Just because you are a tennis player, a swimmer, a mountain climber, or an all-around sportsman, you should not have to forgo the basic need of telling the time without wearing your day to day watch. Your dress and style watches are not made to deal with what the best sports watches are designed to deal with.
Your day to day is certainly not durable enough to work within any of the circumstances you place yourself in sports-wise, no matter how good.
The sports watch goes way beyond the basic realms of the stopwatch. Especially with the developments in smartwatch technology bringing new features, functions, and durability to the classic watch format. Watches that can follow you down into the deepest depths of the ocean like the Citizen Promaster diver, or pieces that help you around the track with real-time details on your laps like the Polar M400 watch.
These are just some examples of sports watches that have niche specifications, but you need to be on the lookout for a watch that suits your specific needs.
Things to Consider when looking for the Best Sports Watch for you
There is so much more that goes into the making of a fine sports watch than many people are actually aware of. The designs of many watches made for the purpose of swimming or tennis or running laps puts the general consumer off of the product in a lot of cases. Thanks to sports stores making cheaper timepieces that are merely just stopwatches with a watch band.
Do not be dragged into this scam.
Below, we address all the things that make a good smartwatch an amazing addition to your collection for active use. We believe that when you are putting in the time to take care of yourself, time should be working on your side.
Telling the Difference
The marketplace today is filled with a ridiculous amount of cheap plastic timepieces that are just digital watches with a stopwatch feature. Again, do not get pulled in by these. They are cheaper than the best sports watches around for the simple reason that they do not fall into that category.
The same can be said about the smartwatch sports pieces. There are many cheaper alternatives around. The best way to tell the difference between the great pieces and the cheaper knock-off products is to look into the lens that they come encased in and other functions that are available.
You need to make sure that these lens’ are durable and will last. And the watch needs to have more than a pedometer and a stopwatch. It is that simple.
Advantages of the Sports Watch
The sports watch is for the out and active sports person within you.
A great sports watch should have features that are beneficial to its wearer. So keep that in mind when you are deep in your search. There are watches out there that work to specific specifications for a multitude of sportsmen.
If you are a swimmer, make sure to look out for a watch that has the largest measurement of water resistant depth. Watches that are branded more toward divers will give you the best water resistant hold out of any timepiece on the market.
The closer to being waterproof, the better.
Runners need a watch that is as close to being perfectly accurate as it is possible to get. Stopwatch capability, lap rendering statistics, and heart rate monitor are all needs and wants for a runners watch.
We would say that the most important feature of the watch of a runner is to get a piece with a breathable watch band. A tight clasp of course, but something that will reduce the inevitable sweat build-up on the wrist. If you are not sweating, you aren’t doing it right.
Many of the best sports watches, the real high-end pieces, come with apps for your phone to track your workout statistics and general health. Those can also come with workouts, step-by-step personal training assistance, with tips and instructions to aid your routines. When looking for a watch to guide you through your workout, these app paired personal trainers are the only way to go.
What makes a Great Sports Watch
Dependent on why you are looking for a sports watch (i.e. for a swimmer or a hiker) the bezel can be the make or break for a good catch.
Having a sturdy and easy to read bezel on your watch is a necessity for any swimmer who wishes to know the time underwater.
A well-marked bezel in any watch is a good standard of its worth.
The big difference between a sports watch and a regular watch can be determined straight away by its look. The digital time display is a big giveaway.
If you are a swimmer or a diver, the classic watch display is perfect for you, coupled with a great bezel. As a workout watch, you are better with a digital display.
Yes, yes, we said earlier how you need more than just a stopwatch to make a great sports watch, we know. But you do need one.
A solid stopwatch is the make or break in a sports watch, so make sure that you get one that will treat you right and stay accurate for as long as you need it to be.
Analog watch vs. Smartwatch
With the rise of the smartwatch wearables this last decade, the marketplace has opened up. There are so many options to choose from and different features to adapt to your style and routine. It is forever a great thing to work at staying in shape. And now it is amazing to have such a comprehensive tool to help us all in doing just that.
The analog watch is tried and tested. Durable design and keeps you on time as well as it can. Very low-tech, but it does the job even now when new technologies are available.
Moon and tide graphs, pedometers, and the ease with which they can reach deep under water. Solid water resistance in any you find on the market. But what you buy is what you get.
Whereas with a smartwatch, paired to your phone, you have everything that an analog watch can offer and so much more. Workout statistics sent in real time, a personal trainer there on your wrist, and the ability to answer calls, texts, and emails whenever you please. This smart wearable tech helps to keep your world organized regardless of what you are doing or where you are.
The choice is yours.
Old school or new school.
Best Sports Watches on the Market
Garmin Fenix 3 HR
[amazon fields=”B073HPD5TQ” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Garmin Fenix 3 HR”]
Not just a giant name in the world of portable satellite technology devices – Garmin also operates a large section of the best smartwatches available on the market today. The [amazon link=”B073HPD5TQ” title=”Garmin Fenix 3 HR” /] is one of the best examples of everything that this company can bring to the table. Working as both a fantastic outdoor watch and also as a beautiful day to day watch.
