Sailing watches are an important marine device needed for carrying out day-to-day tasks when at sea. These watches are multifunctional and come laden with essential features needed by a sailor.
There are two types of sailing watches, mechanical and digital. Mechanical sailing watches do not run on a battery but have self-winding movements. They are waterproof and come with chronometers. The best mechanical sailing watches are made in Switzerland and they are expensive compared to their digital counterparts.
Digital sailing watches require a battery and have an LCD display. They come in numerous colours, designs and functions but do not show real-time data. They are preferred for their functions such as measuring time, date, temperature and sailing direction. These watches are also quite affordable and a good choice. They also record body temperature, heart rate and work anywhere in the world.
In the past, people had to depend on numerous tools such as a compass, maps, barometer and their insight to survive at the sea. However, all these features and much more are now available in a small nautical watch or a sailing watch.
Investing in a good sailing watch is a must to make your sailing trip a memorable and pleasurable one. Although many options have flooded the markets today, finding the perfect fit might not be easy.
In this article, let us look at some of the features a sailing watch must possess and then we will list some best sailing watches to help you pick a unique piece.
Features of a sailing watch
A great sailing watch is a sailor’s best friend at sea. Most sailing watches show real-time data and can be connected to mobile phones and other devices. They have additional features such as GPS mapping, weather forecasts, data, internet messaging and also speed tracking. Apart from these advanced features, they must also possess the following characteristics-
Water-proof – The most important feature of a sailing watch is that it should be water-resistant. Though sailors do not swim or dive, the watch is bound to get some water splashes. Hence, it should be 100% waterproof and also made of corrosion-free material like silicon or stainless steel.
Compass – While modern yachts, boats or small ships have an electronic navigation system, a compass always comes in handy for determining directions. A sailing watch with a compass allows a sailor to easily ascertain where to head and becomes a saviour if the electronic navigation fails.
Have an inbuilt chronometer– A sailing watch must be equipped with a chronometer to determine the time accurately and to determine the longitude while at sea.
Barometer – While sailing, it is important to be aware of upcoming storms and weather conditions to be able to stay safe at sea. A Barometer helps in this by measuring the air pressure.
Countdown Timer – For sailors at sea, countdown timers might not be a great requirement, however, if there are yacht races or sailing competitions, then countdown timers are a must to keep track of time. Most sailing watches come with timers.
Tide flow – Sailors need to know the ebb and flow of the ocean to be able to sail safely. Most sailing watches nowadays come with this feature.
Multiple time zones – A sailing watch that shows many time zones is essential for a sailor or a captain when they cross different time zones during long voyages.
Emergency functions– Also, most sailing watches come with a GPS and can send emergency signals to the authorities if the sailor is in danger. These are known as their emergency functions.
Best sailing watches
1. Tomoro’s vogue Simple Men’s Unisex 100M Waterproof Watch
Tomoro’s men’s watch comes in a simple yet elegant design. It is perfect for sailing and other water sports. It is up to 100 m waterproof and works well underwater too. Most dive watches cannot be pressed underwater but this is an exception.
The watchband is black while the dial is white. It is made of a soft silicone strap that is comfortable and stretchable. The dial is round and made of stainless steel while the dial window is made of acrylic. It has a digital display, with big black digits. It comes with a rubber case and an extra polyurethane strap.
It is ultra-lightweight, sturdy and durable. It weighs around 42 grams and its diameter is 44 mm. It is multifunctional, is luminous and has a countdown timer, stopwatch, dual-time display, chronograph, alarm, an hourly chime and is shockproof. It is equipped with the best quality electronic parts with digital movements accurate to +/-1 second per day. The watch battery is made to last for 2.5 years.
It also has a special El backlight function that can help to see more clearly in the dark. Since the watch display background is greyish white, the backlight function might not be useful during the day.
