Best Sailing Watches
With a host of brands on the market, choosing the right sailing watch can be a real hassle, more so for the first-time buyer. To save you the stress, we have compiled a list of our top five sailing watches on the market that all boast of impressive functionality and stylish performance.
First on our list, the Timex Ironman Classic 30 is a highly functional, very affordable sailing watch that comes with a large 38 mm digital display. It features a 100-hour chronograph and a 24-hour countdown timer, alarm support, and an adjustable resin for the most comfort. It boasts of up to 100m water resistance, comes with different time modes and calendars, a durable acrylic lens, and an illuminated display for maximum visibility.
- Very affordable.
- Convenient digital display and easy controls.
- Waterproof and highly durable.
The Panerai Luminor 1950 is an iconic sailing watch priced for its exceptional durability and classic design. It sports a huge 47mm analog display, a titanium casing for durable, corrosion-free performance, and ridiculously large dials for the most visibility. It boasts of 100m of water resistance, a flyback chronograph, and a soft rubber band for the most comfort.
- Iconic design with exceptional durability.
- Impressive visibility and water resistance.
- Comfortable and easy to use.
The Tissot sailing touch comes a 45 mm analog/digital hybrid display and stands out with its sleek design and host of functions. It features a chronograph, a countdown timer, bright luminous dials, and a digital calendar. It is water-resistant to 100 m, comes with a black rubber strap adapted for the most comfort and safety, and sports other functions like different time zones, backlighting, pressure histogram, tide, etc.
- Analog/digital hybrid display with sleek design.
- Comes with a host of outstanding functions.
- Waterproof and comfortable to wear.
The Garmin Quatix 6 is a highly versatile, state-of-the-art digital sailing watch and comes with a 33 mm always-on display. It sports a rugged, sleek design, a bezel, a countdown timer, easy-control buttons, and comes with a host of pre-loaded apps for different water activities. It packs a host of functions into a compact, handy unit, and is smartphone compatible to unlock a ton of smart functions.
- Smart display and controls.
- Excellent durability with easy controls.
- Smartphone compatible with preloaded activities.
Last, but surely not the least, the Rolex Yacht Master II is the ideal sailing watch for the sailor with an eye for luxury and exquisiteness. It sports a 44 mm analog display, a durable stainless steel housing, and boasts of 100 m of water resistance. It comes with a 90-degree rotating bezel, a programmable countdown timer, and a sleek design that gives it its ‘high-end’ appeal.
- Analog display with bezel.
- Waterproof and highly durable.
- Sleek, luxurious design.
Sailing Watch Buying Guide
Sailing watches are an essential part of any sailor’s gear and offer the functional versatility needed for recreational and competitive sailing. They come with a host of assistant features as you catch the wind and explore the seas while perfectly timing your activities.
Our buying guide reviews the best sailing watches on the market based on their specified features to give you the best options to choose from. We also take it a step further and outline the qualities you should be on the lookout for in a sailing watch before you make a purchase.
Water and Corrosion-resistance
It is intuitive that any sailing watch you go for must be highly water-resistant. You’ll be using in and around water, and it should easily stay functional even with complete immersion. By international standards, a great sailing watch must be able to resist water infiltration at up to 100m below the water surface. Ratings of up to 200m and above are also available but are more suited to high-pressure use like diving. However, the higher the better.
Your sailing watch must also be corrosion resistant. Stainless steel and Titanium are great materials to look out for in a dive watch and will resist chemical degradation. Other materials like plastics and rubber also boast of excellent corrosion resistance and durability underwater.
Depending on the form of sailing you’ll be doing, sailing watches vary with a host of different products that feature different functionalities. Recreational sailing watches can afford to emphasize more on style and less on complex features. Regatta sailing watches must, however, have at least a chronograph and countdown timer. Bezels, compasses, etc. are also common on more advanced sailing watches.
Some high-tech watches also come with extra features like smartphone compatibility and pre-programmed activities.
Many sailors are now particular about style when selecting their sailing accessories and the sailing watch should not be an exception. The sailing watch you go for should combine great functionality with aesthetic appeal, and not just the latter. Many sailors use their sailing watches both at sea and on land, and so should look great with whatever outfit you’re going for.
Depending on your personal preference, sailing watches come with either all-metal bodies or a metal-rubber/leather hybrid. While all-metal designs are very durable, the risk of rusting between the links is always present. Sailing watches with leather or rubber bands are very comfortable and less prone to corrosion.
Like any product niche, sailing watches vary wildly in price from under $50 to as high as $15,000 in luxury brands. There is a sailing watch for every price range, and with extra confirmation from customer feedback, you can be sure that whichever product you’re getting is the best value for your money.
Always stick to your pre-planned budget so you don’t overspend.