When you’re at a theme park, a wristwatch can be a very useful tool, not to mention a snazzy fashion accessory. But some wristwatches are better for theme parks than others. The good news is that here’s a handy guide to help you pick the right wristwatch to wear when you’re at the Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld, or any Six Flags location:
You don’t really want to wear a pricey watch to a crowded theme park. It might get stolen, or you might bump it against a hard surface. You’ll then lose thousands of dollars. Buy a good wristwatch for less than $500, and you can save the rest of your money for the theme park attractions.
What you don’t really want is a dress watch, because they’re generally dainty pieces that are meant for formal occasions and office settings.
Instead, go with something tougher. Usually, these are called field watches, military watches, pilot’s watches, and even diver’s watches. These are usually sturdier and designed for outdoor use.
Stick to stainless steel watches, if possible. Gold watches are softer and more prone to scratches, plus they tend to attract the attention of would-be thieves.
Try to go with at least 100 meters of water resistance. That’s good enough for swimming for an entire day. That way, you don’t need another watch if you ever go to a waterpark.
Dress watches and other watches with just 30 meters of water resistance actually can’t survive being submerged to that depth for any amount of time. Basically, it just means you don’t have to take your wristwatch off if you wash your hands or if it rains. In other words, it’s splash-resistant, and not meant for diving 30 meters under the water.
Also, the general rule is that wristwatches with 100 meters of water resistance are tougher than watches with just 30 meters of water resistance.
You don’t really need a busy dial on your watch. A simpler dial with just numbers or bars to denote the hours will be enough. That way, you can just glance at the watch to tell the time, even when you’re currently riding the rollercoaster.
You can go with a day-date complication, so you know how many days left you have on your vacation. You don’t need complications such as a moon phase, and you definitely don’t need a chronograph. You won’t be able to use a chronograph while you’re riding a rollercoaster, plus you don’t want to fiddle with a watch and risk dropping it.
You’ll want a luminous dial as well, so you can tell the time at night.
So, which watches should you get?
The Seiko 5 is always a good choice, with plenty of models to choose from. These are very affordable, yet even the watch snobs like them. Plenty offer good water resistance, simple dials, and lots of color and design options. Just pick one with 100 meters of water resistance, so you might want to stick with the Seiko 5 Sports models.
You can also try the Orient Pilot Sport Watch. Orient is another good yet affordable brand, and this model comes with a date window, a readable dial, and 100 meters of water resistance.