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Thread: Which watch for backpacking around the world?

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  1. #1
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    Which watch for backpacking around the world?

    So I am going backpacking next year (for a year) and looking to pick up a watch to wear for my travels. This will be the full backpacking experience in hostels and trekking etc.

    I have bought/sold a number watches recently that just didn't fit the bill (Rolex Sub / Nomos Tangente Automatic / Junghans Max Bill Automatic).

    Criteria is:

    - Nothing too flashy (as I will be in some poor areas and don't want to attract too much attention)
    - Good timekeeping
    - Simple design with legible markers for time
    - Can be date or no date
    - Manual or automatic
    - Around 38mm case (small wrists unfortunately!)

    Possible options that I have been looking at are:

    - Seiko SKX013



    - Sinn 556i



    - Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical



    Any preference on the above or suggested watches not listed?

    Thanks for any help....

  2. #2
    I always took a swatch backpacking.


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  3. #3
    Master
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    Get a G Shock.

  4. #4
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Get a G Shock.
    Geezer stipulates manual or auto

    We love a few facts on tz


    Of those I'd go with the seiko
    Good luck everybody. Have a good one.

  5. #5
    I tend to think a Seiko is ideal for this sort of thing, so another vote for the SKX013 - utterly dependable, wonít attract unwelcome attention, and very disposable/replaceable (a good thing in shared accommodation).

    Also, I find an elapsed time bezel just about the most useful thing on a watch besides the time, though knowing both Date & Day would be handy whilst travelling.

    Chuck in the water resistance, lume, legibility & toughness, and itís an easy choice for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Get a G Shock.
    Any particular model that could work on a skinny wrist?

  7. #7
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    I give up. I really do.
    Good luck everybody. Have a good one.

  8. #8
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    I give up. I really do.
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  9. #9
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    I am also open to criteria outside what is stated (i.e. an electronic option)

    Thanks for the recommendations so far!

  10. #10
    If I needed to catch planes and trains for a year then I'd worry that an automatic wouldn't be accurate enough.

    I'd go for a G-Shock and it fits the bill perfectly with its automatic time updates.

    Or a solar Seiko diver - less chance of mucking up the water resistance with a back street battery change, but still accurate.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawler View Post
    Any particular model that could work on a skinny wrist?
    It's tough, cheap and cheerful and no one will think of nicking it. Fashion and appearance is irrelevant.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawler View Post
    Any particular model that could work on a skinny wrist?
    Any of the square deisgn models would suit a skinny wrist. Something like the below;

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/casio-goril...ock+5600&psc=1

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Get a G Shock.
    From someone who has backpacked for a couple of years (although a long time ago, year 2000-2 ahem...) absolutely spot on.

    Get a DW6900.

    Job done.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 6th December 2018 at 09:26.

  14. #14
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    Although this is a backpacking trip I will still be bringing tech along...i.e. laptop, mirrorless camera etc c.£5k worth.

    It might not be the most sensible thing to do but I want to document the trip and I am a keen photographer so would be a shame not to! It is backpacking but not in the wilderness - more cityscapes staying in hostels etc for the majority then Inca Trail, India excursions, camper van in Australia for a couple of months.

    I should sensibly probably go for a G Shock but I will miss a mechanical watch. Maybe I should get the Seiko and if anything happens at least it can be replaced easily enough.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by lawler View Post
    Although this is a backpacking trip I will still be bringing tech along...i.e. laptop, mirrorless camera etc c.£5k worth.

    It might not be the most sensible thing to do but I want to document the trip and I am a keen photographer so would be a shame not to! It is backpacking but not in the wilderness - more cityscapes staying in hostels etc for the majority then Inca Trail, India excursions, camper van in Australia for a couple of months.

    I should sensibly probably go for a G Shock but I will miss a mechanical watch. Maybe I should get the Seiko and if anything happens at least it can be replaced easily enough.
    Sorry, what environment are you going in to / visiting? e.g in the ME summer lots of watches canít handle the temp, some can which would limit choices.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawler View Post
    Although this is a backpacking trip I will still be bringing tech along...i.e. laptop, mirrorless camera etc c.£5k worth.

