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8 Best and Built to Last: the Most Durable Watches in 2024

  • Mar 4, 2024
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8 Best and Built to Last: the Most Durable Watches in 2024

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I fear I’ve broken one too many watches.

There was my digital design that suffered a fatal blow during an epic upper-body session. And there was my classic chronograph that took one too many knocks at university. And how can I forget the Casio that I dropped under my mom’s rolling car?

But I promise to do better. And I have a solution; even these clumsy claws would struggle to destroy the most durable watches I’m about to share.

From divers to Swiss specials, I’ve rounded up some of the toughest tickers in the game—helping you (and me) avoid the month-long mourning of a wrist companion you worked oh-so-hard to get.

Key Takeaways

My quest to find the most durable watches started in a somewhat somber mood as I pored over the agonizing stories of men’s watches meeting untimely demise—from accidental plunges to clashes with door frames and scrapes with walls.

However, once I had a better picture of what to avoid, my attention turned to pastures new, helping me gain a far better understanding of what it takes to become a tough timepiece: water-resistance, scratch-proof materials, and the kind of construction found at Fort Knox.

What I ended up with was a list of seriously strong watches, including the G-Shock GX-56 and Nezumi’s entry-level GMT.


Why it’s great: Turns out you don’t need a bald head and neck tattoos to look tough; you can simply let your watch do the talking. Casio’s G-Shock GX-56 really sets the standards, thanks to its huge 55mm case, 200m depth rating, and durable resin band. Complete with an alarm system, auto calendar, and stopwatch, it’s also resistant to mud, scratches, shock, and vibration. It comes up trumps in this list of durable men’s watches.

Who this is for: Wear it if you think you’re tough enough. This option will appeal most to guys not afraid of exploring the great outdoors, whether you’re into extreme sports or simply appreciate a watch that can handle the unexpected twists of everyday life. It’s not just a timekeeping device but a symbol of resilience and a commitment to conquering the toughest terrains.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This bad boy is bulky as hell, so it might overpower tiny wrists. It’s also definitely not suitable for wearing with suits or any kind of uber-formal attire, unless you want to look like Action Man turning up to court.

Case Size: 55mm | Movement: Quartz | Thickness: 17.5mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Resin

Casio G-Shock DW-56 Watch

Why it’s great: The GX-56’s smaller, cheaper cousin, this is another durable gem from Casio. Featuring a 45mm case with a resin strap, it can dive to water depths of 200m and boasts a shock-resistant construction that protects against all sorts of impact and vibration.

Not just tougher than a two-dollar steak, it also comes with a range of handy features, including an alarm, stopwatch, and auto calendar. All of that makes it a worthy inclusion in this list of the most durable watches.

Who this is for: Rough and ready, it’s perfect for those who require many of the same functions as the 56-series without the bulkiness and higher price tag.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: The recessed buttons can be a little tricky for fumbling fingers and short nails. Some users also found that they have a tendency to get stuck every once in a while.

Case Size: 45mm | Movement: Quartz | Thickness: 15mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Resin

Fossil Machine Chronograph Watch

Why it’s great: Some durable watches just look tough, while others really are tough. This one is both. Combining refined design with industrial detailing, it’s a classic 45mm chronograph that offers plenty of character and just the right amount of ruggedness.

Powered by a quartz movement, it comes with a stainless steel case, interchangeable strap, and a hardened mineral crystal lens that resists scratches. You can take it into water, but don’t go deeper than 50m.

Who this is for: Offering excellent value for money, this is perfect for guys who don’t want to spend a fortune but still want a watch that’s tough and really looks the part.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Ideally, I would have liked it to offer a better depth rating. It’s suitable for short periods of recreational swimming and showering but not diving or snorkeling.

Case Size: 45mm | Movement: Quartz | Thickness: 13mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel

Citizen Promaster Dive Eco-Drive Watch

Why it’s great: Powered by Eco-Drive technology, Citizen’s watch is charged up via light (any kind), so it never needs a battery. Sleek yet sporty and tough, it’s water-resistant up to 200m and features a silver-tone stainless steel case, black dial, and luminous hands and markers.

The durable, water-resistant polyurethane strap adds to its resilience and makes it a must-have for air, land, or sea.

Who this is for: An essential for every adventurer, the Promaster is just as good for swimmers as it is for hikers and mountain bike riders.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: You might find the strap slightly stiff at first, especially if you’re used to wearing softer leather styles.

Case Size: 44mm | Movement: Quartz | Thickness: 12mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel

Seiko SSC813 Prospex Solar Chronograph Watch

Why it’s great: This ticker might be inspired by the world’s first automatic chronograph watch, but it has been conveniently updated with solar-powered tech that allows it to charge from both natural and electric light (no battery changes required).

It’s practical, durable, and timeless. I think it’s a highly versatile option that’ll look just as good with a suit as it will with your hiking gear.

Who this is for: Suitable for trendsetters, sports lovers, and adventure seekers alike. Not only one of the most durable watches around, but it’s also a sustainable choice that’ll save you time and money thanks to its solar-powered charging.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: The date window can be a little tricky to see at times, especially if you’ve left your glasses at home.

Case Size: 39mm | Movement: Quartz | Thickness: 13mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel

Luminox Leatherback Sea Turtle Quartz Watch

Why it’s great: Have you heard? Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo are no longer the flyest turtles in town. Nor the toughest.

The newly installed king of cool, Luminox’s watch pays homage to everyone’s favorite marine reptile, boasting a durable case and protected crown balanced by an opposing projection that resembles the shape of a leatherback.

