Under The Radar – Best Watches to buy for winter

Winter! To some, it’s a season; to other, it’s celebration!

My gentle readers and also the less gentle ones; today we are taking a break from the usual discussions in an effort to solve a conundrum. It has posed and perplexed us for quite some time now; it is about whether watches should also be considered as a part of winter fashion.

We, therefore; take a long, hard look at the exploding demand for certain watches and find out whether it’s sheer purpose lurking behind them or just a mere instant of someone floating an exaggerated hype and others following it with an exaggerated zeal; and finally, if this tendency might lead to one of those moments that define an enhanced sense of fashion. Whether it would continue or be short-lived is a different question altogether; we intend to cover that too if time and space permits.

The question arises as sports watches were observed undergoing a meteoric rise in popularity. Not just high-end sports watches like the Casio PROTREK Quad Sensor Digital Compass or the Citizen Promaster Altimeter to aid you with winter sports like skiing, ice skating and sledding; even simpler ones like the Casio Digital Stainless Steel Alarm Chrono Dual Time are disappearing faster from the display; the curve went steep from a few dozens to a few hundred in just a few weeks. This, certainly; has left us wondering if they could form a part of the winter party- and daily wear. A tasteful restraint is not exactly what you appreciate in fully or partly digital watches, but ‘the more, the merrier’ concept, too; doesn’t apply. Your pick should be well-thought!

  1. A plain and simple fact

  2. Good news is…

  3. Your winter fashion watch list

  4. Why these 10?

  5. Conclusion

  6. F.A.Q.

On a normal summer day, a sports watch can highly become your go-to timepiece. Watches like the Casio Digital Stainless Steel Data Bank Multi-Lingual still tickle the fancy for a considerable number of people who like to keep an instrument or two handy  for everyday use. No, these aren’t people who had been; or are dwelling – in horological sense – beneath the proverbial rock. They are undoubtedly aware about the usefulness of an inexpensive, semi-sports watch – for example, one of those from Casio, Armitron and Westar. When they go for a Garmin or a Bulova, it’s understood but not the vast number of people whose affinity, of recent, has passed the ferocious mark and entered the realms of hysterical.

It is a very strange phenomenon in the world of high-end digital watchmaking that their elevated stature is also slightly marred by the simple truth that they are oversized and excessively bulky, which is alright (till a certain extent) when you are in your sports clothing, but not necessarily so with your fleece and leather jacket.

The fact is, however; that most of the digital watches pose a bigger problem being too technically inclined in appearance for social situations than becoming a single watch that can take you to the hills straight from the buffet hall.

Fine digital timepieces can be had from these brands and also from a few other different ones unless you face that infamous disadvantage brought forth by your besottedness with some particular brand name.  Since a good digital winter watch will not appear out of thin air and to keep you from settling for the insipid and the rehashed, following are a few recommendations we bring. These few names underneath would help you to make reasonable decisions and pick one to get out of the winter dressing game altogether!


The ice, the snow and the hard, rocky surfaces are enough stress to send your wristwatch for a toss! An exposure to such extreme stresses can easily tear down a watch that you are familiar with in your everyday life. To choose the right model as a winter-wear, you, therefore; need to consider a few points:

  • Environmental conditions: Snow, ice, icy water, blizzards – these are common things during winter; more so, when you are heading a hill resort for those winter sports. Even if you are not, just a weeklong countryside stay is going to make you come across such forces of nature; even within the city, albeit at not such intensities. Therefore, pay close attention to watches with a hefty bit of Water Resistance (not just water repellent; it should actually be waterproof); Shock/impact/vibration resistance (better, if there’s also present magnetic reluctance but that’s not of a very high priority) and temperature resistance. Quartz movements are sensitive to temperature fluctuations; they are fine as long as they are atop your wrist (body temperature keeps them warm) but when you are out skiing or playing bandy, ambient temperature will cool it down. The normal functioning range is between 5 ° C and 35 ° C; check first the range of temperature variation it can withstand
  • Additional features: Depending upon the type of winter games you are going to play, additional features prove to be helpful. The most essential in this regard are a thermometer display, an altimeter, navigation function/compass and special lighting to enable viewing in the dark. Watches developed for professional outdoor use get all these built-in and therefore, prove to be exceptionally helpful amidst extreme environments.

With that much of info in hand, let’s have a look at the 10 most affordable watches in this category that are bound to make your winter activities a lot more fun than before!

