Top 11 Best Surf Watches Built For The Waves

Having a watch on your wrist while in the ocean, is a great way to keep track of your day while out surfing.

Yet, you need a watch that’s water resistant, durable, and comfortable too.

In this blog post we’ve reviewed the best surf watches out today. From top smartwatch brands to surf brands, Swiss brands, and more.

We’ve included different styles of watch that are all tough enough to be worn on the wrist of a surfer.

Our top pick (for those of us in a hurry) is the Garmin Instinct Solar Surf watch. Specifically designed for surfers. It comes jam packed with features, like tide times, distance surfed tracking, and more!

Check out the top surf watch here.

Or dive into the rest of the best watches for surfing down below.

Let’s go!

Best Surf Watches

  1. Garmin Instinct Solar Surf (Best Surf Smartwatch For Android Users)
  2. Apple Watch Series 6 (Best Surf Smartwatch For iPhone Users)
  3. G-Shock GBX100-2 (Best Surf Watch For Legibility)
  4. Nixon Base Tide (Best Affordable Surf Watch For Tide Times)
  5. Nixon Regulus A1180 (Cool Special Ops Style Watch For Surfers)
  6. Seiko Turtle SRPF79 (Best Everyday Watch For Surfers)
  7. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Pro Diver (Super Tough Swiss Made Surf Watch)
  8. Freestyle Shark Clip Watch (Best Selection Of Colorful Surf Watches)
  9. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster (Best Chunky Dive Watch For Surfers)
  10. Casio Duro (Best Affordable Dive Watch For Surfers)
  11. Vostok Amphibia (Quirky Surf Watch For Those In The Know)

11 Best Watches For Surfers Reviewed

Almost all of the watches included in this list have at least 100m (330ft) of water resistance. This means that they should be able to handle swimming, surfing, and other shallow water sports.

The only exception is the Apple Watch Series 6, which has a water resistance of 50m instead.

1. Garmin Instinct Solar Surf

Best Surf Smartwatch For Android Users

Case Diameter 45mm
Case Thickness 15.3mm
Water Resistance 100m (330ft)

Garmin is a heavyweight when it comes to rugged fitness smartwatches.

That’s why it’s no surprise that the Garmin Instinct Solar Surf watch is our top pick. After all, it was built especially for surfers.

The best thing about this smartwatch is the super long battery life. It can last up to 50 days in smartwatch mode! That’s nearly 2 MONTHS!

The long battery life is thanks to the solar powered movement in the watch. As the battery can charge up with the sun as you surf.

This surf watch makes for a great surfing buddy. As it automatically tracks:

  • The distance you surfed
  • How many waves you caught
  • The max speed you reached

The Instinct Solar is also a very tough watch too. It’s been built to military standards. Giving you peace of mind when wearing it all day, everyday.

Another great benefit is that you can pair almost any smartphone with this smartwatch. It doesn’t matter if it is an iPhone or an Android. Both will work. Unlike the Apple Watch.

Now find out the latest price for the Garmin Solar Surf watch.

2. Apple Watch Series 6

Best Surf Smartwatch For iPhone Users

Case Diameter 40mm or 44mm
Case Thickness 10.7mm
Water Resistance 50m (165ft)
*only for the Series 6

The Apple Watch Series 6  makes for a great surf watch for surfers with an iPhone. As it’s like having your phone on your wrist while surfing.

Remember, Apple Watches are only compatible with iPhones. You’re better off getting a Garmin smartwatch if you use an Android phone.

Now…you might be worried about wearing your expensive Apple Watch into the sea. But don’t stress because the Series 6 comes with 50m (115ft) of water resistance.

According to Apple it’s enough for shallow water activities, like swimming and surfing. Just don’t take your Apple Watch scuba diving. Instead choose a diver friendly surf watch further down the list.

The first thing you’ll want to make your Apple Watch surfer friendly, is to download the Dawn Patrol App. This app will help you track your surfing sessions, and keep you up to date on important surf related data.

Chris from Stoked For Travel has an epic video detailing just how you can set up your Apple Watch to track your surfing. Watch it below…

With Apple, you have a choice of two sizes. Either the 40mm or the 44mm.

The main drawback of the Apple Watch is the battery life. It only lasts for a max of 18 hours. Similar to your iPhone.

If this is an issue then we recommend you go for the Garmin Solar Instinct instead. As that has a battery life that can last up to 50 days!

Also the price can be an issue too.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is an expensive surf watch. However, it does everything your iPhone can do out in the ocean. From a safety point of view. Having a watch that can call for help is a huge bonus.

