forces, and WWII pilots. Nowadays, military style watches are popular amongst the EDC community for their features, legibility, durability, and aesthetic. They go hand in hand with tactical gear.

With all the specs and watch nerd terms you might come across in your search, there's a lot of moving parts involved (literally). Do you want a watch you'll never have to take off your wrist, or separate options for work and play? Decide what's going to be the main use for your new timepiece first. Then move down the spec list, keeping your needs in mind. A minimalist watch for wearing around the office is going to be much different from a rugged diver that's ready for anything. 

Watches can cost as little as $10… or well into the millions. What do you feel comfortable spending on something that's going to live on your wrist every day? The price doesn't always directly relate to how “good” the watch is. Remember — the prestige of established brands comes with a price, but that doesn't mean you can't get similar features from smaller watchmakers while saving a few bucks.

The Best Quartz Watches for EDC

A watch doesn't need a fancy mechanical movement to be worthy of your wrist. Quartz-powered watches represent some of the best value in everyday timepieces out there. Instead of the complex mechanical movement in an automatic watch, quartzes tick thanks to a PC board, battery, and gears. Watch purists may look down on quartz, but that shouldn't stop you from considering one for your EDC. These watches are dependable, reliable, and at the end of the day tell the time more accurately than even the best mechanical watches.

Top 5 Affordable Mechanical Watches for EDC

You may have heard the term “automatic” thrown around a lot when talking about watches. On the most basic level, it means that the watch runs without a battery. Instead, it's powered by you! Essentially, there’s a tiny machine that’s “charged up” by a spinning rotor, completely driven by the movement of your wrist throughout the day. They keep running as long as you wear it, and the work that's involved in designing an accurate time telling machine is equally impressive. Fortunately, you can find a few solid watches featuring this fascinating movement that actually stand up to daily use without costing an arm and a leg. In this guide, we'll highlight our top 5 automatic mechanical watches for EDC on a budget.

Sequent Smartwatch

"Sequent claims that its eponymous product will be the first kinetic smartwatch – able to continuously recharge itself by turning your movement into electrical energy. It has the usual smartwatch features, such as a fitness app, GPS and..." (via TheAwesomer)

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Dietrich OT Watch

"With a distinctive design that’s inspired by nature rather than by man’s own creations, Dietrich’s OT Watch line — which stands for Organic Time — is bold, intricate, and maybe a tad divisive. Each features luminescent hands shaped like leaves, a spinning star which represents seconds, a 24-hour time disk, and a sapphire crystal lens etched on the underside with hour and minute markings capping a steel case. A modified Miyota 82S7 automatic movement powers the timepiece, visible as it ticks away through the large cutout in the center of its layered dial. Despite a 46mm width and..." (via GearHungry)

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XERIC RQ & SQ Watches

"Xeric expands its line with a sweet new series of timepieces. The right side indicates the time in 5-minute increments, while left-hand dials include a 24-hour display and a 60-second stopwatch. Available in round and square cases and..." (via TheAwesomer)

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Casio G-SHOCK Clean Military Series

Whether investing in their top-of-the-line metal series or collecting the classic models, adding an overbuilt G-SHOCK watch to your EDC is a solid choice. With their new Clean Military series, Casio takes one of their most iconic models—the DW5600—and gives it a monochromatic paint job for a minimalist aesthetic. It's as rugged as it's ever been, with a fresh look to match the rest of your gear.

The DW5600 is iconic for a reason. It comes equipped with the unparalleled shock and water resistance you expect from a G-SHOCK watch, paired with useful features like an EL backlight, stopwatch, countdown timer, and a multi-function alarm. Its 42.8mm resin case gives it durability without a lot of bulk, and a minimal face design provides better legibility when keeping an eye on the time. And with the DW5600 taking on solid colorways in black, white, and yellow, the crisp look or pop of color makes it easier than ever to add this classic watch to your carry.

There's never a bad reason to own this Casio classic, especially with a sleek new set of threads. Pick up the DW5600 in white from the Amazon link below, and be sure to check out its two other colorways as well.

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Timex iQ+ Move

As if keeping on top of your fitness goals wasn't hard enough, try passing off a fitness tracker as an EDC watch. Unless you're mid-workout, they stick out like a sore thumb and can be hard to mesh with your day-to-day style. Plus, most of them don't really look like watches, so it's hard to even tell the time at a glance with one. With their new iQ+ Move, Timex put their experience with traditional watch design at the forefront and gave it a modern update with smart fitness tracker features.

The iQ+ Move has a legible three-hand face to tell the time. A smaller dial shows the state of the current activity you're tracking. You can use it to keep track of metrics like steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned.

And it does this while looking like a stylish watch instead of a tech “wearable” on your wrist. You can choose from a wide variety of case, face, and strap designs to suit your fancy. The iQ+ Move straps swap out easily too, giving you some extra versatility and wearability from the watch.

If you've held off on getting a fitness tracker because you can't pull off the sporty look, give the iQ Move a shot, available at the link below.

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The Best Pilot Watches for Every Budget

If keeping time is an important part of your EDC, you’re gonna need a solid watch to do it. And of all the watch options out there, few rely on precision timing as much as pilots do. Fliegers, or pilot watches, are popular EDC options because of their legibility, durability, and accuracy. In this guide, we’ll explain where the flieger comes from, some standout features to look for, and 10 of our favorites for any budget.

