Best Surf Watch in 2019

The trend for surfing watches is moving up, combining technical innovations and fashion. Technical functionality is no longer enough. The buzzword among surf watch users is looking good while performing.

Surf watch collection today covers a blend of style, performance, and durability at affordable prices. Choosing one that suits your style and requirements could be difficult.

To help you ​choosing the best surf watch for your needs, we line up here five of the best surf watch.

Last update on 2020-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

​Reviews of the Top ​​Surf Watches

Surf watches are specially designed for underwater use and wave rides. However, there are times when you are out of the water. In or out of the water, you have a choice of surf watches.

There are surf watches which tell time featuring basic functions. Or you may opt for wave watches. Again, you may go for watches that keep track of your activity, motion, and session statistics.

​The choice depends on what you want and your budget.

​​​​​Casio ​Men's G-Shock DW9052-1V Review

Casio  Men's G-Shock DW9052-1V

​The ​​​ Casio Men's G-Shock DW9052-1V is rated for underwater use. It is water resistant at 200 m, thus, ideal for skin diving and serious surface water sports.

You can rely on your Casio sports watch for accuracy and easy read with its quartz movement and digital display.

Casio sports watches comes from the line of Casio’s G-shocks, which means it resists strong mechanical shock and vibration.

If you are into heavy sports or an outdoor-oriented activity kind of person, then this watch is for you.

You can have fun with your sports and not worry about scratches. The mineral glass crystal protects the face of your watch from scratches.

Users ​found this product long-lasting and the mineral crystal preferable to acrylic crystal.

With th​is watch you get the following benefits:

  • World-renowned durability and dependable performance
  • Battery life of two years
  • Equipped with electro-luminescent backlight and afterglow which protect your position in dim conditions
  • Durable resin band
  • Multi-functionality: daily alarm, countdown timer, and hourly time signal

​What We Liked:

  • It's durable and shock resistant
  • Affordable
  • check
    Easy digital display reading

​What We Didn't Like:

  • Time display is small
  • The steel back and band may cause red or dry patch on the skin for some people
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​​​​​Casio Men’s G7900-1 G-Shock Review

Casio Men’s G7900-1 G-Shock

The ​ Casio Men’s G7900-1 G-Shock is a popular watch which owes its success from the G-shock line. 

Though part of an older collection, this watch presents a contemporary look that attracts attention. Its construction can match the advanced tactical watches in the industry.

Like most G-shock timepieces, the G7900-1 presents a sturdy and masculine appearance.

The choice of black is inspired and intentional, giving this model a definitive style and personality.

The few red elements in the watch, like its buttons, break the monotony of the black. And, the mineral crystal glass which protects the dial display gives the final touch of beauty.

The case material is made of resin with a diameter of 50mm and 17.7 mm thickness. This makes the case big, matched by the band width of 28.3 mm. It is, after all, a man’s watch.

The G7900-1 G-shock is big, but it has its advantages:

  • Big and easy to push buttons
  • The size makes it easy to operate even with gloves
  • Additional protection provided by the amount of resin in the case and band

Many users find this watch the best among the G-shock line of watch. The most appreciated features of G7900-1 are the moon phase and tide indicators seldom found in other tactical watches.

​What We Liked:

  • Great design
  • Japanese-Quartz accuracy
  • check

​What We Didn't Like:

  • Huge for regular wrists
  • Weak instruction manual
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​​​​​Nixon Time Teller A045 Review

Nixon Time Teller A045

The ​ Nixon Time Teller A045 takes you from hardcore surfing to a wine and dine affair at sunset. It is a sport watch that stylish surfers would go after because of its classic, simple, and customizable design.

The design is a Nixon original which comes in a range of styles and colors (from black to rose gold) to fit the requirements of unique individuals.

The Nixon Time Teller is equipped with a classic 5-link bracelet of stainless steel with a sliding buckle. You express yourself through the surf watch style you choose.

The crown is a durable triple-gasket stainless steel that can keep the water out up to 330 ft of water.

Despite the functional structure of the watch, the aesthetics of the design is still evident.

Many users find the Nixon Time Teller’s sleek design an investment with the watch’s luxurious look but affordable in price. The stainless steel bracelet with its dual hook system that secures the lock is one of the favored features of this watch.

