The Sports Watch You Didn’t Know You Needed

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The Sports Watch You Didn’t Know You Needed

About Sports Watches

A sports watch is an item of athletic equipment consisting of a wristwatch that contains one or more working clocks, usually with hands that provide hours, minutes, and seconds. Typically sports watches are designed to be worn on the wrist for ease of reading in bright sunlight.

Sport watches are designed to be used during sports activities by providing quick and easy readouts for various timers such as stopwatches, interval timers, etc.

There are many different types of watches available in the market but those focusing on recreation and sports activities will typically have a number of different timers built-in. Some of the most popular timers can measure laps, distance covered, and other data.

Other sports watches are able to display information on an LCD screen or LED screen and these can be used by both amateur and professional athletes for a variety of different activities including running, cycling, swimming, etc.

To make your selection process for you a lot easier, we searched and reviewed the top 5 sports watches we think would suit any activity you can think of!



? Made in USA or Imported

? Adjustable black 16 millimeter resin strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference

? 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory; 24-hour countdown timer. On-screen prompts make setting easy forward or backward setting

? 3 daily, weekday or weekend alarms; 24-hour military time mode; 3 time zones; Day, date and month calendar

? Gray and black 38 millimeter resin case with acrylic lens; Gray digital display; Indiglo light-up watch dial

? Water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet): In general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not diving


The Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm Watch is a very affordable option that has many of the features you’ll find in much more expensive options. The classic design of the watch makes it appropriate for many activities and would make a great everyday watch. The thermometer and altimeter are better than average while the chronograph and countdown timers are quite basic (which is to be expected at this price point). The watchband is comfortable enough but cannot be customized and tends to loosen over time. This does not have an Indiglo feature which can be an issue if you find yourself in difficult lighting situations during your activities.


“Great watch! This is my 3rd one of these and it doesn’t look like Timex is ever going to stop making them. It’s still their #1 best seller and my favorite of all the Ironman variants. If you want to have a nice looking Watch that you can beat up and not ruin, you could do a lot worse than this one.”

“This is a great watch for running and general training. This is my second Ironman. The last one was fifteen years old and eventually the strap broke. I replaced that one for a Casio G shock 5610. The Casio was a nice watch but heavier than the Timex and the buttons were too small and stiff. Also, when I occasionally wore it with long sleeves it was a bit bulky. This size (38mm) is perfect and easier to read than the Casio. I think it would also be good as an everyday watch.”

“Like the look of it, not too big or rugged. Buttons are big enough to press while in motion. Like the start button being on the face. Cool backlight. Love all the features and best of all, the rare feature of a countdown timer in a watch of this price!”


✅ Perfect Size for Working Out. Doesn’t rub (and “BEEP”) on the wristband of weight lifting Gloves

✅ Has multiple Alarms to remind you to pick up your kids, take them to Gymnastics, etc. Very handy for Parents

✅ Great Indiglo Back Lighting that actually works

✅ 2 Time Zones easily Toggled with a big Gray Button on the front. Great for switching between Daylight Savings and Back again

✅  Battery lasts over 5 years


❌ Band may break over time


? Shock-resistant sport watch featuring moon/tide graphs, low temp LCD, auto EL backlight, flash alert, world time, and daily alarm

? Also includes chronograph with 12 and 24-hour formats

? 50 mm resin case with mineral dial window

? Japanese quartz movement with digital display

? Red resin band with buckle closure

? Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft): In general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving


The G-Shock G-Rescue Series Red Dial Men’s Watch G-7900A is a watch with a clear design that is simple and easy to read. The ability to create multiple custom character combinations offers a lot of flexibility as far as expressing their interest. The watch uses a Japanese quartz movement, which can be very accurate and dependable. If you’re someone who will be using this watch for more than just general sports activities, its water-resistant feature is an added bonus.

The band itself is relatively lightweight and not quite as comfortable or flexible as some others on this list but it still remains comfortable after many hours of use.


