Just a quick note before we get into the juice of this article. We’re talking specifically about surf watches for men here. If you are after women’s surf watches, we are working on something for you at the time of writing this!
If you love to surf then a good surf watch, or ‘tide watch’ is an extremely useful tool to have. Depending on your budget, there is an absolutely massive array of extra features and bits of technology that a modern surf watch or tide watch might have.
What To Look For In A Good Surf Watch
There are plenty of mens’ surf watches on the market, varying in price, size, colour, features and brands so let’s start with the basics – what are some of the key things you should look out for?
Admittedly I shouldn’t need to spell this one out for you, but unsurprisingly if you are going to be wearing your watch in or around water, it should be waterproof. Thankfully more or less all of the ones on the market are!
I personally still wouldn’t recommend wearing your watch in the water, as salt water can be extremely harsh on metals and it could wear down your watch a bit.
A Digital Display
In theory both analogue and digital are fine – and in my own opinion, analogue displays look more stylish – but a digital display can cram in a lot more information a lot more easily, and that is exactly what you want.
Pre-Set Tide Functions
Some of the better watches now come with pre-programmed tide functions for popular beach locations, so when you are planning a surf trip you can check ahead and make sure you’re going to know when and where surf’s up!
GPS and Wifi
If you want to get really fancy, then you can probably find a surf watch which has GPS and Wifi but most of us already have smartphones making this a pretty pointless add-on for your tide watch.
So What Are The Best Surf Watches?
Well we’ve picked out a few good ones for you. They have different feature sets, different looks and different price ranges so I am hoping we will help you find the right one for you.
Vestal Men’s The Brig Watch: Best Value Surf Watch For Men
The Vestal Men’s Brig Watch is an excellent all-rounder, and will suit the needs of pretty much any surfer.
As well as looking great – and coming in 12 different color combinations – it is a good size, with a clear, visible display, and a buckle closure system so that it stays secure on your wrist.
It is one of the watches that comes pre-programmed with tide tables for over 200 pre-set beaches around the world, and a custom training mode.
It is water resistant up to 100m (around 330ft).
It’s also great value for money and on Amazon you can normally find a bargain as well!
Rip Curl Men’s A1015 Trestle Ocean Search
Rip Curl is one of the biggest brands in the world of surf – they are pretty much dedicated to surf and beach clothing and accessories.
The Rip Curl A1015 Ocean Search shares a lot of the same features as the Vestal Brig, including over 200 pre-programmed beach tide settings, and is roughly the same size.
The Vestal looks a little bit more retro, whereas the Rip Curl looks a little bit more modern but which looks better does depend on your personal preference.
It costs a bit more than the Vestal Brig but with a brand like Rip Curl, you know the quality you’ll be getting!
Nixon Supertide A316: Best Men’s Surf Watch
The Nixon Supertide A316 is a stunning watch with a sleek minimalistic design. It was created 100% with surfers in mind.
It comes with over 230 pre-programmed beach tide tables, which is more than both the Vestal and the Rip Curl.
As with the others, it is water resistant up to the industry standard 100m, but it seems to be built more sturdily and can withstand the salt water a little bit better.
The strap is a silicone band, so it is very secure on your wrist and it has a good clear bright display.
It is a bit more pricey than the other options but you get a very sturdy, solid piece of equipment for that price, which is worth the extra investment.
Freestyle Men’s 101052 Shark Classic: Best Cheap Men’s Surf Watch
For those of you on a slightly tighter budget, the Freestyle Men’s 101052 Shark Classic is an excellent choice.
It isn’t quite as feature rich as the other watches in this list but it is quite a bit cheaper so it is a decent trade off.
It is still water proof up to 100m, but it only comes with around 150 pre-programmed beach locations compared to the 200 or more in the other watches.
It is also a little bit bigger, a tiny bit clunkier and personally I don’t think it looks quite as stylish – but that is entirely down to personal preference.
For a good quality, good value for money budget tide watch, this is definitely the one to go for!
Timex Men’s T49859: Best Men’s Analogue Tide Watch
I know I wrote a few paragraphs ago to stick with a digital watch for the extra information where possible, but as far as tide watches go, this one by Timex is beautiful.
Admittedly it has less features than the other watches I mentioned here but it is probably the most stylish one on this list. I mean look at it!
In terms of features, it comes with a night light, tide table (which you do need to set up manually and occasionally re-adjust), compass and can even tell temperature! It is also water resistant to the same 100m depth as the others.
So it might not have the automatic or pre-programmed features you would get with a digital one, but it is still packed with features and looks stunning.
And price-wise, it is roughly the same as the Vestal Brig so if you’re after a stylish surf watch, this could be the one for you!