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Choosing a Tough and Rugged Watches For Your Kids

If you are looking a watch for your kids, whether for personal gift, a birthday present, graduations or just for fun, one should keep in mind a few things. Especially if your kids start to actively playing outdoor and sometimes end up damaging his own watches. What kind of tough and rugged watches should I go with? 

Cheap Watch is the best option?

If you believe that your kids won’t be able to take proper care of the watch, then most mom’s and dad’s thinks there is no point getting an expensive watch for their kids. Fun cartoon figures like a Micky Mouse, Ben Ten, Lego Watch and other action heroes are really easy to be found in the market with a low price.

However, the cheaper ones even though they might seem attractive, these are typically very short, especially when your child really likes outdoor activities.

On the other hand, the expensive ones will look good and also serve them for years to come, so it will last longer therefore you don’t have to get rid of it within few months or even years.

Water Resistance

Choosing a watches with a water resistance feature are usually the best choice. Kids waterproof watches are a bit ‘tough and rugged enough’ . Most children are very attracted to things with water, but often do not know that a little water can damage the watch. Although manufacturers will indicate at what depth of water the watch can still function.

Surely, you don’t want to see the sad look on your kids face when you show them the watch is damaged when you at a swimming pool or your favorite beach.

Plus kids waterproof watches are very reasonable. It will surely find some that are very expensive, but it is only a variety.

Between Digital and Analog Watch

For a 5-6 year old, I would personally suggest an Analog-Only. Sometimes she/he can’t tell time yet but I think it’s better for kids to start telling time and teaching them the concept of time. We can help him understand how long certain things like recently the birthday party of a friend or the duration is one hour, how long before dinner, etc.

So, in my opinion, it’s not good to get used to the digital ones at this early age. Anything that lights up should go over well.

I don’t think there’s anything ‘evil’ about digital watches, but given that so much is still done with analog, they should learn to read it to be literate.

Analog watches for kid are slowly becoming outdated in the mainstream these days (yes, yes… most of the expensive watches are still analog). But then again, it’s up to you to decide.

Give Them The Real Watch

I have an eight years old son who love wear watch, either analog or digital. When he turn 5, I bought him a very hot (that what he said) Ben Ten analog watch, and he was very proud when finally he learned how to tell a time with a real watch.

But he’s very rough on watches. Since then, he just broke his 3th or 4th watch, he’s gone through several Casio watches and a couple of other brands as well. He loves the water so he soaked one to death, but it’s all a matter of the watches not standing up to the treatment my kid seems to dish out.

So, I’m thinking its time to give my son a real tough watch that can take some abuse and still work. When I’m finally buy one of G-Shock Military Inspired series, G-shock DW-6900MS, I’m also bought the DW-5600MS for him (for me actually ) and surprisingly… he loves it.

I thought he wants modern things with cool and aggressive looking watch, but no… He really loves the color. To be honest, it’s too dark for him. But if you aren’t visually challenged you can see the numbers just fine. If the ambient lighting is insufficient there’s a built in solution. Hit the illuminator button and presto!! It’s magic.

My Son with DW5600MS

My Son with G-Shock DW-5600MS

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My son wearing DW-6900MS

My son not a big kid by any mean, but it didn’t ridiculous on him despite his skinny arm. It’s fit really well and he still wears it every single day. One more thing, why he loves that watch? Just because he is a big Justin Bieber fan. And he has the same G-Shock watch… oohh well.

Having said that, below, you’ll find some of the tough watches for kids that are most popular in the market both in analog or digitals.

G-Shock S-Series

G-Shock S-Series recent addition to the G-Shock family that has smaller dimensions compare with original G-Shock models. There were two models available right now. The GMD-S6900 and GMA-S110 Series; Both lines are available in a wide variety of eye-catching colors.

G-Shock GDM-S6900 S-Series

S-Series might be smaller in size, but that does not mean G-Shock cut into the functions. The GMD-S6900 S-Series features are the same as classic looks of the G-Shock 6900 series but in a smaller size.

g-shock-gmd-s6900sm-4-series

G-Shock GMD-S6900SM-4 S-Series.

g-shock-gmd-s6900-series-models

They packed with features like:

  • EL Backlight w/Afterglow for high visibility under low-light conditions
  • Three multi-function alarms.
  • 1/100th stopwatch, countdown timer.
  • 12/24-hour time formats and 48-city world time.
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G-Shock GDA-S110 S-Series

While the GMA-S110 Series base on G-Shock GA-110 with a high-tech and modern design. All G-Shock GMA-S110 models equipped with an auto LED light with afterglow, 4 daily alarms, an hourly time signal, 1/1000 second stopwatch, countdown timer, 48-city world time with 29 time zones and are shock resistant, magnetic resistant and water resistant to 200M.

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G-Shock GMA-S6900CM-8 S-Series.

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G-Shock GMA-S110CM S-Series Military Collection

Price : The G-Shock GMD-S6900 S-Series has retail price between $100 USD – $150 USD, depending on the models  , while G-Shock GMA-S110 series has retail price around $130 – $160 USD . See here for more complete S-Series models and current price on Amazon.
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G-Shock Mini Series

Before the G-Shock releasing  the S-Series, there was the G-Shock Mini Series, G-Shock Mini is also a “Small Version” base on of the original G-Shock models that have bigger dimensions and a rugged design that appeals more to men adult.

Basically, G-Shock Mini marketed to girl and teenager and available in some catchy colors variations, but there are also suitable for boys and girls who want a smaller G-Shock.

G-SHOCK MINI GMN-691-7AJF

G-Shock GMN-691-7A Mini Series.

g-shock-mini-gmn-691-7a-vs-gw-8900a-7a

G-Shock Mini GMN-691-7A vs G-Shock GW-8900A-7A

There are several different models to choose; including the GMN-691 and GMN-692 series  based on the classic G-Shock DW-6900, the GMN-550 based on the G-Shock DW-5500, and the GMN-50G based on the analog-digital G-Shock AW-500 Series.

