Best Watches for Summer Destinations

The world is coming back to life as we put lockdowns behind us, and all of it is happening just in time for the summer. Airports are once again bustling and Americans are eager to hit the road like never before.

As you pack your bags and finalize your itinerary, there’s one travel essential you shouldn’t forget: a timepiece. Bringing the right watch not only offers a sense of preparedness but also ensures that you travel in style.

SwissWatchExpo picked out the best watches for Forbes Travel Guides’ destination picks for July 2021.

 

Panerai
Panerai Luminor 1950 Flyback Chronograph Steel Watch PAM00653

 

FLORENCE, ITALY

The Italian city of Florence is known for architecture, fashion, and culture that will make the most seasoned traveler swoon. Its consistent sunshine in July means longer days to marvel at its churches and terracotta rooftops, do wine tastings, or learn about its rich artisan culture.

Italian watch brand Panerai traces its roots to Florence, where its signature robust case and striking minimalist aesthetic was born. The unmistakable Italian design is perfect for every travel situation, whether you’re traversing the narrow streets of Florence or enjoying Tuscan wine.

 


 

Pepsi
Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi Bezel Jubilee Steel Mens Watch 126710

 

NEW YORK

Summer is one of the best times to visit New York City. With many of the locals migrating to the Hamptons to cool down, you can have the Big Apple almost all to yourself. Enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s many parks, try out the hip and unique dining venues, or raise a glass to the city’s best libations.

We’d pack the most iconic GMT watch for the city that never sleeps. The Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi transcended its aviation beginnings to become one of the most recognizable and stylish watches ever. The blue and red bezel is there for more than a dash of color – it helps the wearer read two time zones at once.

 


 

Mother of Pearl
Rolex Datejust 36 Steel Rose Gold MOP Diamond Unisex Watch 126281

 

BAHAMAS

Unfathomably clear waters and the best spas the world has to offer beckon travelers to the Bahamas all year round. The months of June to November may mean increased chances of rain, but there should still be plenty of time for walks along the sandy beach and lounging in rustic beach huts.

Our choice accessory would be a mother of pearl dial. The shimmery, iridescent material will not only lend sparkle to your resort wear, it’s also made of natural material, meaning no two watches will ever be alike.

 


 

Pilot Mark XVIII
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII Black Dial Automatic Mens Watch IW327007

 

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

Many have fallen in love with Asheville for its natural wonders. The mountain locale, nearby waterfalls, and wide array of holistic spas are perfect for melting away quarantine fatigue. When you’re done exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, do enjoy the artsy, bohemian vibe of downtown Asheville.

We’d bring a watch that’s robust enough for strenuous activity and versatile enough for daily wear. The IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII had its start as a military-inspired cockpit instrument but the minimalist dial makes it a perfect daily wearer.

 


 

Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak White Dial Steel Mens Watch 14790ST

 

CHICAGO

With its seemingly endless list of museums, restaurants, sites, and swanky hotels, there’s no shortage of things to do in Chicago. The main draw for travelers, however, seems to be the plethora of architectural styles – from skyscrapers and monumental sculptures to colorful neighborhoods and green spaces. The Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago offers sweeping views of the city, while the Millennium Park is a favorite for its Instagrammable structures.

Indulge your taste for art and architecture with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Its geometric shape was a trailblazer in the watch industry, and is now firmly ensconced in the list of iconic timepieces that withstand change.

 


 

President Day Date
Rolex Day-Date 40 President Rose Gold Sundust Dial Watch 228235

 

LAS VEGAS

Carved out in the middle of a desert landscape, Las Vegas seems like a world of its own with its casinos, luxury hotels, A-list entertainers, and celebrity chef fine dining. There’s still so much more to Vegas than its nightlife however – with its close proximity to national parks, botanical gardens, and wildlife habitat, there’s truly something for everyone in Las Vegas.

It’s almost imperative to dress to the nines when you’re in Vegas, and there’s nothing like a Rolex Day-Date on your wrist. The President’s watch is immediately recognizable on your wrist, yet not out of place with casual ensembles. Up the ante with diamonds for a maximalist look.

 


 

Cartier
Cartier Tank Louis 18k Yellow Gold Deployant Buckle Mens Watch

 

PARIS

The romance and glamour of Paris is well-documented, but it never fails to attract travelers from all over the world. July presents mild weather and sunny days perfect for soaking up the cobbled walkways and beautiful heritage monuments. Balmy afternoons and evenings are great for exploring museums and galleries and winding down at cozy cafes.

Channel Parisian chic with a timepiece that’s nonchalantly elegant. French jeweler and luxury watchmaker Cartier is world renowned for refined and classic designs that remain in sync with current times. Their iconic Cartier Tank watch has been worn by the most stylish men and women and earned a reputation as the watch to wear of the 20th Century.

 


 

Datejust
Rolex Datejust Steel Yellow Gold Green Diamond Dial Watch 126233

 

BOSTON

Boston is a place where old and new meet. All around the city are cobblestone streets lined with high-end boutiques, performance theatres right beside happening nightclubs, and Freedom Trail landmarks marked by cutting edge restaurants. Boston is also home to the country’s biggest sports fans – no trip is complete without watching a game in a packed stadium.

When it comes to watches, there’s no other watch that has transcended styles and trends like the Rolex Datejust. The classic Oyster case, date aperture and Jubilee bracelet were so elegantly conceived that even with countless variations available, the Datejust remains more or less in its original form. Fit right in with the Boston Celtics fans by sporting their signature green color.

 


 

Yachtmaster
Rolex Yachtmaster White Gold Black Rubber Strap Mens Watch 226659

 

SAN DIEGO

The idyllic city of San Diego is the place to be for a laid-back vacation. With the glorious 70-mile California coastline rumbling past it, it’s famous for its beaches and vibrant surf culture — but it also has family-friendly attractions. Compelling museums, larger-than-life outdoor art, and plenty of gorgeous parks can be enjoyed without spending a dime.

The Rolex Yachtmaster is the perfect summer bling. Made for yachting and sailing enthusiasts, the Yachtmaster is a luxury offering with rugged durability. Paired with the robust yet comfortable Oysterflex bracelet, it will bring a breath of fresh air to your wrist.

 


 

Seamaster
Omega Seamaster James Bond Limited Mens Watch 210.22.42.20.01.004

 

LONDON

Undisputedly one of the world’s greatest cities, London is a melting pot of the historic and the modern. Alongside time-honored and monumental landmarks and architecture, the city is awash with culture, arts, and swanky experiences, and blazing the high-tech trail with skyscrapers and start-ups.

Of course, London is also the city that 007 called home. A tour of all the filming locations is something travelers can enjoy, James Bond fan or not. While you’re at it, why not strap on an Omega Seamaster? Bond has worn it with anything from a rugged ensemble to under the cuff of a tuxedo.

 


 

Zenith
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Power Reserve Watch 03.2085.4021

 

SANTA FE

Known as “The City Different”, Santa Fe lives up to its name. A celebrated mecca for museum lovers, with more than 200 galleries and a dozen museums all across the city, it has become a home for countless talented artists. Aside from the art scene, its charming neighborhoods and historic adobes are also a sight to see.

If you march to the beat of your own drum, then you’ll love the Zenith El Primero. Meaning “the first”, the El Primero was the first high-frequency automatic chronograph movement ever made. Today, Zenith uses the El Primero movement with avantgarde designs and innovative materials, making it the choice of discerning watch lovers who want to stand out.

 

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