How to choose a sports watch
The mountains seemed like they couldn’t get any higher and the road: was it possible to be any rougher? In the Honduran mountains in 2005 whilst crossing Central America by bike the choice of which sports watch to wear on such an adventure couldn’t have been further from my mind but in retrospect my choice of an Adina Automatic Amphibian couldn’t have been better.
Although it might seem like “just a watch”, by reputation Adina wasn’t going to let me down and it was actually so much more. And the best part is, now when I wear that watch I am transported back to those mountains and the watch has become part of my personal human history.
Fast forward 11 years and I’m now GM of Australian watch maker “Adina”. The decision of “how to choose a sports watch”, is something I attempt to assist people with everyday.
Historically Adina began its watchmaking journey in 1971 when entrepreneurial watch maker Bob Menzies began sourcing the globe for premium components for his first watch that would be created to suit the rigorous demands of an Australian lifestyle. The first Adina Automatic S-22 was assembled by Bob in 1972 was and still is a testament to his watch making passion. Tough, great looking, reliable and repairable. These are the pillars on which, our sports watch collection known as Oceaneer and Amphibian has been built.
2016 marks our 45th year of producing watches here in Australia and over that time the world has changed immensely but the essence of Oceaneer and Amphibian in unchanged we remain steadfast in the pursuit of sport watch that will revel in the Australian lifestyle.
First and foremost Adina don’t do gadgets. Generally speaking, watch tech offerings are quickly outdated and quite often not repairable. To choose an Adina sports watch that is right for you, one that will endure and grow with you becoming part of your personal human history, the question first is to ask is, “What do I do an a day to day basis?”
For instance your daily ritual maybe as simple as an ocean swim before taking kids to school and meeting the girls for lunch or a bike ride prior to donning your suit and heading to the office. You will need a watch that will make that transition effortlessly.
Being a sports watch the construction of the case body is critical; it must be of a material strong enough to survive rough treatment whilst retaining the look of the watch. Our material of choice is premium marine grade stainless steel, which contains only minute traces of nickel and can be considered nickel free. This enables all but the super sensitive with allergies to metals to wear with confidence.
This premium grade of steel also allows for a critical process in the production of high end case making “cold stamping”. The cold stamping process where each case is literally stamped out of solid steel before being hardened by annealing, which is a process of super heating the stamped case before stamping again. Think of a black smith and horse shoes!
This process is crucial for 2 reasons. The first being, that luxurious feel of a cold stamped case but the second is for a far more practical reason. Water resistance. After a case has been annealed at such extreme temperatures the chances of the steel to expanding or contracting over the course of daily use on a person’s wrist is virtually zero. No expansion or contraction brings huge confidence in the sealing gasket in the back case of the watch between the glass and the watch case.
Which leads to the next critical feature of the Adina Oceaneer and the Adina Amphibian is the sapphire glass. Known for its robust, highly scratch resistant properties a sapphire crystal glass will ensure you can read the time after many years of even the roughest treatment.
It goes almost without saying that a watch must be reliable so powering the Adina range are fully repairable and Swiss made movements. This raises another question which evokes another choice, battery (Quartz) or automatic or mechanical (No Battery) powered by the movement of the user.
This decision will affect the weight, size, thickness and accuracy of the watch. A Quartz watch from an accuracy point of view is unrivalled returning a range of 0.02 second whilst an automatic although requiring no battery change sits in an accuracy range of +/- 4 seconds. However, after 2-3 years will need the battery changed which of course can happen when you are a long way from anywhere. Both still require regular servicing and seal replacement over time to ensure reliability and longevity.
A quartz watch can also be made thinner and movement is lighter than a mechanical watch. Aesthetically however an automatic movement is beautiful to look at, hence the reason behind employing a clear back so its beauty is not lost, locked inside the watch.
It must be appreciated that as a, sports watch it will probably be worn swimming, showering and in all manner of daily situations so it will need to be water resistant and rated 10atm or 20atm water resistant. It must be at least 20atm if you would like to go diving.
Furthermore, and as discussed earlier, not only are the glass and back case gaskets critical to ensuring water resistance; the crown, known to most as the winder on the side of the watch must also perform whilst maintaining functionality.
The crown is the apparatus on the side of the watch enabling the time and date on the watch to be changed so by its very nature must be user friendly yet perform. At Adina, we employee 2 different crown systems to keep the water out. The first being the very simple to operate double oring system which in short has two o-rings inside the head of the crown which engage with one another to provide a water tight seal. The second a little more complicated but offering un rivalled water and dust protection is the screw crown. This is where a threaded crown locks into place engaging the two o-rings in the process. This thread can be either external or internal.
The bezel, sonorous with scuba diving is a must for the recreational diver but is also really handy for timing your parking meter! Traditionally a diving bezel would only rotate anti-clockwise, the reason being after you had set your dive time if you ever bumped the bezel you would only be moving it to a shorter dive time.
Arguably carrying the weight of the overall aesthetics of the watch, to a large extent is the dial. That said it must still be functional, that is you must be able to read it, night or day, in and out of the water.