This smartwatch’s design works best for the active sportsman. Its many workout functions, and its superb water resistance depth makes it one of the best watches for under $500 present on this list. The tough-acting smartwatch is always in need and this one constantly finds itself on lists such as this one all the time for exactly that reason.
- With an omnidirectional EXO antenna – constructed of stainless steel – the Garmin achieves a constant and powerful GPS/GLONASS satellite reception. This helps enhance your smartwatches signal and spatial awareness. No matter where you are, the signal will continue to develop and follow you to the best of its ability. A great feature for outdoor watches.
- This Fenix 3 HR works with a battery life that is the envy of many of its competitors. It adapts to different settings no matter how long you require it to be functional. In normal swatch mode, the battery lasts up to 2 weeks. In full GPS mode it can last up to 16 hours and in the UltraTrac battery saver mode it lasts up to 40 hours.
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Casio G-Shock Rescue – Digital Watch
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A Casio will never give up on you. There are more elegant watches out there, sure. Some with features that could outshine an all new and advanced smartphone. That is true. But a Casio watch will make it its duty to outlive those watches and still be able to accurately tell the time. They have an incredibly liable range and are always worth a chance to grace your wrist.
Now, why is the [amazon link=”B00284ADEE” title=”G-Shock Rescue” /] on this list specifically? Simple.
This watch embodies everything a great sports watch needs. It has a durable design, keeps its accuracy almost to a fault, and cannot be beaten for affordability. The blazing red color that the G-Shock Rescue comes in is a bit much, but that’s the classic Casio scheme.
- The G-Shock’s greatest asset is that it is incredibly shock resistant. It is in the name. They’re built with this primary focus in mind. This feature makes the G-Shock one of the best outdoor watches available on the market today.
- There are many other features that bring out the great sports watch within the bright red G-Shock. With the moon and tide graphs, world clock readings, an auto electroluminescent backlight, and a low temp LCD. The bare essentials.
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Invicta Men’s 9404SYB Pro Diver
[amazon fields=”B0159W1X72″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Invicta Men’s 9404SYB Pro Diver”]
A solid diver’s watch is a hard item to come across. There are many on the market to choose from that boast of being the best one for you. The real high-end picks, like the Citizen Promaster Diver watches, are obvious no-brainers for the prospective consumer. But there are some brilliant alternatives that come out cheaper overall.
Watches like the [amazon link=”B0159W1X72″ title=”Invicta 9404SYB Pro Diver” /] work incredibly well for a diver, at a more affordable price. This watch also looks great for day to day usage with its classic Rolex-like design. It is an elegant piece and works hard to keep time on your side.
- The colors that are used on this watch give a better indication of time spent under watch. Two-tone unidirectional bezel allows the markers on the white watch face to better pinpoint the accuracy of your dive-time. Also, the markers work with a luminescent green for those deeper dive readings.
- With an automatic self-winding movement, the Invicta works hard to keep you in check and on time.
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Casio G-Shock GA100A-7A
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Another Casio for the list to remind you of their importance in the world of sports watches. Not only because they are some of the most durable timepieces ever to have been constructed, they are fantastic watches overall as well.
The [amazon link=”B003DZ7VOW” title=”G-Shock GA100A-7A” /] is a great example of what Casio’s heavily shock resistant range can bring to the wearer. All the durability and stability of a Casio is present, along with a whole host of extra functions and features to bring out the best of your sports activities.
- The G-Shock GA100A-7A offers the wearer an option to alter around 48 different time zones. Making it quicker and easier to change the time wherever you find yourself.
- Water resistant for up to a depth of 200m underwater.
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Suunto Traverse Smartwatch
[amazon fields=”B014PNZKC0″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Suunto Traverse Smartwatch”]
Suunto is a brand known to few, but those of you who are in the know rarely veer from the range. Suunto design and manufacture a whole array of sports person, diver, and outdoor watches that are all durable and stylish pieces backed by a simplistic operating system.
A great feature that is available for the [amazon link=”B014PNZKC0″ title=”Suunto” /] range is that you can add a 3 to 4 years protection plan on any of the Suunto models. So if you already find yourself sold on the design aspects of their gear, remember that little nugget of information.
- The watch’s GPS and GLONASS navigation work beautifully within this watch’s system. Simply, upload a route that you would like to follow into your watch, and the combined GPS/GLONASS systems take care of the rest.
- One of the most remarkable features the Suunto Traverse smartwatch is its battery life. The watch works for up to 100 hours between charges. Which, for a smart sports watch, is rather impressive.
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Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch
[amazon fields=”B019VM3GKI” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch”]
Obviously, like the Casio, the FitBit is not really seen as a contender in the race of best sports watch because it has a very public image of only being a pedometer. Either that or a heart rate monitor that fixes itself into the watch band. These little wearable devices have their place in any sportsman’s collection, but having a device that incorporates all of those features for just a little more of the budget is more of the ideal when it comes to wearables.
