Wristwatches for Field Educators
April 12, 2007 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Recommend some classy, but rugged, women's wrist or pocket watches for me!

I work in science education and environmental monitoring so on a daily basis I'm going from grants meetings and giving indoor lectures to running around in a salt marsh with kids to working in a water quality testing lab, among many other things. I'd like a comfortable wristwatch or clip-on style pocket watch that can go along with me the whole day. The uber-cheap plastic watch on the field bag + using clocks inside doesn't seem to be cutting it. So, I'm looking for some good reviews on particular watches for durability, but especially durability with some style (clothing is a whole other kettle of fish, but I'm working that out with time and having a locker).

I don't have a preference as far as analog vs. digital, but I do prefer non-clunky watches. The flatter it lays on my wrist the better, especially since there are many opportunities for it to get caught on something during my day. This, plus strap discomfort is a big part of why I haven't been able to find a good watch to wear all day thus far.

I'm asking for women's watches since I've got the dainty wrists, but would consider a man's watch. Water resistance is an absolutely MUST. And, finally I'm looking to spend under $100, (But my birthday is on the horizon and I could do the puppy eyes thing if it came to that.)

Other than those parameters, I'm open to suggestions! Pointing me to some good watch review sites (if they exist) would be a great help as well. Thanks very much!
posted by nelleish to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't recommend anything online, but I have had good luck finding watches at Marshall's and T.J. Maxx.

(And hello from the other side of Portland! This snow is making me cranky!)
posted by suki at 4:52 PM on April 12, 2007

nickyskye made a watch post recently. You might find some help there.
posted by tellurian at 5:20 PM on April 12, 2007

I had a lot of trouble finding watches for my own personal dainty wrists (I like things that are waterproof, digital, don't fall apart too quickly, aren't leather-containing, and don't look terrible) and was annoyed at how spendy that was proving to be, until I discovered children's watches. I wear some sort of Nike kids' watch and I'm very happy with it. I'm very pro-digital so you have millions more options than I do, but definitely look at some children's watches, especially because they're almost always cheaper and do the exact same stuff. And the higher-end ones actually (in my experience) have been more durable than adult ones because they're designed for kids who play and run around, not grownups who sit at a desk.
posted by crinklebat at 5:41 PM on April 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Durability, style and water resistance for under $100 sounds like a bit of a stretch, really. Until I got to the price limit, I was going to suggest one of the plainer TAG Heuer watches, because they're available in a mid-size between the men's and women's models (speaking as a dainty-wristed man with bad eyesight, this is a good thing!), they lay very flat on the wrist, and the metal link strap is incredibly comfortable.
posted by jack_mo at 6:04 PM on April 12, 2007

Have you looked at the Casio Baby-G series? On their Casio co. website, they have more styles than the iconic square version.

There is also another official Baby-G site with seemingly more info but it's too flash intensive for me to go thru.

Can't help you with clunky since that's a matter of preference.
posted by Cog at 6:15 PM on April 12, 2007

Oh yeah, most Baby-G's hover around $80.
posted by Cog at 6:16 PM on April 12, 2007

I have it and I love it! Froogle for better prices Wenger Watch

Thanks to miss lynnster, my very first link!
posted by JujuB at 7:20 PM on April 12, 2007

Personally, I live live LIVE for Target watches. $10-20 each, always very classy and hip, durable (but totally replaceable at their low price) and they never fail to garner compliments. I probably own a dozen because of the awesome price.
You might like this one, this one, or maybe this one.
posted by messylissa at 11:13 PM on April 12, 2007

This might not meet your "classy" requirement as it is somewhat sporty looking, but I love my women's Ironman Triathlon Sleek. I've worn it pretty much constantly for the past year (including in the pool several times a week) and it's still in great shape. I also have fairly dainty wrists and find the size quite nice.
posted by sanitycheck at 1:09 AM on April 13, 2007

Rather on the clunky side, but I highly recommend these Guard Dog watches. These things are pretty much bombproof and it's very freeing not to have to wear a watch on your wrist.
posted by seancake at 1:54 AM on April 13, 2007

I will second the Wenger (also their Swiss Army line). My wife is on her second (she just wanted a new watch and didn't like the Tag Heurs and such because they are too big for her wrists) but her first, ten year old Standard Issue still works fine despite being worn every day while washing dishes and such. They are a little bit above your price range but not by much and should last you for many years. I have seen a limited selection at the big box sporting goods stores in town, so you may want to look there if you want to try one on and possibly find a better price, but I ended up ordering from Wenger directly for the best selection.
posted by TedW at 8:25 AM on April 13, 2007

I've worn Freestyle watches for over 10 years. They're all waterproof, and I've found the metals to be both "classy" and durable.
posted by redbed at 11:03 AM on April 13, 2007

nelleish, there were some details missing from your request. Goldtone or silvertone? Two-tone? Metal band or leather band? If leather then brown or black? If metal band a bracelet, stretch or foldover clasp? Rubber strap? Roman numerals or Arabic ones? Or sticks for numbers? Your age, under 40 or over 40, will determine your needs for the size of the watch face and the numbers. Modern look or old fashioned? In-between? Rectangular, square or round face? White face or black face?

The watches with the thinner silhouette tend to be dress watches.

I've sold watches, so that's what I would ask my clients. for the price, easiness of reading the watch face, reliability and durability I recommend a Timex.

Not knowing your exact needs, this is my best guess for you and have the band sized to your slender wrist. Or this one. This one if you prefer goldtone, although goldtone will be less practical with the salt content of the marshes because the salt with corrode the gold fishish faster than a steel finish.

Silvertone clip watch.
posted by nickyskye at 5:08 PM on May 19, 2007

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