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seakayaker
10-24-2018, 10:56
Until the Fitbit craze I always wore Casio G-Shock watches. Super durable except for the dang watchbands.

Anyway, today my Garmin Vivofit fell into the Wadmalaw River never to be seen or heard from again.

I'm considering purchase of a watch this time. Want something durable, digital, has a backlight. Prefer one that is KNOWN to have easily replaceable watchband.

No way would I consider spending $400 or $500 unless someone can convince me that is has a "SUPER KILLER FEATURE THAT I MUST HAVE". That's a high bar.

I'm thinking price range from $80 to about $250, roughly. Might consider a little more for good quality, features, warranty, etc.

What features should I consider for hiking/backpacking?

What watch do YOU recommend?

Thanks!

Seakayaker

MuddyWaters
10-24-2018, 11:35
A watches feature....is to show you what time it is, conveniently.


If u spend more than $40 for watch, your just throwing money away. Everyday watches/ work watches are plastic and disposeable. Last about 2 yrs, when batt dies, watch is scratched up enough to replace. Timex ironman works fine. Indiglo backlight is good for time at night. I get new one in christmas stocking every other year. My good watches never get worn anymore, even when dress up.

An important aspect is low profile, smoith transition from band to watch so not to catch bad on pack strap when putting on/off.

43873

LazyLightning
10-24-2018, 11:42
I buy a cheap small one, take the bands off and throw the watch itself no bigger round then a quarter right in my hip belt pocket. Almost as convenient as wearing one and I never liked wearing them.

swjohnsey
10-24-2018, 12:29
Timex Ironman, $37 at Walmart.

ldsailor
10-24-2018, 12:47
For my LASH this year, I wanted a multi-function watch. So I bought a [LAD WEATHER] Multi-functional Watch Altimeter/ Barometer/ Compass/ Heart Rate Monitor/ Weather Forecast Sports/ Outdoor/ Fitness. It reports the barometric pressure, which tells you what kind of weather to expect. It has an accurate compass, a thermometer (have to take the watch off for at least 15 minutes to get an accurate ambient temperature), a step counter, mileage recorder, stopwatch, alarm, records heart rate and pulse, etc., etc.

Well my phone has a barometer (most phones do), a compass (most phones do), an app for a step counter, mileage recorder, stop watch, alarm, records heart rate and pulse, etc., etc. My phone does not have an internal thermometer, but it has the Weather Underground app. Except for the weather app, I can leave the phone in airplane mode and everything else work - I just can't get an accurate, current, local temperature

The watch cost $100 from Amazon. It was a waste of money. I still can't figure out why i believed it so important to have it. Before this year's LASH, I wore a $20 cheapo from Walmart during my 2016 and 2017 LASH's and never noticed that I was missing all the neat little gizmos a $100 watch provides.

If you don't have a smart phone, I guess a watch would be a good alternative and so I recommend the one I have. Otherwise, buy a cheapo that is water resistant. It'll do the job.

Heliotrope
10-24-2018, 12:48
Timex Ironman, $37 at Walmart.

Cheap, durable, no need to charge. I like having an alarm on trail to start the day at dawn.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

OgreJon
10-24-2018, 12:57
I have a Garmin VivoSmart that I wear normally since the step count reminds me to get up and move more (not really a concern when I'm hiking).
I left it at home during my last long backpack because it is one more thing to charge every few days and it does not count steps accurately when I use trekking poles. I have also tried a Fitbit and found the same limitations.
For my hike, I dug my old Timex Expedition (~$35) out my dresser draw and used that. It tells the time, it has a good light, and an alarm that can wake me up for the few days I want to do get going early.

Paleolith54
10-24-2018, 13:09
Another Ironman vote.

Traveler
10-24-2018, 13:21
Joining the Ironman watch group too. Wonderful watch for the money with some usable features too boot!

colorado_rob
10-24-2018, 13:24
I cannot say enough good things about this inexpensive, but very useful watch:

https://www.amazon.com/Casio-Sensor-Multi-Function-Digital-Sport/dp/B07CMS5NKS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_bs_lp_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=58E58E43CMEN5Q93RGH3

I buy one every couple years, that's about how long they last basically being worn every day, on the trail or off (except on dates with wife, where I wear a fancy watch!). After two years, the battery needs replacing, then it's no longer waterproof, despite all the care taken to replace the gasket....

The altimeter is very useful for navigating, and seems to be fairly accurate. Then, of course, the overnight barometer readings are useful. I say "overnight", because a barometer is only useful when you're in one place, at one altitude (the baro change is nice to know for weather prediction).

Forty bucks, nice watch, great altimeter, alarm, waterproof, etc, etc. Way better than just the ironman (because of the altimeter/barometer). Zero need for $400 watches these days, with smart phone navigation apps (unless the $400 watch is also your smart phone, I guess) and way cheaper heart rate monitors, if you feel the need for one of those.

