Wristwatches for tourism and active recreation: review with examples

If earlier watches were used primarily to navigate the time of day or serve as an expensive status decoration, then current digital technologies have gone far ahead. Modern wristwatches can not only show the exact time correctly or emphasize the status of the owner, but can do much more. Their multifunctional capabilities have become almost limitless.

Modern wristwatches have a wide range of additional functions, and watches for tourism and outdoor activities are no exception.

Let's take a closer look at what they are. What are they for, and what are their features and differences? How much do they cost?

Read about all this and much more in detail in our review. So, let's begin.

What groups of watches are there: mechanical and electronic

Wristwatches are divided into two main groups: mechanical and quartz/electronic.

. Let's look at them in a little more detail. How to distinguish them?

Electronic watches have digital identification on liquid crystals. That is, they show the time on the display instead of the usual dial. And this is their main feature.

Electronic watches are a type of quartz watch, because they have the same operating principle. What is the difference between them? In the method of transmitting information. Quartz watches have a dial with hands that show the time, while electronic watches have a digital display.

Appearance of an electronic watch

Mechanical watches differ from quartz and electronic watches in that they have a completely different operating principle. Mechanical watches are powered by a mainspring, meaning they are wound automatically or manually.

The internal structure of a mechanical watch (highlighted in the figure)

In an electronic watch, a battery accumulating the power supply helps the quartz oscillator generate certain impulses, which are transmitted and then displayed on the display or dial, in the case of a quartz watch.

This is the significant difference between them. As you can see, mechanical watches are true classics, while electronic mechanisms are more convenient, accurate and modern.

Here you can learn more about the fascinating history of the first wristwatch. And we will continue our review.

Seiko Snk807 Seiko 5

The blue dial and blue canvas strap really set it apart from other military tactical watches. The analogue display offers added reliability and automatic winding, meaning it will continue to function as long as you wear it.

Analysis of the main characteristics of watches for tourism and outdoor activities

Impact resistance

Shockproof models protect delicate watch parts and the dial from any negative impacts and damage. With an active lifestyle, the watch case should ideally be able to withstand any impacts and damage. This is facilitated by its reinforced design. Almost all quartz movements are shock-resistant and equipped with a so-called “parachute spring” .

This property is ensured by a special panel that reliably protects the dial. It is made of either organic, mineral or sapphire glass.


in budget watches, this is a fairly resistant material, but it is susceptible to scratches and clouding of the glass.

Mineral glass

used in most modern watches - it is much more difficult to damage than organic glass, and it is absolutely impossible to break.

Sapphire crystal

never breaks or scratches. This is the most expensive and durable material. If your budget allows, give preference to this type of coating if you want your watch to last as long as possible on hikes and travels and remain undamaged.

Useful to read: Which watch glass is better: mineral or sapphire. The opinion of watchmaking experts

Water resistance

Indicated by the value in meters and bars. True, the number in meters means the depth at which the watch can withstand water pressure in laboratory experiments. For example, for surfing or rafting, choose a watch with a WR of 50 m/5 atm. We recommend purchasing watches with water resistance of 100 m or more for diving and snorkeling.

Charging methods

So, what are the ways to charge watch devices during tourism and outdoor activities:

  • Portable batteries
  • Solar panels
  • Additional spare power supplies

Operating time with and without recharging

What is important to know about this? The more feature-rich your watch is, the less time it runs. Replaceable battery extends use life. A solar-powered watch, say a Casio Pro Trek, is generally ideal. They can be charged for six months in just a day, and for daily charging it is enough to spend about an hour in the fresh air and voila.

If the watch has a rechargeable battery, its operating time is seriously reduced. One charge can last from 10 hours to 30 days, but this property depends on the specific model and cost.

Frequent use of GPS drains the battery the fastest. When going on a hiking tour in remote places and using GPS, be sure to take with you either a solar battery or a charger. Otherwise, the watch will run out of charge in less than 10 hours. Do you need it?

TOP 5 brands producing watches for outdoor activities

Now let's see which brands of watches for tourism and outdoor activities are the most popular. We present our rating. So, the best brands for athletes and tourists.