Yet, we think it’s worth the price. Find out if you do too. Check out the latest price for the Series 6.

3. G-Shock GBX100-2

Best Surf Watch For Legibility

Case Diameter 46mm
Case Thickness 14.7mm
Water Resistance 200m (660ft)

G-Shock is one of our favorite affordable watch brands. Making watches that have tonnes of shock resistance. Perfect for those who need a strong surf watch.

The G-Shock GBX100 is another surf smartwatch. That’s built specifically for surfers.

It comes with a steel bezel. Which will protect the watch from any impacts with rocks or your board.

But the number one thing we love is the watch’s display. You won’t be squinting at a dim screen with this watch. Even with it’s negative display, it’s super easy to read in all light conditions.

If you like to surf at dusk. This watch comes with a super bright LED Light. Which will light up the screen at night.

This G-Shock comes pre-programmed with about 3,300 surf spots. All across the globe. Giving you plenty of surf data.

Data like…

  • High tide/Low tide times
  • Tide graph
  • Moon cycle
  • Sunrise/Sunset times

You also will be able to connect to the Fitness G-Shock Move app. This will help you keep track of your surf sessions and other workouts. 

Plus this watch looks great. We love the teal color the most. Yet, there are a few other colors to choose from too.

And finally the price. Luckily it’s more affordable compared to the other smartwatches on this list.

Check out the latest price for this G-Shock surf watch.

4. Nixon Base Tide

Best Affordable Surf Watch For Tide Times

Case Diameter 42mm
Case Thickness 13.5mm
Water Resistance 100m (330ft)

The Nixon Base Tide is a simple surf watch. Compared to the three top surf smartwatches reviewed above.

We love the design of this watch. It has a retro feel to it. 

The Green Jellyfish version would have to be our favorite. But there are other more understated designs to pick from too.

This watch does lack all of the cool features of the surf friendly smartwatches. However, sometimes a more basic watch is all you need.

But this watch does come with global tide times. Along with a countdown timer, stopwatch, and the date.

The main complaint about this watch is that it can have a dim screen. If you have difficulty with your eyes. You might be better off going for the G-Shock instead.

Discover the other Base Tide colors and the latest price of this simple digital surf watch.

5. Nixon Regulus A1180

Cool Special Ops Style Watch For Surfers

Case Diameter 46mm
Case Thickness 16mm
Water Resistance 100m (330ft)

The Nixon Regulus A1180 watch can easily be summed up in one word, that is cool.

This watch was marketed as a special ops style watch. Used by people in the military. However, it makes for a great watch for surfers too. Thanks to its durability.

It’s a very chunky watch. That’s just how it’s built. It’s meant to stand out on your wrist. So it might not suit those who have slim wrists.

However, this watch is very comfortable to wear. You’ll have no worries in terms of comfort.

This surf watch also comes with a few handy features like:

  • X3 alarms
  • Dual chronograph
  • Silent mode

The main issue with this watch is its legibility. The dial can be too dim for some. Even with the adjustable LED brightness. The negative display might just be an issue for some people.

Luckily though this watch also comes in a few other styles. Including a version with a more contrasting display.

Check all of them out here.

6. Seiko Turtle SRPF79

Best Everyday Watch For Surfers

Case Diameter 44mm
Case Thickness 12.8mm
Water Resistance 200m (660ft)

The Seiko Turtle dive watches are one of Seiko’s most popular diver collections.

Any Seiko Turtle would make for a great surf watch. However, they suit surfers who want a traditional, everyday surf watch. Instead of a digital or smartwatch.

The Seiko Turtle SRPF79 is one of our favorite Turtle releases. It’s dial is very eye-catching. As it’s designed to look like the ocean, with stingrays swimming inside the dial.

This style of Seiko watch gets its name from the shape of its case. Many Seiko fans thought it looked like a turtle when it first came out.

A Seiko Turtle would suit a surfer who is interested in collecting mechanical watches. As this watch is powered by an automatic movement. It will wind as you wear it.

This watch is expensive. But it will look great paired with most looks. From a wetsuit to a drysuit.

So while you get none of the fitness tracking, tide time data, or any helpful surf data. You will get a tough everyday watch you can wear for years.

Plus Seiko is a brand that is a good one to invest in. These watches do often retain their value.

And the Turtle range has a bunch of different styles and sizes to choose from. With a range of different prices.

Take time to explore all the latest Seiko Turtles out now.

Check out our guide to Seiko dive watches!

7. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Pro Diver

Super Tough Swiss Made Surf Watch

Case Diameter 45mm
Case Thickness 14.44mm
Water Resistance 200m (660ft)

Victorinox is probably the only Swiss surf brand around today.

Yes, Swiss surfing might sound odd. But there is a community of urban surfers in the land locked country of Switzerland. 

And Victorinox is a sponsor of the community.

The best watch for surfers from this brand is the Victorinox I.N.O.X. pro dive watch.

To sum up this watch, we would have to say that it’s tough. Probably one of the toughest watches in the world.

These divers are built for anything. So you’ll have zero worries wearing one out on a surf. No amount of knocks will hurt this watch.

They’ve been tested in over 130 torture tests, and have come out ticking. That’s why we always recommend this watch for tough sports and jobs. Like firefighters or military personnel.

We also think they make for an excellent everyday, beater watch a surfer can wear in the ocean. Or out of the ocean too.

This watch has no smart features. But it will last a lot, lot longer than any of the digital or smartwatches on this list.

Check out the latest prices and the different styles of this tough urban surf watch.

8. Freestyle Shark Clip Watch

Best Selection Of Colorful Surf Watches

Case Diameter 33mm – 38mm
Case Thickness 11mm – 12mm
Water Resistance 100m (330ft)

Freestyle is a popular surf and skater watch brand.

We love their diverse color selection and their price. The Freestyle Shark Clip surf watches are very affordable.

However, make sure to watch out for the sizing of these watches…

They come in a choice of 32mm or 38mm case width. This brand is mainly marketed towards teens and young adults. So smaller case sizes are popular.

This surf watch also comes in a more subdued black version too. If color isn’t your thing.

They’re a basic digital watch. Very comfortable with an easy to adjust velcro strap. So they can fit a wide range of wrist sizes.

Find out which color you like best in the Freestyle watch collection.

9. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster

Best Chunky Dive Watch For Surfers

Case Diameter 44mm
Case Thickness 12mm
Water Resistance 200m (330ft)

Having a solar watch charge on your wrist while you surf is dead handy.

Well, Citizen has a lot of surf friendly dive watches that can do just that. Thanks to their very own solar technology, called Eco-Drive.

One of our favorites from them is their Eco-Drive Promaster dive watch.

This watch has a large, chunky look to it. Similar to the Seiko Bottlecap diver. Both have round cases.

This Citizen watch is easy to read. Which is essential for surfers out in the sun. The watch has thick hands and large indices. Also it has great luminosity. Ideal for night time surf sessions.

However, this is just a traditional dive watch. So there are no surf features. 

But if you’re after a BIG surf watch. This watch also comes in a huge case size of 48mm if you dare.

Or stick to the smaller size. Both are sure to stand out.

Discover both watch sizes now.

10. Casio Duro

Best Affordable Dive Watch For Surfers

Case Diameter 44mm
Case Thickness 12mm
Water Resistance 200m (330ft)

The Duro diver range is one of Casio’s most famous affordable dive watches.

We think that a watch from this collection makes for a great budget surf watch too.

The Casio Duro watch has a classic diver watch look to it. With a choice of three colors, including black, blue, and gold.

This watch can handle scuba diving depths of up to 200m (330ft). Often beating other watches that are triple the price.

Casio is known for their durable watches at a great price.

This watch is a basic surf watch. There’s no frills or fuss. It comes with tonnes of water resistance, an easy to read dial, comfortable strap, and an affordable price.

Not much more we can say.

Just check out the latest price for these surf friendly Casio watches.

11. Vostok Amphibia

Quirky Surf Watch For Those In The Know

Case Diameter 41mm
Case Thickness 15mm
Water Resistance 200m (330ft)

Now onto the wildcard! This surf watch is very quirky and you’ll either love it or hate it.

The Vostok Amphibia is a dive watch that was first released in 1967. By the Soviet era Vostok Watch Factory. Making this little watch a piece of history.

We think this watch makes for a great surf watch for those interested in collecting cool watches.

And what’s great is that the Amphibia is one of the most inexpensive watches on this list!

This watch has a mechanical movement that will wind while you surf.

A downside is that the watch’s crystal is made from Acrylic. This type of crystal can scratch easily. So you’ll probably need to replace it in a few years. However, it’s a very cheap crystal to replace.

You’ll also need to read the instructions for this watch. Before taking it out surfing.

This watch is a unique one. You will be sure to get plenty of compliments wearing it. Especially from watch enthusiasts.

Take a closer look at this Soviet surfer watch now.