Freestyle night vision watch

Freestyle night vision watch DEFAULT

Review: Shark Classic Clip Watch by Freestyle USA


The Shark Classic Clip Watch Style:FS84861 is not your average watch.

It has these unique features:

  • 100 Meters Waterproof
  • Displays Time/Day/Date
  •  2 Alarms
  • Heat Timer
  • Chronograph
  • Night Vision Backlight
  • HydroPushers
  • Nylon Strap With Quick Clip

Not to mention the Shark Clip is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Design and Aesthetic★★★
If you don’t mind everyone staring at your now-colorful wrist, then the color options of this watch are perfect for you; if not, get the black version. The bright colors of Style:FS84861 definitely give it a tropical look that stands out among a crowd.

The watch band is like a seatbelt that clips in; one side of the clip is easily adjustable so you can fit it on any wrist size. I have a pretty small wrist, and when I adjusted the band it fit well, but throughout the day it slipped and loosened. I have to take it off and tighten it a couple times throughout the day which gets annoying after a while. They offer a velcro Shark Leash version of the watch which would probably work better if you have the same issue I did.

Durability ★★★★★
The Shark Classic Clip seems very durable. The band and face is made for the water so you don’t have to worry about fraying or any water damage. The watch can take a beating for sure too, I’ve dropped mine on concrete a couple times and it still works perfectly. The watch as a whole is made very well.

Value ★★★
The Shark Classic Clip is sold for $55.00, a good price for such a useful watch. I get compliments on mine every time I wear it, and it’s exactly what I was looking for in a watch. I’d recommend this to anyone who spends  a lot of time in the water or anyone who wants a really cool looking watch.


In-Depth A Definitive Deep-Dive On The Freestyle Shark Watch

I have spoken about my first watch on a couple occasions. Both times, I hinted that it was not literally my first watch, so that when I eventually got around to writing about this watch, no one could call me a liar.

I am, of course, talking about the Freestyle Shark Watch – i.e. the not Casio and not Timex digital number that many of us grew up with. The Shark, born in 1981 amid the gnarly waves and sandy beaches of Southern California, is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. This is the first (but not the only) time this article will make you feel old. While many people, including me, consider this to be the watch of our youth, it isn't (or wasn't) just made for kids. The Shark was and is a surfer's watch.

Back in the early '80s, the Freestyle brand was all about making a watch fit for extreme sports – namely surfing. In fact, the Shark was specifically designed to be the first purpose-built surf watch. The brand's two So-Cal founders wanted a watch capable of handling the abuses of the ocean.

While that might seem gimmicky, the idea caught on. The original Freestyle owners (their names remain a mystery even to current ownership) basically did everything themselves when it came to business operations. They designed the watches. Produced the watches. Negotiated partnerships with factories overseas. Little by little, they built a strong following and the brand grew to be immensely popular in the '80s and '90s, just as surf culture was beginning to cross over into the mainstream with movies like Point Break, starring proto-dude Keanu Reeves and an epically shaggy Patrick Swayze.

1988 surf-themed advertisement for the Shark watch

It's important to recognize the era in which the Shark watch emerged onto the broader horological scene: 1981 lies squarely in Quartz Revolution territory. In the '80s, Nicolas Hayek, Sr. unleashed Swatch as a way to save Swiss watchmaking at large from impending demise. Look at any classic Swatch advertisement from this time period and you'll come face to face with a torrent of color and avant-garde design choices – because, if you were going to put a battery in a watch, it had to look positively crazy.

But Shark beat Swatch to market by two years. It's easy to see that it had some influence on the original Swatch watches, namely in color and tone. But that influence, or inspiration, was mutual, which is normal in the watch industry. The key difference between the two brands was distribution. Swatch had an exponentially larger distribution stream to Freestyle, selling in large department stores whereas the Shark watch was more of a niche product, sold predominantly in surf shops.

Assortment of Shark watches from the '80s, submerged in water

Freestyle embraced the role of the indie company –  if you were in the know, you knew about it. Swatch, conversely, was the horological equivalent of Top 40 radio.

The flip side is that Freestyle didn't have the ability to scale the business anywhere near the level of a Swatch. So its status was partly a contentedness to stay low-key, but also a realization that that was the only way it could operate. Which isn't to say that it wasn't doing good business in the '80s – because it most certainly was. Within the world of mom and pop shops, it had a very successful business, to the point where shop owners were making the Shark a significant item in their stores. It wasn't a question of a store pushing the product on consumers – consumers were demanding it. The Shark fed into a culture of would-be Jeff Spicolis who needed a watch to go with their checkered Vans.

