Durable Watches Resistant to Extreme Temperatures & Water
The day of a firefighter is all about saving people’s lives, in all sorts of settings. This involves certain risks! For one, a firefighter has to fight the flames, and will surely work in an unpredictable environment! That leads to extreme temperatures, being in contact with hazardous materials, and even the slightest mistake can be fatal. Time is important, as a split second means life or death. Punctuality is paramount in this field, so as a firefighter, you can expect to add a good professional watch to your devices and garments.
Does a firefighter need a watch?
All firefighters need a good watch. The job description of a firefighter involves responding to fire alarms, urban rescue calls, medical emergencies, and many other calls to protect life and property. With that in mind, having a watch on your wrist, can help you time many important events. That can be done by using a watch’s alarm, its chronograph, stopwatch, and other features, all to your advantage.
What is considered a professional firefighter’s watch?
A professional firefighter’s watch is that type of watch that can take a beating every once in a while, resist extreme temperatures, be able to withstand water, and keep track of time accurately regardless of usage. It’s not too much to ask for, especially when you’re working in harsh conditions on a daily basis.
To what temperatures are firefighters exposed?
Firefighters are sometimes called to combat fire in temperatures as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees C). Firefighter equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus can allow firemen to work safely for a short time under these conditions. A professional watch that can withstand extreme temperatures might assist you in timing your evacuation plan.
Can watches get damaged by extreme temperatures?
Regardless of the watch movement type, its accuracy will be compromised by extreme, high temperatures. To begin with, mechanical or automatic watches are made of metal parts that under high temperatures, tend to expand, causing the watch to lose time.
The opposite happens with watches under low temperatures (mechanical parts contract and the watch tends to gain time). As for battery operated watches, whose main source of power is an electric circuit hitting a quartz crystal, these watches are also prone to accuracy compromisation. Temperature has an effect on quartz crystals, however many accurate quartz watches come with a temperature compensation feature.
Can firefighters wear a smartwatch?
If you’re wondering how smartwatches perform under extreme high temperatures, this is what Apple has to say for their watch. Apple Watch works best in temperatures ranging from 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C). It should be kept in temperatures ranging from -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C). Apple Watch should not be left unattended in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, nor should it be kept in a car on hot days. As you can see, a smartwatch isn’t the smartest choice when it comes to wearing it in a firefighter’s work environment.
6 Best Watches For Firefighters
Garmin Tactix Delta- Solar Edition
This watch has it all. For starters, it is designed according to government regulations, which means it can withstand a wide range of usage in virtually any temperature, no matter how hot or cold. This is a watch that you could purposefully damage and it would still work. It also does a lot more than just tell time. It displays the sunrise and sunset times and has a comprehensive health monitoring system that can be used in combination with the Garmin app.
When utilized in this capacity, the watch displays everything from your heart rate to your blood’s oxygen saturation level, and it even instructs how to help control your breathing. In addition, it detects any abnormal cardiac rhythms and is also capable of combining all of this data into a specific algorithm that may assist you in determining your energy level at any given moment.
Citizen Garrison Solar Powered
This is another watch that is built to military specifications, making it highly robust. It sports a canvas strap and a stainless steel case. It is also water-resistant to 100 meters and capable of turning any sort of light into energy, so you’ll never have to worry about batteries again. The watch is simple, easy to read, and even simpler to clean. It is made by a reputable Japanese watchmaker, Citizen, and the solar cells in their watches are expected to last up to ten years.
What’s more, the Citizen Garrison comes with a titanium case and bracelet, making it equally strong, but more lightweight than steel. Here you can learn more about the properties of titanium watches.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster
Casio’s G-Shocks are among the usual suspects in these lists. The Mudmaster series is one of the most preferred lineups from firefighters. The popularity comes thanks to its remarkable durability, and ability to resist mud, debris, water and any other unwanted tiny intruder. In addition, the watch comes with a bright display that is easy to read in low light environments, or through a mask.
The watch is marked as 200 meters water resistant, and is packed with countless features and sensors. Included are a barometer/thermometer, a compass, and an altimeter, all of which might be useful for quick access in emergency situations. Casio Mudmaster is solar powered and its timekeeping is automatically corrected every once in a while thanks to its radio-controlled feature.
Casio Duro MDV106
Casio Duro is an affordable dive watch that will surely serve well to every firefighter, whether that be on-site or on your days off. It is simple, yet its price-quality ratio has made even the most luxury brands in this category have a run for their money.
The watch is marked as 200 meters water resistant, meaning that it is suitable enough for daily wear. Yes, you can wash your hands while wearing it, and even swim for a while. Additional features include luminous hands and markers, helping you keep track of time even in low light environments, or through a mask. It comes in a range of different colors, and you can pick your favorite from the link above.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon
What makes I.N.O.X. Carbon one of the best watches for firefighters, is its ability to withstand temperatures up to 1,260 °C (2300°F).
Furthermore, Victorinox watches from the I.N.O.X collection have passed a grueling 100 tests so they can be firefighter-appropriate. You read their stories on the brand’s website.
Deep freeze testing, flame thrower tests, and 10 meter drop tests are all included.
The Victorinox I.N.O.X. collection as a whole is up to the challenge of being the best watch for a firefighter, but the Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon in particular is exceptional since it can withstand incredible amounts of heat.
Seiko Diver’s SKX009K1
As a firefighter, convenience is important while looking for gadgets, especially watches. The Seiko SKX009K1 diving watch, with its deep blue dial, is one of the few watches with automatic mechanisms, making it one of the easiest to operate.
The advantage of this is that you don’t have to bother about replacing the battery or the difficulties that may arise as a result of it. It has a silver-tone casing, a scratch-resistant hardlex crystal, and a black band to hold it on your wrist. The watch has a water resistance rating of 200 meters. This means you can easily dive to depths of more than 50 meters for extended periods of time if necessary.
The watch dial is easy to read, courtesy of the large and luminous hour hands and markers. It is expensive indeed but will serve you well and for a long time.
Professional Watches for Firefighters – Buying Guide
Not every watch fits the criteria to be on the wrist of a firefighter. With that said, take a look at the specifications a firefighter’s watch should meet so you can direct your focus towards one that matches your needs rather than being visually appealing.
A professional firefighter’s watch has to be water resistant. Surely you won’t go swimming with it, but showering, hand washing, and other activities/duties that involve water, should not be a problem. Therefore, opt for watches that have at least a 50 meters water resistance rating.
Like with most tool watches, legibility is of utmost importance. Different luminous materials are used on the watch’s hands and markers, unless digital, so the wearer can be able to easily keep track of time even in low-light environments.
Rather than cooking or barbecuing, a firefighter has to think about rescuing huge forest fires, evacuate people from a car on flames, or fight the fire on a burning building. Temperature sensitive materials that make the watch’s case, like simple plastic, are inconvenient. That’s a no-brainer! Opt for steel or watches made of strong resin like G-Shocks from Casio, or other digital watch brands like Garmin, or Suunto.
As aforementioned, an automatic watch, when exposed to high temperatures, tends to lose time, as the movement’s parts expand. In this case, going for a quartz watch (battery operated), would be a reasonable move.