Time Zone
10-24-2018, 13:54
One feature I value for hiking/backpacking is a stopwatch, which helps me figure my pace/progress against landmarks (marked to the tenth of a mile) in the trail description.

To a lesser degree, I also like an altimeter for similar reasons - gives me an idea of how close I am to the top. Must be calibrated though - it relies on barometric pressure to estimate altitude change (thus, weather change can make even a calibrated altimeter inaccurate).

I found these in a Casio watch with fabric (not thermoplastic) band, about $40 on the Amazon. Model QW3202. I didn't get one with compass - already have an analog compass, and heard that on a watch, a compass can be a battery drain anyway.

Once, I misplaced the watch and bought a VERY cheap Casio Illuminator to replace it, feeling that I didn't really need the altimeter and barometer - a stopwatch sufficed. Well, that cheapie's stopwatch rolled over after 59 min 59s! Not very useful for hiking! Later, I found my better Casio and have been happy since.

The watch has several other features that are helpful in the non-hiking world, like world time (choose an alternate time zone), countdown timer, 5 alarms, DST, etc.

The one feature that I've found not very useful is the thermometer. It is not at all accurate if the watch is on your wrist. You would have to remove it and hang it from your pack or set it aside for 20-30 minutes before it settles down to the true ambient temperature.
43874

lonehiker
10-24-2018, 14:06
Cheap Walmart watch. My only criteria is that the numbers are large enough to be seen when blurry eyed in the middle of the night.

colorado_rob
10-24-2018, 14:42
One feature I value for hiking/backpacking is a stopwatch, which helps me figure my pace/progress against landmarks (marked to the tenth of a mile) in the trail description.

To a lesser degree, I also like an altimeter for similar reasons - gives me an idea of how close I am to the top. Must be calibrated though - it relies on barometric pressure to estimate altitude change (thus, weather change can make even a calibrated altimeter inaccurate).

I found these in a Casio watch with fabric (not thermoplastic) band, about $40 on the Amazon. Model QW3202. I didn't get one with compass - already have an analog compass, and heard that on a watch, a compass can be a battery drain anyway.

Once, I misplaced the watch and bought a VERY cheap Casio Illuminator to replace it, feeling that I didn't really need the altimeter and barometer - a stopwatch sufficed. Well, that cheapie's stopwatch rolled over after 59 min 59s! Not very useful for hiking! Later, I found my better Casio and have been happy since.

The watch has several other features that are helpful in the non-hiking world, like world time (choose an alternate time zone), countdown timer, 5 alarms, DST, etc.

The one feature that I've found not very useful is the thermometer. It is not at all accurate if the watch is on your wrist. You would have to remove it and hang it from your pack or set it aside for 20-30 minutes before it settles down to the true ambient temperature.
Pretty much the same watch I hawked earlier. All those features are useful, and I agree, except the thermometer. I suppose if you took the watch off and set it aside, the temperature reading would be reasonable though. I find myself rarely calibrating this watch, I've kinda found a middle-ground calibration, runs a bit low in elevation on high pressure days, a bit high on low pressure days. I find it's really more useful for altitude change rather than absolute altitude. Easy to calibrate though, when you do get to a known altitude, if you care to do so. Takes 30 seconds.

Great, cheap watch. I used to own and extensively use that old Suunto Vector that was popular 10-15 years ago. This cheap-o watch seems to actually work better.

Deadeye
10-24-2018, 14:45
Timex Ironman, $37 at Walmart.

That's the ticket. Why spend hundreds or more? When it's done, replace it. Mine last for many years. You can easily replace the band on some models, but you can replace the whole shebang for a few bucks anyhow.

chknfngrs
10-24-2018, 14:52
El Cheapo Grande Casio de Amazon. No need for anything more. I think I paid $15 tops and we’re on season two already. Like the others have said nothing more is needed, is it? But hike your own hike (hyoh) with your own wallet (wyow)

perdidochas
10-24-2018, 15:13
Until the Fitbit craze I always wore Casio G-Shock watches. Super durable except for the dang watchbands.

Anyway, today my Garmin Vivofit fell into the Wadmalaw River never to be seen or heard from again.

I'm considering purchase of a watch this time. Want something durable, digital, has a backlight. Prefer one that is KNOWN to have easily replaceable watchband.

No way would I consider spending $400 or $500 unless someone can convince me that is has a "SUPER KILLER FEATURE THAT I MUST HAVE". That's a high bar.

I'm thinking price range from $80 to about $250, roughly. Might consider a little more for good quality, features, warranty, etc.

What features should I consider for hiking/backpacking?

What watch do YOU recommend?

Thanks!