“I love everything about the watch so far…ok so I’m very familiar with Casio type watches!!! it has two 999.999 hour stopwatches in case you need them.. one 24 hour timer… tide and ? window… 4 alarm…one snooze…. 48 city time zones… great red rescue color that just pops with a beautiful red hue deep color…200 meters of water resistant!!! Dislikes are simple wish while in (stop watch) mode the time showed.. second dislike the first mode it goes to is the (tide) mode..wish it was at least stopwatch first and maby the tide mode could be last!! But with all the pluses and $62 bucks it’s a small dislike!! Over all beautiful and SIMPLY amazing.. would recommend!!!”

“It’s a G-Shock. Sturdy, durable, great looks and size. Display is very clear and readable. My wrist is 7.25″ in circumference and it fits me well. With my size wrist I buckle the watch using one of the holes in the middle of the band. Nice bright color will definitely get you looks. Once I un-boxed the watch I had the time set in about 6 minutes total and that was by reading the included instructions. Had I done it on my own it may have been a little quicker. Yes, the instructions are small, but come on, they provide detailed instructions in several languages in one small book. My experience with Casios, and watches in general, is you don’t need the book after the initial setup as you will tend to remember the procedures later so who cares if you have to get out some cheater glasses to set it up initially. I have always had good luck with Casio G-Shocks and I usually wear them out before they die on their own. With the color schemes that are now offered I don’t see a need to buy any other brand of sport watch. I know what I’m gettting with a G-Shock. Quality, functionality and great looks.”


✅ simple and reliable

✅ great for multi-sport or activity use

✅ water resistant up to 200m / 660 ft


❌ Font display may be a bit hard to read

❌ Size of the watch may be too big for some users who prefer smaller watches

❌ Red color may be too flashy for those who prefer a low key watch

3. THE ADVENTURE WATCH: SUUNTO Core, Outdoor Sports Watch


? Suunto Core: This classic outdoor sports watch is packed with intelligent features like a Storm Alarm, Altimeter, Barometer and compass to keep you informed of conditions while you hike, bike, or camp

? Essential for Adventure: This watch has dual times, a date display, and alarm, plus predicted times for sunrise and sunset to help maximize your daylight hours and a depth meter accurate up to 30 feet

? Suunto Sports Watches: Versatile and durable, Suunto sports watches are great for running, swimming, cycling, gym workouts, hiking, and other outdoor sports; Whatever your needs, Suunto has a watch for you

? Wrist top computer watch with altimeter, barometer, compass and weather indicator

? Altimeter displays current elevation, shows ascent or descent and records session

? Intelligent storm alarm senses drops in air pressure and notifies you of approaching storms

? Barometer helps you predict changing conditions; Built in weather trend indicator

? All black finish; Accurately measures depth to 30 feet; Weighs 2.26 ounces.


The best thing about the SUUNTO Core, Outdoor Sports Watch is the vast array of features packed into this option. From five independent alarms to an altimeter and compass to a thermometer, this watch has everything you need to keep your workouts moving.

Like most sports watches, the SUUNTO Core has an easy-to-read dial that displays all vital information large enough so you can see it while you’re in the middle of your activities. The band itself is made from a sturdy rubber material that is both flexible and durable which makes it very comfortable on your wrist.


“I’ve been looking at this watch for about a year. The price kept me from buying. Do I really need an ABC watch? No, not every day, but you never know when it will come in handy. When it hit $139 I couldn’t resist and thought I could return if it wasn’t what I wanted. That was a big amount for me for a watch. I’m use to buying $12 “sport” watches from amazon and expect them to last 6 months or less and I was usually accurate. I’m hard on all EDC items, knives, watches, sunglasses, flashlights, etc..”

“its a nice watch… ive been using it for the last 6 months. Its very accurate and when its on auto mode like I use it it gives me information I need on the fly… I only wish it was a bit brighter on the LCD panel, it can get hard to read just sometimes.”

