The Nixon Base Tide Pro is a durable sports watch that’s ideal for anyone wanting a clear reference to local tides. Toby Hodges puts it through a six-month test
I live in a tidal area, where the height and times of the tides are crucial to deciding whether we can get afloat. Tide tables and sailing apps help most of the time, but that is not necessarily instantly attainable information.
The appeal of Nixon’s new Base Tide Pro, which is designed for surfers – hence the funky colours – was its ability to show a clear tide graph on the home screen. This, combined with digital watch functions including a countdown timer, would suit my needs well, I reasoned.
The watch is pre-loaded with tidal data for 550 locations worldwide for 15 years. However, as this selection is designed to cover the major surf spots around the world, there are only five locations for England (14 in the UK) with pre-programmed tide data. The closest location to my homeport is therefore 40 miles away, in St Austell. Thankfully St Austell’s tide times are within a few minutes of my south Devon harbour so have actually worked out fine.
You can customise tide times by using the ‘basic tide’ mode and inputting your local times and heights into that algorithm, but I found that doesn’t provide total accuracy and requires resetting occasionally to keep it in sync.
For those after more functionality, there are other GPS and wifi-enabled tide watches now available that allow users to update and check the conditions in any location in real-time. The Base Tide Pro has a dedicated tide page as well as one for sunrise and sunset times (plus dates in the future), which I like, along with normal digital watch benefits such as dual time, timer and alarm.
It has proved to be a brilliant, durable watch in general over the last six months. I particularly like the rugged silicone strap with double lock, the chunky buttons, the backlit display and the colour options (mine’s bright orange). It’s also waterproof to 100m/10ATM. But it is a big unit – so large that some people assume it’s some sort of fitness computer – and some identification of the five different button modes would be useful.
An affordable durable sports watch with clear tide info. For those looking for more detailed tidal data, Nixon, along with other competitor brands, has more sophisticated tide watches in its range, such as the Supertide and Ultratide. I found the Base Tide Pro a good compromise of cost and performance.