As the temperatures drop in the Northern Hemisphere and we wrap ourselves in our cold-weather wardrobe, it’s also time to switch out those colorful summer divers for some suitable winter watches. Discover some of our favorites for this season with this list for the top seven watches for winter at a variety of price points.
The world’s first wristwatch furnished with an authentic dual-frequency distress beacon, the Breitling Emergency is not just a timekeeping device but a survival instrument too—ideal for dangerous alpine adventures. In case of an emergency, the wearer can unscrew the duo of antenna caps and break them away from the antennas to send out a distress signal to alert the authorities about the need for a rescue mission.
The Breitling Emergency watch features a massive 51mm case that’s over 21mm thick but it’s lightweight thanks to its titanium construction. The dial offers a mix of analog and digital time displays, in addition to a countdown timer, second time zone, alarm, day, and date functionality. For navigation purposes, the bezel is equipped with a handy compass scale and inside the watch is the Breitling Caliber 76 SuperQuartz movement with a rechargeable battery. Breitling offers the Emergency with a choice of a matching titanium bracelet or a sporty rubber strap.
Rolex Explorer II “Polar”
Not only is the Explorer II positioned as Rolex’s most robust adventuring watch but the white dial version is also nicknamed the “Polar.” So if you’re planning on spending some time on the slopes this season, whether skiing, hiking, or climbing, then the Rolex Explorer II “Polar” is a top-notch, waterproof choice that seamlessly combines durability and luxuriousness.
Sporting a 42mm stainless steel case topped with a 24-hour engraved bezel, the Explorer II is a dual time watch, complete with a bright orange 24-hour hand on the dial. There’s also a date window at 3 o’clock and generous coatings of Chromalight luminescence on the dial, which glows blue in the dark. Naturally, as a modern Rolex watch, the Explorer II runs on an in-house automatic movement and is water-resistant to 100 meters.
Tudor North Flag
In 1952, Tudor furnished the British North Greenland Expedition with Oyster Prince watches and asked the crew to report back on how the watches performed in extreme weather conditions. Unsurprisingly, reports came back that the watches maintained “remarkable accuracy.” Fast-forward over six decades and Tudor introduced the North Flag watch in 2015, which although modern in design takes its name from that icy mission—and it is of course suitable for frigid outings too.
The 40mm steel case of the Tudor North Flag is fitted with a double bezel in steel and matte black ceramic while its black dial displays the time, date, and power reserve and benefits from vibrant splashes of yellow details. Powering the watch is an in-house Tudor automatic movement with 70 hours of power reserve. You can choose to pair the North Flag with a black leather strap with yellow stitching or a matching steel bracelet.
Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto
Since a winter wardrobe is typically characterized by plush materials like wools, knits, and leathers, dressing for colder climates tends to be more formal than casual summer wear. As such, a dressy timepiece not only complements a winter get-up nicely but there’s also the added benefit of a leather strap not feeling as chilly on the skin as metal can in cold weather.
With its PVD rose stainless steel 42mm case, grey smoked dial, and brown leather strap, Hamilton’s American Classic Intra-Matic Auto is a handsome watch that’s slim enough to slip under multiple layers. As its name suggests, the vintage-inspired Hamilton timepiece runs on an automatic movement, which supplies the time and date watch with around 42 hours of power reserve.
Founded in 1883 by a group of alpinists, it’s no surprise that Alpina continues to make watches built for the great and cold outdoors. Yet, rather than being pigeon-holed by its mechanical past, Alpina takes full advantage of today’s tech by offering the AlpinerX connected watch where a connected smartphone app acts as your own personal training coach.
The Alpina AlpinerX smartwatch features five sensors on the Ani-Digi dial and 45mm fiberglass case (available in a range of colorways). Altitude, barometer, compass, GPS, UV, and temperature sensors are all included whilst you’re enjoying the crisp air outside. However, modern-day considerations such as a world timer, activity and sleep tracking, and messaging and call notifications are also part of the package.
Casio G-Shock Rangeman
While toughness is the name of the game with all Casio G-Shock watches, the Rangeman flaunts its own brand of survival-ready strength. In addition to being shock, dust, and mud proof, the Casio G-Shock Rangeman is also water-resistant to 200 meters deep. Yet, what makes the Rangeman a particularly excellent winter watch is that it’s low temperature-resistant to an incredibly chilling -4° F (-20° C).
The durability of the 60.3 × 57.7 × 20.2 mm case means that the wearer can make use of all the watch’s features regardless of the external conditions, including the trio of sensors for altimeter/barometer, thermometer, and digital compass indications. What’s more, it can also be linked to a companion smartphone app via Bluetooth. However, even more impressive is that the Rangeman is the world’s first solar-assisted GPS navigation device.
Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time”
Sporty endeavors aside, winter is also the perfect time to chill by the fireplace with a drink in hand. And Seiko has the perfect watch collection to do just that. The three newest models to join the Presage “Cocktail Time” lineup take inspiration from the Negroni, Old Clock, and Mojito drinks, paving the way for rich colorways like deep red, vivid blue, and lush green, to savor.
At 38.5mm in diameter, the stainless steel cases are restrained while the vibrant textured dials are punctuated with a mix of Arabic numerals, tapered indexes, and a date window. Complementing the colorful dials of the automatic Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time” watches are different colored leather straps—navy blue for the ref. SRPE43 “Old Clock,” dark brown for the ref. SRPE41 “Negroni,” and tobacco for the ref. SRPE45 “Mojito.”
Although many watches are perfectly suitable for all seasons, with survival watches and watches for extreme weather it’s clear that some timepieces look and perform especially well in the dark and cold winter months. Do you have any favorite winter watches that get more wrist time during this period? Let us know in the comments section below.