2006 Holiday Buyer's Guide: Geek Watches

. Therefore, I thought it fitting that I cover ten nice timepieces that you can pick up for the horolgy geek in your life. A few caveats, however. I’m a traditional watch geek, one who slobbers over mechanical watches in the $500-$100,000 range, so if we sat down to discuss this over a beer I’d tell you to buy a nice mechanical automatic watch instead of a quartz one. However, I understand that those things are horribly expensive – although I will discuss a few cheaper mechanical models in here. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Tissot T-Touch

The T-Touch comes in both titanium and steel models and is one of the coolest watches you’ll ever own. The crystal is touch sensitive, which means you can activate various features just by pressing the middle button at 3 o’clock and then touching a quadrant of the face. It has a barometer – no time scale, so it’s a bit useless but it gives a general weather prediction based on atmospheric pressure, an altimeter, alarm, and thermometer. Best of all it has a built-in compass. When you activate the compass, the hands start spinning like a real magnetic compass.

At about $375, the T-Touch is a great, easy to wear watch. I have the model with the orange band and our own Josh has a titanium version. Both are quite handsome and rugged.

TokyoFlash PIMP

Our own Raj wears one of these sexy timepieces and it makes him look so hot that he was once asked to leave the San Francisco main library because he was ROCKING OUT SOOOOO HARD!

The watch lights up in spirals every two minutes and you read the time by — there’s a little instruction booklet on the page, so you figure it out. Just a cool, $190 watch. Hurry and you can get free shipping from Japan.

Nooka Zub Zot

Nooka makes a mean watch. Designed by Matthew Waldman, the Nooka line consists of dots and dashes that in some way tell the time. It’s easier than it looks. The Zub Zot is his latest creation, a lower end model that costs a mere $125. It comes in black, white, red, orange, yellow and blue.

I reviewed two of the earlier watches on my site. If you’re looking for something fun, these are real winners.

Tissot PR50

The first mechanical automatic in our round-up, the PR50 is a standard-issue, entry level timepiece with a nice pedigree. While it doesn’t have many features – just a sweep second hand and a little date window – it’s a great way to catch the watch bug and costs about $150 on a steel bracelet.

Casio PAW1200-V Pathfinder Triple Sensor

Casio makes a mean watch. Their G-Shock line is already well known but their Pathfinder and Sea-Pathfinder watches are beefy and full of features. This particular model has an altimeter, thermometer, and uses atomic timekeeping, which means it syncs with atomic clocks automatically and never needs to be set. It also has an excellent on-screen digital compass and runs on solar power. No setting? No batteries? Big and beefy? A man’s watch for $169? Nice.

Seiko Orange Monster

The bold Seiko Orange Monster aka the SKX781K3 is a 200 meter divers watch for about $200. The Orange Monster is famous among watch geeks for being a great entry-level watch that can withstand almost anything you throw at it. I have a model on a rubber strap as well as a “Blue Monster”, a blue-faced version, and it consistently ranks as one of my top pieces. It has an automatic movement with day and date displays.

D.Freemont Sapphire Power Reserve Diver

This $975 diver is quite expensive but worth every penny. Made by David McReady, this custom diver has a GMT function that offers a second timezone and classic looks that goes great with both a leather band and a rubber diver’s band. Each watch is hand-modified and timed and offers quite a bit of watch for the money. A bit expensive, by d.Freemont watches are something to consider if you’re looking for something a bit more unique.

Yes Zulu Watch

Need some hardcore solar geekery in your life? Pick up the Yes Zulu watch. It displays local time, sunrise and sunset times, moonrise and moon-set, the length of the day, and the lunar phase. Why do you need to know all this? Ummm…

At $795, it’s a bit expensive but it’s quite classy and a definite conversation starter (“Excuse me, sir, but when does the moon set today?” “Why at 6:16pm, dear lady. Can I buy you a hot toddy?”)

Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2225.80.00 Chrono Diver

This is my current favorite watch. It is a 300 meter diver with chronograph functions, which means it can measure intervals mechanically. It is expensive – $2,686.00 expensive – but it’s worth it. I have 20 watches and this is the one I wear the most. It is huge, heavy, and quite striking. Sell your kidney and go buy one.

Einstein Relativity Watch

The numbers on this $29.95 watch rotate and scare small children. How this shows relativity I’m not sure. However, it will make you look like a science nerd.