Seakayaker

Currently I've got a Casio Waveceptor (200M illuminator) that has a metal watchband. I've had it a year, and haven't noticed any wear and tear. Its as tough as a G-shock--I'm rough on watches, and this is my second Waveceptor (the first, of course, had the watchband problem). IIRC it was less than $80. I

Odd Man Out
10-24-2018, 15:58
I'm partial to analog watches rather than digital. I like the Timex Expedition watches with just a plain watch face and nylon straps. They also have the Indiglo feature so the light up when you push the set button. This is a useful feature when you are looking for something in your tent when its dark and you don't want to or dan't use a flashlight.

Slo-go'en
10-24-2018, 16:01
I no longer carry a watch. On the rare occasions I want to know what time it is I look at my phone. Although if I were to get a new watch, one with the altimeter function would be nice to have, except knowing how much farther you need to climb can be depressing...

Five Tango
10-24-2018, 17:24
Another vote for Timex Ironman! I read about it either here or on Hammock Forums.It's perfect for me because it does not do "too much" like my Casio did.I just want time,date,timer,and a back light,all in an inexpensive reliable package.Ironman Delivers and beats dealing with a phone which I may have turned off anyway.

Feral Bill
10-24-2018, 17:35
Whatever watch you get (I have an unnecessarily costly Seiko), you could consider getting a one piece nylon band that goes under both pins. When one pin goes, the watch stays. I consult my watch often, so I get annoyed when it's not there, even if it's cheap.

rmitchell
10-24-2018, 18:26
Casio Forrester. Analog, nylon band with velcro fastner. Cheep.

Time Zone
10-24-2018, 20:36
Pretty much the same watch I hawked earlier.

I know :D

I was composing the post when I got a call. By the time the call was over, you had posted, and then I posted.

Cassiopeia is in the night sky tonight. Just sayin'.

TZ

PS, good point about relative elevation.

TexasBob
10-24-2018, 20:53
https://www.amazon.com/Casio-F105W-1A-Illuminator-Sport-Watch/dp/B000GB1RAU
Cheap Casio that has alarm, stopwatch and lights up so you can see it the dark. Been wearing one for years. Battery lasts 4-5 years. If it gets messed up no big loss. Available at Walmart, Amazon.

Time Zone
10-24-2018, 21:04
https://www.amazon.com/Casio-F105W-1A-Illuminator-Sport-Watch/dp/B000GB1RAU
Cheap Casio that has alarm, stopwatch and lights up so you can see it the dark. Been wearing one for years. Battery lasts 4-5 years. If it gets messed up no big loss. Available at Walmart, Amazon.

I think that's my cheapie replacement, while my fancier Casio was sleeping under the couch cushions.

It IS a good watch, but if it's the exact model I have, the stopwatch's maximum recorded time displays as 59:59. It keeps on going after that, but the displayed time starts again at 00:00. I would only use that for telling time and date (doesn't even display the month!)

saltysack
10-24-2018, 21:48
Hard too beat a Casio G Spot for about $50....Iíve had several...as others said itís no longer wp when battery needs replacement. That said I also have a all black Suunto core that Iíve had about 7 years without issue other than simple do it yourself battery change and a new band.

Astro
10-24-2018, 22:03
https://www.amazon.com/Casio-F105W-1A-Illuminator-Sport-Watch/dp/B000GB1RAU
Cheap Casio that has alarm, stopwatch and lights up so you can see it the dark. Been wearing one for years. Battery lasts 4-5 years. If it gets messed up no big loss. Available at Walmart, Amazon.

That is what I use when hiking. Used to use one all the time, but switched to a Fitbit when home.

Dogwood
10-25-2018, 01:22
What features should I consider for hiking/backpacking?

Consider what type of backpacking/hiking you mainly do or and anticipate doing. You might consider a watch that serves more than hiking/backpacking activities. You can get a lot in a "watch' these days for $250 and less. Heck Casio Pags and Sunnto Cores are about $150 now. Tech is exponentially advancing. That affords opportunities. And, here's a TIP - searching at Pawn Shops especially in or on the city outskirts of affluent outdoorsy areas(think of some of those CO, CA, CT, upstate NY, NH, VT towns, Lost Vegas) can get you manufacturer refurbished or retested/recalibrated/re-certified even higher end ABC possibly with GPS and map downloading watches for greater savings. Manufacturer User pamphlets and YouTube how to vids abound these days posted online.

"Watches/watch uses" have become like so called "phones/phone users. " They are more and more often required to offer more than being able to tell the time or making a phone call. "Phones" are most often mobile hand held computers. For myself I have grown from Timex Expedition and IronMan, which definitely served me well enough at that time, watches where it was mainly about time functions/distance/pace calculations, to much more heavily relied upon ABC watches as backpacking/hiking takes me into other time zones sometimes into remote places on exposed high elev ridge lines(do some low level climbing and mountaineering, peak bagging), where I want utmost reliability in: WPness(I use the same WP watch for paddling and fishing, it has to be rust proof), no possible energy issues - solar power(in sunny climes, that includes typical timeframe AT thru hikes), no glaring band breakage(this is mostly a slight convenience anyhow as others have offered it doesn't affect the functioning, tie a lanyard to it and throw it around your neck), tough, easy enough menus or functions to grasps, - and, most of all not overloaded with features that I don't use yet have to shell out for. This takes considering what types of hiking you do.