Casio (G-shock and ProTrek)

Meet number one on our list. This world-famous Japanese high-tech watch was first released in 1974 under the name Casiotron with a built-in perpetual calendar. And here's what they look like now.

Casio watch model

Mass production of movements of this brand began a little later, in 1983. The model was called Casio G-Shock DW-5000C.

Currently, watches are successfully sold all over the world, being in great demand due to their quality and modern design, and they cost completely different things. The cost varies from 1,000 to 170,000 rubles and above. The price is influenced, first of all, by the material from which they are made, and, of course, by the set of functions.

A total of about 9 product lines have been created with various features and functionality, each for a specific individual task, including watches for active recreation and tourism.

Casio G-shock and Protrek series are the most famous brands created specifically for active tourists. G-shock is a brutal watch for real men leading an active lifestyle. The cheapest watches in this model range can be purchased for 5,000 rubles, and there are also those that cost over 80,000.

In general, this popular brand is generally characterized by an aesthetic appearance, an optimal quality-to-price ratio, a reliable durable body, high technology, versatility, a wide range of products, etc. All these characteristics are great for active athletes and tourists.


The Suunto company from Finland has been creating watches since the mid-thirties of the last century and has since made significant progress in jewelry watchmaking. This Finnish company creates watches exclusively for outdoor activities and tourism, for sports such as mountaineering, diving, snorkeling, snowboarding, surfing, rafting, etc. Climbers are happy to purchase these watches, being the main category of buyers.

Example of a Suunto watch model

But even in the sweetest barrel of honey there is a fly in the ointment. The most significant disadvantage of this brand is the high price tag. The cost starts from 8,000 rubles. And watches with a barometer, altimeter and compass cost from 23,000 rubles and more, which is quite hard on your pocket, don’t you agree? Nevertheless, travelers take them in great demand. Save your money or pay attention to cheaper brands, for example, such as


This famous American brand also specializes exclusively in sports watches for active tourists who love extreme sports and various extreme sports.

The watch has a wide range of functions and at the same time an affordable price, from 12,000 rubles, which is significantly lower than its Finnish competitors. The watch boasts highly accurate barometer and altimeter readings.

Highgear watch model

An ideal option for a budget traveler, right? We definitely recommend and move on.


This British brand has a number of pleasant and interesting features. Meet the high-tech watches with the optimal ratio of quality and price. The brand has developed a model range specifically for hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

Origo watch model

The model has a lunar calendar that shows the lunar phases of the cycle, the exact time of sunset and sunrise, as well as other useful functions that delight hunters and fishermen.

For travelers, there is also a separate model range, equipped with a compass, altimeter and barometer. The cost of such watches varies from 5,000 to 20,000 rubles. For every taste and budget. The choice is yours!


Polar brand heart rate watches are designed for active sports training. An interesting model range with its own unique features is presented.

Polar watch model

For example, the Polar Unite fitness watch improves your workout performance and helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle. They guarantee high accuracy of data related to active activities and sleep and rest patterns. The watch is ultra-light, water-resistant, perfectly calculates your heart rate and is equipped with a navigator. The cost is about 12,000 rubles, depending on the dollar exchange rate.

The Polar Grit X outdoor watch with navigation sensor combines aesthetics, functionality and Polar Flow for exercise tracking. They have a built-in GPS, compass and altimeter, so they are great for exploring various hiking routes. The cost of such watches is about 36,000 rubles, and this is perhaps their only drawback.


The well-known manufacturer of GPS receivers Garmin also produces its own unique line of wristwatches equipped with GPS.

Garmin Fenix ​​5 GPS smartwatch

with rich functionality, built-in sensors such as GPS, heart rate monitor, barometer, thermometer, altimeter, activity tracker, sleep tracker, Bluetooth, etc. They are ideal for all sports, including running and skydiving. Most models are made of highly durable sapphire crystal with Sapphire.

Garmin watch model
True, they are not cheap. About 70,000 - 80,000 rubles, which not every athlete can afford, because this is the cost of a good laptop. We will analyze this model in more detail below.

