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Swimming outdoors in July is one thing, but heading to the beach for a dip in the winter is another entirely. Cold water swimming, however, has recently become increasingly popular, with practitioners praising its health benefits and posting their exploits on social media. The process is pretty simple: find a cold body of water, wade in, and — with the help of breathing exercises and repeated exposure — gradually build up your tolerance over time. While you don’t need anything other than a pair of swim trunks and an iron-clad resolve to give it a try, timing your plunges will require a watch built to stand up to immersion in bone-chilling temperatures. Any of these should be more than up to the task.

Tudor Pelagos FXD

The Tudor Pelagos is widely known as one of the most capable diver’s watches out there, and that’s especially true of the GPHG award-winning FXD. Designed in collaboration with divers from Marine Nationale, the French navy, its 42mm titanium case and unique fixed strap design make it the perfect accessory for a dip in the Atlantic, with or without a wetsuit. ($4,930)

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech

Every Panerai watch is descended from ones designed to meet the requirements of elite navy divers, but some models are more hardcore than others. This one, whose name contains a nod to Panerai’s military heritage, is specced out to the nines, with a beefy 47mm case made out of Carbotech, Panerai’s proprietary carbon fibre alloy. In addition to its lightness and strength, Carbotech is also notably resistant to corrosion – an important consideration for anyone swimming in the ocean. ($25,300)

Hamilton Khaki Navy BelowZero

Despite its name, this heavy-duty diver’s watch isn’t specifically designed for diving in sub-zero temperatures. That said, it is most definitely up to the task and then some, thanks to a titanium case that’s water-resistant to 1,000 metres and a helium escape valve for ultra-deep descents. If it was good enough to weather the chilly martian night in The Martian, it’ll be just fine for Lake Ontario in March. ($2,450)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300

Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Special Editions

Sometimes it’s hard to choose a favourite, and such is definitely the case with this trio of Prospex re-editions released by Seiko to commemorate the brand’s history of sending its watches on polar expeditions. In addition to bona fides like a screw-down crown, Lumibrite hands and indexes, and 200m water resistance, each watch features a dial inspired by a different kind of ice, making any of them an ideal companion for a frosty dip. (from $1,625)

The post The Best Watches for Winter Swimming appeared first on Sharp Magazine.

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