You probably had good reasons to have used a Casio G Force and Garmin Vivofit. It makes me think you too want a watch that does more than just: tells time, maybe has an alarm, and backlighting.

FWIW, I had a well used 1995 ABC Sunnto with a nylon band handed down to me. I used that watch for nearly every outdoor activity until the band broke and I destroyed the back case screw lock mechanism 6 yrs later. AKA why I don't ultimately like replacing watch batteries. It went for at least 10K of mostly on trail miles. Off trail it seemed I was always getting that watch caught on something though with its high profile. Again, one of the Casio Pathfinder PG 300(3000?) series atomic solar watches I had for 4 yrs I bought new for $240, that is no longer manufactured, when I went to have Casio replace the band, outer rotating ring, and pressure sensor cap they wanted more than $110 for the parts alone. It hit the bottom of a garbage can recently.

perrymk
10-25-2018, 06:20
I think this (https://www.amazon.com/LINEAGE-LCW-M170TD-1AJF-MULTIBANDS-WRISTWATCH-JAPANESE/dp/B00IK5YS64/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1540462281&sr=8-9&keywords=casio+titanium) is the same as my personal watch, at least it's very similar. My main watch requirements are time, day, date, water resistance and light. I prefer a digital date that doesn't need to be reset every other month. The Timex Indiglo light is best but the little LED on my Casio is acceptable. Plus this watch has a titanium case and band and all things titanium are better :). It has all sorts of extra features (world time, countdown timer, alarms, etc.) that I can never remember how to use. It is solar powered and for the several years I've had mine I've had no issues. I prefer a metal band as for me it's more comfortable, doesn't hold dirt as well as fabric or rubber, and is easier to clean. It's very light, nice enough to wear with a suit and subdued enough that I don't feel ostentatious wearing it while hiking. Not cheap but not overly expensive for a nice watch.

daddytwosticks
10-25-2018, 07:09
Can't wear a wrist watch because it interferes with my trekking pole strap and generally drives me crazy. Got a cheap watch on a carabeener from Amazon. It attaches to my pack shoulder strap. :)

rmitchell
10-25-2018, 08:34
Can't wear a wrist watch because it interferes with my trekking pole strap and generally drives me crazy. Got a cheap watch on a carabeener from Amazon. It attaches to my pack shoulder strap. :)

That's what I like about the Casio Forester. The velcro band can attach to a d ring on my backpack strap. I think I paid less than $25 at Wally World.

Tundracamper
10-25-2018, 11:16
Havenít worn a watch in about 25 years. Recently bought a Forerunner 935 from Garmin and love it! Itís basically a Fenix 5 in a lighter casing. Itís way over your budget at $500. However, I can easily go a week using the GPS tracking for about 4 hours and STILL have 50% battery left. I think itís better than an AW.

u.w.
10-25-2018, 12:13
Timex Ironman, $37 at Walmart.

Yep! Good backlight so I can see it at night super easily. Loud enough hourly 'chime' that I hear often enough so I can pretty easily keep track of myself without ever having to look at the watch. Going on year number?? Three? Four? now.

u.w.

gpburdelljr
10-25-2018, 12:20
For hiking, I’d just go to Walmart and pick up a cheap digital watch, something like a Timex Expedition with Indiglo, and maybe a spare watch band. If you have a smart phone, it probably has GPS, altimeter, map apps, etc., and there is no need to spend a lot of money duplicating those features on a watch. If you lose it, you’re out $50 max.

wordstew
10-26-2018, 11:11
My Vote.....Tissot T touch

colorado_rob
10-26-2018, 12:10
For hiking, Iíd just go to Walmart and pick up a cheap digital watch, something like a Timex Expedition with Indiglo, and maybe a spare watch band. If you have a smart phone, it probably has GPS, altimeter, map apps, etc., and there is no need to spend a lot of money duplicating those features on a watch. If you lose it, youíre out $50 max.Yeah, cell phones have it all, BUT taking them out, swiping them open, getting to the app, plus burning precious battery life (though small) is cumbersome. For $40, you can have a watch that has all those great, simple Timex Ironman features PLUS the at a glance altimeter and barometer (plus temperature, if you take the watch off at night). The extra ten bucks for the Casio altimeter watch discussed below over the cheap walmart Timex's is so worth it. No brainer. But people get used to things and don't ever want to upgrade, even at no cost.

gpburdelljr
10-26-2018, 12:14
Yeah, cell phones have it all, BUT taking them out, swiping them open, getting to the app, plus burning precious battery life (though small) is cumbersome. For $40, you can have a watch that has all those great, simple Timex Ironman features PLUS the at a glance altimeter and barometer (plus temperature, if you take the watch off at night). The extra ten bucks for the Casio altimeter watch discussed below over the cheap walmart Timex's is so worth it. No brainer. But people get used to things and don't ever want to upgrade, even at no cost.
If you can get it for less than $50, go for it.

