Six sturdy watches that will go the extra mile

These watches have a level of enthusiast appeal thanks to their no-nonsense construction, historical charm or quirky design.

By Justin Mastine-frost 29/11/2017

Rather than sticking with conventional categories, today is a day where we’re opting to mix things up a little. Different as each of these timepieces is from the next, there’s a resounding sturdiness to every offering — not to mention a unique aesthetic charm that qualifies each piece as a little outside of the norm. Lovable for a range of quantifiable reasons, these watches have a level of enthusiast appeal thanks to their no-nonsense construction, historical charm, or quirky design. The same can be true of the world’s political climate; sometimes our differences are what brings us together.

## Muhle Glashutte SAR Rescue Timer

Designed for the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, the SAR Rescue Timer (US$2,390 ($A3150)) is an odd duck that’s built like a tank. Rather than a timing bezel, it is fitted with a sturdy rubber fixed bezel that protects its case and crystal from damage. It also features massive indices which are heavily lumed with Super LumiNova, providing excellent readability in low-light conditions.

## Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Traveltec

Finished in a black diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating and equipped with a 3 time zone indication, 12-hour chronograph, and a magnified date, the hefty Patravi Traveltec (US$15,800 ($A20,800)) isn’t as utilitarian as the Mühle, though it does carry a very “go anywhere, do anything” sort of vibe. In a rather clever execution, the 2nd 24-hour ring that displays its timezone can be either advanced or set back via its push-button at the 10 o’clock position. At 46.6mm across, it’s certainly not for the faint of wrist.

## Doxa Sub 300T Sharkhunter

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original Sharkhunter, Doxa’s latest creation is a very true-to-original reissue (US$2,490 ($A3300)), upgraded with a high-domed sapphire crystal. An undersized minute hand (an indication less crucial in the days where divers did not have dive computers), and a bezel indicating an adaption of the U.S. Navy no decompression limit times give the piece all the look and feel of a vintage model, though much like those in the day, it is truly constructed as a tool watch; one ready to take on any mission you’d like.

## Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Black Camo

While the DLC case of the Patravi made it nominally stealthy in spite of its size, the BR 03-92 Black Camo (US$3,800 ($A5000)) is the ultimate in wrist-mounted stealth. To be fair, it is somewhat tricky to read in the evening (or in poor lighting), however the combination of a black ceramic case and black camouflage dial is remarkably charming in daylight. Being a BR 03 model, it is also more modestly sized than the classic BR 01s, measuring only 42mm across.

## Azimuth Mr Roboto R2

Does what it says on the box doesn’t it? The Mr. Roboto 2 watch is anything but stealthy, though when it comes to rugged its hefty brushed steel case sincerely feels capable of surviving at least a modest bombing. Not to mention: It takes the prize as most likely watch of this list to be weaponised, should the need arise. At a practical level, the piece displays hours and a 2nd time zone via Mr. Roboto’s “eyes,” and minutes via a retrograde hand in the lower aperture that mimics its mouth.

## G-Shock MR-G G-1000

Before anyone jumps to fire and fury in our comments section, this entry needs to be qualified. Yes, it is from G-Shock, however this is not your usual run-of-the-mill department store G-Shock for a few hundred dollars. The MR-G model range (from US$2,600 ($A3400)) features a full metal case and bracelet, GPS Hybrid Radio-Controlled time sync (meaning your current time will adjust itself as you travel), alongside the usual G-Shock functionality (alarm, timer, chronograph, world time, and full calendar). Similar to its siblings, it is also capable of being run over, assaulted with a bat (or with an Azimuth Mr. Roboto 2 for that matter), without risk of functional or structural failure.


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