Best Tide Watch
I would recommend looking at the Casio G-Lide series. I have a Nixon tidemaster somethingrather, and it's a piece of shit. Batteries die within a year, the watch does... for the lack of a better term, weird things (tide just disappears for example)
I think it is worth asking the question of either an tide watch is actually necessary.
There are plenty of free apps, websites and booklets that give you tide information. Before you go into the surf you know what the tide is doing - do you really need to have something that reminds you again when you are actually in the surf?
Watch manufacturers obviously want to add features to their products to entice buyers and differentiate themselves from competitors. How useful these actually is the question.
I got a Nixon ultratide for a xmas present. Batteries lasted 12 months then had to send back to Nixon. It syncs with the Ultratide APP which uses surfline forecasting. When I changed from an Iphone to android, learnt there wasn't a compatible android app so mine now just tells the time.
I've had 3x Rip Curl analog tide watches for 20 years. The latest one is over 5 years old. The previous one made it past 11 years. Others report less than stellar lifespan but I've found them to be great. New batteries every 2-3 years.
I just like the convenience of having the tide available by looking at my wrist. Do I need to have a tide watch? No. Would I buy a watch without a tide display after 20 years with one? Probably not.
I have a Ripcurl Tidemaster watch (2008 model). I paid $350 for it. It's on its third set of batteries; they last about 3 years. It keeps accurate time and the tide indicators are also reliable, allowing for a little variance at certain times of the month as it averages the tide times over the month. It is a made-in-China job and not of the same quality of a Seiko or Citizen watch. It's also a bit too large and bulky, I prefer slimmer watches. I don't wear it in the surf often; I prefer an old Seiko Sports 100 that still works well after more than 30 years. The newer models look classier and have a different movement to the one I have. It is handy to be able to glance at your wrist and check the tide, but as others have mentioned there are plenty of apps available for your phone.
this topic has been previously covered but i don't think they are necessary, if you need a general watch in the surf there are plenty of waterproof cheap watches around on eBay for e.g.
for the record i have a nixon (given as a present), its about 6 years old and the battery has been replaced once, it sits in the glovebox of my car mostly
all rip curl watches are crap, we've had 3 in our family and have had many friends with them and they all stuff up and have short life spans.
Nixon have a new smart watch called the Mission which looks good but nixon don't seem to get good reviews either.
Do you need one? - No
Are they handy to have? - Yes, it's much easier to look at your watch for the tide than to take your phone out, unlock it, open an app then fine the tide chart in the app.
I mentioned on one of these threads a while ago that I got a Ripcurl Ultimate Tidemaster as a present for my 40th birthday. I always wear it in the surf, they're made of solid titanium and are just about bullet proof.
After nearly six years it's still going strong and I've had the battery replaced 3 times. It's handy as I divide my time between the East Coast and South Oz so I can change the tide settings for wherever I am, there's 200 surfing locations worldwide programmed into the watch. And you don't need mobile phone/ internet to get tide times which is handy in remote locations.
Last time I took it in for a new battery the guy at the Ripcurl shop said they don't make them anymore but that they only ever see them back for battery replacements. Nothing really goes wrong with them it seems?
Mind you it cost $1000 retail and my family and a few friends pitched in for it. When I bought it the sales guy offered to throw in one of the standard $200 Ripcurl plastic tide watches to seal the deal. A mate grabbed the plastic one off me for $200 to help me out so I got it for $800.
I was surfing with the same mate a few months ago when the plastic cheapy finally shit itself so that's not too bad a run for a $200 watch battered around in the surf for 5 1/2 years?
Interested to hear people recommendations on Tide watches. Anything from $100-$450