Summer
Time

Best men's summer watches in 2022

Summer
Time

The rugged, affordable watches to wear right now

Summertime and watches. Two very different topics that, for me, have always been intertwined. And not just because if you're a daily watch wearer, this is the season that you slowly develop a rather unfortunate tan line around your wrist. I always start itching to try a new timepiece as we approach summer. At first I didn't know why, so I sat down, pulled out my watch collection and reminisced.

Then it hit me. Summer was when I first started wearing a watch. I don't remember which summer—or how old I was—I was young enough to be excited about months of freedom and running around outside with my friends. But I was old enough to not have to tell my parents where I was going. My Dad got me a simple little Casio digital watch and presented it to me like handing me a key to a new world. “Keeping track of the time is your responsibility now,” he said. Now, when I was told I had to be back by 4:30 to get cleaned up for dinner, I had a tool to help me know how to make that happen.

I never took it off. Swimming, sleeping, camping or just playing in the backyard, that Casio encircled my scrawny wrist—the buckle latched all the way on the very last hole in the strap, I'm sure. Since then, my timepiece collection has grown up with me and gotten more stylish and sophisticated. But the idea remains the same. Even though summer is a time of vacation and taking it easy, timepieces just come in handy. Plus, there's something to be said for a cool looking watch adding a pop of style to an otherwise simple summer outfit. You might be wearing a T-shirt and shorts, but when you've got an impressive watch on your wrist, you feel a little more dressed up.

Of course, the season of outdoor adventures can be grueling for a timepiece. Which is why it's smart to strap on something that can withstand harsh UV rays, briny salt water and abrasive sand and dirt. Thankfully, there are plenty options that are as rugged as they are handsome. From legacy brands to more modern makers, you can find watches that make a statement on your wrist but won't won't cost much—that is, unless you want to invest in something really spectacular. After all, this is summertime ... a season dedicated to going wild.

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Our Favorite Summer
Watches in 2022

Q Timex
Reissue

If you want a worry-proof watch, this diver-inspired Timex is it. First released in the 1970s, the original Q introduced a new generation to the ease of timekeeping with quartz technology. Completely waterproof, this reissue from '79 adds bright pops of color to the iconic features of the original—a rotating bezel, woven stainless-steel bracelet and domed acrylic crystal.

$179 by Timex

Apple Watch
Series 7

If you're serious about your fitness, then you really can't beat the activity (and sleep) tracking of the Apple Watch. The company continues innovating the smartwatch category, especially when it comes to health. The Series 7 even allows you to monitor your blood oxygen level and take an ECG. Plus, the always-on Retina display is incredibly detailed and you can fully customize the face and bands to suit your style.

$399 by Apple

Heritage Black Bay
GMT “Pepsi”

A proper watch that can also withstand the rigors of summer? Tudor's Black Bay collection is an old school favorite that will forever be a heirloom you want on your wrist day-in and day-out. One of its newest iterations is the Heritage Black Bay GMT, which feels particularly nice for a season of travel. On the outside, its bi-directional bezel with its aluminum, 24-hour “Pepsi” insert highlights its Rolex roots. Then inside the timepiece, Tudor's caliber MT5652 provides chronometer-level accuracy, made even more appealing by a 70-hour power reserve.

$4,150 by Tudor

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Khaki Field
Mechanical Watch

If you're considering getting your first mechanical watch, you couldn't really do better than Hamilton's Khaki Field Mechanical. It's a versatile timepiece that's battle-tested and reasonably affordable for the quality and good looks. Powered by an accurate hand-wound Swiss movement, the sandblasted matte stainless steel case is set on a durable web strap for a vintage/Mil-spec aesthetic.

$625 / $409.59 by Hamilton

GA-B2100 “CasiOak”

You won't find a more hardwearing (and beloved) watch. Nicknamed the CasiOak, due to its resemblance to the Audemars Piguet's legendary Royal Oak, this watch is incredibly thin yet incredibly strong—thanks to an interior carbon fiber construction. It boasts Bluetooth connectivity (to the G-SHOCK Connected smartphone app) and “Tough Solar” charging, which allows the watch to run indefinitely in the presence of light.

$150 by G-SHOCK

Seiko 5
Sports Watch

This rugged sports watch can handle anything you throw at it but, like James Bond, can dust itself off and look impeccably sharp. Maybe it's the monochromatic design, featuring a matte stainless steel case with black ion finish and textured leather strap. The day-date calendar display is handy and the luminous hands and markers are incredibly bright in low light conditions.

$315 by Seiko

2,232

Hours

The length of summer 2022 ... or 133,920 minutes, if you’d prefer. Sounds long, right?

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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