Summer Splash: What Is The Best Summer Watch? Mike’s Picks — Tudor, Citizen, And Seiko
Roll up, roll up! The summer has hit The ‘Furt and Fratello is keen to celebrate. After the magnificent maelstrom of March Mania, we are back with a new knock-out competition conceived to find the very best summer watch out there, according to YOU, the Fratelli. And guess what? You can win prizes! No, there won’t be a watch available this time but there WILL be some of the finest water-firing weapons money can buy: the Spyra 2 water cannon is reputedly the strongest of its kind ever made. Fancy getting your hands on one? Read on and take part in the comments section of this article.
This time around, eight writers will choose three of their favorite summer watches and pitch them to you. The rules? The watches must be under €5,000, water-resistant to at least 100 meters, and actually available to buy. That doesn’t mean they can’t be limited, but they can’t be sold out at the time of writing. Are you ready to jump in?
Citizen Promaster Tough “Ray Mears”
You don’t need to be fancy pants in order to enjoy swimming pool season. The Citizen Promaster Tough “Ray Mears” just might be one of my favorite candidates in this Summer Splash contest. I discovered this watch via a friend a couple of years ago and it unlocked a bit of watch history that was novel to me. Ray Mears, as it turns out, is an English TV personality who practices survival techniques and bushcraft. Apparently, before he traded up for a Rolex, he wore one of these Citizen Promaster Tough models. Folks, this watch is tough.
The Citizen Promaster Tough is a front loader made out of titanium and is water-resistant down to 300 meters. It emits no-nonsense field watch vibes with its smooth bezel and dial with loads of lume. Best of all, this watch uses Eco-Drive and that means that one simply needs to unscrew the crown, set the time, and enjoy the summer. This Citizen is so inoffensive that it comes in at 40mm with 20mm lugs. It is incredibly light and comfortable to wear on its Kevlar strap. In fact, it’s so easy that it could easily replace something like a G-Shock if you’re a fan of analog over digital.
The Citizen Promaster Tough “Ray Mears” retails for somewhere around €350, but there is one big problem. This oddity is only easily available in the U.K. or Europe. That’s a real shame because this is probably the most carefree watch out there. Theft? No chance! Malfunction? You can’t kill an Eco-Drive. Tough? You betcha. I know that this Citizen won’t win the Summer Splash, but it’s a great option for those looking for something just a bit different.
Seiko Prospex 6159 Modern Re-Interpretation
The next Summer Splash candidate comes from Japan’s other big brand: Seiko. Seiko has loads of dive watches for sale and, therefore, it can be tough to keep up with all the models. Let me refresh your memory. Less than a year ago, the new Prospex 6159 Modern Re-Interpretation made its debut. This watch replaced a relatively recent and similar watch with a 44mm diameter. The current piece is just 42.5mm and uses more customary Seiko hands in lieu of the awkward arrow hands that were a thing for a few years. Of note, a so-called “shovel” seconds hand echoes the original late ’60s model.
Rob went hands-on with the SPB185 you see here in pictures and I really fell for this watch. Firstly, it has a metallic bezel that is somewhat of a change for Seiko. Moreover, though, the watch is just so well balanced from both a design standpoint and size perspective. To me, this is the watch that so many people have been waiting for because it brings in great specs and costs a reasonable €1,250. This watch boasts 200 meters of water resistance, is only 12.5mm thick, and uses the 6R35 with 70 hours of power reserve. 99.9% of people don’t require the 300-meter water resistance rating of the Seiko formerly known as the Marinemaster. This watch may have just convinced the remaining 0.1% because it looks similar, but wears like something you’d never take off. If you want a mechanical watch with great value, this Seiko makes quite the Summer Splash.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
Let’s round out my Summer Splash entries with a proper left-field pick. The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 took the world by surprise when it hit the stage in April this year. Seriously, Tudor made a silver watch? That’s right, the tarnish-resistant diver shocked us all because silver is such a strange material to use for a watch case. It’s soft and it does change color. Plus, when stainless is available, why answer a question that no one has asked? Who knows, but if you’ve read my article about life with this watch after two months, you’ll know how much I love this oddball. Thus far this year, this watch has been my Summer Splash.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight in steel has always been an attractive watch, but it was very similar to a lot of watches that I own. When the 925 came out, I decided to seize the day because I knew I’d like the form factor. Plus, I was genuinely interested in seeing how this watch wears over time. Would it handle the pool, the ocean, the heat, etc? It turns out that this Tudor is genuinely versatile to wear and it hasn’t really shown much change so far. What I really love is how the grey (you can call it taupe if you like) dial looks with different straps. Grey, light blue, pink, or green all look amazing on this unique watch. Some bemoan the lack of a bracelet option but in serious heat, something like a rubber strap feels great. For €4,080, the Tudor slides well under the €5k threshold. Heck, it looks great and you still have enough cash to afford a long weekend at the beach.
Summer Splash Voting
It’s time to vote for one of my Summer Splash picks. I realize that the choices are all over the map know terms of price and case material, so choose which you like best. I’m for team Tudor, but I’d happily wear any of these watches. Let the Summer games begin.