With the advent of modern technology, the capability of wristwatches has progressed from what now seems like rudimentary portable timepieces to a hi-tech mini-computers strapped to your wrist. As a result, the average amateur sportsperson has more technology on their arm today than professional athletes had as part of their whole set up even a few decades ago.
Gone are the days when the most advanced features were a stopwatch, timer, and plucky light; now it’s possible to monitor a range of metrics such as heart rate, calories burnt, and even technique, opening a world of analytics and diagnostics. More advanced models even have the capability to play music, track location, and take calls.
The potential of this market means that suddenly tech companies are making watches and traditional watchmakers and sporting apparel companies are experimenting with software and apps. The range of options available can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the top watches for sport and training available to suit your needs and budget.
The Apple Watch Series 5 with sport loop
One of the original smartwatches, Apple have been perfecting their design since 2014 and the latest iteration is available with a sport-specific strap or loop. The watch will run a range of apps including Apple’s own ‘Workout app’, which offers a solid range of features with a typically slick interface, including customisable data screens that can track advanced metrics such as running cadence. It’s been tested across grueling marathons and came up trumps. There’s also the benefit of music streaming and playback through Apple Music.
Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit is the name in fitness tracking. It began with the bands but they’ve since into smartwatch territory with the Ionic and Versa models. In fact, it’s been described as a “near-perfect fitness tracker with smartwatch perks”, aimed at more hardcore trainers looking to eke out every last drop of perspiration. As such, tracking health and fitness are the primary functions (there are more than 15 exercise modes), pairing up with Fitbit Premium to help you tailor to your goals.
Garmin Fenix 6
If you’re a triathlete or train across multiple sports then this may be the option for you. Garmin has a lot of watches on the market and this is aimed at the outdoor/adventure crowd who like to swim, run, cycle, ski, or just about anything else in the great outdoors. With this in mind, the display excels in bright sunshine and is robust enough to handle a bit of bashing about. There’s also solid GPS tracking, accurately recording metrics on mountain climbs and city sprints alike, and it claims a 48-day battery life in battery saving mode. The 6X Pro Solar has, you guessed it, solar.
Tag Heuer Connected (2020)
The luxury option. TAG Heuer has an illustrious history of producing high-quality, forward-thinking timepieces dating back over 150 years. As such, TAG Heuer watches for men or women are known for being premium quality. It’s therefore unsurprising that their third generation smartwatch has been met with rave reviews. For this iteration, the legendary Swiss watchmakers have put extra focus on enhanced features for sports and it’s suitable for most training needs with the added bonus it looks great too.