To be clear, the Shark isn't some statement of fine watchmaking or timekeeping. For one thing, it's digital, and for another it's cheap – like $60 cheap (it would take 166 of these to make one Submariner). Much like the sport it's meant to support, it gives off a certain carefree air – and a wavy attitude. Which, as a young man growing up in Maryland, was the vibe I was going for.

I was once the proud owner of a Freestyle Shark. Having been born at the end of the 1980s, my experience with the watch took place entirely in the '90s. I had no idea what a Spicoli was when I wore my Shark – I was too busy watching Nickelodeon and eating Bagel Bites – but I can tell you about the watch. Mine was a black Shark Leash which means it came fitted to a particular velcro strap. I've mentioned it a couple of times (notably here and here) but this was my true first watch. The difference between this one and my future – more horologically significant – pieces is that, when I owned it, I thought absolutely nothing of it. It told the time, and I liked how it looked. That was it. Also, I was 10.

The original Shark watches came in two models: The Shark Clip and the Leash. The main differences between the two are the strap enclosures – one being a snap-in system and the other velcro. The Leash came to market first, and brought with it a velcro strap, which mimicked the leash enclosure you'd find on a surfboard. The Clip came next, which traded in velcro for a plastic enclosure. Both remain the cornerstone watches in the broader Shark collection, and are still sold in their almost-original forms today.

Freestyle rode the waves of success on the backs of these two watches through the end of the 1990s, at which point the Shark business saw less and less success. This had a lot to do with brands like Nixon coming onto the scene, and the rise of the skateboard scene overtaking that of surfing. Business flattened.

The company decided to diversify its offerings, which meant moving away from the traditional Shark and creating new watch collections. Freestyle made the choice to compete with entry-level brands like Casio and Timex. Nixon and G-Shock got more aggressive in the marketplace and Freestyle responded with the Shark X, an analog/digital model. The brand further expanded into special-edition watches, with surfers Shane Dorian and Cory Lopez. Freestyle even made a dive watch called the Hammerhead (still in production), which features a typical rubber strap, a beefy stainless steel case and a rotating bezel.

The Freestyle Hammerhead

Each of these watches had some manner of success in the sense that they offset the decline in Shark watch sales. But none of them saw Shark-level success.

The original owners put Freestyle up for sale and it was purchased by Geneva Watch Group – confusingly, an American company known for licensed brands like Kenneth Cole, Tommy Bahama, and Sperry – in 2000. The Freestyle brand endured during this time, but the Shark watch's popularity waned.

In 2004, under the purveyance of GWG, Freestyle brought the Shark back into the limelight, in its original form with small tweaks to the digital readout and the bezel, making each bigger and more readable. As a result, Freestyle regained some popularity but there were still some lingering issues. For one thing, the market had changed and customers' perception of the brand changed, as well. They no longer saw it as the Shark watch company – the surfers' watch – but rather as a diversified portfolio of watches, and one with no central identity … a regular watch company.

In the intervening years, the brand pressed on. It dabbled in department stores, because GWG was a department store company, with access to these streams of commerce. It tried other product offerings in the outdoor sector, such as a Freestyle branded altimeter. There was a Freestyle smartwatch, and even a skate watch called the Velvet Shark – the brand's answer to Nixon. Nothing took off.

The Velvet Shark

GWG filed for bankruptcy in 2015-2016, and emerged as the subsidiary of a brand called ILG (International Luxury Group), another specialty licensing and manufacturing company. After ILG purchased GWG, it put the Freestyle brand up for sale. Throughout the tumult of the bankruptcy proceedings, manufacturing operations for Freestyle halted. The factory shuttered and the brand couldn't produce, ship, or sell watches. The brand was on the brink of demise.

In swept a group of private (and anonymous) American investors who saw an effectively dormant brand with a wealth of future potential. They rescued Freestyle (and the Shark watch) from obsolescence in 2017. That purchase (the amount is not known since it was a private sale) represented something of a return to roots for the brand as it signified that Freestyle was once again a 100 percent privately held and privately owned company – which it remains today.

The new owners purchased a very limited inventory and needed to decide how to move forward. Was there really any question? Shark is what made the brand popular, and it's what consumers still know. The Leash and the Clip became, once again, the future of the brand. In order to move forward, Freestyle had to look to the past.

In the meantime, though, Freestyle watches had begun floating around on various grey market websites at 60-70% markdowns. The new ownership wanted that product consolidated and brought back in-house, so they went on a mission to buy their watches back, essentially putting a premium on brand integrity.

They focused everything they had around the Shark fin silhouette and when they relaunched, they did so with a focus on Instagram. Surf culture, like every other culture, has moved to social media – especially for products that are youthful, colorful, and affordable.