- Simple and elegant design
- Digital display
- Has an El Backlight
- Dual-time display
- Sturdy and long-lasting
- Scratches easily
- Band length short
- 330 ft. (100 M) Water Resistance: In general, suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing and water sports, In addistional, it Can be pressed underwater ( most of the dive watches can not be pressed underwater)
- Ergonomic and Minimalist Design: Seamless connection of watch case and soft silicone strap bring a comfortable Ergonomic wearing expeprince, Clear Large black digits display on white background bring a Minimalist Visual experience
- Supper Light but Durable: net weight 42 grams=1.48oz which can bring a burdenless wearing experience, Stainless steel Bezel integrated with ABS rubber case+Acrylic Window+Strong Polyurethane strap which make a durable and strong body; Overall, you can feel free to do any sport activity with this watch
- Multifunction: Stop watch, Countdown timer, Dual-Time-display, Chronograph, Alarm, Luminous, Hourly Chime, Shock Resistant
- Diameter 44mm without lugs, So it fit to male of medium build, and female who prefer it slightly larger, We made a video showing detail about how to set all the functions of the watch from the description page of related videos.
2. Tissot Sailing-Touch Men’s Black Face Multi-Function Watch T056.420.27.051.00
The Tissot sailing watch is one of the best products available in the market. It is made of a strong stainless steel case and a black rubber strap. It has safety features as well. It has a round black dial and a red bezel. The dial window is made of an anti-reflective sapphire. It has hour hands that glow in the dark. It shows two time zones and also has a backlight.
It has a digital display and an inbuilt compass. It also has an alarm feature.
The Histogram function shows the relative pressure of the last 6 to 7 hours. The minute hand shows the tides at a particular location and the hour hand shows the possibility of a low or high tide. The Regatta function can be used to set a timer. It also has a chronograph and its Metro function shows outside temperature.
It is tough and does not scratch easily. It is also anti-reflective and has a Swiss quartz tactile movement and a low battery indicator. It is also waterproof up to 200 metres.
- Swiss quartz movement
- Shows tide movement
- Perpetual calendar
- Battery indicator
- Round case
- Fold over clasp with divers extension and safety
- Luminous hands
- Perpetual calendar
3. Garmin quatix 6 Multisport Marine Smartwatch, Comprehensive Boat Connectivity, Model Number 010-02158-90
The Garmin Multisport Marine Smartwatch stands out in the category of sailing watches. It has a plethora of amazing features that make it one of the best options.
The watch is grey with a blue strap. The size of the screen is 1.3 inches. It can be connected to Bluetooth and wifi. It has inbuilt maps of North America. It has a stainless steel case and bezel buttons. It also has a barometer, altimeter and compass. It is water-resistant up to 100 m.
The battery can last two weeks if it is operated in smartwatch mode, till 24 hours in GPS mode and 60 hours in Ultra battery saver mode.
This watch offers real-time connectivity and is compatible with Garmin chart plotters, the GNT 10 transceiver and other devices to pull out data.
It has an autopilot feature and can be used to navigate by connecting it with the ship’s navigation system. The autopilot app can be used for changing the destination, and even direction. You can also put it on a GPS route without manually controlling the vessel.
A special ‘fusion-link audio system’ provides you with entertainment at sea with the Fusion-link lite app. You can seamlessly view and access data relating to water depth, engine RPM, wind speed, and much more when the watch is connected with the vessel’s system.
It also offers waypoint marking without the need to get to the steer every time. The Chartplotter can be used for this purpose to mark waypoints from any place on the vessel.
The watch provides sail assistance and has many coastal charts with Navionics information. It also has Lakevu G3 maps of US freshwater lakes.
- Inbuilt maps
- Real-time connectivity
- Autopilot control
- Fusion link system
- Waypoint marking
- Provides sail assistance
- Has G3 charts and maps
- Short battery life
- Too large dial
- Difficult to operate
- Provides comprehensive connectivity with compatible Garmin chartplotters and other devices (GPSMAP 7x2/9x2/12x2 Plus GPSMAP 10x2/12x2 GPSMAP 74/7600 GPSMAP 84/8600 GHC 20 GNX Wind GNT 10)
- Rugged sophisticated design features an always-on 1 3” display stainless steel bezel buttons rear case and QuickFit band system
- Improved sail racing assistance includes virtual starting line distance to start line race countdown timer and tack assist
- Preloaded apps for boating tides autopilot control Fusion-Link anchor fishing and GNT 10
- Support for optional BlueChart g3 coastal charts and LakeVü g3 inland maps with improved chart presentation for the latest in Garmin marine cartography
4. Invicta Men’s Specialty 45mm Black Stainless Steel Chronograph Quartz Watch, Black, Gold/Blue (Model: 13785, 13787)
Invicta’s sailing watch is ideal for watersports such as sailing, surfing, snorkelling and swimming. It comes with a black stainless steel case measuring 45mm in diameter and is 12mm thick. Its dial window is made of synthetic sapphire and it has an analogue display.
