Technology marches on as does time, and in this case, we’re going to take a look at both technology and time. We recently received an Origo Fishing Pro watch for review, and it does just about everything you can ask short of scooping the fish out of the water for you.
For some reason, I became the guy that never wore a watch. Any time I wanted to know, well, the time, I would take my cell phone out of its holster and check it there. I guess part of the reason was that I only had dress watches for work and other similar occasions and they did nothing but tell the time. So, I lost interest in wearing one after a while, but Origo has an offering that makes it a little more fun and useful to have a watch around–especially when you’re in the outdoors. Origo has a new Guide Pro series of watches including their Hunting Pro watch and their Fishing Pro watch. We received the Fishing Pro for review and the main difference between it and the Hunting Pro is the Fishing Pro has tide tables where the Hunting Pro can store ballistic tables for your favorite rounds. Other than that, they are pretty similar offerings and quite an attractive package overall no matter which one you choose.
Of course, with today’s technology, the Fishing Pro is digital and sports nice large numbers that are easy to read. I’ve had watches that have only the hour and minute hand and you have to guess what time it is based on their relative position. Those aren’t for me. If that’s not enough, the Fishing Pro not only offers your time, but you can set your watch to “Visit” mode for the place you are currently. Or, if you just want to know what time it is somewhere else in the world, you can use this function as well. I’m not a world traveler, but I do make some international calls from time to time, so this function is actually pretty handy. Also, you can use the World Time feature for this purpose as well. The instruction book that comes with the Fishing Pro is pretty detailed so it doesn’t take much time to get everything set up correctly, even daylight savings time. This is an important thing to set since it will help out with other functions on the watch, which we’ll discuss later.
For the outdoors folks, the Fishing Pro comes packed with a number of features that’ll make your trip a bit more productive. First, you’ve got a Barometer on hand to help you get a feel for what the weather is going to do with the built in weather forecast mode, and most real fisherman are always going to pay attention to the barometric pressure when they’re out for the day. The barometer has a trend graph with up to a 1m bar resolution in the display, so you’re getting some decent information out of such a small package. And, if you’re not sure how barometric pressure factors into the fishing equation, there are plenty of resources on the net to tell you what to look for and how to set about your day to get the best results based on what’s going on around you.
Whether you are hunting, fishing, or just a hiker or backpacker out in the woods, the altimeter will come in handy as well. This gives you your altitude relative to sea level. It also has a graph display and you can use the lock feature to avoid any misreadings due to weather changes. And, if you’re in a hurry to the summit to catch the sunset, you can pace yourself by using the built in sunrise and sunset feature. You can do this a couple of ways. You can either just check the time of the next sunrise or sunset, or you can use the countdown feature. This is actually a good motivator to keep you going since you see the time slipping away each time you take a peek at it. Getting the correct times for the sunrise and sunset feature is why you need to make sure you have the daylight savings time feature set correctly for the Fishing Pro. If not, you can be an hour off in your reckoning and end up being disappointed. So, make sure to have this enabled when you set the watch’s settings the first time.
To help you along on the trail, the Fishing Pro (and Hunter Pro) includes a digital compass as well. As most able navigators will tell you, you’ll have to calibrate your compass so you’ll get the correct reading during the orienteering process. The Fishing Pro allows you to compensate for the difference between true north and magnetic north by setting the declination angle for the area in which you are using the compass feature. The instruction book provides a list of major cities and their declination angles to assist you in getting the the electronic compass calibrated correctly. If you plan on using the compass feature a lot, I’d advise you to take your time reading the instructions since it’s a little complicated. In fact, the instructions for the compass are the most comprehensive of any feature offered on the Fishing Pro watch. But, it’s worth doing and learning well just in case you might have to rely on it one day to get your carcass safely out of the woods!
Not enough features yet? Well, (as Sean Hannity would say) “Let not your heart be troubled…” There’s plenty more. Moon phases are included in the Fishing Pro’s functionality, though I haven’t had much use for that knowledge in my lifetime. Also, there are two alarms that can be set for your convenience. Additionally, there is a stopwatch feature which I used to time myself during a chopping test during a recent knife review, and there is a countdown timer. I used the countdown timer at a recent camp outing when someone was wanting what they were cooking to be timed. No problem! I had it covered with the Fishing Pro. Finally, there’s a nice blue backlight feature that makes it easy to use all the feature while you’re in the dark. And, if you’re really bored while you’re cooped up in the tent, you can flip through the world time feature which has a pretty long list of major cities and their current time. Not as exciting as Farmville, but you do what you can!
The one thing that separates the Fishing Pro from the Hunting Pro model is the Tide Tables feature. The closest body of water back where I live is the creek that runs through our property. I guess if I were living in New England, it would be called a “brook”. Nonetheless, this featue is going to be handier for those folks that live and/or recreate in the coastal areas where this information will be useful. As the instructions point out, local conditions vary, so you’ll enter the local tide data in the first time and the watch will calculate the data going forward. The tide tables provide all 4 tides (high/low) for each day, and like the sunset feature, will also give you a countdown to the next high/low tide. While this is the one feature that distinguishes it from other models, I couldn’t really test it because of the area in which I live. However, the Fishing Pro watch had so many other features for me to use, I certainly didn’t feel left out in the cold.
The construction of the Fishing Pro watch is pretty rugged. It comes with a thick rubber watch band and a rugged mineral crystal lens. Both the Fishing Pro and the Hunting Pro watches are water resistant to 50 meters so I think I’m more than covered when it comes to being exposed to inclement weather. I’m not a scuba diver so if I find myself 50 meters deep in the water, well I’ve got bigger things to worry about. As I mentioned earlier, the Fishing Pro is a substantial watch. It has a big face and easy to reach and manipulate control buttons. It’s not going to be mistaken for a dress watch. But, I personally like it. It goes with my every day “rustic” wear that I’m fond of and boasts a great amount of functionality that satisfies the tech geek in me as well. The only issue that I encountered while wearing the watch was accidentally depressing the control buttons when my hand flexed back while doing things like chopping and so forth. The back of my hand would make contact with one of the buttons and throw it into a different mode. That didn’t really bother me though since it was a quick flip back and only happened during strenuous activities.
All in all, the Origo Fishing Pro watch is a pretty impressive package. It had enough appeal to lure me back to wearing a watch again and had a good number of features that aren’t just eye candy. They add a new dimension to your outdoors adventure in a compact package that will be there when you need it. The Fishing Pro retails for around $250, but you can find it online for less than $200 (U.S.). If you’re looking for something a bit different and more useful than the normal every day watch, I’d encourage you to take a good look at the Origo Fishing Pro. It might just be your ticket to a more productive “time” outdoors!