    It might not be the most sensible thing to do but I want to document the trip and I am a keen photographer so would be a shame not to! It is backpacking but not in the wilderness - more cityscapes staying in hostels etc for the majority then Inca Trail, India excursions, camper van in Australia for a couple of months.

    I should sensibly probably go for a G Shock but I will miss a mechanical watch. Maybe I should get the Seiko and if anything happens at least it can be replaced easily enough.
    Whatever your intentions mate, what you take with you will either be lost, stolen or broken by the time you return. Trust me.

    Leave your valuables at home and travel light (including the watch).

    After a year overseas I don't think I returned with a single item that I went with (other than myself).

    Saying that you'll have a great time!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TZ-UK mobile app

  17. #17
    Master
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    Disclaimer: Im not being saarcastic!

    Several Options:

    LUXE: Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167 (Robust, thin, and actually far more discreet than most Rolex).

    Mid-End: 2nd Hand Omega Seamaster/Breitling Aerospace Evo/

    Lower-End but still fun: Hamilton Khaki-Diver/Seiko turtle

  18. #18
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    PRS 82 was always a great travel watch on a NATO. My got too these days is a MB3, rugged, swim proof and not flash. It also looks great on one of Eddie's nato straps and doesn't wear as big as you would think.
    Last edited by Middo; 6th December 2018 at 12:01.

  19. #19
    Seikos have brilliant lumen. Easy to read in a Nepal hostel! Better than Sinn. The SKX013 will fit the bill perfectly since it's a little smaller than the first-port-of-call SKX007. I bought a Citizen BN0150 here on the forum. The lumen equals Seiko's. I've been wearing it during this whole summer, including 3 weeks on a boat (salt water etc). Not a single scratch! The only drawback is the size: perhaps too large for your wrist.

    When picking up a Seiko (or any watch for that matter), put it on a nato strap. Those MoD guys were not stupid when they had their issued watches with a nato! Tip: if it's going to be a long trip: take a fresh, spare nato with you.



    Menno
    Last edited by thieuster; 8th December 2018 at 23:01.

  20. #20
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    G-Shock. Absolutely no questions. Can swim with it, bash it on rocks if you end up climbing (if you don't you've wasted an opportunity!) and completely under the radar. Even readjusts itself through different time zones. And super cheap too.

    I've been on plenty of extended adventures across the world with my 5610 and it's perfect. For me, that's a no-brainer.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Get a G Shock.

    Second that, you can't go wrong.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by spud767 View Post
    Did I miss the bit where he was going to the moon? Quite sure he'll be able to get a battery.
    As long as he bought a digital or analogue watch with solar charging then even that shouldn't be an issue. The intensity of sunlight on the moon's surface on the light side is around 37% stronger than that on earth due to the lack of atmosphere, so it would easily charge a watch's integrated battery. The main issues would most likely be the high temperatures which can reach around +127 Celsius and the strong UV radiation, so as long as he chose a watch that could handle both of those he should be ok.

    It would certainly be more an issue though if he wanted to visit the dark side as the temperature can drop to around -173 Celsius, but most importantly there would be no sunlight at all (or perhaps only a very very small amount from starlight received from the observable universe) so the battery would not charge unfortunately.

    Other than that, and assuming he could get NASA, ESA or Roscosmos (depending who he was travelling with) to flight qualify the watch he should be good to go.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 14th December 2018 at 09:52.

  23. #23
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    I travel a lot and prefer the Citizen as it's GPS and always correct if time is the most important issue.

    However as most have said the best is a basic Gshock with atomic and solar.


  24. #24
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    As long as he bought a digital or analogue watch with solar charging then even that shouldn't be an issue. The intensity of sunlight on the moon's surface on the light side is around 37% stronger than that on earth due to the lack of atmosphere, so it would easily charge a watch's integrated battery. The main issues would most likely be the high temperatures which can reach around +127 Celsius and the strong UV radiation, so as long as he chose a watch that could handle both of those he should be ok.

