With the summer months upon us here on the East Coast, I started to think about the type of watch best suited for taking on the the various elements of sun, pool, and sand.
Given the various components of sand, water and extremes in temperatures that the summer months bring, you will definitely want to ensure that you are unscrewing, pulling-out, or otherwise disengaging the crown of your timepiece as little as possible. For this reason, I would suggest shying away from choosing an automatic watch in these instances, unless you are 100% certain that you will not need to wind your automatic watch via the crown, or conduct any time setting or complication adjustment via the crown. Manipulating the crown around sand and / or water, just increases the potential to have these foreign objects enter your watch, and potentially cause damage.
No doubt you have seen the myriad of dive watches available on the market, with most on stainless steel straps. Dive watches with stainless steel bracelets would seem like a no-brainer when it comes to water activities. While the stainless steel holds up fairly well under harsh conditions from chlorine to salt water, I would highly advise rinsing your stainless steel bracelet, along with the head of the watch in fresh water, following any pool or ocean swimming activities. Opting for a rubber or silicone strap with your dive watch is advised, along with the aforementioned rinsing of your timepiece following the water activities. All of that wonderful paint utilized on your dive bezel, will be at the mercy of salt water under extended periods. Sand around stainless steel, mineral crystals, and bezels can also prove to be very abrasive, so be forewarned, a watch head with more of a rubberized compound is recommended.
In short, if you are planning extended activities around the beach, ocean, or pool, my recommendation would be a quartz watch (for less crown manipulation), watch head materials composed of a rubberized compound (not stainless steel), and a strap made of rubber or silicone. A watch in the vain of a Casio G-Shock would fit this bill perfectly, and potentially save you a lot of unnecessary headaches in the long run.