The Best Sailing Watch for Any Type of Sailor

Every sailor needs a sailing watch. But the problem is there are so many to choose from - how do you decide which is the best one to get. Below is a selection of the best watches for sailors, with a watch for every type of sailor.

The best sailing watch to give as a special present

The best sailing watch for the keen racer

The best sailing watch that can be worn off the water too

The best sailing watch for the outdoorsy, sporty sailor

The best sailing watch for the sailor that always loses their watch

The best sailing watch for the sailor with bad eyesight


The Best Sailing Watch to Give as a Special Present

Suunto Ambit3

Suunto Ambit3 - Sailing Watches

Suunto Ambit3

The Suunto Ambit3 is a really attractive watch, with loads of impressive functions for the racing sailor. It has GPS tracking which so the sailor can track their sailing activity, and also any runs or bike rides that they do. You can even get it with a heart rate monitor, which is ideal for anyone interested in getting the most from their exercising, and the watch connects wirelessly to a smartphone so you can transfer and analyse the data.

It also comes with an integrated barometer and a digital compass - but beware: some sailing classes don't allow digital compasses in their rules. This only really matters if the sailor you are buying for sails in big events, but if that is the case then you'll need to check if their class of dinghy allows digital compasses before buying this watch.

Because it looks so good it works as a sailing watch as well as being great to wear at any other time.

Positives

  • GPS watch to track your racing
  • Can get with a Heart Rate Monitor - very useful for any fitness training on land
  • Integrated barometer and digital compass
  • Bluetooth connectivity for easy transfer of data to your phone
  • Suunto have an excellent reputation
  • It looks really good

Negatives

  • Expensive
  • Not sailing -specific

Where to Buy

Other Information

Want an Alternative?

Try the Garmin Quatix - another great looking watch with tons of functionality.


The Best Sailing Watch for the Keen Racer

Optimum Time OS Series 2 Sailing Watch With Velcro Strap

Optimum Time Series 2 - Sailing Watches

Optimum Time Series 2

This is a really good watch for someone that races regularly. It will suit any keen sailor, from club regular to championship chaser, and it has all the functionality that a racing sailor wants without any complicated add-ons. This is important because when you're on the water you don't want to have any distractions - you just want the information you need when you need it.

If you're buying for someone that races a lot then you can't really go wrong with this watch.

Positives

  • A sailing-specific watch
  • Large number display - easy to read at a glance
  • 5-4-1-Go countdown with sound alerts
  • Countdown has repeat option (good for multiple sequential starts) or countdown and then elapsed time option (good for handicap racing)
  • Countdown has Sync button for those times when you miss the first gun.
  • Velcro strap makes putting the watch on or taking it off easy - even with gloves. the strap will also fit over clothing.
  • Not expensive

Negatives

  • Some people have mentioned having battery issues - i.e. short battery life. I didn't experience this issue myself

Where to Buy


The Best Sailing Watch that can be worn off the water too

Optimum Time Series 16 Sailing Watch

Optimum Time OS16If you need a watch that will double up well - i.e. that you'd be happy to wear off the water as well as on it, then the Optimum Time Series 16 sailing watch is hard to beat. It has all the functionality of the best of the Optimum Time watches, but it has a much nicer finish and is less obtrusive than the rest of their series.

The leather strap also makes it look much nicer as a watch to wear on shore, rather than the cheaper looking plastic or velcro straps that a lot of sailing watches come with.

Positives

  • A sailing-specific watch
  • Looks great
  • Large number display - easy to read at a glance
  • 5-4-1-Go countdown with sound alerts
  • Massive digits for last minute of countdown - a big plus for sailors
  • Countdown has repeat option (good for multiple sequential starts) or countdown and then elapsed time option (good for handicap racing)
  • Countdown has Sync button for those times when you miss the first gun.

Negatives

The leather strap may not last forever. However there is a nice black silicon rubber strap included with the watch that can be used while sailing to avoid damaging the leather one.

Where to Buy


The Best Sailing Watch for the Outdoorsy, Sporty Sailor

Casio Pro-Trek

Casio ProtrekIf you are buying for someone that loves running or swimming or cycling or triathlons or rock climbing (...you get the picture), and who needs a watch for all these activities, then the best watch to get is probably the Casio Pro Trek. Tough, durable, multi-functional, reliable. It gets great reviews, and it should do pretty much anything you could possibly want a watch to do (unless you're James Bond - it doesn't detonate things).

Positives

  • Tough, hard-wearing watch from reliable brand - these watches last.
  • Timer and stopwatch - timer does beep every minute and for last ten seconds - good for sailing
  • Solar power (nice feature for lengthening the watches life)
  • Barometer
  • Tide and moon data
  • Digital Compass
  • Loads more features: altimeter, thermometer, world time, EL backlight, five daily alarms, and power-saving function

Negatives

  • Not a sailing-specific watch
  • Display is smaller than other sailing-specific watches
  • Possibly over-complicated if you only want to use it for sailing
  • Unlike sailing-specific watches, the timer isn't set up for the ISAF starting sequence
  • No Sync function

Where to Buy
United States
Great Britain and Ireland

Other Information



The Best Sailing Watch for the Sailor that Always Loses Their Watch

Optimum Time Series 11If you're buying for someone that regularly loses their watch (like I do), then you probably don't want to shell out a load of money on a watch that will end up at the bottom of the sea/in a changing room 200 miles away/at the back of a wardrobe/etc. The optimum Time Series 11 watch is a great value, sailing-specific watch that will do everything a sailor needs without costing the earth.

And you never know - they might keep this one safe...

Positives

  • A sailing-specific watch
  • Large number display - easy to read at a glance
  • 5-4-1-Go countdown with sound alerts
  • Countdown has repeat option (good for multiple sequential starts) or countdown and then elapsed time option (good for handicap racing)
  • Countdown has Sync button for those times when you miss the first gun.

Negatives

  • Quite basic (not necessarily a bad thing...)
  • Some have experienced battery difficulties with Optimum Time watches, although this has not been my experience.

Where to Buy


The Best Sailing Watch for the Sailor with Bad Eyesight

Optimum Time Series 3

Optimum Time Series 3 - Sailing Watches

Optimum Time Series 3

Sailing with glasses or contact lenses can be a pain with all the spray and capsizes, etc., so many sailors that wear glasses on land often choose not to wear them on the water. This can make reading a watch difficult, so a large display can be crucial to getting a good start. A lot of the Optimum Time series have big displays, but the Series 3 is very large and clear - great for people that need to read numbers in a hurry.

Positives

  • A sailing-specific watch
  • Large number display - easy to read at a glance
  • 5-4-1-Go countdown with sound alerts
  • Countdown has repeat option (good for multiple sequential starts) or countdown and then elapsed time option (good for handicap racing)
  • Countdown has Sync button for those times when you miss the first gun.
  • Velcro strap makes putting the watch on or taking it off easy - even with gloves. the strap will also fit over clothing.

Negatives

  • Well, it's not exactly beautiful, is it?
  • Possible short-lived battery

Where to Buy

Other Information


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