6 things you need to consider before buying a sailing watch

January 31, 2017 3 min read

Owning a great watch is not only functional, but also fashionable, but finding the right watch for your sailing adventures is easier said than done. There are so many fantastic brands out there, with so many different features, that it’s often hard to decide what sailing watch might be right for you, and why.

If you’re considering buying yourself, or giving the gift of, a high quality sailing watch this year, here are our top 6 things you need to consider before you purchase.

  1. Budget. Whether you want to spend 10 pounds or 10 thousand pounds (and hope it also steers the boat for you), establish a budget before you go shopping and don’t go over it. The more you spend, of course the better quality watch you’ll receive and the more features it will include; but in saying that, you don’t need to spend too much to get a watch that is going to last the distance. For under £150, you’ll find great watches with a range of features that are ideal for your next sailing adventure.
  2. Do your research. If you’re shopping online, this is particularly important. Firstly make sure the watch has all the features you want; and secondly to ensure the company you are buying from is reputable and has quality reviews online.
  3. Choose the features you want. Technology is an amazing thing and it seems that as every day passes, there is something more and more exciting coming on the market. That’s the case for watches. From Apple to Garmin, you’ll find watches that have Bluetooth, GPS devices, can connect to your phone (you can even call people from some watches!), check your heart rate, measure how far you’ve walked, run or sailed – the options are endless. For dinghy sailing you’re going to be interested in something that is more simple though, Optimum Time sell the world’s most popular sailing watch – the OS series 3 watch, that has easy to read digital display, backlights, shock resistance, and other sailing and racing features.
  4. Water proof or water resistance. This is a must-have for your sailing watch to ensure your device is protected when you’re getting the boat in and out of the water and of course for those unfortunate swims. You can choose to have a water proof watch, generally with a plastic case around it so you could lose it at the bottom of the ocean and still know what time it is; or water resistance for different depths of water – suitable if you’re biggest concern is sea spray and a bit of rain.
  5. Type of display you want. There are two choices – analog and digital. Analog has moving hands that allow you to read the time, count the seconds; and it could be powered by automatic, quartz, kinetic or hand wound movement. This might be more suited to yacht sailing but on a dinghy you're going to want the second choice which is digital. This will shows the numbers on the screen, powered by an electronic chip and making it easier to read (which is great if you’re busy on the boat).
  6. What is the watch made of? When you’re shopping for a watch you’ll come across a number of different materials the face is made of - from stainless steel, to gold, titanium or silver. If you’re taking your watch sailing, you probably aren’t interested in getting something that’s too “showy”, so you’re probably better to get a robust watch with hard wearing and shock proof materials. And remember, you want it to be plastic encased or waterproof to a major extent – just in case. When it comes to the band of the watch, for sailing we recommend getting a silicon strap as it will hold up in salt water and under any other weather elements much better than something like silver or gold.

Choosing the right watch for your sailing adventure is easier if you follow these great tips, but if you have any problems, call us for some advice. Happy sailing.


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