​What We Liked:

  • The range of designs and styles
  • Combination of classic, simple, and luxurious look
  • check
    Up to 330 ft water resistant

​What We Didn't Like:

  • Scratches are possible on stainless steel if not careful
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​​​​​Rip Curl Women’s A2696G Watch Review

Rip Curl Women’s A2696G Watch

​The Rip Curl Women’s A2696G Watch comes in an array of stylish colors to match your casual attire or a bikini. 

The ​A2692G is designed for a beach lifestyle of surfing, swimming, and snorkeling. And, this watch can resist water at 100 meters or 330 ft.

It is made of plastic materials with simple, sleek lines, that keep accurate time while you surf.

Accuracy is made possible by the jeweled movement using synthetic rubies that serve as bearings.

The numberless face makes you look trendy, topped with the stretchy and colorful soft straps of the Aurora watch.

And, the lightweight strap is comfortable and durable to wear, in or out of the water.

The 35 mm lightweight case and the PU strap are made of ABS plastic which makes the Aurora watch shock and water resistant.

The 3-hand quartz movement gives you accurate time and easy-to-read analog display.

Users find the design not only stylish, but functional and reliable. Many find the watch suitable for an active lifestyle.

While some users have issues ​with face condensation, many users find no problem using the Rip Curl A2696G underwater.

​What We Liked:

  • Fashionable design that mix and match outfits
  • 5 year warranty period
  • check
    Jeweled movement for accurate time-keeping

​What We Didn't Like:

  • Face may cloud up with condensation
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​​​​​Nixon Regulus Review

Nixon Regulus

If you are a hardcore surfer who doesn’t mind subjecting the surf watch to a hard beating, the ​ Nixon Regulus could be just your thing.

For tactical improvement, the Nixon Regulus design included inputs from Special Operations personnel.

It is built with high functionality, a purpose in the design, and an element-proof watch that does not easily break.

The ​Regulus may not have the tide features, but it is built for rugged performance with up to 100m water resistance.

It contains dual chronographs and big LED backlight display for easy read.

What you gain from wearing Nixon Regulus offsets the little that the watch lacks:

  • Brightness setting which you can adjust when conditions call for dim light
  • A silent mode that sets off alarms and chimes, making you hard to detect
  • Equipped with a protective shell and strong shock resistance. This feature makes the watch ideal for adventurous people

Users of the Nixon Regulus are happy with the design of the watch which they find simple and intuitive.

Many users see the big LCD display an advantage in extreme conditions.

​What We Liked:

  • Large case and face
  • Heavy design
  • check
    ​Intuitive and ​functional

​What We Didn't Like:

  • No option to change straps, which, therefore, affects the strap’s longevity
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​Surf Watches Buyer's Guide

Surf watches need to be water resistant. But, do you know what the water resistant numbers tell you? And, there are other factors you need to consider aside from a surf watch being water resistant.

Lastly, wouldn’t you want to know what is trending in surf watch?

How to interpret the water resistant numbers

No water resistent

If the watch has no water resistant mark on it, don’t expose it to water. Water can damage your watch. If the watch is vague on its water resistant capacity, it is prudent to avoid getting the watch wet.

30 meters

Water resistant at 30 meters means the watch is splash and rain resistant. ​It doesn't mean you can take the watch at 30 meters under the water. The 30 meters tell you the watch is good for an activity like washing your hands.

You should not use the watch when bathing and showering where it gets longer water exposure. Definitely, the watch is not suitable for activities like swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

50 meters

Water resistant 50 meters allows you to use the watch while swimming. Water exposure still should be at its minimum. Better yet, take it off when swimming. Diving with your watch set at 50 meters is a no-no.

100 meters

Water resistant 100 meters can take you snorkeling. And, you can stay in the water for a while and still be good with the watch. You can take your watch for activities, like recreational kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and water sports.

But, water resistant up to 100 meters is still a no-no for diving. Diving into a pool may shock the watch not designed for diving. Water resistant is about water pressure.

When you dive and hit the water, a change in pressure occurs which forces the watch to go above the limit of its water resistance. When water resistance breaks, water seeps through the gasket and the movement.

200 meters

Water resistant 200 meters means you can take the watch to depth scuba diving. But, you cannot use the watch for saturation diving. The 200 meters water resistant is typical on diver’s watches.

300 meters

Water resistant 300 meters up is best for saturation diving. Watches intended for saturation diving will bear the additional mark of a diver’s watch resistant number for mixed-gas diving.

