A watch cannot be a simple watch anymore. Especially if you are on your boat and you have limited space, as well as the need to get the important information you need to sail without having to look for your phone or other device to tell you where to go. If you're racing and you need to keep checking your time, your distance to the finish line, your pace or your itinerary, a simple watch isn't enough anymore - you need accuracy, simplicity and durability.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce five top watches (and a bonus one) that will make sailing a piece of cake.
The device stands out for having a countdown timer, virtual start line and tacking assistant. In this way, we can configure a virtual start line between two GPS waypoints, and then combine it with the integrated countdown timer. We can then accurately calculate the distance to the line, and the desired speed and the time available to allow the boat to finish at full speed at the exact moment. When the competition has started, Quatix switches to 'Wizard Tacking', indicating whether the boat is at the optimum angle of turn provided.
This nautical GPS clock can share data wirelessly with other Garmin devices. By linking it to a transceiver GNT™ 10, the navigator can see and transmit NMEA 2000 data, like speed, wind direction, water depth, etc… It also features remote control functions that control the autopilot Garmin remotely. On the other hand, it integrates security-related functions, such as the automatic activation of “Man Overboard”. If for example, someone falls overboard while wearing a Quatix clock, it sends an alert to the plotter. It also has a three-axis electronic compass, which indicates the direction whether the boat is in motion or not, an altimeter and a barometer for real-time environmental conditions and weather changes.
Additional features: wireless connection to computer, iPad or iPhone to download the data
Highlights: can be submerged up to 50 meters (150 feet); battery lasts up to 6 weeks on the watch mode and up to 16 hours on GPS mode.
Weaknesses: doesn’t float (you will want to dive if it falls in the sea)
Amazon Price: $7,500.00 $6,999.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 26, 2013)
This watch was first introduced by the James Bond movies in the 60s. It is very traditional (no fancy-electronic gadgets) but very elegant and functional.
The watch was first presented in the Basel festival in 1954. It was one of the first watches to achieve a complete working capability at a depth of up to 100 meters under the water. Aesthetically the Rolex Submariner has undergone very few modifications on the design over the years since the 1960s, while the technical capabilities have been widely improved, including a maximum diving depth of 300 meters.
Additional features: the James Bond feeling
Highlights: I won’t let you down (people usually have these watches for the rest of their lives)
Weaknesses: price (but it’s a luxury item, so it will make you stand out as well)
Gill Regatta Master II
This watch is in between the previous two: neither an Inspector Gadget device nor a James Bond talisman. It is rugged, reliable and accurate. Some of its functions are:
It is designed specifically for sailing, it is thus reliable and accurate. It is essential for sailors. It features a countdown timer with synchro and digital compass.
Highlights: backlighting and keylock function
Weaknesses: no GPS, simple design, waterproof 50 meter only
Amazon Price: $350.00 $186.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 26, 2013)
Combining the best elements of Pathfinder and Sea Pathfinder, Casio introduces the best Pathfinder created so far. The Multiband 5 Atomic Solar Pathfinder goes beyond its core functions: Digital Compass, Altimeter, Barometer and Thermometer by adding Tide and moon graphs and moon age data.
Highlights: water depth of up to 200 m
Weaknesses: no GPS, it’s quite big so prepare to feel the weight on your wrist
Amazon Price: $700.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 26, 2013)
This watch combines the altimeter, barometer, compass, and GPS navigator in one. It also has extensive memory, as well as the usual time and stopwatch functions. It is similar in functions to the one by Garmin but its design is more classic.
The Suunto X10 military has an improved GPS performance, which locates your position even faster than the X9i. The enhanced GPS connects even under difficult conditions for more reliable readings when you need it. The Suunto X10 also makes records points and routes, allowing users to analyze and review itineraries a home. When you are following a preplanned route, it can show the direction you need to go and estimated time of arrival.
Its battery life is 33% longer than the X9i and has its own USB charger can also be used to transfer data.
Highlights: water resistant up to 100 meters
Weaknesses: not very durable (as per reviews)
Bonus: Freestyle Unisex FS84899 Mariner Digital Sailing Watch
This is a basic but sturdy watch that will the main functions required of chronometer and timekeeping. It is submergible up to 100 meters and – yes! It’s a unisex watch!
Highlights: price (pretty low for the quality – it’s not a fancy watch but meets the expectations in its simplicity)
Weaknesses: there are many advanced functions that are missing, but hey you get what you pay for