Cuba has been closed off to Americans ever since the Bay of Pigs in 1960. But that changed when President Barack Obama ended the United States embargo on the country in 2016. Thousands of Americans have begun applying for visas to the visit the country. While Americans are still not able to visit Cuba for tourist purposes, and with the future of that status currently up in the air, my wife and I recently booked a six-night vacation to Havana. According to our visas, we were there for “journalist activity.” My particular “journalist activity” was to test out my latest eBay acquisition—an analog-digital (ana-digi) Gul watch.
To read more about digital and ana-digi watches, read Children of the Digital Revolution.
Made by the same company that makes wetsuits, Gul watches are designed in Sweden, made with a Miyota movement and assembled in China. The watches were originally made with water sports—particularly windsurfing—in mind. It was a perfect companion for the Cuba trip. It was cheap enough (there’s one currently selling on eBay for $70) to where I didn’t mind banging it around and to where I wouldn’t mind it being stolen in a pinch. A search of recent Gul watches shows a lot of sub-par timepieces, but luckily I found one that was solidly built with great retro styling. And for the price, there’s some great built-in functionality, too. I thought it would make for a nice, summery alternative to my G-Shock.
The unidirectional bezel features 360-degree markings. The ’70s-inspired yellow dial features a sub-dial and three digital displays. The small blue and white sub-dial with the analog time display is located at the one o’clock position. It’s set by a crown in the 10 o’clock position.
One digital display allows the wearer to choose between two alarms, time and date functions, a stopwatch and a timer. Those functions are all set with three pushers, located at the two, four and eight o’clock positions. The largest digital display shows whatever function you highlight. I usually kept it on the time. The small digital display at the three o’clock position displays the seconds. Since the watch is made to use in the water, it is water resistant to 10 ATM. I put it on a Citizen Windsurfer strap, which shows wind velocity calculations. I’d say it’s a fitting pairing.