There are many directions one can consider when trying to form a basis for a list of the best watches to wear while playing sports. Do you put a greater emphasis on style, functionality or durability? Does price matter? Should which sport a watch applies to be relative for this consideration? With those thoughts in mind I compiled the following list of watches, in no particular order:
Ebel 1911 Tekton Automatic Chronograph FC Bayern Munich– Ebel has partnerships with many professional soccer clubs in Europe and has produced limited edition models for other clubs, like Premier League club Arsenal, but the limited edition model Ebel crafted for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich is my favorite from a visual standpoint and also figures to be the most durable. But probably the feature that appeals most to soccer fans lies in the watch’s movement, the Ebel Caliber 245 which the company claims is the first movement specifically designed for soccer. The Caliber 245 is designed to measure match-half times and even indicates extra time when needed.
Suunto X6-HRM– Finnish watchmaker Suunto was probably aiming to appeal more to the outdoorsmen than the athlete (as evident by the inclusion of altimeter, clinometer, thermometer, barometer and compass) but the heart-rate monitor and the ability to record information from the watch directly to your computer is a useful aspect for any athlete. The aluminum case and black rubber bands should make this watch effectively durable for most sports, at least not the overtly physical ones.
Richard Mille RM 053 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough– Designed in conjunction with the world’s top ranked polo player, Pablo Mac Donough, this watch was made to survive the physicality of polo matches and therefore should be more than capable of being durable enough to survive in any sport. Throw in the fact that it is a unique and elegant piece and it was a lock to make this list.
Traser H3 P6600 Type 6 Mil-G– Any watch worn by the United States Navy SEALs and the British SAS is probably durable enough to handle any sport. This simple black watch prides itself in its readability and is more than durable enough to accommodate sports of all kinds.
Hublot King Power UEFA Euro 2012 Ukraine– This limited edition watch was made to commemorate the Euro Cup 2012 soccer tournament and is one of two designs based after the host-nations, the other model being Poland. It features a 45-minute counter at 9 o’clock, the same length as a half of soccer; a feature sure to please soccer fans.
Nike+ Sportswatch GPS– With a TomTom powered GPS, and all of the interfacing capabilities of the Nike+ brand this is likely to be a favorite among runners but at a weight of a mere 2.33 ounces it should also appeal to athletes in different sports as well.
IWC Ingeniur Automatic Mission Earth– A watch designed to master extreme conditions, like the top of Mt. Everest or the deserts of Africa, this watch could do well for any athlete, especially with its integrated shock absorber softening the blows to this ultra-durable and stylish timepiece.
Timex Ironman Shock Resistant Steel 30-Lap– Definitely one of the least expensive watches on this list, this is a great watch for runners. The 30-lap Memory Recall, 99-lap counter and 24-hour countdown timer are all features sure to please runners while its durability should help it appeal to athletes in other sports as well.
Well, that completes my list and, as you can see, I decided to focus more on durability and functionality than on price or design. While I’ve included watches in a wide range of prices I think the right watch is entirely dependent on which sport it is being used for, not how expensive it is. These are just the watches I felt best fit my parameters and you’re more than welcome to disagree as long as you admit that never has there been a more motley assembly of watches on a top ten list than this one.