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.

Orient Ray Raven II

Whether you're in the office or out and about, a diver is one of the best types of watches you can wear for everyday use. Dive watches sport best-in-class water resistance, great legibility, and tool-like durability. The Orient Ray Raven II is no exception. Besides the standard dive watch features, it has a blacked-out PVD coating that adds extra durability and a stealthy appearance that'll look great on your wrist no matter the occasion.

The watch has 200M of water resistance, which is more than enough for swimming and diving. The solid metal caseback and screw down crown add an extra barrier against water and dust. It’s easy to read the time too. The Ray Raven’s large hands and indices are treated with Super Luminova paint. It casts a bright green glow when charged by the sun or your EDC flashlight and lasts for hours. Like most dive watches, the Raven Ray II features a unidirectional bezel for tracking elapsed time. Setting the bezel is great for timing anything from how long dinner has been in the oven to length of a workout.

The Raven Ray II stays ticking thanks to its in-house automatic movement. The watch is powered by the motion of your wrist, so as long as you wear it everyday, it'll keep running. The case measures in at a conservative 41.5mm, ideal for most wrist sizes. You can grab one for yourself via the link below.

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Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20

"It’s not only [very slightly] smaller and sleeker than before: the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 is also smarter. The watch is tailor-built for use in the great outdoors with a ruggedized case and includes a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, and for the first time a low-power GPS with downloadable maps. You’ll have to settle for viewing maps on its 1.32-inch color display which is also touch-enabled, but fortunately the WSD-F20 runs Android Wear 2.0 with a user-friendly interface — not to mention Google Assistant for quick voice-powered commands. And when you’re not relying on its full capabilities the watch can switch into timepiece mode on its secondary monochrome display (there are two stacked layers) to extend battery life from..." (via GearHungry)

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Casio G-Shock GG-1000-1A Mudmaster

There's a time and a place for a fancy dress watch, but for everyday use you might want something less formal and more hardy to throw on your wrist and bang around without worry. Despite being something you wear all the time, many watches can't deal with water and dust. Those are the kinds of problems Casio's G-Shock watches were built to solve, and their Mudmaster series takes it to the next level. With features like mud- and shock-resistant construction that uses tough materials and reinforced internals, the Mudmaster keeps on ticking come hell or (literal) high water.

The Mudmaster uses multiple gaskets to protect its movement and the internal pipes that guide and support the buttons and shafts. This not only adds its namesake mud protection and 200 meters of water resistance, but also adds improved operation and impact resistance. And what exactly is being protected in such a beefy watch?

For starters, there's the digital-analog display that gives you time across 31 time zones, so the Mudmaster is ready to travel the world with you. It's not just a timepiece either—there's a stopwatch, countdown timer, daily alarms, and a calendar that tracks through to 2099 for all your time and date tracking needs.  It helps point the way thanks to a digital compass, and even knows exactly how cold it is with its thermometer.

Leave the dress watch on your dresser and take the Mudmaster with you on your next adventure. Pick one up from Amazon at the link below, and be sure to check out its other face and strap color combinations.

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Cronometrics Engineer S3

"A striking and sleek monochrome timepiece with design elements inspired by engineering’s strongest shape – the triangle. Its 42mm stainless steel case carries PVD black coating on every surface, and..." (via TheAwesomer)

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What's the Best Watch Strap for EDC?

So you’ve finally got your hands on the perfect EDC watch… But as much as you love it, rocking the same look and feel every single day is starting to feel a little boring. The solution is surprisingly simple. All it takes is a new strap to shake up the look, feel, and function of your favorite timepiece. In this guide, we break down the different types of watch straps to help you decide which one is right for you and your daily activities.

Orient Flight Watch

One place you'll be sure to find precise timekeeping equipment is in a cockpit. Now, chances are you aren't manning jets or taking on critical missions every day. But that doesn't mean there's no place for a classic pilot's watch (and all the functionality that comes with it) in your everyday carry. Orient's known for producing some of the best automatic watches for your buck, and their Flight watch is no exception.

Orient doesn't try to fix what isn't broken with the design on their Flight watch. It stays true to the classic “Type B” configuration, featuring a triangular marker at 12 o'clock, large Arabic numerals at 5 minute intervals, unobtrusive hour markers, and unambiguous sword hands. A larger 42mm case, lume, and date window round out the face of the watch. The result is uncompromising, no-frills legibility for easy time-telling at a glance.