Time Zone
10-26-2018, 12:34
Couple other drawbacks about the Casio with altimeter/barometer/thermometer - the face is a bit more prone to scratching (or in my case, gouging) than the Ironman, in my experience, and the backlight isn't as quite good contrast as the Indiglo (IMO).

That said, it has more functions than the Ironman, the band lasts a ton longer, and the price is excellent. It'll be interesting if I can change out the battery myself on it, when the time comes. I tried multiple times to change my own battery on the Ironman and the darn thing never went back together the same again. Not just the tricky, super-thin gasket, but the buttons never press the same again (they always end up way more recessed), etc. I'd always end up buying another one.

colorado_rob
10-26-2018, 14:35
If you can get it for less than $50, go for it. Link repeated from below, $40:

https://www.amazon.com/Casio-Sensor-Multi-Function-Digital-Sport/dp/B07CMS5NKS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_bs_lp_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=58E58E43CMEN5Q93RGH3

colorado_rob
10-26-2018, 14:39
Couple other drawbacks about the Casio with altimeter/barometer/thermometer - the face is a bit more prone to scratching (or in my case, gouging) than the Ironman, in my experience, and the backlight isn't as quite good contrast as the Indiglo (IMO).

That said, it has more functions than the Ironman, the band lasts a ton longer, and the price is excellent. It'll be interesting if I can change out the battery myself on it, when the time comes. I tried multiple times to change my own battery on the Ironman and the darn thing never went back together the same again. Not just the tricky, super-thin gasket, but the buttons never press the same again (they always end up way more recessed), etc. I'd always end up buying another one. I have only semi-successfully changed the battery in my Casio altimeter watch..."semi" meaning I got it back together and it worked, but wasn't quite as waterproof. I lap swim a lot, wear my watch often, before the battery change, no problem, after the change, it's fine in the rain and probably shower, but can no longer be immersed without eventually fogging then finally failing. The battery does last a good two years though, and as I just said, can be changed, but just don't swim in it after changing it. I seem to remember pretty much the same thing for my Ironman watches, I used to buy repeatedly.

Dogwood
10-26-2018, 15:16
Yeah, cell phones have it all, BUT taking them out, swiping them open, getting to the app, plus burning precious battery life (though small) is cumbersome. For $40, you can have a watch that has all those great, simple Timex Ironman features PLUS the at a glance altimeter and barometer (plus temperature, if you take the watch off at night). The extra ten bucks for the Casio altimeter watch discussed below over the cheap walmart Timex's is so worth it. No brainer. But people get used to things and don't ever want to upgrade, even at no cost.
It's similar to having a camera or smart phone intending to use the camera function to take pics when it's typically accessed stored inside a pack. By the time you get the camera or smartphone out you lose the pic. After my second $100+ smartphone glass scree replacement on less than $300 smartphones with damage occurring on trail and one replacement at work with already two battery failures at work from water damage despite case/screen protectors and WP standards I have grown into not relying on them as much.

Feral Bill
10-26-2018, 15:17
I have only semi-successfully changed the battery in my Casio altimeter watch..."semi" meaning I got it back together and it worked, but wasn't quite as waterproof. I lap swim a lot, wear my watch often, before the battery change, no problem, after the change, it's fine in the rain and probably shower, but can no longer be immersed without eventually fogging then finally failing. The battery does last a good two years though, and as I just said, can be changed, but just don't swim in it after changing it. I seem to remember pretty much the same thing for my Ironman watches, I used to buy repeatedly. Instead of buying cheap (if useful) watches repeatedly, why not get a longer lasting model and keep using it? It would pay for itself in a few years.

colorado_rob
10-26-2018, 15:50
Instead of buying cheap (if useful) watches repeatedly, why not get a longer lasting model and keep using it? It would pay for itself in a few years. Like my old $200 Suunto, a well respected brand, that failed due to water leakage after the battery was changed? I bought another one. Failed after 4-5 years or so. Not going that route again.

What would be perfect, and I'd go this route, is a solar powered watch that had all the functions of this cool cheap Casio and didn't cost a fortune.

Dogwood
10-26-2018, 17:09
My sister brings a plug in Mr Coffee with a clock and alarm on what she originally described as hiking trips. I went with my sister two times on 3 day camping/hiking trips. Her family camps maybe every 3 yrs. She tells time with it and wakes up in camp to the Mr Coffee alarm. She also brings a 5 ft tall pedestal oscillating fan and 12' x 12' indoor outdoor carpet. My brother in law currently has 2 cords of hardwood he cut and split from his property even though he has no fireplace or outside stove, fire ring, chiminea, etc or friends with such to give it. I recently asked him why he had it and that much going on 5 yrs. He says he uses it for camping. I told them I can see why you think they are hiking trips given how much we walk between the car and camp getting everything out of the car and setting up.

