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Whatever your taste in timepieces—smartwatch or simpleton, decadent or dirt-cheap—these wearables were made for the modern traveler.

Strapping a watch to a wrist isn’t as common as it used to be. Most people get along fine by pulling out their phone to check the time. It’s a shame: As savvy travelers can tell you, wearing the right wristwatch on your journey offers a great amount of utility, no matter whether you’re on the road or lounging by the sea. To show you what we’re talking about, we’ve chosen and tested six of the best travel-oriented timepieces around. 


Apple Watch Series 3
Smartwatch standard-bearer

The Apple Watch Series 3 is a phenomenal adventure sidekick. It’s waterproof, so you don’t have to leave it unattended while you go for a dip in the ocean or your hotel’s pool. It’s capable of sending navigation prompts right to your wrist, making it perfect for seeing your way through an unfamiliar city without looking like a tourist. If you spring for the LTE version, you can even leave your smartphone at home and still have the ability to listen to streaming music, receive email, and send text messages. $329-$1,399


Garmin Descent MK1
Serious dive watch with landlubber appeal

Perfect for your next scuba or snorkeling adventure, the Descent MK1 is the smartest dive computer you’ll ever own. It allows the wearer to track single and multiple gas dives and includes a gauge mode as well as an apnea tracker. To start the dive computer, simply plunge into the water. A three-axis compass will keep you on track under the water. When you return to the surface, the Descent MK1’s GPS is ready to guide you back to your pickup point. Back on dry land, you can use the Descent MK1’s smartwatch functionality to receive prompts from Google Maps and notifications from your smartphone or track your health. $1,000-$1,500


Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch
Cutting-edge kit for Android users

Depending on where you travel, pulling out your smartphone in public could lead to being marked as a lucrative target by pickpockets. Wearing a smartwatch that looks like a run-of-the-mill timepiece is a great way to mitigate this risk. For Android users (although it kind of works with iOS, too) Samsung’s Gear S3 smartwatches are a great option. Available in a few different styles, S3 series watches will let you check your mail, send a text message with your voice, update your calendar, or make a phone call—without your smartphone ever seeing the light of day. $350-$400


Fossil Q Hybrid
Connected classics

If your taste in timepieces keeps you from investing in a traditional smartwatch, Fossil’s Q Hybrid watch might be for you. Available in a number of classic analog styles for men and women, the Q Hybrid will vibrate to alert its wearer to new messages, emails, or phone calls, providing the same out-of-sight, out-of-mind security that other smartwatches do. $155


Timex Expedition Scout
Tough time-teller on the cheap

Some people prefer to leave their gadgets at home when they travel—and who can blame them? Staying in touch when we’re away can be a huge source of unneeded stress. To keep abreast of the time, disconnected and on the cheap, consider an inexpensive timepiece from Timex. Should anything happen to it on your next adventure, it’s so cheap and easy to find that buying a replacement for it won’t be a big deal. $37


Farer Lander Automatic GMT
Splurge-worthy simplicity

For some, buying a high-quality timepiece is a way of investing in a constant companion that’ll be there for countless adventures. Looking at the time reminds you of all of the places you’ve worn your watch over the years. The Farer Lander is such a watch. A GMT dual zone timepiece that also displays the date, it’s a watch that does nothing beyond telling the time, where you are and where you’re going. $1,410-$1,435

 

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