The watch community has a penchant for abbreviations, jargon, and nicknames. From strap monster (a watch that pairs well with a variety of straps) and wrist check (identifying the current model on your wrist to a fellow watch nerd) to Batman (the blue and black Rolex GMT-Master II) and Speedy (the Omega Speedmaster chronograph), watch folk often speak in code.
A relatively new term that’s cropping up is the GADA watch, which stands for a Go Anywhere, Do Anything watch. As its name suggests, a GADA is an easy-to-wear timepiece that’ll match almost all your outfits and be suitable for just about all your daily activities. It’s not fussy or over-the-top but never sloppy or inappropriate either. It’s not trend-driven but rather, timeless in design so that won’t go out of fashion. In short, the GADA watch is the right blend of style, versatility, and quality for the one that wears it.
Of course, a go-anywhere-do-anything watch looks different to different people — it depends on one’s lifestyle, taste, wrist size, and budget. Therefore, we’ve set out a couple of parameters to accommodate a wider audience. For our top GADA watch picks, we’ve chosen models that come in a range of sizes and materials because one size (or metal) does not fit all. We’ve also opted for watches that are relatively simple in functionality because a GADA should never be high maintenance. And finally, we’ve selected watches from popular Swiss watch brands, such as Rolex, Omega, Tudor, and Longines to ensure long-lasting quality. With that in mind, here are some of our GADA watches right now.
While certainly not as hyped up as the Submariner, Daytona, or GMT-Master, the Datejust is arguable the quintessential Rolex watch. The Datejust has been a mainstay in Rolex’s catalog since 1945 and since then, the collection has expanded to include a vast assortment of sizes, materials, and colorways. What always remains constant is the date window at 3 o’clock on the dial, magnified by a Cyclops lens above it.
Regardless of your taste, you’ll likely find a Rolex Datejust that’ll speak to you. From sporty all-steel Datejust 41mm models with Oyster bracelets and midsize two-tone Datejust 36mm variants with Jubilee bracelets to precious metal petite Lady-Datejust editions with President bracelets, the choices are endless. Plus, since Datejust watches are both water-resistant (to 100 meters) and automatic, they’re perfectly suited as a GADA watch.
Omega is never one to shy away from variety – one look at the brand’s collections and you’ll soon see that almost all are offered in various sizes and metals. However, the Aqua Terra is perhaps the most varied of all Omega collections, with hundreds of watches on offer (possibly thousands if you include discontinued models) thanks to all the ways you can configure the watch.
Though Omega does make some more complicated versions of the Aqua Terra, for a GADA watch, we’d recommend the standard time and date models, which offer fantastic dial legibility regardless if you go for a small 28mm model, large 41mm model, or other sizes in between. All Omega Aqua Terra watches are water-resistant to 150 meters deep, which means they can seamlessly go from boardroom to beach without a hitch.
Making go-anywhere-do-anything watches seems to be at the core of what Tudor does – the majority of Tudor watches can be classified as daily drivers. However, if we had to pick one, we’d nominate the Black Bay 32/36/41 line, which as its title suggests, offers 32mm, 36mm, and 41mm sizes to ensure a nice fit for most wrists. The time-only dials of these steel Tudor Black Bays are sporty yet simple, featuring large luminous hour markers and the brand’s signature “Snowflake” style handset.
However, if you want to go a touch dressier for your GADA, Tudor also offers the new Black Bay 31/36/39/41 S&G collection of two-tone steel and gold watches. What’s more, there’s an additional 39mm size available within this collection, which many will agree is a Goldilocks size.
The Longines Spirit watches may be vintage-inspired in aesthetics but these striking pilot-themed watches have only been around for a few years. As such, they blend old and new together, combining heritage design cues such as dial designs borrowed from vintage Longines aviation watches with modern considerations like different sizes, various dial colors, and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
Longines makes Spirit watches in 37mm, 40mm, and 42mm case sizes, along with time-only and time and date variations. While most of these are crafted from stainless steel, there are also some lightweight titanium versions on offer. The highly readable dial, chronometer-certified automatic movement, and 100-meter water resistance all make for a great value-driven GADA watch that punches above its weight class.
I recently read someone’s comment on a watch forum that admitted that he prefers the name GAADAA, as in “go almost anywhere, do almost anything” over the demanding GADA moniker.
I think this is more accurate since there isn’t one watch to rule them all – rather, there’s a fantastic assortment out there, such as the ones we’ve outlined above, that can be the right watch in nearly all circumstances. And that, in my opinion, is more than enough.