It's one thing for your watch to be legible, but it won't mean much if it isn't reliably accurate as well. Orient does it with the Flight in its materials and movement. It's automatic, meaning it doesn't need a battery to maintain a power reserve to keep the time, and its stainless steel construction means it's rugged enough for every day on your wrist.

A precise watch is an effective watch, and the perfect co-pilot for your EDC. Pick up the Orient Flight from Amazon at the link below.

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Casio G-SHOCK GA700

If you need a watch that'll keep ticking even after serious hard use, look no further than the G-SHOCK line. It's a name that has become synonymous with extreme ruggedness through dozens of models and decades of demonstration. The recently released Casio GA700 marks a new addition to the G-SHOCK family with a striking 3D hybrid design and improved functionality to match.

The GA700 is a hybrid analog and digital timepiece. Unlike traditionally “flat” analog watch faces, the GA-700 features 3D sculpted hands that improve legibility while making a strong visual impact. Below those hands, you'll find digital readouts that tell time globally in 31 different timezones. Its digital stopwatch and chronometer functions add even more versatility to your timekeeping and can be easily controlled using pushbuttons on the side of the case. The GA-700 is the first G-SHOCK design to employ a large center button to activate a white LED frontlight to read it in the dark.

Of course, being a G-SHOCK, it'll stand up to pretty much anything you throw at it. For most of us, that might mean banging it against a wall, getting caught in the rain, or knocking it around at work. For the more extreme adventurers, it means withstanding water pressure at depths up to 200 meters or dealing with the frigid temperatures out on the trail.

Make it a part of your own everyday carry, and pick the color scheme you want out of the three available at the link below.

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Timex IQ+ Move Watches

"The Timex IQ+ Move is designed to look like a traditional analog timepiece. It tracks steps and distance, calories burned, and sleep habits, and can sync time precisely with your phone. It’s not as feature rich as other smartwatches, but..." (via TheAwesomer)

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10 Orange Everyday Carry Essentials for High Visibility

It's Halloween season again, and oddly enough, it's an appropriate time to rethink your EDC. You've got your knives and lighters for making jack-o-lanterns and flashlights to keep little ones safe on their neighborhood routes. Maybe you won't go so far as repurposing your go-bag into trick-or-treating candy storage (though I can't blame you: candy just tastes better when it's free), but there's good reason to get your EDC in the Halloween spirit with some new orange gear.

Now, you don’t have to use Halloween as an excuse to pocket orange gear. Adding that color to your carry has year-round benefits as well. Orange is typically used in the outdoors and zombie apocalypse survival situations for its strikingly high visibility. Compared to the usual black finishes, orange makes your gear easier to find whether you've dropped it in the woods or it's sitting at the darkest bottom corner of a loaded bag. We featured 13 other hi-vis tools last year, but we've updated the guide this time around with newer gear with the latest features.

Here are our picks for hi-vis orange gear to carry this year.

The Best Knife, Light, and Watch Carry for Every Situation

A knife, a light, and a watch. They're a means to cut things, to brighten up an area, and to tell the time. Sure, you could probably use your teeth, wait until daylight, and use the position of the sun to figure out what time it is, but having these dedicated tools make those tasks so much easier to perform.

They're the building blocks of an EDC, the first steps on the road to preparing yourself for everyday obstacles. They're also three of the biggest markets in everyday carry, with hundreds of knives, lights, and watches available for every price point and purpose.

So today we've put together some of our favorite knife/light/watch combinations to suit a variety of situations. We're hoping our picks can give you ideas on how to choose each so you can build a carry that works best for you.

The Best Tough Digital Watches for Everyday Carry

Want a timepiece on your wrist that’s as tough as the gear you carry? “Tough digital” watches are a favorite among EDCers for their shock resistance, rugged construction, and adventure-ready features that you just can't get from an analog watch. They’re also the choice of military and law enforcement officers for good reason. In this quick guide, we'll show you what qualities to look for in a digital watch and recommend 10 of favorites to get you started.

