Different seasons call for different types of gear — which is pretty obvious for certain categories. For instance, you’d never want to wear a puffy waterproof parka in the middle of July, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Similarly, flip flops can put you on the fast track to frostbite if you wear them in the dead of winter.
There are other categories of gear, however, where their seasonal appropriateness is a lot less apparent. Watches are one such category. To be fair, most watches can be worn year-round without too much trouble. But if you really want to make the most of this genre of style accessory, you’re going to want to look a little closer at your choices. For instance, summer is finally in full swing and, as such, we’ve collected ten impressive and seasonally-appropriate timepieces that range from those that are solar-powered to dive-rated tactical options perfect for days out on the water. These are the best summer watches for men.
Timex American Documents Watch
Best for the American Entrepreneur
Modeled after Timex’s original offering, a mantle clock originally released way back in 1864, this USA-built wristwatch features timeless styling, a reliable gold-plated Swiss quartz movement, a stainless steel case, and a gorgeous premium leather strap. But one of the most special additions can actually be found on the back of the case and embedded in the crown: “Aged Waterbury Brass” inserts that add even more heritage to this timepiece. And if that’s not enough, this gorgeous accessory even comes in its own cherry wood storage and display box — another nod to its mantle clock inspiration.
Type: DressMovement: QuartzSize: 41mm
Suunto 7 Smartwatch
Best For The Adventurous Athlete
If ever there was an appropriate time of year to get outside and get some exercise while you adventure, it’s summer. Of course, if you’re a big fitness fanatic, you might want a watch that can help in that endeavor, and you certainly can’t go wrong with the Suunto 7 smartwatch. This handy high-tech device comes with 70+ pre-installed sport modes so that you can track your workouts in depth regardless of what you want to go out and do. It also has built-in GPS tracking with the ability to download offline maps for better navigation. And it’s even waterproof to 50m — meaning you could take it swimming, as well.
Type: SmartwatchMovement: Wear OS by GoogleSize: 50mm
Luminox Pacific Diver Watch
Best For The Tactical Diver
Over 30 years ago, Luminox was established in California’s San Fernando Valley. And from their inception as a company, they’ve had close ties to the ocean — be that because they’re crafting timepieces for the Navy’s SEAL program or the Icelandic SAR (Search & Rescue) teams. Now, to celebrate their connection to the ocean — the Pacific, to be specific — they’ve created this gorgeous lineup of Pacific Diver watches. They all boast stainless steel cases with CARBONOX bezels, Swiss-made quartz movements, 20ATM water-resistance ratings, and so much more. If you’re into tactical styling and ocean adventure, you can’t go wrong with any of these summer-ready timepieces.
Type: DiveMovement: QuartzSize: 44mm
Junghans Max Bill MEGA Solar Watch
Best For The Minimalist On-The-Move
The Junghans Max Bill series of watches are a perfect example of those that can be worn all-year-long. However, this particular one gets an edge for summertime wear thanks to its solar-powered movement. That means, so long as you work some daylight into your adventures, this bad boy will keep on ticking indefinitely. This one also gets big style points for its Bauhaus-inspired minimalist design, its easy-to-read dial, and its exclusion of any extraneous details. Best of all, the solar-powered movement is radio-controlled — meaning you don’t have to worry about it being accurate because it links up and adjusts automatically.
Type: BauhausMovement: SolarSize: 38mm
Seiko Prospex ‘Captain Willard’ SPB151 Watch
Best For The Stylish Cinephile
Though perhaps not as obvious as movie cars, watches actually have a long history of being featured in films and many of those cinematic timepieces have become legends in their own right — even to the point that recreations and rereleases are fairly common (though they do tend to sell out quickly). This particular watch is actually a recreation of the one worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. Of course, even if it didn’t have the connection to one of the greatest war movies ever made, it would still be an impressive dive watch with its turtle-shaped stainless steel case and off-set crown, dive timer bezel, 200m waterproofing, and automatic movement.