ISO 6425

A Diver’s water-resistant mark of ISO 6425 etched on the surf watch’s case. This mark indicates the surf watch is for diving and certified by ISO.  

Having an ISO mark on your watch carries the manufacturer’s guarantee of a water-resistant watch down to 100m. And, if the water is static, it is water resistant to an additional 25 m depth.

A surf watch marked ISO 6426 is the diver’s best friend. The watch has strong shock resistance, magnetic, and saltwater tolerance features. It also has a feature which indicates the watch is running in complete darkness.

What to look for when buying a surf watch

Water resistance

Be wary of companies which tell you of their waterproof watches. At certain point and conditions, surf watches fail.

Surf watches break if used at inappropriate levels. Know the different water resistant levels; this will help you use your surf watch the proper way.

Band durability

You would want to wear a band that does not break when surfing. You need a watch that can withstand pounding and wipeouts from the waves.

Go for straps made from materials that will not degrade with long exposure to water. Water resistant bands are made from resin, polyurethane and silicone.

Weather information

Weather forecasts enable surfers to plan for their surfing activity. For instance, if you are a windsurfer, you would be interested to know wind direction and speed, so you can decide whether to go to the beach or indulge in another sport activity.

Batteries and charging

Most surf watches are analog and digital. You cannot use a USB cable to charge the battery or the plug-in hole would affect the water resistance of the watch.

Performance trackers

There are surf watches that keep track of your surf session. This feature keeps track of the waves you ride, the wave height, the length of your surfing activity, and the surfing location.

The data is helpful if you want to compare your performance against other surfers, with improvement of your surfing in mind.


Check the quality of the materials for the bezel, casing, crown, hands and the face of the watch.

The face should be shock proof to prevent its breaking when you hit the board at some point in your surfing activity.

The strength of the bezel is important as this prevents moisture getting inside the face of the watch.


The price ranges from affordable to expensive surf watches. If you go for fancy features, you will have to spend more. But, if you are tight on budget, you only need the basic setting or one that tells the time.

Surf watch trends ​to look into

LED displays

The watch industry sees a rage for a digital calculator and LED display for surf watches.

G-shock first introduced the style and is re-launching another case (the 5700) to include a graph function, solar power, and radio control.

​Women’s fashion

It is all about rounded and eye-catching details on sleek watchbands. You can see a few of this type coming out in the market.

The key is not only on time-keeping but injecting aesthetics and innovative designs into surf watches.

Level up impact protection

G-shock is leveling up its impact-resistant brand with the DW-5600BB model. It is understandable if other popular surf watches manufacturers follow suit to keep up with the competition.

Already, Nixon Regulus has its bold watch which features shock resistant jacket of polyurethane.

For extra protection, a Poron foam lies between modules and a steel bezel for extra strength.

Bold statement surf watch

The style swings towards bulky and flashy time pieces. Slim and minimalism have become popular in recent years.

Watch users are searching for something new and novel in accessories.

New translates into bold statement pieces that are expressive of their personal style.

Black is back

The once floral beach favorite is out, to be replaced by black on black. The trend points to the quest for the ultimate black.

You can see the beginnings of this trend with Rip Curl’s Maui Tide. And, there is Komono’s Black​ too. Soon, we will be seeing more of the black trend.

Up with technology in a small package

Not all surf watches may see an actual tide. This does not stop brands from supporting hardcore riders with innovative technology.

You see this trend with Nixon’s Base Tide Pro​ that presents new interesting features. Not to be outdone, Rip Curl enhanced the search GPS in a small package that contains more technology.

Our Choice for the Best ​Surf Watch

How you choose your surf watch depends on your taste and specific requirements. The surf watches reviewed here are all water resistant. The difference lies in impact levels, design and intentions, and construction.

​Among the several ​products reviewed, the ​ Casio Men’s G7900-1 G-Shock tops the list and it's our choise for the best surf watch. It is packed with specialized features and benefits suitable for recreational and professional water activity (except scuba diving).

The design is impressive and eye-catching, despite its rugged appearance. Instead, the rugged appearance communicates a sports watch of high quality.

​The G7900-1 comes from the G-shock line of watch. If you own one, you know you have a well-performing sports watch.

In or out the water, surf watches have become important to surfers. We hope the review of the surf watches provides you with the information you need to make a choice.

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