The current Shark is effectively unchanged from the model that 10-year-old me wore. While it’s still sold in specialty shops, and stores like Zumiez, you can also buy them direct from the company online. At a glance, you might confuse the watch for a Casio, or more specifically a bite-sized G-Shock. Which is tricky because, these days, Shark (or, really, Freestyle) doesn't have the same brand or name recognition as its digital competitors. It also lacks the durability that a G-Shock brings. Instead, the Shark provides a no-frills time-telling experience, and pairs it with 100m (300 feet) of water-resistance – you know, for the waves.

The case is, for all intents and purposes, square-shaped. It's sized at 38mm in diameter, which the Freestyle brand deems to be a medium wrist fit (which does sound pretty big for a kid, but I pulled it off with no issue). I never bothered to examine the case in any great detail in my tweenage years, but looking at it now I can see some attention paid to its engineering and overall design. It has all manner of angles, including sloped lugs. There's even something of a bezel built onto it. Both sides of the case are flanked by a pair of buttons controlling various features. Those features include dual-time functionality, an alarm, and military (or 24-hour) time.

The buttons themselves are called "Hydro Pushers," so-named because they can be pressed underwater – something you should never do with a conventional mechanical chronograph (consider yourself warned). In all, there are four Hydro Pushers: A mode button, a button to activate the backlight, one to start the timing or stopwatch function, and another to reset it.

Timex digital watches call their backlight function Indiglo, which I always thought was both a neat and memorable name. The Shark watch's naming convention really appeals to my inner childlike sensibilities. It's called, simply, "Night Vision." I mean, when you can't read the time at night, what are you going to do? You're going to activate Night Vision, that's what. The words Night Vision are engraved right into the top part of the bezel.

The overall screen real-estate is paltry on the Shark compared to that of modern digital watches, but it gives off a certain throwback feel. It displays the time, two letters of the day, the date, and an AM/PM indication. The surface of the frame surrounding the display carries the logos for both the Freestyle brand – in a retro script typeface – as well as Shark, with that enduring fin logo.

The difference between the Shark Clip and Leash is in how they're secured. The Clip offers a literal snapping-clip system. The strap on the Leash is made from a pretty sturdy – though not particularly comfortable – polyester, while the Clip's strap is made from nylon. Both feature two branded patches. One patch is near the top of the case, and the other, at the bottom, signifies the model of the watch. The straps are 20mm wide in diameter.

The Shark Clip

The Shark Leash

My younger self appreciated the Shark Leash because of the ease of use of the velcro. All I had to do was pull the strap around my wrist and press it down, just like those old velcro sneakers – the ones we used before we learned how to tie laces. For me (and many, I presume) the Shark was a starter watch for more reasons than just telling the time.

In its current form, independently owned and operated, Freestyle and its Shark watch are thriving. A brand rep told me that growth has been "double-digit" since 2017. "This year we are exceeding that trajectory by 25 percent," he said.

Freestyle has moved to the drop model for product releases, and in the process, has regained some of the cult following it had in the first place. Fans not only collect the watches, but they share their wrist tan – or Shark tan – on social media. Teenage couples have his-and-hers Shark watches. This word-of-mouth marketing nods nicely to the watch's indie roots.

Today, Freestyle is almost entirely consumer-feedback focused, taking customer advice and translating that into new products. The brand has even gotten into the Apple Watch strap game of late, literally taking their iconic Shark watch straps and allowing Apple Watch users to wear them with their device.

For those who came of age in the mid-'80s through the '90s, this watch surely activates childhood memories. I remember talking to Cara Barrett last year on HODINKEE Friday Live about how we both had Shark watches as kids. She took the logical step I have yet to take, which was to buy an amazingly colorful one for her fully adult self.

Any first-generation Shark owners who were thoughtful enough to hang onto their originals are now old enough to pass them down to their kids, the Gen-Z social-media natives of today. It makes sense why Freestyle is putting so much stock into promoting its watches this way.

Not all watches need to have engineering prowess or offer lasting value. Sometimes it's a yearning for the past that brings us joy, or the appeal of a fun watch that costs less than a dinner for two. I think of the Shark watch the same way I think about Game Boy, Pogs, and Stretch Armstrong. It's a relic of my youth. Just because we age out of things doesn't mean those things go away (well, save for Game Boy, Pogs, and Stretch Armstrong). I'm glad to see the Shark is very much still alive – and on the hunt for a new generation.

Shop this story

For more information, or to see the full selection of Shark watches, head to Freestyle.