“I have had my Suunto Core for over 6 YEARS now. Over 6 years of daily use, seriously, this thing has not leave my wrist. I am an enlisted military service member with 11+ years in the infantry, I am also a firefighter/paramedic for one of the busiest departments in the country. Needless to say I have put this watch through its paces and have abused the life out of it. It has been through hell and back to include military deployments to Iraq and Africa (year long deployments). It has been inside burning houses, heavy interior fire fighting inside structures, car fires, in the ocean on shallow dives, in rivers, on hikes and countless of other events…. This watch has seen it all for the last 6 years and still running strong.”


✅ A lot of functions

✅ Great for multisport use

✅ Storm alarm if there’s a change in air pressure and a storm may be approaching your area


❌ LCD panel may be hard to see especially under really bright sunlight

❌ Heavy battery usage according to some users


? 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

? Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft): In general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not scuba diving

? NOTE: The face of the watch is a solar cell that generates power from the light. The generated power charges a built-in rechargeable battery, which powers from operations. The watch charges whenever it is exposed to light.


The Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch is a feature-packed watch that combines sporty features with useful information. For example, it has an altimeter, compass, and thermometer right on the face of the watch (making it one of the most versatile sports watches on the market). The stainless steel band is comfortable enough and comes in various colors. In addition to this, it also has various different timers and alarms (including a countdown timer) which is a great feature for anyone who participates in multiple sports activities.


“I bought this product for ranger school 5 years ago and I am still using this watch. I have used this watch in the desert, extreme cold, high mountains and have banged the product really hard on all kinds of surfaces and the watch is functioning like it did when I first bought it. The compass feature is very handy and provides awareness on the general direction of travel, although I never used it to truly navigate from one location to another by using magnetic azimuth on the device. Barometric pressure is measured in HPA and is close to accurate, but I always check if the watch baro pressure is similar to what the weather app states and adjust as necessary to be sure information is accurate every time I travel to a different location. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this watch and would buy it again without hesitation if I needed another, but I don’t think I will because the one I bought is still going strong!”

“A lot more features than we even expected. My tech mad husband is delighted with this watch but, it is difficult to set up. We’ve been to sea level several times and set the altitude but it keeps setting itself back to what it deduces it is. The instructions use terminology unfamiliar to a first time buyer of this type of product. You do need a high level of intelligence and tech savvy to set this watch up to function for you. The instruction booklet is tiny and difficult to read. Handy to put in your pocket but hard to see.”

“I love this watch. I love hiking orienteering etc. Wish I had had this when I was younger. This watch doesn’t take the place of a good compass. And several functions are easy to find on a phone. For me the watch compliments my outdoor enjoyment. When walking there are lots of occasions when it’s nice to check still going the right way.”


✅ Waterproof

✅ Solar powered

✅ Loaded with functions for a watch that isn’t a smart watch


❌ Dirt may get in the rotating dial over time and prevent rotation

❌ Strap may be uncomfortable for some users

❌ Initial setup may be tricky



? Japan 23 Jewel Automatic Self Winding Movement (Calibre 7S36)

? Stainless Steel Case with Black Nylon Strap

? Day/Date Display with Arabic Option, Luminous Hands and Markers, Hardlex Mineral Crystal for Durability

? Case Size: 42 mm Diameter, 12 mm Thickness

? Water Resistant – 100M, Screw Down Transparent Case Back


The SEIKO 5 Sports is one of the most popular sports watches in the world. The list of features it’s equipped with is almost endless and is clearly designed for anyone who likes to be active. It has everything from a stopwatch to an altimeter and even a compass!

The bands themselves are interchangeable with just about any standard band you choose to use (most feature links and pins) which gives you more versatility than many of its competitors. This watch is also water-resistant up to 660 ft (200m) so you can wear it when swimming, snorkeling, surfing, etc without worrying about damaging it.


“One of my all-time favorite Amazon purchases! Exactly what I was looking for: A reliable, tough field watch, easy to read the time quickly, water resistant to 100M, and automatic. Very comfortable, and the band, though simple, is comfortable and fits the looks of the watch perfectly. I’ve worn it steadily for a couple months now and it has not skipped a beat. This is a classic watch, one to start a watch collection with; check the reviews here on Amazon and take a look at YouTube. I wear this more than any of my others, and I’ve got a multi-watch collection of higher-end timepieces. If you can’t afford a Hamilton, this is your watch. And if you can afford a Hamilton, this is still your watch. Accurate and rugged, this Seiko is a great, handsome everyday timepiece that demands no special care other than that you wear it regularly to keep it wound. And you *will* wear it regularly! A wonderful watch!”

