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5 most reliable watches of all time

Tough love

5 most reliable watches of all time
The ones that are fully equipped to outwit, outlast, and outplay the odds

For all that it can do, a smart watch is only as good as its battery life. A mechanical watch or a solar-powered watch, on the other hand, is way more reliable. In the absence of electricity and light, or — gasp! — when the lines and networks are all down, you'll still be able to tell the time, and that might just be the lifesaver you need.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Survivor Chronograph
Whoever designed this watch — it was Audemars Piguet's design director, Octavio Garcia — must have been watching way too many action movies. This watch is like the Incredible Hulk if the classic Royal Oak Offshore were Bruce Banner. Any one of The Expendables would gladly wear this watch if not for the fact that it's been fully sold out for years. Just look at those articulated push-piece guards — insane. The ribbed black ceramic bezel — badass. The titanium case middle perforated on one side — out of this world. It's more than a survivor, it's a destroyer. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a big fan, we hear.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Survivor Chronograph

Richard Mille RM36-01 Tourbillon Competition G-Sensor — Sébastien Loeb
The G here stands for gravity, not Gräfenberg and definitely not guinea as in pigs. Richard Mille has always been about watches that are tough and robust; the story about Mille himself coolly tossing his RM001 tourbillon watch onto a hardwood floor in the presence of a group of international journalists is 100 per cent true. RM36-01 comes with a peculiar contraption protruding through the sapphire crystal, which is the vaunted G-sensor. This mechanism displays the amount of shock that the watch had been subject to, from 0 to 6G, so in a way, this is the kind of watch that remains unfazed no matter what life throws at it.

Richard Mille RM36-01 Tourbillon Competition G-Sensor – Sébastien Loeb

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Automatic Chronograph
When you're wearing a watch made by a company that prides itself on not cracking under pressure, it's not unfair to expect said watch to breeze through the rigours of everyday life. Heck, feel free to make it your go-to adventure watch. Something like the Carrera Heuer 01 is unabashedly built for action. This full titanium timepiece is super sporty and ultralight, and it's nicknamed the Grey Phantom — how sexy is that? Fittingly, TAG Heuer's brand logo is a shield, which only reinforces our point that its watches, suave as they are, can take more than a little abuse. As the watch of choice for Kingsman agents, they most certainly are good enough for us.

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Automatic Chronograph

Breitling Emergency II
Not only is this sporty number by Breitling hardy and reliable, it is also capable of saving your life, believe it or not. This is the single most amazing thing about the Emergency II, the world's first wristwatch equipped with a true dual frequency distress beacon. If you find yourself marooned on a deserted island or stranded in the Amazon jungle, this is the watch you pray is on your wrist. Pulling out the antenna mobilises the nearest search and rescue party to dispatch a chopper in your direction. Remember when we said your watch may be a lifesaver one day? You're welcome.

Breitling Emergency II

Casio G-Shock
It's impossible to complete a roundup of the most reliable modern timepieces without including Casio's indefatigable G-Shock. Everyone's favourite casual watch was the true tried-and-tested shock resistant watch. Its creator, Kikuo Ibe, infamously hurled the very first G-Shock working prototype off the third floor of his office building, through the men's room window. True story. This model is battery-powered but many G-Shock models are solar-powered, which means they run forever until the sun burns out and explodes. But I guess we don't have to worry about that.

Casio G-Shock

Read the digital millenial's guide on how to survive without the Internet.

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