Summer is upon us, and unless you enjoy changing between watches throughout the day, there’s a good chance that you could use a solid all-rounder timepiece that can stand up to summer activities and look great in any situation. You don’t always need deep-dive water resistance, but it doesn’t hurt. The most important factors to consider are flexibility and wearability, keeping in mind that it’s warmer during summer, which can make a heavy watch on a bracelet a real hassle.
With that in mind, here are our three picks for excellent summer watches.
Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT
Seiko and Grand Seiko make excellent summer watches because of their unique color options and durable designs. Grand Seiko specifically has developed new versions of its popular Spring Drive GMT that offer deep blue or green dials, and there are even a few limited editions with interesting flashes of color. Though they are chunky and not small, the Spring Drive GMT is wearable on a large variety of wrist sizes and shapes, thanks to its short-cropped lugs and clever weight balancing. The watches also look great on rubber straps and feature robust water resistance, so it’s possible to wear a Spring Drive GMT all year without threat of damage.
If you’ve got the wrist and the attitude, the large-and-in-charge Panerai Luminor makes an excellent summer-wear watch. Several feature hearty water resistance ratings and interesting movements, but all carry a super dose of style and quirkiness that can’t be matched anywhere else in the watch world. If you need a date complication or even a dive watch with impressive depth ratings, there’s a Luminor for you. Panerai’s unique case shape and choice of colors make its watches a bold and style-forward choice, and it’s important to remember that most are extremely chunky. Beyond that, a Panerai on the wrist is fun, interesting, and will always spark a conversation.
IWC Pilot Watch Chronograph Spitfire
Sure, they don’t have the best water resistance rating in the world, but there’s something special about IWC’s Spitfire chronographs. The company updated the watch a while back with a new in-house movement and a more wearable, smaller case size. There’s also the undeniable vintage charm of the indices and hands, which feature an aged luminous material that give them the attractive look of patina. Making things even better, IWC’s pilot watches are true chameleons with strap and bracelet choices, and look great on nylon, leather, or the excellent IWC bracelet. In general, these can be had for between $4,000 and $8,000 on the used market, and are worth every penny of those price tags.