Editor’s Note: This review was done with support from Weret.
Surfers usually only have about two demands for a watch: 1) help us keep track of time while we’re in the water because occasionally, painfully, we have to come back to dry land and drive to work, and 2) if we’re feeling a tad techie, lay out some tide readings. A majority of us are minimalists like that.
And if you scour the internet for surf watches — slight variances in technology and features aside — you’ll notice two more things: 1) gadgety analog tide watches can look so complicated that we figure out how to read the bare essentials and let the rest of its functions go unused. And 2) opting for the counter — a simplified digital-faced watch — usually leaves something to be desired in the style department. To be blunt, plenty of digital versions look like something you’d buy with tickets at a Chuck E. Cheese arcade, so when I was asked to review Weret’s new surf watch, I was intrigued by the way they’d seemed to avoid these typical tropes of a surf watch. My first thought while scrolling through their selection of watch face and strap pairings online was “I’d actually wear that with a suit” — a combination I’d never considered for a piece meant to be worn under a wetsuit sleeve. My next thought was really just a question: “How much more can an analog watch do beyond give a tide reading and maybe air temperature?”
How It Works:
In short, Weret surf watches give an analog reading of the most basic surf conditions we tend to look for: swell height, swell direction, tide, temperature readings, wind speed, wind direction, and even air pressure. How that all comes together on a classic analog watch is really simplified.
By using a Bluetooth antenna as the second hand on its face, the watch connects to Weret’s smartphone app. That app sources data from their partner, Magicseaweed, to funnel in all that basic forecasting information in realtime. There are three themes you choose from — waves, weather, and wind — and configure based on a location you pick in the app. Since the app is partnered with Magicseaweed, all 3,000 of their wave locations are available to pair with.
Picking the “wave” theme, for example, you’ll choose a specific spot you want to keep an eye on and the surf report data from that spot will configure with the watch. The swell height and swell direction readings will remain on the watch face at all times through the left and right subdials. Push the crown of the watch and you’ll toggle the watch’s second, minute, and hour hands to give readings for the tide (the second hand), water temp (minute hand), and air pressure (hour hand). Push the crown again and the hands go back to showing the time.
User Friendliness: 5/5
All of these features were actually fairly easy to learn soon after I pulled the watch out of the box. Downloading mobile apps and connecting devices through Bluetooth is a pretty routine effort for most of us now, and most of the setup is as simple as that. I didn’t read a user’s manual to figure it all out and the app itself displays explanations for all the readings on the watch face whenever configuring new wave locations or themes.
For a few weeks now I’ve predominantly used the wave theme over the two others and I’ve settled into having my Weret configured to one or two different locations, usually based on where I think I might surf the next morning or afternoon.
Technology: 3/5 —> 4/5
While the watch itself is easy to use, things started off a bit glitchy for me. For about the first week, pushing the crown of the watch didn’t toggle the hands between reading the conditions and telling the time unless the mobile app was simultaneously open on my phone. After deciding to troubleshoot, I deleted and reinstalled an updated version of the app. Problem solved. So long as the app is running on your smartphone, the watch can broadcast the data from the chosen theme.
So there are both pros and cons to the technology — an obvious con being the occasional glitch. On the plus side, the app software itself can be and is updated, so those occasional bugs figure to be temporary if they do pop up. Doing a little online research, I learned Weret plans to regularly update the mobile app, meaning the technology itself won’t be stagnant.
Durability and Quality: 5/5
Solid. The watch has a sturdy feel to it that bodes well for something meant for active use. It weighs 87 grams and is water-resistant up to 10 meters, a design feature most of us probably aren’t going to have to test the boundaries on. It’s also made with 316L surgical grade stainless steel and the watch face is encased in sapphire crystal glass. I have yet to scratch it after more than two months of daily use.
Most surfers aren’t looking for watches they’d “wear with a suit.” Still, like I said, I could see myself pairing it with one. Considering that’s something you’d never think looking at other surf watches, Weret’s definitely designed something unique.
I actually ordered multiple straps with my watch — another unique factor in their design that gives the watch itself different styles. The black and brown leather straps look great for versatile looks while the silicone and canvas straps are sportier and good for active use. They also make a black croc-style leather strap that gives the watch a more sophisticated look. Each strap locks into the watch face easily, so they’re all interchangeable without any hassle. I slap the silicone strap on when working out or surfing and switch on the leather strap most other times.
Overall, Weret’s surf watch has been a solid mix of meeting functional needs and also being a good-looking, versatile addition to the daily wardrobe.