Finished with luminescent green markers and hands (that light automatically in dim light), it’s water-resistant to 100 meters and powered by a quartz movement, for ultimate reliability and accuracy. As durable watches go, this is one of the best.

Who this is for: Designed for optimum functionality on land and underwater (great news for regular travelers), it’s slightly cheaper than your average Luminox watch—making it accessible to a wide range of watch wearers.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: The fabric strap doesn’t dry as quickly as it would if it waeremade from resin. No biggie, but it may have the potential to annoy some of you.

Case Size: 44mm | Movement: Quartz | Thickness: 12mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel

Nezumi Aviera GMT Watch

Why it’s great: As sturdy as it is stylish, Nezumi’s GMT features a fixed 24h bezel, screw-down crown, and a 40mm brushed stainless steel case that’s protected by double-domed sapphire crystal. It’s suitable for sea (up to 220m) or land and looks awesome in the day and night thanks to the luminous hands and markings.

Who this is for: An excellent all-rounder, this is a tough everyday watch that’ll take you from rocky mountains to hotel pools and city brunches. It’s not cheap or overly pricey, so it’s also a fine choice for anyone looking for an affordable, well-made GMT option.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Nezumi gives a two-year warranty with its watches. Not bad, but it could be better for extra peace of mind.

Case Size: 40mm | Movement: Automatic | Thickness: 12mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT Watch

Why it’s great: I’m a sucker for a luxury watch. But can you blame me when they look like this? I liken it to Ryan Gosling in Drive: handsome but surprisingly tough.

Protected by double-dome sapphire crystal and inspired by those used by pilots in the 60s and 70s, it’s a rather charming piece that boasts a bidirectional rotating bezel, day window, and GMT function. Perhaps my favorite feature is the engraved back that cleverly showcases many of the different time zones on Earth.

Who this is for: From globetrotters to city dwellers, this GMT is a versatile option that’ll appeal to men of all sartorial preferences. It is, however, one of the more expensive entries on this list of the most durable watches—so you’ll need to be working with a fairly decent budget.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: The 39mm face is perfect for smaller wrists (that’ll be me), yet might not offer the immediate impact some watch wearers desire.

Case Size: 39mm | Movement: Automatic | Thickness: 13mm | Water Resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel

Buying Considerations For The Most Durable Watches

Material

The most durable watches are made from tough materials like stainless steel and titanium. They also come with a robust case and have features like scratch-resistant crystal to add an extra layer of protection against daily wear and tear.

Water Resistance

Truly durable watches should be water-resistant and able to handle various environments. Whether you’re caught in the rain or decide to take an impromptu swim, a watch with sufficient water resistance will make sure it keeps ticking even when wet.

Movement

Watches come with one of three movements: quartz, automatic, and manual. It’s important to consider which one you want in order to narrow down your options. Although automatic and manual movements are considered more luxurious, they’re generally not as robust as quartz watches, which are known for their resilience and accuracy.

How We Chose

Watches can be quite a pricey purchase, which is why it’s super important to make sure you’re investing in the right one. To help, I’ve covered all angles and considered every crucial factor to find the most durable men’s watches on the market—from scrutinizing the reputation of numerous watchmaking companies to delving into first-hand customer experiences.

Company reputation: Only the very best watchmakers made the cut in my list of the most durable watches. I looked closely at the histories of renowned watchmakers, favoring brands with a longstanding commitment to quality craftsmanship and durability.

Customer reviews: Seeking help from fellow watch wearers, I analyzed countless customer experiences, both positive and negative. This provided valuable insights into the real-world performance and toughness of each watch.

Price: By considering a range of price points, I was able to ensure that I included in my list of the most durable watches a plethora of options that cater to various budgets without compromising on durability.

Versatility: Being tough is only half of the battle; the most durable watches should also be able to adapt to different lifestyles. I have selected only timepieces that are able to transition from everyday events to rugged outdoor adventures seamlessly.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to selecting the most durable watches, Billy’s expertise is unparalleled. Billy is a seasoned fashion and grooming expert with years of experience dissecting the intricacies of personal style and product durability.

Through the years, he’s put countless watches to the test, not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their resilience under real-world conditions. His comprehensive review on starter watches has guided readers through the maze of options available, highlighting the best picks that marry form and function.

His dedication to uncovering the finest in horology is backed by rigorous research, personal trials, and a keen eye for detail that discerns quality from hype. His methodology isn’t just about wear and tear; it’s about understanding the craftsmanship, materials, and innovation behind each piece.

Trusting him means getting insights grounded in thorough analysis and a passion for fashion that ensures you’re presented only with watches that stand the test of time.

Final Verdict

Although each of these entries in my list of the most durable watches is primed for bumps, bashes, and burger sauce, Casio’s G-Shock remains my go-to for bringing all-around toughness, affordability, and a touch of badass style. Whether you’re hiking or hanging with friends, it’s the option that scoffs at life’s curveballs, survives the coffee spills, and laughs in the face of danger. It’s a must-have for every watch wardrobe.

FAQ

    • Quartz watches generally last longer than mechanical ones. They’re powered by a battery and rely on electronic oscillations to keep time. This requires less maintenance and results in ultra-accurate timekeeping. In comparison, mechanical watches boast intricate craftsmanship and may have a shorter lifespan due to the delicate nature of their mechanical components. However, with proper care (and servicing), they can still last for generations.

      • While choosing a singular style is subjective, the Casio G-Shock is considered one of the most durable watches around. Designed to withstand harsh conditions and built with a shock-resistant structure, it has earned a reputation for toughness in various environments, from military operations to outdoor adventures.


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