A watch is a watch, right? For the most part. The difference between a $100 watch and a $5,000 watch is negligible. Both will tell the time accurately and in all likelihood even display the date. For all that added scratch you’ll probably end up with a chronograph, an opulent finish and a name brand that has long been associated with excellence in time keeping.
Timex’s Tide Temp Compass watch does all that and then some for just $170. There are a few different versions, as in finishes and materials, to choose from. I received the model which sports a Stainless Steel case and brown leather strap. The face of the watch measures 45mm so in terms of looks it’s just big enough to be masculine yet not over the top, and nor is it emasculating.
The venerable chronographs are no where to be found in this time keeper and instead you’ll find a wide array of tools that measures much more important information, especially if you’re of the outdoors type. Now, at first blush Timex’s Tide Temp Compass watch is daunting. There are a myriad of dials and hands on the face that aren’t explicitly denoted in the face itself. Because of that I warn that you make sure you adopt a tiny bit of patience when you first receive this watch as some tinkering will be necessary for memorization purposes.
Now, what is explicitly clear is that the white hands tell the time – they do nothing more. However, that additional hand is where the curve ball lay. This hand works three fold in conjunction with the different dials located in the face. Those functions include a temperature reading, high and low tide and a compass. I didn’t use the high/low tide functions since it has no bearing on my day to day activities, but for anyone with a boat and a penchant for sailing, or perhaps even fishing, I’m sure they’ll find use in this. That said, to activate the other features you simply need to push the correct button.
The lower left button activates the compass. Once pressed the watch will emit a beep and the hand will move to magnetic North. In about 15 seconds time it will reset and move back to the starting position. Before this happens you can spin the dial, which allows you to line up N accordingly. The watch can be prone to interference, as with any compass, so Timex includes (on their website) a method for calibrating it if need. It involves a cup and removing any big metallic objects that are in close range. That said, I didn’t have any problems and could consistently find North. To further test this, I rotated the watch and witnessed the hand move according to earth’s magnets.
Activating the watches other main features are one rooted in simplicity. To view the temperature of the room, or water, first you’ll need to make sure you remove it from your wrist – body heat can throw it off (duh). Then pressing the top left button, provided it hasn’t already been set to this feature, will cause the hand to reset to 6 o’clock and then move to the position on the watches face accordingly. Once this setting has been selected the watch will continue to read the temperature. Pressing the lower right button activates the tide setting.
This particular model is water resistant to up to 100 meters. And although some might be a bit apprehensive to jump in to the proverbial drink, the leather band is water resistant. For any outdoor enthusiast the compass is the killer features in this watch, though we won’t snub the temperature gauge which could serve some utility before you head outside or for a swim. All together the Timex Tide and Temp watch is chalk full of features that are suitable for anyone, ranging from couch potato to those that would dare walk in the footstep of Bear Grylls and those alike.
Bottom Line: The Timex Tide Temp Compass watch costs less than $200, yet it does so much more than any of its $5,000 counterparts.
- $170 watch that reads the temp, direction and tide
- Manly metal face
- Indigo illumination for easy reading in the dark
- Tide reading is confusing
- Must remove the watch to read the air temperature accurately
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