The G-Shock Mini line features;

  • Shock resistance.
  • Water resistance to 100 meters.
  • Auto EL backlight with afterglow.
  • World time (48 cities)
  • Daily alarms.
  • Stopwatch, Countdown timer, and 12/24 formats.
Casio G-Shock Mini Watch GMN-550-1BJR

Casio G-Shock Mini Watch GMN-550-1BJR

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g-shock-mini-series-models

For anybody who is looking for a stylish watches for their kids, but still tough, the new G-Shock Mini models could be the one you are looking for.

Price : Depending on the model, The G-Shock GMN-691 and GMN-692  between $90 USD – $110 USD,  , while G-Shock GMN-550 series  around $90 – $1100 USD . G-Shock GMN-50G models are hard to find these days, but if you are lucky it could around $90 USD.  See here for more complete S-Series models and current price on Amazon.

Casio Baby-G Watches for Kids?

As I’m mention earlier, G-Shock watches are a great choice for your kid too with their active lifestyles. With a G-Shock you really don’t have to worry about them breaking it. But you may want to consider the Casio Baby-G series; A sister brand to G-Shock.

The Baby-G line has the same shock resistance and high-quality construction as a G-Shock. They are also water resistant to at least 100 meters making them suitable for swimming. Baby-G is designed for women but is also a good choice for children due to its smaller size. The following Baby-G watches are recommended for kids and would make great choices for women too.

Bear in mind, if your kids, especially, the boys, like my sons which doesn’t want to wear watch with the word “BABY” on it, I suggest G-Shock Mini or S-Series would be a better choice.

Baby-G BA-110BC Series

Casio Baby-G BA-110BC is a tough-looking analog/digital hybrid that is the mini version of the popular G-Shock GA-110 series. This watch is only water resistant to 100 meters rather than the usual 200, making it fine for swimming but not for diving. There are several different color variations to choose;  black, blue, and yellow.

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Price : Baby-G BA-110BC series has retail price around $900 USD . see here for the current price from Amazon.
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Baby-G BGD-500 Series.

In 2014; for celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, Casio releasing Baby-G BGD-500 series, base on original style of DW-520; the first Baby-G series. Baby-G BGD-500 series come out with three different color variation, the turquois blue BGD-500-3 used in the original DW-520, black BGD-500-1 and yellow BDG-500-9 – all model complete with a cute roundish “G” logo at front.

CASIO BABY-G 20TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES BGD-500-3JR

BABY-G BGD-500-3JR

Baby-G BGD-500 Series Limited Edition – 20th Anniversary Collection.

Baby-G BGD-500 Series Limited Edition – 20th Anniversary Collection.

Price range from $75 USD– $120 USD. Check the current on Amazon here

Casio MW-59-7 Series

There are a bunch of non G-Shock options with simple design yet comfortable and durable enough to withstand outdoor activity, Casio MW-59-7 Series is great to begin.  Cheap, simple, black, comfortable, and the face is large enough to read the time and date easily . This watch can be worn when showering and bathing – it is tested for water resistance up to 5 bar / 50 meters.

Casio MW59-1

Casio MW59-7 – Simple and Durable.

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Price: $15USD– $20 USD. Check the current price on Amazon here.
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Timex Kids’ T79051 “My First” Stainless Steel and Velcro Strap Watch

If your children is rough on his stuff, you can chose Timex T79051 Kids watch for him because it has a mineral glass crystal instead of the more common acrylic plastic crystal. The glass is harder and more scratch resistant, plus, watch fastens with a sturdy black strap.

TIMEX CHILDRENS INDIGLO MY FIRST OUTDOOR WATCH

Timex Kids’ T79051 – “My First” Outdoor Watch

The slightly over-sized case looks bulky in the pictures, but it’s much better proportioned when you see it in person, and it provides excellent protection to the crown. Can’t say enough about this watch. you won’t be disappointed.

Price : At Timex official site, the retail price is around $20 USD or you can see here for discounted price on Amazon.
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Timex Expediton T48061

If your kids are “watch destroyer” (just my little kid), the Timex  Expedition T48061 it’s a perfect choice because this casual digital outdoor watch is designed to withstand the rigors of everyday use. Although the description says “Full-Size,” it is quite a bit smaller than other Timex Expedition and Ironman watches. So, it’s a perfect size for your kid’s (dimensions: 38×11 mm)

This watch comes with a Chronograph, Fast-Wrap® Velcro® Strap and INDIGLO Night-Light with Night-Mode. Other features include 100M water resistance, two-Time Zone, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer & Alarm.

Price : At Timex official site, the retail price for imex Expediton T48061 around $40 USD or you can see here for discounted price on Amazon.

Fun to Formal – Sporty to Silly

Kids are tough on watches and that’s a fact. If you’re looking for tough watches for active children, basically you give them easy choices that range from fun to formal, sporty to silly. And make them more mainstream. Brands like I’m mentioning above are an obvious choice to start all this.

*This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.

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2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Donna Brown at

    I have a ylung grandson with a birthday next month. The Casio G Shock mini series GM 550-1CJR, in green, is SO him!!! The problem is, I have been to about 20 different sites, including Amazon, and I can’t locate one! Would you have any idea where a grandma could get this GREAT birthday present, for a very worthy grandson? I would be very grateful! Thank You!

    • Reply
      Nara at

      If you mean a G-Shock Mini Green GMN-550-1CJR, you can still found it on Amazon or Ebay.
      Try this link : G-Shock Mini GMN-550-1CJR
      I hope it helps.

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