LittleTim
10-26-2018, 22:17
Casio ABC watch is fun enough to make it worth it over the Ironman or gshock. Being that more than half my hiking trips have little or no cell service, my phone is only a camera except for the drive to and from. Having a paper map and knowing how to use it is essential. The altitude 'A' comes in handy more often than I thought when zeroing in on exactly what your location is on a topo map given a blazed trail and knowing the direction of travel, although having to calibrate it at the start of any hike is a tiny chore that's required. The barometer 'B' is fairly useless to me as weather rarely changes unpredictability here in the eastern us. The compass 'C' is more of a redundancy to a button compass that hangs off my shoulder strap with an emergency whistle, but comes in handy if you're going off trail and have to keep a bearing to get to another way point without repeated sighting of a better compass (but not a better alternative).
Being that having a durable face and a metal band is important to me, that put me in a model that is at the top end of the OP's budget, but it came with additional fun features like solar power, atomic time, sun rise/set, multiple alarms, memories on some functions, second time zone, timer, stopwatch, thermometer, and possibly more that I haven't yet figured out how to use.
No battery to change (for 10+ years or so). No tether to a Bluetooth cell to work. Multiple redundancies that I like. And 3 years in, the plastic bezel ring has a decent amount of scratches but the face is flawless.

What I'm saying is that it meets my needs and some. Figure out what you want from a 'watch' and go from there. For some it's time, some it's more.

OwenM
10-27-2018, 01:31
Instead of buying cheap (if useful) watches repeatedly, why not get a longer lasting model and keep using it? It would pay for itself in a few years.
That's my mentality.
Seiko automatic dive watches for me. No batteries, never stop working.
Bought a Swhatever model while in Airborne School when I was 19. About 13 or 14 years later, the face got knocked loose, and it was replaced with the Black Monster that I'm wearing right now. I'm 47.

MuddyWaters
10-27-2018, 04:34
Instead of buying cheap (if useful) watches repeatedly, why not get a longer lasting model and keep using it? It would pay for itself in a few years.

Because when batt goes dead every 2-3 yrs, it takes a jeweler to replace it, case seal needs be ordered and replaced to keeo water rating, and whole ordeal takes 1-2 weeks and more $ than throwaway watch costs

Thus is reason my good watches sit in drawer with dead batts, while i wear $35 watch from walmart.

TexasBob
10-27-2018, 08:53
Link repeated from below, $40:

https://www.amazon.com/Casio-Sensor-Multi-Function-Digital-Sport/dp/B07CMS5NKS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_bs_lp_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=58E58E43CMEN5Q93RGH3

I got one of these as a Christmas gift. The altimeter stopped working after the plane trip home. Anyone else have that problem or was I just unlucky?

colorado_rob
10-27-2018, 09:07
The "cheap, semi-disposable vs. expensive slightly-longer-lasting" argument is a considered, personal choice very much like buying sunglasses....

I get the urge, and follow through occasionally with buying expensive sunglasses. I always eventually regret this decision, because though expensive sunglasses TEND to last longer from a breakage standpoint, there is still the loss factor, or sitting-on-them (which most expensive ones even cannot stand) factor, so at most, I'll get 2-3 years from a $150 pair, or a year from a cheap pair that's 1/4th the price, so I tend to come out ahead with cheap sunglasses. Way ahead.

(for the record, I'm talking mostly about "everyday" sunglasses... not the high performance mountaineering sunglasses required for safe high altitude glacier travel/climbing)

colorado_rob
10-27-2018, 09:12
I got one of these as a Christmas gift. The altimeter stopped working after the plane trip home. Anyone else have that problem or was I just unlucky? Weird, probably just unlucky. I've owned three, the first of which failed after swimming with it after battery replacement, the second sitting in my closet, everything still works, but no longer waterproof after battery replacement, the third on my wrist, working great. My wife owns one too, still works perfectly, probably need a battery soon.

We use a local jeweler now for battery replacement, they charge $12 to replace these batteries, takes 2-3 days, but the returned watch is still no longer waterproof, even though a pro replaced the battery.

peakbagger
10-27-2018, 10:22
I have used altimeter/barometer watches for years. I started with the Casio's but found that the buttons would get hard to use and eventually stop working usually just after I changed the batteries. I could usually find wrist bands to fit them but rarely did they last as long. I then tried a couple of other long gone brands like Alti gear that worked and had larger digital readouts but had some of the same issues. I switched to Suunto Cores several years ago and they have lasted longer and usually made it throuhg at least one battery replacement. My first one had a lousy display (black background and white digits) and got physically beat up. Suunto's uses a non standard wrist band and the factory replacements are expensive but they tend to last longer. There are now non OEM replacements on Amazon. I swapped to my current Suunto core with a better display (white background black numbers) and to date have been through one battery replacement and still on the original band.