    It would certainly be more an issue though if he wanted to visit the dark side as the temperature can drop to around -173 Celsius, but most importantly there would be no sunlight at all (or perhaps only a very very small amount from starlight received from the observable universe) so the battery would not charge unfortunately.

    Other than that, and assuming he could get NASA, ESA or Roscomos (depending who he was travelling with) to flight qualify the watch he should be good to go.

    Excellent

  25. #25
    Master
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    Not the Hamilton - it's only 50m WR. Of those three I'd take the Seiko. The Sinn is cheaper than the other stuff you mentioned but it's still worth a grand. If you lose the Seiko you can just buy another in the next city.

  26. #26
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    On the facts given I would say a seiko of some description.

    Based on my own experience, and having had money stolen in a hostel whilst interrailing it should be something you don't have to take off.

    Of the watches I currently own which include Seiko and Sinn - which would meet your criteria I would take...my G-Shock. Sorry.

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  27. #27
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Our host has quite a few watches that would fit the bill. The PRS 29, in 36 or 39 mm would be perfect.
    My AM would probably be dismissed because of lack of lume.
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  28. #28
    Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    I do a lot of rough and ready travel, most recently across southern Bolivia. On that occasion I took the Citizen Eco Drive 'Holiday Watch' and it was pretty much ideal and never needs a battery change. On other occasions I tend to grab either the 6B Scramble, CWC G10, Sinn 856, Omega 2254 or Omega X-33 depending on how comfortable I feel about the value and whether I need good WR or extra functions. Legibility is paramount for me.












  29. #29
    Master TKH's Avatar
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    meh

    I would go with a PP 5531 great for trekking around world and crossing timezones and if you run out of cash you can flog it and buy a nice 5 bed detached in whichever country you may be in.



    Or a Seiko Astron.
    Last edited by TKH; 5th December 2018 at 19:02.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawler View Post

    - Nothing too flashy (as I will be in some poor areas and don't want to attract too much attention)
    -
    Leaving the rat race for a year?

    No watch.

    I dare you ;-)

    Is that an option?! Surely part of the appeal of a years travelling is leaving "baggage" behind. A preoccupation with the actual time; and/or the addiction to trinkets may be a part of that?

    Travel light......?!

    For getting to planes, trains and boats on time your phones time will do and free up valuable wrist space for those bits of tatt that back packers all have?!

  31. #31
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    Destinations from July 2019 are Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica the finish in Canada.

    One year trip as a break from the working life after saving a few years.

    Looking for a watch to bring on the adventure (yes the Rolex question was very stupid!)

    Thanks for all advice so far




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  32. #32
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    If it was me (not very likely) I'd want something cheap and easily replaced. If accuracy is not an issue the Seiko is ideal but it would bug me not knowing how far off it is. Otherwise, a Timex Scout with decent WR and Indiglo may fit the bill. Or both - a cheap quartz backup doesn't seem like a bad idea to me.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by lawler View Post
    Destinations from July 2019 are Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica the finish in Canada.

    One year trip as a break from the working life after saving a few years.

    Looking for a watch to bring on the adventure (yes the Rolex question was very stupid!)
    First, congratulations on taking time-out (excuse the pun), having such a great itinerary and I'm sure that your work or career will only be enhanced as a result of all your forthcoming experiences.

    FWIW, I've travelled twice around the world: once with a Rolex 16613 and the other time wearing a Seiko Monster: both were immaterial to the journey. So IMO, don't concern yourself with image/value, but choose whatever you feel fits comfortably on your wrist and ensure your travel insurance is comprehensive.

    Enjoy your trip.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  34. #34
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    Went backpacking for several months a couple of years ago, took 2 watches: an SKX009 and a cheap G-shock. Both served me well. My travel companion took a Seiko kinetic, which worked great too.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalebi View Post
    Went backpacking for several months a couple of years ago, took 2 watches: an SKX009 and a cheap G-shock. Both served me well. My travel companion took a Seiko kinetic, which worked great too.
    Damn right.

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  36. #36
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    Vostock amphibia.

