You don't necessarily want to take an expensive watch with you on holiday, especially if you're planning to be active. You'll want it to look good, though, to tell the time clearly, so that your jet-lagged brain isn't further befuddled, and to be waterproof enough for it not to matter if it falls into a pool or you jump off the side of the boat forgetting you have it on. And, given all that, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you can get for your money.
Timex Sleek Ironman 150-lap
For runners, Timex's Ironman series is a gem among sport watches. In producing the low-cost Sleek 150-lap last year, though, the purveyors of reliably well-designed, top-value watches, surpassed themselves. The big innovation: tap-screen technology, so that you can activate the stopwatch or interval timer without fiddling with buttons. It's water-resistant to 10 metres, so you can swim with it, too.
£80 (Dh474) from Watch Gallery, Hour Choice, Mall of the Emirates, or timexironman.com.
Swatch Full-Blooded SVCK4032G
In its gold aluminium case with gold stainless steel bracelet, this city-swank number looks considerably pricier than it is - partly because it doesn't scream Swatch. Luminous hands make it easy to read, and the 12 crystal hour-markers, date display, and chronograph with three sub-dials - showing 60 minutes, seconds,and tenths of a second - are all well placed. Water resistant to 30m.
US$120 (Dh441) from Swatch, Mall of the Emirates (00 971 4 341 4453, swatch.com).
Nixon Time Teller P
In different shades of polycarbonate, with a moulded polyurethane strap, this is so basic that all it does is tell you the time and let you fall in the pool - it's water-resistant to 10m. Whether it will survive to winter is debatable. But its jolt of colour turns one's thoughts instantly to lazy days by the beach.
£55 (Dh326) from (00 44 20 3471 4510, Net-a-Porter.com).
Keep on the path with more practical and stylish gear at Travel Essentials.