The Top 5 Watches You Can Wear This Summer
Summer is coming! As watch enthusiasts know, you can’t wear just any watch during the hottest season of the year. My Swatch Skin and G-Shock tend to get more wrist time during the summer months, but there are plenty of other options to choose from. We’ve compiled our five favorites for a summer fling. Spoiler: There’s just one Rolex on our list, a few Seikos, and lots of colors.
What makes a great summer watch?
Real quick: Let’s go over some rough qualifications for a summer watch. We’re looking for timepieces that are 1) water resistant – for swimming or at least an unforeseen summer shower; 2) not on a leather strap – because we’re gonna get a little sweaty; 3) colorful – because it’s summer, and we’re allowed to have some fun; and 4) priced relatively affordably – although I did break this rule with the last watch.
1. Seiko Prospex Street Series
Surprise, surprise, we’re starting with Seiko. Now, there are nearly infinite Seiko divers and tool watches you could choose here, but beyond the Seiko Turtles, the Sumos, and the Tunas, my new favorite collection is the Seiko Prospex Street Series.
The Street Series is funky, but in a utilitarian way. The textured silicone straps match the cases perfectly, creating a cohesive package. You have more muted, earth-tone options for a G.I. Joe vibe, or blue, green, and white options if you want the watch to pop a little more. Speaking of options, you can also choose between a classic automatic caliber or a solar-powered movement. I do like solar-powered watches for summer. They’re super durable, ready to go, and they give you that little extra nudge to get out of the house when the sun is shining.
2. Grand Seiko GMT SBGJ249
From Seiko, we’re moving up to Grand Seiko with a watch that is quite literally made for summer. Grand Seiko loves a seasonal watch, and the Grand Seiko SBGJ249 sports a therapeutic blue dial made to mimic the ripples of cool water on a hot summer day. The ironic part is that this watch has 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft) of water resistance, which is technically safe for swimming, but on the other hand, well, borderline not OK for swimming. Of course, you don’t always have to wear a watch when you swim, and with its Zaratsu-polished case, you may want to be a little more careful with this watch anyway. You do get drilled lug holes here, which makes changing from a bracelet to a strap and back much easier. And the GMT functionality will certainly come in handy for summer travels.
3. Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400
We’re going with a new release for watch #3: the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 that debuted at Watches and Wonders earlier this year. Oris has long been a watch brand that offers plenty of value for the money, and the same is true here.
There are a few features that make this watch great for summer. For starters, the dials in blue, gray, or coral red add some fun to the rather technical look of the case and bracelet. Plus, you have a screw-down crown with 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) of water resistance, and just the right amount of wrist presence with a 39-mm titanium case.
Speaking of titanium, this super lightweight material is fitting for summer when the other things you’re wearing – shorts, sandals, linen shirts – are also lightweight. And with a 5-day power reserve, this is an easy watch to keep in the rotation.
4. Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer
While this Mido watch is often cited as an excellent summer watch, we couldn’t help but mention the Mido Ocean Star Decompression Timer. There’s so much color on the dial, it might make your head explode. But never fear: the decompression timer is designed to prevent just that. OK, OK, dumb joke, but this Mido Ocean Star timepiece has all you need in a summer watch: it’s bright, tough, the mesh bracelet breathes well, and it sells for under $2,000. Plus, it nails the mid-century skin diver feel for those wanting to capture the golden age of the French Riviera.
5. Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Now, if you want to get a fun, summer-ready watch and still flex a little bit, you could get something like a 41-mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a yellow dial. We’re borrowing this one from a close friend who was lucky enough to pick one up. Prices for these watches have soared since they were released, and have kept on soaring since they were discontinued. As you’d expect, it’s a very capable watch. It also has one of the more daring colors that the brand has released, and you might even say it now serves as a kind of one-year time capsule in the brand’s history. Aside from all the hype, the yellow Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a watch that will make you happy. For something similar but much more affordable, check out the DOXA SUB 200 in yellow, orange, or Tiffany blue.