  1. Casio Protrek Triple Sensor Solar Powered: A mid-line outdoor watch from Casio, the only thing it lacks is GPS/Radio functionality; but that would take it far from the affordable bracket. The Solar Power feature is a big advantage; since you don’t have to worry again about battery rundown for using the alarms, the countdown timer; viewing world time, altitude, barometric pressure, direction and temperature. It’s fairly large, thereby offering maximum clarity in viewing. Overall, this Pro-Trek embodies an excellent functional beauty and ease of operation that modern technology has to offer. It can be operated with your gloves on and offers one-touch access to the integrated functions.
  2. Casio Digital Stainless Steel Alarm Chrono Dual Time: This model from the Casio Youth collection takes a traditional design and gives it a modern twist, making it a desirable, classic wrist watch that’s contemporary, trendy and exquisite. It combines your fashion sense with all the basic technology you’ll require outdoors, providing plenty of functionality within a stylish design. It offers a LED Light with afterglow, which is essential for low-light conditions; displays dual time; a Multi-Function Alarm, a 1/100 Second Digital Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, hourly time signals and an Auto Calendar.
  3. Casio PROTREK Quad Sensor Digital Compass: 4 sensors at play, stuffing you with every piece of info you might need on a slippery trail! This PRO TREK features an improved outdoor usability; it links via Bluetooth to the PRO TREK Connected app running on your smart phone. It tracks your steps; directions, altitude and temperature changes; calories burned and routes acquired via smart phone GPS, which also allows for automatic time adjustments and displaying sunrise and sunset times. You may keep modes on/off according to your needs.
  4. Casio G-Shock In The Sky Gravitymaster Mobile Link: This is not a top-of-the-line G-Shock and therefore, uses battery as a power source, which runs well up to 2 years even with constant connectivity and frequent use of functions. Ample water resistance (200 meters) and immune to shocks and vibrations, its Quad Sensor array drives the thermometer, altimeter/barometer, compass and an accelerometer. Primarily made for aviation sports, but can be used highly for winter activities.
    It connects to smart phones through Bluetooth and activates the G-Shock Connected app to let you access Mission Log feature, which analyses altitude data and GPS data to plot a course. The waypoint navigation feature points with the watch’s seconds-hand towards set locations that you mark in the app. Besides, it will also count your steps and calories; show world time, time your activity durations and track them too.
  1. Casio Digital Stainless Steel Data Bank Multi-Lingual: A sturdy, digital timepiece with a 10-key pad, 8-digit calculator and a big, high-contrast LCD. It has databank capabilities, currency conversion facilities, Auto-calendar (to year 2099) in 13 languages, and 10-year battery life for uninterrupted operation. While none of the functions other than the stopwatch shall help you actively for your skiing and other winter sports, the currency conversion and calculator shall come immensely helpful if you are visiting another country for your winter vacation.
  2. Casio G-Shock Mudman: With Tough Solar technology, you get an extra layer of protection from sudden power rundowns, especially when you are using essential features while on a trail. Its full auto, electro-luminescent backlight with afterglow, its digital compass with magnetic declination correction and bearing memory, a thermometer, Moon data, World time (31 time zones), 1/100-second split time stopwatch (999:59’59.99”), countdown timer and daily alarms, there is no other watch that could possible match up with the Mudman. Moreover, with the ‘power saving’ mode on, the watch display goes blank if left in the dark.
  3. Bulova Computron: This isn’t a watch as capable as watches specifically designed for outdoors, but it helps to check time without taking your ski-pole off the ground. Its angled display lets you see the time without having to tilt your wrist. Its case back can be easily removed with the help of a coin, so even if you suddenly run out of battery, you can replace it yourself.
  4. Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition Lichen Camo Silicone: An able competitor to the G-Shock, its constructed to U.S. military standard 810G for thermal and shock protection and 100m of actual water resistance. Its chemically strengthened display is night vision compatible. With functions like waypoint projection, dual-position GPS formatting and other preloaded tactical activities, it also monitors your heart rate and stress levels and connects with smart phones. Moreover, you may also keep a log on your route and track back to your starting point; or plan your trips in advance.
    It’s a smart watch with a battery life of up to 14 days in smart watch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode.
  1. Garmin Instinct Outdoor Fitness GPS Multisport: This is a watch that provides unique tactical features apart from those used in sports. Its stealth mode hides the wearer’s presence while the night-vision mode enables clear, nighttime viewing. It helps you identify your directions. The Instinct is equipped with multiple different sports modes including running, cycling, swimming, climbing, skiing, rowing, weightlifting and yoga; therefore, whatever sports you might enjoy, you’ll find a new way to perform better.
  2. Casio G-Shock G-Move Limited Edition Heart-Rate Monitor: This is very much a sports watch with some smart watch capabilities (for iPhone), allowing you to view additional time zones and set up alarms. But those can only be viewed; you can’t respond to the notifications. Still, it breaks new grounds being a powerful GPS sports watch, within a familiar-looking G-Shock package.

