And Success! An analog tide watch that meets the need.
The Rip Curl Tidemaster watches have what a body needs on the beach. When you’re carrying your fins, mask, and snorkel or your surfboard out the the jeep, you don’t want to have to run back to check the tide charts. Rather than bother with the chart in the newspaper or on the web, carry the current tide information with you.
The Rip Curl Tidemaster Automatic Tide System (ATS) gives you an easily read and intuitive display of tide data. Two sub-dials provide tide information. The one at 3:00 indicates the current tide and is marked in thirty minute intervals. High, low, coming or going out is discernable at a glance, and with only slighty more effort you can read the time to or since the tide you’re interested in. The second subdial at 9:00 is for spring and neap tides, indicating how great the difference between high and low tide will be (spring tides are the extreme of difference, and neap are the least change between high and low). Comparing the two dials give you a good idea of what sort of tides and water levels are waiting for you on the reef and allow for some degree of planning for the day.
The watch is a bit on the chunky side at 43-44mm w/o the crown, and not quite 12mm thick. The hands are silver. Because of this, you may prefer the black dial to the silver dial as the lack of contrast makes it a little difficult to read. The luminous material on the hands is adequate, but there is no luminous reference on the dial, making it less friendly at night. The date is a little small but legible. The moon phase display is easily read and adjusted. The unidirectional bezel is calibrated as a conventional dive bezel, but also has markings to help track surf heats (gives you the time remaining out of twenty minutes). And the crown is well protected by ears on the case. The polyurethane strap has an excellent feel to it, solid and comfortable despite the weight of the watch, but I’ve had bad experiences with PU straps and and adopting the “wait and see” position on that.
On the plus side, the strap will fit over a wetsuit, or can fit your little grom’s wrist.
There are several traits to quibble over on this watch, but it fits the need for a tide watch well and is solid and comfortable, and there are several other models with this movement (including the titanium case and bracelet… Nice!)