The watch has a big round dial having a luminescent function and hour hands that glow in the dark. The black band is flexible and can be adjusted by the addition or removal of the links. It also has a safety clasp that can be folded. It has a chronograph too.
It is assembled in Japan and flaunts a smooth Japanese quartz movement. It has a VD51 Caliber and comes with an extra battery. The watch weighs about 163 grams. It has a black stainless steel bezel and subdials. It is waterproof up to 100 m.
- Strong and durable
- Analog display
- Japanese quartz movement
- Comes with an extra battery
- Simple operation
- Adjustable band
- Battery dies fast
- Large dial
- Black stainless steel case 45mm diameter x 12mm thick; Black dial; Luminous hands and hour markers
- Japanese quartz movement, VD51 Caliber; Assembled in Japan; SR920SW battery included; Watch weight: 163 grams
- Black stainless steel band, 185mm L x 22mm W; Band is adjustable by adding/removing links; Fold over safety clasp
- Flame Fusion crystal; Push/pull crown; Stationary black stainless steel bezel; Functional Subdials: 60min, 60sec; 100 meter water resistant: Suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing and water sports. Not suitable for diving.
5. Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch
The Timex watch comes with a high-quality brown leather strap that is adjustable and a round white dial with the date window at 6 o’clock. It has an analogue display and a buckle clasp. It has a silver 45 mm stainless steel case made of glass crystal.
It is multifunctional and has a tide tracker, an electronic compass and an Indiglo dial that lights up in the dark. This feature can be activated using the crown button. It comes with electroluminescent technology and it has a nightlight too. The watch glows in the dark or low light.
The beige dial has compass markings and also comes with a tide tracking function that can measure high or low tide at any point in time. It has a quartz movement and is waterproof up to 100 m.
It also has a thermometer that measures air and water temperature and also an analogue compass. This watch is ideal for snorkelling, sailing but not diving.
- Great – quality
- Stylish and sturdy
- Tide tracker
- Analogue compass
- Inbuilt thermometer
- Small digits
- Complicated operation
- Thin hands, difficult to read
- Large band
- Adjustable brown 16mm genuine leather strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference
- Off-white dial with date window at 6 o'clock; compass markings
- Tide tracker counts down to high or low tide; thermometer measures air & water temperature; analog compass
- Silver-tone 45mm stainless steel case with mineral glass crystal; Indiglo light-up watch dial; luminous hands
- Water-resistant to 100m (330 ft): In general, suitable for snorkeling, as well as swimming, but not diving
6. Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch
This black watch is made of blend material and is solar-powered. It has many features such as a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, an El backlight and also shows world time. It shows 31 time zones of 48 cities and has a city code display.
Five alarms can be set daily and there is also a stopwatch feature. It has an auto-calendar that is programmed till 2099, a battery indicator and a power-saving feature too. This watch cannot tolerate low temperatures, and its battery can last 6 months when it is fully charged.
The physical features include a 51 mm case made of stainless steel and a mineral dial. It has a digital display and a quartz movement. It has a resin band and is waterproof up to 100 m. It has a solar panel and recharges when it is kept in sunlight. The watch face absorbs the sunlight and charges the battery. It is impact-resistant and can handle high water pressure.
