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How Vaer Makes the Ultimate Surfer’s Watch

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had issues telling time while surfing. 


It started small — I was late for a birthday party because I didn’t get out of the water in time … then I was late for a doctor's appointment. And it got worse: I was late for a date ... and I was nearly late to propose to my wife.


I refused to get a surf watch at the time because I couldn't find one that was affordable — and one that was truly waterproof.


So, I tried to solve the issue with free and creative methods in the lineup.


Vaer is in the business of making the best watches for surfers today. Photo courtesy Vaer


First, I tried the sundial method: analyzing the time based on the sun’s position.


I'm not kidding — if the sun was dead above me, it was noon ... ish.


If the sun was in between the watery horizon and right above me, it was mid afternoon ... ish.


Of course, this didn't work, and after surfing an outer reef in Honolulu on a head-high morning, I was over an hour late for work.


But I wasn't going to give into buying a surf watch.


My next method was asking other people in the lineup for the time. This worked once or twice ... but when the people sitting next to me didn't have one, I found myself patrolling the lineup looking for someone with a watch instead of catching waves.


Then, when surfing on a head-high day at Laniakea on Oahu’s North Shore, I asked an uncle sitting out the back for the time — his stink eye told me that he wasn’t going to tell me, I was out of luck, and I was going to be late yet again.


I finally gave in: I needed a surf watch. 

But not just any surf watch — one that I could afford. Like, nothing more than a few hundred bucks.


And one that was durable — if it was going to break or get waterlogged, I didn't want to bother wasting my money.


Plus, it wouldn't hurt for it to have some style to it.


I truly didn't think I would find a surf watch that checked all these boxes.


But that’s when I found Vaer.

Looks pretty sleek, right? Photo courtesy Vaer


I found commonality with their origin story: Ryan Torres and Reagan Cook were looking for a watch that could be considered "tactical" and stand up in the harshest of outdoor elements — while being affordable.


They couldn't find a watch on the market at that time, so they decided to fill the void and make their own in 2016.


To create a durable product, they put their earliest prototypes truly to the test.


Imagine exposing a watch to big waves, deep ocean depths, boiling water, and even a high-altitude exposure in the Himalayas — this was the foundation Vaer's watches were built upon.

We're not kidding: Vaer's early prototypes experienced high altitude in the Himalayas, and this was the result. Photo courtesy Vaer


In these tests, specifically when taking it into water, they realized the "traditional push-pull crowns" that most watches utilized resulted in flooding and destroying the watch. So instead, they went with the locking screw-down crown — a feature often seen in dive watches — to ensure an air-tight seal.


As they went through their testing and refined the product, they never wavered from an affordable price point.


I chose one of Vaer's best-selling watches: The C5 Tactical Field at the price of $299 (don't forget to sign up for their newsletter for a nice 10% off).


I immediately put it to the test, and here's what I found about the surf watch.


#1: It’s completely waterproof. 


No really — it’s actually waterproof. 


I know, I know, you’ve been told this before: a surf watch is waterproof only to have it waterlogged and nothing more than a weight on your hand in the lineup. 


As long as the “crown” — the mechanism you unscrew to update the date & time — is locked, water won’t get inside your Vaer watch.


I’ve put it through countless surfs, and there's not a drop of water inside it.


All that testing Vaer conducted with its earliest prototypes has resulted in one of the most waterproof watches on the market today.

#2: It’s small enough that you don’t notice it when you’re paddling. 


In the water, you don’t want to be weighed down by anything, whether it's a heavy wetsuit, a waterlogged hood, or anything else.


The same goes for watches.


While other surf watches may feel heavy or bulky, Vaer's product isn’t the case.


When paddling for waves, I didn't even realize I had it on.


#3: There's no need to maintain the battery; It’s charged by sunlight. 


That’s right: because Vaer's Tactical watch recharges in natural light (while you surf), there's no need to worry about charging it or sending it back to the factory for a new battery.


Plus, the battery life itself is incredible: in direct sunlight, it will hit a full charge in just 6 hours, which lasts “approximately” 6 months. 


And, if you're thinking about doing any night surfs anytime soon, the watch will glow in the dark.


Solar charging — especially while you surf — makes Vaer's watches stand out in a crowded watch industry. Photo courtesy Vaer


#4: 2-Year Warranty

One of the best parts of Vaer's Tactical watch and its product line?


If unforeseen damage happens to it, you're covered with a no-questions-asked 2-year warranty, protecting not only your watch but your money too.



You heard it from us: Vaer makes the ultimate surfer's watch. Photo courtesy Vaer


I didn't think I would ever buy a surf watch because of the price point and questions about durability.


But Vaer convinced me otherwise.


Not only are their watches extremely affordable for the everyday surfer — they're waterproof and durable while throwing some style on your wrist.

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