Best Sports Watches10:28 am
Timekeeping plays a vital role in the sporting world. Thus, it comes as no surprise that a large chunk of the watches available today are inspired by different sports. Over a long period of time, watch brands have aligned themselves up with several sports by encouraging and participating in sporting events. They have even gone ahead and designed specific watch models for these activities, many of which have become synonymous with the brands today.
Here we take a look at watches involved with seven sports: yachting, diving, aviation, motorsport, golf, athletics and equestrian sports. We have analysed the features one would expect in a watch designed for a particular sport and explored some timepieces which are currently available and popular in the watch market. The Watch Guide brings to you the best sports watches for every kind of adventure.
A good yachting watch should be easily readable, with a large clear display that can be read quickly. The watch also needs to be water resistant to a certain degree, so that it can withstand splashes of water and some degree of submersion in the unlikely event that you actually jump into the water. Here are some popular yachting watches from some of the most iconic watchmakers in the world.
Rolex Yacht-Master II
This is probably the first watch that comes to mind when you mention yachting. Rolex has a long-standing relationship with yachting and the Yacht-Master II has been designed keeping in mind the needs of professional sailors. It features a programmable memory countdown which has been patented by Rolex and comes in great handy during a race.
IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chrono
With a water resistance of 60 metres, a flyback chronograph function and an additional flange that comes with a quarter second calibration, the Yacht Club Chrono makes for a great yachting watch. The timepiece is powered by the IWC Calibre 89361 and has a power reserve of 68 hours.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500M Calibre 72 Chronograph
TAG Heuer has been an official partner of Oracle Racing, which competes in the America’s Cup, one of the most popular yacht racing events in the United States. This version of the Aquaracer has been specially designed for yacht racing, which can be seen by the presence of the 5 minutes regatta visual timer on the dial. It is a highly useful feature that has been specifically designed for yacht racing.
A dive watch must ideally have a water resistance of at least 200 metres, preferably have a unidirectional bezel and must provide clear legibility even in the darkness that is usually found at the depths of the sea. Here we look at three watches that fit this requirement and include a range of other features as well.
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec
Considering that this was the first diving watch developed by Carl F. Bucherer, it is almost surprising how well a job they’ve done. The watch is good enough to compete with most other luxury watch brands that have a richer diving heritage. What we like most about the watch is the huge 45 mm stainless steel case, thick skeletal hands and the Super-LumiNova coating which makes it extremely easy to read even in utter darkness. And yes, there is a helium escape valve as well for professional divers.
OMEGA SEAMASTER DIVER 300M
The Omega Seamaster is one of the most popular diving watches in the market and this version is one of our favourites. It features three chronograph sub-dials, a lacquered blue dial and most importantly, it is chronometer certified by the COSC, which makes it highly precise and reliable.
Oris Aquis Depth Gauge
Oris makes a few diving watches but the reason Aquis Depth Gauge scores over them is a special feature that allows water to enter inside the case. This is the only watch in the world which can withstand water entering the case and the Depth Gauge actually uses this feature to measure the water pressure and thus determine the depth at which you are diving.
Watches are one of the most important pieces of equipment used by pilots as they are required to time various activities during flight. Watch technology has evolved greatly over the years and today’s pilot watches feature a great deal of functions that make at least the timing part of flying highly convenient.
IWC Pilot’s Watch
IWC has been developing pilot watches since the 1930s, and this version of the IWC Pilot’s watch shows the refined style and experience that can only come from a master watchmaker. The watch features an anthracite dial in a 46 mm ceramic case that’s attached to a green fabric strap. The dial displays a date aperture at 3 o’clock and features a flyback chronograph function.
Breitling Navitimer 01
Breitling is a favourite of pilots and aviation enthusiasts. The Navitimer features 1/4th of a second chronograph and a cambered sapphire crystal that is glare-proofed on both sides. The bidirectional rotating bezel makes it easy to use the circular aviation slide rule that comes in great handy while flying.
Rolex GMT-Master II
Designed for international pilots, the GMT-Master II is a fantastic and hugely popular aviation watch. It is driven by the Calibre 3185 movement, which is affected neither by magnetic disturbances nor extremes of temperature. The timepiece also features 24-hour time, which can be read on the bezel and can be adjusted according to the timezone.
