The Nixon Base Tide Pro is a bright, bold, rugged, and useful watch for the hardcore surfer and hardcore style addict. Its plastic body, good water resistance, and custom-tailored surf break tide database make it an easy go-to for spending a summer living by the beach and surfing regularly. However, I live in Colorado, where there is sadly no ocean. I wore the Base Tide Pro daily for a bit, on hikes through the rockies, around town, and in the pool.

The Base Tide Pro delivers a double-overhead dose of durability and functionality. Featuring 500 pre-programmed tides and sunrise/sunset locations inside a tough-as-nails case, the Base Tide Pro is one of the toughest in the lineup.

First Impressions

It’s bright blue! Yep, the Base Tide Pro sent to me is a very bright blue color – and I kinda like it. It’s certainly something I’d wear everyday, but it’s definitely fun for wearing on the weekends, in the water, and on adventures. The watch is big and bold, including a chunky case, big easy to press buttons, and big numbers on the display. I was also struck by the nice feeling rubber strap.

On the Wrist

Because of the way the strap lies on the wrist, the sleek screw-in lugs, rounded curves, and easy to push buttons, wearing the Base Tide Pro is actually a pleasure. Sur it’s big and chunky, but it wears like a smaller watch. Glancing at the time is easy, and pushing buttons – even with gloves on – is similarly easy. The strap is long, so on my medium size wrists that leaves a good amount of strap hanging out. Luckily there’s a very very secure strap keeper, with interlocking elements to keep it nice and secure, even in the waves. Although I don’t live near any of the surf breaks in its database (uh, Colorado…), I actually grew to really like the tide graph – a soothing wave moving slowly all day. Nice.

Feature Review

  • Pre-programmed tide information for 550 beaches around the world – Really cool it has such a large database. I have mine programmed for La Push, Washington.
  • Time of day (12 hour or 24 hour) – Super easy to glance at the time with the big display
  • Day/date – Equally easy to read
  • Sunrise / sunset data – Unfortunately, this gets set from the same database as the surf breaks – so I couldn’t set it to Denver (where I live). But if you live near a surf break, this is a nice feature.
  • Future and past tide – Yep, it works, from the same database.
  • Dual time – Know a good time to call home.
  • Alarm – Alarm sound is not super loud, but works. Not enough to wake me up reliably.
  • Countdown timer – Yep.
  • Wave counter – Essentially the same as the “lap” feature on any other sports chronograph. But still a cool implementation.
  • Chronograph – Yep.
  • EL backlight – great backlight, and much better than LED backlights IMHO.


  • Expand the sunrise/set database to more cities not tied to surf breaks.
  • Add solar charging if you can?
  • Else, not much is wrong with this watch. It works, has cool features for surfing, is fun, and inexpensive.

Should You Buy It?

If you’re spending the summer surfing and living at a surf break, then this would be a really really great option. It’s fun and durable, and could handle a summer in the waves. It’s also a cool fashion statement.

Final Thoughts

The Nixon Base Tide Pro is a fun, durable, and useful surfing instrument easily suited for an entire summer of fun in the waves. Grab it the next time you do a summer beach house rental.

  • Brand & Model: Nixon Base Tide Pro
  • Price: $125
  • Who we think it might be for: Stylish surfers living and breathing surfing for summers on end.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Add a few more graphical features – a sunset/rise graph, etc.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: Bold design, focus on surfing. Cool!


  • Watch Movement – Custom digital module with pre-programmed tide information for 550 beaches around the world. Functions include time of day (12 hour or 24 hour), day/date, sunrise / sunset data, future and past tide, dual time, alarm, countdown timer, wave counter, chronograph and an EL backlight.
  • Watch Dial – Negative LCD with a printed tide graph.
  • Watch Case – 42mm, 100 meter/10 ATM custom TR90 case with hardened mineral crystal, custom water resistant PC pushers, stainless steel screw down case back.
  • Watch Band – 24mm custom injection molded silicone band with double locking looper and solid stainless steel buckle with stainless steel screw bar connections.
  • Water Rating- 100 METER / 10 ATM

ByJeffrey Donenfeld

Wrist Watch Review Writer Jeffrey Donenfeld lives in Colorado and reviews products at his website. An accomplished adventure traveler, antarctic expedition director, and rescue scuba diver, Jeffrey has tested and reviewed watches in a multitude of challenging environments. Jeffrey loves exploring design, construction, materials, and utility aspects of horology, and gets a kick out of both classics as well as fresh new ideas. He typically tests extensively watches he writes about, and provides readers with a real-world, practical take on diverse timepieces. In addition to writing about time, Jeffrey also works as a venture capital investment manager at a growing startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado. In his free time he travels (70+ countries and counting), snowboards, rock climbs, runs, sails, scuba dives, and occasionally relaxes.

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