Summer Splash: What Is The Best Summer Watch? Jorg’s Picks — Breitling, Tudor, And G-Shock
Roll up, roll up! The summer has hit The Hague, and Fratello is keen to celebrate. After the fizzing success of March Mania, we are back with the Summer Splash. 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.
Eight writers will choose three of their favorite summer watches this time around and pitch them to you during this first round of our Summer Splash. 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. With that said, it’s time to jump in and talk about my favorite summer watches. Here we go!
Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Outerknown
My first pick for our Summer Splash was a no-brainer. The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 exudes summer in all its different configurations. But Superocean Heritage ’57 Outerknown stands out for me because it is totally in line with my idea of summer. Not necessarily summer holidays, but just summer in general. Surfing and surf culture have fascinated me ever since I first stood on a skateboard back when I was a teenager.
Especially the early days of big wave surfing in the 1950s and 1960s, with names like Greg Noll, Pat Curren, and Eddie Aikau amongst many others, are fascinating to me. There is a certain style and romance to the reality and dangers of riding huge waves that is incredibly captivating. If you want to get a good idea, watch the documentary Riding Giants from 2004 by Stacey Peralta. It perfectly documents these early days of big wave surfing.
The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Outerknown in stainless steel perfectly captures the story of the original Superocean ref. 1004 from 1957 and take inspiration from the surf culture of the late ’50s and early ’60s. The 42mm watch looks very stylish with its brown sunburst dial, characteristic funky indices, concave-shaped black ceramic bezel, and domed sapphire crystal. It is water-resistant to 100 meters, and Inside the case, Breitling uses the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 10 based on the ETA 2892-A2 and comes with 42 hours of power reserve.
At just 9.9mm thick, this is a joy to wear on the stylish black and brown NATO strap, which gives the watch the perfect retro appeal in any summer situation. Pro surfer Kelly Slater’s company Outerknown supplied these stylish NATO-straps from recycled nylon waste. At €4,120, this is at the top end of our competition entries. But this watch is not about specs or price for me. This watch, for me, is all about the feeling of summer. It combines the story of diving and surfing, and it does so in a great retro-inspired way that reminds me of the endless summer. And that feeling is priceless.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue
Recently, Tudor’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight line of watches has been growing rapidly. Their most popular Black Bay recently saw new versions in bronze, silver, and yellow gold. While all of them have a great deal of charm, the best Black Bay Fifty-Eight for me is the Navy Blue version. There are no precious metals here that might, or might not, change appearance after using the watch for a full summer, and the combination of steel with that crisp navy blue color is perfect for summer.
As I explained in the Black Bay 58 Navy Blue review, the blue color really pops in the sun and changes to a classy darker blue in lower light conditions. And that versatility is exactly what you need from a perfect summer watch. Sporty during the day and stylish at night.
Additionally, BB58 owners will agree with me that this model is a strap monster. You can make this work with pretty much any strap, no matter the material or the color. Again, perfect for the summer! My preferred way of wearing it is on the bracelet. After being unimpressed with the black version, putting this blue version on my wrist on the bracelet made me love it immediately. But I would definitely switch it up with a variety of straps every now and then.
I know Mike is in this competition telling you all the same things about his BB58. But in all honesty, his 925 looks stylish and great, but it’s also a bit too boring to be a standout summer stunner. No, after seeing all the different Black Bay Fifty-Eight options out there, this has to be my pick. It is the cleanest and most crisp version of the Black Bay family. At €3,470 on the bracelet and €3,180 on a strap, this is one of the best watches out there for the money. And on top of that, it makes for the perfect summer watch.
Casio G-Shock MT-G MTG-B2000PH2A “Blue Phoenix”
My last pick is amazing in so many different ways. The G-Shock MT-G MTG-B2000PH2A “Blue Phoenix” is absolutely bonkers in its appearance. The abundance of bright colors and the stunning number of functions the watch offers make this a wild pick. It’s a watch that has the perfect fun summer looks. But don’t let the looks deceive you. As I explained in my review, the “Blue Phoenix” means serious business.
If you look past the extravagant appearance, you will find that the quality and execution are top-notch. The case construction consists of a monocoque carbon fiber case placed inside a steel frame. Screwed on top is a steel bezel, and the watch has a sapphire crystal. Holding this watch in your hands, the feeling of quality is unmistakable. On top of that, G-Shock used the highest levels of execution and finishing to create this Blue Phoenix. The visually most spectacular part of the watch is the rainbow ion plating applied to its bezel and case.
The watch measures a whopping 51mm by 55.1mm and is 15.9mm thick. Bonkers for normal standards but perfect for a G-Shock. But if a watch can be loud and oversized at any time, it’s during the summer. Thanks to the angular integrated bracelet with an end link in the same blue color as the case, it wears extremely well. Having said that, the bright colors are also not as loud on your wrist as you might first think. I will be the last person to say it’s an understated watch, but it seems to blend in easily if you wear clothes with a bit of color.
At €1,099, this is by no means a cheap G-Shock. But after having worn it on the wrist for a couple of days, I can honestly say I was blown away by its quality. The materials, the construction, the finishing, the number of functions, and the level of detail are all very impressive. This really is taking G-Shock to another level. But more important than any of that, every time I wore the watch, it put a big smile on my face. And that is the best you can ask for from a summer watch.
The ball is in your court now. Which of these three summer watches makes it through to the head-to-head phase of our Summer Splash competition? Will it be the Breitling Navitimer ’57 Outerknown, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, or the G-Shock MT-G MTG-B2000PH2A “Blue Phoenix”? Let us know by casting your vote below, and we will find out which of my three picks will proceed in our Summer Splash competition.