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How To Choose The Best Sports Watch

Updated on February 19, 2014

The Basics

There are a few points that you should take into consideration when you are choosing a watch, be it for sports, or any other aim. The first thing to decide on is what you want to use the watch for. I suspect that you are looking for a sports watch based on the fact that you are reading this article, but not all sports watches are created equal. We need to do some digging in order to choose the best sports watch.

It is important to decide on which sport you are going to use the watch for. A watch for runners has to be completely different than a watch for swimmers. Even a watch for cross country runners is a lot different than a watch for casual city runners. Not to mention that scuba diving and swimming around the surface are also very different activities when it comes to deciding which sports watch to use.

The best sports watches are not only durable, but stylish as well.
The best sports watches are not only durable, but stylish as well. | Source

Common Features of Great Sports Watches

Although all sports watches are different, and the best use for each one is different, but there are a few common features that the best sports watches all have.

The first feature all sports watches must have is a tachymeter. This is a scale on the rim that allows you to measure your speed. You can measure how far you have gone in a given time, which in turn will give you an idea of your speed. You will have to divide the distance you have traveled with the time it took for you to get there, thus you would have your speed in meters per second, or any other measurement of your choosing.

Speaking of the case, stainless steel cases are the most durable. You can also find watches with carbon cases, but I find that they get damaged more easily, making stainless steel the case I recommend.

One of the key features is an own source of light. Most watches come with a night watch function. This is vital for any sports watch in my opinion as you will inevitably find yourself outdoors at night. Even if you play close attention you will get lost in the enjoyment of the game and find yourself still playing at night.

The third essential feature is a strong, durable design. These are sports watches we are talking about, they will have to withstand incredible forces and show great resistance. No matter how much you pay attention to the safety of the watch you will end up falling in a branch while running, or the ball will hit your watch.

Make sure that the wristband of the watch is solid and does not fall off. Make sure that there are as few buttons on the watch as possible. These buttons can get stuck in clothing, or branches, and cause significant harm. I find that the best bands are made of rubber or leather. Leather is even better, but don't choose a watch with a steel band. These bands are delicate objects, and can get disfunctional if sand or dirt comes into contact with them.

The Omega Seamaster, a water resistant sports watch.
The Omega Seamaster, a water resistant sports watch. | Source

Additional Features

The features that I am going to write about from now on are additional features. Whether you want these for your watch or not depends a lot on what you are going to use your watch for.

A Global Positioning System (GPS) is very handy if you intend to get off the beaten path. GPS allows you to keep track of where you are, and how far you have travelled with the aid of satellites. You can use GPS anywhere on the globe, which allows you to keep statistics about your trips without putting them down, the watch does that for you.

A pedometer is similar in that it measures the distance you have covered. The difference is that the pedometer has to be put into the heel of your shoes. First, the pedometer measures the stride of your steps. Then the pedometer keeps track of how much you have ran. The pedometer is different from the GPS in the regard that it does not rely on satellites.

A compass can also be very helpful if you are looking for a sports watch for hiking or cross country running. It is important to carry as little weight with you as possible when hiking, so a compass in a watch can be a godsend.

The best watches are water resistant, so are the best sports watches. Watches for swimmers must be water resistant obviously, but I think it comes in handy even if you are going for any trip outside. The rain might fall at any time, and you will be wishing that your watch was waterproof.


With all the features that a sports watch can have, it is easy to get lost in the forest of choices that is presented for us. However one guideline I would keep in mind is that simplicity is bliss. Simple watches don't need repair as often, not to mention that simple watches are easier for you to learn to use.

It is better to have a watch that comes with a help guide. Watches are delicate objects, and it is nice to have a guide that can help you with finding the solution to any questions or problems you might have. It is even better if you have a support service for your watch. Online support is the best an easiest way for this. Nowadays almost all sports watches come with an online support service. The only companies that don't this kind of system as far as I know are the T-Race and Invicta models. However companies change their customer service all the time, so I would advise you to ask the seller of the watch if the company has online support or not.

A Video Guide to the Best Sports Watches


The best sport watches have a few key features. They are durable, they have a tachymeter, and they have a night function. They also have a very simple design.

The other features depend largely on what you want to use the watch for. You have to decide what you are looking for and buy accordingly. The possibilities are endless. All in all, the key to buying the best sports watch is knowing what you want to use the watch for.


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    • Taranwanderer profile image


      4 years ago

      The Omega Seamaster is a seasoned brand that has withstood the test of time. Good to see it on here - I'll probably purchase it for my dad in a few months on his b-day. Bookmarked!


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