BOLDR Odyssey Automatic Watch

"Many dive watches look the part but can’t take the pressure, literally, of deeper dives. BOLDR’s Odyssey automatic watch can, and also won’t put much of a dent in your wallet. The Odyssey is powered by a reliable Seiko automatic movement and boasts a screwdown caseback, triple lock screwdown crown, a helium escape valve, and a robust case, all in all earning it a 500 meter (1,650 feet) water resistance rating that’s, realistically, probably more than you’d want to test. A dive-functional 120 click unidirectional bezel and double domed sapphire crystal round out its features and..." (via GearHungry)

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Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver

When it comes to your EDC watch, you want something you can trust to stay accurate and keep ticking without much maintenance. Automatic movements are great, but only if you wear them (or at least give them a good shake) every day. The Citizen Promaster Diver avoids the daily upkeep with their proprietary Eco-Drive Technology. Thanks to a quartz-based movement, a solar charging cell, and robust construction, it makes for a reliable EDC watch that'll keep on ticking.

From the outside, the Promaster Diver has all the classic looks and features of a solid dive watch. There’s a 42mm stainless steel case contrasted with a blacked out face, bezel, and strap. Luminescent paint paired with large indices make for high visibility in dim (or underwater) conditions. The same goes for the chunky, yet legible hands. The orange minute hand not only adds a pop of color, but it also makes it easier to track time when using the bezel. You’ll also find a date window in the 4-o’clock position that lines up with the screw down crown. The steel case provides 200m of water resistance, which is more than enough for both professional diving and surface water sports.

The Promaster Diver represents an excellent value for a reliable and rugged everyday watch. You can can pick up one up for yourself for right around $200 via the link below.

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8 Watches to Wear This Spring/Summer

You only EDC the right tool for the job, right? Just like you wouldn't take a sports car out in the snow. It's simply not made for that. The same goes for watches — you wouldn't take a dress watch diving. And with the weather warming up, adventure beckons. Before your next expedition, leave the dress watch for the office and pick up a tough timepiece you wouldn't mind knocking around instead. Whether you're hiking, camping, swimming, or just wanting something lighter on your wrist, this guide has got you covered.

Timex Fairfield Chronograph Watch

There's a fine line between a truly minimalist watch and one that's a little too basic. To nail that minimalist design, watchmakers tend to remove more and more features, especially at the more affordable end of the watch spectrum. They'll tell you the time and sometimes the date, but other than that, not much else. Timex's Fairfield Chronograph is a more feature-packed update to their line of minimalist watches, with chrono functionality and good looks to match.

Don't worry, the addition of a chronograph doesn't ruin the Bauhaus-inspired look. It's a clean and legible addition that looks like it was always meant to be part of the original design.

It keeps all the features that make the Fairfield a popular option for everyday carry. It sports a reliable quartz movement, 30m water resistance, and an INDIGLO night light. The Fairfield Chronograph also has the diverse customization options that make the line unique. You can choose from a diverse set of case and strap combinations to suit your own taste and style. And it does all this at a fairly affordable price point.

This is the minimalist chronograph watch you've been waiting to EDC. Pick out the one that suits you and make it a part of your ensemble at the link below.

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ZLYC Bamboo Watch

"Wooden watches have been popping up all over the place these days, but we love the truly minimal looks of the dial on ZLYC’s unisex bamboo timepiece, along with its extra-long 24″ natural leather strap which..." (via TheAwesomer)

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Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 Smartwatch

"Smartwatches all run more or less the same operating systems, be it watchOS on the Apple side and Android Wear for just about all others. And the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 Smartwatch is no different in this respect, running the latter. Where it sets itself apart is modularity, since this latest gen model lets you swap out parts — and not just straps, either, but the buckle, lugs, bezel, or even the watch’s core module itself, when warranted. The module that’s included now though is already amongst the best in the market, boasting a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, an Intel Atom processor, 4GB of onboard storage, and..." (via GearHungry)

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Casio G-STEEL Street Vintage Collection

Casio are best known for their G-Shock series of watches, some of the most rugged timepieces you can buy. And while the style and construction lend themselves to a tough and tactical style, G-Shocks won't be the first watch you pick out of your drawer for more formal affairs. That is, until now. Casio have debuted the G-STEEL collection, a series of watches that combine the classic look of leather with the heavy-duty G-Shock heritage.

True to their overbuilt roots, the G-STEEL watches feature Tough Leather, a unique hybrid of synthetic leather and resin. It's designed to be stylish and soft to the touch just like regular leather, but able to withstand abrasions over time in addition to water resistance.

As for the watches themselves, each model comes with the latest and greatest G-SHOCK technology, including a Tough Solar battery, shock resistance, and 200 meters of water resistance. For evening visibility the dial features Neo-brite lume on its hands and markers, while an automatic double LED gives extra illumination when needed. Adding to the 12/24-hour format analog and digital displays are 48-city world time, daily alarms, and a stopwatch and countdown timer, all in a robust 52.4 mm case.

Casio's first foray into “tough formal” is definitely a collection to watch. You can pick up the light brown-strapped GSTS120L-1B model from Amazon at the link below, and be sure to check out the rest of the models on the G-Shock website.

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Nixon Base Watch

"Nixon combines 1980’s stainless steel watch design with a minimalist and modern digital interface. The Base has a negative display LCD that shows the time and date in large characters and..." (via TheAwesomer)

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