Unlike others I like and use the barometric pressure trend, mostly for overnight as it its useless when hiking over varied elevation terrain. I dont use GPS for bushwhacking so using the altimeter along with a map is quite handy for seeing where I am. The key thing to remember is the altimeter has to be set every morning to a known elevation. One useless option is temperature readout as the temperature is usually close to body temp. In order for it to work the watch has to be taken off and left off for 20 minutes or so.

FlyPaper
10-27-2018, 10:24
I cannot say enough good things about this inexpensive, but very useful watch:

https://www.amazon.com/Casio-Sensor-Multi-Function-Digital-Sport/dp/B07CMS5NKS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_bs_lp_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=58E58E43CMEN5Q93RGH3

I buy one every couple years, that's about how long they last basically being worn every day, on the trail or off (except on dates with wife, where I wear a fancy watch!). After two years, the battery needs replacing, then it's no longer waterproof, despite all the care taken to replace the gasket....

The altimeter is very useful for navigating, and seems to be fairly accurate. Then, of course, the overnight barometer readings are useful. I say "overnight", because a barometer is only useful when you're in one place, at one altitude (the baro change is nice to know for weather prediction).

Forty bucks, nice watch, great altimeter, alarm, waterproof, etc, etc. Way better than just the ironman (because of the altimeter/barometer). Zero need for $400 watches these days, with smart phone navigation apps (unless the $400 watch is also your smart phone, I guess) and way cheaper heart rate monitors, if you feel the need for one of those.

Second this. I don't know how I hiked without an altimeter. I bought my most recent one a few years ago for more than $100. Looks like they're done to about $40 now.

Barometric pressure is probably helpful too, for someone. Not me.

Thermometer is also not too helpful since it has to be off your wrist for a while to get a good measure. It's not worth losing it to take it off long enough to get a real temperature.

Compass comes in handy from time to time, but as most know, it hardly matters for navigating the AT.

FlyPaper
10-27-2018, 11:00
Like my old $200 Suunto, a well respected brand, that failed due to water leakage after the battery was changed? I bought another one. Failed after 4-5 years or so. Not going that route again.

What would be perfect, and I'd go this route, is a solar powered watch that had all the functions of this cool cheap Casio and didn't cost a fortune.

This is why I spent extra to get a solar powered watch. The cost of batteries is nothing, but opening the case to replace the battery almost always followed soon after by weather damage. Combine solar with an altimeter and it's no longer cheap, but the cost has come down a lot.

Here is one for just over $100. https://www.amazon.com/Casio-PRG-270-1-Triple-Multifunction-Digital/dp/B00ENCRBO4?keywords=solar+casio+watch&qid=1540652281&s=Clothing&sr=1-49&ref=sr_1_49

ldsailor
10-27-2018, 11:04
Instead of buying cheap (if useful) watches repeatedly, why not get a longer lasting model and keep using it? It would pay for itself in a few years.
Oh, yeah? I thought the same, so I bought a nice $160 watch. It lasted a year. I'm back to the $20 watches where the batteries last up to five years and then I throw them away.

colorado_rob
10-27-2018, 11:11
This is why I spent extra to get a solar powered watch. The cost of batteries is nothing, but opening the case to replace the battery almost always followed soon after by weather damage. Combine solar with an altimeter and it's no longer cheap, but the cost has come down a lot.

Here is one for just over $100. https://www.amazon.com/Casio-PRG-270-1-Triple-Multifunction-Digital/dp/B00ENCRBO4?keywords=solar+casio+watch&qid=1540652281&s=Clothing&sr=1-49&ref=sr_1_49Nirvana! Thanks. This will be my next altimeter watch, for certain. Thanks!

Feral Bill
10-27-2018, 12:35
Because when batt goes dead every 2-3 yrs, it takes a jeweler to replace it, case seal needs be ordered and replaced to keeo water rating, and whole ordeal takes 1-2 weeks and more $ than throwaway watch costs

Thus is reason my good watches sit in drawer with dead batts, while i wear $35 watch from walmart. Solar charged watches are widely available. I got one for that very reason. I got the Seiko because many years ago I found one in the snow on a trail in the Adirondacks, still running. (I found the owner through the ADK Loj at Heart lake). I've had mine about ten years, trouble free.

Analog_Kidd
10-27-2018, 20:16
I have a G-Shock Tough Solar Atomic and really like it. It's probably 15 years old, and I've never had to replace a battery. It updates its time with the atomic clock every day, so it's always accurate. It tells time really well and is tough as nails, but doesn't do anything fancy. It sells for about $80 on Amazon.