- Handles high water pressure
- Low-quality watch band
- Black solar-powered sport watch with multiple features including digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, low temperature resistance (-10 C/14 F), EL backlight, world time (31 time zones, 48 cities), city code display, five daily alarms, 1/100-second stopwatch, full auto calendar (pre-programmed until 2099), countdown timer, 12/24-hour formats, battery power indicator, and power-saving function
- Approximate battery life: 6 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)
- 51-mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window
- Quartz movement with digital display
- Resin band with buckle closure; Dimensions:57.3 x 50.9 x 15.3mm
7. Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smart Watch with GPS, Outdoor Fitness Watch for Men
The Amazfit-T-Rex Pro smartwatch has a 1.3″ HD AMOLED display. The watch has a beautiful texture as its bezel is metal sprayed. It is ultra-lightweight and weighs only 60 g. It goes through 15 military-grade tests and so can survive hot, humid and also cold temperatures.
It is the perfect partner for exploration and has a global navigation satellite system. It can be taken on land adventures and also in the seas. It measures blood oxygen, heart rate, gives real-time weather forecasts, has a sunrise and sunset monitor. It also has a compass, barometer and altimeter.
This fitness watch has 100 sports modes and can also record distance travelled, speed and so on. It is user-friendly and can be used for setting reminders. It also notifies the user about messages and calls and upcoming alarms.
The watch has 18-day battery life. If used excessively then the battery lasts for 9 days and if the GPS mode is used continuously, then the battery would last 40 hours.
The Amazfit watch is waterproof up to 100 m and is the perfect companion for surfing, sailing trips and swimming.
- Sporty design
- Durable and flexible
- Easy to use
- Bulky watch case
- Not very comfortable
- Short battery life
- 【TOUGHNESS FROM THE INSIDE OUT】The Amazfit T-Rex Pro comes with a 1.3" HD AMOLED always-on color screen; The outer bezel undergoes a metal-spraying process, which enhances the rich textures of the light 60g watch body. Having passed 15 military-grade tests1, this smart watch can battle with you through hot deserts, humid rainforest and polar glaciers. Witness endurance that braves the elements with ease.
- 【YOUR PARTNER IN EXPLORATION】The Amazfit T-Rex Pro smartwatch is high-level exploration partner, supporting four global navigation satellite systems, a blood-oxygen saturation measurement system, a heart rate monitor, a sleep monitor, a weather tracker, a sunrise and sunset monitor, a current moon phase display, a compass and barometric altimeter.
- 【Ultra-long 18 Day Battery Life】When fully-charged, you can relax and enjoy up to 18 days of activity and progress with typical usage, or up to 9 days with heavy usage, or up to 40 hours with GPS continuous working mode. Go nonstop with T-Rex Pro watch！
- 【10 ATM WATERPROOF】With a 10 ATM grade, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro smart watch is water-resistant to a depth of up to 100 meters and can accompany you as you surf, swim, or explore the mysterious underwater world together.
- 【OVER 100 SPORTS MODES】The Amazfit T-Rex Pro fitness watch features over 100 sports modes and can be used to monitor critical data such as workout heart rate, distance traveled, movement speed, and calories burned in real time for most sports modes, to help you track and improve your athletic performance.
8. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Sailhawk Quartz Men’s Watch, Stainless Steel, Dive Watch
The Promaster Sailhawk comes with an orange polyurethane strap. It has a stainless steel case measuring 44 mm. This stylish and brightly coloured watch has eco-drive technology. It has a solar-powered lithium-ion cell and so battery life is not an issue. It also stores energy and can be charged from fluorescents and lamps too.
It has a chronograph, digital backlight and a daylight savings time indicator. It shows world time, has a yacht racing timer, a countdown timer and can set two alarms. It is waterproof up to 200 m and is ideal for professional sailors. It comes with a Five-year warranty.
- Eco-drive technology
- Energy storage capacity
- Small case size
- Complicated operation
- Not high quality
- This eye-catching Promaster Sailhawk with a bright orange polyurethane strap from Citizen is sure to turn heads.
- FEATURES: Promaster Sailhawk features a stainless steel case in 44mm. The timepiece isn’t just stylish, however — it is packed with features, such as Eco-Drive technology so it will never run out of power, the ability to give the time in 30 cities worldwide, a yacht racing timer, split lap time, a 99-minute countdown timer, and two different alarms. This colorful watch is essential for every avid marine sportsman.
