Named after a waypoint just outside of Washington, DC, Redux & Co’s COURG watch was conceived to fill the need for a vintage pilot slash dive watch that’d be minimal, reliable, and distinctive in its looks. Mission accomplished. The COURG — pronounced “courage” — boasts a case crafted of Grade 2 titanium, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a uni-directional counterclockwise rotating bezel, and blue-glowing Super Luminova paint on the hands and hours for reading the time in absolute darkness. It’s also powered by Seiko’s automatic SII caliber NH-35A movement complete with date and bi-directional winding, resulting in a functional timepiece that’s fantastic bang for your buck.
Find it at Kickstarter – $260
While certain situations are more suited to a casual NATO strap watch and others call for a beefier stainless steel diver, there are few other scenarios where a slim, well-designed leather timepiece won’t work. The Classic Bristol from Daniel Wellington mixes the very best principles of minimalist Swedish design with the functionality and styling of a slim, crisp dress watch, resulting in a timepiece that works just as well with a T-shirt and jeans as it does a tailored suit. The price is nearly unbeatable for the quality, and its sharp looks just might make it the most versatile watch in your arsenal.
Learn more at Amazon ($110) or Daniel Wellington ($229)
It comes as nearly no surprise that a bad drop or a hard hit could end your Apple Watch. Designed by Many’s Banded Classic Case for Apple Watch adds seriously dependable protection to the fragile timepiece, ideal for individuals who rough up their products a little more. The case itself is crafted of aerospace aluminum with an inner rubber lining, forming a protruding (and protective) bezel over the screen and a bumper covering the sides — including the button and dial — all without interfering with any of its functions. It’s available in six colors ranging from silver to gun metal to rose gold plated, each coupled to a handsome Italian leather strap.
Check it out at Kickstarter – $90
Apple’s leather watch straps are gorgeous in their own right, but aren’t exactly traditional. Bexar Goods’ Apple Watch Strap, on the other hand, is precision cut from 4 ounce American Bridle leather and hand sewn with a durable poly-blend cording for a rugged look that contrasts nicely with the piece of tech at its center. Of course, each also includes the proper Apple Watch hardware lugs with which to attach the strap and that, along with the buckle, come in space grey, aluminum, or stainless steel to properly match the finish of your watch model.
Pick one up at Bexar Goods Co – $130
Not exactly conceived for backyard campers, if ever you do find yourself miserably lost and in danger you’ll be glad to have worn the Breitling Emergency Watch over a timepiece that focuses just on, well, the time. The Emergency tracks time using a thermocompensated SuperQuartz movement and also features a chronograph, digital calendar, alarm, and a second time zone. Its crucial feature, though, is a dual-frequency Personal Locator Beacon, deployed by turning the lower right side cap, that broadcasts a distress beacon through 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz frequencies to reach both local rescuers and the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system, respectively, greatly increasing your chances of being rescued.
Learn more at Breitling – $16,000+
Apple Watch’s battery life not quite as long as you’d hoped? Drop the bulky charge pack and try a Reserve Strap instead. This white, grey, or black thermoset elastomer silicone band uses the watch’s accessory port connector to boost its battery, extending usage by roughly 30 additional hours thanks to embedded lithium polymer cells. It’s also water resistant, comes in both 38 and 42mm sizes, and boasts side-mounted LED charge status indicators.
Learn more at Reserve Strap – $250
Your watch’s second and minute hands are constantly moving. But obsessing over individual minutes and seconds means losing the big picture, at least to some degree. Slow Watches’ 34mm Slow Mo, like the bigger Slow Jo, foregoes most hands (and even the date) that its Swiss-made Ronda 505.24H Quartz movement supports, featuring instead just a single hand that makes its rounds once every 24 hours. The minimal face bears no branding whatsoever, with each hour split in four quarters for relatively accurate time telling. It’s all packed in a stainless steel 100 meter water-resistant case with extra hardened antireflective mineral glass and comes in several color combinations with either a steel, leather, or nylon strap.
Check out the entirely lineup at Slow Watches or Amazon – $250 to $300
Made of stoic Horween Natural Cordovan leather, Tanner Goods’ NATO Watch Strap is a solid complement to modern and vintage timepieces alike, being, surprisingly, the brand’s first watch strap. Each 20mm strap is cut from a single piece of leather and then fitted with a custom buckle, matte stainless Zulu keepers, and sewn by hand using waxed thread for years of durability.
Get it in conventional NATO or single pass at Tanner Goods – $100 to $120
Successfully Kickstarting and delivering a timepiece, particularly an automatic one, isn’t easy, but Watchismo made it look that way, first with the Xeriscope and now with the Xeric Halograph. Unique in both its design and the way it tells time, the Halograph literally encircles both the minute and hour through the full day over two arcs and sports a unique sapphire-coated domed crystal atop its PVD-coated 46mm stainless steel case. The intricacies of its dual balance mechanical automatic movement is visible through a window on the bottom half of the face, naturally generating and storing up to 36 hours worth of power as you move your wrist.
Find it at Kickstarter – $200 (quartz) to $350+ (automatic)
We like being connected. But we also like fine mechanical timepieces. IWC Connect gives you the best of both worlds. This intelligent device will roll out on IWC Schaffhausen’s sports watches beginning with the Big Pilot, providing full-fledged activity tracking and allowing interactions with your connected devices. Importantly, it sits apart from your watch, being instead embedded into its strap. It also means that eventual hardware updates to its interface and functionality — which are inevitable for any like digital device — will be as easy as changing its strap.
Learn more at IWC – $TBA