NY HIKER 50
10-28-2018, 00:34
With all this talk about the Iron man I have to say I have a real problem. My watch has a funny battery (CR2025) and it seems that no jeweler in my area will touch it. They say they do not stock the battery and that I have to send it back. This my not be worthwhile since most of them only charge $5.00, and it means postage, insurance, and 15.00 to Timex.

gpburdelljr
10-28-2018, 01:16
With all this talk about the Iron man I have to say I have a real problem. My watch has a funny battery (CR2025) and it seems that no jeweler in my area will touch it. They say they do not stock the battery and that I have to send it back. This my not be worthwhile since most of them only charge $5.00, and it means postage, insurance, and 15.00 to Timex.
Maybe you could buy the battery yourself, and then get a jeweler to install it.

Traveler
10-28-2018, 07:54
With all this talk about the Iron man I have to say I have a real problem. My watch has a funny battery (CR2025) and it seems that no jeweler in my area will touch it. They say they do not stock the battery and that I have to send it back. This my not be worthwhile since most of them only charge $5.00, and it means postage, insurance, and 15.00 to Timex.

I have had two Ironman watches over the past 20+ years and never had a problem getting or changing out batteries, nor has anyone ever said the only way to change a battery is to send it back to Timex. Most jewelers would likely not stock batteries for watches they do not sell, so that may be the simple answer there.

The CR2025 battery is very common and available from a broad range of retailers from CVS to Walmart to Amazon, usually under $2.00 each. When changing out the battery, just be careful the seal seats properly in the groove and be careful putting the back plate on, tightening screws evenly much as you would tire lug nuts.

43904

blw2
10-28-2018, 08:13
Lots of posts here for the "basic" digital watches.

I'm personally not a fan. Unless things have changed recently I find that often the required button push combination isn't very intuitive. OK for features that are used regularly...like daily.... because even complicated combinations can be learned.....but. The last of these watches I've played with were not unlike the digital watches from back when I was a kid. Want to set an alarm, or use a timer, or whatever.... just too complicated. Ok for checking the time but most of the other features aren't very accessible IMO.

I stopped wearing watches back when I started carrying a cell phone. Once in a whil it's a pain but mostly no big deal for me in daily life. I've grown really used to all the bonus features they provide. Put sometimes, especially when doing watersports, jogging, packing, etc...just not convenient.

Recently I was looking seriously at some of the high end smart watches, such as the Garmins and Suunto's. I wanted something with GPS to track my runs, and a heart rate monitor. Would also liked to have things like pulse-ox, altimeter, thermometer, etc.... I just couldn't get myself to spend that much without knowing. I ended up buying a Garmin vivosport. It offered most of what wanted. Screen is too small for my old eyes though but I have enjoyed it. Good motivator to move. It also offers some limited notifications through it's link to my phone. Tracks sleep which is interesting even if not all that usefull. Also in the interesting but not really necessary category.... estimates calories burned, counts steps, measures distances based on steps or GPS, tracks heart rate...lots of stuff.
The biggest win I think is the touch screen....so much more intuitive to use than a casio/timex type digital watch multi-button thing.

I'm much more likely now to spend a bit to get a smart watch. Mapping and all of that other stuff. I noticed some have onboard music storage which at first seemed silly but I think it might be nice for folks who like to run or hike with music. My vivo sport has an interface to control music on my phone....just basics....play, pause, etc...

cmoulder
10-28-2018, 09:02
I like the Casio Pathfinder solar version, whatever "module" that is, and with the metal wrist band... the plastic ones always break and the fabric ones can really build up some serious stank.

The altitude recording features require a complicated button routine to use, and the novelty soon wears off anyway. Thermometer is useless, unless you want to know the temperature of your wrist, or want to bother to remove it and leave it hanging outside for a good while to get accurate ambient temp. Altitude is useful and it's easy enough to reset at a known elevation. What is very handy is Altitude Difference which is super easy to zero with the "adjust" button when in Altitude mode. I've checked this quite a few times against a topo, and the measured elevation change to summit is always very close to that indicated on the topo.

Another feature I use a lot is the Barometer, specifically the graph. The overnight trend is very useful to tell you "which way" the weather is going. Up and Down remain very good indicators!

43905

Time Zone
10-28-2018, 10:25
The picture shows that one has compass. Would you recommend a solar version for that reason - is it the case that compass feature really drains the battery, and thus, a solar would cut down sharply on battery replacement? Is the compass reliable/ accurate? Thanks.

cmoulder
10-28-2018, 10:35
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention the compass but I don't trust it. Just seems quirky and not to line up properly with north even after calibrating it. (And yes, I'm taking into account declination!) But I also felt the same way about my old Suunto Vector... I've never felt comfortable using the watch compasses. All I really need is a little button compass anyway.

Harrison Bergeron
10-28-2018, 14:26
My kids got me an Highgear Altech compass/altimeter watch the year I did my hike, and I really liked it. I can't stand a watch on my wrist when I'm working hard. This thing has a built-in carabiner that you can just clip-on somewhere handy. The altimeter function is handy for determining how how long 'til the agony ends!