Summer Splash Wild Card Round 1: The Fratelli Join The Fray — Seiko, NOMOS, Casio, And More
I am so looking forward to this. The Fratelli, long regarded as THE GREATEST collection of watch fans on the internet, have stormed the castle. They’re pitching tents in the courtyard. One of them’s even brought a paddling pool… That’s right, in our quest to find the best summer watch of all, it’s time for the Summer Splash Wild Card Round, courtesy of… well… YOU!
So where to start? This idea for a Wild Card round resulted in one of the most intense editing periods of my life. I went through every Summer Splash article and tried to pull every watch mentioned into the mix. As such, I’ve had to split the Wild Card round into THREE separate heats, which will culminate in a FOURTH article dubbed the Wild Card Decider. Yeah. This thing is getting out of hand. But at least this time it’s down to inclusion rather than my own incompetence…
Several dedicated followers sent through (multiple) entries and in the name of good sport, I’ve included all the “valid” ones in the following three Wild Card rounds. Have I made some mistakes in my selection? Almost definitely. Let me have it in the comments section below, but most of all, let’s just have fun and see what survives this gauntlet to enter the three-way final through the back door. How exciting does that sound when you say it out loud, eh?
Erik(tig) — NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus Future Orange
To me, James Bond was born to wear an Aqua Terra, not a Seamaster. He is the operative in the tux, who slips away when touring the yacht to sabotage the rudder during a quick night dive into inky waters. And he’ll do it without advertising the move with a large 300M on his wrist. Now, imagine Bond instead was a happy Irish fella who, after a summer’s day by the pool downing pints and Aperol Spritz, jumps in the water in broad daylight and performs the same rudder sabotage expertly using a stolen paddle. I feel like that guy is wearing the NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus Future Orange. It just exudes cheerful competence.
I love the fact that this is a clear orange watch just because NOMOS thought that this was a really cool shade. There are no justifications from the diving world, no limited edition of whatever event or company that happened to have a splotch of color attached to them. It simply does not need an excuse to be brightly happy. And you can get this watch in 38 or 36mm, so there is no need for the color to overwhelm you. Inside beats the manual Alpha movement, which is not really an original NOMOS design, nor boasting of any terribly impressive stats. It’s a simple movement, but one that is well-executed and nicely finished, and which helps lend this watch just a tad more respectability for an enthusiast.
…it is simply a proper fun summer’s watch.
It’s a bit of an insider’s choice with a proper movement and an uncompromisingly electric summer’s shade of orange, well-balanced in a small sleek package. At its crux, it is simply a proper fun summer’s watch. And at €1,100/1,200 you can definitely motivate a purchase even if you won’t put it on for work come the gray days of autumn (even though you totally should!).
DaDutchCollection — Zodiac Super Sea Wolf ZO9270!
Summery indeed, plus the Dutch livery made this one a clear pick for any of the Fratelli spending their summer in the Netherlands. A true original full of character and with great summer vibes in this colorway.
Rwaterbury — Oris Diver 65
We all know and love Oris for their extreme value for the price, and the Divers Sixty-Five is no exception. Its vintage skin-diver looks make it a fantastic summer companion, especially on the tropic-style rubber strap.
Wilfredo Bautista — TAG Heuer Aquaracer
Serious at first glance, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer’s yellow details reveal a fun side that’s ready for all the summer fun you might throw its way.
Sumodano — the Sinn 104
The Sinn 104 white dial makes the perfect summer watch. It has sufficient water resistance, a countdown bezel, which I find more useful than a unidirectional dive time bezel, and the white dial looks light and playful when paired with a brightly colored strap. I love having a day-date complication on a summer watch because it’s hard to keep track of the days when on summer vacations. As it falls well under the price limit, you can afford to go buy a whole drawer’s worth of straps and bracelets to fit any situation. It’ll look beach-ready on a rubber tropic strap, dressy on a leather strap or Milanese bracelet, and can take on a number of casual duties when paired with a nato or perlon. Or just leave it on the OEM H-link bracelet and let it do it all. I personally love it on a bright blue perlon. It just feels like a pairing meant for summer.
Phil — Tudor Heritage Chrono “Monte Carlo”
Need we say more? Just look at those colors!
Conor Whitworth — Seiko SNE498
A solar Seiko Tuna is a brilliant choice for summer, while passing out on the beach after one too many mojitos might just give you sunburn, this watch will soak up that sun to ensure timekeeping in the weeks and months to come.
David Boughton — Seiko SLA023J1
I’ve got an SLA023J1 which I love and is my daily wear. I also have Seamaster which I have owned since 1999, but it’s currently at Omega receiving some TLC. It’s another great watch and I love mine on a NATO.
I don’t own a Pelagos, but for me, it’s that or the Bronze BB which are the only Tudors I like.
Dan — Nomos Ahoi Date Siren Blue
I’m pretty sure I own a pair of swim trunks in this very color! No, but seriously, this watch could accompany you from the hotel swimming pool to ordering swimming pools at a beachfront tiki bar!
Doppiananda — Squale 1521
Because even a marine can take some time off to enjoy a bit of rest over the summer. But the military training this watch has received means it will definitely hold up through a bit of snorkeling.
Zavist — Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire
The deep blue and orange color combo has been a popular one! This CW is not just a tough 600m dive watch, but its transparent dial would make for a perfect conversation starter for a summer night out on the town!