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Hunting For A Tide Watch

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Nixon Lodown Titanium

I recently developed a burning need for a watch that displays tides. No, not the University of Alabama Crimson Tides, the ocean’s tides. High tide, low tide, slack tide, whether the tide is coming in or going out have much more import for me than ever before.

This calls for a new watch.

I’m assessing my options, but I have more than I thought I would. As much as I would like a mechanical watch with a tide feature, it is out of my reach for the moment, but quartz has me spoiled for choices. Rip Curl, Nixon, Vestal, Reactor, Quicksilver, Freestyle, Oceanus, Casio, and Timex all have watches with a tide feature. Casio has several digital options with displays that are easy to read, but the Freestyle Mega Tide makes it clear that the designers knew that what the tide is doing is more important than the time of day. The Rip Curl Titanium Tidemaster looks the premier analog tide watch. The Oceanus loses out on this because the tide display is nowhere near as readable as the Ripcurl’s and doesn’t show spring and neap tides. The Reactor Graviton has an analog display over an LCD that has a graphic tide chart, in the customary Reactor steel ingot style.

The Nixon Lodown Ti is a contender in the digital category. This one has a clear tide display, showing where the tide is now and where it will be over the rest of the day. It is programmed with tide data for 200 beaches for 15 years. It is digital, so styling is a secondary concern, but the case and strap are fairly sleek, without protrusions to get caught on things. In addition to the tide display, it has all the usual bells and whistles of a digital watch; alarms, timer, backlight, and second time zone. I usually think of Nixon as a fashion watch, so I am concerned about durability, but it is rated for 100m water resistance. Pretty good option for $90.

Coming soon; Part II, Analogs.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Nixon’s look nice but get poor reviews for durability.

    The newer Freestyle version of the watch you have pictured is very nice–it does away with the tide graphic and has a simpler vertical marker to tell how close to high or low you are (and then has a more detailed screen for future tides). Also, it’s possible to easily change between a number of locations. I found it very useful on a recent trip.

  2. Jon Says: “Nixon’s look nice but get poor reviews for durability.”

    I can believe that. Nixon is better know for fashion watches than hard use watches. I’m not commited to the Nixon yet and will look at an analog tide watch soon.

    I’ve thought about the Freestyle you describe, but like the more graphic display better.

    Thanks!

  3. Casio GW400J. All the features you’d expect from a G-shock, plus it has a vibrating option for the alarms (including countdown) which I love.

  4. I do like the Nixon styles – interesting and refreshing but, affordable yet I believe they are overpriced (what isn’t overpriced?).

  5. I got a G-Shock tide watch which was great except the tide display is very simple and does not work for complex tides in the Gulf of Mexico where there is no defined “lunitidal interval”. So the tide feature on the G-shock is pretty much useless to me, but since the Lodown is pre-programmed for more complex tides in the gulf and Caribbean, it seems like the only option for me if I want a tide watch.

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