Read our other article about watch brands here: 10 most popular watch brands - analysis from A to Z. And we move on to the final point of our review.

TOP 5 watch models for tourism and active recreation

In conclusion, let's look at the rating of the five best watch models for tourism, sports and outdoor activities. For dessert we have saved the most pleasant thing for you. So, let's go. Let's start with

Casio Protrek PRW-6600 YBE – 5EK

Number one. A classic sports model of quartz watch with a durable case and rich functionality for the most sophisticated tourists and athletes.

  • Model 6600YBE-5 is equipped with a thermometer with a measuring range of -10/+60°C, an altimeter up to 10,000 meters, a barometer and a compass, so necessary for any autonomous journey.
  • The watch is powered by solar energy, you just need to wear it in the fresh air and voila, you're done.
  • They allow you to easily set the time via a radio signal, and they also have a crown that switches functions.
  • The analog and digital dial is made of durable mineral glass. It displays the date, stopwatch and alarm clock. LED backlight makes the watch even more aesthetically pleasing.
  • The case is made of durable plastic and steel with a textile strap. The watch is large, but at the same time unusually light and comfortable. Water resistance is 10 ATM, you can freely swim and shower.
  • Smart Access system, hourly signal, switching the sound of buttons on and off, operating in complete darkness for up to six months in normal mode and up to 25 months in energy saving mode;
  • strap with carbon insert
  • Cost from 30,000 rubles, depending on the dollar exchange rate.

Casio G-Shock GWG-1000

The GWG-1000 line series is designed for the most extreme conditions. They are used not only by hikers and athletes, but also by people in various life-threatening professions, such as firefighters.

  • The watch has a highly durable, bulletproof construction with a stainless steel case with plastic and rubber elements. It is reliably protected from moisture, dust and can withstand immersion to a depth of up to two hundred meters.
  • The shock-resistant mechanism is useful in any extreme conditions. The combined dial with sapphire glass is as hard and safe as possible.
  • The functionality will please any tourist: an altimeter, a thermometer with a range of -10/+60°C, a compass and a barometer.
  • Time adjustment via radio signal, calendar, alarm clock, timer, time zone.
  • The battery is powered by a solar panel.
  • Hourly alarm, energy saving function, Flash alert, vibration protection, battery life without charging using the energy saving function is 25 months.
  • Brutal design for real men and many other tasty features.
  • The cost varies from 43,000 to 66,000 rubles.
  • Reviews:

Review of Casio G-Shock GWG-1000

Citizen Promaster BN4026-09E

We present to your attention an analog watch in a reliable case with water resistance of up to two hundred meters.

  • A thin and elegant, but at the same time durable titanium case with a rubber strap is equipped with a compass, barometer, and altimeter. Carbon coating. Mineral glass.
  • Backlight
  • Powered by the sun using a solar panel.
  • Compact, durable and aesthetic
  • WR200 (scuba diving)
  • Power reserve indicator
  • The cost is about 90,000 rubles.

Suunto Spartan Trainer HR Steel

Ideal for sports activities. Designed to meet the needs of athletes of various sports. Made from materials suitable for any challenging conditions. The watch has been tested by the manufacturer's specialists and athletes. Main characteristics:

  • Reinforced case, fully sealed design, steel bezel with mineral glass and a bright color display, clearly visible even in sunny weather.
  • GPS sensor, barometric altimeter, digital compass and wrist-based heart rate monitor - no need to carry a chest strap. The watch can connect to iOS and Android smartphones using Bluetooth 2.0 wireless technology, exchanging information with the phone and notifying you of received messages, calls and calendar reminders.
  • Lightweight and comfortable, multi-sport and multi-functional smartwatch with GPS navigation along pre-loaded routes.
  • Cost from 17,000 and above.
  • Reviews:

Reviews about the model

Suunto Spartan Trainer HR Steel model rating

IWC Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel Casual Field

The stainless steel case, along with the sapphire crystal face and rugged fabric strap, speaks volumes about its ability to withstand a lot. Match it with Swiss precision and they're comfortable enough to handle any terrain.

( 2 ratings, average 5 out of 5 )
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