A lot of watches are made pretty tough these days. Even cheap quartz digital watches or almost-throwaway watches like $25 Swatch watches can take a heck of a lot of abuse. A secret I picked up when I first started Scuba diving was that a lot of the older professional divers out there didn’t bother with fancy and expensive diving watches, they just used cheap little Casio and Swatch watches and seemed really happy with them. So for basic wear it is true that most of today’s watches will routinely stand up to abuse that would have quickly killed our grandparents’ watches, even if they might take a few scratches on the way (a real downside of the cheap Swatch, with its plastic face, in my view).
That said, there is a certain satisfaction that one derives from wearing a really high quality, well made watch. It is more about knowing you are wearing an art work, or an engineering marvel, than it is about really expecting to put your watch to the supreme test. And if that sort of thing appeals to you then you have to be impressed by the CX Swiss Military 20,000 feet Watch, which is without any doubt the world’s toughest watch.
What it takes to be the World’s toughest watch
It takes quite a bit to be called the toughest watch in the world, but this one has a lot going for it. The CX 20,000 holds the world record for the deepest dive. It has also been blown up with dynamite and just kept ticking. If that isn’t enough the guys who make the CX Swiss Military Watch have dropped it out of airplanes, stomped on it and done just about anything you can think of to get it to stop working. In one video the company blasts it with high powered fire hoses at Zurich airport, in another they place it just a few feet from some explosives in what they call a “real live test” in a quarry. They also placed another watch (they don’t say who) alongside the Swiss Military Watch. The Swiss Military watch was fine, the competitors one was blow to pieces. In another test they put the watch in a shooting range and blasted it with a three rounds from a12 gauge pump action shot. And it just laughed at the abuse, picked up a few scratches and carried on ticking. Another competitor watch was completely destroyed even though it was supposedly one of the toughest watches you can get. In a third test on its own ordinary 1000m certified dive watch, the watch was also completely smashed. So if you plan to get shot, blown up, dropped out of a plane or hosed down by a fire engine and want your watch to keep on ticking, then one of these tough CX Swiss Military Watches is the one for you.