When going on vacation, you’ll want to bring a watch that you can strap on and not worry about for the duration of the trip. You’re on vacation, after all, and worry should not be part of the equation.
But of course, this question merits numerous considerations. How expensive should the watch be? What functionality should it have? Should it be a diver? Is a quartz option better than a mechanical one? After some thought, I decided that my horological companion needs to be simple and tough, relatively affordable, and with ample water resistance. And though the ability to track a second time zone would be nice, I can do that in my head if need be, so I decided not to limit myself by focusing on extraneous complications. Ultimately, my thought process boiled down to three choices: a Seiko SKX007, a Sinn 556i, and a Casio G-Shock DW5600E.
First, the SKX007. It’s bit of an obvious choice, but a wholly sensible one. It looks good, it’s cheap, and it’s rugged as all hell. That said, the 007 is a heavy watch, and on a recent trip that included mountain climbing, hiking, and swimming, I certainly felt that weight over time. So I nixed the SKX007, but it’s a strong contender.
The 556i has inadvertently become my go-to summer watch. It’s such an easy piece to wear. It’s the perfect size (to me, at least) at 38.5mm, it’s relatively light and inconspicuous, and it looks great on bracelet, leather, or nylon. Plus, it has a more-than-adequate depth rating of 200m, so you can submerge it without giving it a second thought. My one hesitation, however, is the price. Relatively speaking, it’s not an expensive watch, but it’s not inexpensive either. To lose or damage a watch that’s $1,020 on leather, or $1,260 on bracelet, would surely put a damper on any vacation. So despite it being perfect otherwise, I nixed the 556i, too.
Finally, I landed on the venerable G-Shock DW5600E, the tough-as-nails entry-level beater from Casio. I’ve taken this watch on numerous vacations and it has exceeded all expectations. It’s easy to wear, it’s light, and it’s relatively unassuming given its size and overall subdued design, which is a bit of a feat for a G-Shock. And it’s oh-so-cheap, so breaking it or losing it won’t be that big of a deal.