With Smartphones and other electronic devices dominating our lives today, who even needs a watch? Watches have become more of a luxury and status symbol rather than serving a practical function. However, if you are an avid international traveler, then you typically don’t use your phone due to high roaming and data charges, not to mention how quickly a phone battery runs out.
But the Timex Expedition Adventure Watch isn’t’ any ordinary watch; it serves many different functions. For example, you can keep track of the time, mileage, and even your body temperature. The Timex Adventure watch is also water resistant, and can be worn during swimming and snorkeling.
So, today we are reviewing 2 of their popular gadgets for you; the E-tide Compass Temp and the E-Altimeter.
E-tide Compass Temp
- Indiglo® Night-Light.
- Tide Tracker Counts Down to High or Low Tide.
- Digital Thermometer with Analog Display Measures Air and Water Temperature.
- Accurate Digitial Compass with Analog Display, Adjustable Declination Angle for Accuracy.
- Water resistant to 330 feet (100 M): suitable for snorkeling, as well as swimming, but not diving.
This E-tide Compass Temp watch is a great example. I reviewed another compass watch of theirs a couple years ago, but this one takes it up a notch with more features. The temperature part is more of a marketing ploy than something of real use, unfortunately.
I’ve yet to find a watch that has a good thermometer and this one is no exception. On your wrist it’s hopeless because of body heat, but even sitting on a shelf it ran 10F degrees hot, which is typical.
The compass is a different story though. I found it quite accurate when testing in multiple locations. Not precision perfect if you’re trying to hike the Long Traverse in Newfoundland maybe, but close enough to keep you from getting lost in the woods or to figure out which direction you’re facing on a street in Bangkok.
The tides time part is what makes this watch special, taking it beyond double-duty gear status to something really multi-functional. Figuring out when high tide and low tide are doesn’t matter a lot for a whole lot of people, just like a depth meter on a diving watch doesn’t matter to a whole lot of people.
But for those in a sailboat, kayak, or river boat on an ocean tributary, this info matters a lot. I once rode a boat into a village in the Darian Gap in Panama. If the guides timed it wrong on arrival and departure, we were sleeping in a hut that night instead of being back on our catamaran in a comfy bed.
Other times I’ve been on kayaking trips where there was a two-hour window to get to an island. After that you would be slogging through mud. Plus there are some eroded beaches in resort areas that are lovely at low tide, but disappear to the seawall at another time of day.
There’s nothing particularly hi-tech about the tides readout on this watch. When the extra hand points to 12, it’s high tide. When it points to 6, it’s low tide. In between you can tell which direction the tide is heading. Naturally it will need to be adjusted as you change locations: high tide in even the same body of water will vary from one coast to another. Periodic adjustment is necessary if you’re on the move.
I’ve been checking it against the water lapping against my desk though on a creek that leads to Tampa Bay and so far so good after four weeks.
I strongly prefer analog face watches over digital ones and I like how Timex has gotten a lot of features into a watch that looks very attractive. Unlike the Casio PAW2000 watch I reviewed before though, none of the buttons are marked. This makes it look sleeker, sure, but it also means digging out the instruction manual to remind yourself how to do the simplest tasks—-like changing that tide clock or using the compass.
This is a common problem with almost any one you use though, no matter the manufacturer. I actually choose which watch to use in my travels sometimes based on how much hassle it’s going to be when crossing multiple time zones. In that department anyway, this one is easy to adjust with the main crown button.
The Timex E-tide Compass Expedition Watch lists comes in a variety of face and strap styles. A variety of names too: sometimes it’s a mouthful like “Intelligent Quartz Compass Tide Temperature Watch.” It feels hefty and expensive and is water resistant to 100 meters. It lists for $170, but you can find it discounted at these links:
Timex Men’s IQ Tide Temp Compass Watch at Overstock.com or get this watch at Amazon.
Timex Expedition E-Altimeter
- Timex T49796 Dial: 40mm Case: 53 (with crown) x 51 (W) x 15 mm (thickness).
- Imported – Ship from Asia – Include: Timex Manual + Timex Box(Asia Model) + Amazon.com Warranty.
- Warranty: 2-Year Amazon.com Warranty provided by Asurion, no manufacturer warranty.
- Box and Packaging: Our watch box are original but it is for Asia region, it might be different in the picture shown or different with box for US and EU market.
- WatchesZon : Delivery Time 8-20 working days by Registered Airmail.
This Expedition Interlligent Quartz E-altimeter model feels like a hand-crafted analog watch instead of something cranked out on an Asian production line.
Some altimeter watches, like the Casio PAW-2000 one I reviewed earlier, tell you your altitude, but they also throw in a whole bunch of other features that may or may not be useful. On this E-altimeter one, you don’t have so many buttons to mess with because the functions have been kept in check: time, Indiglo illumination, altimeter, and a second hand.
(If you want the full-blown feature set, go for the E-Tide Temp Compass line I reviewed above, which has high and low tide, temperature, and compass readings.)
This is one rugged and hefty-feeling watch—as in 10 ounces on your wrist. This probably makes it better for mountaineering, trekking, or skiing than something like rock climbing. Made in Germany with engineered analog parts, this is no throwaway timepiece. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters and has a stainless steel case with mineral glass crystal.
The altimeter has an operating range of -400 to 25,000 feet (-120 to 7,600 meters). It can record high and low altitudes within a specific time period. You need to read the instruction manual to calibrate the altitude and figure out the display mode for the altitude, plus you can set it to read in either feet or meters.
Basically, to read the altitude, you look at where two different hands end up, one for every 1,000, one for the hundreds. This may be a little more cryptic than a simple digital display, but it sure looks less geeky when you’re wearing it around outside of base camp.
The one I have been trying has the yellow strap pictured at the top, but there are other choices like the black strap one pictured to the side, as well as ones with a metal or leather strap. All retail for less than $200, with prices dipping down to around $160 for some variations.
This is a large and heavy watch with heft, priced a good hundred bucks above some other Expedition models, but the altimeter performed very accurately in my tests and the E-altimeter watch looks and feels like something costing much more. Consider this a high-end adventure watch at not such a high price.
Get it at Amazon in a yellow silicone strap style, a black silicone strap style, or a leather strap on a cream and silver version.