Regardless of how extravagant a collection you may have, you’ll always need a daily beater. This is the watch that you’ll gladly wear day in, day out, both at work and at play, while not necessarily worrying about getting wet, or nicking the case every now and then. Having said that, a daily beater still should look the part of a timeless, fine wristwatch, that’s capable of holding its own against new releases for years to come. With all of these factors mind, I’ve assembled a list of three sturdy watches that are surely up to the task of filling the daily beater void in your collection, without breaking the bank too badly.
IWC Pilot MK XII
If there’s one thing IWC is known for, it’s their pilot’s watches, and this is not without good reason. Since 1936, the Schaffhausen based manufacture has notably been producing bonafide tool watches like the “Special Watch For Pilots,” the 52-calibre T. S. C., and the Mark XI for military use, though in recent years, it could be said that the brand’s greater focus on marketing has left something to be desired in their core lineup. Luckily, examples of the Mark XII — a watch that truly captures the spirit of IWC, from what I would consider to be one of the greatest periods in the brand’s history — are readily available on the secondhand market at relatively affordable prices.
At just 36 millimeters across, the Mark XII doesn’t wear too large on the wrist, making it a great contender for an everyday wear piece. It’s small enough to fit snugly under your cuff, and thanks to its extremely legible, and luminous dial, you’re sure to not have a problem with telling the time (especially with a reliable JLC-based caliber inside). Essentially, the Mark XII is everything you need, and nothing you don’t, all wrapped up in an extremely durable, and reliable package. I personally think these watches look especially sharp when worn on their original mesh bracelet.
Rolex Explorer Ref. 14270
Ask any Rolex aficionado about the greatest tool watch of all time, and you’ll quickly be cut off mid-sentence with your answer — the Explorer. For generations, climbers and explorers have relied on Rolex Oysters like the Explorer to keep track of time while traversing some of the harshest conditions on Earth, and upon deconstructing and analyzing this wristwatch, it’s easy to see why. With Rolex’s world renowned build quality, and a no nonsense, to-the-point aesthetic that’s equal parts understated flair and robust function, the time-only Explorer gets the job done with ease, and looks good while doing it.
Rolex’s Ref. 14270 is the reference the brought the Explorer into the modern era. Through the use of an all new case, dial, movement, and sapphire crystal, the brand breathed new life into the Explorer line by making it more hardwearing, all while maintaining the original lines and 36 mm size of previous Explorer references. If you’re looking for something that you can wear in pretty much any setting, from hiking through the backcountry to hammering out deals in the boardroom, it really doesn’t get much better.
Here at Wound For Life, we’ve always held the British, brotherly-run brand that is Bremont in high regard. From their earliest days, they’ve always produced watches capable of performing to the standards of those seeking adventure, and this comes largely as a result of their signature, “Trip-Tick” cases, that are treated to Bremont’s B-EBE2000 steel hardening process. By using a combination of heat, electron, and carbon treatments, Bremont has been able to strengthen their cases to be nearly nine times harder than that of the competition, making them the perfect choice for a daily beater that’s bound to get knocked around every once in a while.
Although the Solo may Bremont’s entry-level piece, the brand still decided to graciously incorporate all of their cutting-edge technology into the manufacturing process of this watch, making it just as durable as any of their other higher end offerings. It could also be argued that the Solo is the most versatile design that Bremont currently offers, given its nondescript and neatly laid out dial, which Bremont produces in both black and white. It’s also their only men’s watch you can get under 43mm with their Solo 37 model.by