- WATER RESISTANT TO 200 M: This Citizen watch is water resistant to 200 meters (660 ft). In general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving.
- 5 YEAR WARRANTY: At Citizen, we stand by quality and craftsmanship. With a 5-year limited warranty plus additional 1 year when you register watch with Citizen you can be sure your new timepiece meets your expectations.
9. AOSLSI’s Waterproof Sports Digital Watch for Men
This watch has many features such as an altimeter, barometer and thermometer. It has an inbuilt digital compass and can be used for setting double-alarms, shows dual time, hourly chime and is waterproof up to 100 m. It also has a backlight.
This watch can also be used to count the distance, speed, has a stopwatch, timer and metronome. It is made of a good quality ABS case.
It has a round dial and an acrylic dial window. It has a digital display.
It is sturdy and has a flexible band made of stainless steel pin buckle. It is lightweight and is very comfortable.
- Easy operation
- No GPS function
- Short battery life
- ★Outdoors Military Watch : Altimeter tells current elevation and records last 24-hour history by altitude graph. Barometer displays both local pressure and sea level pressure. Thermometer shows temperature from -10°C to 60°C( can be displayed in Fahrenheit, or Celsius ). Weather Forecast displays 4 symbols to indicate the predicated weather
- ★Digital Compass: Accurately pinpoint direction to safely find your way through wilderness and in whiteout conditions. We calibrated the compass before sending out. If you still find a problem, we recommend you to calibrate it automatically or manually.
- ★Sport Watch: Step, Calories, Distance, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer and metronome. Pedometer and Pace can track your steps and speed, which helps you to know your workout better. This non bluetooth pedometer watch with memory storage can record your last 7 days data of step-distance-calories-sports time.
- ★Basic Functions: Double Alarms, Dual Time, 12/24H Format, Date/Week, Hourly Chime, Waterproof to 3ATM, Super Backlight.
- ★Material & Size: High quality thick ABS case 50*47*17mm, durable and breathable PU double hollow band with stainless steel pin buckle is suitable for wrist from 6.7 to 9.0 inches. Weight 76g is very lightweight and comfortable, just feel you wear nothing on wrist.The watch is a little large, Please carefully measure the wrist size before buying.The temperature displayed on the watch is the ambient temperature， when measuring temperature, please remove away from your wrist.
10. CKE Men’s Digital Sports Watch Large Face Waterproof Wrist Watch for Men
The CKE digital watch is fashionable and has an LED display. The dial is big and the watch hands glow, making it easier to see the time. The watch might feel too big for some people.
It has a round dial and has a mineral dial window. The watch case is made of good-quality plastic and the watchband is made of silicone. It has an electronic movement. It has a compass and barometer.
Designed for sports lovers, it is shock-resistant, has a stopwatch and also a backlight. It is also waterproof up to 50 m. It cannot be pressed underwater and should be kept away from hot water.
This watch is affordable and can be used when going fishing, sailing, hiking and so on.
- Easy to operate
- Clear, easily readable display
- Not multifunctional
- No GPS function
- Digital Watch: Fashionable sporty dial design. Large Dial and numbers with light, show time clear in the dark. Use import EL Lamp, easy to see the time clearly in the light, easy to read. Larger than usual watch
- Men's Watch: Appeals to men, especially to those who like doing sports, shock resistant, stopwatch,12/24H time mode, and LED backlight functions to make it perfect for all kinds of sport and daily use.
- Sports Watch: Shock Resistant, perfect for both outdoor and indoor sports, such as running, climbing, fishing, etcShock Resistant, perfect for both outdoor and indoor sports, such as running, climbing, fishing, etc
- Multifunction Watch: Auto Date, Alarm, Water Resistant, LED display, Shock Resistant, Stop Watch, Back Light
- Waterproof: 164 Ft / 50 M water resist, Please DO NOT press any buttons underwater, and in case of damaging waterproof ring, please keep it away from steam and hot water.
These are some of the watches that you could take for a sailing trip.
Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.