Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?
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  1. #1
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    Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    Hi all,

    I am due to soon start training to become a police officer, a goal I have been working towards for a long time. I have been a watch enthusiast for a while now, and want to pick up something that will not only be tough and reliable enough to stand up to the rigorous training I am about to go through, as well as daily wear as a police officer, but that is also something that I won't mind wearing for much of my life going forward. I know that something like a Casio G-Shock would be the most practical option, as well as the most common choice among police officers, however I am much more interested in mechanical timepieces. I have considered brands like Sinn and Damasko, as they are both known for their durability, but my question is, would either of these really be tough enough to put through many hours of abuse per week? I know that police work 98% of the time isn't the physically grueling, high-intensity job that tv and film often make it out to be, however at the very least, the training I am about to go through will be quite intense, consisting of many hours of physical activity per week, as well as firearm training, which I know can't be healthy for a mechanical watch. Damasko and Sinn call their watches "shockproof" - Does that really mean that shooting while wearing them, as well as impacts from falling, knocking them around, etc., won't cause any damage to the movement at all? Or does it mean they are just a little more resilient to shocks than the average mechanical watch is?

    Please share your thoughts - would a Sinn or Damasko be up to the task? How about some other tough mechanical watch I haven't considered yet (<41mm preferred)? Or would I really be best advised to go quartz? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member Outlawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    My father's Longines has been through unbelievable shocks and dirt and water and basic training and everything else and hasn't missed a beat. I had it serviced and retired from active duty, and it still keeps nigh perfect time.

    But if it were me, it'd be some model of a Seiko diver. I can also attest to their durability.
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    Resco Patriot and Marathon GSAR are two watches I've personally seen perform adequately in those environments. But I'd still say quartz. Sinn UX, Omega Seamaster Quartz and maybe a TSAR too.

    But that's if you're nuts. Never saw anyone wear something like that on duty. Get a G or Luminox. Seriously. When you're rolling on the ground with a guy trying to bite you and grab at your weapon, things get torn up fast.


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    Member Camguy's Avatar
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    My hat's off to you for choosing that underrated, essential, dangerous career.

    Mechanicals are tough, no doubt, Mt. Everest and all, but they are delicate machines with tiny spinning wheels and springs and stuff. They are never going to withstand the abuse a quartz movement can, except maybe temperature extremes.

    A compromise, perhaps? I know how tough cadet training is, so why not a G-Shock for the Academy, then a nice duty watch to go with your badge?
    I'd still go with a TSAR, absolutely bomb-proof, but GSAR's are tanks and both have that fantastic H3 lume.

    Any of the watches you mention would be up to the job, but if you go Marathon you're not out a couple large if you do bust it up.

    Again, congratulations and good luck.
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    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    I can only speak from my personal combat experience in the U.S.Army.
    Vietnam, Central America, Africa. Rolex GMT....It never failed in any way.
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    Not mechanical, but fwiw this one would qualify on the "tough" requirement (from Hodinkee review). Good luck!!

    A sport watch under $600 that can withstand being run over by a tank–this is an apt description for the INOX by Victorinox, an ultra-solid watch that has been tested to the limits by the 130-year old Swiss company. Yes, the INOX does use a quartz movement, but there are just not that many watches that can be dropped onto concrete, blasted with corrosive liquids, or survive a sandstorm. And it accomplishes all of this, with 200m water resistance, while still keeping a cool, streamlined look. For these reasons, and perhaps also the fact that it could survive a rowdy bachelor party, the INOX by Victorinox gets our nod of approval
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    Member imlying's Avatar
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    My congratulations and best wishes to you on your training!

    I can't say much with regards to firearm training or intense physical training but mechanicals can fail you. I golfed with my seiko for about 3 holes and the second hand fell off (I must admit that I may have been to the driving range one too many times before going to the green). My suggestion would be the same as Camguy's. I strongly recommend g-shock's new line of GA3000s, they're really beautiful in person and are supposedly just as tough as the others in the family. Perhaps a Sinn to accompany your badge when on duty?

    I must commend you again for taking up such a underappreciated and dangerous job.

  9. #8
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    As long as you are buying from well known companies, one mechanical movement is about as rugged and reliable and shock resistant as the other. However the escapement in particular can be damaged by being banged sharply against a hard object no matter what you pay for the watch or the brand name. My suggestion, especially for training, is to wear something like a Casio G Shock that can take a lot of direct abuse and stay running and retain it's accuracy. Save the rugged looking mechanical watches for after you graduate from academy.
    Last edited by John MS; July 10th, 2014 at 19:06.

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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    Sinn has a tough watch reputation.

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    Re: Truly tough-as-nails mechanical watch... is there such a thing?

    I saw a Seiko Diver Automatic on a veteran police officer recently. Otherwise the most popular watch I've seen on field officers are G-Shocks.
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