    5. Conclusion

Outdoor activities get a lot simpler with appropriate, hands-free instruments of which, a watch is the most convenient one to sport. All the watches we presented above comprise essential functions like route tracking, GPS, Compass, Altimeter and Barometer loaded into them. And the best part is, you don’t need to spend heftily for them.

If you are very active in the outdoors, and you don’t want to worry about protecting your watch from the elements, then all of the above are your best choice. They are aesthetically pleasing too, which makes them fashionable items to wear when you are gathering around the bonfire after your sports session. Or in that case, if you are visiting the nearby town; their large, bulky appearances would highly complement your heavy winter wear!

i. What are the top features every man should look for in a winter sports watch?

A. Stopwatch: It gives you an ability to determine the time it takes to complete a particular event or task and allows to establish and accomplish set goals.

Illuminator: A great help towards reading time and other data in dark. Best, if the on/off function is automatic.

Compass: Needless to say, on an open trail with no visible path, you can’t make your way out without a compass.

Global Navigation Satellite access: Shows your position when you are stuck amidst wilderness. Even if it’s not, you can keep track of where you are travelling to.

Weather/Impact resistance: Amidst snow, water, mud and sand, your watch must stay safe. Even from sudden, intense impacts; which may occur at any point of time when you are engaged into vigorous, sporting activities.

ii. What straps are most suitable for winter sports watches?

A. While steel and titanium stood the test of time in matters of durability, for sports purposes, they might spell disaster for the wearer and also for others in case of a collision or an impact. The wearer may end up hurting him/herself and/or others.

Therefore, canvas, polyurethane and silicon rubber are the safest choice in this regard. They are inert to low temperatures, chemicals and oils; they don’t get drenched in water or rot away. Besides, being soft materials, they eliminate the chance of hurt. Since they are also hypoallergenic, there won’t be any chance for skin rashes even with prolonged wear.

iii. What should be the case and crystal of a winter sports watch should be made from?

A. As a primary criteria, a watch made for not just winter sports but for any kind of sports should have a robust housing made of aluminum, stainless steel or titanium; if not, then ceramic and resin. Nylon and similar synthetic materials are also becoming popular; while keeping the weight low, they are also inert to sweat, water, salts, acids and oils.

As for the cover glass, sapphire is always the best for high levels of scratch resistance; followed by hardened mineral glass for excellent shatter resistance and thermoplastics for being significantly resistant to both cracks and shattering.

iv. Which one among G-Shock and Garmin is better as a winter sports watch?

A. Despite both G-Shock and Garmin are held in high regards for their use of high-end modern technology and materials, they are respected and revered only among specific circles. Both watches are extremely high-visibility, extremely durable and feature-rich.

However, G-Shocks come in varied prices and have in common a few features and functions, which help you to choose a model as per your need; whereas for Garmin, the prices are roundabout the same for their every model, with features and functions slightly varying with the price differences. For example, GPS; while it is staple for every Garmin watch, for G-Shock, it’s a stopwatch and a countdown timer with a tank-like build.

G-Shocks can survive every dirty job but a Garmin helps you to survive every demanding situation outdoors. From here, the choice depends entirely upon you, for you know best what will suffice your needs.

v. What are the most common sensors found in outdoor watches?

A. Most common wearable sensors are that for Accelerometer, Altimeter, Barometer, Gyroscopes, Magnetometers, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Proximity sensors and Pressure/Bio-impedance sensors, which are fast becoming a staple for outdoor watches.

What do they help to track? Following is a list:

  1. Accelerometer: Helps you to count your steps.
  2. Altimeter: Determines your height from the sea level.
  • Barometer: Helps in detecting atmospheric pressure changes.
  1. Gyroscopes: Measure angular velocity to detect motion.
  2. Magnetometers: Make that compass work.
  3. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS): Translates signals from satellites into data regarding speed, distance and your position.
  • Bio-impedance sensors: measures the resistance that your skin is offering to a small amount of electricity to measure sleep, heart rate, respiration rate, pulse rate and water levels.
  • Proximity sensors: Helps your watch to sleep/awake when in power-saving mode.

Keep dropping in to leave your replies below. State which one from the abovementioned you’d like to go for the most and also, for what?

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