But today is different than most. You are not waking up to a still pitch-black day to catch an early flight, or get in the office before dawn because you are desperately behind on critical tasks. No, today belongs to you and a lucky small contingent of fellow anglers engaging in the ancient practice of man vs. fish, the anticipation and excitement of which fuels you greater than a Grande Espresso.
The world of sport fishing is replete with watch enthusiasts who combine their passion for angling, horology and the magnificent outdoors. Some use this time to nurture their soul by connecting with the elements and environment in peaceful isolation, while others prefer the fellowship of other sportsmen. All feed off the adrenaline of a tight line with the hope of landing the big one-—sometimes a pursuit that continues for decades.
The watch industry has long recognized this active sports niche and almost every company offers pieces, if not entire lines, with two key attributes: high shock resistance and water resistance.
With this wide range of choices at all price points, it is interesting to see what pieces are being worn by devoted anglers.
Steve Kaiser, avid lifelong fisherman, collector and TimeZone.com moderator, regularly prowls the Chesapeake Bay region and offshore areas in search of game fish along with fellow watch enthusiasts. Over the years Steve has personally geared himself up with an Omega Seamaster James Bond, a Breitling Seawolf, and a Victorinox, but finally settled on a Ball.
Steve describes his rugged Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster X Lume as having “very robust tank-like” construction and is “the perfect tool watch for this wet, sometimes rough and tumble environment.” He notes that the elapsed time rotating bezel is also great for timing a catch or a run to the next spot.
Massachusetts Bay area devoted angler and watch collector, Joe Martin, has pursued game fish of almost every variety—sailfish, tarpon, African pompano, stripers, blues, red snapper, grouper, cod, blue sharks, tuna and many others. While his collection changes frequently, one of his most memorable companions was his Glashütte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date.
“I chose the GO for all around versatility and of course its in-house movement, strap made of sailcloth and rugged case build. It easily made the transition from the water to the yacht club,” he attests.
While many choose the traditional mechanical timekeeping solution, others such as highly successful angler and collector, Jim Nash, opt for a more scientific approach on the northern waters of Minnesota and beyond.
Jim’s watch of choice is a Casio Pathfinder PAG40-3V. “I need a watch that can track the barometric pressure because pressure alters fish behavior, act as a compass because I need to be able to use a map and a compass to navigate in remote areas, and the watch needs to be virtually indestructible. The Casio Pathfinder serves that purpose very well.”
After a lifetime of fishing from Maine to the Virgin Islands to the inland waters of Texas, my personal choice on the water has moved from a Seiko or Tissot to a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Automatic Navy SEALs limited edition.
While all were suited for the task at hand, the JLC allows me to enjoy a world-class quality mechanical watch designed to handle the utilitarian needs my favorite sport demands. For those occasional all-night fishing trips, a Luminox Nighthawk 3400 Series with its tritium gas tube illumination fills the bill.
Collectors who roam the waters of the globe in search of angling adventures have a world of choices, and the variety of timepieces that find their way to their wrists is almost as varied as the fish in the sea.