Of all sporting categories, this is probably the most popular one. The association of watches and cars has existed ever since the time automobiles came into mass production and here we take a look at some of the most iconic watches inspired by the world of automobiles.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme
This limited edition watch, built by the master Swiss watchmaker, was created to celebrate 100 years of Aston Martin, a legendary British automaker. The case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme is made of titanium and the watch features include alarm, chronograph, multiple time-zone and more. But what I like most is the distinctive design with the large Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock, the dual aperture display at 9 o’clock and multiple time zones displayed in concentric circles around the outer rim of the dial.
Chopard Classic Racing Superfast Chrono
The Classic Racing collection from Chopard is a tribute to the world of motorsports. And this particular watch is built to the core as a racing watch. From the tyre-like design on the rubber strap to the linear indentations on the side of the stainless steel case that are indicative of the race track, this timepiece is an embodiment of pure racing spirit.
TAG Heuer Carrera 1887
Inspired by the Carrera Panamericana road race, Jack Heuer built the original Carrera timepiece in 1963, which pioneered the way for the Carrera collection of watches that are now amongst the most popular timepieces in the TAG Heuer range. The Carrera 1887 was introduced at Baselworld 2013 on the completion of 50 years of the Carrera, and is built around the lines of the original timepiece: sporty, robust and reliable.
Golf is an elegant sport played by gentlemen and a timepiece worn on the golf course has to be a symbol of great luxury and beauty. Here we explore a couple of timepieces from master watchmakers that have been closely associated with this grand sport.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M
Omega has a close association with the international sport of Golf. It is the Official Timekeeper of the PGA Championship in the United States and the title sponsor of the European Masters that are held in Switzerland. The Aqua Terra 150 M is a chronometer certified watch that is distinctive because of its Teak Concept pattern on the dial and the green-coloured Arabic numeral hour-markers that are symbolic of the Golf course.
Rolex Datejust II
Rolex has been the Official Timekeeper of the Open Championship since the last thirty years. It is understandable then that a large number of professional golfers prefer to wear the Rolex Datejust II when they’re on the golf course. The timepiece has the standard Oyster case invented by Rolex in 1926, a Cyclops lens for the date and large indexes on the dial for easy readability.
A wide range of features, obviously including a chronograph, are prerequisites for any athletic watch. Most athletic watches are designed in a way that they can also be used for outdoor sports and include features like altimeter and compass as well. Here we look at two watches that fit our requirements while also being quite reasonably priced.
Suunto produces a number of watches for athletes and the Ambit is one of the best in the range. The all-digital display gives a very technical look to the timepiece. The watch features an altimeter, compass, heart rate monitor, chronograph, date, alarm and even a GPS in case you ever feel like going trekking in the wild. That’s about almost everything you could ask from an athletic watch, which makes the Suunto Ambit a great choice for sports enthusiasts.
Unlike most athletic watches that are full of features and pay little attention to styling, the Tissot T-Touch has a great design, thanks to the mother-of-pearl dial along with the stainless steel case and bracelet. In addition, it’s a touch-screen watch and features an altimeter, chronograph, compass, thermometer and alarm.
Although not among the most popular sports in the world, equestrian sports do have a strong following of enthusiasts that are quite picky about the kind of watches that they wear. Timepieces fit for wearing on horseback need to be highly sturdy and resistant to shocks. Let’s take a look at two timepieces that fit the bill perfectly.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso
In the early 20th century, British soldiers stationed in India required a watch that they could wear while playing polo. The watch needed to be sturdy and able to withstand minor shocks. The result was the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, built in 1931. The timepiece was an engineering marvel, with the most distinctive feature being the watch’s two faces. This particular feature is still considered one of the most unique design elements in the world of watches.
The association of Longines with equestrian sports goes back to 1878, when the brand introduced a watch which had an image of a jockey on his mount engraved on the timepiece. In subsequent years, that particular watch was used by judges to time races. The Longines Conquest featured here is a tribute to that original equestrian timepiece. It has a stainless steel case and bracelet with a silver dial that includes three chronograph sub-dials for timing and a date display at 4 o’clock. The timepiece perfectly blends a modern sporty look with a classical charm.
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
He is a watch aficionado with an obsessive compulsion for writing. He spends his days exploring the intricacies of modern watchmaking and his evenings reading literary classics.