Nixon Heat Surf Watch Review

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The Heat surf watch is a rugged and minimalist timepiece designed by the brand Nixon for surfers who demand precision and durability in their equipment. This watch is built with action sports in mind, and it offers features that make it ideal for use in the water.

The case is made from stainless steel, and the pushers (buttons) feature hardened mineral crystal. The band is crafted from a combination of silicone and nylon, providing both comfort and durability.

One of the key features of the Nixon Heat surf watch is its water resistance rating despite its minimal profile. This happens to be the world’s thinnest 10atm (100-meter water-resistant) digital watch!

Whether you slip the watch comfortably beneath your wetsuit sleeve or expose it to the elements, the Heat is designed to withstand the rigors of the ocean, making it perfect for surfers.

Real-world review of the Nixon Heat surf watch

If watches were cars, then the Nixon Heat is like a Jeep Wrangler 4DR. It is a no-nonsense, hardcore timepiece without any fluff, yet it looks sleek and sophisticated. You’re getting the best of form and function.

This watch is what you would want to be strapped to your wrist if you were shipwrecked on a tropical island. Not only could you rely on the rugged design, whether surfing perfect waves or scouring the reef for food, but you could rest assured that the battery won’t die — at least for a few years. In the age of smartwatches, where battery life is a day if you’re lucky, this is a breath of fresh air.

The low profile design and slim case mean that your paddling and duck-diving will not be impeded. Large push buttons mean you can switch between modes quickly and without fuss.

For a competitive surfer, the aptly named Heat is a joy to use. You can time your session, whether competitive or in training, and even countdown the final 60 seconds to give yourself an edge (or a sense of urgency).

I paddled out with the Nixon Heat on a summer day in New Zealand. The screen is always on — unlike many smartwatches — and the LCD is bright and clear, with plenty of contrast. Even in the brightest sunlight and with water droplets on the watch face, you can register the time instantly. The display is black with bright digits, rather than the traditional LCD displays that have a light background with dark digits.

I caught several waves and barely noticed I was wearing a watch. Impressive to me was the watch strap, which is perforated for breathability and comfort. These little strap holes serve a dual purpose because the two-pin tang buckle fits snugly into them to secure the watch to your wrist. An extra level of security is provided by the adjustable band keeper (the little slider that prevents excess strap from flapping around) that clicks onto a specially designed nub at the end of the opposite strap. It is beautifully crafted yet minimalistic.

I needed to play around with the buttons a bit to figure out how the various features work. To be honest, I probably won’t use the timers or chronograph, but the watch will ensure I’m home for dinner on time. No more excuses for being late to Zoom calls either.

After surfing, just rinse yourself and your watch with soapy water, and you’re ready for land action. The watch looks just as good when you’re wearing a business suit as it does when you’re in your favorite wetsuit.

This is the action watch for an action-packed lifestyle.

Does the Nixon Heat have a light?

It sure does. Hold down both of the front buttons and it shines a turquoise blue that renders perfectly legible digits whether you’re in bed at 3am or 100m underwater. Let’s hope you never get that far down while surfing.

What size is the Nixon heat watch?

The watch has a case diameter of 38 millimeters and a thickness of just 8 millimeters. The strap is 20mm wide. It weighs just 6.4 ounces, which is 181 grams.

Why choose the Nixon Heat?

If you are a serious surfer and you want to squeeze maximum value out of your surf sessions then you’ll need a timepiece that is unobtrusive yet highly functional.


Engineered for a minimal profile with maximum performance, the Heat’s custom LCD module and timer options give athletes heavy functionality in a featherweight design. Along with a 20mm injection molded rubber band with a perforated design providing durability, breathability, and comfort.


The 38mm custom ultra-thin 8mm stainless steel case and pushers with hardened mineral crystal help protect against the rigors of competitive (and pleasurable) sport.

Special Feature

The “Final Countdown” timer has a 60-second “SEND” notification to push you through the finish line.


Custom digital LCD module. Functions include the time of day, day/date with auto calendar through 2099, chronograph, pre-set timers and custom timer setting options with a 60-second “SEND” notification, and EL backlight, which can be activated in any mode by pressing both pushers simultaneously.

Water Rating

100 METER / 10 ATM


Replace the battery at least every two years. Dead or low batteries left in a watch may leak and destroy the movement of your watch. Do not use in hot tubs or saunas.

Funny note from Nixon on the user manual: “Sorry, but do you really need to know the time when you’re tubbing?” 😂

Why choose a digital surf watch?

Digital watches are often considered better than analog watches for sports people for several reasons:

  1. Precision: Digital watches are more accurate and precise than analog watches. This is especially important for athletes who need to time their competition and training sessions with accuracy.
  2. Functions: Digital watches often have a range of functions that are useful for sports people, including stopwatches, timers, and alarms. These features can be helpful for keeping track of time during training and competition.
  3. Durability: Digital watches are often more durable than analog watches. They are built to withstand harsh conditions and can resist damage from impacts and water exposure.
  4. Visibility: Digital watches have larger and clearer displays that make it easier to read the time and other information. This is especially important for athletes who need to quickly check the time or other information during their workouts or competitions.
  5. Easy to use: Digital watches are often easier to use than analog watches, especially when it comes to setting alarms and timers. This can be helpful for athletes who need to quickly set reminders or track their progress during training sessions.

In summary, digital surf watches like the Nixon Heat provide a range of benefits that make them a better choice for sports people than analog watches, including precision, durability, functions, visibility, and ease of use.

Nixon Heat Surf Watch Review
Best features
Unobtrusive and slimline
Bright easy to read display
Needs improvement
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