There has recently been a lot of information on the WatchGecko magazine about Field and Outdoor watches. They're big business and extremely fashionable. The problem is that many “Field” watches are just that, fashion items, and not truly built for purpose. They also have a tendency to be small, between 34mm and 38mm. Consequently, in years gone by, serious explorers who wanted a bigger watch opted to select dive models as they were extremely well made, legible and designed to hold back the forces of nature.
Back in 2018 I reviewed a blue S-01 Diver from Geckota, serial number 0055.
I was so impressed with the watch I acquired it and my Geckota S-01 and I have since travelled the world together. It has never missed a beat, survived many knocks, and lives on multiple straps depending on what mood I am in or where I am. It has withstood the harshest environments from 40+ degree Omani desert to 99% humidity in a SE Asian jungle, yet looked great when I wore the 0055 to the Ritz-Carlton in Kowloon.
Thanks to the pandemic recent adventures with the watch have been rather more local, though the Peak District threw up the odd challenging day.
The conclusion from travelling and outdoor life with the S-01 is that it makes a fantastic Field and Survival Watch. I think that's because it's not a pure breed diver. Now I need to qualify this statement; the watch is a hugely capable 300m dive model with offset crown, high strength blue lume and unidirectional bezel. However, the super bold hands, vibrant colours and lack of minute markers makes the S-01 more of a tough sport watch than a serious deep-sea diver.
The excellent legibility makes the watch prefect for time keeping in all conditions. Put it on a military nylon and you can safely strap it over your clothing in the sure knowledge that the 300m resistance will keep out the worst weather.
Field watches do not traditionally have bezels, however the relatively new genre of survival watches does. The bezel on the S-01 is extremely useful, calculating distance is made easy by affording accurate walking start times – just as you would set a bezel before you dive underwater.
When using your watch as a solar compass the dial of the S-01 could not better designed. The hands are purposeful, and the dial is clear. Everything you need for accurate direction finding. If your outdoor activities are more active, such as rock climbing, then you'll be grateful for the offset crown at 4 o’clock which prevents it from digging into the top of your hand or catching on gloves.
Accurate time keeping is never an issue for the S-01. Powering the hands is the sought-after ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. Considered by many to be a powerhouse of the watch industry, this bullet proof movement offers proven reliability and accuracy.
When it comes to looks the S-01 also has that department covered. Select the grey dial and bezel model, add a grey or black 22mm Phalanx military nylon and you have a dramatic Field Watch which mirrors the stark slate hills and rocks that are so characteristic of the UK.
Alternatively select the green S-01 and add an olive drab military nylon and you'll look the part as you explore the woods and forests.
As we said at the beginning of this feature, if you thought you knew the Geckota S-01, think again! This watch deserves your attention, and it could just be the prefect adventure watch you’ve been looking for.
Image Credit - Geckota