The [amazon link=”B019VM3GKI” title=”FitBit Blaze” /] is constantly finding itself on lists such as this one. Saying how it is one of the best sports watches on the market today or that it is one of the best watches under $500 available. We wholeheartedly agree with that and need to keep this momentum going. Hopefully to change the image of the FitBit for the better.
- FitBit Blaze comes with a FitStar function which brings a personal trainer to your wrist. Bringing you personalized workouts and step-by-step instructions as to how to work them. Coaching you all the way through.
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Suunto Unisex Ambit3
[amazon fields=”B01NANJJMC” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Suunto Unisex Ambit3″]
This unisex piece, the [amazon link=”B01NANJJMC” title=”Suunto Ambit3″ /] is another great addition to the Suunto sports watch range. With brilliant additional features added to the Ambit3, this watch is easily added to this list along with the Suunto Traverse.
With a separate heart rate monitor that comes with the Ambit3, it helps any sportsman in need of real-time statistics and constant help should you need it in the middle of your workouts.
- With a built-in sturdy running power meter, you can measure your running distance so as to have a statistic to fight against.
- On a hike, your ascent and descent are measured by the built-in barometer. All of these stats go straight to the phone that you have paired the Ambit3 with.
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ETEVON Captain Sports Watch
[amazon fields=”B072B73LJ9″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”ETEVON Captain Sports Watch”]
ETEVON are not very well known for their watch craftsmanship, but they are equal to those over at Casio when it comes to a durable and helpful sports watch found on the cheap side. Where the Casio’s on this list fall short, the [amazon link=”B072B73LJ9″ title=”ETEVON” /] rises high. See for yourself on these pros and cons we have found for you.
And it has to be said, who does not want a watch called the Captain.
- The ETEVON’s watch face displays a dual-time function, a calendar date feature, and an hourly chime. With a snooze enabled alarm system too, you are covered with the time.
- The movement of this watch is highly frost and shock resistant. So high temperatures and extreme weather cannot affect it.
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Garmin Vivoactive 3
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The [amazon link=”B074K9HNXD” title=”Vivoactive” /] is an incredibly helpful sports watch. The smart tech that is found within this wearable takes everything good about the Garmin brand and puts it to good use for the wearer.
What’s more is that the Vivoactive 3 is a beautiful watch with a gunmetal finish. Making it look good enough to act as anyone’s day to day watch.
- Comes complete with built-in sports apps to help you along with your workout activities. The apps include instructions on yoga, running, strength training, you name it.
- Has a high-resolution color touchscreen with a highly durable lens. All notifications are sent to your wrist in high-resolution.
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Timex Ironman Sleek 50
[amazon fields=”B000B545BO” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_alt=”Timex Ironman Sleek 50″]
Here, [amazon link=”B000B545BO” title=”Timex” /] released a sports watch that is perfect for the overactive sportsman. The design takes into account that its wearer needs durability, breathability, and an accurate time display. As the title of this product suggests, the ‘Ironman’ is designed to be able to race alongside you in one of the infamous Ironman Triathlons.
If you are not training to race in the infamous triathlon challenge of swimming, then cycling at a great distance, and then running a marathon, this watch is still helpful. For exactly the reasons mentioned above.
The Timex Ironman is waterproof, shock-resistant, and incredibly durable. It earns its place on this list over and over again.
- More than just a stopwatch. The Ironman Sleek 50 comes with the ability of a 24-hour countdown watch with stop and start possibilities. It can count up to 99 laps and features a 100-hour chronograph with split and lap times available on the fly.
- This watch, thanks to its namesake, is water resistant at up to 100 metres in depth. So, whether you are in the shower or swimming your morning laps, the Timex Sleek 50 will have you covered.
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Garmin Forerunner 235
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And lastly, we look at the Garmin Forerunner 235. This watch is the perfect match between the runner and the wearable that is available to them. It is sleek and breathable and wants nothing more than to enhance your track capabilities.
- The battery life of this Garmin can last up to 9 days between charges in watch mode, and up to 11 hours in GPS mode with full HRM active.
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Now that we have taken you through some of the best sports watches on the market, both in the smartwatch and analog watch department, we feel that there is one definite stand-out winner in this roundup.
The [amazon link=”B073HPD5TQ” title=”Garmin Fenix 3 HR” /] shows the best and most desired aspects of a sports watch out of all the ten watches that we have curated above. The battery life of up to 2 weeks alone is enough for anyone to want to invest in this smartwatch.
But then, as we discussed earlier in the article, the Fenix displays excellent GPS/GLONASS systems that never quit on you. The watches display is made to withstand a real beating, encased in a high-strength sapphire lens which holds an astounding level of durability against all environmental factors.
But it all depends on your specific needs.
Regardless of what kind of sports watch you need, always remember to keep your eyes open for strong lens’ for durability, a powerful operating system, decent smartphone pairing, and if you have not got a watch with a pedometer, you have not got a sports watch.