  37. #37
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    Personally, having back packed and stayed in hostels, I wouldn't take anything that I didn't mind being stolen, lost or damaged. Worrying about about 'stuff' will just spoil the trip. But each to their own.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert189598 View Post
    Personally, having back packed and stayed in hostels, I wouldn't take anything that I didn't mind being stolen, lost or damaged. Worrying about about 'stuff' will just spoil the trip. But each to their own.
    Exactly...........

    This would do me: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Casio-Colle...ds=casio+watch

    £20 from Amazon.

  39. #39
    Master
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    Interesting thread.

    I'd agree with the most common response- G-Shock 56**, one with band 6 and solar. Won't have to set it, worry about batteries etc. Avoid the reverse display, can be difficult to read.

    If I was going to be including some potentially risky activities, especially alone, I would consider an Emergency. I'm not a snowflake, but heard enough tales of people who have lost their lives, when one of these would probably have saved them. If you're not, then get the G!

  40. #40
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apm101 View Post
    Interesting thread.

    I'd agree with the most common response- G-Shock 56**, one with band 6 and solar. Won't have to set it, worry about batteries etc. Avoid the reverse display, can be difficult to read.

    If I was going to be including some potentially risky activities, especially alone, I would consider an Emergency. I'm not a snowflake, but heard enough tales of people who have lost their lives, when one of these would probably have saved them. If you're not, then get the G!
    Nice watches but probably not best sold to people who might think 'what does this bit do?' just before unscrewing the aerial
    Good luck everybody. Have a good one.

  41. #41
    Craftsman Jardine32's Avatar
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    I think a spot of reverse psychology could be in order. Perhaps something like the subtle piece pictured. No one would believe it was real, then you could sell it should the need arise to buy a small army, private flight etc.
    Seriously though I know auto/mech was preferred but for this a decent G Shock would be my call.
    J

  42. #42
    Having done a fair bit of random backpacking over the summer, my weapon of choice was a Seiko Landmaster. I know it isnít mechanical but itís literally the perfect watch. As I was doing some trekking too, I also took along g shock rangeman. A WIS also needs choice when backpacking....

  43. #43
    Master
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    Bit puzzled about this; surely you just choose a good, low-cost watch. Casio, Citizen, Seiko, whatever. Around £100 is fine. Why spend more? One less thing to worry about. Nothing to attract attention.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jardine32 View Post
    I think a spot of reverse psychology could be in order. Perhaps something like the subtle piece pictured. No one would believe it was real, then you could sell it should the need arise to buy a small army, private flight etc.
    Seriously though I know auto/mech was preferred but for this a decent G Shock would be my call.
    J
    😂😂😂😂😂😂Brilliant in.more ways than one.
    Last edited by Robert189598; 5th December 2018 at 21:10.

  45. #45
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Just buy this Ö please

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...-1JF-*REDUCED*

    Don't be put off by the dimensions, it does wear small. All the watch you'll ever need.

  46. #46
    am i interpreting correctly, it is important to you to have a watch that makes you feel good, a conversation piece on the trip and when you are back with friends sharing stories about the adventure. Something discrete but not too expensive. A watch that looks visually great, both somewhere smart and a hostel?


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  47. #47
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    CWC RN Diver in quartz or auto. Tough, reliable, low key. Job done.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by timc View Post
    am i interpreting correctly, it is important to you to have a watch that makes you feel good, a conversation piece on the trip and when you are back with friends sharing stories about the adventure. Something discrete but not too expensive. A watch that looks visually great, both somewhere smart and a hostel?


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Yes this is accurate.

    I want to take a watch that is up to the challenge but also one that I wonít bore of looking at (preferring the mechanical watch although they are not the most accurate).

    It would be nice to look back on the trip and remember the watch that I used the whole way round.

    One that keeps decent time so Iím not missing flights would be great but I know mechanical watches at the cheaper end arenít the most reliable (thatís where the phone helps).

    I will be doing a photo travel blog on my way round so the idea would be to also include the watch to show where it has been


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  49. #49
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  50. #50
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    Sounds like a GShock or digital Tuna -trip, not a mechanical trip.
    But if you must have a mechanical, then the Hamilton is packbackish.

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