Type: DiveMovement: AutomaticSize: 42.7mm
Alpina Seastrong Gyre Watch
Best For The Eco-Conscious Swimmer
It should be abundantly obvious that dive watches are some of the most appropriate for the summer, as their built-in waterproofing makes them ideal for days on the beach, aboard a boat, and even around the pool. However, some brands take the connection between dive watches and the water a bit further, as Alpina has done with their Seastrong Gyre Watch. You see, this handsome summer watch boasts a case that’s actually made from recycled ocean waste. In fact, the strap it comes with is also crafted from recycled plastic bottles. It also features an automatic movement, dive timer rotating bezel, and 300m waterproof rating. If sustainability is toward the top of your concerns, you’re not going to find many watches quite up to par with this one.
Type: DiveMovement: AutomaticSize: 44mm
Garmin MARQ Golfer Smartwatch
Best For The Fairway Fanatic
Surfing is probably the sport that’s most connected to summertime, however, it’s hardly the only Fairweather sport. In fact, for those that don’t like heading out into the water, golf might be the more appropriate summertime sport. And, wouldn’t you know it, the intrepid industrialists at Garmin have created and released what might be the ultimate timepiece for those warm-weather days when you’re hitting the links. Denoted by the brand as a “modern tool watch,” this high-tech timepiece boasts all we’ve come to expect from outdoor smartwatches — including GPS, fitness tracking, and a suite of onboard sensors — but it also has an impressive database of 41,000 preloaded course maps and an onboard virtual caddy to help improve your game. If golf is a big part of your summer experience, you’re not going to want to go without this watch.
Type: SmartwatchMovement: Garmin Watch OSSize: 46mm
Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO Auto Limited Edition Watch
Best For The All-Black Obsessive
Before the pandemic truly took hold, we were looking forward to a new Christopher Nolan blockbuster movie, Tenet, that was set to come out in July, then pushed back to August, and now it might not come out this year at all. However, while we have to wait to check out this mind-bending spy thriller, we have gotten a look at one of the integral parts of the film in Hamilton’s Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO Auto Limited Edition Watch. Completely blacked-out aside from the tip of the second hand — which is available in either red or blue — this hefty diver is powered by a self-winding automatic movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve, it’s waterproof to an astounding depth of over 1,000 meters, it comes in packaging created by TENET production designer Nathan Crowley that has movie clues built into it, and it’s limited to just 888 examples.
Type: DiveMovement: AutomaticSize: 46mm
Sinn Taucheruhr U50 S Watch
Best For The Naval Know-It-All
For those who have an appreciation for naval heritage, the Sinn Taucheruhr U50 S Watch is going to be a hard one to beat for one very simple and impressive fact: the case is actually built from German submarine steel. Not only is that a remarkably cool feature, but it also means this watch is particularly adept at staving off the corrosive effects of seawater. On top of that, this watch is slimmer and lighter than previous editions — making it easier to wear on hot summer days — and it is good for depths of up to 500m — making it a true dive-ready timepiece. In fact, it’s even been tested and certified by DNV GL.
Type: DiveMovement: AutomaticSize: 41mm
Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Watch
Best For The Upscale Surfer
If we had to pick a single sport that best encapsulates the spirit of summer, it would obviously have to be surfing. Dating back to ancient Polynesian cultures, modern surfing has become a staple of western life — especially amongst those in California and Hawaii — and there are even watches tied directly to the surf culture of years passed. That includes the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 you see here, which is actually a tribute to an original watch from 1957. Along with its gorgeous throwback minimalist styling, this watch boasts an automatic movement, a 100m water-resistant stainless steel case, a mesh band, luminous markings, and more. It’s even available in a number of different versions, so you can find the one right for you and your style this summer.
Type: DiveMovement: AutomaticSize: 42mm
The 12 Best Dive Watches Under $1,000
If we had to pick a watch category most appropriate for summer, it would probably be diver’s watches. As it turns out, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get one — which is great if you’re planning on wearing one while swimming. We’ve rounded up 12 of our favorites on this list of the best dive watches under $1,000.