Posts Tagged ‘Hiking Watches’

An ActiveWatchers’ Thumbs up for 127 Hours

November 16, 2010

The ActiveWatches blog isn’t usually the place for movie reviews.  But after seeing “127 Hours” this past Saturday night, the ActiveWatcher couldn’t help himself.  The movie is based on the true story about mountain climber Aaron Ralston (played by James Franco) and his personal journey of being trapped under a boulder for five days in Robbers Roost, Utah.  The movie is sure to delight ActiveWatches‘ customer base.  With the theme of the movie focused on personal triumph and unimaginable sacrifice, it’s sure to make you feel guilty for complaining about your everyday life.

But on a note more relevant to the ActiveWatches blog, the movie also co-stars another famous actor besides James France: the Suunto Vector.  You see the watch so darn much in the movie — for obvious reasons  — that the watch should be identified in the opening and closing credits.  But I digress.  The movie only proves the awesome functionality and power of this watch.  From withstanding the force of a boulder to giving you the altitude and temperature, it’s no wonder why it got some face time in the movie (for the record, I don’t know if it the Vector was actually worn by Ralston).

So go watch the movie and then go to to get a much more in-depth view of the Vector and other Suunto watches.


Barometer Watches

May 27, 2010

Great article at Boosh News about barometer watches.  You can find the article here.  Quick active recap: for those of you who slept through your junior high earth science class, barometers measure  atmospheric pressure and can be used to indicate current and oncoming weather.  Old school barometers used to look like the one below.  Like everything else, barometer technology are small enough to fit within sports watches and are now included in many sports watches, particularly ones used for hiking and available on  Isn’t technology great?!?!  Enjoy.

The demise of the watch? Not yet, and hopefully never….if The ActiveWatcher has anything to do with it.

May 17, 2010

The ActiveWatcher was recently on vacation, surfing the Internet, and came across an article in the International Herald Tribune about watchmakers seizing the latest marketing technologies.  You can read the article here.  The introduction paragraph talks about the potential obscurity of the watch due to the cell phone, which, as everyone who lives on Earth by now knows, tracks and tells time.   My interest was piqued, and prompted me to do some additional research on the Internet.   That research led to a similar article in the Boston Globe titled “Does anybody (under 30) really know what time it is?”  You can read the article here. As the title implies, the article more fully talks about the increasing obscurity of the watch due to the cell phone.

You may be saying to yourself, “Yeah, big whoop, how is this issue newsworthy enough to be discussed on such an important and cutting-edge blog such as this one?”  Frankly, the ActiveWatcher didn’t realize that the practice of ditching the watch, the sine qua non of the ActiveWatches website, was a bona fide trend.  The ActiveWatcher was born at the cusp of Generation X, so he remembers a time in his life, not so long ago in fact, that the cell phone didn’t exist and certainly wasn’t ubiquitous.  That meant that watches were necessary to many, despite the ability of us stone agers to tell time from the sun.

The ActiveWatcher isn’t about denying the obvious.  He realizes that the utility of a watch has significantly declined given the constant, modern day clutch of the cell phone, no matter where and where.  At one point, perhaps about five years ago, the ActiveWatcher even considered ditching his watch to rely solely on the cell phone, but he didn’t.  He tried, but he couldn’t.  His wrist felt too light, leading to the perpetual feeling that something just wasn’t right.  And everytime he sought the time, he was disgusted with the sight of a naked wrist in all its glory, with the tan line outlining his former watch.

Beyond that, the ActiveWatcher posits two logical reasons that the cell phone has not imperiled the first civilized tool coveted by the Type-A caveman.

First, the cell phone is simply impractical for telling time during most physical activities, particularly intense ones.  Can you imaging trying to pull out a cell phone during a swim and climbing a wall?  “Hey Jack, hold my rope as I hang on this cliff and pull out my cell phone to see if it’s time for dinner?”  (Alas, the ActiveWatcher is persuaded that the ActiveWatches’ business model — as a purveyor of sports watches — remains intact.)

Second, the watch is yet another method to showcase your individual sense of style and another expression of your personality.   In this sense, it’s another piece of jewelry, albeit with a practical purpose.   Grant it, a cell phone achieves the same objective (cue the latest Tag Heuer cellphone), but not so effectively when it’s stuck mostly in your pocket.

Call the ActiveWatcher old-fashioned, but he’s willing to argue that the cell phone just doesn’t cut it as a constant, reliable tool for time, regardless of the setting.   The cell phone isn’t readily accessible as a watch, which is attached to your wrist and not stuck in your pocket, and is prohibited in certain settings, contrary to the universal inclusivity of the watch.  Not to mention, the cell phone is easier to lose and is inoperable without constant charging.  In my book, the cell phone is only marginally better than relying on public clocks or the good-old fashioned, “Hey, got the time?”

Let’s just hope for the ActiveWatchers sake, everyone under 30 agrees.

The ActiveWatcher

Swiss Army vs. Wenger…Let the Games Begin

April 15, 2010

The ActiveWatcher has finally decided to weigh-in on the age-old battle between two Swiss companies: Victorinox and Wenger.  For the record, both originally supplied knives to the Swiss Army.  And both long ago decided to parlay their expertise and brand strength into watches.  Not a bad move.  Each now have one of the most recognized watch brands in the world.

Victorinox is perhaps the company that most people identify as the “Swiss Army” brand.  Heck, even the ActiveWatches website refers to the Victorinox brand as “Swiss Army.”  But for the record, Wenger is also a manufacturer of authentic swiss knives and watches.  And another fact for the record: Victorinox now owns Wenger, although the two operate as separate companies.  So the debate may still rage on.  Especially because clear, yet subtle, distinctions exist between the two brands.

Victorinox watches have a reputation for durability and reliability.  And the company no doubt continues to manufacture watches that will last an eternity.  Are you hiking Everest this summer?  Then a Victorinox is your go-to watch.  And the icing on the cake: they’ve got great functions and look sophisticated.  But for those with an affinity for technology and fashion, Swiss Army may leave you hanging.  Another downside: Victorinox watches are all solely analog.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Hey, if you’re a traditionalist like The ActiveWatcher, all of the characteristics that make Victorinox watches one of the best in world are a perfect recipe for a favorite timepiece.

Cue the Wenger watches.  They fill the void left open by Victorinox.  Take a look at any Wenger watch an you can see that Wenger dedicates a lot of resources to the appearance of its watches.  Many are colorful, sharp, and simply fashionable.  And they’ve also taken a leap towards the new millennium by incorporating digital technology into their analog watches.  Case in point: Wenger’s new Nomad, an analog-digital hybrid watch with a compass feature.

Of course, there’s no right answer here; it comes down to personal preference.  So see for yourslf which watch brand you prefer by visiting

The ActiveWatcher