Garmin Fenix Chronos

"A smartwatch for the extreme outdoorsman. The Garmin Fenix Chronos has an always on backlit LED display, a compass, altimeter, comprehensive running and fitness tracking features and phone notifications. It lasts..." (via TheAwesomer)

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Seiko SKA725P1 Kinetic Military Watch

Military watches are a great way to step up your wrist game by pairing classic designs with rugged construction—these watches take their cue from the field, after all. Seiko knows this better than most, with their SNK line of military watches one of the most popular icons of the style.

So how do you improve on a great watch? By taking everything to the next level, of course. This is Seiko's SKA725P1, which takes the original SNK's aesthetics and adds some muscle behind the movement. In addition to using automatic movement, the SKA725P1 adds Seiko's Kinetic technology to the mix, letting you use your normal arm movement to power the watch's power reserve. This means your watch is still ticking on Monday when you forget to wear or wind it over the weekend.

The SKA725P1 also got a bump up in size to a 42mm diameter and 12mm case thickness, improving its depth resistance to 100 meters. The increased case size also means a larger face, giving better legibility on the watch's numbers, indices, and 24-hour indicators. Time to upgrade your military style—pick up Seiko's new Kinetic from Amazon at the link below.

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squarestreet Aluminum Timepieces

When it comes to EDC watches, we often recommend something heavy duty (like a dive watch) mainly for utilitarian reasons. But if your day-to-day doesn't involve frequent deep-sea diving, an overbuilt steel watch is probably overkill—especially if you can't stand the weight of something constantly on your wrist. In that case, squarestreet's aluminum watches might be more up your alley.

This is no tool watch, but rather, a good-looking watch for design geeks and minimalists. It's sleek, low-profile, and comfortable thanks to a combination of a featherweight aircraft-grade aluminum case, completely flush caseback, and supple leather strap. Its 8mm thick, 42mm case houses a Swiss Ronda quartz movement and subtly ribbed watch face. The face's smaller markers, round date window, and seconds subdial lend well to the watch's overall minimal and unobtrusive design. All in all, the watch weighs in at a hair over 30 grams.

The watch does lean more towards the fashion accessory side of the spectrum, but its unique visual design and barely-there weight might make it worthwhile if you're after a stylish, casual timepiece. You can check out the full range of case and strap colorways from squarestreet at the link below.


Havok Quarter Century Watch

Let's face it, there are a lot of cheap watches out there. Cheap—not inexpensive—meaning low-quality materials and production. For many of these timepieces, you get what you pay for, a watch that would inevitably be only right twice a day. But what if you could get a watch that trims the fat while still providing excellent value, and at the same time only gives you the features you need?

For their third crowdfunded watch, Havok Timepieces out of San Francisco set out to do just that. With the Quarter Century, they took the concept of an inexpensive watch, found functional alternatives to the usual materials, and focused on the features watch enthusiasts look for. We're talking Italian natural leather, Swiss Ronda movement, and a Sapphire crystal, packaged in the minimal style of a classic dress watch. By forgoing a deeper water resistance and more exotic case metals, they're able to streamline manufacturing to give you a more affordable watch. Affordable—not cheap—which is why Havok will stand by the 25-year warranty the Quarter Century is named after.

So now you have a choice to make. Buy cheap and buy twice (or thrice...), or pick up the Havok Quarter Century and own a quality timepiece for the next 25 years? Seems like an easy choice, so back one in your choice of colorway at the Kickstarter link below.

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Ascent Survivor Watch

Two items familiar to many EDCers are watches and paracord. The former is a staple for telling time and delivering information. The latter, one of the most useful things you can add to your carry. It's not uncommon to see paracord used as a strap, but adding a full set of survival tools to a single package worn on your wrist? Now we're talking.

Ascent Survival out of St. Louis, MO understand the need to have essential tools close at hand but out of the way. With the Survivor, they've created a watch that gives you 5 handy outdoor tools for your weekend adventures, and paired it with a reliable movement in a rugged case for your daily timekeeping. The Survivor comes with a compass, emergency whistle, ferrocerium rod, and striker integrated into its 4.5' 550 paracord strap. Its movement is a Miyota 2145, a dependable quartz found in many popular Japanese brands. The movement is stored in a 48mm steel case water resistant up to 50 meters.

A reliable timepiece with useful tools — the Ascent Survivor meets the needs of the everyday excursion. There's plenty of time to back the Survivor itself or the survival strap separately at the Kickstarter link below.

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