“Pleasantly surprised to find a quality mechanical watch still available at such an affordable price point. The strap is comfortable and fits well. The watch is a good size, easily readable during day and nigh operations, and it keeps wound just by my daily activity. I walk a LOT… so no issues with automatic winding. Having the back bezel be transparent into the mechanism is a cool feature. The good old tick-tick-tick is a pleasant change from all the quartz machines out there. No batteries required! ;-)”

“Honestly, it’s an automatic seiko for a steal. I adjusted my regulator to achieve about -2sec slow/day. Also your activity will speed up or slow it down a bit.

For this price I already ordered a new band (the Kmasic sport band Large) and I love it. Soft and hidden and rubber so I can wear my watch thru all my day’s activities. Those nylon bands will smell after a while if you wear it daily.”


✅ Classic style

✅ High quality build

✅ Very accurate time keeping




❌ Might be too simple for some users

❌ Does not have other sports specific functions other watches have like a stopwatch or timing function

❌ Self-winding means it will need to be reset each time if not used constantly

We’ve got you covered with more of these amazing gift lists:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the important features I should look for in a sports watch?

The most popular sports watches in the market are those that use a simple analog or digital display normally based on a 12-hour clock with hands pointing to numbers from 1-12. The hands move in increments of time from one hour to the next so that they can be used to tell the time while being very easy to read which is important when exercising e.g. by athletes, etc.

Typical sports watches have a number of different features and functions including:

– Stopwatch – This features allows the user to measure the elapsed time of a certain period of time during an event such as a race. They are also useful in timing lap duration for cycling or running in various events. The stopwatch, usually has an alarm feature so that the start and end times can be set by pressing the reset button at either end.

– Lap Timer – This is typically an analog timer with hours, minutes, seconds and readings for each rotation on a watch face. The user will usually wear the watch on their wrists to track lap times and laps.

– Countdown Timer – some watches have a countdown timer which can be used to time individual laps or an interval in an event.

– LED-backlit – some watches are backlit in either green or red LED lights and this is useful for reading the display screen as these won’t illuminate the inside of your eyes when exercising at night.

– Interval timers – these types of sports watches have interval timers that can be set to measure various time frames during training or events e.g. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc. These are set using buttons on the watch that allow different periods of time to be measured.

Other features that may be included on watches vary depending on the manufacturer but typically include:

– Timer – these timepieces have a stopwatch, timer, or count down timer functions. The timer can be set for up to 24 hours and this can be very useful. It can also measure the number of times that a certain item such as a finger is inserted into an object etc.

– Alarm – some watches have an alarm function that will set off an alarm sound or buzzer when you need to take note of something important e.g. laps completed during training or competitions, etc. The alarm will set off several hours later to allow time for you to take note of the event e.g. laps, etc.

– Chronograph – some watches have a chronograph function which is useful in timing various events and times such as distance traveled or individual lap times during the competition. The time can be measured over a certain period of time within the event e.g. 10 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, etc.

2. How accurate is the timing function on the watch?

The timing function of a sports watch will vary depending on the watch brand and model as well as the features included in the device. Some devices will have timing functions that enable you to record your lap times and other times over short periods of time or for longer periods of time e.g. speed, distance traveled, etc.

So it is important to determine how accurate you need your timing function to be and what you are using it for e.g. swimming laps, running competitions, etc.

3. What kind of features do you need in the watch’s event timer?

The device should have various functions that can be used in events e.g. lap timers for swimming, race timers for triathlons, time limits for games & rec basketball, and the ability to monitor heart rate along with other measurements while participating in an event e.g. GPS distance trackers, pulse monitors, and heart rate monitors, etc.

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