Summer Splash Final: What Is The Best Summer Watch? Tudor, Omega, And Doxa Fight For The Title
Here it is, ladies, gentlemen, exuberant watch collectors, and machiavellian sea creatures alike, allow us to present to you the grand final of Fratello’s Summer Splash tournament. The contestants? Mike, RJ, and Phil. They bring to battle their trusty Tudor Black Bay .925, the seasoned Omega Seamaster 300M, and the vivacious-yet-versatile Doxa Sub 300. Who will steal your heart and earn your vote? Let’s find out.
The vote will run until Sunday at 5 pm CET (September 26th). At that point, we will verify the legality of the voting for the final time and announce the winner, crowning the best summer watch available right now. Dive in one last time…
Mike — Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
Well, well, well. It’s the final countdown and somehow, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 has made it. I say, “somehow,” because this silver case looked like a bit of a longshot when it was first announced. However, like the little train that could, this Tudor thought it could all the way through this Summer Splash competition. Like RJ’s Omega below, people have complained that this watch isn’t very “Summery.” Well, if your definition is bright colors, then perhaps you could throw on some Zinka sunblock from the ’90s to liven things up a little. Remember that stuff? Well, if not, I actually think that pairing bright and fun straps with this watch helps make it all the more beach-ready. Besides, a Summer watch needs to function well and look good.
As far as functionality, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 works beautifully. I’ve crowed about how nice the crown and bezel do their thing and it’s true, this does feel like something that comes out of the Rolex shop. Then again, this watch has a controversial precious metal case made from a material that occupies the cheap case at Tiffany. That material, though, is what sold me on the watch because it’s so unique. Almost four months of ownership shows some slight darkening, but not much. Plus, the in-house MT5400 chronometer keeps fantastic time despite the fact that isn’t super sexy through the display back.
Is this Tudor the greatest Summer watch around? Maybe or maybe not, but I think it scratches a lot of horological itches. It comes from a respected brand, has timeless looks, and brings just the right amount of uniqueness due to its case material. Maybe it’s not your only watch, but I think it actually could be. Will it win this competition? Well, we are in Omega territory on Fratello, but I do know that the 39mm case size and svelte 12.7mm thickness on the Tudor make it a seriously comfortable watch — and comfort is key in the heat. I’m easily lured in by something different and for me, the Tudor checks that box. Thankfully, it backs up its oddness with honest-to-goodness specs and style.
RJ — Omega Seamaster 300M
Yes, it’s black & white and according to some, these aren’t very summery colors. But, my dear friends, the watch is available in many different dial colors, I just selected the one I like best. You can also opt for the blue one, for example, making it a proper “sea” master. Everything that can be said about this watch I’ve done so in the earlier rounds of this Summer Splash contest, including some lengthy explanations in the comments. You’ll only need a lot of colors on your watch if you’re not a colorful person and I can’t imagine you are. So, this white dial Seamaster 300M will most definitely work for most of you. And as said in earlier Summer Splash installments, this watch means serious business. A lot of “specs” for the price. And the best thing, you can wear it during the rest of the year as well.
For many years now, the ultimate summer watch is my Seamaster 300M. From the first Seamaster 300M reference 2531.80 to the over-the-top Rose gold, titanium, and tantalum reference 2296.80 that I bought a few years ago. I can’t wait to add the latest generation Seamaster 300M to my collection and make it my new summer watch for the years to come. It will most likely be this white dial version, on this comfortable black rubber strap. Whether it’s for a day at the beach in Scheveningen or to a sunny holiday in Spain, there’s no need anymore to bring more than one watch with this Seamaster 300M. This modern all-rounder can be worn everywhere!
Phil — Doxa Sub 300
A summer watch is not just an everyday watch that happens to be practical to wear in summer. It is a watch that invokes the feeling of summer even when you are in the depths of winter. It transports you to beaches in tropical locations. It takes you surfing, swimming, or sailing. It makes you think of sipping cocktails by the poolside.
Here in Australia, we are blessed with beautiful blue skies, perfect white sand, and clean clear oceans, so a summer watch really needs some extra pizazz to feel special. A black dial with some anonymous design just will not do. It needs some color. It needs to be unique. It needs a nice airy bracelet, but must also look good on rubber and straps alike. It needs a nice grippy bezel to work with sunscreen-slick hands. It should be a brand that the average thief does not recognize as many of the best holiday spots are in far-flung places. And finally, it needs a date because, unfortunately, all summers eventually come to an end.
The Doxa Sub 300 is nothing if not unique, and stands out in all of these areas. And if it was good enough for Jacques Cousteau, it’s good enough for me when I’m enjoying a Bintang on the beaches of Bali!