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Freestyle Shark Classic Clip Watch

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Item #:


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Note: Electronic products sold in US store operate on (110-120) volts, a step-down power converter is required for the smooth device function. It is mandatory to know the wattage of the device in order to choose the appropriate power converter. Recommended power converters Buy Now.

Product Details

Department ‏ : ‎Womens
Manufacturer ‏ : ‎Freestyle
ASIN ‏ : ‎B0822XRCYW


Electrifying like catching your first wave, this latest addition to the Shark Clip collection gives your wrist a jolt of energy fueled by color and funtionality. The Shark Clip is the original band system that ignited the Freestyle brand. Much like a seatbelt, just clip it in to keep your watch safe, snug and comfortable. The Shark Clip comes loaded with standard digital features like time, date, stopwatch, countdown timer, alarm and night vision backlight. Like all Shark Watches it is built to go with you on all your adventures in and out of the water. Water resistant to 100 Meters and backed by our limited lifetime warranty.

Customer Questions & Answers

  • Question: Does this model come in mini size for women now? I'm petite & need a slimmer style for women?

    Answer: This model only comes in the Shark Classic Size, which is a 38mm case size and classified as Unisex.
  • Question: Does this have a pedometer?

    Answer: No, none of our watches have a pedometer.
  • Question: Can I shower with this watch on?

    Answer: Completely waterproof! You never have to take this watch off unless you want to.

Customer Ratings

10 customers ratings

  • 5 Star 80%
  • 4 Star 8%
  • 3 Star 7%
  • 2 Star 2%
  • 1 Star 3%

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Customer Reviews

Al•• ••la

July 23, 2021

Great classic watch

Well worth it!

Ja•• ••in

March 18, 2021

Sí núnca ha tenido un freestyle, entonces no ha tenido nada en la vida.

La calidad de este reloj es inigualable

Su•• ••er

March 17, 2021

great watch

love it, but bought the mini after because I have a small wrist. Love how easy to use, easy to wash, nice material.

Al•• ••er

February 21, 2021

Excelente reloj recomendado

Bonito, queda muy bien, exacelente calidad y material

De•• ••ee

January 6, 2021

Good quality

I like it so far ❤️

Gr•• ••eA

October 25, 2020

Awesome watch!

I just received my Freestyle watch a couple days ago. I’m loving it!! I have pretty small wrist and I love how adjustable the band is, the fit is perfect. Easy to set and work. I’m pretty rough on watches and this is my first Freestlye purchase. In the past I’ve had Roxy and Nixon. They normally end up falling off after two plus years of daily wear!

Ha•• ••en

March 12, 2020

Best watch ever!

My favorite watch!!!!!

Am•• ••on

February 7, 2020

Perfect for high activity

I was looking for a fun colored reliable digital watch that I could wear while I lifeguard, work out, and anywhere else. This watch is perfect for what I needed. It does loosen slightly if you’re doing hardcore swimming with it on, so if you are buying it simply for that purpose I recommend the velcro straps over the clip. For any other purpose I recommend the clip because it stays looking newer longer and doesn’t chafe on the wrist.

Je•• ••rd

January 16, 2020

Great watch!

Bought this as a gift for my 12 yr old son and he loves it! Had to tighten up the band quite a bit, but I expected that.

sh•• ••gh

January 5, 2020

Love it

Very stylish and fashionable.

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j632 Nice FreeStyle Two Tone Night Vision Quartz Wrist Watch with Date

For Sale: Nice FreeStyle Two Tone Night Vision Quartz Wrist Watch
with Date
Pre-owned: Some scratches from normal wear, appropriate to its age. 
Please see photos for details. Watch is working and keeping time well.
Freestyle Night vision quartz watch, Depth tested 300 FT.  Bracelet style
Two Tone finish case
Stainless Steel Back
Night Vision
      All Measurements Below are Approximate:
Case:  approx. 40 mm wide(w/o crown and lugs), 7 mm thick 
8″ long band,
Due to scammers replacing our watches with fakes upon return,
please be 100% sure of your purchase before buying, as we do not
offer refunds. We are more than happy to provide any specific
pictures, or answer any questions you have regarding our items 🙂 All watches are confirmed by our Master Watchmaker before being
Do not assume anything is included that is not shown in pictures.
We claim no responsibility for possible inaccuracies in Original
Manufacturers description.
Shipping & Returns 
•Please allow adequate time for your item to arrive before contacting us
•We ship via First Class Mail USPS with signature
•Defective items only within 7 days.
•Any item listed as parts or repair MAY NOT be returned, Please note:
items designated “as is, no returns” may be damaged. Buyer should not
expect a refund for any items so designated

Night vision watch freestyle


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