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To Boldly Go: 5 Affordable Watches Every Adventurer Would Love

Having a penchant for adventure doesn’t always equate to enjoying the means for expensive gear. Sure, Sir Edmund Hillary first summited Mt. Everest with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, and Jacques Cousteau made many a dive sporting the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. But if you’re only a weekend explorer like the rest of us, you probably don’t want to spend your retirement on a Longines, Rolex, or Blancpain simply because you need a dependable timepiece for your next outing. With that in mind, our expert watch repair technicians compiled a list of 5 modestly-priced (under $1,000) wristwatches that deliver on price, functionality, and durability:
Affordable Watches Every Adventurer Would Love

1. Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic

Designed originally as a military field watch, the Khaki delivers both durability and toughness. This automatic watch can hold its own in any environment, mainly due to its rigid case construction in either stainless steel or titanium and a nearly scratch-proof sapphire crystal. And despite (or maybe because of) its no-frills design, the Khaki is often a first choice for watch lovers looking into cool explorer models. As you would expect from a military watch, the Khaki’s dial includes a 24-hour clock and precise seconds markers on the outer edge. The super-lumed hands and other guides ensure you can keep the exact time after the sun goes down. Perhaps the watch’s biggest treasure lies inside with its powerful H10 caliber movement. Boasting an 80-hour power reserve, the Khaki Field will continue operating long after you’ve ended your journey. And if you dig a little deeper into the movement, you’ll find another secret weapon in the battle for accuracy – the Nivachron balance spring, one of the industry’s most advanced anti-magnetic materials and the ultimate protection against time loss.

2. G-Shock Rangeman

A G-Shock watch is built like a tank and holds up like one, too. The series’ rugged and shock-resistant structure protects its battery-powered quartz digital movement from any weather- and accident-related damage, making it a favorite among professionals and weekend warriors alike. The Rangeman boasts triple-sensor technology (altimeter, barometer, and thermometer) to keep you abreast of fast-changing outdoor environments, a digital compass, and a highly-sensitive Multiband 6 radio wave antenna that automatically adjusts your watch to the correct time wherever you are in the world. Swim and dive enthusiasts will also enjoy the 200m water resistance rating.

3. Citizen Promaster Nighthawk

Founded in 1930 in Japan, the Citizen watch company represents decades of Japanese craftsmanship and technological innovation. The result is a fine collection of dependable, enduring, and sustainable wristwatches. Designed for rugged use, the Promaster Nighthawk features a solid stainless steel case and bracelet and an anti-reflective, scratch-resistant mineral crystal. This powerful solar quartz watch is also impervious to water up to 200m and has some very cool features, including a jet-black dial that tracks dual time zones, luminous hands, and a built-in pilot’s slide rule. Last but by no means least, the Promaster Nighthawk doesn’t run on a battery. Instead, the company’s Eco-Drive technology allows the watch to constantly gather whatever available light, including indoor fluorescent and desk lighting, and store it in a rechargeable cell. So whether you find yourself navigating the skies in the dead of night or enjoying a sunny day at the beach, rest assured your Citizen will keep ticking.

4. Luminox Original Navy Seal

Luminox created the Seal watch in 1994 as a robust timepiece that would provide Navy Seals with reliable timekeeping in often hostile outdoor conditions. It is a favorite among exploration enthusiasts everywhere. A rigid Luminox-trademarked Carbonox case protects the Seal’s reliable quartz movement from shock, chemicals, scratches, excessive temperatures, and magnetic fields. This non-metallic material is also ultra-light and hypo-allergenic, giving it a comfortable wrist feel. Like the G-Shock and the Promaster, the Navy Seal can withstand water up to 200m, allowing you to swim, surf, dive, and engage in other exciting water activities. The luminous hands and numbers on the dial and bezel make it easy to tell the time in the darkest environments and are guaranteed to hold their glow for up to 25 years. Finally, the screw-on case back makes it simple for you or a Luminox watch repair expert to change the battery every few years. Stylish, durable, and easy to maintain – who could ask for more in an adventure watch?

5. Seiko Prospex Land

While the Prospex Land may look better suited for a cocktail party than an arduous climb, don’t let its casual sophistication fool you. Initially designed for climbers, this timepiece represents a re-interpretation of Seiko’s classic 1959 Alpinist that has accompanied summiteers worldwide. Prospex Land sports a solid stainless steel case and a 70-hour power reserve in the caliber, so it will keep up with whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re doing it. The watch’s tough-as-nails curved sapphire crystal is also as elegant as it is scratch-resistant. Finally, this timepiece features highly-lumed hands and indices that stand out for easy viewing at night and a water-resistance rating of 200m in case one of the lakes along the trail looks particularly inviting.