For Comparison's Sake: Watches

These are our favorite quality timepieces with functions a boater can love.

As a fashion statement, gold chains can be as overwhelming as bad cologne. But a quality timepiece, and especially one that has functions a boater can love, makes a solid statement of practical value and drools with “I have arrived” luxury. These are our favorites.

Luminox Colormark A.3152
Our Take: Sportier than the BO model (Black Ops; not smell), the hardened mineral crystal and black face give this rugged watch a cool, classy look we prefer over the vinyl strap model. The stainless steel bracelet and clasp are among the most rugged.

Hard Knock: Two-tone iridium tubes glow attractively for 25 years but not as brightly as others.

Numbers: Waterproof to 200 m; 44 mm face; 160 grams. $440; luminox.com

Reactor Graviton 2
Our Take: Dive, fish or surf with the built-in functions on the Graviton 2. Flash memory is programmed with tide data for 200 U.S. locations and calculated out to 2020. Live between tide stations? Adjust the nearest location for + or -180 minutes. Moon phases show waxing, waning and full and new moon for anglers and stargazers. A dive bezel satisfies divers. Use the stopwatch to test acceleration. Toggle alarm and hourly chime on or off.

Hard Knock: It's heaviest due to its sturdy case, and it sets off airport security.

Numbers: Waterproof to 200 m; 47.5 mm face; 230 grams; 30 months battery life. Glows indefinitely in the dark. $525; reactorwatch.com

Doxa Sub 1000T Caribbean
Our Take: Swiss makers of the Sub series were first to equip Navy divers with a watch that gives no-decompression dive depths on the bezel. This automatic watch requires no batteries. Available in the original orange face or the more elegant blue face, it's definitely a luxury item to make a statement as bold as, but more elegant than, gold chains.

Hard Knock: One might hesitate to swim in a $1,500 watch. Its simplicity means no special features that boaters or anglers might enjoy.

Numbers: Waterproof to 1,000 m; 42 mm face; 162 grams. Automatic movement needs no batteries; strong glow in the dark. $1,490; doxawatches.com